Friday, May 18, 2018

Spectacle Vol. 1 (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Oni Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Spectacle Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Spectacle Vol. 1
Author: Megan Rose Gedris
Upcoming Release Date: May 22, 2018

Synopsis: Fan-favorite webcomic creator Megan Rose Gedris (Yu+Me Dream) crafts a compelling tale of magic, deception, and wonder in this stunningly illustrated graphic novel about the bond between sisters.

Pragmatic engineer Anna works as a psychic in the Samson Brothers Circus, but she doesn't believe in anything supernatural—until her twin sister Kat is murdered and comes back as a very demanding ghost. Sharing a room with her sister was hard, but now they're sharing a body while trying to identify the killer. With few leads, a troupe full of secretive folk, and strange paranormal occurrences popping up around the circus, solving the case seems near impossible. But the murderer in their midst may be the least of their problems...


Review: This is a fun murder mystery story that takes place in a circus. Anna works as a tarot card reader, but she has more of a scientific mind. After her twin sister is mysteriously murdered, she appears to her as a ghost. Anna doesn't know if she is going crazy herself or if everything she thought she knew was wrong. 

I like the dynamic between science and the supernatural that is presented in this story. The circus members are all so unique and interesting, even right off the bat. This first volume does not end with any big reveals, so I will be looking for the second volume to see more of these characters and to see the mystery hopefully solved. 

I give this graphic novel a 4.5/5. I really enjoyed the characters and story, but I was disappointed in the ending of this first volume. I want volume two now! 


Friday, May 11, 2018

Reborn: Book One (comic) by Mark Millar - Paul's REVIEW

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

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Reborn: Book One
Writer: Mike Millar
Illustrators: Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion 
Release Date: August 2017

Synopsis: Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you--the good and the bad. 

Bonnie Black has no faith in an afterlife. Spending her last days in the stroke ward of a county hospital, she fears falling asleep in case she doesn't wake up. 

When a final stroke ends her life, Bonnie is reborn in Adystria--a sci-fi fantasy world that's locked in a raging battle between good and evil. She's twenty-five again, there's a sword in her hand and she's ready to fight. 

She meets her dad, Tom, and her childhood dog in Adystria, but there is no sign of Harry--her husband who was murdered over ten years before. With the help of her dad and loyal pet, Bonnie sets off on an epic quest to be reunited with the lost love of her life. 

But it's not just her family that have been waiting for Bonnie. Her arrival has been prophesied, and there's a tremendous evil lying in wait. 

An evil that will stop at nothing to destroy her. An evil that can only be sated with blood. 

Superstar creators MARK MILLAR and GREG CAPULLO join forces to create the sci-fi story of the year, collecting issues 1-6.


Review: What happens when you die? This is a question every human has wondered and there are many answers out there. In this story, our world is only the staging ground for the real deal. Your actions matter. You may become a giant queen of the elves if you're good or a monstrous demon with horns if you're bad, and of course everything in between. When you die, you wake up in this new world in a new body. You may be a child or you may be the same age you were when you died. In this fantasy world, it's the classic Good vs. Evil.

Bonnie has lived a fulfilling, long life. After a stroke, she finds herself  in a youthful body in this new world where it has been prophesized that she will defeat the evil with amazing magical powers that are just beginning to develop. Her father is there. Her past pets have fantasy like powers. Although she wants to help, the first thing on her mind is finding her husband who had passed years ago.

I absolutely love the concept of this world. There are so many small details in the worldbuilding that I really found interesting. From the start, it seems like a big story and I was in for the ride. I was disappointed when it didn't turn out as big as I had hoped. There are a lot of things that make the world smaller. She seems to know or have a connection to all of the important characters. I wanted to see a much larger, more inclusive world. It is very white, straight American. There's one same-sex relationship and it is between the big bad demon and a dragon with a lion's head. I wanted more complexities to the good versus evil theme. When you die and find yourself in a new world and your past negative actions have turned you into some kind of monster, do you really just continue doing "evil" deeds? I wanted more subversions.

The story is quick moving and completes the arc in just this volume. For such a big concept and huge world, it is made to feel so small in this story. Overall, I thought this story was a great concept, but it didn't quite hit the mark for me. I wanted more modern storytelling. The good and bad ideals seemed so dated. I wanted something unexpected. I was disappointed in the queer representation. I give this story a 3.5/5. I would love to see this comic adapted into another media and given more depth and modernity.    


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 5 (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 5
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Illustrators: Hendry Prasetya, Daniel Bayliss, & Daniele Di Nicuolo
Recent Release Date: May 1, 2018

Synopsis: With Tommy and Billy trapped in a dystopian version of Angel Grove, they'll have to join the resistance in the fight against the evil Lord Drakkon if they want to make home. But with Jason, Kimberly, Trini, and Zack batting for control of the Command Center from Rita Repulsa, will there even be a home to return to? It's the ultimate test of strength and will with an epic conclusion that will send ripples throughout the entire Mighty Morphin universe.


Review: This ongoing comic series is sooooo good! It's absolutely my favorite comic series currently being made. Kyle Higgins has done an excellent job of breathing new, modern life into this very 90s franchise. 

This volume is the calm between two storms. Lord Drakkon seems to be handled, but we all know #ShatteredGrid is coming! I enjoyed seeing the rangers doing their status quo rangering. They're traveling around the world solving problems and doing good deeds. 

Bulk and Skull have a web show about the rangers. I like how this modern take includes things like this. We also get to see how the general media talks about the rangers. 

Saba is still present and the rangers are working to bring Zordon back. I like how much this timeline has diverged from the original series. I look forward to more surprises. 

The rangers' families also come into play in this series. We see Kim's parents. There's also even references to the Go Go series in a mention of Matthew. I haven't read the first Go Go volume yet, but I am excited to learn what's up with Matthew. 

Finster was always one of my favorite baddies. He's at the forefront of this volume, making things more difficult for the rangers. 

The 1969 Rangers!!! I wanted MORE! I love the concept of other rangers we don't know about. I wanted to have even more time with these characters. I wanted more personality. I wanted to learn their histories. I'm interested to see how this history comes into play in the next volume. 

At the end of this volume, there's another story about Squatt and Baboo. This time they're in a world of zords! This is another fun, short comic.

This volume may seem like a lot of setup, but it didn't drag for me at all. It was very exciting for me. I give this volume a 5/5. If you haven't read any of these comics, I highly recommend starting with volume 1. Some of the best comics out there!  


Monday, April 30, 2018

The Ghost, The Owl (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Action Lab Entertainment via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: The Ghost, The Owl

Writer: Franco
Illustrator: Sara Richard
Upcoming Release Date: May 2, 2018

Synopsis: On  a  cool  evening  in  the  swamp,  a  figure  appears,  dancing  across  the  water;  a  human  figure,  but  far  from  a  human  form.  It͛s  a  ghost,  the  spirit  of  a  young  girl  that  seems  to  have  lost  its  way  and  has  no  memory  of  how  it  came  to  be.  Against  the  wishes  of  his  animal  brethren,  a  kindly  owl  decides  to  help.  What  secrets  and  mysteries  does  the  ghost  girl  hold?  What  will  happen  when  she  and  the  owl  unlock  them  together,  and  will  they  have  to  upend  the  natural  order  of  the  forest  to  do  it?  

Gather  'round  the  fireplace  and  settle  in  for  a  haunting  fairy  tale  adventure  with  the  most  unlikely  of  pairs:  the  Ghost,  the  Owl.  


Review: This is a beautiful, short fairy tale comic. The spirit of a girl appears in the forest and a compassionate owl lends her aid. This story is about friendship and compassion. It's about doing the right thing, even if you aren't rewarded. 

The flowing art pairs so well with the story. Like many fairy tales, the story is simple yet the artwork portrays the many deep emotions. The adorable spirit girl changes appearance as she reacts to evil. The artwork pairs so well with the tone of the story.

I give this graphic novel a 4/5. It's a captivating short tale with plenty of heart. 


Friday, April 27, 2018

Star Wars: Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 2: Legacy's End (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

Star Wars: Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 2: Legacy's End (Darth Vader (2017-))Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Star Wars: Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 2: Legacy's End
Writer: Charles Soule
Artists: Daniele Orlandini, Giuseppe Camuncoli, & David Curiel
Recent Release Date: April 24, 2018

Synopsis: Vader's story continues! Jocasta Nu, the Jedi Temple librarian, puts forth a desperate eff ort to gather and preserve whatever he can of the Jedi legacy after the purge. Vader and the Grand Inquisitor cannot let Jocasta succeed and are sent after her, as alpatine views her as a particular threat. Her knowledge makes her almost a one-woman Jedi Order that must be stopped.


Review: This is the second volume in the new ongoing Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith series. It takes place shortly after Episode III, with Vader still discovering himself and Jedi still on the loose.

The main story in this volume involves tracking down Jocasta Nu, the Jedi Temple archivist. I always liked the background Jedi from the prequels so it was col to see her come to center stage. I'm excited to see where her story leads. There's little hints about her new archive being used in the future. I could read (or watch) a whole series about the force sensitive children of the galaxy once the Empire takes control. 

The Grand Inquisitor as well as other inquisitors are shown in this volume. The Ninth Sister is introduced. I like the dynamic between the inquisitors and Vader. Vader is still defining his role within the Empire. The fear within the ranks we see in the original trilogy isn't present yet.

I give this second volume a 5/5. I am more entertained by this ongoing series than the Star Wars ongoing series. I want to see more Jedi who escaped Order 66!


Thursday, April 26, 2018

This is a Taco! - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Lion Forge via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This Is a Taco!Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: This is a Taco!

Author: Andrew Cangelose
Ilustrator: Josh Shipley
Upcoming Release Date: May 1, 2018

Synopsis: This is a squirrel . . . "Hey, I may be a squirrel, but my name is Taco! And I don't eat nuts and tree bark—blech—I prefer tacos!" The natural predator of squirrels is . . . "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who is writing this book? I do not like where this is going." This hilarious send-up of a children's nature primer teaches kids that the most important story is the one you write yourself.


Review: This picture book is cute and humorous. It starts off as an informative tale about squirrels, but a certain squirrel named Taco takes over the narrative. Taco decides to rewrite a few things. Laughs ensue. 

This is a really cute, short book. There are a few squirrel facts, but this is mostly a comedy book. I give this picture book a 4/5.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2018 Annual (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2018 Annual

Writers: Kyle Higgins, Anthony Burch, Caleb Goellner, Adam Cesare, Becca Barnes, & Alwyn Dale
Illustrators: Marcus To, Dylan Burnett, Patrick Mulholland, Hyeonjin Kim, & Simone Di Meo

Recent Release Date: April 25, 2018

Synopsis: Featuring fan-favorite teams from across the Power Rangers universe—Dino Charge, RPM, Time Force, Ninja Steel, Dino Thunder—the entire fabric of reality is under threat as Drakkon invades!


Review: I have absolutely loved the past two Power Rangers annuals. They have shown little glimpses into stories that take place away from the action or delve into minor characters' backstories. This annual is a little different in that it is part of the Shattered Grid event, but each short story in this issue each follows a different team of rangers. 

The first story was my favorite, probably since it features the Zeo Rangers. I think that was really the last season I watched before falling out of Power Rangers as a kid. I obviously came back into the fandom since then. Kyle Higgins has done such a good job at finding interesting emotional points from the tv show and actually letting them happen. In the show, there isn't much shown about leadership dynamics or tension between characters that can't be resolved in a half hour. The first story takes place right after Jason lost his Gold Ranger powers. 

Lord Drakkon is at the center of all these stories, trying to harness different Ranger powers. The second story shows the SPD team. The third has RPM, with Drakkon trying to persuade Dr.K to join his cause. The fourth story is In Space. This is another example of a great emotional conflict that wasn't accurately shown in the show, in my opinion. TJ goes from being the leader to just another ranger. The last story showcases Ninja Steel, which I am not familiar with, but I still enjoyed the story.

There are different art styles for each of the stories. I liked seeing Drakkon drawn different ways. I'm interested to see how each of these stories fits into the greater Shattered Grid story. I give this issue a 5/5.