Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 3 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW



Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 3Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 3
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Illustrators: Hendry Prasetya and Jonathan Lam
Upcoming Release Date: November 4, 2016

Synopsis: The Green Ranger and Blue Ranger are lost in a mysterious world, as the rest of our heroes must try and track them down.

Tommy and Billy are lost in a mysterious land without their powers. With the world reeling after Rita’s attacks, Jason, Kimberly, Zack, Trini, and Alpha 5 must do all they can to save Zordon, and bring their missing friends home.



------------------------------------------------------------

Review: This ongoing series is so good! I love how Higgins has taken such a staple of my childhood and brought it to the present with more modern and mature storytelling while keeping the fun and ridiculousness that is Power Rangers


This is the third volume, so it picks up where the last one ended. Lord Drakkon is a main focus of this volume. I love the design of his costume. And I am totally here for his backstory. I'm a big fan of alternate timelines and time travel, so it's exactly my cup of tea. 

There's a whole chapter in this volume that puts the main story on the back burner and focuses on one character, Billy. A different artist draws this chapter so there's a more personal feel to it. I liked it, but having less of the main story in this volume made me hungry for more. 

I really like the references to other seasons of Power Rangers. I won't go into details, but the last panel has two people standing next to each other that made me very excited.

The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull has another story at the end of this volume. It's a fun, cute story but I'd prefer more of the character stories than another comical slap comedy with those lovable antagonists.

I give this volume a 5/5. Higgins knows what to do with Power Rangers. My favorite ongoing comic series currently out there.   


--PAUL

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual (comic) - Paul's REVIEW



Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 AnnualAmazon | Goodreads

Title: 
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual
Contributors: Kyle Higgins, Goni Montes, Tom Taylor, Dan Mora, Jamal Campbell, Trey Moore, Frazer Irving
Recent Release Date: May 31, 2017

Synopsis: The future of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers starts here as Tommy makes a choice that will have huge consequences for the team; Black Power Rangers from across parallel dimensions meet to face off against a deadly foe; and all-new secret origins revealed!



------------------------------------------------------------

Review: Another year and another annual. This collection of short comics is just as wonderful as last year's. The first story ties a nice connection to the ongoing series with mention of someone by the name of Drakkon. There's also a backstory for Finster! He was also my favorite of Rita's crew. The most epic panels are definitely found in the "Forever Mighty Morphin Black" story. I loved seeing the pink-accented Black Ranger suit as well as others which I really want their stories. 


This collection has varying styles of both storytelling and artwork. I'm a huge fan of collections like these. I hope for more like this in the future! I give this annual a 5/5.  


--PAUL

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual (comic) - Paul's REVIEW


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual
Contributors: Kyle Higgins, Rod Reis, Trey Moore, Terry Moore, James Kochalka, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Guillory, Marguerite Bennett, Huang Danlan, Jorge Corona

Synopsis: Comics creators come together to celebrate their mutual love of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers! From short stories like “The Origin of Goldar” to “What Would Happen If Bulk and Skull Became Rangers?”, this oversized anthology collection features contributions from creators like Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Rob Guillory (Chew), James Kochalka (Monkey vs Robot), and more!



------------------------------------------------------------

Review: It took me a year to get my hands on this, but I finally did! This is a collection of comic stories that all take place in the Power Rangers universe. They range in style from cartoony and comical to realistic and emotional.


My favorite story gives a glimpse into Goldar's backstory and how he came to be a general of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa. There's also a beautifully drawn story about Trini and Kimberly hosting a charity tea party before the crowd gets turned into cute and fluffy animals. The most outrageous and fun story though involves Bulk and Skull getting temporary Power Rangers powers. 

I am absolutely loving what BOOM! Studios is doing with the Power Rangers comics. I want to see more stories that delve into backstories or breath new life into smaller aspects of the Power Rangers world. I give this annual a 5/5.  


--PAUL

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Queer There and Everywhere: 22 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Harper Collins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

Queer there and Everywhere: 22 People Who Changed the WorldAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Queer there and Everywhere: 22 People Who Changed the World
Author: Sarah Prager
Upcoming Release Date: May 23, 2017

Synopsis: This first-ever LGBTQ history book for young adults will appeal to fans of fun, empowering pop-culture books like  Rad American Women A-Z and Notorious RBG.

World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals—and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 22 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous Queen of Sweden and a bisexual blues singer who didn’t make it into your history books, these astonishing true stories uncover a rich queer heritage that encompasses every culture, in every era.

By turns hilarious and inspiring, the beautifully illustrated Queer, There, and Everywhere is for anyone who wants the real story of the queer rights movement.



------------------------------------------------------------

Review: This book is an excellent look at just 22 amazing people who shaped what it means to be queer now. There need to be more non-fiction books like this for young readers. The people described in this book are so different from each other, but they all have one thing in common. They were different. They were queer. And they found a way to use that to their advantage in a world where so many were against them. 


This book is inspirational, funny, sad, educational, and so much more. I hope this book finds its way into every library's Young Adult section.

I give this book a 5/5 and HIGHLY RECOMMEND it! The stories are short enough that this would make a perfect coffee table or waiting room book. 


--PAUL

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*


The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game, #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


My REVIEW of The Crown's Game


Title: The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2)

Author: Evelyn Skye
Upcoming Release Date: May 16, 2017


Synopsis: Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves. 



------------------------------------------------------------

Review:  I love the fantastical, alternate history Russian world with magic that Evelyn Skye has created. The imagery in this sequel continues to impress me. I love how detailed the magic is described. 

Pasha, Vika, and Nikolai are once again at the center of all the drama happening in Russia. Each character is written so well, even the more minor characters. Their motivations and differing opinions make sense. This was a very interesting time in Russia's history so when you add magic, there's bound to be crazy happenings. 

I did find this book slower than the first. There's a lot more thinking and assessing motivation. The first book was a quick read for me. Now knowing the characters already so well, the excitement to turn the page and read the next chapter wasn't quite there. The first book also had the impending threat and anticipation of The Game. 

I give this book a 4.5/5. A wonderful sequel to an excellent book. If you are more familiar with Russian history than me, I'm sure you'll enjoy it even more. I definitely found myself wikipedia-ing things like the Decembrists (not the band). The Author's Note at the end was also helpful with how this story differed from what happened in our world.  

--PAUL

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Star Wars, Vol 4: Last Flight of the Harbinger (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

Star Wars, Vol 4: Last Flight of the HarbingerAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Star Wars, Vol 4: Last Flight of the Harbinger
Author: Jason Aaron
Illustrators: Jorge Molina, Matt Milla, & Mike Mayhew
Recent Release Date: January 31, 2017

Synopsis: Marvel's epic exploration of the Star Wars galaxy continues! First, take another dive into the journal of Obi-Wan Kenobi! Jabba the Hutt has a problem, and he's hired the Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan to find out exactly who's been thwarting his men! A certain old hermit of the dune wastes might know a little something about that... Then, take a walk on the Dark Side with Sgt. Kreel and an elite group of Imperial soldiers aboard the Star Destroyer Harbinger! It's a nigh-indestructible weapon of war. But it's also the target of the Rebels' new top-secret plan. Never afraid of defying the odds, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia Organa are determined to make this the last flight of the Harbinger! 

COLLECTING: STAR WARS #20-25



------------------------------------------------------------

Review: This volume opens up with another look into Obi-wan's adventures on Tatooine while watching over young Luke. This one includes Black Krrsantan, the wookie bounty hunter. Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru also get a little more agency that they have in the past. 


The rest of this volume focuses on the Rebels taking over a star destroyer. Sergeant Kreel and his team, Special Commando Advanced Recon or SCARE, also are heavily featured. It's nice to see some stormtroopers who are actually good at their job. 

Han and Leia banter this whole volume and it's lovely. So true to the original films. Sana is still working with the Rebels. I like the perspective she adds. I'm hoping she doesn't meet an untimely end as the ongoing series approaches The Empire Strikes Back events. 

The final panel is a great teaser. I am definitely interested in the next volume!

I give this fourth volume of the ongoing Star Wars series by Marvel a 4/5.  


--PAUL

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol.4: End of Games (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

Darth Vader, Vol 4: End of GamesAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol.4: End of Games
Author: Kieron Gillen
Illustrator: Salvador Larroca
Recent Release Date: December 6, 2016

Synopsis: Darth Vader has been secretly pursuing his own agenda, but now it is time for the End of Games. As Inspector Thanoth returns with some startling information, it seems that Vader may have passed his master's tests. But even after finding favor in the eyes of the Emperor, the Dark Lord's schemes may yet prove his undoing... Plus, the killer droids Triple-Zero and Beetee wreak havoc in their own homicidal adventure! Marvel's in-depth exploration of the Dark Side of Star Wars goes from strength to strength!

COLLECTING: DARTH VADER 20-25



------------------------------------------------------------

Review: This is the final volume in the Darth Vader ongoing series that has been going since Marvel first launched their Star Wars line. Although, another Darth Vader comic is coming soon, but that one takes place shortly after Revenge of the Sith. This took place shortly after A New Hope


This series followed Darth Vader's rise from defeat after the first Death Star was destroyed. This last volume finishes up that rise. 

My favorite part of this series was the introduction of Doctor Aphra and her murderous droids, Triple-Zee and Beetee. I'm very excited for the doctor to get her own series. The other original characters that Vader competed against were some of my least favorite characters in the new Marvel comicverse. They all seemed very "Legends" to me. Cybernetic implants and force powers. Imperial posture. Not my kind of characters. 

There is an epic lightsaber battle that is depicted midway through this volume. It bridges the prequel-era with the original trilogy nicely. 

I found the coda odd. I'm interested to see where it leads. If anywhere. 

I give this volume a 4.5/5. I enjoyed seeing it all come to an end. The droids really shined in this volume. 


--PAUL