Search

Graphic Novelty²

Month

April 2017

Civil War II

Bendis, Brian Michael, David Marquez & Justin Ponsor.  Civil War II.  2017.

I truly do not know where to start on reviewing this book. My two favorite comic book authorities at Graham Crackers counseled me not to purchase this title, but I didn’t heed their warning. I should have listened!

When Civil War came out, it was an excellent story on moral responsibility, civil liberties and national security plus it tied in with current events such as the Patriot Act. This second story is all about profiling, which certainly is an issue right now with the world’s fight on terrorism, but is done so in such broad strokes as to lose it’s message.

Before I get started on the plot, I want to first say the artwork by Marquez and Ponsor is excellent, and actually is better quality than the first Civil War book. The coloring is rich, and the faces are realistic with the body types drawn more appropriately instead of unrealistic proportions than some artists do when they depict superheros. But there were some editing choices that puzzled me. There were some cool two page spreads, but some were used several times over. When the story was in issue format, they obviously liked some pictures enough to include them in different issues, but when collected into graphic novel form, they should have eliminated the redundancy. Plus, the front cover fell prey to a recurring Marvel problem – it doesn’t match the story. The wrong Spiderman costume was drawn in (Miles was in this book, not Peter), and Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy is shown on Iron Man’s side when he was actually on Captain Marvel’s side.

Quick plot recap with some spoilers: A new Inhuman, Ulysses, emerges with the ability to see into the future.  When he warns the Inhumans and Avengers that he saw a vision about the villain Thanos attacking, they are able to be proactive and are ready for him, thus thwarting a greater disaster. A hero dies, and Iron Man and Captain Marvel take different sides on whether Ulysses’s warnings are truly accurate, and if they should be used to prevent future crimes. Iron Man accuses Captain Marvel of profiling, while she feels it is more important to keep everyone safe no matter what it takes. Heroes take sides, and battles ensue. More deaths occur, with a showdown regarding how free will and one’s motives affect the possible threads of the future.

While there were some good moments with clever dialogue and the debate about the Hulk/Hawkeye issue, the rest of the book just seemed to be a hot mess.  A huge problem for me were the tie-in issues that were referenced to but not shown in this volume. I couldn’t possibly keep up with this whole merchandising “event” so I just read this novel, and was confused in spots. In the first Civil War, the X-Men sat out the battle, but in this second story everyone, and I mean everyone, showed up. The split X-Men team (a tie-in explained this, so I had no idea why half the members were with Storm and others followed Magneto), the Canadian Alpha Flight team, the Champions (young Avengers) and the flippin’ Guardians of the Galaxy showed up! What??!

But the biggest problem I had was with Captain Marvel, and her character assassination in this book. Almost all superhero movies revolve around men, with a few token women thrown in as eye candy, so the upcoming Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel movies are very important. Why would they then make her SO unlikable before her chance to shine in a movie????

Now, I am truly hoping some Marvel fans can explain these following questions to me:

When Ulysses was changed into an Inhuman, wasn’t another college student taken too? What happened to her?

What’s the deal with the dog Lockjaw? He got drawn in more than some human heroes, such as Squirrel Girl who I saw in one panel and never again.

Why were heroes on either team? There was no explanation as to why they choose their side.

Do the heroes that died in this story stay dead? Usually everyone comes back somehow and I don’t feel like reading other related issues to find out on my own.

Why is Hank McCoy now with the Inhumans?  I’m sure I’ll have more questions if I think longer on the plot, but I need to move on.

I’m disappointed that this story, which should tie in with upcoming Marvel movies, was just not any good. They did no favors to the franchise with how many of the characters were portrayed. A marketing line for the novel, “The Marvel comic event everyone will be talking about” proved true- but not for the reasons they had hoped.

-Nancy

Guest Post on My Comic Relief

Image by Babs Tarr @ Babs Draws

Michael at My Comic Relief has been running a series on his and other blogger’s reviews and reflections on the Logan movie, so I was excited to be able to add a guest post, Logan : A Fitting End,  to his blog. Logan was a superb movie that gave a fitting end to the story of Logan’s life, but his successor Laura is more than capable of carrying the Wolverine mantel into the future.

Please check out Michael’s site to not only read the Logan series but to read Michael’s erudite posts on comics, movies, and his excellent ongoing political series about the New American Resistance. Michael has been a big supporter of our site, and we are very proud to call him a friend!

-Nancy

Justice League Trailer #1

***Spoilers for BvS and Suicide Squad ahead***

YOOOOOOO

After the death of Superman and the post-credits scene between Amanda Waller and Bruce Wayne in Squad, the age of heroes does indeed need to come again. There is a new threat to the earth. What it is isn’t clear yet, but it’s a thing and it’s coming. Bruce and Diana are gathering what metahumans they can from Amanda Waller’s files. So far they’ve got Arthur Curry, Aquaman; Victor Stone, Cyborg; and Barry Allen, the Flash. Together, they kick some serious butt while listening to a hard rock Beatles cover.

(Sorry, I am soooo incredibly tired… don’t mean to sound so salty. Guess that’s my attempt at a literal trailer =P )

The part I liked best was actually how prominent Aquaman was. He seems like a cool guy! Scary but cracking jokes (the whole trailer was more lighthearted, kinda like Suicide Squad, though the color palette is a little darker. Guess they’re going for dark humor?). It really seems like we’ll get to see how powerful he is! Wish there was more Cyborg, but hopefully in a future trailer. I am so not sold on Ezra Miller’s Flash. Grant Gustin is my Barry Allen 5ever!!! ❤

Of course… my very favorite part… is at 1:58 when WW lands in front of Aquaman and he steps back all startled… that’s right you best get out the way for my girl 8D XD

Who else is hyped???

– Kathleen

Athena Voltaire Compendium

I discovered this one while ordering books for one of my libraries. Have I mentioned lately how much I love being a librarian??? 8D XD

Meet Athena Voltaire: a beautiful aviatrix with a penchant for whiskey and bourbon and not taking anyone’s crap. She’s the daughter of a magician and was once in an air circus – and a land one! She’s put herself out for hire as a pilot, and she gets some pretty strange jobs. The Nazis are gathering ancient and mythical artifacts of great power that they can use to win the war. Athena somehow ends up in the middle of foiling their plans. Join Athena and her friends for all the non-stop supernatural Nazi butt-kicking you could ask for!

The comic recalled Indiana Jones as I was reading it, but you get a really cool heroine instead of Harrison Ford… and it never gets weird like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did. This is a fun read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s non-stop action, no romantic subplot AT ALL (!!!!!!!! I’M STILL YELLING ABOUT IT), dynamic art, and great characters. Athena herself is witty, resourceful, talented, and remains skeptical about supernatural powers and beings despite all she’s seen. One of my favorite parts was how many places of the world she visits: Hong Kong, Tibet, South America, and much more. Awesome heroine kicking Nazi, vampire, and zombie butt with non-stop action and ABSOLUTELY NO romance? What more could you ask for in a comic??? Highly recommended ❤

– Kathleen

Bryant, Steve. Athena Voltair Compendium. 2015.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑