The Best and the Worst of 2011 Comic Books

Yes, the time has come to say goodbye to 2011 and ring in 2012. Here’s a look back at the Best and the Worst of 2011* Comic Books.

The Best On-Going Series

Echo #261. Echo by Terry Moore
Average rating: 4.7/5 stars
Reading rating: Teen

Moore’s Echo finished with a bang (or did it?) this year. A story of Julie, the unlikely superhero, and stopping the end of the world, Moore’s work is consistently great and on-point. For those scared of the tome that is Strangers in Paradise, check out this much shorter work.
Read my reviews of Echo.
Purchase Echo.

Punisher #52. Punisher by Greg Rucka, Marco Checchetto, Matthew Clark, and Matthew Southworth
Average rating: 4.3/5 stars
Reading rating: Teen

I never thought I’d like a Punisher book as much as I love this one from Rucka. Dive into the gritty world of Frank Castle, his mission, and the fall-out of villains, reporters, cops, and victims. With some beautiful art to accompany it.
Read my reviews of Punisher.
Purchase Punisher.

Batwoman #23. Batwoman by J.H. Williams, W. Haden Blackman, and Amy Reeder Hadley
Average rating: 4.3/5 stars
Reading rating: Teen

The most anticipated comic (for me) ever. Anyone reading my blog is probably not surprised that I love Batwoman. Kate Kane is probably one of my favorite characters ever, and in combination with Williams’ art, this title has been making me very happy. I only want more.
Read my reviews of Batwoman.
Purchase Batwoman. Continue reading “The Best and the Worst of 2011 Comic Books”

Air (Vol 4): A History of the Future Graphic Novel Review

Air: A History of the Future Vol 4Erica gives this comic five stars

Air (Vol 4): A History of the Future by G. Willow Wilson
Art: M.K. Perker

I really enjoyed this volume. I think it brought the story right back to where it needed to go. Yes, Blythe getting her wings (her official hyperprax pilot’s license) was the next logic step in her story. It also provided some grounding, which I think the last volume lacked.

The stability of this story rang through extremely well in those first few pages. Just that fact that Blythe woke up next to Zayn without needing to search the universe for him provided a large helping hand to keeping this narrative very tight. I could not put Air Vol 4 down once I began to read it.

I love that Blythe takes Mrs. B and Fletcher with her on her adventures, and I felt that her meeting with Quetzalcoatl was really well done in that Blythe recognizes him fully as her crutch.

I thought it was a great tie-in that they go to Russia and meet up with their ballerina friend Valentin. And that they get to make a joke about him always being in his ballerina tights. A lost luggage storehouse does make a great vault for treasures. I can’t wait to find out how Jules Verne was able to write a novel all about Blythe’s life.

Renee becomes a lot more intriguing as a character in this story. Continue reading “Air (Vol 4): A History of the Future Graphic Novel Review”

Top 5 Graphic Novels in 2010

I know, my blog’s been getting neglected as of late. Blame it on GeekGirlCon, or more importantly, donate to help us raise funds in order to secure our venue. We’re 50% of the way there.

Anyway, in the next couple of days, I’m going to be doing some best of 2010 posts. I should start with the big disclaimer that these are comics I reviewed in 2010. They may have been published earlier than 2010, but I published my review of them in 2010.

To start off: Top 5 Graphic Novels in 2010

Air Vol 15. Air: Letters from Lost Countries by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker

Air came highly recommended from several friends, and it held true to its hype. On the back cover, there’s a quote by comic author Jason Aaron saying Air is a “post-9/11 fairy tale, part Gabriel Garcia Marquez, part Lost.” Which I think is the best summation of the adventures of Blythe, the somewhat odd flight attendant with a panic attack-inducing fear of heights. Apparently, the Clearfleet employment recruiter gave her a good talk.

Blythe meets a strange man calling himself Javad/Niko/Manuel, and in the post-9/11 atmosphere, she assumes he’s a terrorist. In fact, when she stalls Javad, her friend and follow attendant Fletcher even questions her ethic profiling.

Read my entire review and buy Air: Letters from Lost Countries by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker

Madame Xanadu Vol 1 Disenchanted4. Madame Xanadu: Disenchanted by Matt Wagner and Amy Reeder Hadley

Madame Xanadu is just an awesome tale that spans centuries. Thanks to the staff at Dreamstrands Comics for recommending the series to me. You were right; I did love it.

Madame Xanadu starts off as the young Nimue Inwudu in the world of Camelot. She is the sister of Morgana le Fey and Vivienne, the Lady of the Lake, and they are descendants of the elder folk, each on having magical powers. Nimue is particularly connect to the earth. She’s able to foresee the future by using nature.

Nimue is also the lover of Merlin.

Read my entire review and buy Madame Xanadu: Disenchanted by Matt Wagner and Amy Reeder Hadley.

Atomic Robo Vol 13. Atomic Robo: Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener

Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne is perhaps one of the most brilliant comics I’ve read in a while. Love it little pieces: the humor, the mixing of genres, Robo’s solution to everything being blowing it up. It just works so well.

I love the care and detail put into designing Atomic Robo. He doesn’t look like other robots. I don’t think Cybermen, Data, or Cylons. I think Atomic Robo, the wacky fighting scientist who’s pretty indestructible.

This story is smart in how it frames Robo’s first battle against Dr. Helsingard and how he becomes Robo’s nemesis. Actually, I like that it was by accident. I like Helsingard being the obsessive one and swearing revenge on Robo, but Robo not really caring. He’s almost taking down Helsingard’s evil plans by accident.

Read my entire review and buy Atomic Robo: Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood2. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is very engaging. I sat down and read the memoir in a couple days; I couldn’t put it down. Satrapi’s story isn’t just that of a young girl growing up in Iran, but also a historical viewpoint on the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Satrapi’s art fits perfectly with the story. It reflects the youth in the story, and the stark black inking works well with the dourness of Marji and her family’s story. But at times, Satrapi’s illustrations are masterful with showing the warmth and love that Majri and her family have for one another.

Read my entire review and buy Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi.

Batwoman: Elegy1. Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III

Batwoman: Elegy is by far my favorite book of 2010, and one of my all-time favorite origin stories about a superhero. I love comic books, but face it, most of the time, they’re written for men. Batwoman is the book that I feel I’ve been waiting forever for. Like Batman, Kate Kane (Batwoman) is a socialite from Gotham City. But unlike Batman, she’s a bit of rebel with a rockabilly sense of style and a military background. Both of her parents were in the service, and she follows their lead. However, she is discharge from service under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and her sense of justice and service leads her to become Batwoman.

Elegy follows the story of Batwoman meeting her first villain Alice. Alice is a sharp contrast to Kate with her blonde curls, white outfits, and Lewis Carroll dialog. And since Alice and her crew are determined to sacrifice Kate to their other-wordly gods, Kate has no choice but to confront her. Rucka, a fabulous crime and mystery author, writes a tale of intrigue here, including a big secret about Alice herself.

The art by J.H. Williams III is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in a comic book. It enhances the story in every way possible from giving hints to the mystery to switching styles when we see Kate in and out of her Batwoman costumes. Lush and gorgeous.

This is the perfect story for the reader interested in comic books/graphic novels, but doesn’t know where to jump in as Batwoman: Elegy is a self-contained tale. I’d also recommend it for fans of art, crime and mystery stories, military family tales, LGBT narratives, superheros, and anyone who wants to challenge my assertion that Batwoman makes a better Batman than Bruce Wayne.

Read the original review on Ink-Stained Amazon and buy Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III.

Reviews Air: Flying Machine (Vol 2)

Air: Flying Maching Vol 2Erica Gives This Comic Four StarsAir: Flying Machine by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker

I don’t think the second volume was as strong as the first. It was good. I think I have a lot invested in the character of Blythe, and this volume explored more about the lives of the other characters through Blythe.

Logically, Amelia’s the first one who’s story is told. Her history is also interwoven within the discovery and first modern use of the hyperprax device. Amelia’s story serves as a warning for Blythe. Amelia became lost on the edge of the world or reality — or perhaps the edge of the page. And she lost both her flying partner and 46 years. Luckily without aging. Continue reading “Reviews Air: Flying Machine (Vol 2)”

Reviews Air (Vol 1) Letters from Lost Countries

Air Vol 1Erica gives this comic five starsAir: Letters from Lost Countries by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker

This title came highly recommended from several friends, and it held true to its hype. On the back cover, there’s a quote by comic author Jason Aaron saying Air is a “post-9/11 fairy tale, part Gabriel Garcia Marquez, part Lost.” Which I think is the best summation of the adventures of Blythe, the somewhat odd flight attendant with a panic attack-inducing fear of heights. Apparently, the Clearfleet employment recruiter gave her a good talk.

Blythe meets a strange man calling himself Javad/Niko/Manuel, and in the post-9/11 atmosphere, she assumes he’s a terrorist. In fact, when she stalls Javad, her friend and follow attendant Fletcher even questions her ethic profiling. Continue reading “Reviews Air (Vol 1) Letters from Lost Countries”