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Gail Simone

Birds of Prey (II, Vol. 2): The Death of Oracle

Too many people know who Oracle is. There’s only one solution Barbara can see: Oracle has to die. Tricky part is, no one’s in on the plan. Not even Dinah or any of the other Birds. When Calculator moves to destroy Oracle once and for all, Barbara sees her chance. She carefully pulls her strings, manipulating the Birds and Calculator’s goons right where she wants them. But when the mission turns south fast, can Oracle save her team one more time? Can the superhero community survive without an Oracle?

This is the most high-stakes mission the Birds have yet. The tension radiates from every page as you race through, desperate to see what happens! The action scenes are consequently particularly good in this volume, mirroring the tension in the story. There is more to the book after the end of this story, including Huntress reigniting an old flame and Lady Blackhawk reuniting with some of her old friends from her WWII days! I’m always up for a story centering on Zinda ;D

This is unfortunately the last volume before the New 52 – the series was cancelled after this volume =( It’s a shame the end of the story wasn’t really wrapped up, though at the very end there is a joke recalling earlier volumes, which was fun. I’m really sad I’m getting to the end – this is my favorite series and I don’t ever want to run out!!! Stay tuned for the New 52 run!

– Kathleen

Simone, Gail, Ardian Syaf, Pere Pérez, and Stanley Lau. Birds of Prey (II, Vol. 2): The Death of Oracle. 2011.

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Birds of Prey (II, Vol. 1): End Run

A little backstory before my review. It turns out, my last review of Birds of Prey was the last of the original run! After the Platinum Flats arc, it was cancelled!! I know, I’m outraged too!!! I will have to do more digging and see what happened. The good news is, they rebooted it for a short while after the Brightest Day event, with Gail Simone returning as writer. There isn’t much of this run before the New 52, but I’m addicted and need my fix!

The Birds have disbanded. In the aftermath of the Brightest Day event, they are back again… because someone wants them to be. A masked woman dressed all in white is threatening to kill one of the Birds every hour – unless Black Canary agrees to go with her. Of course, Dinah is not going without a fight, and the rest of the Birds will fight tooth and nail to keep her by their side, even after their separation. They’re going to need a little help though, from the resurrected Hawk and his partner, Dove. The bond of the Birds is about to be tested like never before. Will they hold strong together, or crumble once again?

The Birds are truly at their best while under Simone’s wing. They are more than a team, they’re a family. The love and respect these women have for each other, and that Simone has for these characters, is palpable in every page. Hawk and Dove made a fun addition, especially the war-mongering Hawk, who added a wild card element to the already fast-paced mix. Ed Benes has been a favorite artist of mine throughout this title, for the emotive qualities he brings to the heroines. Though I wouldn’t recommend it for first-time readers of this title – too many past events are referenced – it’s one of the best examples of the title there is.

– Kathleen

Simone, Gail, Ed Benes, Adriana Melo, and Alvin Lee. Birds of Prey (II, Vol. 1): End Run. 2011.

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Would Make Good Video Games

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme from Goodreads, created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey and now moderated by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes.

I’m going back in time in the T5W bank, because today’s was sci-fi/fantasy related again and I just did one of those! Let’s mix it up a bit =P I’m slowly getting back into games after trying Horizon Zero Dawn~

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5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Thought of you, Nancy! =P Eleanor & Park is an incredibly cute but incredibly heartbreaking story about two misfit teenagers falling in love. It’s set in the ’80s, but I often forgot that while reading it because the story and themes are so timeless. I think it would make a great 8 bit platformer game. You could alternate playing as Eleanor and Park every other level, and find different comics and tapes referenced in the book to give to the other person. There could be a heart meter that goes up or down depending on how many or what you find and give. And maybe the game would reveal the three mysterious words on the postcard – and change every time depending on how you play and how full you get the meter!

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4. Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

The first book is amazing and even if the sequels aren’t on the same level, y’all should read it. This trilogy is about a girl with blue hair named Karou, an artist who’s raised by monsters. One of her guardians deals in animal teeth, and you find out later he builds other creatures from the teeth he collects and strings together like necklaces. Wouldn’t that be an awesome sidequest in a game??? Finding teeth and stringing them together to build creatures for an army, each animal with different stat attributes? Deal me in!

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3. Wonder Woman by George Perez

Okay, I admit I’ll take any incarnation of WW as a game, but the story and art of this run are iconic and stellar! I think it would lend itself well to a video game. There are also plenty of plot threads – main and side – that would translate well to a game. As it was written in the ’80s, I imagine it as another 8 bit sidescroller… complete with all the melodramatic cheesy dialogue goodness!

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2. Birds of Prey by Gail Simone

There are a lot of angles from which a Birds game could be played. You could play strictly as Oracle, where you choose the heroes you send into the field, and see them from a birds-eye view (pun not intended!), and manipulate them as if you were playing a tactical board game. In addition to moving your heroines around, there could also be puzzles to solve and codes to crack in order for the mission to succeed. You could also play as one of the heroes and go into the field, with Oracle as your AI guide, for a more action-oriented game. I feel no matter which incarnation you get, there should be a role-playing element, to highlight the bond between the Birds so evident in the comics!

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1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Okay I know we’ve had ports of movie tie-ins to just about every console and handheld from the PS1 and GameBoy on… we had Pottermore back when it was actually a game (and I’m still incredibly salty it’s not anymore)… but wHERE IS MY HARRY POTTER SIMULATOR??? WHEN CAN I MAKE MY OWN CHARACTER AND PLAY AS HER THROUGH HOGWARTS??? WHEN?!!?!? IT’S 2017 AND WE DON’T HAVE THIS YET AND IT’S A TRAVESTY TO HUMANKIND TBH

Honorable mention was a Batgirl game… one half-baked Arkham Knight DLC is never going to be enough… #saltyaboutit

What book to game incarnations would you want to see? =D

– Kathleen

Wonder Woman (III, Vol. 3): The Circle

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Simone, Gail, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, Ron Randall, and Bernard Chang. Wonder Woman (III, Vol. 3): The Circle. 2008.

This is the start of Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman run, the last volume of which I accidentally read first and reviewed here.

Everyone knows how Wonder Woman was born. Her mother, Queen Hippolyta, sculpted a baby out of clay and the gods blessed it to make it come to life. All the Amazons rejoiced – or did they? A select few Amazons known only as The Circle were not so happy at her birth, but why? Why are they trying to hurt her now? Is there something Diana should know about her origins?

My favorite heroine in the hands of Gail Simone is just… asldf;j. Beautiful. This is one of the best incarnations of Wonder Woman I’ve read. She’s deadly, yet diplomatic and compassionate. She seeks truth, shows her enemies mercy, and is unafraid of her future and her possible origins. She is beautiful. This is who Wonder Woman should be and what she should be written like. I can’t wait for more.

– Kathleen

Wonder Woman (III, Vol. 7): Contagion

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Simone, Gail, Nicola Scott, Fernando Dagnino, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, and Doug Hazelwood. Wonder Woman (III, Vol. 7): Contagion. 2010.

Since her very first volume of Birds of Prey, I’m absolutely convinced I have to read everything Gail Simone writes. Lucky for me she wrote some Wonder Woman~ Silly me got the last volume she wrote though so we’re starting at the end with this one XD

There are basically two stories in this volume. The first, titled “A Murder of Crows,” shows Wonder Woman struggling with multiple events in Washington, D.C.: an escaped mythical serpent, the arson of a synagogue, multiple riots and mob violence. These things seem unrelated, but could they actually be linked? Diana figures it out when Power Girl attacks her, but she needs to calm her down in order for them to work together!

The second story, “Wrath of the Silver Serpent,” takes place just after the first. While cleaning the city from the last attack, there appears to be an alien invasion – by something resembling Lantern power! Diana soon discovers that the commander of the forces is someone much closer to her than she thinks. Can she show them the power of compassion before they feast on the entire earth?

Simone’s writing is as superb as ever. I really love how she wrote Wonder Woman. I also really like how she wrote Power Girl and Wonder Woman together. They each had separate thoughts about the other heroine and they were entertaining. They both admired and were jealous of each other for the same reasons. The art was pretty good, but the writing shone more. For it being the end of an arc, it had a pretty happy ending, which always makes me happy =D Now to start from the beginning!!! XD

– Kathleen

My Top 5 Favorite Comic Writers

I can’t remember ever doing a top 5… oops! =P Here are the authors of some of my favorite comics:

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5. J. Michael Straczynski

Straczynski is more known for his Marvel work, particularly his The Amazing Spiderman run from the early 2000’s, but I loved what he did with Wonder Woman in Odyssey. I mean, look at that costume! SHE’S GOT PANTS AND A LEATHER JACKET!!!

 

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4. Kurt Busiek

Busiek has written for both DC (Trinity) and Marvel (Avengers), but has also written plenty of graphic novels that aren’t comics. This includes the Autumnlands graphic novel, which I absolutely adore!

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3. Jeph Loeb

Loeb has penned a lot of great Batman comics, including Hush and The Long Halloween, both of which were beautiful and haunting. He also wrote Batman/Superman: Public Enemies and Supergirl: Power.

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2. Marguerite Bennett

Call me biased… but she writes the Bombshells series =P She’s doing absolutely brilliantly and I can’t wait to see what else she does with the series.

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1. Gail Simone

I would read anything this woman writes. Simone could write a trashy romance novel and I would read it without question. Her characterization is always on point and she makes me love my favorite superheroines even more. Among her titles are New 52 Batgirl, Birds of Prey, and Wonder Woman.

And there you have it! My favorite comic book authors >:D

– Kathleen

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