Comic Review: Princess Leia

Star Wars is all the rage right now. They’ve finished filming Episode VIII, Rogue One releases December 16, and we’re all coming up with theories to answer the big question on our mind: who is Rey’s family?

I grew up watching Star Wars thanks to my mom, so its a franchise near and dear to my heart. It even inspired my next tattoo.

Marvel started producing some Star Wars comics that fill in some gaps of our favorite characters, like Darth Vader, Poe Dameron, and Kanan. It seemed only fitting that the Princess Leia comic got added to the list.

Star Wars: Princess Leia takes place after Star Wars: A New Hope. Luke and Han head off on fullmissions after the awards ceremony, and Leia is quick to head out herself. After her home planet was blown up by the Death Star, she’s eager to collect the orphans of Alderaan in order to preserve their culture. Leia sets out with another child of the planet, pilot Evaan Verlaine. Evaan was directly mentored by Leia’s mother, Queen Breha Organa, and wants to help Leia find and protect the remaining Alderaan survivors. In fact, Evaan was the one that mentioned the Galactic Empire was hunting down the remaining Alderaan citizens.

Together (with R2-D2 in tow), they defy the Rebel leaders and start to pick up survivors on Naboo, and then to a hideout on Sullust.

There’s shootouts, dogfights, and of course plenty of sass from our future General.

Being able to see what Leia was up to between the film timelines was heartwarming. Not only do you get to see her be sassy towards those around her, but you also get to experience her diplomatic side. Leia proves to be a compassionate leader that cares so deeply for her people.

I loved seeing the adventures that Leia was up to between the film verse.

Mark Waid does a great job with the story in making it interesting and providing us wih a different glimpse at Leia. Also introducing us to Evaan. That was awesome.

And Todd Dodson has some great art. He captured the action and excitement of the story written by Waid.

If you enjoy Star Wars and want to learn more about our favorite Princess and future General, pick up Star Wars: Princess Leia.

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Comic Review: Nimona

I love a good villain story. Who doesn’t want to learn about how a nemesis came about?

Nimona first came into my radar after I had read Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson. I loved Lumberjanes, so picking up their first webcomic turned novel seemed only appropriate.

Nimona is about a sassy young shapeshifter who befriends Lord Ballister Blackheart, a known villain who usually has his plans foiled by Sir Ambrosious Goldenloin. Blackheart and Nimona team up as a supervillain and sidekick duo bent on revealing that the Institution of Law Enforcement isn’t a band of heroes like they’ve led the citizens to believe.

There’s science, magic, dragons, and swordfights. What’s not to love about this story?

18272408Nimona is such a fun character. She’s impulsive, and wants to see Blackheart succeed in his villainy. And she has quite a knack for helping each of Blackheart’s plans work perfectly, if not better than they anticipated. Nimona might have a bit more bloodlust going for her, but she’s respectful of Blackheart’s wishes to keep the civilians safe.

Blackheart has such a good heart. He’s taken a rough circumstance handed to him, and chose to make lemons out of it. This inevitably has led him to be the villain. But its not blood he’s out for, which is unlike most I can think of. Blackheart cares deeply for the friendship he’s formed with Nimona, and still keeps in mind that she’s a child. In some ways you could say he might be a moral compass.

The duo is probably best described with a simple exchange –
Blackheart: Nimona, no.
Nimona: NIMONA, YES!

The dialogue is funny. And it does such a wonderful job giving the characters room to share their lives, and their personalities.

I love the art style. Its fun, and I can’t imagine it done any other way.

The story will keep you turning the page. I don’t want to delve too much into the plot besides the aforementioned.

I definitely recommend Nimona for anyone who has read Stevenson’s Lumberjanes, and wants to see where they got their start. But also because this villain story is so good, and worth reading. I’m so glad to have this comic on my summer reading list.

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Comic Review: Silk vol. 0

When I was making the reading list, one of the characters I was most anxious to read about was Silk. Following that anticipation, I quickly moved finding her trade paperback into the top ten to find. And I wasn’t disappointed.

You’re probably wondering why I was so interested to find out more about Silk. For one thing, she fits into my diverse character list that I hope to read about next summer. And two, she’s another spidey-type like Miles and Spider-Gwen. What’s sold me most about Silk has been her backstory.

If you haven’t figured out by my last name, I’m Asian (Japanese to be more specific). I have a mixed background of Japanese/Hawaiian/Filipino on my mother’s side, and European on my father’s. I’ve come out pretty even in the genetics department. Pop culture doesn’t pay much attention to anyone that’s Asian. They get a massive stereotype thrown at them (ninjas), or seen as the “smart-type.” Its been difficult to find role models that look like me.

But that’s where Silk comes in. And she fits the bill of being the superhero role model I wanted as a kid.

silk-1-panelIn Silk vol 0: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon we meet Cindy. She seems to be in her early to mid-20s and is trying to get used to being a superhero while also relearning her powers. After being in isolation for 10 years, she’s a bit rusty. Between fighting crime with wonked out silk-sense (kind of like spidey sense), readjusting to social situations, and Spider-Man swinging by to keep her company, Cindy has a lot on her plate. Cindy is also looking for her family after not seeing them since she elected to go into isolation until there was a cure for her powers, or until she has learned how to use them.

The art done by Stacey Lee is amazing. Along with the other artists on this project, Annapaola Martello, Tana Ford. Ian Herring does a great job making all of the art pop as the colorist.

Robbie Thompson has done such a great job writing Silk, and focusing on a variety of issues that Cindy faces – even in just the first volume. Isolation for a decade has its drawbacks;  Cindy regularly has commentary on being back in the world and how noisy or busy it has become. And then the constant worry of maintaining her work attendance because she has a fear that she’s going to get fired.

If you’re looking for someone other than Peter Parker that has been bitten by that radioactive spider, check out Silk vol. 1: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon. I recommend this series for anyone that wanted a superhero that looked like them as a kid. Cindy is definitely a woman to watch out for.

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Comic Review: A-Force: Warzones

DC has the Bombshells, so Marvel must have some group with of all their women superheroes, right?

If you thought, Yes, then you are correct.

Let me introduce you to Marvel’s A-Force in A-Force: Warzones. They’re Marvel’s Mightiest women. And they’re all together in a team that kicks ass. A-Force: Warzones is written by G. Willow Wilson (of Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan) and Margeurite Bennett (who writes Bombshells), with art by Jorge Molina (he has a huge repertoire).

A-Force has a huge roster. Every single one of Marvel’s mighty women is part of the team.

8903e820de7987d1ba74ddf68ee2e990-_sx640_ql80_ttd_A-Force: Warzones takes place during the Secret Wars event, where the team lives on Battleworld in the nation of Arcadia. It starts with quite a bang, with Arcadia being attacked by a megalodon (there’s a lot of Sharknado jokes) and Ms. America Chavez saves the day by throwing the shark over the wall that divides the nations. But that’s just the start of the battle (literally).

She-Hulk does her best to lead her team and protect Arcadia. Some of the most notable cameos are Captain Marvel, Medusa, and Dazzler. But you’ll also see Ms. America Chavez, Ms. Marvel, and Spider-Gwen (those are the ones I can remember).

I love the art. The colors are rich with the details in each frame. All of the characters have snappy dialogue. I was laughing throughout this volume. One of my favorite scenes I shared on Instagram, and a few comments on the photo on Facebook gave me the opportunity to share with friends about Ms. America Chavez (who they had no idea existed!).

If you’re looking for something wild to read that kicks off the A-Force series, A-Force: Warzones might be the read for you. See how many different character cameos you can see, and test your knowledge while also reading an action packed story with some of my favorite bits of dialogue.

Comic Review: Nomad: Girl Without a World

I found Nomad: Girl Without a World while perusing Half-Price Books’ online comic selection. It was a comic that fell right into my lap for the summer reading list, and it was pretty cheap, so even better.

I read a bit more into Nomad because it wasn’t a comic I had heard much about. The synopsis had mentioned something about Bucky and Cap, so it seemed like a pretty good match to me.

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Rikki Barnes, aka Nomad, is the one in blue and yellow, front and center.

Written by Sean McKeever and Ed Brubaker, Nomad is about Rebecca “Rikki” Barnes who ends up in a different universe. In her universe, she was Cap’s plucky sidekick, Bucky, and her nemesis was her brother John. The universe she finds herself in, Cap has died, and she never existed.

Well, if that’s not a confusing world to land in, I don’t know what is. Then again, this is a comic universe.

Nomad sounded like a really interesting story. Rikki is adjusting to her life in a world that’s unfamiliar. She was a gender bent Bucky – which is an interesting idea. And Rikki is determined to meet the new Cap to find out who took up his mantle.

There’s some cameos by the Young Avengers (sans America Chavez), Black Widow, Falcon, and Captain America.

I had a lot of high hopes for this comic. There’s a lot going for it. Unfortunately, the aspects that make the comic sound interesting aren’t carried out very well. I was dropped into a lot of confusing storylines with very little explanation. And by the end of the volume, I was left with a lot of questions. Overall, there was a lot going on.

The writing has so many large plots to continue in later issues and volumes, but still doesn’t answer the basic questions: How’d Rikki get to that new universe? Why did Cap die – and does that have to do with the treason mentioned by some characters?

Maybe I’m missing a lot of information that’s featured in some other Cap universes. But shouldn’t that information be filled in via some well placed flashbacks? At least then we’d have a pretty good basis for Rikki Barnes as Nomad, particularly if you didn’t read Onslaught: Reborn (thanks Wikipedia!).

I can’t necessarily recommend Nomad: Girl Without a World because I don’t think it did a very good job at telling Rikki Barnes’ story. She deserved better.

Comic Review: Rat Queens

Rat Queens had previously been recommended to me forever ago. I wish I could remember by who, but I’m sure I can easily assume it was another excellent recommendation by Katie or my buddies on Gamers with Jobs that pitched in when I started to create this reading list..

When I first heard Rat Queens, I thought they were some kind of sassy roller derby team. The sass I wasn’t wrong about, the sport was. Well, if you call being a mercenary team for hire, a sport.

The Rat Queens are quite the team made up of some rather formidable ladies. Hannah is rat-queens-vol-1-page-5an elven mage, Violet is a dwarf fighter, Dee is a human cleric, and Betty is the smidgen thief. Together, they battle monsters they’re hired to fight, and sass each other, the locals, and whoever else is within earshot. After one particular tavern brawl, the Rat Queens and ther other mercenary teams – Peaches, Four Daves, Brother Ponies, and Obsidian Darkness – are all forced to take tasks to benefit the village as their punishment.

I was curious where this story was going. The mercenary guild idea reminded me of playing Recettear.

While I’ve played a lot of video games in the fantasy genre, I haven’t consumed a lot of reading material. And many of the comics on my list tend to take place in a more contemporary setting.

Regardless, the art is phenomenal. Roc Upchurch does a great job painting the scenes, and the colors are beautiful. Its easy to tell all of the characters apart, and their designs speak well to each of their personalities.

The writing is full of so much sass. Kurtis J. Wiebe has quite the tart tongue for the Rat Queens’ dialogue.

Rat Queens has a beautiful and fresh take on a same-sex relationship. I’m already delving into the fandom to follow my favorite ships, same-sex and non. Now that I’m done with this first volume, I need to find the next two in order to find out what’s happening with my ships.

I recommend Rat Queens for anyone that wants adventure, battles, sass, and romance that doesn’t feel forced.

Comic Review: Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps

When the Captain Marvel movie was announced in 2014, I had very little knowledge of the character. Since then I’ve started to pick up the Captain Marvel comics in order to learn more about this powerful superhero set to hit theaters in 2018 or 2019. It seemed fitting that her comics are on my summer reading list.

Captain Marvel was first introduced in 1977, but readers had previously been introduced to her alter ego, Carol Danvers. She was serving in the US Air Force when she gained her powers. Danvers originally went by Ms. Marvel, which has been used by several other women, mostly recently by Kamala Khan (who is awesome btw).

3043329-slide-s-1-first-look-at-captain-marvel-and-the-carol-corp-eda76Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps is written by Kelly Sue Deconnick & Kelly Thompson, and illustrated by David López. This was a tie-in with the crossover event, Secret Wars.

Carol Corps sees Danvers as the lead to an elite all-women fighter pilot squadron from an airbase called Hala Field in Battleworld. The team trains relentlessly to be able to take on whatever threat comes their way, while also answering questions about Danvers’ superpower origins.

Learning about Captain Marvel’s origins was a blast. The pacing and action was fantastic, and kept the story moving. All of the dialogue was witty, and I never felt like there was a dull moment. There was plenty of intrigue that Danvers figured out about her leaders, that pushed her to turn to those she trusted most.

López’s art is phenomenal, and so are the colors on every page. Reading Carol Corps makes me want to sew a corps uniform for cosplay. Or perhaps have some kind of Captain Marvel tattoo to continue my nerdy sleeves.

Carol Corps is a great addition to the summer reading list, and I highly recommend to anyone following my reading adventures. I have some other Captain Marvel books on my list too, and I’ll cover them later. If you’re looking for a great comic book role model for your child, give this a read.