Fables Vol 22 Farewell Graphic Novel Review

Fables Vol 22 Farewell
Erica gives this comic one star.Fables Vol 22 Farewell by Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham, David Petersen, Russ Braun, Mark Schultz, Lee Garbett, Joelle Jones, Gene Ha, Peter Gross, Neal Adams, Andrew Pepoy, Steve Leialoha, Teddy Kristiansen, Michael Allred, Aaron Alexovich, David Hahn, Lan Medina, Niko Henrichon, Terry Dodson, Andrew Dalhouse, Megan Levens, and Bryan Talbot

There were a ton of complaints about this issue being anti-climactic. For one, I’m very happy that Rose Red and Snow White didn’t go into battle with one another. But don’t worry, there was a ton of other problematic happenings than a lack of sororicide.

First, there’s the battle to both their deaths of Cinderella and Frau Totenkinder. Which also managed to destroy the last of Fabletown’s magic wards against Mundy detection and half the castle. This seemed frivolous and too much of an unmoving cat fight. Especially with Cinderella stabbing Frau Totenkinder through the skull with her glass slipper.

I don’t believe that Cinderella could’ve taken on Frau Totenkinder successfully, to their deaths. Even using Frau Totenkinder’s magical trinkets against her. Not without Frau Totenkinder actually being depowered somewhat as rumored.

Additionally, neither character was one that Willingham spent anytime trying to endear to us. I liked Frau Totenkinder despite this. She would’ve been a way more interesting character to explore than some of Willingham’s choices throughout the years. And it was other writers who took Cinderella on to mixed results.

The part I found the most anticlimactic was no resolution between Snow and Bigby. Continue reading “Fables Vol 22 Farewell Graphic Novel Review”

Fables Vol 21: Happily Ever After Graphic Novel Review

Fables Vol 21: Happily Ever AfterErica gives this comic one star.Fables Vol 21: Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges
Art: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green, Eric Shanower, Tony Akins, Shawn McManus, Nimit Malavia, Jae Lee, Terry Moore, Russ Braun, and Chrissie Zullo

I thought this was going to be the final chapter of Fables. Nope, they are dragging it out. Issue #150, the final one, will be supersized and all its own trade. It’s great to already feel ripped off before I even buy it. Woohoo!

Currently, the biggest Fables mystery is how Brandish is still alive. I know there’s a magical spell and all that jazz. However, seems like he would be a prime target for everyone wanting to murder him. I know I do.

It’s hard for me not to cheer for Snow White and actually see a way that Rose Red will win this. I very much hate sexist plots that pit women against each other. I do not care if this legend around their mother Lauda has any credit in historical fables. It plays out as a bunch of sexist bullshit pitting women against each other and only having one women “win” in the end. And here we have Bigby being the prize.

Yep, the two sisters are fighting over a man.

(A man who Snow White married and had seven children with. But we can ignore the proceeding 100+ comic books.) Two women fighting over a man, it’s a misogynist dream come true! Continue reading “Fables Vol 21: Happily Ever After Graphic Novel Review”

Fairest: In All the Land Graphic Novel Review

Fairest: In All the LandErica Gives This Comic Four StarsFairest: In All the Land by Bill Willingham
Art: Chrissie Zullo, Karl Kerschl, Renae de Liz, Fiona Meng, Mark Buckingham, Phil Noto, Meghan Hetrick, Russ Braun, Tony Akins, Gene Ha, Tula Lotay, Marley Zarcone, Ming Doyle, Chris Sprouse, Nimit Malavia, Dean Ormston, Kurt Huggins, Adam Hughes, Al Davison, Shawn McManus, Inaki Miranda, and Kevin Maguire

This was perhaps one of the best Fables stories that I’ve read in a long time. It wasn’t interrupted by one of Willingham’s favorite characters that didn’t make sense. Cinderella had the whole narrative from beginning to end, and while she certainly had the help of others, she was the one who figured out the mystery and came up with a solution to the problem.

As much as I was excited to see that many of my favorite artists were working on this book, having the tale jump from artist to artist was a bit distracting. I really loved de Liz’s Cinderella and Hetrick’s Snow White. I was also surprised just how much I enjoyed Doyle’s art, which particularly worked with the ’60s flashback to Briar Rose’s all-girl band.

All that said, I did have a hard time getting into this book. Continue reading “Fairest: In All the Land Graphic Novel Review”

Fairest (Vol 2): The Hidden Kingdom Graphic Novel Review

Fairest (Vol 2): The Hidden Kingdom GraphicErica gives this comic three starsFairest (Vol 2): The Hidden Kingdom by Lauren Beukes and Bill Willingham
Art: Inaki Miranda and Barry Kitson

So I actually enjoyed the book more than the three stars. I thought Miranda’s art was beautiful and served great for both the futile Japan world and modern day Tokyo. He drew a large variety of characters and body types. Never once did I pause and shake my head. (This is kind of rare for me, and how I wish it was the other way around.) I enjoyed Beukes’ writing of Rapunzel. I was thrilled to have a woman writing Fables and the women characters. Especially considering Fairest Vol 1 turned into a kind of love triangle and then evil PMS story. (Oddly enough, I’d been wanting to read a book by Beukes and had her Zoo City on my wish list.) I liked how flawed, vulnerable, but also determined Rapunzel is. Also really excited for Tomoko and Rapunzel’s relationship because I don’t think we’ve had any gay Fables before, which is CRAZYPANTS.

(SEE WHAT I DO? I TYPE IN ALL CAPS SOMETIMES!)

Okay, but why the three stars? Why again must these books have so much promise and so much joy to only be ripped away? Continue reading “Fairest (Vol 2): The Hidden Kingdom Graphic Novel Review”

Fables (vol 17): Inherit the Wind Graphic Novel Review

Fables (vol 17): Inherit the WindErica Gives This Comic Four StarsFables (vol 17): Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Shawn McManus, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green, Rick Leonardi, Ron Randall, P. Craig Russell, Zander Cannon, Jim Fern, Ramon Bachs, and Adam Hughs

Oh, Snow, Bigby, and the Cubs, they continue to have some good adventures. I’ve been curious about what Willingham was going to do with all these characters as certainly showing them running around the farm or doing things like going to school wouldn’t exactly be super interesting. Or really wouldn’t be what the Fables comic books are based on interest-wise.

Not surprising to find the North Wind has pissed off the other winds by dominating them. I love Bigby reminding everyone about tossing down with his father and winning. Zephyrus, Yaponcha, and Fei Lian were probably completely justified in wanting some kind of revenge; they just shouldn’t underestimate the combined fury of Snow and Bigby.

I adore that Winter’s challenge was to find Bellflower and Dunster. I’m glad that they’re not going to be out of this book. Winter’s kind of adorable. Of course, the children also have the horrible prophecy abut them. But it does make them have something epic to do.

The Wizard of Oz and the rest of the books must have just come into public domain. Continue reading “Fables (vol 17): Inherit the Wind Graphic Novel Review”

Fables: Super Team (Vol 16) Graphic Novel Review

Fables: Super Team (Vol 16) Erica gives this comic three stars

Fables: Super Team (Vol 16) by Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Eric Shanower, Terry Moore, Andrew Pepoy, and Richard Friend

This entire volume of Fables felt like a filler. And not in a good way. There wasn’t anything particularly bad about this volume; it just seemed to not really go anywhere.

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Bufkin. First, I don’t like monkeys. And second, I don’t like unnecessary male heroes who have the type of story that a woman character would never have. Now Bufkin is apparently going to take over pan-Oz from its evil rulers. I really hope this storyline is not cut-and-dry or evil-vs-good. (Good, of course, being whatever side Bufkin is on.)

I love the twist that Beast has lost his curse to his daughter, Bliss. I’m really curious at where this will go. Of course, with Bliss being a baby, it’s probably not going anywhere very quickly. Continue reading “Fables: Super Team (Vol 16) Graphic Novel Review”

Fables Vol 15: Rose Red Graphic Novel Review

Fables Vol 15: Rose RedErica gives this comic two stars

Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Inaki Miranda, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green, Chrissie Zullo, Dave Johnson, Kate McElroy, J.H. Williams III, Joao Ruas, and Adam Hughes

The Story of Frau Totenkinder

I’ve been reading Fables now for a very long time. Fables is not without it’s problems (see the Arabian Fables, see Willingham’s often too transparent politics, see the time I told Willingham how Snow White’s my favorite and he was genuinely shocked). But Fables is a world that has sucked me in. It’s created characters that I love; women characters who’d I’d toss up on that “strong women” characters list from Snow White, Rose Red, and Cinderella to Ozma, Baba Yaga, and the Snow Queen. I cheered the Blue Fairy on in her vendetta against Geppetto as much as I loved to hate Goldilocks. And a character I loved almost as much as Snow White has been Frau Totenkinder, aka Bellflower.

One of the best things about Frau Totenkinder in the entire Fables series has been that she’s an old witch whom everyone is a little frightened of. Even if she’s on their side. Totenkinder is always hiding some knowledge up her sleeve and leading the magical Fables to pull out tricks just when they need them. In the last trade paperback volume, Frau Totenkinder went from being a crone witch to a young witch again, going by her original name Bellflower. There was a smallish outcry against her reverting from crone to mother/maiden in years. In media in general, there’s a distinct lack of older female characters, and with all her power, Totenkinder was powerhouse against both sexism and ageism. Of course, Totenkinder’s story as told in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall points out that Totenkinder chose to let herself age.

Totenkinder’s de-aging back into Bellflower didn’t bother me until this volume, until Ozma Continue reading “Fables Vol 15: Rose Red Graphic Novel Review”

Fables (Vol 14): Witches Graphic Novel Review

Fables: Witches by Bill WillinghamErica gives this comic three stars

Fables (Vol 14): Witches by Bill Willingham

I felt somewhat disappointed by Witches. I’ve been long waiting for more stories about Frau Totenkinder and the spell-casters, and I felt that as soon as this story got going, it stopped. While the trade itself is not thin, the story felt thin. Plus, the beginning with Bigby ranting felt really Mary Sue-ish, and it started off the whole trade with a bad taste in my mouth.

Part of it was that I’m not very entranced with Bufkin’s story. While I totally understand how Willingham likes to tell the stories where the underdog wins, Bufkin verses Continue reading “Fables (Vol 14): Witches Graphic Novel Review”

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love Comic Book Review

Cinderella: From Fabletown with LoveErica gives this comic three starsI’ve always loved what Willingham did with Cinderella, so I was very excited to read Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus. And this miniseries doesn’t fail to disappoint when it comes to more kick ass Cinderella. She’s still a super spy and all that jazz.

Let me first say that I loved Chrissie Zullo’s covers. They are gorgeous. I want prints of them on my walls. I do think that their beauty helped make this series the success that it was. It’s always a draw.

In this tale, Beast sends Cindy on a mission after there’s a flood of magical objects into the Mundy world. She needs to figure who’s doing it and stop them. The auctions are happening in Dubai. (Which immediately sends me bad feelings about where this story is headed given the downright racism in other tales concerning Arabian fables. But I gave Roberson the benefit of the doubt until I read it.)

Before taking off, Cinderella must check on her shoe store, The Glass Slipper. Her employee Crispin is not pleased with all her globetrotting and how she never likes his designs. Of course, he has no idea that she’s a spy. In fact, he thinks that she’s having an affair with Beast, instead of getting debriefed on secret missions.

Cindy also visits Frau Totenkinder for a magical bracelet and ring. Continue reading “Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love Comic Book Review”

14 (More) Amazing Women of Comics

A while ago, I wrote a post about Strong Women of Comics I Like and decided to do a follow-up with even more women. So here are 14 more amazing women characters of comics I like.

Misty Knight
Misty Knight

Who: Misty Knight
Why she’s amazing: First, she runs her own detective agency. Second, she has a bionic arm. Third, I’m pretty sure she’s engaged to Danny Rand and dating Colleen Wing. (Okay, the latter may just be wishful thinking on my part.)
Where to read about her: Unfortunately, the most recent revamp of Heroes for Hire wasn’t exactly a triumph for women characters. However, Misty rocked as a supporting character in Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and David Aja’s Immortal Iron Fist.
My comic reviews featuring Misty.
Kate "Batwoman" Kane
Kate Kane

Who: Kate “Batwoman” Kane
Why she’s amazing: She’s freaking Batwoman. She’s just as stubborn, strong, scary, and inventive as her male professional counterpart. Not to mention she has some cool tattoos.
Where to read about her: Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III’s most recent run on Detective Comics was fabulous. It includes Kate’s origin story and you don’t want to miss the art. She’ll be back with a solo series penned by Williams.
My comic reviews featuring Kate.
Angie Spica
Angie Spica

Who: Angie “The Engineer” Spica
Why she’s amazing: Angie is connected to machines and computers, but not overwhelmed by them. She retains herself. Angie’s also a kick ass fighter and a good friend.
Where to read about her: If you’re new to the Authority or Wildstorm in general, pick up Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s run on the Authority.
My comic reviews featuring Angie.
Kara Zol-l
Kara Zol-l

Who: Kara “Power Girl” Zor-l
Why she’s amazing: Kara is smart, kind, down-to-earth, and can move the earth. She runs her own business and saves the world. Plus, she has as super cool, sassy cat named Stinky.
Where to read about her: Check out her latest solo title by Justin Grey, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Conner; it’s fun and lives in its own world so don’t worry if you have no idea what a Black Lantern is. Plus, Conner’s art is amazing, which makes it even more sad that the creative team’s changing.
My comic reviews featuring Kara.
Tara Chace
Tara Chace

Who: Tara Chace
Why she’s amazing: Tara might be a super spy by trade, but that’s the way she’s helping the world. She won’t settle for second best or give up. Even when she’s been shot in the leg.
Where to read about her: Tara is the lead character in Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country.
My comic reviews featuring Tara.
Gwendolyn
Gwendolyn

Who: Gwendolyn
Why she’s amazing: Okay, yes, Gwendolyn is not human — but she can talk, and moreover, she leads the Mouse Guard as its matriarch. She also oversees all the assignments of the guard. Plus, anything else they might need. Yes, Gwendolyn’s in charge of mouse security and that’s no small feat when there’s weasels, snakes, crabs, owls, and rebellious mice.
Where to read about her: In David Peterson’s gorgeous Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 and its sequel Mouse Guard: Winter 1152.
Jessica Drew
Jessica Drew

Who: Jessica “Spider-Woman” Drew
Why she’s amazing: Genetically-engineer by her father, double agent for Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D., and replaced by the Skrull Queen, Jessica’s had a hard run of it. But she’s come out kicking ass and taking names. She’s Marvel’s detective and spy.
Where to read about her: See Jessica take down Skrulls in the recent Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.
My comic reviews featuring Jessica.
Cinderella
Cinderella

Who: Cinderella
Why she’s amazing: Cinderella appears to be an airhead who used to be a princess, but now runs a shoe store, the Glass Slipper. However, there’s more to Cindy than means the eye. Let her surprise you because I really don’t want to spoil you.
Where to read about her: Read about her in Fables by Bill Willingham.
My comic reviews featuring Cindy.
Bobbi Morse
Bobbi Morse

Who: Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse
Why she’s amazing: Bobbi is the only one sassy enough to have married Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye. She’s one of the few non-super Avengers, and she also has something of a spy business on the side. Bobbi spends her nights with insomnia fighting villains as her chamomile tea.
Where to read about her: Jim McCann and David Lopez’s New Avengers Reunion will get you caught up with Bobbi. McCann also has a new series called Hawkeye and Mockingbird, which issue #1 already sold out and went into its second printing.
My comic reviews featuring Bobbi.
Julie Martin
Julie Martin

Who: Julie Martin
Why she’s amazing: Julie was a mess when we first met her. Newly divorce and completely broken by it. However, on a day trip to shoot photography, she becomes something unknown when the rain isn’t actually real rain and starts sticking to her skin.
Where to read about her: In Terry Moore’s Echo, you can follow Julie’s path to becoming a superhero of sorts.
My comic reviews featuring Julie.
Monica Rambeau
Monica Rambeau

Who: Monica “Photon” Rambeau (also “Captain Marvel”)
Why she’s amazing: Does Monica need to remind you that she once was on the Avengers? She can kick ass on a team and lead them well. She is also a good friend to Firestar, Hellcat, and Black Cat.
Where to read about her: Warren Ellis’ Nextwave and most recently, in Marvel Divas, a very poorly named series.
My comic reviews featuring Monica.
Frau Totenkinder
Frau Totenkinder

Who: Frau Totenkinder
Why she’s amazing: Frau Totenkinder is more devious than her aged-appearance lets on. She’s a witch, a very powerful one, and she surprisingly nonchalant about it. Frau Totenkinder will appear in more than one of your favorite Fables.
Where to read about her: My favorite Frau Totenkinder stories are in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, but you can also find her in the regular Fables series also by Bill Willingham.
Helena Bertinelli
Helena Bertinelli

Who: Helena “Huntress” Bertinelli
Why she’s amazing: Helena is both a school teacher and a hunter. She’s loyal and determined. Helena hasn’t always fit into life in Gotham City, but that’s only given her more layers and sometimes rocky relationships with Gotham heavy-hitters like Batman himself.
Where to read about her: Helena is an awesome addition in Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey. Greg Rucka also does a great job at telling her origin story in Batman/Huntress: A Cry for Blood.
My comic reviews featuring Helena.
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

Who: Pepper “Rescue” Potts (also “Hera”)
Why she’s amazing: Pepper is just too cool. For years, she was side character in Tony Stark’s life; but with the successful Iron Man movies and Matt Fraction’s new series, Pepper is turning into a dignified hero.
Where to read about her: Pepper makes her first appearance as a superhero in Matt Fraction’s The Order and continues so in his Invincible Iron Man.
My comic reviews featuring Pepper.