Thursday, September 18, 2014

Graphic novel mini-reviews #23: Fight Like A Girl

Black Widow: The Finely Woven Thread (Volume 1)

Written by: Nathan Edmondson; Illustrated by: Phil Noto 

Published: 2014

My Thoughts: Black Widow gets the cold shoulder a bit by people who have watched the Avengers film, mostly because she lacks the magical powers or indestructible suit of the others but also because, let's be honest, she's a lady. This new run of Black Widow is fantastic for a number of reasons. First, it's freaking gorgeous. The art is beautiful, like pin it to your wall and gaze at it all day beautiful. Second, like the Hawkeye comics, it takes place away from the Avengers - removing the possibility for people to judge how useful she'd be to the team. Instead it focuses on her spy work for S.H.I.E.L.D and her freelance work, where she works as a mercenary/spy to raise enough money to pay off the sins of her past. There's a lot of emotional depth in this comic. Natasha/Black Widow has been many things in her life, and she regrets a lot of it. She works hard to try and make up for past mistakes and choices but she's still unsettled, adrift and unable to really find a centre to hold on to. This volume falls into the espionage/action genre and I really love the unfolding mystery that we're treated to. I've just bought the next two issues that have been released, so I'm eagerly waiting to read them and see if I can piece together who is behind the chaos raining down.

Wonder Woman: Guts (Volume 2)

Written by: Brian Azzarello; Illustrated by: Cliff Chiang, Tony Akins, Dan Green

Published: 2013

My Thoughts: I'm a little biased in that I'm basically predisposed to like Wonder Woman and Greek myths and this particular book is chock full of both. I know some reviews have been a little wary of the new origin story for Wonder Woman (which doesn't discount her earlier creation, just reveals it to be a lie her mum told to keep her safe) and the heavy inclusion of the Greek gods but I'm still loving it. It sort of makes Wonder Woman the modern equivalent of Thor, which as far as I'm concerned means they should just make it a film already. This volume introduces us to a little more of Wonder Woman's newly discovered mythic family and a more competitive, conniving family I don't think is possible. They might be related but they're all hungry for the top spot on Olympus and are all more than willing to use and abuse anyone who gets in their way. It's amping up to be a pretty hectic battle pitting family against family, and I'd hate to be on the side opposite WW.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Angela (Volume 2)

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis; Illustrated by:  Sara Pichelli, Francesco Francavilla, Olivier Coipel, Valerio Schiti, Kevin Maguire.

Published: 2014

My thoughts: Is it okay to include GotG into a mini-review series centred around butt-kicking women? Sure half the team is men, but this particular volume centres heavily around two ladies - Gamora and mysterious newcomer, Angela. Angela comes from another dimension/universe/timey-wimey place called Heven, which has these mystical stories about a place called Earth. So does this mean heaven is real? Are our religious stories based around interactions with this Heven? You won't find out any answers just yet, but you will get to watch Gamora and Angela go from kicking each other from here to Tuesday to begrudging team-mates to something a little closer to friends. And the rest of the team is there too, full of wise-cracks and double entendres and I-Am-Groots. This volume intersects with a couple of other comic series which does make for some headscratching moments (a threat in one issue is over and done with in the next) but that's the life of a comic reader right.


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