Monday, May 13, 2019

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Imbalance, Part Two (comic) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Dark Horse Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Imbalance, Part Two (Imbalance, #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Imbalance, Part One
Writers: Faith Erin Hicks, Michael Dante DiMartino, & Bryan Konietzko  
Illustrator: Peter Wartman 
Upcoming Release Date: May 14, 2019

Imbalance, Part One

Synopsis: Aang and Team Avatar race to resolve rising tensions between benders and non-benders before a town is torn apart!

There's something fishy going on in Cranefish Town, and it's up to Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph to find out what, before the simmering conflict between benders and non-benders boils over into all-out war. But danger lurks where they least expect it, and uncovering the truth will reveal a threat unlike any they've ever faced--and a fateful choice for Aang he can never unmake!



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Review: This second part in the Imbalance story finds Team Avatar dealing with a conflict in Cranefish Town between the benders and non-benders. Non-bender owned businesses have been attacked and Toph has some ideas about who was involved. 


I love the dynamic of Team Avatar. That classic humor is present. It's also cool to see the designs beginning to grow up, showing the youngsters aging. Suki is back in this volume! And Toph is an awesome badass.

I give this comic volume a 4/5. I always love stories continuing Team Avatar's adventures post-tv series. The animosity in this volume parallels well with modern politics and discussions about privileges. 


--PAUL

Friday, May 10, 2019

Blackbird, Vol. 1 (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Image Comics vis Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*


Blackbird, Vol. 1Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Blackbird, Vol. 1
Author: Sam Humphries  
Artist: Jen Bartel 
Upcoming Release Date: May 14, 2019


Synopsis: Nina Rodriguez knows a hidden magical world run by ruthless cabals is hiding in Los Angeles. When a giant magic beast kidnaps her sister, Nina must confront her past (and her demons) to get her sister back and reclaim her life. Don't miss the first collection of the smash-hit neo-noir fantasy series from fan-favorite writer SAM HUMPHRIES (Harley Quinn, Nightwing) and red-hot artist JEN BARTEL (Mighty Thor)!

Collects BLACKBIRD #1-6 



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Review: This first volume of the comic series Blackbird is full of great visuals. Magic is real in this world, but it isn't known by the general populace. Nina knows it's real, but people don't believe her. She discovers her connection to this world over the course of this book. Attractive magic users known as paragons start appearing in her life. 


I absolutely loved the aesthetic of this book. The magic is portrayed in stunning colors and details. There's a giant blue monster early on that really hooked me in on the visuals. But, the story didn't grab my attention. I wasn't pulled in by the characters or the plot. I give this book a 3/5. Beautiful artwork, but I probably won't read the second volume based on the story.


--PAUL

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 8 (graphic novel) [SHATTERED GRID FINALE] - Paul's REVIEW


Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Vol. 8Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 7
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Illustrators: Daniele Di Nicuolo, Simona Di Gianfelice, & Diego Galindo
Recent Release Date: May 7, 2019

Synopsis: The epic conclusion of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ first comic book crossover event: Shattered Grid!

As Lord Drakkon comes ever closer to conquering all of existence, Power Rangers from across all eras answer the call to join forces against his armies. As new friends and old foes come together in the Rangers’ darkest hour, the entire legacy of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers hangs in the balance. Join Kyle Higgins (Nightwing) and artist Daniele DiNicuolo (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink) in the epic conclusion to the ultimate war against Lord Drakkon with the final installment of the critically acclaimed event, Shattered Grid.



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Review: It's SHATTERED GRID FINALE time! I read these books as they come out in trade paperbacks, so I was somewhat familiar with what was going to go down thanks to social media. But, there were still so many wonderful surprises! The biggest smiles on my face were brought from how many times the HyperForce rangers show up in this book. I enjoyed that series so much and am still hoping for Season 2 so seeing those characters alongside classic rangers was excellent! The Beast Morphers are also in this book, but they make more of just a cameo appearance. 


One of the great things about this Shattered Grid arc was how many different rangers from different eras make appearances and are integral to the story. They aren't just cameos. Jen Scott and Lauren Shiba are two that really shine in this volume. I absolutely love the interactions between Jason and Lauren. They co-lead the teams wonderfully. Some other characters that I really enjoyed were Andros, Coinless Skull, and Commander Cruger. 

There are so many beautiful panels in this book. I had seen some revealed online before, but there were even more that I just sat and took the time to check out every detail within. The final issue in this volume really surprised me.

The ending was perfect. Kyle Higgins did an excellent job with the over thirty issues that have gone into this story. These are characters that I first met when I was 5 years old. Now, I'm 30. Higgins brought everything that I crave in storytelling to this story. A Multiverse. Good vs Evil. Friendship prevailing.

There's another short story at the end of this volume, continuing Blue Centurion and Ninjor's adventures. It's a cool team-up, but pales in comparison to the rest of the issue. But it's supposed to be just a fun story anyway. There's also a preview of Vol.9 Beyond the Grid included as well.

I obviously give this a 5/5. It's excellent storytelling. It's the culmination of over thirty issues. I'm so thankful that Boom! Studios made this happen. I obviously am looking forward to what happens Beyond the Grid!        


--PAUL

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Saban's Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 3 (comic) [SHATTERED GRID] - Paul's REVIEW


Saban's Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 3Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Saban's Go Go Power Rangers, Vol. 3
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artists: Dan Mora & Raul Angulo
Recent Release Date: April 23, 2019

Go Go Power Rangers Vol.1
Go Go Power Rangers Vol.2

Synopsis: Dealing with the fallout of Rita Repulsa’s abduction of Matthew, the Power Rangers are confronted with a dark specter from the future with a shocking connection to Lord Drakkon--ties into Shattered Grid!

CAN THE POWER PROTECT THEM?

The Power Rangers have just exhaled a sigh of relief after their friend Matthew narrowly escaped Rita’s clutches on the moon, but a new enemy has already emerged, one that will have the Rangers question every decision they’ve made so far. Tying into the critically acclaimed, bestselling Shattered Grid event, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers must confront the future to save the past as they face off against the mysterious Ranger Slayer.



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Review: I'm FINALLY getting to read the Shattered Grid storyline! I've followed along on social media so I'm already somewhat familiar with what happens, but finally getting to see the Ranger Slayer in action with her Gravezord was epic!


This ongoing series focuses more on the teenagers with attitude's personal lives than their superhero actions. This volume keeps with that, but there's also plenty of action. Kim's parents' divorce is an ongoing story and I'm enjoying the focus it's getting compared to the few lines in the original tv series. Jason also has somethings going on at home. 

The zords in this volume are beautifully illustrated. The bright colors in this whole volume have me flipping back through the book after reading it. 

I loved getting to see more of the Coinless world. Bulk and some other known characters are featured. I really enjoyed the scenes between Coinless Bulk and Kim talking. There's also some great later cameos in the Coinless world that surprised me. 

One of my favorite things about this series is the Matthew story because I have no idea what to expect. The creative monsters and their names is also a favorite of mine. They always make me chuckle. 

I give this volume a 5/5. Both of these ongoing Power Rangers series are excellent. I'm so excited to read the conclusion of the Shattered Grid story next.  


--PAUL

Monday, May 6, 2019

Waves by Ingrid Chabbert (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from BOOM! Studios & Archaia via NetGalley.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

WavesAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Waves
Author: Ingrid Chabbert
Illustrator: Carole Maurel
Upcoming Release Date: May 7, 2019

Synopsis: A young woman and her wife's attempts to have a child unfold in this poetic tale that ebbs and flows like the sea.

After years of difficulty trying to have children, a young couple finally announces their pregnancy, only to have the most joyous day of their lives replaced with one of unexpected heartbreak. Their relationship is put to the test as they forge ahead, working together to rebuild themselves amidst the churning tumult of devastating loss, and ultimately facing the soul-crushing reality that they may never conceive a child of their own.

Based on author Ingrid Chabbert’s own experience, coupled with soft, sometimes dreamlike illustrations by Carole Maurel, Waves is a deeply moving story that poignantly captures a woman’s exploration of her pain in order to rediscover hope.



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Review: This graphic novel tells a woman's journey through pregnancy, the loss of her child, and the mourning and reconstruction that comes after. The artistic style portrays the mourning through the use of colors. Highlights show the colors coming back into their world after their loss. This is a very emotional story. 


I give this graphic novel a 5/5. The process of grieving and reconstruction is shown so well. I feel that anyone, whether you have any similar experiences or not, will be moved by this book. 


--PAUL

Friday, May 3, 2019

Sincerely, Harriet (graphic novel) by Sarah Winifred Searle - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Lerner Publishing Group/Graphic Universe via NetGalley.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Sincerely, HarrietAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
Sincerely, Harriet
Author/Illustrator: Sarah Winifred Searle
Upcoming Release Date: May 7, 2019

Synopsis:  Harriet Flores struggles with boredom and an unrequited crush while learning to manage her chronic illness through a long, hot, 1990s summer in Chicago. She uses her imagination to cope, which sometimes gets her into trouble, as she makes up fantastical fibs and wonders if there are ghosts upstairs. One neighbor, Pearl, encourages Harriet to read and write, leading Harriet to have a breakthrough and discover the power of storytelling. 



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Review: This graphic novel starts with a young girl who is not very happy about her move to Chicago. She isn't able to go to summer camp, but she tries to keep in touch with her friends from last year via postcards. In the new building, Harriet meets an elderly neighbor. Harriet fears the house may be haunted and learns about both the building and her neighbor's history. She makes up stories to imagine a life she wishes she had. 


This story is calm, but full of heart. It's a story featuring a young girl living with a chronic illness. I give this book a 4.5/5. The art matches the story so well.


--PAUL

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Oni Press & Limerence Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans IdentitiesAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities
Creators: Mady G & J.R. Zuckerberg
Upcoming Release Date: April 23, 2019

Synopsis: In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and JR Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships, this guide explains the spectrum of human experience through informative comics, interviews, worksheets, and imaginative examples. A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys!



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Review: This is a fun, informative graphic novel about queer and trans identities. The information is distributed through a snail teaching other snails about humans. Topics cover sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, relationship basics, dysphoria, asexuality, and more. There are personal examples from a friend's life. Interspersed is an adorable story about Sproutling, a group of creatures that come in all different identities. There's also a fun activity section at the end of the graphic novel. 


This is a fun, educational book. I learned a lot. The information is expansive, respectful, & inclusive. I give this graphic novel a 5/5.


--PAUL