“Monthly Comic Corner” is a segment that compiles mini-reviews of comics, graphic novels, and manga that I’ve read for the month. Here are my reviews for the month of August which featured superheros and heroines!
Avengers Arena Vol.1: Kill or Die by Dennis Hopeless, Kev Walker , Alessandro Vitti
Page Length: 144 pages (paperback edition)
Genre: Superheroes, Fiction
Synopsis: Trapped on an isolated island, 16 superhuman teens (including cult favorites like members of the Runaways, the Avengers Academy and Darkhawk) are given a chilling ultimatum by their demented captor: Fight or die…only one will walk out alive! Thus begins a primal battle that will test the skills, stamina and morals of each combatant. Welcome to Murder World, where secrets are plenty, alliances are fleeting, and the key to victory might be rewriting the rules of the game. Who will survive? As Cammi and Hazmat battle the mysterious Deathlocket, X-23 and Juston Seyfert’s Sentinel join the fray…but who is the killer stalking the heroes in their sleep? Who are the students of the Braddock Aacdemy? And why does Darkhawk equal death? We dare you to tune in to your new favorite comic…NOW! (description from Goodreads)
Avengers Arena is basically Battle Royale with super heroes. While I though it was going to be predictable in the beginning, a quarter into reading volume one my thoughts completely changed. The story is very similar to Battle Royale, but it does put a spin on it by adding its own flavor. Through the span of a hundred pages we are introduced to variety of superheroes in short period of time and I never felt like the story was being rushed at all. It is very action packed and fast paced, so we are introduced to characters profiles/back story during the calmer moments outside of battle.
I thoroughly enjoyed the artwork and the characters that presented in this first volume. (Hazmat is by far, my favorite character at the moment). It pays homage to similar stories by the artwork of each chapter page which resembles books such as The Lord of the Flies (William Golding) and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I think I’ll continue with this series since I enjoy the characters, artwork, and story line. I’m curious to see how the plot will develop over time.
Rat Queens Vol.1: Sass & Sorcery by by Kurtis J. Wiebe , Roc Upchurch
Page Length: 128 pages (paperback edition)
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Synopsis: Who are the Rat Queens?
A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit.
It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack! (description from Goodreads)
I’ve heard many people talking about how amazing Rat Queens is on the internet so I decided to give the story a try. The first volume was absolutely amazing and the characters had me hooked from the first page! Each one of the ladies has a different personality and fighting style, but put them all together and they make an amazing team. They are humorous, sassy, brash, and they kick butt! (Dee is my favorite out of the group!) Though we are introduced to the characters in a shorter span of time, we get to know them well enough to connect with them on some level in the first volume. There are still many questions surrounding their backgrounds and how they came to be this way, but I’m looking forward to revealing their pasts through reading the rest of the story.
I love the artwork and fantasy aspect of Rat Queens. When I read the story, I felt as if I was transported to another world because of the attention to detail in the way the landscapes are presented. I liked the way the characters are drawn and that even though dialogue isn’t being spoken they seem to talk through their eyes. This series is a great combination of magic, action, and a somewhat medieval times feel. If you enjoy action-packed fantasy stories, this series is up your alley!
Spider Gwen Vol. 0: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez
Page Length: 112 pages (paperback edition)
Genre: Superheroes, Fiction
Synopsis: IN ONE UNIVERSE, it wasn’t Peter Parker who was bitten by the radioactive spider, but Gwen Stacy! She’s smart, charming and can lift a car … just don’t tell her father, the police chief. Now, in the wake of Spider-Verse, Gwen swings into her own solo adventures! And she soon finds herself between a rock and a hard place when the Vulture attacks, and NYPD Lieutenant Frank Castle sets his sights on bringing her down. Then, still haunted by Peter’s death, Gwen visits his only family: Ben and May Parker. But what really happened the day Peter died? Find out right here as the spectacular Spider-Gwen steals not only the spotlight, but also the hearts of comic fans worldwide! (description from Goodreads)
I had high hopes for Spider Gwen seeing as I have been a fan of Spider-Man comics when I was growing up (original story and spin-offs starring other main characters), but the story fell kind of flat for me. Even after reading a quarter way into the first volume, I just couldn’t connect to the story and didn’t feel very invested in it. Gwen’s story failed to grab my attention, but I did enjoy the action scenes.
I did enjoy the artwork style, since it’s reminiscent of the Spider-Man comics. I thought Gwen’s costume design was really cool and I love homage to the original costume, but how they updated it with a newer look. Spider Gwen wasn’t really up my alley, but I’d probably try some other Spider-Man alternate universe stories.
What fun or interesting comics, graphic novels, or manga have you read lately? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and if you have any recommendations feel free to share those as well.