Rasputin, Volume 2 by Alex Grecian

Rasputin, Volume 2Rasputin, Volume 2 by Alex Grecian

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A somewhat interesting alternate fantasy history for historical figure Grigori Rasputin. Unfortunately this volume doesn’t stand up by itself and I found the whole thing rather confusing. The story jumps back and forth in time from present day America to the last days of the reign of Tsar Nicholas II. Maybe if I’d read the first volume I would have loved it but I’m just not sure. It certainly seemed as if it had the potential to be quite fantastical but it ended up feeling like you just got preview scenes from a larger story.

Here’s Rasputin telling his life story to some reporter,  a decision I can’t quite wrap my head around to be honest.

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There are quite a few splash pages throughout the book similar to this with quotes on them.  I find them strangely compelling.

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This was the aspect of the book that I got pretty excited about but it didn’t go on long enough, just wetted your appetite for more.

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I received an advance reader copy of this book through NetGalley’s Read It Now selections.

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Midnighter, Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando

Midnighter, Vol. 1: OutMidnighter, Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Midnighter is an acquired character that DC got when Wildstorm became one of their imprints. Originally he was a member of a team called The Authority, and lived with his husband another hero named Apollo. In this rebooted version, he and Apollo are not together anymore and it isn’t clear if he was ever married to him or not. In fact this story sort of starts out with Apollo and Midnighter breaking up so that Midnighter can try to figure out who he is because of the things he’s gone through. This volume collects MIDNIGHTER #1-6.

If you are expecting Midnighters origin to be presented on a silver platter to you in this volume, you’re going to be disappointed. Details are scarce and you’ll have to infer much from reading between the lines with this one. You see Midnighter himself doesn’t even know and I think that this is the intent of the way it’s presented. You will need to go on the adventure with him and see if you can figure it out.

The highlight of the book for me of course was the crossover with Dick Grayson which worked out better than you might think considering that Midnighter is not the type of guy who abhors killing. The two of them met in the Grayson title and seem to play well off of each other.

Even though Midnighter broke up with Apollo he seems to be looking to find himself a new boyfriend.  It’s curious to think about it, because it isn’t really clear if he’s just looking for a sex partner or if he wants a deeper connection.  What’s really at the heart of his break up with Apollo?

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Midnighter rescued this little girl and took her home to her mother, so he’s not a complete sociopath I guess.

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Midnighter and Dick Grayson talking after Midnighter “abducts” him.

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I didn’t mention too much about the art in this volume but I liked it alright.  Here is a depiction of Midnighter processing information with his computer like brain.

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I received an advance readers copy of this book from NetGalley in exchage for feedback and a review.

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Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business by Cameron Stewart

Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family BusinessBatgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business by Cameron Stewart

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The second volume of the relaunched Batgirl series contains BATGIRL #41-45, ANNUAL #3, and the Sneak Peek story from CONVERGENCE: INFINITY INC. #2. It’s all a bunch of uneventful guest appearances for the most part. I hated the two guest appearances by Dick Grayson which seemed to be out of character and stupid. The only overarching plot points I could detect were some very shallow and poorly executed side character romances.

To sum it up I’d call it mediocrity in pink. In my opinion you can skip this volume of Batgirl. It’s boring, banal, and trying to hard to be cutesy cutesy. Even the art was beginning to annoy me by the end of the book.

Jim Gordon is the first character to make a guest appearance in this volume of Batgirl. Here he is comming out to his daughter the he is the new Batman.  That look that Barbra has on her face in panel 6 pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole Gordan as Batman storyline.
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A lot of the book has scenes like this with Batgirl interacting with one of the many side characters.  It feels like she flirts with every guy in her social circle.

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This is the first time Dick Grayson makes an appearance in this volume.  He disguises himself and she doesn’t know it’s him.  Her eyeing his butt up as he’s leaving is I guess some sort of homage to Midnighter saying that he can identify him by his rear over in the main Grayson title.  The art here is less annoying looking than the other art in the book.

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Here’s another guest appearance this time by the girls from Gotham Academy.  I hate the way Batgirl looks here.  To me it’s like a deformed disney princess look.

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I obtained an advance readers digital copy of this book through NetGalley’s Read to Review program.

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The Adventures of Basil and Moebius, Volume 3: Secret of the Ancients by Magnetic Press Inc

The Adventures of Basil and Moebius, Volume 3: Secret of the AncientsThe Adventures of Basil and Moebius, Volume 3: Secret of the Ancients by Magnetic Press Inc

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the story of two guys that have somehow become enslaved via mystical tattoos to a shape shifting tentacle monster from another dimension called The Collector. The Collector has been sending them around to steal ancient artifacts around the globe for some reason they don’t know about. They aren’t too keen on being slaves so are actively trying to find out what he’s up to so they can free themselves from his control.

I thought the story was pretty interesting it has a bit of an Indiana Jones / National Treasure vibe to it. I haven’t read the first two volumes so I can’t say how this flows out of those but I was able to follow the story without feeling confused.

The art is well done, consistent, finely detailed and vibrantly colored. My only real complaint about the book is the feeling that a lot of the dialog is a bit over the top. The guys are supposed to be from the UK, I think and something about it felt off to me. Other than that it’s a fun story if you are interested in pulp horror adventure stories.

I had intended to add a few art samples but wordpress doesn’t seem to be working right for me at the moment.

I selected this book from NetGalley’s Read it Now selections in exchange for my feedback and a review.

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Constantine: The Hellblazer Vol. 1: Going Down by Ming Doyle

Constantine: The Hellblazer Vol. 1: Going DownConstantine: The Hellblazer Vol. 1: Going Down by Ming Doyle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is Constantine’s new solo book and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story. It has a nice mix of what Constantine’s up to in the present day and flashbacks that explain some of what has shaped the character. Most of this book is really about John’s relationships. He seems to be pretty lonely in a lot of respects; like he uses snark to hide behind. He’s sort of a jerk. He chain smokes. He has promiscuous sex with otherworldly entities.

In the past we find out that John’s first love was a girl he knew named Veronica Delacroix; and we get to see how that ended. In the present day he meets a guy named Oliver who owns a restaurant. It’s pretty clear that John is interested in hooking up with Oliver. I was not previously aware that John Constantine was a bisexual character. Apparently this was revealed in an older storyline that I’d never heard about until I looked it up after reading this. It made me want to pick up some older trades and find out more about the character. It will be interesting to see how it continues in the next volume, even though there’s a solid conclusion for the supernatural story that these events unfold around.

The whole book has great flow. I wasn’t crazy about the art but it’s ok. I liked the look of John back in his rock star days the best.

I think the ways that the hair and eyes are drawn in these panels is a little weird.

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John has ghosts, this one is his old friend Gary.

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Gary and John outside a bar in the past.

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And this is Georgie, someone John knew in the past but she doesn’t like him very much; of course she ends up working with him because of some reasons.

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I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for feedback and a review.

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Crafting Update: Marvel T-Shirt

I’ve got a pretty big stack of superhero shirts that need a little love and attention before I can wear them out.  This one is a rag bag find and was headed to the dumpster before I rescued it.  I’ll admit it looked pretty hopeless when I first got it but I wanted to see if I could fix it or not.  I probably should have taken a pic of it in it’s original condition for comparison but I didn’t think about it at the time.

This is was it looked like after I ran it through a heavy duty bleach session and dried it.  It cleaned up pretty well!  However it did have a bit of that dingy white look to it that old white t-shirts get.

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So I decided to tie dye it.  So what do you think?  Do you like the effect of the blue dye? I think it really makes the graphic pop out now.  I had originally thought to use a few different colors but after I got this done I think I’m just going to keep it simple with only the blue.  I’m going to make some alterations to the neckline and sleeves I think — maybe it will become a tank top when I’m completely finished with it.

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If you are interested in a similar project here are a few tips:

  • Cotton and other natural fibers will dye much easier that poly blends.
  • Don’t waste your money on expensive dyes if you have a Dollar Tree in your area: look for these 3 packs of fabric paint.  I used one tube of blue paint dissolved in 1 cup of hot water to dye my shirt.
  • Before you set the dye you must let the shirt completely dry.
  • Before you wash it for the first time don’t forget to set the dye for 24 hours in a container big enough to hold your shirt without too much wasted space.  I used a 2 liter pitcher with a solution of 1/3 of a cup of white vinegar;  1/3 of a cup of salt; and enough water to cover the shirt.

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Humble Comics Bundle Dynamite Best-Selling Authors

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Humble Comics Bundle Dynamite Best-Selling Authors just went live.  Here’s a list of the books and what tier they are in, I decided to just get the middle one this time because I’m not really interested in any of the top tier books.

Tier 1:

The Spider Vol 1: Terror Of The Zombie Queen
Complete Alice In Wonderland
Sherlock Holmes: Year One
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Hopcross
The Shadow Vol 1: Fire Of Creation
Charlaine Harris’ Grave Sight #1
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Echoes

Tier 2:

Justice Inc. Vol 1
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure
Shaft: A Complicated Man
Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin
The Shadow Vol. 2: Revolution
Dean Koontz’s Fear Nothing
Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet Vol 2: Wearing O The Green
More comics coming soon!

Tier 3:

Game Of Thrones #1 – 4
Django/Zorro Collection
The Last Temptation
Legends of Red Sonja Collection
Vampirella Master Series Vol 4: Visionaries

Bizarro by Heath Corson

BizarroBizarro by Heath Corson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bizarro is an all ages comedy gag comic. The idea behind this is a joke between Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen that Jimmy should go on a road trip with Bizarro to Bizarro America {aka Canada}; take pictures and get a bestselling coffee table book out of it. So, off they go…

I actually found this to be pretty funny even though I will admit some of the puns are so bad they make you groan. In fact that makes parts of it even funnier. This would be a great gift book for younger fans because it really is a stand alone volume, and no need to have a deep understanding of the DCU to enjoy it.

The art is caricature style and is very suitable for the story.

This is how it starts out…

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Bizzaro is not trying to pick a station…  ah, geez and the chupacabra — hahaha!

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Man, the hotel only has one room is one of the oldest tropes in the book but it still ends up being hilarious sometimes.

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I laughed and laughed about this even though it’s only one panel.  I think it’s just the contrasting art styles and the frowny face Batman has.

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They also stop in a ghost town.

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I received an advance reader’s review copy of this book through NetGalley’s read and review program.

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Roche Limit Volume 2: Clandestiny by Michael Moreci

Roche Limit Volume 2: ClandestinyRoche Limit Volume 2: Clandestiny by Michael Moreci

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok, so this is a sci-fi series about a military and science expedition out to this world where 75 years ago they had tried to start a colony and it somehow ended in flames. The small crew believes that they are the third expedition to the planet but they quickly find out that they are in fact the thirteenth. So… what happened to all those other crews? Something on the planet is starting to mess with their minds.

I really liked this a lot and found it interesting but there was never a point in the story where I was totally pulled into it. I also liked the art but didn’t fall in love with it. Really, it was pretty decent altogether — wish I could think of something better to say than I simply like it; but there it is. I liked it.

I have not actually read the first volume of this series but my understanding is that it doesn’t really involve the same set of people. I’m pretty curious now if it actually details the events of the failed colony or not. This whole volume is pretty mysterious in some respects. It flows well but there are a ton of unanswered questions and a cliffhanger ending to boot. Looks like we’ll be waiting a little while to find out what happens next, the story continues in March 2016.

I like the art pretty well, but some of the faces have a lot of squiggly looking lines.  Wrinkles perhaps?  I do think a lot of the lighting effects in this volume are well done.

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Honestly for most of the story I wasn’t sure if this was a guy or a girl.  Think it’s a guy but honestly… still not sure.

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And is this a hallucination or reality?  This story delves down into the philosophical questions about what reality is.

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I obtained a copy of this book through NetGalley’s Read It Now program in exchange for feedback and a review.

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Goodreads Superheroes and Comic Book Club – February 2016

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Wow! February is here already, where did the first month of the year go? Seems to have flown by for me. 🙂 This is a first of the month reminder note for our group reads.

The Awesome Adventures of Pickle Boy is up and ready for discussion:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/17954325-the-awesome-adventures-of-pickle-boy-botm—jan-feb-16

We had a great start this year with our first graphic novel discussion of Daredevil: Born Again. Don’t be afraid to come join in even if you’re a bit late:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/17928004-daredevil-born-again-gnotm—jan-16

We are also starting Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal this month and the discussion thread is up whenever you’re ready.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18002908-ms-marvel-vol-1-no-normal-gnotm—feb-16

And lastly, our graphic novel of the month for March will be Marvels. So you can have plenty of time to plan ahead for that one.