Marvel-ous Mondays: Black Widow Vol 3

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Black Widow Vol. 3: Last Days

author : nathan edmondson

illustrator : phil noto

pages : [paperback] 176

favorite character : nat

summary :

The world has turned against Black Widow. Her web is broken. How will she deal with this? The final path to Chaos is at her feet, but will her own demons keep her from finally taking it? What happened to Isaiah? Can Black Widow still turn to the Avengers, or even to S.H.I.E.L.D.? Natasha wants answers about Chaos and now she has a list of people who have them.

COLLECTING: BLACK WIDOW 13-20

review :

I liked this volume but it wasn’t an entirely satisfying conclusion to this story arc.

The volumes leading up to this have been filled with questions of identity, of loyalty, of how someone can be human if they never allow themselves to get close to others. While Last Days tried to give us a few of Natasha’s answers, she’s too much of an enigma. But there was no happy balance between the mystery and hints at what’s going on inside of her mind. It’s obvious that she’s grown much closer to Isaiah (and her cat) than she’d ever planned to. But her relationships with them, after she’s admitted this to herself, are disappointing. Nothing seems to change.

Nat is innovative as usual. She comes up with great stunts to get herself out of sticky situations and to protect those she (accidentally) cares for. But some of the situations were similar to others in previous issues, which was a little aggravating. Nat of all people wouldn’t fall for the same situation twice, especially when the incidents happen so close together.

I love Nat, and I’m going to keep reading about her, but I wish there was going to be another volume by this team coming out after this. The art is beautiful; I want more of it. But more than that I want a more satisfying conclusion.

4/5 stars

 

Marvel-ous Mondays: Black Widow Vol 2

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Black Widow, Vol 2: The Tightly Tangled Web

author : nathan edmondson

illustrator : phil noto

pages : [paperback] 160

favorite character : nat

summary :

On a snowy night in Prague, Black Widow must fight her way out of disaster alongside the Winter Soldier! And as Isaiah’s London business turns complicated, Natasha finds herself fighting against — or alongside? — the Punisher for access to a deadly criminal network. But trapped on an exploding oil rig with Crossbones and his Skull Squad, will Frank and Natasha complete their missions — or take each other out? Then, Hawkeye is back! But could his fight with the Widow cost Isaiah his life? And in the wake of Wolverine’s death, Black Widow bonds with the despondent X-23 over punching and espionage, and teams up with the Howling Commandos for a dangerous mission in Afghanistan. But what will the Avengers do when they learn how Natasha has been spending her days off?

Collecting BLACK WIDOW (2014) #7-12 and PUNISHER (2014) #9.

review :

I loved this! I picked up this volume right after I finished the first one, so I was able to dive right into the story. Nat is still trying to piece together exactly what foe is out there who’s been thwarting her and she has some unexpected allies on the way, with appearances by Daredevil, Hawkeye, the Winter Soldier . . and plenty of other heroes that I’m sure I’ll recognize eventually, but because I’m not completely schooled in comics yet kind of passed over my head. There was like a lady Wolverine? She was cool. I have no idea where she came from, nor how Nat managed to bring her on board on a mission, but I was entirely accepting of it. Y’know, in the moment.

There’s SO MUCH action in this book, but the art is just beautiful. It’s nothing like what you’d expect with comic art. It’s hard to describe, because I’m not an artist at all. It’s kind of minimalistic, muted, watercolor-y. It’s great.

I love the whole undertone of “is Nat actually a good guy” running underneath this entire volume. She’s kept so much of her life, her choices, even her motivations a secret, so her closest friends can’t figure her out. Even Daredevil needs to listen to her heartbeat to try to determine if she’s lying to him. It seems like she’s never able to stop lying, not even in her personal life. I liked seeing that inner turmoil, even though it was a little heartbreaking.

It was a little weird to have Anderson Cooper do a report on Nat in the middle of the book. I’m wondering if he enjoyed being in a comic like this. But it really pulled me out of the story because, y’know, that’s part of the real world and everything else about this–the espionage, the intrigue–is all more amped up.

If you love Black Widow, you’ll love this volume. If you don’t love her yet, then you just haven’t started reading.

5/5 stars

 

Marvel-ous Mondays: Black Widow, Vol 1

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Black Widow Vol 1: The Finely Woven Thread

author : nathan edmondson

illustrator : phil noto

pages : [paperback] 144

favorite character : natasha

summary :

HOME IS WHERE THE HURT IS!

And the Black Widow has plenty of that. She may be an Avenger and an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the Widow has her own mission: to atone for her past as a KGB assassin. Her methods are dirty. Her heart is cold. But her work is flawless. On an undercover assignment in Russia, she finds that the Hand of God is reaching for her–and it’s as merciless as its name. Outmatched by the brute force of this powerful new villain, Natasha discovers a deadly globe-spanning plot. It’s a race against time, and the Widow has nowhere to turn for answers. The trail of blood and destruction will test her strength and cunning–but it may also test her faith.

COLLECTING: Black Widow 1-6, All-New Marvel Now! Point One

review :

I loved this volume! Black Widow is amazing, as per usual, and even though there was a lot going on in this volume, I really enjoyed it.

Natasha has never fully belonged anywhere. Not as a spy, not as an Avenger, and not even as an agent of SHIELD. As she’s struggling to figure out how to be “good”, and not directed by any particular organization, she’s balancing this with an attempt at normal life. Except Natasha’s number one rule is to never let anyone get close to her. Not even that cat that likes to hang out on her windowsill. It was interesting to see the kind of choices and sacrifices Nat made, either because she thinks she deserves worse or to protect the people that have accidentally gotten close to her.

I love how often this book goes into her thoughts. Not because we learn very much about her past, because she refuses to give up all of that, but because it helps to know her thought process. She’s constantly conning others, donning new identities and disguises, lying through her teeth. But when the reader gets inside of her head, she can’t quite keep up the subterfuge, and it’s interesting to see how different her thoughts are from her actions.

I picked up the next volume immediately after this one because I couldn’t wait to read more about Nat and her crazy adventures. They’re literally crazy, because you can never tell if she’s one step ahead or if her enemies are. The fight scenes are awesome. The art is beautiful. You won’t regret reading this.

5/5 stars

 

Children’s Book Chat: The Day the Aunts Disappeared

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The Day the Aunts Disappeared

author : KayeC Jones

pages : [ebook]

summary :

Hungry and tired of bug bites, Greg the Anteater decided to go to town to find an easy meal.

He quickly finds out that there are aunts all around the town! But “aunts” and “ants” are not the same thing, as he quickly finds out.

Find out what happens to Greg and all the aunts in town in this colorful and nonsensical story that will make you laugh and giggle.

review :

This book was adorable! I’ve read one other of Jones’ picture books (Kitty Conquers the Big Bully) and I love the artwork in both. Greg is cute (even when he’s kind of terrifying the town) and the little details really make the story unique. I like the little things that you only notice if you really engage with the picture, like Greg’s tongue forming a heart, because it’s cute, tells so much more about the story, and shows us more about Greg.

I have to admit at first I was a little taken aback that Greg was actually eating people. He didn’t really mean any harm (no one would want to eat bugs ALL their life) but I feel like adults reading this book to or with their children will find it funny on a different level. We can imagine an anteater doing something like this and find it hilarious; kids might find it funnier that Greg thinks people are tasty, or because he’s so confused, or because of the (accidental) chaos he causes.

I’ve never read anything like this, so I think it’s great and unique just in that respect. Pair that with the great artwork and it’s a cute, fun little book. I think that a lot of people would enjoy it, so I highly recommend it!

4/5 stars

 

Marvel-ous Mondays: Thor, Goddess of Thunder

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Thor, Volume 1: Goddess of Thunder

author : jason aaron

illustrator : russell dauterman

pages : [hardcover] 136

favorite character : thor

summary :

WHO IS THE GODDESS OF THUNDER?

The secrets of Original Sin have laid low one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. The God of Thunder is unworthy, and Mjolnir lies on the moon, unable to be lifted! But when Frost Giants invade Earth, a new hand will grasp the hammer–and a mysterious woman will take up the mantle of the mighty Thor! Her identity is secret to even Odin, but she may be Earth’s only hope against the Frost Giants. Get ready for a Thor like you’ve never seen before as this all-new heroine takes Midgard by storm! Plus: The Odinson clearly doesn’t like that someone else is holding his hammer–it’s Thor vs. Thor! And Odin, desperate to see Mjolnir returned, will call on some very dangerous, very unexpected allies. It’s a bold new chapter in the storied history of Thor!

Collecting Thor (2014) #1-5

review :

This was awesome! I went into this with low expectations because I’d heard some people weren’t pleased with female Thor and somehow got the misconstrued idea that Thor himself was female in this version. But, no, he’s just unworthy, so someone else is wielding Mjolnir now. I don’t get why this annoyed people so much. It isn’t her fault that Thor’s off being unworthy and the universe still needs the God of Thunder out there in some form. Plus apparently Marvel tried this alternative Thor back in the 70s too so it isn’t like it’s an incredibly new idea.

I loved not knowing who exactly was the female Thor because it kept an added mystery and added some humor when you start to narrow down the possibilities and compare the rest of the candidates to female Thor’s reactions to these villains she’s defeating. Though apparently wielding Mjolnir means that you speak like the rest of the Asgardians and only sound like a “normal” person in your thoughts, which makes me wonder what all of the Asgardians’ thoughts sound like.

Thor himself aggravated me in this volume SO MUCH because he just can’t accept that someone else has Mjolnir and is jealous over a hammer. As in he’d prefer for it to sit around doing nothing just because he can’t currently use it. I understand that he’s been through a lot, but he’s still a god. Maybe he still has some growing up to do.

Even though I haven’t read any other specific Thor comics (most of my knowledge of him comes from the movies and his random appearances in other comics) I didn’t  have trouble following this at all. Even if you’ve only seen the films, the characters and villains are so familiar that Thor: Goddess of Thunder won’t confuse you at all.

5/5 stars

 

Teen Titans: Earth One, Vol 1

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Teen Titans: Earth One, Vol 1

author : jess lemire

illustrator : terry dodson

pages : [hardcover] 144

favorite character : raven

summary :

A new original graphic novel in DC’s popular “Earth One” series, TEEN TITANS: EARTH ONE follows in the tradition of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE and BATMAN: EARTH ONE, both of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers.

The Teen Titans never felt like normal kids… but they had no idea how right they were. Their seemingly idyllic Oregon upbringing hides a secret — one that will bring killers, shamans, and extraterrestrials down on their heads, and force them into an alliance that could shake the planet to its foundations!
Superstars Jeff Lemire (ANIMAL MAN, GREEN ARROW) and Terry Dodson (WONDER WOMAN) reinvent DC’s youngest heroes, with an all-new mythos in an all-new world!

review :

I absolutely loved this take on the Teen Titans! Most of my previous experience has admittedly come from the TV cartoon, and a few random appearances in other comics, but I loved this presentation and honestly can’t wait to get to more.

Teen Titans: Earth One starts out like a normal coming of age story. It’s the beginning of the school year, all of these teens are dealing with bullies, angst, parent drama, and making new friends. Until things start getting weird. Something is drawing all of these kids together and isn’t about to let go until they join forces, solve a few clues, get into trouble–to put it mildly.

I loved seeing the different take on how the teens get their abilities and deal with them. How they’ve become a part of them and their personalities. It was very unique, with some elements that I’ve never seen before, which is always refreshing in the superhero realm. The artwork was fantastic, too. It really captured the feel for the story and made me feel more connected with all of the characters.

Honestly, as soon as I finished this, I was so angry to find out that the next volume doesn’t come out until August. I’d prefer to have it now, thanks. It wasn’t like this first volume wasn’t good, but now that the background and characters are established I’m ready for everything to get even crazier. This was a great set-up for what’s to come and I can only imagine what adventures the characters will go on next now that they have their powers and purpose.

I loved this so much!

5/5 stars

 

DNF Review: Somebody Else’s Business by Charlton James

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Somebody Else’s Business

author : charlton james

pages : [paperback] 400

summary :

Somebody Else’s Business, embarks on the lives of everyday people facing dilemmas of circumstance and fate. The fascinating journey begins with John and Kelly’s wholesome love affair and their expectant wedding date. Circumstance begins with the deployment of John, and the acceptance and trust with Tiffany. John sends Tiffany a letter of reassurance on his love, drizzling from one relationship to another, snowballing the lives of others bringing guilt, destroying trust, honor and relationships. How do we handle somebody Else’s Business? Whether measured with the soft touch or the hard hand, prepare for the circumstances that follow when dealing with Somebody Else’s Business.

review :

I think that this book had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the way that the story was taken, it just wasn’t for me.

The book begins with an “about the author” that details how this manuscript caught the attention of an unnamed production company and, for some reason, James decided to self-publish the manuscript instead. It’s a little confusing to me that something that could potentially have been made into a film wasn’t picked up by a mainstream publisher. I feel like this novel might have been better off in some other form.

I read over fifty pages of this book and gave up before I’d gotten to any of the premise. This is the kind of book that you will enjoy if you like to hear every detail of the characters’ lives, but they seem much too perfect, perky, and unrealistic in these beginning pages. Everyone seems to love them. The other characters they meet are stereotypes of people that seem to be placed into random roles surrounding them.

There are also some basic typos in this book that are disappointing because they appear so often I feel like they should have been caught. The characters’ dialogue is also stranger, stilted, and doesn’t flow well. It’s hard to say much more because I’m not sure when in the book the basic plot structure was set to begin.

I feel like someone out there would probably enjoy Somebody Else’s Business, but that just wasn’t me.

1/5 stars