Nanjing: The Burning City – Ethan Young. A harrowing account of a conflict I had never even heard of. Through clever use of comic conventions we are placed on the side of the Chinese as Japanese forces invade and pillage Nanjing. It is clear from the start that there are good people on both sides, but in the heat of war do the distinctions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ even matter?
Guardians of the Galaxy: All-New Marvel Treasure Edition – Brian Michael Bendis et. al. A frustrating read partly because it’s a completely unwieldy size (in height and width, not depth), and partly because it gives us the beginning of three different version of the Guardians and then leaves us hanging. The first version was my least favourite, and seemed almost like it took place in an alternate reality – mostly because it kept referring to a war with the Phalanx which… is that recent? I thought we left them behind in the ’90s! The middle version was pretty decent though I question the inclusion of Iron Man who doesn’t seem like a decent fit. And the third version was easily the best because Skottie Young is awesome and it features an army of ex-girlfriends set on taking their revenge against Rocket Raccoon. Yaass!
Nimona – Noelle Stevenson. FINALLY! After years of hearing amazing things about this, I finally read it and it’s just as good as everyone says. If you like fun, feminism, LGBT representation and kick-ass characterisation you should pick this up right away.
Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine – Jody Hauser, Francis Portela & Marguerite Sauvage. Another one I’d heard so much about before picking it up, and another one that lived up to the hype. See the marketing of Faith is all about her being a plus-size superhero. Which she absolutely is BUT the comic is about so much more. Sure, Faith is plus-size but the beautiful thing is that no one ever even makes a vague reference to that in the comic. Basically, she’s a woman trying to build a new life for herself whilst also battling evil. As you do. (I really loved it.)
Saga, Volume Seven – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Oh, Saga *clutches at heart* Hazel’s back with her family – yay! But absolutely nothing is happy or even just okay – boo! Another wonderful volume but a bleak, bleak, bleak read. I really need to read all the available volumes in one sitting to really grind that sense of desolation deep into my soul.
Doctor Strange, Volume 3: Blood in the Aether – Jason Aaron et. al. Although I didn’t enjoy this walk through Marvel villain memory lane as much as the action in previous volumes, I am still digging this incarnation of Doctor Strange.
Trees, Volume 2 – Warren Ellis & Jason Howard. It had been so long since I read the first volume of this, that I was a bit hazy going in but I caught up quickly. We follow Dr. Creasy who survived the awakening of the Svalbard ‘tree’ as she travels to the Orkney Islands where there are shenanigans – political and alien. Do we get any answers? Not a single one, but it’s still a compelling read.
The Dark Days Pact – Alison Goodman. Despite not enjoying the system of magic in the first Lady Helen book, I liked enough about the story to pick up the sequel. The Dark Days Pact places a lot more emphasis on Reclaimers and Deceivers, and, for me, suffers for it. There are some really well done action scenes, but I’m still not convinced by how the relationship between the ‘good’ guys and the ‘bad’ guys work. There’s a lot of politicking in this book, some interesting, some not so interesting (oh, hai there unnecessary plot device to further separate our main characters). I continue to like Lady Helen herself, and to feel that her struggle against the expectations of society is really well dealt with. I also quite like a lot of the supporting characters. Lord Selburn though… I mean, I assume he’s going to turn out to be IMPORTANT but he’s just freaking annoying at this point. Oh man, there was so much I enjoyed about this book, but the bits I didn’t like, I really didn’t like, and they made the book drag really badly in places. DESPITE THIS, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT 😀
All-New X-Men Inevitable, Volume 3: Hell Hath So Much Fury – Dennis Hopeless et. al. So Madelyn Pryor is in this. Okay… Meanwhile, Beast loses the run of himself and experiments with magic, and Iceman goes to a gay bar. Underwhelming.
Cream Buns and Crime – Robin Stevens. Cream Buns and Crime compiles all the Murder Most Unladylike short stories that have been released so far, and pads the books out with tips on how to be a detective. The short stories, I enjoyed immensely. The rest, I just wasn’t interested in though I think I would have felt different if I had been the book’s target audience.
The Bookshop Girl – Sylvia Bishop. Property Jones lives in the bookshop she was abandoned in several years ago, growing to love both her adopted home and family. But Property is hiding a big secret – she can’t read! This was such a charming, funny, touching read, beautifully illustrated by Ashley King, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Baker’s Magic – Diane Zahler. Please ignore the drab cover and pick this up, because Baker’s Magic is worth your time. Featuring an orphan, a princess, an evil wizard, a lot of pirates, endless and glorious amounts of baking, and a quest to save a kingdom, this book will draw you in from the start and wrap you up tight until you turn the last page.
Limbo – Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard & Jim Campbell. The ’80s meets voodoo meets hardboiled crime. This was a beautifully coloured comic, but it just wasn’t for me. In a nutshell, a man wakes up with no idea who he is. Hints are dropped that he was a bad guy in his previous life. Now that he’s forgotten everything, is he still that man? I mean… yawn. We’ve done this before. Still, the voodoo elements were really well done and, like I said, the colouring was excellent.
Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen: Sitting in a Tree – Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Latour, Sara Pichelli & Robbi Rodriguez. Honestly, I don’t see it and I thought the age different was much bigger than we’re told it is. But, it’s fun. Gwen’s relaxed attitude to dimension hopping made for a nice counterpoint to Miles’ near-panic. And man, do I want a fizzy drink from Gwen’s universe!
Marvel Tsum Tsum: Takeover! – Jacob Chabot & David Baldeon. For a glorified toy advertisement, this was surprisingly well done. I’d never come across Tsum Tsums before this, but the story and the super-adorable illustrations kept me turning the pages quite happily.