Monday, June 29, 2015

The Flash Vol 6: Out of Time by Robert Venditti


So do any of you remember when Superman became a being of energy and became Blue? Then something happened (it has been a long time since I read this) and he split into a Red energy Superman and Blue Energy Superman. Well DC has done it again and there are Two Flashes, one Red which is the Flash of our time in the present, and a Blue one from the future. I have to admit I have no idea why Barry is charged with Blue lightening in the future. I either glanced over this tiny detail or it really wasn't explained in the book. I even went back and re-read sections to see if I missed it and couldn't find anything which is a slight pet peeve of mine. We do learn that the Speed Force has been damaged and is tearing apart. Future Barry does mention that he has done some upgrades to the suit but no actual answer as to the Blue energy. If I missed this and you have read this and know the answer please let me know in the comments. 

Blue Flash is doing what he can to repair the speed force so he is jumping back in time to different events to correct them because he wasn't fast enough to make things right when they happened the first time. I have to admit the artwork is pretty good in this book. Both Flashes look really cool.

I have to say that these suits are much better than the Superman ones. I don't know if it is the lightening or just more detail tot he characters but these two win best Red/Blue suit.

I must admit something to you. I had a hard time keeping up with this story at first. This bounces around between the future and the present so often that I would get lost as to which part of the story I was reading. I know, you are probably thinking that it should be easy. The color of the Flash will let you know. It still takes some getting used to. I also was really lost as to when this book picks up at first. I remember reading Vol 4 and that was about the Reverse Flash. This book picks up after a huge event that has left the city in ruins and the citizens scrambling to pick up the pieces. For those of you who aren't always up on the events of the DC Universe, this takes place right after the events of Forever Evil. The Crime syndicate has just battled the Justice League and this is the aftermath.

The art work in this book was really good and detailed so I was very pleased with that aspect of of the book. The story was pretty good but it felt disjointed and off at times. It did take some time to get into it, but once I did I flew through this. I am very anxious to see what happens next in the Flash's story line because I want to know what was going on with Blue Flash and I hope there is more to this in future books. Finally, what multi Flash story would be complete without a battle to the death between our duplicate heroes. 

I am happy to say that I liked this book and not only do I want to see what happens next for the Scarlet Speedster but I want to go back and read those first few books that I have missed. I give this a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I have read better books but this series is getting better with each one I read. Scott Snyder's run on Batman has been amazing and I haven't found anything recently as good so it is tough to impress me. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Deathstroke Vol 1: Gods of War by Tony Daniel

I have always liked Deathstroke as a villain. I always wanted to know more about why he is able to heal and so strong. I also want to know what happened to his eye. I will have to look that up in my DC Encyclopedia when I have a moment and check out the other comics about him which I was surprised to find when looking on Goodreads. I have to thank NetGalley and DC Comics for allowing me to read and review this. I have to admit the main reason I requested this was because of Dethstroke's run on the show Arrow, and the fact this is written by Tony Daniel. He is an amazing writer and artist. He is one of the few that I know that does both for the books he writes on. I loved his work on Batman: Battle for the Cowl, and his run on the Batman series. 

Let me first let you know something about this book. The events in this book come after the Suicide Squad Vol 1 book. I didn't know this before I read this one and have to admit I ran into a spoiler for Suicide Squad. I would highly recommend reading Suicide Squad first. I will be reading that one shortly to figure out exactly what happened. So this book is full of oddities, great action/violence, and guest stars. To further just how great Tony Daniel is here is a cover of one of the issues with my favorite hero Batman. I love the detail he puts into his work. Each
cut and talon on Deathstroke stands out. Not sure it transferred well to the blog but there is even tread on Batman's boots.

This book is all about family reunions. Slade Wilson is on a mission to find his son and his father. Why might you ask, well I'm going to have to let you read it yourself. I will promise that the fights are totally worth it. There is this odd thing that happens at the very beginning that makes Slade young and tow eyed again that we don't figure out how or why it happens. Thankfully neither does Slade so it isn't this thing that the reader is left in the dark while everyone else knows what is going on. I really hope that we find out what is going on there in the next volume. Yes, I am definitely going to read volume 2 if this goes on especially if Tony Daniel does the next one too.

So what will I give this book. I give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. This was a great book and I wish I would have know the series of events a little better so I didn't read after the spoiler where to go to figure out what is going on. I am anxiously waiting for volume 2 and hope the story only gets better. I loved seeing Batman and Deathstroke beat the crap out of each other because they are evenly matched in fighting ability. It's hard not to like a villain as badass as this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gotham Academy Vol 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan


I don't know what to think about this book honestly. When I saw this I knew it looked a little young for me. That this would be geared to a younger audience but I have really liked Gotham on fox so thought this might be an origin story line. It isn't but what makes this interesting is that Bruce Wayne seems to know a lot about what's going on in this school so he and Batman pop in and out from time to time.

This book feels very much like a Scooby-Doo episode. Meddlesome kids are interested in a possible haunted wing of the school that has been shut down. There are all kinds of symbols and hidden passages in this school that only further deepens the mystery. The story on this was pretty interesting but there were times I felt it kind of lulled. Some cool guest stars in this book but I think I expected more.

The art work was pretty good. It doesn't change from what you see on the cover which is nice. I like consistency in a graphic novel. There are to many times during a story like this that artist change in the middle and it is usually not as good. I was allowed to read this by DC Comics and Net Galley. If given the opportunity to read Volume 2 I will. I hope that there are answers to several questions I have coming in the net volume. I am also curious as to the continuity with the rest of the DC Universe. There is a character that shows up in this book that shouldn't be there if this takes place at the same time as everything else. Also I want to know what is the back story to our heroin Olive Silverlock. I have no idea who her mother is but this book made it seem like I should know. I want to get some clarity there as well as whats with Olive herself.

So on to the rating. I liked this and found it enjoyable but even though I try not to, I tend to stack up all the Graphic novels I have read recently and this one is the weakest of what I have read. I will give this a middle of the road 3 out of 5 stars. Even as I write this review I am still unsure as if I really liked this and will add it to my reading list or if the fact this was underwhelming is going to cause me to part ways here. More to think on it seems. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Walking Dead Vol 23: Whispers into Screams by Robert Krikman


I love this show and I love these books. It has been too long since the 5th season of Walking Dead ended and I'm going through withdrawal. Thankfully my name finally came up on the reserve list for this book at my library. The last book left us with such a cliffhanger that I had been not so patiently waiting for this on. If you do not wish to have this series spoiled for you I would part ways with this post now. There really isn't any possible way to write a review about these books without giving something away at this point. 

Last chance to stop now. In the end of the last volume we are made aware of Zombies whom carry weapons and whisper to each other. Can the Zombies be growing in intelligence? At the very end one of these Zombies are killed and when one of our team go to get a closer look they see a seam. These people have skinned walkers and are wearing their skin as a flesh suit to be able to blend in with the Walking Dead. Are these people a danger to the two communities we have been following? They must be crazy to wear the festering rotting flesh of the Zombies. I personally think this would put these people in more danger because when someone sees a Walker they go straight for the head. 

We of course get answers to these questions but the bulk of this story is all about Carl. He has left the nest and moved to the other community to gain some independence from his Dad Rick Grimes. He is trying to become a man even when his childhood was lost when the Zombie Apocalypse began. we get to see all kinds of sides to Carl which really helps further flesh out this character. I liked this book just because of getting to know more about Carl. There was still plenty of suspense in this book with some of our other well known characters but this was the highlight. 

I enjoyed this book a lot. It wasn't one of the best ones I have read but it cam pretty close. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It could easily be 4.5 our of 5 but I decided to round down for those sites that don't allow half stars. This series keeps getting better and better. This book seemed to wrap things up pretty well for the story line that has run quietly in the back ground for the last three books, but there are a few loose ends that could become larger stories on their own. It all depends on where the writers want to take us. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Desperation by Stephen King


Every year there is a big book fair in May and we went this year. I made a killing there. I bought 8 Hardback Steven King novels all in great condition and first editions for 1 or 2$ a piece. One of those books was The Regulators. Since this book comes before it I wanted to make sure I wasn't in the dark with any possible references. So a trip to my library helped me get this book. 

Let me just say this book was weird and way to long. There are quite a few parts of this book that drag on and really felt like they didn't advance the story. When the book opens we meet a lovely couple driving across the country on their way home. In the middle of nowhere they are pulled over by a police officer, Worried what is wrong they find out that all it was was a stolen license plate. The officer recommends taking the plate from the front of the car and moving it to the back so they can at least get home. When Peter reaches in to the trunk to get the tool box the officer sees a bag of marijuana and arrests them. This is where everything goes wrong. 

I am not a big fan of travel. The whole thought of being lost and possibly stranded in the middle of nowhere is a fear of mine which I why the scariest part of the book is the very beginning. As our couple Peter and Mary arrive in desperation they notice it is a ghost town. Nothing left in the town but one crazy officer and a lot of corpses. In the jail  there are more unlucky travelers. Time is running out for our officer and he plans on killing all he doesn't need. 

This is just off the wall weird and also didn't make sense at times. This wasn't exactly one of my favorite King books but it wasn't terrible. I'm just going to move onto my rating because I really don't have much to say about this one. I give this 3 our of 5 stars. I lean more towards a 2.5 star rating but rounded up in this case. I did like finding the little Dark Tower reference in this book, but other than that I struggled to finish it. Instead of being creeped out by the whole evil Tak I found it kind of lame. Here is hoping The Regulators is better. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

You're Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left by Corey Taylor


I'm a huge fan of Corey Taylor's. I love music and tend to be at both extremes of the music spectrum. I love Jazz and classics like Sinatra and Dean Martin, but on the flip side I have never grown out of my heavy metal phase. As a matter of fact, as I get older the more I enjoy the release of some face melting metal. Corey Taylor is the writer and lead singer of two bands which are both awesome. He is in Stone Sour and Slipknot.

I am a big fan of the Nerdist podcast and I saw that a few months ago Corey Taylor was on there. It was so cool to listen to him talk about all of his struggles when he was younger with drugs and alcohol and how he has moved past that. It is so weird to listen to Corey Taylor talk about his kids and being a Dad. It was also both awesome and weird to find out that Corey Taylor is just a big nerd like myself. Anyway, in the podcast he talked about his new book You're Making Me Hate You and I happened to find it on NetGalley. I was so excited when I got my approval email I jumped up and down and did a little air guitar to round out my excitement.

This is a great book, be warned that there is plenty of bad language and crazy angry rants that might be offensive to some people, but if you are a fan of Corey Taylor you should expect all that from the beginning. There are several topics in this book that I completely agree with him on. People today do seem to have a lack of common sense, and just looking at some of the shows that have been popular recently it is like we aren't smart enough to really think about what we are watching so we have shows like Family Guy that is designed to be mindless and childish in order to be popular.

I really did love this book and I couldn't help laughing out loud at different parts. I would shake the bed at night trying to stifle my laughter and not wake my wife. It was also great to get a glimpse into the life of Corey Taylor. All rants and anger aside he really is an intelligent and interesting person. It is not how I saw his life at all but then again it is hard to see the Slipknot mask and think that he is a regular guy with a family and opinions like the rest of us.

This is a really great book and I loved it. I am going to check out his other books as soon as I can work it into my large to-read list. I give this book 5 stars. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed this book and not only am I looking forward to whatever he does with Stone Sour and Slipknot next but I can't wait for his next book if and when he writes one. This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone looking for a good laugh about all the things that drive us crazy from stupid drivers, air travel, and even the crazy trends in fashion. However, I must warn you not to read this if you are easily offended. This isn't bad but some of the language might not be to everyone's taste. So here is where I will leave you with one of my favorite songs from Stone Sour.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Grayson Vol 1: Agents of Spyral by Tim Seeley

I was heartbroken to read in Forever Evil that Dick was revealed to be Nightwing in front of the whole world. Faking his death with Batman Dick is now stuck wondering what to do now. Why not join a group of secret spies whose faces are obscured by technology so no pictures can be taken. I love Spies and secret agent movies so I was really curious to see what was going to happen with Dick now that his secret is out. I anxiously waited for this book and I have to say thank you to Netgalley and DC Comics for allowing me to read this and review it for my blog. 

I have to admit I was a little lost when I started this. I must have missed the part where Dick joins Spyral. If you are reading this and know what happened or in what book this little tidbit is in please tell me in the comments section. I would live to read the transition between the end of Nightwing and the beginning of Agent 37. 

I liked this book but the whole thing felt off. I have been a fan of Nightwing since the very beginning and it was so weird to have him taking orders from a faceless boss and not swinging from roof tops and part of the masked Bat-Family. There is more going on in this book than just secret missions. Batman is involved in an interesting way. I also really liked the fact that Dick is working with his old girlfriend Huntress. I would love to know how she ended up with Spyral because that wasn't in this book either but I love seeing other characters show up in these kind of stories.

I like this book but I would have preferred another Nightwing Volume. I get why the story has gone this way because once Dick's secret is out there is no way he could be Nightwing any longer and still allow those   he cares about to remain safe. I'm not sure how I feel about this but I really want to know if the writes at DC come up with a way to allow him to return to Nightwing. I'm going to have to give this one 3 out of 5 stars. I will continue the story because I want answers to the questions I have and Dick Grayson is one of my all time favorite characters so I will always read any series he is in. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Flash Vol 5: History Lessons by Brian Buccellato


I really liked this book. I haven't read much of the Flash since New 52 began but I haven't heard great things about the first couple of volumes. Soon I will get around to catching up. My first volume since New 52 was #4 Reverse. This was a collection of three different stories. The first two take up a single issue but the third story has multiple parts.

I'm a sucker for a good superhero team up and who better to start this book with Barry Allen that Hal Jordan. The Flash and Green Lantern have been friends for a long time so it was great to see them teamed up in this first story. Barry even gets to wear the ring for a moment to see just how much effort it takes to be a Green Lantern. This story draws on when Hal and Barry met for the first time which was fun to read. The second story is just Barry and an event that happened years ago coming full circle. The rest of the book revolves around a serial killer who might have been responsible for Barry's mother's murder.

This third section also involved a superhero team up with one of DC's lesser known heroes. Deadman is the ghost of a famous Daredevil who died during one of his stunts. He helps out in all kinds of books. In this book our serial killer is the spirit of a very bitter man who had his best friend take everything from him. Barry needs the help of Deadman to try and keep this spirit at bay. The Flash was a series I read regularly before New 52 began but not one of my long time reads. For my fellow comic book nerds I picked up reading the Flash around the time of Infinite Crisis and The Flash Rebirth which was one of the best comic stories I have ever read. For everyone else I started reading the Flash around 10 years ago. I don't remember there being anything about Barry's mom being murdered. The television show, which is awesome, has this same situation. I kind of like that the two sort of match with this underlying plot. The ending really leaves me anxious to find out more. Thankfully I have the next volume already thanks to DC Comics.

So for the rating. I give this 4.5 stars but will round down to 4. The art work isn't bad but I have seen better. Had the art work been a little better it would have pushed to 5 stars. I am very anxious to move on to the next volume and hope it is as well written as this book was. It was fun to have the different stories in this volume.  

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

What would you do if someone you didn't know dropped a life bomb on you that changed everything? I'm sure everyone has had one of these life bombs go off at some point that caused something we thought was pretty great to change drastically. It is how we react to these that defines what comes next. At least, that's how I feel. I have had several of these events in my life not all good, but the way I adapted and learned from them made me the man I am today.

I am going to be honest with you, I have no idea how to write this review without possibly spoiling something. So if you are planning on reading this and want to tread carefully then I leave you with this book was amazing. Now, for the rest of you who are interested in just why I thought this book was amazing bare with me as I try my best to make sense and not ruin the book.

This whole book is about these life bombs I mentioned .This stranger walks up to our main character Adam at a meeting for his sons lacrosse team draft. He reveals a secret about his wife that shatters everything Adam knew. When he confronts her about this secret she takes off. Trying to figure out why his wife took off and what is going on Adam falls into a mystery beyond what he ever could have imagined. Adam isn't the only character visited by the Stranger and told a life altering secret about someone they love.

This book took off from the very beginning and really didn't let up. Towards the middle of the book there are a lot of characters introduced all at once which made things difficult to keep up with at first, but once the pieces started to fit together I was hooked and couldn't stop till the surprising end. Twists and turns abound through out the whole thing and the suspense level is intense to the very very end. There were times when I thought I wouldn't be happy with how the book ended but Coben did a great job wrapping everything up.

I'm going to end this here and say that I easily give this 5 out of 5 stars. Harlan Coben has really impressed me with his last three books. I am officially a fan of his and look forward to reading more by him. Go read this book. Make it next on your to-read list and put your name on a reserve list at your library or run out and get this book, you won't be sorry.