Thursday, January 31, 2019

Comic of the Week #56

Image result for red sonja funko variant

Comic of the Week has been on a long hiatus but I wanted to bring it back since I've been reading graphic novels and comics again. Every week I'm going to showcase a comic or GN cover- could be old, could be new- and share a few thoughts on why I think it's special. Do you like what I picked out? Let me know in the comments, and as always, if you have a favorite cover or piece of comic art, let me know! 

This week is Red Sonja #4 Funko variant. 

Bookcover Spotlight #191

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Thunderbolts Ultimate Collection

Image result for thunderbolts ultimate collection
      
Thunderbolts Ultimate Collection is a compilation of Thunderbolts issues and is probably one of my favorite trade paperback collections. The team here are all former villains masquerading as heroes, although some of them are genuine in their desire to be better than they were. The government has passed a superhuman registration act and these villains are essentially U.S. marshals now, tasked with apprehending unregistered superhumans. And they have a lot of leeway. As you can imagine the results are disastrous. 

The group is comprised of former villains Moonstone, Songbird, Radioactive Man, Andreas Strucker, Venom, and Bullseye. All of them (with the exception of Songbird and Radioactive Man) are either borderline psychotic or just outright bad. And they've been tasked with rounding up the good guys! The team is basically a powderkeg waiting to explode. To make matters worse they're run by Norman Osborn, who just happens to be the Green Goblin and has just been appointed director of the Thunderbolts.  

 

A nice touch are the initial interviews we see between Osborn and members of the team, interspersed with field missions as the team apprehend unregistered superhumans. The team have been implanted with nanotech to keep them in line- it delivers a severe shock if they disobey orders and can kill if they persist. The action picks up when the team is sent to Phoenix to apprehend a C-list hero. Cakewalk, right? Not really. Turns out the C-lister gets some unexpected assistance and a battle royale breaks out in downtown Phoenix.  

This is one of the highlights of the book, along with a story arc where a group of telepaths infiltrate the team and use their abilities to sow chaos. The whole team starts to come apart and turn on each other, with all the attendant chaos you would expect. This all culminates in a knock down drag out showdown between Songbird and a completely unhinged Green Goblin. And there are lots of casualties naturally. 


I loved the claustrophobic feel of the base as things went downhill quickly. The support staff and guards all become targets as the Thunderbolts, to varying degrees, go apeshit due to the telepaths' influence. The whole place goes into lockdown and Osborn eventually snaps, reverting to his Green Goblin persona and flying through the complex blowing stuff up. It's like a train wreck unfolding. This is Marvel with a darker edge and I had no idea what would happen next. The artwork is awesome too and really matches the tone of the story.     

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Do Werewolves Need A Pack?

moon GIF

So do werewolves need a pack? If so, why? I've been reading more urban fantasy lately and it seems like every book I read about werewolves defaults to a pack setting. The Mercy Thompson and Kitty Norville series are the two I'm most familiar with- both have packs that play a prominent role- and it does seem like this is the norm. And that brings up a related question- are some of these werewolves really werewolves, or are they just... wolves? 

I know that some protagonists are more shifters than werewolves per se, so maybe that partially answers the question (I know Mercy is a coyote shifter but her neighboring wolf pack play a huge role), but it almost seems to me that once the transformation is complete, it's like they're just wolves sometimes. They hunt for game and howl at the moon and hang out together- strength in numbers- but they don't always act like werewolves do in movies or folklore. I'm used to werewolves hunting people, or at the very least being very dangerous, whereas a lot of the werewolves in UF seem to try avoiding people. 

That's nice, of course, if you want to read about characters that are, you know, decent. Who wants to read about a crazed psycho werewolf killing people constantly? Um... me maybe? But seriously I think there's room for both, but obviously a story like that is going to be very different from the relatively sympathetic protagonists we typically get. I can't help thinking, though- where are the solitary werewolves? Why are there so many that there's always a pack? Would a pack of werewolves really go unnoticed, even if they live in a remote area? 

Also something else that's been bugging me. Why does the transformation into werewolf hurt? I mean it might seem intuitive- you're changing form, of course it's going to hurt, right? But, if it's a magical thing... it doesn't have to. I mean you can make either one your default as a writer, but I almost always see painful transformations as the standard. Again, maybe moreso in books? On screen I think I've seen more immediate shifts, or some that are painful but some that aren't. 

So... what do you think? Pack or no pack? Should werewolves (or other shifters) be running around solo? 

Can't Wait Wednesday #57


 So here's a midweek round up of what I'm reading watching, etc. Plus Can't Wait Wednesday, hosted by Wishful endings. So sit back, raise a cuppa, and see what's new! And share what you're up to. 

This week my Can't Wait pick is  

After the Lights Go Out

What I'm Reading

Here and Now and Then

What I'm Watching 

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Listening

Monday, January 28, 2019

Top Ten Most Recent Additions To My TBR

  


 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by 
That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted. Everyone is welcome to join. Link back to The Broke and the Bookish so everyone can check out other bloggers' lists. It's a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers.

This week is the Top Ten Most Recent Additions to my TBR. This one is kinda exciting because who doesn't love adding new stuff, right? 
So let's take a look!         

Rebel (The Extinction Trials, #3)

Polaris Rising

Watching You

Two Can Keep a Secret

Here and Now and Then

The Night Before

The Sky So Heavy

Immunity (Contagion, #2)

Permafrost

The Au Pair

Tuesday Tagline #127


On the run...behind the Iron Curtain! 

Domino Vol. 1 Killer Instinct

Domino, Vol. 1: Killer Instinct

Domino Vol. 1 Killer Instinct was kind of an impulse buy as I knew next to nothing about the character in spite of the fact that she's been around for a while. The verdict? Pretty good stuff. I thought the story was effective, with some genuine emotional beats, and it was only mildly set back by lackluster art. 

The art of course is in the style so common at Marvel now- it has its moments but too often facial expressions and storytelling flow are hampered by inferior draftmanship. I much prefer the clean art style in a lot of the European comics I've been reading lately- not to sound snobby but the story is so much easier to follow when you can see clearly what's happening! So while the art did not wow me (other than the occasional panel that I thought looked good) the story itself was fine. 

Domino is a mercenary whose mutant power is "good luck". She basically exudes a probability altering field around her, I guess- it's not super clear- but it causes things to go her way. An enemy's gun will jam, for example, or something fortuitous will happen to save her life, that kind of thing. She's pretty carefree and footloose, and has two besties named Outlaw and Diamondback who are her partners in crime (sometimes literally). They take jobs and spout all the snarky dialogue you'd expect, and it's fun- this was chock full of guest stars too, as writer Gail Simone definitely went to the well with the appearance of characters like Deadpool, Shang-Chi and the Amadeus Cho version of Hulk. 

I thought the Shang-Chi appearance in particular was effective if a bit rushed. I don't really know why Amadeus Cho is now a Hulk but it didn't really matter, I just went with it. A bright spot here was Diamondback- she dated Captain America at one point- but she's also a past member of the Serpent Society so she can roll both ways. 

She's a fun addition and it was nice to see her pop up here. She has too much potential to not be utilized. The focus here though is strictly on Domino, and Simone takes aim at Domino's strength- her uncanny luck- by deconstructing her to an extent, using a nasty villain named Topaz who has links to Dom's past. It wasn't amazing or anything but it was good and this title has a lot of potential- Gail Simone seems to be having fun with it and I will definitely be sticking around for a while. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sunday Post #282

  


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Date 
  
Snow! We had a mini blizzard this week and as I write this it's a mess out. Slippery roads, sleet, the works. Everything is white with snow gently falling- it's actually quite peaceful, as long as you don't have to go outside. As I update this Friday night it's not much better- it's 11 degrees and the high tomorrow is 17. Yay! In other news I've been gearing up for a couple of highly anticipated releases- the new Extinction Trials being one- so this seemed appropriate.     

Laura Dern GIF

The Bookish Games (Bring Your Own Character) continue and Day One (and Night One) ended in rather shocking fashion. Most people reading this might be like- what Bookish Games?- so I should elaborate. It's a riff off of Mafia or Werewolf where you have two (or more) factions and the goal is to be the last ones standing. You spend a lot of time chatting and scheming and trying to deceive or outwit your fellow players, even as they attempt the same. It's all good fun. :)  The current game is unique in that each player has submitted their own choice of character. The first player eliminated was playing Lying Cat from Saga.   

In other news I posted a Cover Love this week and am still working on Movies That Suck. I also took a look at Nancy Drew #2- a fun comic. This week I'll have a discussion post- Do Werewolves Need A Pack? And I won a copy of Our Chemical Hearts over at Daniela's blog. Thanks Daniela!  
      
No ExitTwo Can Keep a SecretRebel (The Extinction Trials, #3)Watching YouWatcher in the Woods (Rockton, #4)

Song of the week 



PULP COVER OF THE WEEK: 

I understand his expression. I'd be shocked, too if I realized I was wearing socks that yellow.

NEW ARRIVAL/ UPCOMING REVIEWS:

11 - The Gondwana ShrineGolden City Vol. 1: Wreck RaidersGolden City Vol. 2: Banks vs. Banks

BOOKISH LINKS