Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race by Frank Miller

Batman The Dark Knight

I am a rare breed. I am one of the very few, if not only, person who read Fran Miller's The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel and hated it. I didn't like it so much I never read the follow up book The Dark Knight Strikes again. So you might be asking why on earth am I reviewing this book? I got caught up in the hype. I follow DC Comics on twitter, and I keep up with the DC Comics All Access app and every article and snippet of art wasn't missed when I was nerding out. Now I have been very fortunate to have been approved for books from DC Comics and Netgalley in the past, but I never expect to get anything I request. This was one book that I would have been fine if I got turned down but was still interested enough to want to read this. 

Thank you DC Comics for the opportunity to read this book for a review. When I first opened the digital file and saw it was over 300 pages my first thought was what did I get myself into? Now that I have gotten my negativity out of my system you will see there is a reason for it. I couldn't believe how fast I flew through this book. I sat down one evening with my wife and I started this book and finished it in no time. Once I started I couldn't tear myself from this book. I loved every page of this and I was so shocked at how much I was enjoying this. 

So this books is set will in the future. Batman has been missing and Superman has hidden himself away in his fortress. Not getting into specifics but The Bottle City of Kandor get released and the Kryptonians are made full size. They want our planet as their own. This story line has a very similar story line to the movie Man of Steel where Zod and the Kryptonians tried to turn Earth into New Krypton. Another similarity to the movies is we get to see Batman in the armored Bat-suit again. Again, I'm not going to give it away as to why, but Batman isn't the only one donning armor this time. Superman gets an upgrade too. 

I was so impressed with this story and I might even wait for a deluxe slip cover edition and add this to my collection. I will admit that that I'm not a huge fan of the art work in these books but I can understand that it fits the gritty writing style. All of my little peeves and such I liked this book. I never could believe that I am about to type this next sentence, but I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Wonder Woman Vol 3: The Truth by Greg Rucka

The Truth

I have been a fan of Wonder Woman for a long time. I'm one of those guys who has no issue with a strong female character. I love that Wonder Woman is getting the respect she deserves and the movie was fantastic. I'm the very proud father of a little girl and I'm so happy that she and my son take after their dad and love superheroes. My daughter always pretends to be Batman, or the Flash and never Wonder Woman. I want my daughter to be proud to be a girl and know that women can be strong too. 

The writing on this series has been really good. The stories have been really well developed and have worked as a year one story re defining Wonder Woman. I wish there was a little more action. As of the last volume Diana has lost her mind. She has realized that she has been lied to and lost who she is. Now Steve Trevor and his team have to try and get to Diana before this secret criminal organization gets to her. 

On the Paradise Island side something is changing and it is linked to Diana's well being. A sacred tree is dying and the Amazons are reading for battle in case something comes through that tree. We spend most of our time with Steve Trevor and less with Wonder Woman. But one of my favorite pages in this book is the different versions of Wonder Woman. Trevor will have to act fast to help Diana find herself. He will even have to look for help in an odd place. We actually have an appearance of Minotaur.

I really enjoyed this story but I would say the art work wasn't as good as previous books. The pages seemed to have a lack of detail in the background that was there previously. The characters were perfect as always. I enjoyed this book and look froward to continuing the series. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and DC Comics for allowing me to read this for a review.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Hal Jordan and the Grenn Lantern Corps Vol 3:Quest for Hope by RobertVenditti

Quest for Hope

I have been a fan of Green Lantern for a long time. I remember reading Kyle Rayner's stories and I remember Hal Jordan's Rebirth, so this book has all of my favorite Lanterns in it. This book marks some big changes in the world of the Corps. To be honest I missed Volume 2 for some reason. I thought I had read it and jumped at the chance to read this book. Thanks to Net Galley and DC Comics for letting me read this for a review. 

Volume 2 apparently had another war with Sinestro which was won by the Green Lanterns. Leading the way Lantern John Stewart is head of the Green Lantern Corps and he gave the Sinestro Corps an ultimatum. Join the Green Lanterns and fight along side them or be arrested. While trying to play nice and build a bigger more unified Corps Kyle is tasked with finding the only Blue Lantern left. Hope is needed in the universe and the Guardians of the Universe are looking to find Saint Walker and try to help him grow Hope. 

As you can see from the Cover our Front and center Lantern, Kyle Rayner, is no longer sporting the White Lantern uniform. While trying to help Saint Walker something happened that drained  Kyle of all the different emotional spectrum except Will. Lots of big changes in one volume that had my head spinning. The rest of the story involves a villain from the future and an appearance of Rip Hunter the time master. 

I loved this book. I read this in one sitting and the ending had such a twist that I cannot wait for volume 4. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Superman Vol 3: Multiplicity by Peter J Tomasi

A big thank you to Netgalley and DC Comics for letting me read this for a review. I have been a big fan of the Superman since Rebirth. I was very happy to continue on this series. The last two books were really good and the mystery around My Superman in this new Earth world has been one that has kept my attention.

This book starts out with this exact topic. Things around Clark are starting to change. The river (or creek, I don't remember) has run dry and Clark has no idea what happened. Until a guest star grows out of the ground. Swamp Thing has shown up to explain that the frequency around the Superman I know doesn't match with the frequency of this Earth and it is causing nature to pull away. Superman needs to leave or submit to Swamp Thing in order to put the natural order of Nature back to normal. The first issue or two of this was a lot of fun to read and I always like with Swamp Thing shows up in an issue of one of my favorite heroes.

Once the story with Swamp thing has passed we finally get to the reason for the title of this volume. A "for lack of a better term" collection of Supermen have come to this world chasing a threat. That villain is hunting Supermen to even the scales and our Superman will have to team up with all these other worlds' Supermen to save the earth and the rest of the Supermen.

I have really enjoyed the Superman books during Rebirth. This was an interesting read and really held my attention. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Dark Tower (2017)

I have been waiting for this for so long. This movie was teased over and over again with new directors and new actors until it was finally made. I loved the books and it is one of my favorite epic series of all time. You can imagine my apprehension to finally see something I have been building up in my mind for so so long. My wife and I actually saw this movie on August 18th but I have been toiling over this since.

If you haven't read the Dark Tower series and would like to then I would stop reading my review. I will be sad to see you go but it is for your own good. Last chance, turn back now.

When the movie first started leaking tid bits about casting and plot I was getting really worried about the direction this was taking. Then I found a tweet from Stephen King that showed the Horn of Eld. The rumor mills started ramping up until we found out that this is a continuation of the series and not a visual representation. At the end of the Dark Tower Roland finds out that he has been running this quest over and over. He makes it to the top of the tower and then starts it all over again chasing across the desert after the Man in Black. This time, however, something is different. Roland has the Horn of Eld which he didn't have before. This change easily explains the differences of the movie to the book and I was ok with this direction.

The movie is a little on the slow side so here is your warning. Having said that I completely understand why this is a little slow. This is potentially setting up more to come and getting us to know the new versions of the characters. The action that is in this movie is really good and so much fun to watch. I also really liked Idris Elba who was better in this role than I expected. He is one of my favorite actors but I just didn't see him as the Clint Eastwood esque Gunslinger I have always pictured. One of the other differences is that the movie focuses more on Jake then the Gunslinger which I can see will upset a lot of die hard fans. I consider myself one but since I am a huge fan of DC comics, the idea of a multiverse is something I am comfortable with. I looked at this like the Flashpoint story in the DC Comics.

In true King fashion this movie has so many easter eggs and and references to other King books throughout the movie which is awesome. I loved spotting the different references and the little things in the movie that only those who read the books would get. There are these rodent creature things in the movie that were human skins and these are straight out of the book.

I have thought and though about this for awhile as to exactly how I was going to rate this movie. It was a little slower than I liked, but I enjoyed the plot. The acting and characters were impressive and a joy to watch in these roles. I also got a kick out of finding the hidden references. I liked this movie. I was expecting bigger but it was enjoyable and I can't wait to watch this again when it comes to digital. 4 out of 5 stars for this movie. Next on my movie calendar is IT. I can't wait to never sleep again.   

Friday, August 25, 2017

Green Arrow vol 3: Emerald Outlaw by Benjamin Percy

Let's just say that during New 52 I was less than impressed with the Green Arrow books. The character was nothing like what I remembered. I wanted the Emerald archer from the year one books and the wedding album where he gets married to Black Canary. That guy was lost in New 52. Rebirth changed all that and brought back the hero I had been missing. 

 A big thank you to DC Comics and Netgalley for allowing me to read this for a review. I have really enjoyed this series and can believe all the things DC has done to Oliver Queen. First they took away everything of substance and meaning from Oliver. Next the writers did something I never thought I would see in the pages of a Green Arrow comic. They killed Oliver Queen!!! Of course if you are reading this I am going to assume you have read the previous book or don't care to. Oliver really isn't dead but the villains and the city think he is. 

So what's left after taking everything and killing a character? Since Oliver is thought to be dead all that is left is the Green Arrow. Now the writers have made the Green Arrow the most wanted man in Seattle. Someone is out there killing people and making it look like the Green Arrow is the cause of it to ruin the image of hope the city has for it's Emerald Protector. 

I loved this story. There is something about watching everything go wrong for Oliver and seeing exactly how he gets out of each situation that is so much fun. I really like how this series ties to the show in a sense that we get some of the same characters. I read Green Arrow before New 52 and don't remember Diggle or some of the other characters that pop up in this book so I enjoy the little crossovers. 

This was an action pack ride from the very beginning to the end. We get some closure to the overall story that has been going on in the last 2 volumes but this still very nicely sets up the next volume and what I would guess, is going to be another big story arc. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Flash vol 3:Rouges Reloaded by Joshua Williamson

I am very grateful to DC Comics and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book. I have been very fortunate to be able to read these great books in Rebirth for reviews and this was the Flash book I was waiting for. 

Since Rebirth started there has been a lack of classic Flash Rouges and we had no idea what happened to them Were they laying low until the city calmed. Central city had been plagued by a speed force storm and a slew of random speedsters. A new villain named Goodspeed putting the city in a state of terror, then there were random lackeys that tried to live up to the legacy of the Rouges. This book is the triumphant return of our favorite villains/anti-heroes.

The Rouges have been keeping a low profile and planning the theft that will finally beat the Flash. Starting with a trip out of the country to steal something outside of Central City hoping the Flash wouldn't figure it out. This is only the first step of their master plan that leads to some pretty clever plotting my Captain Cold and the others. I won't give everything away because the goal of course is for you to read it yourself. 
The story was really well done and I couldn't put this down once I got going. My only mild isssue was the art work in this book wasn't as good as previous. I'm not sure why but since I read digital editions I like to use my favorite screen shots to point out parts that I feel are important. This book didn't really have a scene that stood out. I did like the variant cover gallery at the end though and I did feel like including one of my favorite classic style covers.

After reading this book and having time to think about this I really am enjoying this series and this book has me excited to see where the Rouges go from here. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Justice League Vs Suicide Squad Vol 1 by Joshua Williamson

You have no idea the excitement I had when I saw this book was coming out. When DC Comics and NetGalley had this up for review I jumped on the chance right away. Thank you DC and NetGalley for letting me read this for a review. Getting the approval was fantastic and I couldn't wait to start this one. Sadly I had other things on my plate that made me late to read it and my review is later than it should have been. 

Ok, so if you have read any of DC Comics or seen the movie (which I am one of the few who liked the movie, minus Jared Letto) you know who the what the Suicide Squad is. These are criminals forced to work for Amanda Waller because she has put a tiny explosion in their necks and if they don't their head becomes airborne. Waller has a new assignment for the group and there are some new faces along for the ride. Killer Frost has been added to the team. As they head out on their mission Batman has begun one of his own. He is out to end Task force X AKA Suicide Squad. He is going to need some help and there is where the Justice League comes in. 

Maxwell Lord is back and he is ready to get back to taking over the world with Checkmate. While the Justice League is busy with the Suicide Squad, Lord is out there trying to free the original Suicide Squad who was locked away because they are to much of a risk to let run around. Now these are villains that you never really read about but I liked this turn of events. Together they were dangerous and quite entertaining to watch.

This original team works with Lord to unleash villain almost forgotten in the DCU and forces the Justice League to work with the Suicide Squad to overcome this dangerous character. The dynamic of watching these heroes work along side some of their biggest villains was a lot of fun. I enjoyed every page of this book. The synopsis said this book links to the Rebirth special but not enough for someone who hasn't read Rebirth's beginnings get lost. I know, I need to sit down and finally read the issue that started this all. I'm going to have to soon because it seems things are building up to tie right back there in the universe soon. 

I loved this book and hope that there is more to this story and we get a Volume 2. I would jump at the chance to read that. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Well I have finished my re-read of the Dark Tower and just in time for the movie release in August. I really can't wait for this movie and I have had gift cards to the movies set aside waiting for this, and other movies this year. I'm going to do this review a little differently. I tried to review this the first time I read this and you can see that review on GoodReads if you really want to. I dance around what this book is about and gush way more than I really needed to. This time I'm not going to review the synopsis. You can read that on the dust jacket, back of the paperback, or on GoodReads. This is the last book in the series and everything has led up to this. 

The first time I read this book I was completely sucked in by the grand scale of everything. I hung on every word and then couldn't wait to talk about it with anybody. Sometimes they didn't even care I was reading this. My wife is a saint. This time was different. My opinion has changed on a few of the books in the series and I was a little worried that this book may not live up to the experience I first had. I have to admit this time around was different and I was worried that it would fall from my second favorite book of all time. 

I was expecting something grander and the beginning of the book was kind of flat. Here we are on the next leg of the journey only to fall into another town with another problem for the Ka Tet to solve instead of moving closer to their own goal. That being said there was a lot of heart in this book. This next stop on the way to the tower saw the reunion of an old friend who is one of my favorite characters in the series. This also turns the tides on our heroes journey and the Ka Tet begins to fall apart.

As I had mentioned there is a lot of heart to this story which means a lot of different emotions all wrapped into this final chapter. This is a roller coaster that will take you from excitement all the way through to bitter anger and everything in between. To add to this emotion there is a good bit of reference to IT and other books in this one. We get to see what has become of the rose and the Tet Corporation. After the flat opening there is plenty of answers and story wrapping through the rest of the book. The ending is what can be controversial. I have read a lot of review and the amount of people that like the ending, and hate it are split right down the middle. I will have to say that I liked the ending. Even now I didn't want this saga to end and I am so glad that the movie has found a way to do that.

I did love this book. It is still one of my favorites and little issues aside I can say it still holds that second favorite spot in my library. I still hold to my original rating of 5 out of 5 stars. I am so excited to see the movie that opens this Friday. I won't be seeing it on Friday but I will soon. You can find my review of the movie here on my blog once I do. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan for a very long time. I grew up knowing the name and we even had an entire room dedicated to Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. I remember meeting Jeremy Brett at a channel 9 telethon event when I was little. Now I watch over and over Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock.So when my wife said her book club book this month was going to be this one I had to give it a re-read. 

Holmes and Watson are challenged with one of the strangest cases they have faced. A family friend of the Baskervilles comes to Holmes to look into the saftey of the newest resident to Baskerville Hall. All the previous family members who have lived there have found themselves dead due to some strange circumstances. The last one died of complications of heart failure. His heart failed because he was literally scared to death. 

I can see how for it's time, this book could have been considered a horror novel. The story goes that there is an inhuman beast of a hound loose on the moor. This larger than life hound is wreaking havoc on the members of the Baskerville clan and the newest heir is on his way to take up residence. This book has everything. A ghost story, mystery, intrigue, and adventure. This is one of my all time favorite Holmes stories and I was excited to give this what I'm sure will be many re-reads. 

I love this book because the story is engaging and really hard to put down. It also gives Watson a chance to shine. Holmes is in very little of this book and it gives Watson time to show what he is made of in his own investigative skills. Holmes is to busy with other cases to head out to the moor. So Watson takes off on his own to report back to Holmes as the clues develop. Seeing as this is one of my favorite books it is easy for me to give this a 5 out of 5 star rating. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nightwing vol 2: Back to Bludhaven by Tim Seeley

I have loved Nightwing from the time I was very young and first learned to read. I have follwed his story all the way from the second series where he first donned the Black and Blue costume he wears again. Since we now know that we are on a different Earth than what we read before Flashpoint and New 52 we now know this isn't the Nightwing I have known for so long. Since we are reading a new Nightwing to us this book is all about Nightwing finding out who he is. 

This is sort of broken into two parts. The first part is a normal adventure for Nightwing. His dreams are being invaded to help build up a being who feeds on fear and despair in dreams. In order to defeat this guy, Nightwing gets a littel help from our very own big blue, Superman. Nightwing is then forced to live out his worst fear in his dreams and that is the death of all the people he loves. Superman helps Dick realize that no matter what he is never alone because of the kind of man and hero he is. He has friends. 

The second part is all about Nightwing getting out of Gotham to find himself. Where would Dick go to be on his own? Well as the title states, Dick heads to Gotham's sister city Bludhaven. I was waiting for a Blockbuster from this Earth to pop up somewhere. That didn't happen but who knows, maybe in the future. Dick has to distance himself and reevaluate his life as a person and a hero. 

As a story I really enjoyed it, but there were some slower moments. Volume 1 I flew through and couldn't out it down. This volume I didn't have a problem setting it aside and walk away from it. I can't thank DC Comics and Netgalley for allowing me to read this for a honest review. I do have to apologize that it took me so long to get this reviewed. You expect this type of story to have its slower moments because it is character development, not an all out action thriller. This was still very much worth the read and does seem to set up the next chapter in Nightwing's story so I am excited to continue on to the next volume. One complaint I do have for this is the art work kind of fell short for me. I always love the detail that has been in the city pages in other books and this lacked detail. Maybe it was meant to be that way but it just felt incomplete to me. 

I enjoyed reading this book and like I said, I can't wait to read volume 3. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fort Solitude by Derek Fridolfs

Fort Solitude

The Secret Hero Society books are really cute. My son and I look forward to each of these books because these we read just the two of us. We read a ton of kids books together with my daughter and we read the Harry Potter books with my wife, but these are just Father and Son time. 

We both really enjoy the fact that these books are about our favorite heroes but as kids around my son's age. In this book it's summer camp time. Our heroes have been sent to summer camp and strange things start to happen. Campers who win competitions mysteriously vanish. Now Clark, Bruce, and Diana have to figure out what is going on before there are no kids left. 

The first book centered around the big three with Bruce Clark and Diana. In this book we get more heroes involved like The Flash, and Cyborg. These books are a lot of fun to read. They incorporate so many different forms of telling a story. There are journal entries, text message, camp flyers, and comic strips. We enjoy reading back and forth between my son and I. He could read these all on his own but I enjoy that he wants to wait to read them with me. I appreciate this time we send together before he gets older and realizes I'm not cool. 

We enjoy these books and they are really cute. My son is 7 and I am going to brag. He reads at a level above his grade. These are easy quick reads ans a lot of fun. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and encourage any little fan of Superheroes to give this  a read.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Trinity Vol 1: Better Together by Francis Manapul

I love these heroes. Whenever there is a series with these three I have to read it. Big thanks to DC Comics and Netgalley for allowing me to read this for a review. I loved the weekly series Trinity back when Infinite Crisis had the 52 weeks series going on. I had high hopes for this book and I can say I wasn't let down. 

So Rebirth Spoiler here. In New 52 the Superman we had been following died of nothing more than Kryptonian Cancer. All this time a Superman had been in hiding on the Earth with his wife Lois Lane and a son Jonathan. Turns out he is the sSuperman we used to follow before Flashpoint. Some how he has moved to a new Earth and now that their Superman is gone he has come out of hiding to help the people of this Earth. 

This book starts out with a dinner party. Bruce and Diana were invited to Clark's home to have dinner so they could all get to know him and he could get to Bruce and Diana. The best part of that is watching Bruce be a normal person at a dinner party. Afterwords the three of them went for a walk. Next thing Clark knows he is waking up in Smallville with his dad and a younger version of himself. All three of our heroes find themselves in earlier versions of themselves reliving the most depressing moments of there life. Fortunately for our heroes they are together and the adventure begins. 

I really liked the story but then again I am bias towards these characters when they are together. My disappointment for the Superman books during New 52 has been well voiced in my blog here, but I have enjoyed learning more and more about the Superman I remember. The art work in the book could have been better. I wasn't all that impressed with it but the covers art was great. Each book featured a hero front and center in there own story and I really enjoyed it. 

I really liked this book and I am looking forward to volume 2. I want to see the relationship between these three heroes grow all over again. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I have been a fan of Rebirth so far but I have a lot of questions that still haven't been answered. Here is hoping some of them start getting answered so. I do recommend giving this book a read. It was quite enjoyable.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love by Sarah Vaughn

I have always been fascinated with this hero. Deadman is a former daredevil who died while performing a stunt and now remains on this plain to help those in need. Boston Brand has popped up in many different series I have read and I always like the stories he is in. I know he is in the Justice League Dark series but I have yet to read that one. When I saw this book pop up on Netgalley I had to throw my name in the hate to read this. Thanks to DC Comics and Netgalley I got that chance to read this for a review.  

Ok so this book is about Boston being drawn to this house. He isn't sure why and he usually helps people but there is something different here. When he finds it he becomes trapped and there is a Spirit in torment. While in the house the current residents come home. A man who is trying to write a book and his girlfriend who has this connection with the spirit world. I have to say this story is a little slow but it is haunting. I was completely fine with the slow build throughout the book because it helped create this eerie atmosphere. Usually a comic has a very short time to get your attention so the action and story need to be right up front. This however needed to be paced out.

The story was great but the art work in this book stole the show. The covers for these issues were fantastic and the best part of the artwork. To be fair though the rest of the book is packed with amazing detail that really stood out. I have included a few examples. The combination of both art work and writing made this book an easy 5 out of 5 stars. I will say this about the book. When our female character lead was thinking the text boxes were a very light blue with white writing. Reading this digitally it was really hard on the eyes and I had to take breaks. I'm sure this wont be a problem in the print version but fair warning if you read this digitally. 

I am really impressed with this and I hope to see more adventures with Boston Brand in the future. I would love to read more and I am going to look for his origin story so I can read the beginning of Deadman. Thank you DC for letting me read this for a review. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Slowly but surely we are getting through this series with my oldest. He is a huge fan of Harry Potter and knows his trivia already. The look of his face when we got to the end and the big surprise hit was priceless. If you have read this book or when you read this book you will know exactly to what I refer. 

Book 6 in this series is dark. The wizard world now officially knows that Voldemort has returned. Now that the world knows Harry and Dumbledore are not crazy, the pressure on them has become tougher than ever. Everyone may know Harry was right but now they know he is the chosen one. Harry is in fact the one person to end Voldemort. This book has two story lines that progress through the book. 

The first story line leads right into the title. Harry is taking potions this year and he didn't expect to The reason is Snape is now the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher and since the new teacher isn't as strict Harry can follow his school plan to be an Auror. Since he wasn't expecting to take the class he has to use an old book. While using this book he finds little notations in the margins. These notes were made by none other than the the Half-Blood Prince. These little notes help to make Harry the best student in the class which will come in handy if he wants to get the information he needs for Dumbledore out of Professor Slughorn. 

This leads us to our second plot line. Dumbledore is away from school a lot but he is taking time to work with Harry on a very important back story. I know what you may be thinking, this is the 6th book I think we know everything there is to know about Harry's backstory. This book isn't about Harry's story but rather the early days of Voldemort. Dumbledore and Harry have to find out what secrets Voldemort is hiding and the best way to defeat him. 

I love this book. This is my second read of this series and I have to admit that my opinions haven't changed at all. I have re-read other series and found that the books didn't hold the same magic as when I read it for the first time. The Harry Potter books have remained some of my favorites. and now that my wife and I take turns reading this to our 7 year old  there is even more magic watching his face as we read these. I stay firm on my 5 out of 5 rating. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Song of Susannah by Stephen King

I enjoyed this book both times I have read it now. I went back and read my old review on Goodreads from when I read this back in 2011 and I was disappointed with my write up. It is really hard to write up a book in a series towards the end of it. As I have written more and more reviews I have come to terms with the fact that when I read a series I cannot write to those who have never read anyof the books in the series. I will not spoil the book but I will write a true review that will possibly spoil parts of the previous books. I say this so that you are officially warned. If you have any interest in reading the Dark Tower, read the other books before this review. 

This book picks up right where Wolves of the Calla leaves off. Susannah has gone through a door in the cave of the Mani and Jake, Roland, and Eddie are left to find her and save the tower. As our heroes wonder what to do next a beam quake hits hard shutting the door way into our world and Jake is the only one who can get it back open. The Mani have plans to send Jake through the doorway since he is strong in the touch and can open it but Eddie has other plans. I would too if it was my wife gone missing through a strange door into a different where and when. 

Susannah has crossed into our world but she isn't in control. A new personality has taken over Susannah and her name is Mia. Her whole purpose is to make sure the Chap is born and to care for the baby. Now Roland and Eddie have to do what they can to protect the rose while finding a way to get to Susannah and keep her from being killed by her Chap and the things that want it.

I'm going to be honest here and this is something you don't really think about until the second read. In this book Stephen King is actually in it. Eddie and Roland are in our world and find King in his home and have a few questions for Sai King. When I first read this book I thought this was so cool. I loved that the characters got to meet the creator. However, on a second read I don't find this as cool as I once did. I found this very vain and kind of a waste of time. Considering the ending of this book and the beginning of the next, if this section was cut out then more could have been covered in this book which either would have shortened the Dark Tower book 7 or allowed for just more.

I still enjoyed this book but I think I will have to change my original review from 5 out of 5 stars, to 4 out of 5. I still enjoyed this book but it wasn't as good as I remembered it. There was a slight hint of disappointment this time around with book 6.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wonder Woman Vol 2: Year one by Greg Rucka

DC knew what they were doing when they did a Year One story for Volume 2 to coincide with the Wonder Woman movie that also has an origin/year one story. I have loved reading Wonder Woman but have missed a few during New 52. I will catch up at some point but for now I am trying to keep up with Rebirth and not miss a thing. Thanks to NetGalley and DC Comics I was able to read this for an honest review. I fell down on my reading a bit so I am a bit late getting this review up but I'm back and ready to read. 

Greg Rucka is a great writer and I have loved his stories in the past. This one just wasn't my favorite. I really liked Vol 1 of Wonder Woman. Diana is dealing with conflicting memories of her origin and has partnered up with Cheetah to take down a demon. It had a really goo start to a larger story line and then it was a bit unsettling to interrupt that with a Year One story. I'm not saying this isn't a good book, just that the timing on this book was a little poor. It is great that it came out with the release of the movie, but here I got all excited to continue on with what I read in Vol 1 only to go backwards and move away from that story.

We still got a very good Wonder Woman story it was just out of place for me. Instead we get to see Diana train to become the champion of the Amazons. We get to see her meeting with Steve Trevor and the tough decision to leave everything behind to help save the world of Man and stop Ares from his torment over mankind. 

Ares is impressive and I always enjoy the stories he is in. I feel like I am being a little unfair on this book just because it didn't really fit in with what my expectations were. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars, I still look forward to getting to vol 3 now that the year one story has been done I hope to get back to the now. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)

One word... FANTASTIC!!!!! My wife and I have been waiting for this movie for so long that at Christmas time we asked for Movie gift cards so we could seer this and Justice League because we knew money would be tight. We waited in anticipation until the day came this came to theaters and I want to go see this again. 

The movie fits in with the current universe of DC movies as it opens but hten this is a flash back origin story in the best way. Gal Gadot was absolutely impressive in Batman versus Superman and she surpassed that performance in this movie. We see Dinana Prince walking into the Louvre on her way to work and a Wayne Enterprise truck shows up to deliver a case to her. This is where the story flashes back to when Diana is just a little girl on Themyscira growing up under the shadow and protection of her mother the queen. Here we get to watch Diana grow up until the world of the Amazons is shattered by the arrival of Steve Trevor as his plane crashes through the magical barrier. 

We then get to see Diana defy her mother's wishes and take Steve Trevor to leave Themyscira and head to the world of man to help end Ares the god of War and stop World War 1. There are some great lighthearted moments, like Diana's discuss at how women are treated in 1918 London. How women are supposed to fight in the layered dresses. Also, Steve Trevor's secretary is quite funny and her interaction with Diana is just great.

All that aside I am humbly moved by this movie. I have always been conscious of the struggles women face and I hope everyday that my daughter doesn't have to deal with the same hurdles when she grows up. She always wants to be Batman or the Flash and never wants to be Batgirl. I want my daughter to be proud to be a woman and have a strong role model other than my wife to look to. Wonder Woman, I mean Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are those women. I had no idea that I had been waiting all my life for this movie until I saw. it. I want my son to know that Women can be strong and deserve respect so I am as much excited for my daughter to watch this movie as I am my son. I was moved to tears at one point and had goosebumps through the whole movie. 

This is easily the best movie I have seen all year and I'm so glad I finally got to see it. My wife and I loved this and wish we could go right back to the theater to watch this again. If you haven't seen this movie yet I beg you to go. It doesn't matter if you are a comic book fan or a Wonder Woman fan this is just a very well done movie with a moving story and a cast that was perfect for every role. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and will give it 10 out of 5 just because this is my blog and I make the rules. Check out the trailer below. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Flash vol 2: Speed of Darkness by Joshua Williamson

I love this series but I have to admit that I am so confused. I'll admit that I didn't read much of the Flash during New 52 so I am sure I missed some stuff but these books are confusing because I keep waiting for answers and none have come in two books. The being said I have been so wrapped up in Vol 1 and 2 that I still have loved every panel of these books. A big thank you to NetGalley and DC Comics for allowing me to read this for a review.

Now before I get into the book I am going to explain why I am so confused. This may be a spoiler so read forward at your own risk. In volume 1 we see briefly that Wally West has come back. What do you mean Wally is back you might be asking yourself. Wally has been there all the time. Well I grew up with one Wally West and since New 52 there has been a whole different Wally West. So now we have 2 Wally Wests in this world and I have no idea how my Wally ended up gone and how this new Wally exists. So yeah, my fault I haven't been an avid Flash reader but at the same time I was expecting to get some answers in this book, especially since it has a decent bit of my Wally in it. At the same time it did make for a great cover that made me nostalgic for the original Barry Allen Jay Garrick one of old. I loved this take on the classic cover. To tie into this 
I also have to admit that one other thing confused me is at the beginning Barry freaks out and starts to fade into the speed force. Of course it takes the two Wallys  to work together and pull him back to reality, and while in the Speed Force Barry gets a vision that gave me goosebumps. Here is my issue, this seems like a set up for what this volume will be dealing with and then all of a sudden the book takes a left turn and we never speak of this fade into the Speed Force again. Why bother getting this all set up if you aren't going to even develop it.

So the Flash has been dealing with a lot since Rebirth started. He has had to deal with a lot of new speedsters at first like in Vol 1 and Wally has been getting powers, much like in the tv show. Barry has been dealing with training him and keeping his identity from Wally and Iris, on top of holding a job as CSI for the Central City police department. Of course new Wally is anxious to really test out his powers so he tries to go out on his own and in doing so he is pulled into the shadow world. This book has the Shade in it. Once a villain he has now crossed over to side of good all for love. Changing his emotions and thoughts has caused a problem with his shadows and they go rouge. No the Shade is desperately looking for Barry because he is the only one who can help him save the love of his life and keep Central City from being overrun by darkness. 
I really liked the story in this book. The writing was so engaging and well plotted. I wasn't a huge fan of the art work in this book and it looked a little rough. I have seen much better art work in Flash comics before and the writing is the thing that carries this book. All of this being said I will give my rating. This is a 3.5 out of 5 stars due to the art work being less than spectacular. The writing and characters will allow me to round this up to 4 out of 5. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Batman Vol 2: I Am Suicide by Tom King

I have been a fan of Batman since I first started to read. Being able to follow this series has been very exciting. Thank you to Netgalley and DC Comics for letting me read this for a review. Batman is desperately trying to help Gotham Girl after she was whammied by Psycho-Pirate . In order to try and get to him he has to go through Bane. 

To do this job Batman has to enlist the help of some strange characters. Batmaan creates his own version of Suicide Squad. The biggest shock in his decision isn't who he picks for his team but why she is locked up. Catwoman has been locked up for killing 237 people. I'm not going to lie, I still have the last 2 books of the Batman series to read before Rebirth took over. Rebirth was so exciting I jumped ahead so I could get started right away so I have no idea what is going on. Apparently Catwoman is awaiting lethal injection for killing the terrorists that wiped out the Orphanage she grew up in killing everyone inside. 

I will admit that the story for this book wasn't as good as volume 1 nor was the art work up to the standard either. A good portion of this book is just a letter from Catwoman to Batman and then a letter from Batman to her. I have always enjoyed the relationship between Batman and Catwoman so I enjoyed the letters but it didn't fit with the action going on in the panels so I was a little distracted. 

The art work was good but not as detailed in most of the book. There were some good panels that had a good bit of detail to show just how Gotham can be. Batman has some good pages too but I just felt that this could have been better. I know the artists tend to change issue to issue but when Vol 1 had such amazingly detailed art I was a little let down. 

So all this negativity I am sure you are guessing I didn't like this. Well you would be wrong, this book may not have lived up to what I expected but it was still very well done. I wish there was more to the story instead of the letters over the action, but I loved the characters. Bane is a changed villain which added more depth to his character and made me want to see where his story will go in the future. Seeing Batman and Catwoman deepen their relationship was great, and I would love to see more in future books. I have always wished those two could make it work. This was an enjoyable story and I can't wait for the next volume. This is a 4 out of 5 star read. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

I have been a big fan of Michael Connelly's for a very long time. Harry Bosch is one of my favorite detectives and I have also enjoyed the Mickey Haller novels. Its a good thing that I enjoy these two characters because the last few books Connelly have written haven;t fit in one series or the other but they fit in both. Now that we know Bosch and Haller are half brothers they tend to cross over more and more in these books. I'm ok with that. I love a good crossover and these two work well together to enhance the plot. Most people would think, of course they are going to work well together since they were written by the same author. That isn't always the case and trying to get two completely different and, in a way, opposing characters to work this well is pure talent. 

This book's title has so many meanings the crossing means so much to different people. In this book the title has two meanings. One is Bosch's battle to make sure he doesn't cross over the line between police officer and the defense. These two worlds rarely play nice together and always seem to fight back and forth, especially during trial. The second meaning is the point in every case where the victims life crosses over with the perp's. Not only is Bosch fighting his own situation but he has to take this closed case and investigate it to prove that his gut feeling that Haller's client really is innocent.

This book was great and I am so glad I caught up (sort of) to where Bosch is at becuase I like following him through his trouble with the department and trying to brave the world of a teenage daughter. There was a few slower parts in the book but life has to have those moments every now and then. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend this to any Harry Bosch or Mickey Haller fan.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Green Lanterns Vol 2: The Phantom Lantern by Sam Humphries

My favorite Green Lantern is Hal Jordan with Kyle Rayner a very close second. It took a long time for me to get into the Green Lantern Corps series which I started to read when Blackest Night began. I'm a fan of Green Lantern and I tried to keep up through New 52 so I got to see Simon Baz become a Green Lantern and I was a little uneasy with his picking up as yet another Lantern of Earth. Rebirth started and I had to find out what is going on with the missing Corps and what is going on with Hal since he was outcast from the Corp and using a Renegade ring. So I requested this series not knowing what to expect. 

This series hasn't disappointed yet.I have been so impressed with the plot and artwork in these books that I am already looking forward to Vol 3 when ever it comes out. I have to thank NetGalley and DC Comics for letting me read these for reviews. I am thoroughly hooked on this series and Lantern Jessica is a close second to Hal Jordan in my favorite Lanterns.

So what is the Phantom Ring? This is the very first ring ever crafted by the Guardians of the Universe.  Anyone can wield this ring because it doesn't choose the bearer and taps into the complete emotional spectrum. Like the White ring that Kyle Rayner has been given it taps into fear, rage, will, and all the other emotions bit the Phantom ring brings a power that is to much to handle. Jessica and Simon have been doing their best to protect this ring and the Guardian who forged it but it gets out and finds the most delusional and deranged peson hell bent on becoming a Green Lantern.

Jessica and Simon will have to find this Phantom Lantern, while trying to find the Guardian and rescue him. In order to accomplish this they will have to face their greatest enemies, themselves. As Green Lanterns they are chosen because they can overcome great fear. This book tests these characters and I loved it. I highly recommend this book and one of the things I have to admit really getting a kick out of is the beginning of the book when it is Halloween. This book is easily a 5 out of 5 read. Love this series and can't wait to see what happens next with these two new Lanterns.