Sunday, September 1, 2013

WONDER WOMAN Vol. 3 IRON

by

"Doctor 13: Architecture and Morality" which was also illustrated to perfection by Cliff Chaing. The Doctor 13 volume is a brilliant post-modern take on super-hero comics. I strongly advise readers to check it out. 

This run of theirs on Wonder Woman is significant. Certainly in the top few title of DCU's New 52, along with Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Supergirl, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Batgirl and Shazam.  Wonder Woman's record over the past ten years has been a bit spotty.  A couple of restarts beginning strong and quickly veering off course. (See the very pleasing "Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman?" by Dodson & Heinberg and the splendid "Wonder Woman: Odyssey" Vol. 1 & 2 by J. Michael Staczynski. 


The material so far in this series has been terrific. It's something that should delight Wonder Woman fans of all types, as well as comic book fans usually turned off of super-hero stuff. It will easily appeal to those indy comic fans. It's a meaty comic strip that often nears fine art statue. Highly recommended to everyone but start at the beginning of this current run with the first volume as it's all one continuing epic story.

Much thanks to DC Entertainment and NetGalley for the borrowed ebook.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SHAZAM!  Vol. 1

by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are at it again, making old heroes into something fresh. Their SUPERMAN AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES is one of the great collections of the new century. I'm a big fan of writer Johns and I have been following his work since STARS AND S.T.R.I.P.E. I'm also somewhat of a fan of Captain Marvel. I honestly had a rather negative expectations for this book. I was disheartened to learn that DC had actually given up Capt. Marvel's real name. The one he's been known for since his debut in 1939. He's known as Shazam now. I still prefer his real name but I am clearly not going to win this fight.

This book is restart for Shazam and his origin story. It's been tweaked a bit, mostly in minor ways. The end product is top-notch material, and it is among the best the New 52 has to offer. Johns and Frank have certainly made me change my mind. I completely enjoyed the book. It's a class act. I can not wait for the next volume.

Thanks to NetGalley and DC Entertainment for the free ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Strongly Recommended to all DC Universe Fans.

ARROW Vol. 1

by Marc Guggenheim & various

Pitch perfect comic book spin-off from the hit show, ARROW. Guggenheim and team come up with a professional strip that nearly matches the high quality of the TV series. Make for a nice supplemental until the new episodes premiere in Autumn. Not the best of DC's current crop but a solid edition to the line up in print. I'm a huge fan of the show and this was a nice treat. 

Thanks to NetGalley and DC Entertainment for the free ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

THE DARWIN ELEVATOR

by Jason M. Hough

A very strong fist novel. Page-turner SF. It is hard to believe that this is Mr. Hough's first book. This is pretty much exactly everything I want in a SF title. Near future setting. High stakes. Great characters. Imaginative setting. High concept adventure. If this one is not nominated for a bunch of genre awards I will be very surprised. If the following two books live up to the promise of this one I would think we have an instant classic. 

★★★★★

Friday, August 16, 2013

HELLBOY: THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS 

By Mignola, Fegredo and Stewart

I love Kid Hellboy stories and it's been years since I've read one.  This is a very fine entry for the young hero. As you can guess from the title there are indeed scary clowns. You also get a variety of evil-doers, murderous ghost hobos and assorted demons. It is however only 58 pages so there's not much bang for your buck. I did enjoy reading it but for the price and content it's really only for the die-hard fanatics.

B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH, VOL. 6. THE RETURN OF THE MASTER

It's been a couple of years since I've read either a Hellboy or a BPRD book. I tend to read those title in a binge reading marathon once a few TPB collections are printed.

Are for the newer BPRD: HELL ON EARTH series I very much enjoyed the first two volumes. And here I am reading them out of order. Following Vol. 2 with Vol. 6. The Hell On Earth series is one long continuing story. So I'd strongly recommend reading them in order.

Even without reading Vol.s 3,4,5, I found much to enjoy in this collection. BPRD is perhaps the most consistently terrific title in comic books, pretty much since the inception of Hellboy back in 1993. That's 20 years of top-notch material. Impressive to say the least. The writing is superb, Arcudi's artwork looks like Mignola's style crossed with Herge, color by comicdom's reigning color Master which all adds up to a Premium title in the field. It's the Jaguar of comics.

I've got the bug again. I've got to catch up with my BPRD and Hellboy reading.
Strongly Recommend this series.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 THE EXPLORER by JAMES SMYTHE


It's been getting rave reviews every where so I picked this up. It's definitely not what I though I was going to get. The blurb set up sounds like the move, ALIEN. It's not. This is a very talky book that tells the story quickly to begin with, detailing the deaths of all the crew members. Once that's done we go back to the beginning and the story is retold a second time. It's quite repetitive. And talky. I did want to find out the ending. Once I got there I'd wished I'd put the book down early as my instincts had told me. I really did not care for this book.






I SAW ZOMBIES EATING SANTA CLAUS by S.G. BROWNE

I loved Browne's Breathers. LOVED IT. I wasn't so satisfied with this sequel. Much of the humor is repeated from the first volume. I've already been there. There's not much need for the recycling job.











 ODD INTERLUDE by DEAN KOONTZ

Loved this book. If you like Koontz and his greatest creation Odd Thomas you'll love this book too. If you've not read him start with the first book in the series, Odd Thomas.
I've burned through another stack of comic book collected editions and here's what I thought.

 PROPHET - I noticed this science fiction comic from Image ending up on several best of the year lists but it wasn't for me. Quite a few bits were too grotesque for my taste.

 GREEN LANTERN VOL 2 REVENGE OF THE BLACK HAND
Seems a bit premature to bring back Black Hand so soon and I didn't enjoy this book as much as Johns others in the series. I really don't buy the Guardians turning so horribly evil so suddenly. Still it's my favorite title so I'll bear with Johns to see where all this is headed.

NEW 52 ZERO OMNIBUS
First time I've bought one of these 1000+ page Omnibus and it was a bit of a struggle to read physically. The content is wonderful. It's DC at it's best. I didn't care for the Image heroes of Jim Lee's being included so that was a big chuck of under cooked material. Where it features DC heroes it is top notch and I loved the new Green Lantern introduction.
CONAN VOL 13 QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST
Very lovely art especially the final two chapters by James Harren, but it was Becky Cloonan that drew me to the book. Can't wait for the next volume!
 INCREDIBLE HULK VOL 2 BY JASON AARON
Great cover, eh? Utter mess and failure inside. Do not bother. Go back and read the Greg Pak issues instead.

 FANTASTIC FOUR BY HICKMAN VOL. 5 AND 6
Genius work by Hickman. He's completely revolutionized the FF in ways no one else has ever. Start this series from the beginning and be prepared for some astonishing science fiction. I sure hope Marvel issues an Omnibus of the Hickman era because I've sold this books after reading them and I'd love to go back and read them again and again.
 SPIDERMAN ENDS OF THE EARTH
A tad over long and over blown. Spider-man has been improving of late with terrific collection such as BIG TIME, SPIDER ISLAND and TROUBLE ON THE HORIZON but this one here feels like a minor effort.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I wasn't quite sure I like the first volume but I get what Azzarello is doing now. He's remade the classic Roman Gods into something like Gaiman's Sandman cast of eternals. This title is very refreshingly different. Was thrown for a loop when Diana says she's only 23 years old. Guess they've dropped her previous decades of history? Not a complete story yet but love the direction it's going. Can't wait for the next book! Love it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


GREAT NORTH ROAD 

by Peter F. Hamilton


I'm currently reading several books but am focusing on Peter F. Hamilton's GREAT NORTH ROAD. It's my first book by the author and I'm loving it. Wondering which of his books to read next.

UPDATE: I've finished reading GREAT NORTH ROAD and I've got to say it's the best science fiction novel I've read in a very long time. It's going on my all time favorite novels shelf. It's a page turner, which is saying a lot for a 950 page novel. But there's not one page I would have cut. It's utter perfection. I loved every moment. I cried at the end.

Now I'm wondering if I should go with Mr. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy next or the series that begins with Pandora's Star.

But next I think I'll take a rare step away from genre and read Ken Follett's Fall of Giants which I just began reading. I'm also set to read the second Walking Dead novel before the TV show starts up again. 
Continuing my favorites of 2012

MOVIES:
  • JOHN CARTER
  • THE HOBBIT
  • ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER
  • WRATH OF THE TITANS
  • THE AVENGERS
  • CABIN IN THE WOODS
  • LOCKOUT
  • CHRONICLE
  • INNKEEPERS
  • MEN IN BLACK 3
  • SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
  • PROMETHEUS
  • THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
  • FRANKENWEENIE
  • DETENTION
  • THE CALLER
  • REAL STEEL
  • RED RIDING HOOD
  • DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
Haven't yet watched:
ARGO
THE MASTER
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
ZERO DARK THIRTY
HOLY MOTORS
LIFE OF PI
CLOUD ATLAS
SILVER LINGINGS PLAYBOOK
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE
LES MISERABLES


TV SHOWS:
  • GOING POSTAL
  • UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS
  • TRUE BLOOD
  • WALKING DEAD
  • EUREKA
  • FRINGE
  • ARROW
  • 666 PARK AVENUE
  • BEING HUMAN (NORTH AMERICAN VERSION)
  • SHERLOCK
  • SPARTACUS
  • DOCTOR WHO
  • THE RIVER
  • GAME OF THRONES
  • DOWNTON ABBEY

Monday, January 14, 2013

Best Books of 2012

Thanks to Goodreads I was able to track my reading during 2012. I finished up 346 books.
These are my favorites broken up a bit by categories. Listed in no particular order.

BOOKS SCIENCE FICTION:
  • STAR WARS: ANNIHILATION by Drew Karpyshyn
  • BITTER SEEDS by Ian Tregillis
  • RED SHIRTS by John Scalzi
  • EX-COP  by Warren Hammond
  • THE SPACE MERCHANTS by Frederik Pohl
  • RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA by Arthur C. Clarke
  • THE LONG EARTH by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
  • DOCTOR WHO: SHADA by Gareth Roberts
  • HEAVEN'S SHADOW by David Goyer and Michael Cassutt
  • HEAVEN'S WAR by David Goyer and Michael Cassutt
  • READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline
  • EXISTENCE by David Brin (it's a brilliant mess and a difficult read. didn't finish but think I need to go back to.)


BOOKS HORROR FICTION:
  • BETWEEN TWO FIRES by Christopher Buehlman
  • THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER by Christopher Buehlman
  • WALKING DEAD: RISE OF THE GOVERNOR by Robert Kirkman
  • HOLLOW CITY by Dan Wells
  • MONSTER by Dave Zeltserman
  • THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD by Dave Zeltserman
  • SOMETHING RED by Douglas Nicholas
  • BREED by Chase Novak
  • MICRO by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston
  • AMERICAN GOTHIC by Robert Bloch
  • THE LAST WEREWOLF by Glen Duncan
  • FRANKENSTEIN: THE DEAD TOWN by Dean Koontz
  • FRANKENSTEIN: LOST SOULS by Dean Koontz
  • ODD APOCALYPSE by Dean Koontz
  • 77 SHADOW STREET by Dean Koontz

BOOKS FANTASY FICTION:
(I'm seriously behind on my Fantasty reading.
Something I want to correct in 2013.)
  • LIBROMANCER by Jim C. Hines


SHORT STORY:
  • EXTRACTION by Preston and Child
  • IN THE TALL GRASS by Stephen King


NONFICTION:
  • DARK SHADOWS: RETURN TO COLLINWOOD by Kathryn Leigh Scott
  • THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY by Joseph E. Stiglitz
  • SCIENCE FICTION THE 101 BEST NOVELS by Damien Broderick
  • 100 CHARACTERS FROM CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY by Malcolm Day
  • DARK SHADOWS COMPANION by Kathryn Leigh Scott
  • DOCTOR WHO: THE DALEK HANDBOOK
  • DOCTOR WHO: THE TARDIS HANDBOOK
  • 100 ENGLISH ROSES FOR THE AMERICAN GARDEN by Clair Martin
  • VICTORIAN PAINTING by Lionel Lambourne
  • FULL SERVICE MY ADVENTURES IN HOLLYWOOD by Scotty Bowers
  • SHAZAM! THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE WORLD'S MIGHTIEST MORTAL by Chip Kidd
  • DOCTOR WHO THE ENCYCLOPEDIA by Gary Russell
  • BEST OF THE LEGION OUTPOST by Glen Cadigan

COMIC BOOK COLLECTED EDITIONS- NEW MATERIAL/CURRENT ON-GOING:
  • FF and Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman
  • SECRET AVENGERS by Rick Remender
  • FLASH by Francis Manapul
  • GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS by Tony Bedard
  • BATMAN: ODYSSEY by Neal Adams
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS by Peter J. Tomasi
  • AQUAMAN by Geoff Johns
  • OMAC by Dan Didio
  • BATGIRL by Gail Simone
  • MOON KNIGHT by Bendis
  • WONDER WOMAN  by Brian Azzarello
  • GREEN LANTERN by Geoff Johns
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE by Geoff Johns
  • FEAR AGENT Vol. 6 by Rick Remender
  • BATMAN INCORP. by Grant Morrison
  • SLAINE THE HORNED GOD by Pat Mills
  • THE TWELVE Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski
  • WONDER WOMAN: ODYSSEY Vol. 2 by J. Michael Straczynski
  • LEGION OF MONSTERS by Denis Hopeless
  • DARK SHADOWS Vol. 1 by Stuart Manning
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST Vol. 1 & 2
  • LOCKE AND KEY by Joe Hill
  • AVENGERS THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE by Heinberg
  • SUPERMAN REIGN OF DOOMSDAY by Paul Cornell
  • SUPERMAN GROUNDED by J. Michael Straczynski
  • SILVER STAR by Jack Kirby
  • WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS AFTERMATH by Tony Bedard
  • ORBITAL Vols. 1-4 by Sylvain Runberg
  • SPIDERMAN SPIDER ISLAND by  Dan Slott
  • MARVEL'S ANNIHILATION & REALM OF KINGS series


COMIC BOOK COLLECTED EDITIONS- REPRINTS
  • MARVEL MASTERWORKS CAPTAIN MARVEL Vol. 4 by Steve Englehart
  • MARVEL MASTERWORKS MARVEL TEAM-UP Vol. 2
  • MARVEL MASTERWORKS TALES TO ASTONISH Vol. 4
  • MARVEL MASTERWORKS AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Vol. 14
  • MARVEL MASTERWORKS FANTASTIC FOUR vol.  14
  • DC ARCHIVES LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES Vol. 13
  • DC ARCHIVES JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol. 10
  • DC ARCHIVES CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN Vol. 2 by Jack Kirby
  • DC ARCHIVES SUPERMAN'S GIRL FRIEND LOIS LANE Vol. 1
  • DC ARCHIVES THE FLASH Vol. 6
  • DC ARCHIVES GREEN LANTERN Vol. 7
  • LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: 1,050 YEARS OF THE FUTURE by Otto Binder
  • FANTASTIC FOUR: THE OVERTHROW OF DOCTOR DOOM by Len Wein
  • DC UNIVERSE SECRET ORIGINS 
  • X-9 SECRET AGENT CORRIGAN Vol. 1 by Archie Goodwin
  • LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT BY JIM APARO Vol. 1
  • DARK SHADOWS THE COMIC STRIP BOOK by Kenneth Bruce Bald
  • THE INCAL CLASSIC COLLECTION by Moebius
  • BLACK PANTHER by Jack Kirby
  • X-MEN THE HIDDEN YEARS by John Byrne 
  • DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS OMNIBUS  Vol. 1 
  • EC ARCHIVES THE HAUNT OF FEAR Vol. 1
  • MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER: THE STEVE DITKO ARCHIVES Vol. 3
  • AVENGERS: THE PRIVATE WAR OF DOCTOR DOOM
  • WONDER WOMAN: THE TWELVE LABORS
  • AVENGERS: BRIDE OF ULTRON
  • FEAR AGENT LIBRARY Vol. 1 by Rick Remender