Thursday, March 25, 2010


Title: Blankets

ISBN: 9781891830433
Price: $29.99
Publisher/Year: Top Shelf Productions, 2003
Artist: Craig Thompson
Writer: Craig Thompson

Rating: 4/5

This was the first title that someone had suggested I give a review for, so here it goes.

As you can tell from my previous reviews and my collection of trades and GN's, this book is a little off my normal reading choices. I usually go for the standard supernatural, superhero or G.I. Joe titles. I like the flash, bang and pizzazz of the art and the intensity of the storylines. I also enjoy having a long time title that has years of back story that I may or may not have already read, and the continuity enthralls me. In the 90's, I fell victim to the comic book male fan stereotype and became drawn into the word of women with huge breasts being the ideal form for the female super heroine.

This book has nothing like that!

I would describe this book as an illustrated autobiography. There are no superheroes or villains, in the typical sense of the terms. There's not a group of superhuman people running around in spandex trying to save the world. There's simply Craig, his family, his girlfriend, her family and the people they interact with. The major plot point of this book isn't how will they save the world this time, it's how is Craig going to turn out in the end.

When I began reading this book, I had no preconceived notions about what I would find. I didn't know that this book would have any type of religious undertone, and when it became apparent that there was, I did think about putting this book away. I'm glad I didn't.

Craig came from a family who believed God, felt that they were "good" Christians, went to church and lived they way that "good" Christians should. When Craig was in high school, his minister suggested that he go into the ministry in lieu of going off to college and getting a career. Having thought that way once myself, I felt I understood what he was probably going through. When some of the other parishioners told stories of people going to art school and non-Christian colleges, I hoped that Craig would make the same choice I had. To find out his choice, I recommend reading this book.

This book was more about a Christian upbringing; this was also about a boy growing up to become a man, having to share a bed and room with his younger brother for many years, going to Christian camps, meeting his girlfriend and eventually helping her through a rough period of her life. I laughed... I nearly cried a few times... and more than once, I ask "Why in the hell?"

Be warned! This book is HUGE! 592 pages. This is the biggest graphic novel I have ever read. Don't let the size fool you. This book is a good read, and I highly recommend it to all. Keep an opened mind when you read this. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, March 22, 2010

G.I. Joe Volume 2

Title: G.I. Joe Volume 2

ISBN: 9781600106095
Price: $19.99
Publisher/Year: IDW, 2010
Artist: SL Gallant
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Collects: G.I. Joe #7-12

Rating: 4/5

The trial of Scarlett. The return of Mainframe. Actual "evidence" of Cobra. IDW has really done a great job with this series. In this trade, we are also introduced to Cover Girl and Springfield. Again, this series is not your father's G.I. Joe from the 80's.

This trade still makes me want to collect the trades from the original Marvel series for nostalgia's sake. There are so many differences in the art and stories of the different eras. The art was more cartoon-like and the storylines were PG rated since comic books were primarily geared for kids. Now we have more adult themes of sex and violence. The terrorist threats of Cobra in the 80's was kicked under the rug as apart of the Cold War. Now, not so much.

Some storylines endure the test of time. The MASS device was an interesting concept that was lacking in the cartoon series. Chuck Dixon has removed the campiness that was associated to it from the cartoon and made it feel like this could seriously be something that scientists are working on. Thank goodness that Dixon works for the forces of good.

Now that I'm writing this, I went back to the history of my reviews and found that I haven't posted a review for volume 1 yet. My mistake. I'll post a follow-up later in the week. With all the G.I. Joe reviews I've done thus far, I can't explain why I missed volume 1.

SL Gallant's art isn't the best I've ever seen, but it does the trick for this series. His eye for the female form is a great deal better than for the male form, but then again... he knows who he's drawing for. I don't think there are too many women who are reading this title, nor would be interested. I guess that sounds a little sexist, and it's not meant to be. I'm simply playing into the stereotype of boys playing with their G.I. Joe figures and girls playing with Barbie. There will always be exceptions to that stereotype. My view is that whatever you like is good.

As for this trade, I recommend buying volume 1 first and then pick-up this one. This series... thus far... is a  keeper.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dark Avengers Volume 2: Molecule Man

Title: Dark Avengers Volume 2: Molecule Man

ISBN: 9780785138532
Price: $19.99
Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2010
Artist: Mike Deodato
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Collects: Dark Avengers #9-12

Rating: 4/5

Sorry for the back-to-back Avengers titles, but I wanted to get this up soon after I finished reading it while it was fresh in my mind. After getting through this trade, I am going to miss the Dark Avengers. I didn't think I would like them... since they are formed from a list of superhero enemies... but I'd love to see more from them! I'll probably read the Siege storyline just so I can see how it all ends. I hope it's better than the prelude trade that I've already read and reviewed.
When I first picked this trade up, I couldn't put my finger on who Molecule Man was. Once I got to the middle, it all came flooding back to me from my childhood. The first Secret War! I knew he was a very conflicted "bad guy" there, and it hasn't changed much over the years. I felt a little sorry for him then, and I feel a little sorry for him now. With him having "friends" like the Beyonder, Mephisto, Zarathos, and the Enchantress, who would dare be an enemy of this guy?
The ending to this trade definitely help to keep the Dark in Dark Avengers. I hate to see characters like Mac Gargan's Spider-Man or Daken Akhiro's Wolverine go away. I'm hopeful that Marvel might find a good home for these would-be heroes. Mike Deodato did a great take on a Todd McFarlane Spider-Man cover for the back cover of this trade. It provides foreshadowing of events that take place inside.

Ah Norman! This is what you get for thinking you're sane.
My advice to you, dear reader, is to pick this trade up and read it. It's a quick read, but very enjoyable. Mr. Bendis and Mr. Deodato: If you happen to read this, my compliments... but I'd love to see more. You both team well together. I'm not sure if Marvel has plans to keep you both together on a regular, monthly title, but I would defiantly add it to my subscription if they did.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia

Title: Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia

ISBN: 9780785142331
Price: $39.99
Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2009
Artist: Marc Silvestri, Terry Dodson, Luke Ross & Mike Deodato
Writers: Matt Fraction, James Asmus, Mike Carey & Paul Cornell
Collects: Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus, Uncanny X-Men #513-514, Dark Avengers #7-8, Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1-3, X-Men Legacy #226-227 and Dark X-Men: The Confession

Rating: 3.5/5

Having already read the Dark Avengers: Disassembled trade earlier this year, I was really looking forward to reading the interaction between Osborn's Avengers and the X-Men. I've been a huge fan of the X-Men for years, but stopped collecting and reading the various x-titles shortly after the Age of Apocalypse crossover. My biggest problem was that I really liked the writers and artists that they had in the early to mid 90's. After the AoA crossover, Marvel started bringing in new artist and writers. I didn't originally care for the new artists, and that drew me away from the various titles. As we all know now, the artists would come and go, and the good ones would stay and work with various writers to create new and interesting storylines. Thank goodness for trade paperbacks!
Having lost a great deal of time between AoA and Utopia, it wasn't too hard to get back into the thick of things. I did have some nagging questions about who, what, when, where and why... but I was able to piece together much of the answers myself while reading this trade. Those questions that weren't answered, I was of course able to look to our good friend wikipedia. I still have a few questions I haven't started to research the answers for, but I can wait.
The only real drawback to this entire trade is the reprinting of "The Judgement of Namor" story. I was forced to read it once during the Dark Reign: Prelude trade, and here I am being assaulted by it again. So I just passed over it and went to the next chapter.
The stories are all well written and the art is wonderful. I enjoyed this trade from cover to cover... aside by the aforementioned Namor section. There's a part of me that likes Osborn's Dark X-Men. Is that wrong? I like the Dark Avengers too, and I've never really care for anything Avengers before. This is apprently how Marvel is making-up for the lost time. That's okay by me.
I do recommend picking this trade up and add it to your collection. I read Civil War, The Death of Captain America and Secret Invasion before I read Dark Reign: Prelude and Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, and I think that worked well. I hope you enjoy this trade as much as I did.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Updated Collection List

I thought I would update the list of trades and GN's in my collection with a note as to which have already been reviewed.

Publisher Title Number
Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Long Way Home 1
Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer - No Future for You  2
Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Wolves at the Gate 3
Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Time of Your Life 4
Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Predators and Prey 5
Dark Horse Fray 1
Dark Horse Ghost: Nocturnes 1
Dark Horse Hellboy: The Right Hand Of Doom 1
Dark Horse Serenity: Those Left Behind 1
DC Batman and Son 1
DC Batman Versus Predator: The Collected Edition  1
DC Batman: Battle for the Cowl Companion 1
DC Batman: Battle for the Cowl 1
DC Batman R.I.P.: The Deluxe Edition 1
DC Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader 1
DC Batman: Bloodstorm 1
DC Batman: The Long Halloween 1
DC Death of Superman 1
DC Death: The High Cost of Living 1
DC Death: The Time of Your Life 1
DC Final Crisis 1
DC Joker 1
DC Sandman - Preludes & Nocturnes 1
DC Sandman - The Doll's House 2
DC Sandman - Dream Country 3
DC Sandman - Season of Mists 4
DC Sandman - A Game of You 5
DC Sandman - Fables and Reflections 6
DC Sandman - Brief Lives 7
DC Sandman - Worlds' End 8
DC Sandman - The Kindly Ones 9
DC Sandman - The Wake 10
DC Sandman: Endless Nights 1
DC Watchmen
Devil's Due G.I. Joe: Dreadnoks Declassified 1
Homage Comics Kurt Busiek's Astro City: Family Album 1
Homage Comics Kurt Busiek's Astro City: Life in the Big City 1
IDW Angel: After the Fall 1
IDW Angel: After the Fall 2
IDW Angel: After the Fall 3
IDW Angel: After the Fall 4
IDW Angel: After the Fall 5
IDW Angel: Not Fade Away 1
IDW Classic G.I. Joe 6
IDW G.I. Joe 1
IDW G.I. Joe 2
IDW G.I. Joe: Cobra 1
IDW G.I. Joe: Origins 1
IDW G.I. Joe: The Best of Snake Eyes 1
IDW G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Official Movie Adaptation 1
IDW Spike: After the Fall 1
IDW Spike: Shadow Puppets 1
Image Bluntman & Chronic 1
Image Chasing Dogma 1
Image Clerks 1
Marvel Dark Avengers - Assemble 1
Marvel Captain America: The Death of Captain America 1
Marvel Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia  1
Marvel Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America
Marvel G.I. Joe 1
Marvel G.I. Joe 2
Marvel Secret Invasion 1
Marvel Siege Prelude 1
Marvel Spider-Man:  Back In Black 1
Marvel Spider-Man: Carnage 1
Marvel Spider-Man: The Other 1
Marvel Ultimate Origins 1
Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man - Power and Responsibility 1
Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man - Learning Curve 2
Marvel Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection 1
Marvel Ultimatum 1
Marvel X-Force/Cable: Messiah War 1
Marvel What If?: Civil War 1
Vertigo Constantine: The Hellblazer Collection 1
Vertigo Fables - Legends in Exile  1
Vertigo Fables - Animal Farm 2
Vertigo Fables - March of the Wooden Soldiers 4
Vertigo Lucifer - Devil in the Gateway 1
Vertigo Lucifer - Children and Monsters 2
Vertigo Lucifer - A Dalliance With the Damed 3
Vertigo Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere 1
Vertigo Sandman: The Dream Hunters
Zenescope Entertainment Beyond Wonderland 1