Review Grab Bag (10-4-15)

Review Grab Bag 11-4-15

It’s the 11th Edition of the Review Grab Bag, everyone!  Yay!  For something I’ve been doing for a little over 4 years, that’s really not a lot of Grab Bags.  Sure, once or twice there was basically a whole year or more in there where I didn’t post anything… but we don’t like to talk about that.

*Shifts eyes shiftily*

Anyway…  Today, in the Review Grab Bag we’ll find 2 movies, a Graphic Novel and a puzzle that’s from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

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Walt Disney Productions’ “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” – A FDWG Book Review

MCC 003

 

Recently, maybe about the beginning of the summer (of 2015, for you future readers. Get off your damn hoverboards and get back to work.) Charlotte started showing an interest in reading some of the untouched books in her collections. Hand-me-downs from me or my brother, or other books from that era I picked up years ago, before she could read. One of these books was “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”. She loved it.

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Charles Soule, Ray Fawkes & Various Artists’ “Wolverines”

4305599-wolvs2015001_dc11-0[1]So, in late 2014, Wolverine died.  If you were following comics, you probably noticed.  If you weren’t following comics, you probably didn’t.  It was a surprisingly good mini-series, in my opinion. I didn’t read any of the pre-amble, but I enjoyed the series enough to sign-up for some of the aftermath.

The post-Logan series that interested me the most going in was the weekly-released Wolverines from writers Charles Soule and Ray Fawkes.  I’m not very familiar with Fawkes, but I discovered Soule on his 2013/14 She-Hulk run, then followed up on him with Letter 44, Strongman, Death of Wolverine and Inhuman.  I enjoyed them all at least as much–or more–than I had anticipated, so I was cautiously optimistic about this title.

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Lauren Myracle’s “ttyl”

301023[1]I am not the target audience for this book. I’m so fucking far from the target audience of this book, I should have never even picked it up. But I needed something to round out 10 books for $10 at Salvation Army, and this intrigued me.

I remember seeing the cover and thinking, “What the fuck is this shit?” Bright pink with cutouts around some emoticons and the title is “ttyl”? Ugh. Then I opened it to find bright blue Comic Sans staring me in the face. Comic Sans?

Again, “What the fuck is this shit?” The section I opened to seemed to be a book laid out to look like a Messenger chat-log. I flipped through the pages. Once more, “What the fuck is this shit?” It’s not just one section.

I passed it over to my now-ex but then-wife, Mel. “Have you seen this shit? What the fuck?”

“That’s the stupidest looking book I’ve ever seen. You should buy it,” she said.

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Charles Soule and Alberto Alburquerque’s “Letter 44” (Vol. 1)

Letter 44Nothing goes as expected on the inaugural morning of the 44th President of the United States, Stephen Blades’, first term. He expected difficulties… partisan politics, economic recovery, two wars overseas, and the need to manage transparency and accountability against safety and secrecy. But nothing would have prepared him for the truth of the situation.

He enters the oval office and is greeted with a letter marked 44. Inside it, outgoing President Carroll admits that the economic instability, fear and war mongering of the last near decade have served one purpose… to hide an Alien construction being built in an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter from the public, and prepare secret advances in military technology in case their reason for being there isn’t friendly.

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Matt Kindt & Marco Rudy’s “Marvel Knights Spider-Man: 99 Problems”

mksm2013001_dc11_a-610x938I remember back in ‘aught four picking up a new series called Marvel Knights:  Spider-man.  I’d read a couple issues of other characters under the banner, but mostly I picked it up because I enjoyed Spider-man, and I was still a good two months away from spending every penny I earned on a new computer, high-speed internet, and a little MMORPG called City of Heroes.

Anyway, the title ended up being pretty solid.  Late last year, I was excited enough to see the return of the banner (and the actual Peter Parker) that I picked up the first issue of this new limited run.

The story can be summed up very easily.  An exhausted and drugged Spider-man is forced to fight his way through a gauntlet of foes.  That’s it.  It doesn’t get any simpler, folks.  And yet, simple ideas often allow for particularly exciting execution.

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Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin’s “Deadpool Kills Deadpool”

Deadpool Kills DeadpoolBefore this, I’d never read a Deadpool book.  I’ve seen excerpts of stuff online, so I knew a fair bit about him.  I know he knows he’s a fictional character.  I know he’s hamburger faced.  I know he likes killing.  I know he’s Canadian.  I know he’s annoying, and I know he won’t die.  From what I’ve seen, that seems to sum him up entirely.  To the best of my knowledge, Deadpool stories can be serious, but for the most part, they’re bloodbath soaked foolishness.

I’ve wanted to read a Deadpool title for a while now, because many of the excerpts I’ve seen actually had me laughing out loud.  I also remember about 10 years ago, when he got a relaunched monthly title that seemed like it might be something I’d be interested in.  I passed it up, though, because I could barely afford the Masters of the Universe titles and mass quantities of Heroclix I was picking up weekly.

I saw this title hit the shelves a few months back, and thought “Meh, seems like a good enough point to jump in”.  The title, Deadpool Kills Deadpool, sounds like it would be the bloodbath soaked foolishness variety of story, which suits me just fine, if that’s what I’m expecting.

I’ve been staring at this introduction for a while now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to figure out a way to talk about something that precisely meets my expectations, when my expectations start with “Meh.”

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Neil Gaiman & John Romita, Jr.’s “Eternals”

47694[1]This is a solid enough soft reboot of a series I knew nothing about. The Eternals are a race of immortal beings created to guard and protect the Earth from whatever various threats, from both without and within.  These beings were mistaken for gods by primitive mankind throughout the history of civilization, and were the foundation for many of our myths.  They once raged a war against a race of beings known as “The Deviants”.  Some time after that… something mysterious happened, and now only one of the Eternals, Ike Harris, remembers anything about their near-million-year history.

I now know that The Eternals was a new series created for Marvel by Jack Kirby in his Craziness-In-Space 70s phase.  It ran for about 20 issues, and is reasonably well regarded.  Certainly, it looked pretty.  The characters were folded into the Marvel Universe, and some were used from time-to-time over the next 30 or so years.  Looking for something exciting to work on after the success of 1602, Marvel and Gaiman hooked up once again, and re-introduced the Eternals.

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Brett Rutherford’s “The Lost Children”

Lost Children
Sometimes it’s okay to judge a book by it’s cover.  Look at that image.  Doesn’t really tell you much, does it?

But…

What if I told you that the skeleton, broken doll and book title are all beveled and embossed?

If you’ve ever read a mass-market fiction book from the ’80s, you’ll recognize those details.  Much like a soft white cover–with an oval cut out of it to reveal a hand painted portrait of a shirtless guy and a swooning woman–will let everyone know that a book is about fucking…  that embossed skeleton on black background tells the ’80s reader exactly what they’re getting into. 

HORRRR-RRROR

HORRRR-RRROR

What you’ve got here is a cheesey premise sketchily linking together a bunch of horror-ifying scenes.  Seriously.  Just look at that list of Tags down there.  This thing hits all the bases.  And it executes them all flawlessly hilariously.

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Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga (Vol. 1)

Saga Vol 1Published by Image Comics, Saga is a monthly comic book from writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Dr. Strange:  The Oath) and illustrator Fiona Staples.  It tells the story of the early years of our young narrator, Hazel.  Hazel’s mother is a former guard at a military prison.  Her father was once a prisoner.  Their two races have been at the forefront of a Galactic War that has raged on for longer than anyone can remember.  Regardless, the two fell in love, escaped, married one another, and had a child.  Now they’ve been discovered and are trying to escape the planet, Cleave.

This review is of the first volume trade paperback collection of issues 1-6.  I could make it really short.

Go.  Hunt.  Buy Saga. Continue reading