Review: Ms. Marvel #2

Story:

“KAMALA CAN!
• On the Avengers and on a roll! All Kamala needs to do next is take down the evil suits destroying her city without ruining her personal life!
• Too bad all of Jersey City thinks Ms. Marvel is the real enemy!
• Bad guys and bad hair days. (Also the title of Ms. Marvel’s next album.)”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Ms Marvel #2

Review:

This time there’s definitely racial profiling going on as the residents of the new condos have moved in and security is checking that everyone on the street are people who are meant to be there. So a woman in Muslim clothes (Aamir’s girlfriend) gets stopped and questioned. Even though as Kamala points out people use the side walk to go places.

They then meet some of the residents who have glowing eyes and talk strangely. If it’s that obvious something is wrong, and these people are just on the street where anybody can see them, then how has this not been reported. It’s the marvel universe there must be a hotline for when things like this happen because it must happen all the time.

Security’s on high alert because Kamala broke in and she got away with a can of purple goop so Bruno can analyze it.

The villains are very obviously bad guys and they don’t seem to care about hiding it either. Explaining your evil plot is not smart and neither is revealing who you are no matter how foolproof you think your plan is.

Elsewhere in the plot Kamala’s mother doesn’t want her being a superhero anymore thanks to all the negative publicity. And I really like that she has to keep her grades up if she wants to continue to be Ms Marvel. I love the conversation they have but Kamala proves to be right in that you can’t just ignore a problem when things get bad.

And Aamir gets a girlfriend who Kamala approves of because they exchange a Dune reference.
It’s also funny how this comic is criticising a company taking Ms Marvel’s image and repackaging it for marketing purposes when that’s what marvel does again and again.

I’m not keen on the cover because she doesn’t fight a robot with a tentacles in the comic and Mike, Bruno’s girlfriend, doesn’t appear in this issue unfortunately. But at least the image is more fun than the last cover.

I want her to have better villains. As fun as a giant frog is, she needs something a little more diabolical. And this new villain is in the big leagues so much so I’m actually worried about how this will turn out with Bruno in the firing line.

Kamala continues to have real world problems and fight real world issues. This issue wasn’t as much fun as last issue but replaced it with lots of interesting conflict and left us on a solid cliffhanger.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Previous Review: Ms. Marvel #1                                                       Next Review: Ms Marvel #3

Review: Angela: Queen of Hel #2

Story:

“Their joyous reunion actually a little less “joyous” and a little more “How about I reunite my fist with your ear,” Angela and Sera meet face to face at last!
To rescue her beloved, Angela learns that she cannot steal Sera from Hel–she must conquer Hel, and rewrite the laws as old as death to free them both from the abyss!”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

Angela: Queen of Hel #2

Review:

So we learn some stuff this issue that effects the previous Angela series. In Angela: Asguard’s Assassin Sera was already dead and in Hel but controlling Malekith who was disguised as her.

So Sera’s angry about being left in Hel for a very long time and a lot of magic gets flung about. Angela is all very apologetic and because she’s an angel, who are all about making things fair and repaying debt, she asks Sera to name her price. She’d probably do anything for Sera anyway but the guilt’s making her promise the world. Like getting Sera out of Hel when that’s kind of impossible because she’s dead. There’s also the question of how much she should feel guilty because she didn’t know for quite a while that Sera was dead.

Angela decides to challenge Hela for the throne like the unstoppable force she is, even as she notes that Hela is more than a queen here. More like a goddess and Hel bends to her whims.
Sera being the all knowing narrator tells her she has to go through trials to defeat Hela and Angela doesn’t even stop to consider not doing it. I mean as they’re having this conversation she’s fighting Hela’s minions so she’s already in defiance of her.

The art work is the same as before being the standard super hero type of art for the present but we do get another flashback of Angela’s memories of them together and it’s that beautiful art work again from last week’s flashback. I also love the cover. Sera looks more sad and defeated than you’d think she’d look attacking Angela.

But this comic is ultimately a love story and Sera even references it in her narration. She also breaks the fourth wall a bit. I’m always wary of characters doing that (unless they’re Deadpool), especially when it’s a dramatic story rather than a comedy, which I think is easier to get away with but Sera’s aware of her narrator status and she uses it to her advantage. And you don’t know exactly how her magic works so it could come with her being able to see things.

I’m not usually into romantic stories but I’m fully invested in this one. They would do anything for one another and they don’t just talk about it. They have their quiet sweet moments like Angela having cold feet in bed. Then they also have a lot of power individually but together they seem unstoppable and I really want to see what the consequences of Angela being queen of Hel is. Ripping things apart for the one you love is nice and everything but you can’t go messing other people up because something went wrong.

I can’t wait to see what the other trials are and I hope they won’t be quite so easy as the first one. I want Angela to be really challenged. She is fighting to take over Hel after all that should be a hard thing to do, even for Angela.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Previous Review Angela: Queen of Hel #1                                         Next Review Angela: Queen of Hel #3

Review: Constantine: The Hellblazer #3

Story:

“Someone is murdering ghosts, a supernatural crime so impossible to solve that John Constantine is forced to return to London and seek help from the one person he hates more than any other; a magician above reproach, a darling of London high society, and a friend to superheroes everywhere. She is Georgiana Snow…the HECKBLAZER!”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Constantine: The Hellblazer #3

Review:

So we delve more into Constantine’s past this issue but I really don’t like the art they use for it. It’s all very purple and I find it off putting. There’s also a change of artist for the non flashback bits as well and I’m not keen on that either. I really liked the other style in the first and second issue but I guess I’ll get used to this.

Constantine has gone back home to England and is looking up old friends but it appears he doesn’t have many. The only one alive is Georgie who is very competent and makes Constantine look like an arse. He rushes in without thinking and it’s very annoying. I don’t know the character well enough to tell if this is out of character behaviour, having only known him for two issues before this but he was over confident in the last issue so I guess that’s just what he does.

And he gets himself into a lot of trouble that Georgie has to save him from. She works for the supernatural division of MI5 or something like that. She knew Constantine back in the good old days and didn’t really like him then either.

I love the cover though. That really stands out and I love how Constantine is trying to smoke even while Georgie’s crushing him with her boot.

It didn’t really feel like much got accomplished this issue. Other than John annoying Georgie. We learn a bit about his past but none of it really gripped me. I think it must be because of how much I loved the previous issue that this is a bit of a let down.

We get to see how he interacts with others who know about demons and stuff. He’s a bit annoying but I like that the less nice parts of his personality are on show and get criticised. Things like that always make characters feel more human but then you can’t do it too much because the audience has still got to like the character and root for him. This almost crosses that line for me. He messes up and I found myself thinking that he should stay out of Georgie’s way but then he had a very humanising moment and you realise how alone he is and I’m back on his side.

While this issue wasn’t as good as the last issue it still develops the mystery of the ghost killer, if only a tiny bit. And I think John and Georgie are going to be a really good pair of characters to play off each other she’s all about studying, high society and being uptight. While he seems to wing stuff and have sex in clubs.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review Constantine: The Hellblazer #2                          Next Review Constantine: The Hellblazer #4

Review: Starve #2

Story:

“The scathing look at foodie culture and celebrity chef fandom continues. Think Anthony Bourdain in a Transmet world.”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Starve #2

Review:

The environmental and criminal excess message gets a little more heavy handed this issue as he tracks down a fish that’s thought to be extinct, and if you can find it, costs 100grand per pound. So not only is it exclusively for the wealthy they’re also flaunting their wealth to people who probably can’t afford to eat on a reality TV show.

It does raise some interesting points though. Like why would the wealthy continue to ignore an environmental problem that eventually will effect them just so they can continue to spend more and more money to pretend it’s not happening.

It’s again something that’s going on now and is kind of fascinating. How can you ignore a problem like that? I guess some of it is blissful ignorance but in this day and age it’s hard not to be aware. That’s something you have to work at. You have to shut your mind down at any evidence. And I guess it’s a bit of fatalism. Loads of people think the world’s going to end anyway so I guess you might as well die comfortable.

I just don’t understand how you can be aware of a problem and not help solve it if you are in the position to do so. That’s probably why I’m finding this comic so fascinating.
So Gavin and Sheldon go out drinking thinking they’ve got a lot of time to the next competition but the chef in charge hates Gavin and changes the times. Somewhere between issue 1 and issue 2 Gavin made it to the finals.

We also meet another chef this issue who does what she does for the love of it and not to get rich or famous and Gavin considers joining her as she makes him an offer to start up their own restaurant. It’s a criticism of celebrity culture and doing things to make a a lot of money quickly. Getting rich and being famous aren’t everything.

I don’t like the cover. The fish is placed strangely and I don’t think it looks good. But it does stand out so I guess it does it’s job.

I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get to see him defeat everyone in the first round or in any of the other rounds. The enjoyment I’m getting out of this book is having rich selfish people get what’s coming to them and I want to see more of that. It’s still interesting but maybe I’ve been exposed to too many dystopian stories for this to hold my attention for long. The message also seems to be taking priority over character building and his winning moment this issue felt a little fake to me because of it. Gavin’s getting developed as a character but no one else is and I don’t know how long he can sustain a series by himself.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review: Starve #1                                                                                              Next Review: Starve #3

Reading Challenges of 2016

So I read about Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge and got all excited. This resulted in a lot of googling and finding other challenges and then it got a bit out of hand and now I’ve committed myself to loads of them when I’ve never even bothered to do one before.

Hopefully some will double up. I’m also aiming to read 120 books on Goodreads. Last year I aimed to read 70 books and I read 114. The year before my goal was 60 and I forgot to track most of the books I read.

I’ll try to remember to link to them as I go along because most of the challenges have reviews as part of the challenge.

Book Riot: Read Harder Challenge 

  1. Read a horror book
  2. Read a non-fiction book about science
  3. Read a collection of essays
  4. Read out loud to someone else
  5. Read a middle grade novel
  6. Read a biography
  7. Read dystopian or post apocalyptic
  8. Read a book published the decade of your birth
  9. Listen to an audiobook that’s won an audie award
  10. Read a book that’s over 500 pages
  11. Read a book that’s under 100 pages
  12. Read a book written by a transgendered person
  13. Read a book set in the middle east
  14. Read a book wit an author from souteast Asia
  15. Read historical fiction set before 1900
  16. Read a first book in a series by a person of colour (recommendation: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler)
  17. Read a non super hero comic that debuted in the last three years
  18. Read a book adapted into a movie then watch the movie and debate which is better
  19. Read a non-ficiton book about feminism or about feminist themes
  20. Read a book about religion
  21. Read a book about politics
  22. Read a food memoir
  23. Read a play
  24. Read a book where a main character has a mental illness

Classics challenge 

  1. A book from the 19th century
  2. A book from the 20th ccentury
  3. A book by a female author
  4. A translated book
  5. A book by a non-white author
  6. An adventure book
  7. A fantasy, science fiction or dystopian book
  8. A detective book
  9. A book that has a name of a place in the title
  10. A book that was banned or censored
  11. Re-read a book you read at school
  12. A volume of classic short stories

Worlds Without End: Roll your own reading challenge

Here’s where it got a bit out of hand because I signed up to 28 of their challenges, which ranges from 6 books to 100 books each, but it’s meant to be a challenge and I always get in over my head.

  1. 12 awards in 12 months: I chose the ‘master’ reading level of 12 books because I don’t usually pay attention to awards but with all the recent controversy I feel like I should start.
  2. LGBTQ speculative fiction (they have their own LGBTQ resource so that helps): I chose the ‘Oscar Wilde’ reading level of 12 books because despite wanting to read more diverse books I’ve barely read any LGBTQ books.
  3. Listomania – pick 12 books from any lists on their site: The ‘listomaniac’ reading level of 12 books because I love lists.
  4. Second best – any books nominated for awards but not winners: The ‘also ran’ reading level of 12 books.
  5. Published this year: the ‘nebula’ reading level of 12 books. 24 books at the ‘hugo’ level seemed a bit much.
  6. Unloved – neither won or nominated: The ‘heartbreak hotel’ reading level of 12 books.
  7. Women of genre fiction – (they have their own Women Authors page): The ‘apprentice’ level of 12 books
  8. Cat quest: The reading level of ‘lolcat’ which is 6 books. I love my cats but I don’t want to read loads of books about cats. I’d also like to note the other reading levels are ‘Cat-astrophe’, ‘cat fancier’ and ‘chairman meow’.
  9. Science fiction from Australia: The reading level of ‘cherry ripe’ which is 6 books
  10. Punk’s not dead: The reading level ‘Joey Ramone’ which is 12 books
  11. Read the sequel: The reading level ‘blue fish’ of 12 books
  12. Series A to Z: The ‘entire alphabet’ reading level of 24 books. For this challenge I only have to read one book from 24 series, not all of the books in a series for each letter.
  13. Science fiction masterworks: The ‘master’ reading level of 12 books.
  14. Space opera: The ‘shai hulud’ reading level of 12 books.
  15. Star wars: I picked the ‘obi wan ken-obi’ level of 6 books because there was no way I was picking the ‘Anakin Skywalker’ level (as stupid a reason as that sounds). The other levels are ‘Yoda’ and ‘emperor Palpatine’ but that was too many books considering my interest in star wars is minimal.
  16. Tie-ins: the ‘journeyman’ reading level of 9 books. I might have gone for the higher level but I’ve never read a tie-in that I thought was really good. They’re mostly quite bad.
  17. Author! Author!: the ‘virtuoso’ reading level of 20 books
  18. Big fun in a little package novella reading challenge: the ‘large’ reading level of 18 books
  19. Tor.com short stories: the ‘wizard’ reading level of 96 books
  20. Discoveries in genre: the ‘explorer’ reading level of 6 books
  21. Genre non fiction: the ‘savant’ reading level of 6 books. That’s the highest reading level for this challenge. Ihave loads of books of this type and I love reading them.
  22. In translation: the ‘linguist’ of 9 books. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a translated book so I figured I’d start off slow.
  23. Io9 best of 2015: the ‘master’ reading level of 36 books which I think is the entire list.
  24. The weirdness: I picked the ‘worshiper of Dagon’ reading level of 9 books. There’s also ‘resident of arkham’, ‘Student at Miskatonic U’ and ‘High Priest of Cthulhu’ reading levels but even I can only put up with so much weirdness.
  25. 2016 I have just have to read more of that author: the ‘completely obsessed’ leading level of 12 books.
  26. Triumvirate (trilogies): the ‘novem’ reading level of 9 books
  27. New books of 2015: the ‘halogen’ reading level of 13 books.
  28. 2016 books I’ve read this year: the ‘voracious’ reading level of 100 books. This one should be easy it’s just keeping track of all the books I’ve read. So as long as I remember to track them as I go and don’t have to do it all at once at the end of the year there won’t be a problem.

So that’s 313 books if I don’t double any of them of them up and don’t count the 96 short stories from Tor. There’s no way I could read that many books in a year because I have other things I’d like to do in 2016.

The last reading challenge is from Panels and is about comics so shouldn’t be a problem because I read a lot of comics.

Panels: Read Harder Challenge

  1. Read a self-published comic.
  2. Read a feminist comic.
  3. Read a comic featuring one or more teenage protagonists.
  4. Read a superhero comic whose race or gender has been swapped from the original or traditional hero.
  5. Read a complete run of a comic.
  6. Read a comic based on a book and the book it’s based on.
  7. Read a graphic biography.
  8. Read a comic that was originally published in a language different from your own.
  9. Read a comic set in space.
  10. Read a collected web-comic.
  11. Read a comic with at least one creator of colour.
  12. Read a comic set in Asia by an Asian creator.
  13. Read a superhero comic NOT by one of the Big Two.
  14. Read a slice-of-life comic not set in the U.S.
  15. Read a comic that has been adapted from a T.V. show or movie (not vice versa).
  16. Read a comic about a real-life historical event.
  17. Read a black-and-white comic.
  18. Read a watercolour comic.

This shall be my master post where I keep track of what I’ve done and how far I’ve got to go because I am notoriously bad at keeping track of these things. I even forgot to post this back in January.

Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #3

Story:

“Gabby’s best friend Cindy remained on Earth at the end of her last adventure with the Doctor – a decision Cindy immediately regretted! Now, with only Gabby’s sketchbook of unseen adventures to guide her, she must find her way back to the Doctor… but sinister forces already have her under surveillance!”
Read more about the issue on Goodreads.

Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor Adventures (year 2) #3

Review:

I found this issue a bit boring. The journal theme was a good way to recap a lot of stuff and show how traveling with the Doctor works but I’d rather read the actual adventures.

I’m being a but cynical but that felt a bit like they were making a pitch to new readers. Here are the reasons why you should read Doctor Who. Although there is a reason in the story for the journal to be there. Gabby gave it to Cindy when she refused to come with them so she could read about their adventures. Now she’s regretting not going and the journal is making that feeling worse.

I’m also really glad that this issue turned out not to be a complete recap for the entire issue. I don’t like it in TV episodes and I think I’d hate it in a comic when I could just go back and read previous issues. And I would have bought the issue for new story it’s not like TV.

It’s also funny that this is a Doctor light issue because the TV show had Doctor light episodes to save money and give the actors a break. None of those reasons apply to comics. Although some of the Doctor light episodes have been some of the best (Blink) so maybe that’s what they were going for because some of the reviews I’ve read seem to like this as much as those episodes. Limitations do breed creativity. And while I like quiet episodes that explore character this didn’t quite do it for me.

The main action of the issue happens when the journal starts predicting the future and it freaks Cindy out. This spirals into the characters from the cult of the black pyramid having to save her from someone who wants the journal.

Then the best cameo ever happens and I become more forgiving of the parts I didn’t care for. I’m not going to reveal who it is but I really hope it’s not just a cameo and they’re in the next issue. Hell I hope the next issue picks up from this point. If you’ve watched the early new Doctor Who episodes you’ll know who it is and if you haven’t then I’m hyping it up for nothing.

I like this cover better than the others because I think it represents Doctor Who better as the fun mostly optimistic show it is. Cindy’s reading the journal and she’s lit up with wonder or excitement while panels of adventures float behind her. I wouldn’t have put it past them to have her sat on a park bench looking serious maybe with a little rain cloud floating above her head.

And the cover actually matches the art inside. But not the first style of art which is the journal part of the issue. The second part where Cindy is involved and the art is more ordinary. Let’s hope we’re done with gloomy covers.

I liked this issue and Gabby’s writing about how she sees the Doctor but also summing up Doctor Who being a thrill you won’t forget but also dangerous. Hopefully we’ll get Cindy traveling in the next few issues.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2
Next: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #4

Review: Constantine: The Hellblazer #2

Story:

“Somebody is killing the only friends John has: the ghosts that haunt him! How can you kill what’s already dead? John is going to find out and make this adversary pay!”
Read more about this issue on Goodreads.

Constantine: The Hellblazer #2

Review:

I love it when magic and the occult are on the edge of society as feelings and actions you can’t explain and don’t want to delve too deeply into because you’re scared of what you might find. And I love it when you have that character who understands and jumps in anyway. Walks among the monsters. It’s all so creepy and I love it.

This issue we get some of the rules explained and they seem like pretty obvious stuff but you can’t take anything for granted when it comes to fantasy universes. So ghosts are echoes of the people who died and so they themselves as echoes can’t die. And this gets explained in a very entertaining way as the ghosts flee as a way of showing how much they trust Constantine (if they’re haunting him I guess he’s the one that got them killed or who they blame for it at least).

So he decides to force the issue and travels around the city collecting objects of power and walking through haunted places picking up a trail of ghosts as he goes. It’s a series of pages with very minimal dialogue. His narration tells the story of the people who died in these places and it’s genuinely creepy. The house at the beginning that he calls a thin place gives me shivers.

Gary who seems to be the main ghost that haunts him continually tells him that he should stop and it’s a bad idea. But Constantine is so confident by the end of his power and ghost collecting that you’re confident with him. The heroes always win and he won pretty effortlessly last issue. But there’s still that little bit of unease because the ghosts are scared of something. It makes what happens all the more powerful. And even if ghosts aren’t the actual person who died (as he insists) and only echoes they’ve still been with him for years.

The cover is again a symbol of what you’re getting inside which is always my favourite way they do covers. I never like art pulled straight from the panels. I always like it a little bit more symbolic.

This is such a good issue that I might buy it digitally so I can read it again and again without damaging my physical copy. I love how the magic works and the thin places and the horror of everything. The creepy characters he meets and his narration. It all works for me. I can’t think of a criticism. It sparks my imagination and that’s the best praise I can give it. I want to tell stories this good.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Previous: Constantine: The Hellblazer #1                                                     Next: Constantine: The Hellblazer #3

Review: Ms. Marvel #1

Story:

“The internationally-beloved, butt-kicking, smack-talking, most adorable super hero makes her triumphant return.

Look out world, Kamala Khan is back and officially an Avenger! Yup, the dream to end all dreams has happened for Kamala. She’s toe to toe with the best of the best, but will being one of Earth’s mightiest heros be everything she imagined? Is being a celebrity hero as wonderful as Kamala has hoped? Plus: WHO IS THAT WITH BRUNO??”
Read more about this issue on Goodreads.

Ms Marvel #1

Review:

Kamala is now an Avenger and has everything that comes with that so she’s adding avenging to an already busy life and things are going to get missed. Some of them quite big things.

For example it’s 8 months on from telling Bruno to move on and so he’s got himself a girlfriend. And that’s not her only problem that happened when she wasn’t paying attention. Developers are buying out all the local shops and gentrifying the entire place and they’re using her image to promote it. Which is something the community doesn’t like at all.

She investigates and it turns out they are not quite what they seem when their security guards have high tech weapons and security drones that target suspicious loiterers. I know she was actually causing a problem for security but I can’t help but wonder if this is a comment on racial profiling. It’s mostly the wording that gives me that impression. I tend to miss things that people don’t state outright so I’m working on catching when people imply things.

The first half of the book is about showing you where Kamala is and I love that Loki’s lightning golems are still at the school and one of them is even a crossing guard.

The second half of the book deals with how she got where she is by showing a flashback of how Bruno moved on in her absence and found a girlfriend. With a background subplot of Kamala dealing with a giant frog throughout their progressing relationship.

She may be an avenger but she’s also a teenager and not equipped to handle quite so much at once. She lashes out at Bruno when she realises he’s moved on and even body shames his girlfriend because she’s plus sized (and that’s refreshing because the rest of the female characters are skinny). What’s even better is he calls her out on it and she apologises. That’s what I love about Kamala she feels like a real person who makes mistakes but she learns from them as well. She evolves as a character.

The art inside is a little different from the cover but not enough to really stand out. This is another comic where the image doesn’t really represent what’s going on inside. Cover Kamala looks a lot more serious than her inside counterpart who is ecstatic over being an Avenger and getting into fun adventures. I like that she’s got an avengers necklace on.

This is exactly the sort of comic that was missing from my childhood. Instead of reading Spiderman, who never stopped wining and having progressively worse things happen to him as the writers tried to break him, I could have been reading something fun. Where the character evolves and grows as a person. I hope they never do to Kamala what they did to spiderman and reset her to a previous state because they want to appeal to the young people. But of course they will it’s Marvel. (side note I really liked spiderman and I’m still bitter about One More Day.) I wonder how long we can go before this gets a reboot and all the fun is sucked out.

What I’m trying to say is buy this comic it’s very good. And I think the last page had wolverine riding a sloth in the top right corner. I think I’m missing a reference but then that’s nothing new.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Next: Review: Ms Marvel #2

Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2

Story:

“It’s chaos aboard Presley Station, as the corrupted Shan’tee – conceptual beings from a different order of reality – prey on the human colonists, while on the gas giant below, vast storms conjure up winds of horrifying speed — that threaten to tear the Station apart! Caught in the middle of the chaos: the Doctor and Gabby! Can the Doctor find the counter-melody that brings peace back to the Station? And can the ever-humming Gabby keep herself from singing – to stop her mind being invaded by a sentient song?!”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2

Review:

It picks up where the last issue left off. The doctor running through the falling buildings as the Bovodines stampede above. He actually makes it to the TARDIS which doesn’t usually happen because the writers like to cut him off from it to stop an easy way out of the story. This time he needs it to get up to the space station.

The doctor’s figured out that the nocturnes are not a natural virus but that someone is attacking the Shan’tee because they don’t like the peaceful relationship between the humans and Shan’tee.

Smokey, the Shan’tee that we met last issue, stows away on the TARDIS and helps the doctor with getting past the security on the space station that attacks them because it doesn’t recognize either of them as humans. I like that the Doctor’s temporary companion for this issue is non-humanoid. That doesn’t tend to happen either.

While this is happening Gabby gets to take charge of the people panicking at Presley station as more stampeding Bovodine’s are heading towards them about to destroy everything. And they’ve just found out the virus can now jump to humans. The doctor left her there to be safe but she’s a companion so anywhere she goes is never safe.

This story could have benefited from being another issue long as we were only just introduced to these characters and this interesting world and it’s already over. Another issue would have allowed them to explore the planet more fully and give the story room to breathe. The solution feels a little abrupt and giving it longer might have felt more satisfying.

The art work is still as brilliant as the first issue. I like this cover better than the first one. It’s more representatvie of Doctor Who is but still too gloomy for what happened in the issue.

A satisfying enough conclusion to the first arc but could have been better and I hope the next story continues with interesting ideas.  (I really didn’t have a lot to say on this issue)

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review: Doctor Who #1                                                                Next: Review: Doctor Who #3

Review: Constantine: The Hellblazer #1

Story:

“The dark adventures of DC’s foremost occult detective continue in an all-new series as he investigates the cruelest case he’s ever come across—his own dark history!”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

Constantine: The Hellblazer #1

Review:

This is the first Constantine story I’ve ever read. The only things I know about the character are from that awful movie they made a few years ago and his appearance in The Sandman. I never got around to watching the TV show but I might have if they hadn’t decided to be bi-phobic and make the character straight.

So I know next to nothing about the character or the DC universe in general. I’ve only just started to read super hero comics other than Marvel because of their continued commitment to lie about diversifying their range and then remaining the same. At the moment DC is doing a lot better than Marvel but they can still do better.

I think this is quite a good jumping on point for new readers. I’ve read a few fist issues that had no business being called first issues but this isn’t that. I might not know entirely what’s going on but I don’t feel like I’m reading half a story. This feels like a beginning of something. And it’s a good beginning.

He appears covered in blood in a shop and has to use his magic to get a woman to not call the police and instead clothe him. Then he starts talking to a ghost and in the next few pages more appear and he tells them all to “sod off”. And I’m hooked. I want to know more about this character and this series is about exploring his dark past. I don’t know if I’ll read other runs between issues or just let the series tell the story with no research on my part. Probably the latter.

I really like the art and it suits the story very well. It’s the same as the cover which is Constantine stood alone in a dark alley somewhere. There are a few details that I didn’t notice at first and I enjoy art that does that.

There’s a lot of moral ambiguity in this comic and he even has the ghost calling him on it. He’s not a nice person but he is likable.

He’s also bisexual which is the one thing I did know about the character and the reason I decided to try the book. I want to read more genre stories with queer heroes.

His bisexuality gets explored here. Thankfully it’s not just implied. I hate it when they do that, as if that’s good enough. In one scene he flirts with a man and then goes to have sex with a woman. She’s some sort of demon called Blythe that needs his help. I love the page showing the nine levels of Inferno and the conversation they have as they descend to the bottom level.

There’s so much I love about this comic. He also has a ghostly entourage that only shows up when something’s about to go terribly wrong and it turns out it’s not Blythe that’s the trouble. His narration is entertaining and the last line is a good cliffhanger. I will definitely be reading the next issue.

And I now have a another favourite comic book character. I don’t think he’s really a super hero despite being part of the DC universe. He mentions super heroes but says he works in the shadows. Great first issue and I recommend it to anyone who likes dark fantasy.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Next Constantine: The Hellblazer #2