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review 2018-05-02 02:50
DC Comics: Bombshells, Vol. 6
DC Comics: Bombshells Vol. 6 - Marguerite Bennett

The Bombshells series draws to a conclusion with a final battle against Hugo Strange and Killer Frost, as well as the mastermind behind the villains the Bombshells have faced. Supergirl and Raven both must face their pasts if they want to win.

 

This final volume was a nice ending to the series, but not an entirely satisfying one. Quite a few main characters were missing entirely from this volume, including Wonder Woman, Batwoman, and Mera. Luckily, there is a sequel series to continue their stories. I'm not surprised that the book couldn't fit in every character since this series has a huge cast. But it did continue the stories of the ones who made it in the book very nicely.

 

The book started with more of Batgirl and the Suicide Squad as they staged a rescue. They were only in the book for an issue, but their group dynamic was fun and I'd love to see more of them.

 

Supergirl got a big reveal in her former home planet and her parentage that she had to quickly come to terms with and face in this volume as her birth mother's identity is revealed. She also got some nice bonding with her clone siblings, Power Girl and Superman, and Lois Lane (hopefully her future love interest).

 

Raven also had to face her past when she met her father again. And her new-found family with Zatanna and Constantine continued to be adorable.

 

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy also continued to be cute, even if Harley had some very bad jokes that Ivy had to endure.

 

From start to finish, the Bombshells series proved to be a fun ride with the ladies of the DC universe taking center stage. It took the simple concept of what the world would be like if the female superheroes came first and ran with it, re-imagining their dynamics in a World War II setting. And so many queer characters. I don't think there was a single issue that didn't feature a queer character, with most featuring multiple.

 

I'm so glad there's a sequel to this because I loved every moment of this series and there's so many more stories that can be told with all the characters. And hopefully more DC heroines will join the series.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-05 03:25
Champions, Vol. 2: The Freelancer Lifestyle
Champions Vol. 2: The Freelancer Lifestyle - Mark Waid,Humberto Ramos

Volume 2 of the Champions series is a bit of a mess story-wise and an excellent example of how company-wide events can really mess with individual series at Marvel and DC.

 

It starts off well enough with the Champions having to deal with a teen mercenary group that oppose everything the Champions are trying to stand for. It's not the greatest plot since the villains are too one-dimensional for my liking, but the first couple issues of this book at least form a cohesive story. Since this volume's title references the mercenary group's name, I thought the Champions would be dealing with them for the majority of the book, but they just disappear from the story after a few issues.

 

Things get jarring once the Freelancers arc ends. At the very end of that arc, one of the members of the Champions is literally locked in their home with security measures that neutralize their powers because they are grounded. The very next issue has that character on a solo mission some time later on the opposite side of the country. When did the grounding end? Did their parent just release them? Or did they have to escape? No clue on any of that. No reference is made to them being locked up at any point afterward. On their solo mission, they meet a new teen hero that they team up with for this issue. At the end, they offer the new hero a chance to join the Champions. This hero is then never mentioned again.

 

The next issue takes place during the Secret Empire event where Hydra is in charge. One of the Champions is in an internment camp, and the others are trying to locate and rescue their team member. How did this member get captured in the first place? What was everyone else doing when they were captured? No answers on any of that. The character isn't rescued or even found by the end of the issue either. They are back with everyone by the next issue though with no explanation how that went down. And the Champions have joined with several other teen heroes to try to rescue any survivors from a Hydra attack that killed over half a million citizens. The issues just keep jumping forward in time with no details on how we got to this point. The abrupt transitions were jarring.

 

This was especially true for the final issue. The previous one ended with the Champions vowing to keep fighting against Hydra after they killed over half a million people. The very next issue opens with the Champions singing karaoke. Between the two issues, Hydra was defeated apparently.

 

This volume of Champions left me constantly feeling like I was skipping a ton of issues because I was missing huge chunks of the story. After the first mini arc, the rest of the book was a mess that had jarring transitions and failed to form a cohesive story by constantly skipping ahead. It's hard to enjoy a story when I'm only given random portions of it.

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review 2017-08-24 04:25
Black Panther: World of Wakanda
Black Panther: World of Wakanda Vol. 1: Dawn of the Midnight Angels - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Roxane Gay,Yona Harvey,Alitha Martinez,Afua Richardson

When I first started the Black Panther run by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ayo and Aneka, two members of the Dora Milaje quickly became the best part of the series for me. So to get a book with a large focus on the two of them was a great surprise. The fact that Roxane Gay wrote this made it even better.

 

World of Wakanda put the focus on several members of the Dora Milaje from new recruits to veterans as they trained, warded off attacks on Wakanda, and slowly began to question Black Panther and whether he truly was putting Wakanda's interests first. There was a lot of inner conflict for the characters to deal with, and I loved seeing each of them struggle to figure out how to honor their oaths while still doing what they thought was right.

 

And I just really love Ayo and Aneka. It was nice seeing the start of their relationship and its progression. This book gave me better context for what they're doing and why in the Black Panther series. I now want another book or two (or more) of their adventures.

 

The only part I didn't like of this book was the very last issue which switched to a story about White Tiger. While I'm sure I've read stuff with White Tiger in it, I didn't remember much about him beyond that he existed, so it didn't help that his story kept referencing things in his past that I wasn't familiar with. This issue read more like a generic superhero story that was completely different from the previous issues. It just felt out of place with the rest of the book.

 

Despite the last issue, World of Wakanda was excellent. It gave a closer look at some of the most fascinating characters from the Black Panther series and made me want more of them.

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review 2017-08-14 03:56
New Super-Man, Vol. 1: Made in China
New Super-Man Vol. 1: Made In China (Rebirth) (Super-Man - New Super-Man (Rebirth)) - Gene Luen Yang,Viktor Bogdanovic

This book had a weak start, but a stronger finish. It started off with Kong Kenan bullying a classmate. When that classmate was attacked by a supervillain, he threw a can at him and managed to save his classmate. This was caught on camera and Kenan pretended to be a hero to impress the cute reporter interviewing him. Based on this action alone, Kenan was chosen by a secret government organization to be turned into the New Super-Man and be part of the newly created Justice League of China along with the Chinese Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man. The two people chosen to be Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man were both vetted and trained before given powers, but not Kenan. For some reason it was deemed a good idea to give him the powers without any further research into him.

 

Kenan then had difficulties controlling his new powers, understandably, so was told to research the original Justice League members to learn more. When Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man were sent out to save someone, Kenan convinced the leader of the project to let him go to because he knew the passcode to get into the place the woman lived. I didn't understand why they didn't just make him tell them the passcode or even just have Wonder-Woman fly herself and Bat-Man over the gates since she can fly. Kenan's powers were unstable and he'd had no training at this point. And he did indeed proceed to mess things up in a huge way. The secret organization just made a lot of highly questionable decisions in the beginning of the book that had me wondering how they'd managed to get this far.

 

Luckily things improved once the story focused more on Kenan's relationship with his father and his maturing as a person as he began to realize the new responsibility he suddenly had with these powers. Wonder-Woman and Bat-Man were a good balance for him as more veteran heroes who have a better handle on their powers and the responsibility that comes with it, while still having room for character growth as they bonded with the New Super-Man. I liked their group dynamics.

 

I do feel like there were too many characters introduced in just one book though. In addition to the 3 superheroes of the Justice League of China, there were 2 opposing teams introduced, resulting in about 20 superheroes and supervillains introduced in just 6 issues. And that's not counting the non-supers also in the book. One of the teams didn't get fleshed out at all, so I'm guessing they'll get more focus later, but it was just hard to keep everyone straight with so many people getting introduced.

 

Despite a weak start due to a lot of questionable decision-making from the government agency giving the powers to the New Super-Man, the 3 members of the Justice League of China made an endearing team that were fun to watch work together. And with Kenan's relationship with his father, this book created a nice foundation for Kenan's journey to being a hero. I look forward to seeing where this series goes next.

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review 2017-07-04 20:57
Titans Vol. 1: The Return of Wally West
Titans Vol. 1: The Return of Wally West (Rebirth) - Dan Abnett,Brett Booth

This didn't really feel like a good point to jump on if you're not familiar with Wally West. Although the name suggests this is a team book, this first volume is really all about Wally with the other Titans as supporting characters. Wally has reappeared after being stuck outside of time and everyone in his life forgetting about his existence. He is able to get his former team to remember him, but is unable to do the same for his former wife, Linda Park. Most of the book has the Titans trying to discover what exactly happened to Wally.

 

Wally's my favorite Flash (thanks in large part to the Justice League show), so I was happy to have him back in action, but I haven't really read much that featured Linda, so all the scenes about how much he missed her fell flat for me because I just didn't have any emotional connection to the two of them as a couple. His scenes with his friends worked much better for me because I'd read plenty of stories of them as a team. I'm not just how everything would work for someone new coming in because a good chunk of the story relied on nostalgia. However, the ending gives me hope that the story will be moving away from looking wistfully back at the past and instead focus on moving everyone forward.

 

It was great seeing the Titans back together, but I need more than nostalgia to keep me interested in the story. I'll definitely be checking out the next volume to see if we'll be getting a true Titans series that spreads the focus across the entire team.

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