Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Graphic Novel mini-reviews #17

Runaways: Teenage Wasteland (Volume #2)

Written by: Brian K. Vaughan; illustrated by: Adrian Alphona

Published: 2004

My Thoughts: I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about this series. The basic story progression is interesting enough as is the struggle the kids are having coming to terms with their new found powers and their parents real identities but there is still something lacking. I do love that it seems to realistically tap into that conflicting moment when teenagers realise their parents are people with a life outside their role as mother/father and that adults aren't automatically to be trusted or relied upon. These real life struggles woven into a superhero/fantasy setting work really well, the hiccups seem to be the sudden additions to the fantasy world that come without warning. Take for instance the main story thread in this volume. A kid who appears to also have dodgy parents turns out not to be what he seems and while it isn't completely out of left field (there are definitely hints) there also isn't anything to make me believe it wasn't a plot chosen purely for the shock factor rather than adding anything to the world. I'll keep getting them from the library though, especially since the Joss Whedon arc is coming up.

Fables: Arabian Nights (Volume #7)

Written by: Bill Willingham; Illustrated by: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Jim Fern, Jimmy Palmiotti, Andrew Pepoy

Published: 2006

My Thoughts: I'm well and truly into the Fables series now and really loving it. While the previous volumes have mostly centred around Fabletown with mentions (and brief looks) at the Homelands from here on out we start to learn about how far this world actually spans. In this volume characters from the Arabian Fables (think Sinbad, Aladdin etc) journey to Fabletown to try and forge a relationship that will unite them against the adversary. But there are factors that work against this potential truce, cultural expectations, language barriers and nefarious dealings going on behind the scene. It felt a little too "cultured and wise" white America vs "ignorant and aggressive" Middle Easterners at times (there were some definite cringe moments) but I think they managed to extricate themselves from that awful dichotomy eventually and with an interesting resolution. The extra story "The Ballad of Rodney and June" about the love and sacrifices of two of the Adversary's wooden soldiers, I'm not so fond.

iZombie (Volume #1)

Written by: Chris Roberson; Illustrated by: Mike Allred

Published: 2011

My Thoughts: I had seen volumes of this series in my library and comic book store but it was the news that it was being made into a TV series by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) that finally got me interested. It's an interesting concept, a female zombie eats brains once a month to stop herself from degrading to the Night of the Living Dead level of zombieness while living also trying to live the life of an early-twenty woman. She's joined by her friends, a go-go ghost and were-terrier and there's a mysterious Egyptian mummy man. It's kind of ridiculous but it really commits to how absurd the concept is, so even when things make me want to roll my eyes at time (a were-terrier...really?!) I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It also set a couple of really interesting mystery based story threads up for the next few volumes so I'm excited to see where it heads.


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