Friday, September 25, 2015

Short Booknotes on Graphic Novels 22

Here is another set of short notes on graphic novels and comics I have read recently. These were mostly quick reads, so I did not feel like writing full reviews on them. So, consider these notes on the run. Unless otherwise noted, I checked these out of the Madison County Public Library, Berea branch.

Jim Davis, Garfield: the Big Cheese. New York: Ballantine Books, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-345-52604-5.

This is the 59th book in the series. It remains amusing, and the pop culture is up to date. Still, the humor is fairly average, and I can't help but wonder if the cat is just showing its age. It was a light and amusing read overall. I liked it, but I feel previous volumes have been better. 3 out of 5 stars.

Michael Bendis, Age of Ultron. New York: Marvel, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-7851-5566-9.

I am betting that with the new movie, this will be quite popular. However, while a good read, it had one ridiculous moment too many. Ultron manages to win and conquer Earth. The few remaining heroes figure out that Ultron is attacking them from a future time; they then figure trying to go to the past to stop Hank Pym from creating Ultron is a good bet, but is it really? This is where the time contradictions start, and things start to get a bit ridiculous. There is plenty of action, but in the end it's just another run of the mill comic run. I'd recommend borrowing it. It does feature some nice art. 3 out of 3 stars.

Corina Sara Bechko, Heathentown. Berkeley, CA: Image Comics, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-60706-012-3.

Anna and her friend spent some time in Africa as students abroad. When the friend dies, Anna goes to the funeral in the small Everglades town the friend is from. However, the friend's family want nothing to do with Anna, and something unsettling is going on, supernatural even. Something is going on in the swamps. This is a small town mystery that reveals a horror from the past. It's a legacy Anna struggles to survive and understand, and it includes prehistoric animals and pirates. Hardman's art makes great use of shadows to add great effect to the story.  The art brings the oppressive environment of the swamp and small town to life. Even if you make it back from the journey, it leaves you with questions and a tad unsettled, as a good horror should. 4 out of 5 stars. This is the title in this post that qualifies for the Horror Reading Challenge.

Fred Van Lente,, Hulk: Season One. New York: Marvel, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-7851-6388-6.

To put it plainly, this is yet another comic book reboot. Basically Hulk's origin is modernized for the post-9/11 world. The familiar characters are all here, but with a modern twist. For instance, Betty is not just the usual damsel; she is a senior army officer and well capable of handling herself. The plot is pretty good, and it even breathes new life into an old villain. It's good, but as I said, it's yet another reboot. The art is pretty good by the way. The volume also includes the first issue of Incredible Hulk, #1, the one where Hulk and Banner finally separate. You can read my review of the compilation of that other series here. 3 out of 5 stars.

These books qualify, in one way or another, for the following 2015 Book Reading Challenges:

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