Book Reviews

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

Title: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The reader starts the story in the 19th century in Salem, Massachusetts. The narrator is a custom officer with dreams of becoming an author.

During the 17th century, in Boston, the Puritans ruled the land, despising all sins…great or small. When Hester Prynne cheats on her husband, she is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” marked for adulterer. But that is not her only punishment, her baby marks her sin for all to see, as well as a prison sentence. But Hester will not reveal who the father is.

After being released from prison, Hester works on her embroidery to make a living. Soon, she is acknowledged by people with status for her skill. But after realizing whose work was behind it, Prynne was quickly shunned, even by people who needed help.

Eventually, the truth behind Pearl’s father comes to light.

As her baby, Pearl, starts to grow, the townsfolk look to take her away from her “sinful” mother. But whose child is Pearl really? Are things as they appear?

For someone who has never read Manga before, I found this to be an easy transition. Starting from the back instead of the front, you would think it would be difficult to get used to, but it was actually extremely habitual.

Book Reviews

Suicide Squad, Volume 5: Walled In

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Title: Suicide Squad, Volume 5: Walled In
Author: Matt Kindt (Writer), Sean Ryan (Writer), Jim Zub, Patrick Zircher (Artist), Andre Cuelho (Artist), Roger Robinson (Artist), Rafa Sandoval (Artist), Jason Masters (Artist), Carlos Rodriguez (Artist), Jim Fern (Artist)
Rating: ★★★★

Task Force X, the infamous “Suicide Squad”. A secret government program for imprisoning super villains and using them in deadly missions no one else would dare take.

All of our favorite villains have been freed from Belle Reeve! There isn’t only one Suicide Squad present on the scene these days. Another villain is looming: The Thinker. Infiltrating the Reverse Suicide Squad through radio frequencies, he plans to have the new team destroy the Suicide Squad.

While aboard a military cargo jet, Waller meets Dr. Algot Issen, a geneticist, and inquires about his genetic testing equipment to control super-powered beings. 

In order to stop O.M.A.C., Waller and James Gordon Jr. release a secret prisoner, none other than King Sharks’s dad, himself! But he is bent on killing Waller and anyone else who gets in his way.

James Gordon Jr. has coerced Harley Quinn to his side. However, as usual, Harley has some things up her sleeve.

But, as suspected, both Suicide Squads ban together in order to defeat O.M.A.C. But there is a secret revolving this being capable of mass destruction. What is it? What will happen with the Squads? Will the Thinker win?

Book Reviews

Suicide Squad, Volume 4: Discipline and Punish

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Title: Suicide Squad, Volume 4: Discipline and Punish
Author: Ales Kot (Writer), Matt Kindt (Writer), Patrick Zircher (Artist), Rick Leonardi (Artist), Neil Googe (Artist), Sami Basri (Artist), Carmen Carnero (Artist)
Rating: ★★★★

Supervillains recruited from prison, sent on covert missions and injected with a nanite bomb so we stay in line. A bad deal.

We last find ourselves with the almost-destruction of our beloved Suicide Squad. But, one member was believed to not have survived… But fear not, Waller and her team have figured out a new serum that brings people back to life!

A new sheriff is in town, adding a more kills and fighting into the pre-existing, butt-kicking team. Not only him, but the addition of a new super-fast feminine Squader.

And maybe that’s some of the true measure of love – – the kindness we give to those who are too damaged to ever perceive it.

Not falling in love, but staying in it.

Regardless of what comes.

But someone not part of the Suicide Squad and, perhaps, closer to Waller, shows up and plays a big role in Volume 4…James Gordon Jr. This guy is creepier than the Joker himself. And to make things more interesting…he is in love with Waller (hah! Didn’t know anyone could love her).

A giant monster built from dead bodies and controlled by the “Mother” rears its ugly head in this volume, however, I have a feeling she will show up more in the next volume (hopefully?).

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What I really enjoyed was that the reader was able to delve deeper into the lives of Deadshot and Harley Quinn prior to the Suicide Squad, and also, later of the Squad disbanded and had their nano bombs removed from their necks. Harley Quinn was not portrayed as being as weak as she had been in previous volumes.

This was definitely the best comic of this event so far! It was an easy, fast read that flowed well and kept the reader engaged and wanting more the whole time. If you didn’t like the previous volumes and weren’t thinking of continuing with the event, please do! This one makes it so worth it!

 

Book Reviews

Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance by Joshua Williamson

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Title: Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance
Author: Joshua Williamson (Writer), Scott Snyder (Writer)
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dark Days: The Road to MetalDark Days: The Road to Metal by Scott Snyder, and Dark Nights: Metal: Dark Knights Rising are the first three events. This is the fourth and last.

We start out with Bruce Wayne talking to his granddaughter. She is interested in all of his stories, which he has written down over the years…not to be forgotten.

Superman went into the Dark Multiverse in order to save Batman. While he is there, the Justice League is doing their part back on Earth. However, “The One Who Laughs” aka “Joker Batman” separates them, brings them into the Dark Multiverse, and creates their own worst nightmares.

 

I really loved that each section of the book represented a different member of DC comics and the battle they had with Batman’s nightmares (some Batman versions of themselves). My brain is completely random, so the different trains of thoughts keep me entertained.

 

One member of the Justice League defies all odds and helps to rescue the Justice League, all of them banding together against the Batman Nightmares. On the other side of the Earth, the Teen Titans and the Suicide Squad join forces to defeat Nightmare Robin. 

Gotham has turned into a giant mountain surrounded by multiple rings. Each ring represents Batman’s greatest rogues. Robin is on a mission to get to the center and defeat all of his father’s rogues. Will he make it? 

I really enjoyed this event and how it intertwined previous comics into it. However, as a standalone, it doesn’t leave the reader fulfilled because it doesn’t end with this event, but in another comic. I wish the resolution was present in this addition. Also, I feel it should have ended with old Bruce Wayne and his grandchild finishing the story.

Expected publication date is July 3, 2018.

Book Reviews

Dark Nights: Metal: Dark Knights Rising by Peter J. Tomasi

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Title: Dark Nights: Metal: Dark Knights Rising
Author: Peter J. Tomasi (Author), Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV, Tyler Kirkham, Ethan Van Sciver, Dan Abnett (Illustrator), Frank Tieri (Illustrator), Carmine Di Giandomenico (Illustrator), Tony Daniel (Illustrator), Ricardo Federici (Illustrator), Francis Manapul (Illustrator), Philip Tan (Illustrator), Riley Rossmo (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dark Days: The Road to Metal and Dark Days: The Road to Metal by Scott Snyder are the first two events. This is the third.

Barbatos rules the Dark. If Batman can rid of the Light, Barbatos has promised to bring Bruce Wayne’s parents back.

The truth is, we’re only here because the world was dark enough to dream us into existence. Because deep down, it needed us. To protect them from themselves.

Batman has multiple personality disorder in this event:

  • Flash Batman “Red Death”stole his reality’s Speed Force from The Flash (one of my favorite superheroes and I would want his super power).
  • Cyborg Batman “The Murder Machine”: bent on killing everyone with the many Alfred clones.
  • Joker Batman “The Man Who Laughs”never taking anything seriously and always the last word. The evil mastermind of the group.
  • Green Lantern Batman “Dawnbreaker”set on destroying the man who killed his parents. He quickly becomes a hero until his willingness to kill takes over.
  • Aquaman Batman “The Drowned”a female sea creature.
  • Wonder Woman Batman “The Merciless”: vows to kill Ares and destroy his helmet, but ends up choosing himself as a god and wears the helmet. 
  • Doomsday Batman “The Devastator”: monster who thinks that Superman is the problem.

 

No one is beyond saving.

The Joker plans to make something out of the best traits of both himself and Batman. When Batman killed the Joker, a new strain of Nanotoxic was released from the dead body. This virus makes the victims more like the Joker. Whoever killed the Joker, would become him.

 

 

The Laughing Batman (aka the Joker Batman) is the ringleader of this big circus. So why are all of the other Batmans following his lead? They believe that helping will make them heros (how easily misguided they were). The world is dying. Detective Chimp is on the case. Will he be able to solve the crime before it is too late?

I wanted to love this. I really did. And I really like that the “Dark Knights” were versions of other DC heros we have come to love over the years. I’m kind of lost about why Detective Chimp has a role, really. But then again, I’m not a big fan of monkeys. It had me loving it until the last 50 pages. 😦

The expected publication date is June 26, 2018.

 

 

Book Reviews

Suicide Squad, Volume 3: Death is for Suckers

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Title: Suicide Squad, Volume 3: Death is for Suckers
Author: Adam Glass (Author), Fernando Dagnino (Illustrator), Henrick Jonsson (Illustrator), Cliff Richards (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★★

Supervillains recruited from prison, sent on covert missions and injected with a nanite bomb so we stay in line. A bad deal.

At the end of the last installment, Deadshot was killed in his hero-ridden suicide, also allegedly killing Regulus. But is he really dead? Where is Regulus’s body?

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Our good friend (and my favorite super villain) is back. But why?

 

After escaping the hands of the Joker, Harley Quinn wakes up after much damage has been done from her escape. But, someone else decides to join the party once more…make that two past Suicide Squaders.

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But a new “package” is needed and the Suicide Squad is back in action. However, one of the Squad knows the keeper of the “package” very well. And Waller is in on the action with the Suicide Squad this time!

Amanda Waller turns off the bomb detonators embedded in the necks of the Suicide Squad…giving them the choice to help on this next mission or go their separate ways. But of course, leaving would have consequences. 

A Suicide Squad member is killed, leaving someone new as leader of the pack. Who is this guy and what is his involvement with the Suicide Squad?

Book Reviews

Suicide Squad, Volume 2: Basilisk Rising

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Title: Suicide Squad, Volume 2: Basilisk Rising
Author: Adam Glass (Author), Dan Abnett (Writer), Andy Lanning (Writer), Fernando Dagnino (Illustrator), Federico Dallocchio (Illustrator), Jesus Saiz (Illustrator), Andres Guinaldo (Illustrator), Mark Irwin (Illustrator), Christian Alamy (Illustrator), Cliff Richards (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★★

Supervillains recruited from prison, sent on covert missions and injected with a nanite bomb so we stay in line. A bad deal.

At the end of the last installment, Harley Quinn ditched the squad for the chance to see her “Puddin”. Deadshot was tasked with bringing her back to the Squad.

There is a traitor in the Suicide Squad, but who is it? The person’s task is to expose the Squad and kill Amanda Waller. Regulus, leader of the Basilisks, has sent one of his own to infiltrate the Suicide Squad. But, is it just a distraction or does he really want them gone?

Along the way, members of the same Squad are tasked with betraying one another…sometimes leading to death. An old member returns and at least another leaves? Who is the impostor? Who has surprised us once again?! Whose death will be a consequence of friendly fire? 

The reader is left with a epilogue depicting the story besides Amanda Waller’s great idea of the Suicide Squad. Her muse, her beginnings, and a glimpse of what truly lies beneath the tough exterior.

But the story of the Suicide Squad continues once more. A big player is killed. What will happen next with the Basilisks?

Book Reviews

Dark Nights: Metal: Deluxe Edition (Dark Nights: Metal) by Scott Snyder

Title: Dark Nights: Metal: Deluxe Edition (Dark Nights: Metal)
Author: Scott Snyder (Author), Greg Capullo (Illustrator), Jonathan Glapion (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 I liked this comic much better than the first in the event, Dark Days: The Road to Metal by Scott Snyder. Everything tied together and didn’t have your brain going in a million different directions. Action-packed scene after action-packed scene, Snyder left me wanting more after each one.

Carter Hall, aka Hawkman, is once again our narrator, but we finally understand the reasoning behind his “diary”. We find ourselves back in the dark universe of Batman. Honestly, he is kind of depressing in this event. He is still hiding things from the rest of the Justice League on his journey to find the Nth metal. But is Batman being used by the powerful god Barbatos to create a portal to Batmen? 

Batman, being his selfish self in this event, gets lured into a trap and it’s up to the Justice League to save him. Clark Kent, aka Superman, to the rescue. Kent comes to find an older Batman (I’m still curious to know how Batman aged and then was his good ol’ self again later. Some clarification would be nice). While the Nth metal is the goal, will new discoveries be uncovered to depict a weapon in disguise?

Probably the best lesson learned from this comic is that true friendship lasts. No matter what wrongs were made, the Justice League has each others’ backs. And I love the tie-in of the characters (Aquaman and the Flash make my knees weak).

One thing I wish I could change…I wish there was more Joker and less Hawkgirl…I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but the whole time I was thinking, “Shut up, Hawkgirl! You act like you’re the smartest, but how many times have you died?!” Although I love the Joker, the Joker Dragon was a little much, I have to admit.

What will happen next with the Dark Knights? Will the Jusice League be able to stop them with this new metal?

The expected publication date is June 12, 2018.

 

Book Reviews

Suicide Squad, Volume 1: Kicked in the Teeth

Suicide Squad - Vol. 1 - Kicked in the Teeth

Title: Suicide Squad, Volume 1: Kicked in the Teeth
Author: Adam Glass (Author), Federico Dallocchio (Illustrator), Clayton Henry (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★★

So, there are lovers and haters of the Suicide Squad movie. In the movie, Harley Quinn is depicted as this strong, independent woman. However, for those of you comic book nerdies out there, we know that to be entirely false. It just annoys me that so much is changed to fit a movie when the comic clearly makes much more sense. Ugh!

Supervillains recruited from prison, sent on covert missions and injected with a nanite bomb so we stay in line. A bad deal.

suicide_squad_0023Supervillains hired by an undercover government organization as an agreement to serve less time. Injected by a nanite bomb to coerce cooperation, we find Deadshot, Harley Quinn, King Shark, and more on their new mission. A zombie virus breakout is brewing and the Suicide Squad is dispatched to find a certain lady and her “package”. This package is the cure for the dreaded zombie virus.

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Along the way, Harley Quinn finds out about the death of her “Puddin'”, aka The Joker, and goes off on her own to find his face that was removed as a sign of his death. With her Harley gang emulating her, the Suicide Squad finds themselves in a struggle to defeat the posers before the detonator of the implanted bombs runs out. 

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We find ourselves left with the supposed death of one of our precious Suicide Squad members. Is that person really dead? Where is the Joker’s body? What happened with Yo-Yo after saying he was alive in King Shark? Will the Squad survive the virus and the Harley Quinn look-alikes? What happens next?

Book Reviews

Dark Days: The Road to Metal by Scott Snyder

Title: Dark Days: The Road to Metal
Author: Scott Snyder (Author), James Tynion IV, Jim Lee (Illustrator), Andy Kubert (Illustrator), John Romita Jr. (Illustrator)
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Batman and the rest of the Justice League (Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Lex Luthor, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, etc.) are back at it again in this new DC Epic! 

Batman is being sketchy. So what exactly is his secret? Is it war or something else?

The beginning of the comic starts with a new theory that Batman is up to something. But what could it be? As Batman goes on his journeys, we begin to discover the truth behind his beginnings. But how is it all related to the other characters? Carter, aka Hawkman, recounts this brief history before one of his premeditated deaths. 

The Joker is after a precious metal that dates well back into the history of Earth. By delving back into the history of the bat (and other symbols…one including our Hawk friends…could this be how the rivalry came about?), we see the powers of this precious resource. So how can it be obtained now? Can it be manufactured or is it indigenous? Will Batman be able to find the roots to this mystery before the Joker and his gang?

One thing that I found unique and haven’t seen in any of the other comics I’ve read before (I’m not super experienced) is that there are references to other comics throughout, which help the audience gear up for some big event that is coming next. 

As usual, probably the best thing about comics is the artwork. This rings true to this comic. Bringing in the older issues really makes it unique when describing the current event and gives the reader a background to the story, especially if they haven’t read the historical issue in the past. 

Not having read some of the previous comics, I can see how this may be a little confusing as a standalone and to someone only just beginning their journey into comics.

The ending…ah! For those of you who know me, you know I love my Gotham villains. And of course, my favorite, the Joker is back at it in this issue! Mind blown of how I think it will all come together in the next issues. Hello conspiracy theory!

Can Batman exist without Joker? What will end up happening to Batman? How are all of the other heroes related? We will have to read the other comics to find out!

The expected publication date is May 22, 2018.