Graphic Novelty²


June 2016

My DC Bombshells Collection – Part 1

My name is Kathleen and I’m an addict… of DC Bombshells merch.

I mean, have you guys seen this stuff? DC heroines in ’50’s pinup style?? And the comic is so well-written and illustrated it makes you want to weep??? Did I mention it ONLY FEATURES THE HEROINES???? I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It is my mission in life to collect all the DC Bombshells things I possibly can. An essential factor of my future house will be how many built-ins there are so I can display all my stuff.

And because I love you guys, I’m going to share this journey of collecting with you =P This will be the first of a series chronicling and reviewing all the Bombshells stuff that I buy (or that my boyfriend buys for me, because he’s an enabler and a bad influence). This first post will be a bit of a dump of what I currently have and the upcoming posts will just be a “haul by haul” kinda thing.

Ready? Here we go~ (Hint: the slideshow starts with the comics =P )

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Sorry if the quality of the pictures is poor, my phone camera isn’t the best. Not shown is the poster I don’t have a frame for yet and the trade paperback of Volume 1 because it’s still with my school stuff and I’m not digging through it XD I hope I get a big girl job soon so I can fuel my obsession further… I mean, be financially responsible and pay my loans…

Hope you guys enjoyed me fangirling about Bombshells for a whole post =D Stay tuned for more~

– Kathleen

Assassin’s Creed (Vol. 5): El Cakr

Corbeyran, Eric, and Djillali Defali. Assassin’s Creed (Vol. 5): El Cakr. 2014.

On a bright, moonlit night in 1341 Cairo, Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad is stabbed to death by a courtesan. El Cakr worries about the political state the assassination will leave Egypt in as he continues searching for the Scepter of Aset. He and Ali, his apprentice, finally have a lead on the piece of dagger handle that was their only clue. They manage to recover it, but what will happen when El Cakr has to present it to the new and corrupt leaders of Egypt? In the present day, Johnathan Hawk has recovered from his stroke and a new eye grafted in place of his old. Abstergo Industries has finally perfected what they call Subject 19, a disturbing weapon that may spell the end for the Assassins in the race to find the First Civ artifacts.

There were a lot of plot twists in this one, which made it fun and keeps you on your toes. The art was as brilliant and detailed as ever. There is a gorgeous panel near the end of El Cakr in the Sultan’s palace, panned out so you can see the mosaics and architecture glowing in the noonday sun. The present-day story is now completely devoid of familiar characters from the game, so it was a little hard to keep everyone straight. I look forward to more!

– Kathleen

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

Graphic Novelty²  would like to introduce our first guest to post on our blog, Nancy’s husband, Cliff!

So, final exams week for Nancy. I volunteered to do a guest post to give her a break, then remembered I really haven’t kept up with the comics world for many years (besides ElfQuest). Nancy’s already done a review of the elves, so I figured we’d go back to school; the Old School, that is…

I read The Uncanny X-Men for awhile in the mid 80’s, and this is the book that drew me in (I picked it up several years after it had originally been published). I’ve read that it wasn’t considered part of the overall X-Men canon for many years, but the story is a doozy nonetheless. Religious extremism bordering on fascism, an unlikely alliance between the X-men and Magneto, innocent mutant children being hunted and killed, torture and deception, a lot of suspense wondering about the fates of several key characters, and a final showdown at a Madison Square Garden crusade. The artwork has a dark and rough around the edges quality that fits the mood of the tale.

Looking back, I remember thinking that Wolverine was the coolest thing ever (I was in my early teens when I read this, ’nuff said) and wishing that he’d had a more prominent role (although he did play a significant part in the story); nonetheless, this graphic novel has a good overall balance. The character development is spread pretty evenly (with the notable exception of Storm), and two things in particular stood out when I re-read it: at the end, Cyclops/Scott confronts the evil William Stryker on the podium and makes an eloquent plea for acceptance and tolerance. I also was impressed with the way Kitty Pryde’s character was written. I remember her not being very well developed in the monthly comics; here, she shows a lot of backbone, standing up for herself and her fellow mutants, and she isn’t afraid to get angry. She also shows of some pretty cool survival skills that help her to outwit her opponents.

A few negatives: too many characters with huge thought balloons or those talking-out-loud explanations of what they’re doing that would never cut it in real time (think of those movies where James Bond has only 30 seconds to defeat an enemy and disarm a bomb, but the scene takes more than two minutes); however, this being a graphic novel that was sold in bookstores to the general public, maybe the author went in with the idea of placing a lot of character info in the story for those who were not familiar with the X-Men or their history. Also, while I’m no fan of fundamentalist religious beliefs, the bad guys felt a little too cookie cutter and one dimensional, though I did find Rev. Stryker’s background story pretty interesting.

Overall, I’d give this one a solid B. It was fun re-reading it all these years later. Maybe the costumes haven’t aged well, but the universal themes behind the story remain timeless. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone, comics fan or not.

School is now dismissed!

Claremont, Christopher and Brent Eric Anderson. God Loves, Man Hates. 1982.

Bit of trivia: What is wrong with this picture???

RIP Anton Yelchin


Last Sunday there was the news of Anton Yelchin’s death, who is best known as the new Pavel Chekov from the rebooted Star Trek movies. His sudden death in a freak car accident at age 27 was shocking. He was a fan favorite in the Star Trek movies, and it will be melancholy watching him in the upcoming ST movie that comes out next month.

This heartfelt drawing, beautifully drawn by conveys the sadness many of us feel about Anton Yechin’s death. I tear up every time I look at it seeing all four fantastic actors together, but also smile to think the Star Trek gang is hanging out in Heaven with their Starfleet uniforms on.

Fly high to the stars Anton, you will be missed.



JSA Presents: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. (Vol. 1)

Johns, Geoff, Lee Moder, and Dan Davis. JSA Presents: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. (Vol. 1). 2007.

After reading so much Bombshells and seeing how freaking adorable Stargirl is in it, I wanted to read more Stargirl. This book is apparently where Courtney Whitmore made her debut in DC Comics.

Courtney Whitmore is mad. Her mom remarried a total loser who dragged them out to Blue Valley, in the middle of nowhere, to start a new life. Their old life was just fine before Pat Dugan came along! While unpacking their new house, Courtney finds an old costume among Pat’s things – he used to be Stripesy, the hero who fought crime besides the Star-Spangled Kid! She takes the costume and remakes it, dubbing herself the new Star-Spangled Kid. And not too soon, either. Kids from her school are disappearing and someone needs to investigate. Pat soon figures out that Courtney is not at cheerleading practice after school and builds a robot to keep an eye on her, much to their mutual annoyance. Can Pat and Courtney learn to set aside their differences for the sake of crime-fighting?

I, unfortunately, didn’t like it as much as I’d hoped, and it was because of the art. The line art was really cartoony, but the shading was too graduated and wasn’t as stark as it should have been for the style. It didn’t really work. It was overall a really weird looking book. The story skipped around a bit, which was fine, it was still kind of enjoyable. I just really could not get into it because the art was bothering me so badly. I’ll probably skip the next volume and try to find another JSA title to get my Stargirl fix.

– Kathleen

Wolverine: Old Man Logan

Mark Millar, you did it again. Civil War, Red Son, now Old Man Logan– you really know how to tell a story!

I’ve been circling this comic for awhile, not sure what to expect from it, and feeling that Wolverine already gets a lion’s share of Marvel’s attention, did I really need to read another Wolverine book? Well, I did and will definitely be coming back for more.

Wolverine, who now goes by Logan,  is living in a post-apocalyptic world with his wife and two children (I’m sorry, but you just know they’re doomed) and is a pacifist with flashbacks to some great trauma from his past. He and his family are barely scraping by on their dying farm when the Hulk family comes by to collect the past-due rent. They beat Logan down, knowing he won’t fight back, and give the family one more month to pay up. While Logan is recuperating, for he still has his power of speed healing, his old friend Hawkeye comes to visit with a proposition. Hawkeye, who is now practically blind, wants Logan to help him cross the country from the West Coast (present-day Sacramento area) to the East coast (current-day Washington DC). He is willing to pay Logan enough money to cover all his debts, so Logan gives his family a loving goodbye and sets off with Hawkeye in a former Spidey-mobile.

They run into a bit of trouble…Hawkeye’s rebellious adult daughter, Ghost Riders,  mole men called Moloids, and dinosaurs imported from the Savage Land; all the while battling the flashbacks of what happened fifty years prior. We find out what happened to the X-Men, and I won’t spoil what happened, but it’s brutal.  You will understand why Logan put down his persona of Wolverine that day, and why he has not stepped up to help when all of America was falling to the supervillains.

The duo makes it out East to meet with an underground group and the secret that Hawkeye was carrying is revealed- serum to make super soldiers so they could restart an Avengers team. Betrayals and deaths occur and Red Skull is revealed to be behind it all. Logan fights the villains, but without his claws being unsheathed. He is able to make it make home with his reward, but as expected his little family is no more, killed by the Banner clan in his absence.

The claws come out in his grief, and he is Wolverine once more. The large inbred Hulk family doesn’t stand a chance when confronted with Wolverine’s fury. The showdown between the original Bruce Banner and Wolverine is epic, with Wolverine persevering in an awesomely gory way.

The ending is apropos, with a nugget of hope built in. Enough plot threads and hints of other characters out there are left, to fuel future stories of how Wolverine is back and is going to reclaim the land before he rides off into the sunset.

The artwork by Steve McNiven is outstanding. The color scheme is sepia-toned and dusty, with an Old West feel to the people and terrain.  The characters are drawn realistically, with a good eye for detail.

I highly recommended this graphic novel- for it has a great way to restart Wolverine’s story, with an intriguing lineup of past and future heroes and villains.



Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Literary Fathers/Father Figures



Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme from Goodreads, created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey and now moderated by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. This weeks topic is Favorite Literary Fathers/Father Figures, although I am going to tweak it for the movies.

So…my Favorite Fathers/Father Figures from STAR WARS!!!


Luke’s adoptive parents: His Uncle Ben and Aunt Beru who raised Luke on the planet Tatooine and tried to shield him from danger.


Leia’s adoptive parents: Bail Organa, Viceroy of Alderaan and his wife Breha.


Boba Fett with his son Jango Fett, a  literal chip off the same block.

Ben & Luke

Ben Kenobi is the ultimate Father Figure to Luke, as he is the one that starts Luke on the path to becoming a Jedi.


And finally, the most bad-ass father of them all, Darth Vader. For a lighthearted look at if Darth Vader had raised Luke and Leia, read the children’s book Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown!


Dragon Age (Vol. 2): Those Who Speak

Gaider, David, Alexander Freed, and Chad Hardin. Dragon Age (Vol. 2): Those Who Speak. 2013.

The adventures of Alistair, Isabela, and Varric continue in this volume. They have traveled to Tevinter in search of Magister Aurelian Titus, who they’ve learned has kidnapped Alistair’s father. They confront him at a ball, but he escapes. They do manage to discover the location of his hideout, and set out at once. Isabela’s ship is chased and run aboard by Qunari forces, who capture them and take them to their island home. It is there that Alistair meets an old friend he never expected to see again, and asks for help in rescuing King Maric. It is here also, in a deep, dark dungeon, that Isabela – the mysterious, fierce pirate – must confront her past if she is to escape.

I really liked the art in this one. There were a lot of flashback sequences and the color palette changed accordingly to each one; very nicely done. It was also really nice to learn more about Isabela, though some of the decisions she made gave me chills. Everyone was kept wonderfully in character. I can’t wait to get to the next part!

– Kathleen

Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection

Seluk, Nick. Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection. 2015.

Brain: Time to post a review!

Heart: I want to spend my day off with my children!

Brain: Today is Friday…it’s your turn to post!

Heart: But it’s a beautiful day!

Brain: You have a huge pile of books you need to read and review!

Heart: How about this cute book? I love the illustrations!

Brain: What utter nonsense, you have adult responsibilities!

Heart: This book is adorbs! It has very funny and true comics in it!

Brain: The page about social media is very you, Nancy.

Heart: It sure is!

Brain: Go ahead and write a short review, just this one time, you know…

Heart: I’m coming kids- let’s hang out!!! ♥♥♥


H&B post

*Read more Heart and Brain comics on their website!!!

**Read the second book Gut Instincts!


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