Monday, October 17, 2016

Reborn #1

I almost feel like I have to start this review with a disclaimer. I'm a big Mark Millar fan. I really loved so many of his mini series like Starlight & MPH, I loved Jupiter's Legacy, Kick Ass and of course a bunch of his even older stuff. So when I saw the press release for Reborn, I got really excited because the main character/hero is female. The artwork of course interests me as well. At this point, Mark can pretty much work with any artist he chooses. Greg Capullo has been illustrating Batman for the last 5 years and although I don't give two shits about the New 52's iterations of Batman (besides maybe Batman '66), there's no denying that Capullo isn't ridiculously a ridiculous talented artist.  This can be particularly noted in the scenes where our heroine dies and is "reborn" in this mysterious fantastical new universe.

And here we go now all my criticisms, so the story starts out with a few LARPER looking snipers taking out some mundane looking people who are minding their own business and it's pretty clear from the scenery that the LARPING snipers and their targets don't actually share the same space. Before we know it their target practice ends and we're listening to an elderly lady reminisce about her life. She's living out her last days for a couple panels and then... she's gone. This is where the book gains it title. Our heroine dies only to awaken in the field of battle as a bodacious babe with a sword and a legion of bowing minions. Like seriously, I think these are minions (not those minions from Despicable Me). They're monstrous but apparently looking at her as their leader/savior.

So not only do I honestly feel this is a pretty bland storyline so far, I'm kinda angry that the story jumps around so much and leaves the only real interesting part at the beginning as if had no significance. I mean, don't get me wrong, I know first issues are intended to get you hooked and leave you hanging but I'm not really feeling invested enough in any of these characters to give a rats ass what happens to them.  The reason is that this first issue jumps around too much between characters AND it's too short. I know what you're thinking, "AMY it's longer than any Marvel & DC single issue!". Well, a good first issue is more about introducing characters, it's about getting you to care about them. This was too short to be able to do that and it tried too introduce us to too many people. This is why sometimes, I think that many stories need to be released as complete graphic novels instead of constantly trying to cash in on these monthly subs. Brian K Vaughan gets it. He still releases complete graphic novels fairly regularly. I assume that he knows that some things are better binge read and therefore provide a better experience to the reader, left intact.

On top of that, this story really feels like nothing new to me. This is perhaps due to the ridiculous amount of manga I've consumed over the years. Normal people being transported to a magical, fantasy land, swords and battles... well lets just say I was a HUGE Escalfowne fan (I guess I should say that I still am). There are loads of stories like this that have come out of Japan. Not to mention that this particular story has started reminding me of that Canadian series The Odyssey which aired when I was a kid. It's about a boy transported to a strange world while he's in a coma. For instance, we're made to think that the main character has died but has she? It doesn't feel fresh to me and honestly, the freshness of the story wouldn't so much be an issue if I felt more invested in the characters.

I was really hoping that this would be a new fantastical series for me, yet I'm afraid, Reborn is a miss.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Some Thoughts on Snotgirl

Snotgirl debuted from talented Canadian Writer and former East Coast dweller, Brian Lee O'Malley published by Image Comics on July 20th. It was one of the first comics I have bought since making a commitment to clear my debt up this year. I bought both the first issue and the second which released two weeks ago.

It was not only the fact that the story is written by O'Malley, but the cover which drew me in. Leslie Hung's illustrations on this book are amazing. Yet I don't recall seeing her work anywhere previously. I did a random google search and turned up nothing in graphic novel form, but her website did show a sample of her own illustrated comic so it appears to me that she's fairly new to comics. Her work reminds me in part of manga and in part of 1950's illustrated advertising and pin-ups. It's very clever and sharp. It's perfectly on time. Snotgirl and all her associates in the book are beautiful and unique. How she managed to make a girl look gorgeous and sensual while dripping green gobs of snot from her nose.. well who knows.

I should probably explain what Snotgirl is all about. I wondered the same thing when I first grabbed it. As with many things, if it's a writer I like, and I like the artwork, I grab it whether I know the plot or not (unintentional rhyme). Like most everything I've read by O'Malley,

Snotgirl is full of inner monologue and yeah, she's a pretty loathsome character. She's vapid and shallow, completely caught up in her and yet completely relatable in how she criticizes herself. At least, I can relate to that. Snotgirl is a fashion journalist- uh actually a blogger, but a blogger with her own intern. Although she's a bit of guru and has been writing for nearly a decade (I recall?), she often feels she's undeserving of her success, and constantly fears being exposed or worse - outdone. She's Snotgirl because of her horrifying allergies (which no one knows about! Alterego).

Snotgirl is undone by a chance meeting of another fashion blogger. Someone she dubs Coolgirl and that's about all I'm gonna tell you because too much more and I'll spoil all the fun. If you haven't you really should check this out. Not only has O'Malley managed to create another charming character, completely full of flaws and realistic self doubt, but Leslie Hung's artwork is stunning and I do hope she continues to work in the industry.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Faith #2

Written by JODY HOUSER

This is the first review from me in ages!!  I thought I'd start with the second issue of the new ongoing Faith series from Valiant Comics. I read the first limited series run. I loved it. You can look back over the past year for past reviews.

Faith is an unconventional female superhero. In a world full of bikini models, she's a fresh breath of air. By day she's a journalist and when crime comes a calling, she's a psionic superhero! She battles the best the world of villainy has to offer. This issue sees her fighting her very first supervillain! 

Faith is an all ages adventure. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'd like to see a more adult version of the characters life but I think it's really important that todays youth have a chance to read about a character like Faith.

Faith's inner monologue is real. That's the first thing I notice when I read Faith comics. There's a lot of social commentary about body image and the way we view ourselves. However, its not directly attacking societal norms but attacking the stigma placed on women who's bodies don't fit that mold. It's not critisizing women for be thin either which is refreshing since it seems easiest to battle for fat acceptance by knocking others down. At least, this is something I observed on YouTube. Instead the issue promotes a mantra of self love and self acceptance for all. It doesn't push for rejection and I think that's a very important point. I'm very much looking forward to more Faith.