Book Review: Secret Wars #1 by Jonathan Hickman

Secret Wars (2015-2016) #1 (of 9)Goodreads Synopsis

The final incursion is happening! The Marvel Universe is colliding with the Ultimate Universe, and neither will survive!

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**I’ll be reading the entire Secret Wars Collection including the tie-ins in this reading order provided by Comic Book Herald.

‘The multiverse is dying. Only two universes remain. Today, Earths collide.’

As I started this comic series I kept getting a sense of déjà vu, as if I’d read it before but I know for a fact that I’ve only ever read the 1984 Secret Wars.

We kick off right where the prequel ended (see my review for that here) kind of so instead of jumping right into the action, we take a trip over to the other Earth (Ultimate Universe) to see what’s going on there.

At this point the Reed Richards of both universes have already figured out the world was going to end so naturally they had to develop a plan to either save the world…or sit back and watch it be destroyed. Either way, the fight between the two universes seems like it was always part of the plan. It was inevitable and nothing was going to stop it from happening.

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Fast forward a bit and the battle’s raging. Heroes are fighting and/or dropping dead in every direction you look. We are in an all out war. The not so funny thing is that this is only the beginning. We have barely scratched the surface. We all want to know ‘what happens next?’.

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Apart from me being unable to shake the feeling that I’ve seen this somewhere (I think I’m losing my mind) I found this comic book awesome! There was nothing rushed about this because this is only the first issue and I have absolutely no idea where we stand.

I haven’t read anything that featured Esad Ribic’s artwork but I’m loving what I’m seeing. I get the sense that ‘the bigger picture’ was being put out there. Many of the images are widespread so we’re seeing everything at the same time from a bird’s-eye view.

Can we take a moment to gush over the cover for a moment? Alex Ross did a wonderful job and I could probably stare at it all day.

It’s going to take me some time to get through this entire series and I’m ready for the ride. Also, the comics that come after this event will make a lot more sense. Which is great. Let’s go!

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Read: 10 May 2017
Rating: ★★★

Publication Date: 1 January 2015
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Illustrators: Esad Ribic |Alex Ross

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Source: Images taken from the digital comic book.

Book Review: Secret Wars #0 by Jonathan Hickman

Secret Wars #0 (FCBD 2015)

Goodreads Synopsis

This May, prepare yourself for the kickoff of the biggest comic event in Marvel history, with a special preview of Marvel’s future in Secret Wars #0!

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**I’ll be reading the entire Secret Wars Collection including the tie-ins in this reading order provided by Comic Book Herald.

I read the original Secret Wars a few years ago so that I wouldn’t be too lost where the whole story was concerned. That way it’d also be easier for me to put the two side by side and see which one I liked better.

I’ve read East of West Vol.1 by Jonathan Hickman and I really enjoy his writing. Even though this prequel was a short piece, for those (like myself) who haven’t read the tie-ins leading up to this event, I think he managed to sum it up pretty nicely.

The world is about to be blown to bits and Valeria Richards and the other kids are planning on this not being the end of humanity. They come up with a plan to send only ‘the best of the best’ out on a life raft so that life as we know it won’t be totally over.

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Turns out that there’s a lot more in store that’s waiting for them and of course this is where the whole ‘war’ part comes in. The only way to survive this one is to fight through it.

I’ve read that this has been years in the making and this prequel did help to sum up what happened previously but did it do it justice? I can’t know that for sure. Can years worth of work be summaries in a a couple of pages and please the people that have been following it with complete dedication? Probably not.

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I liked what I read and I honestly have no idea why I took this long to actually start this event. As I mentioned above, I do enjoy Jonathan Hickman’s writing and I think he did a very good job on this piece. I flew through it extremely fast and nothing about this was boring for me.

The art also is nothing to scoff at. It’s friggin’ gorgeous. I prefer the more vivid images so this was right up my alley. My excitement for the rest of this event is through the roof.

My review for Secret Wars #1 will be up soon so look out for that.

 

***Just a casual random comic added in giving us the idea of what would happen if the Avengers happened to fight the titans from Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan manga.

I think that very random crossover was hilarious and added immediately after finishing the prequel gave the illusion of a break before the real drama starts.

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I enjoyed this entire issue quite a bit and hope that the rest will live up to my expectations that have now been elevated. I can’t say anything about the tie-ins till I’ve read it but I’m packed and ready to go on this adventure. We’ll see if I survive this one.

Read: 9 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 2 May 2015
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Illustrator: Paul Renaud

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Source: Images taken from the digital comic book.

Book Review: The Totally Awesome Hulk Vol.1: Cho Time by Greg Pak

The Totally Awesome Hulk, Volume 1: Cho TimeGoodreads Synopsis

There’s a brand-new Hulk in town, and his name is Amadeus Cho!
Get ready for gamma-fueled entertainment as the kid genius decides he’s gonna be the best Hulk ever -and just possibly brings the entire world crashing down into chaos! Cho is taking on the biggest monsters in the Marvel Universe, but can he handle the danger posed by Lady Hellbender? What will She-Hulk and Spider-Man make of this very different Green Goliath? And what exactly happened to Bruce Banner? With monster mayhem in the Mighty Marvel Manner, all from the wild and crazy minds of Planet Hulk writer Greg Pak and superstar artist Frank Cho, this is better than incredible, it’s totally awesome! Plus: Amazing Science during Secret Wars featuring the Amadeus Cho of Battleworld!

Collecting: The Totally Awesome Hulk 1-6, & material from Planet Hulk 1


I’ve been eager to read this comic ever since I read Champions #1 a couple of months ago. I’ve only ever fully invested in Bruce Banner’s Hulk but I decided to branch out a bit and see what other Hulk’s have in store.

Amadeus Cho is The Totally Awesome Hulk, the New Hulk and he cannot stress this enough. He’s constantly being compared to Banner and this is not something he likes. It’s one of the things that can easily make him Hulk out.

Apart from monsters appearing here and there and Amadeus along with his genius sister Maddy acting as mission control fighting and capturing monsters, we barely scratch the surface where the true plot is concerned. When I first started reading, my opinion of Amadeus was pretty much set. He’s a kid so naturally, he acts like one. He may be a genius but no one said he can’t act his age. As I continued through the issues, I realised that he’s holding so much in and battling with him being the Hulk, not the Hulk being him. I couldn’t help but compare him to Banner at this moment because Banner lost control and when he transformed into the Hulk, there was only one person behind the wheel…and it wasn’t him.

I don’t know if She-Hulk and Spider-Man will be in the remainder of the series but for me it felt like they were here to boost the views. I don’t mind because I like She-Hulk and I love all versions of Spider-Man especially when he brings in that awesome humour of his.

At this moment, I feel like this story could go anywhere and I’m trying so hard not to play guessing games because I want to be totally surprised. I really think that Greg Pak did an amazing job with the writing and it was definitely fun and entertaining.

Would it be weird if I said that the artwork had an almost modern feel to it? I haven’t read many Marvel comics before and I know each artist has their own technique but the vibe in this comic felt younger. Weird, I know. I can’t explain it, but there’s this ‘new’ feeling to it. I think it fits though since Amadeus Cho is the new Hulk.

I’m definitely interest in seeing where this story goes and seeing if Amadeus manages to stay in the driving seat.

Read: 17 April 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 26 July 2016
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Greg Pak
Illustrator: Frank Cho | Mike Choi | Takeshi Miyazawa | Sonia Oback | Frank Martin | Andrew Crossley | Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Cory Petit | Travis Lanham

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Book Review: Spider-Gwen Vol.0: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour

Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted?

Goodreads Synopsis

THE BREAKOUT CHARACTER HIT OF THE YEAR IS GWEN STACY: SPIDER-WOMAN!

IN ONE UNIVERSE, it wasn’t Peter Parker who was bitten by the radioactive spider, but Gwen Stacy! She’s smart, charming and can lift a car … just don’t tell her father, the police chief. Now, in the wake of Spider-Verse, Gwen swings into her own solo adventures! And she soon finds herself between a rock and a hard place when the Vulture attacks, and NYPD Lieutenant Frank Castle sets his sights on bringing her down. Then, still haunted by Peter’s death, Gwen visits his only family: Ben and May Parker. But what really happened the day Peter died? Find out right here as the spectacular Spider-Gwen steals not only the spotlight, but also the hearts of comic fans worldwide!

COLLECTING EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #2 AND SPIDER-GWEN #1-5, WRITTEN BY JASON LATOUR AND ILLUSTRATED BY ROBBIE RODRIGUEZ.


First off, I must say that I probably should’ve read Spider-Verse first before starting this series. I didn’t miss out on too much but I do think some further insight would’ve helped things in the beginning make sense.

I’ve never read any Spider-Woman comic before and who better to start with than Gwen, since I’ve always liked her. My sister has already delved into this particular universe and made me curious so I thought I’d check it out myself. Not much goes on in this volume, if I’m being honest. This wasn’t an introduction of any characters, but merely a continuation of a story that’s already been outlined. It wasn’t difficult to catch up and the fact that I was joining in mid-‘verse didn’t take away from the enjoyment.

There are quite a few parallels in this ‘verse which I thought was a welcome change. Sometimes we’re presented with the same characters doing the same things, and while I like that ‘routine’ sense of things, switching things up a bit is always awesome.

There were a few minor villains that appeared that I’ve never really cared about so I was waiting for the big shoe to drop. And drop it did. One thing to note is that there is always a bigger shoe. This is when I started being a bit creeped out because characters that I’d already become accustomed to being a certain way were these opposites that I now had to get used to. I feel like with these multiple universes, anything is possible so the story can literally go any direction.

While I was reading, I thought about how in many comics there are your bad guys and your good guys and it’s usually a solid black and white, no grey area. I was wondering if it had to be either or. Where was the in between? As we neared the end, one of the characters brought this up (inception!) and said that everything is in fact not black and white and eyes needed to be opened to see the bigger picture. Dude’s not wrong.

I did enjoy reading this volume and I very much hope to continue this series and see what else Latour has in store for us.

Read: 9 April 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 17 November 2015
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Latour
Illustrator: Robbi Rodriguez

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Book Review: Champions #1 by Mark Waid

Champions (2016-) #1

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Goodreads Synopsis

Following the fallout of CIVIL WAR II, Avengers Ms. Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man strike out on their own — joined by Cyclops, Viv Vision and the Totally Awesome Hulk! Six young heroes determined to change the world — and they’re only the beginning!


I’m reading these comics completely backwards but oddly enough, since this comic was the start of a new story and team there was enough information for one not to get lost. Much.

As I mentioned, reading backwards so I haven’t read Civil War II yet but this comic explains a bit what happened to cause Ms. Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man to separate from the Avengers.

The Avengers is a crime fighting superhero group that have had their ups and downs over the years and maybe not everyone looks to them as the saviours they once were anymore. Nova and Spider-Man seemed to have been the first to notice that The Avengers get rid of the monstrous problem, who gets rid of the rubble on the street? Takes care of the people? An epiphany is had and soon Ms. Marvel too realises that they should be doing more to help. This is where the idea for Champions is born.

I enjoyed the writing and artwork (very detailed, vivid and so beautiful) quite a bit and even though this is only one issue, I still got through it a lot faster than I usually do with issues. No introductions of characters were made in this comic as it does take place almost immediately after Civil War II.

It’s known that the young ones see things that many adults are too stubborn to see, and that’s clear in this comic. Ms. Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man (joining them Hulk and Viv Vision) was to make a difference, want the people to trust them, but how can they when these so-called superheroes are messing up their neighbourhoods?

“We have to start enforcing justice without unjust force.”

I love the idea for this comic and I’m loving how with just one issue, so much was touched upon. I can’t wait to read the next issue. Maybe I’ll just hold out for volume 1.

Read: 29 December 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 5 October 2016
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Mark Waid
Illustrator: Humberto Ramos

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eARC Book Review: Thor: Dueling with Giants by Keith R.A. DeCandido

Thor: Dueling with GiantsGoodreads Synopsis

One of the greatest heroes from Marvel—and myth—returns as Thor battles the mightiest of the giants in a fight to the death. The first book in an action-packed trilogy, Dueling with Giants is a story of epic combat from start to finish, sure to entertain fans of Marvel comics and adventure novels alike.

During just another day for the God of Thunder, Thor is defending Asgard against invading trolls when the unthinkable happens—his hammer, Mjolnir, loses its enchantment, depleting Thor’s strength. Thor is still more than a match for his enemies; after vanquishing them, he learns the secret to his sudden weakness: Mjolnir has been switched! And only one being is cunning enough to carry out such a trick: Thor’s own adopted brother, Loki.

As punishment, Odin imprisons Loki for a year, but the trickster soon takes on other forms and escapes his imprisonment. He provokes a dispute between Odin and the giant Hrungnir—one that soon brings a full-scale attack on Asgard and a one-on-one challenge to Thor himself.

Dueling with Giants will be followed by two more riveting installments featuring Sif and the Warriors Three, all written by Marvel veteran and popular fantasy author Keith R.A. DeCandido. The Tales of Asgard Trilogy will be an adventure that Marvel readers won’t soon forget.


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am a huge Marvel fan so when I saw an opportunity to read this book I grabbed it instantly. Thor is definitely up there with my top favourite superheroes and I adore Loki because I feel he really brings real villainy to the table.

When I started this book I was a bit skeptical because it is a lot similar to most Thor and Loki stories. It’s not secret that the brothers don’t always see eye to eye and when they do, it’s usually for a price.

Both Thor and Loki were kept true to character what with Thor trying to save everyone- real hero complex, that one- but at the same time being a bit arrogant and Loki trying to undermine everyone and act like the know-it-all we love to hate.

While this was a fairly quick read and I enjoyed the story, I was hoping for something a little bit different. The beginning was good enough for me to continue reading and the actual plot was great but as I said, too much of what we’ve already seen. I enjoyed the final battle but it was over in an instant for me and I felt like too much was going on at the same time.

That said, this wasn’t all that bad and I would definitely give this author another shot since I did love the writing style.

Read: 28 June 2016
Rating: ★★★

Publication Date: 15 December 2015
Publisher: Joe Books Inc.
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Keith R.A. DeCandido

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Book Review: Deadpool Vol.7: Axis by Brian Posehn

Deadpool, Vol. 7: AxisGoodreads Synopsis

AXIS tie-in! Our wall-crawling hero is stalked by a classic Spider-Slayer! Wait. This isn’t a Spider-Man book. So what is a Spider-Slayer doing here? Deadpool had better find out before it mistakes one red-clad, wisecracking hero for another, and mashes DP into spider-paste! And if that isn’t enough, you know that totally secret thing that’s gonna happen in Axis? Yeah-that’s totally gonna affect Deadpool! Oh man, if only you guys knew. Get ready for a diff erent spin on the Merc with the Mouth!

COLLECTING: DEADPOOL 35-40


The plot for this comic is centered more on the inversion that takes place. That inversion is focused on a select few who happened on an island, fighting the good fight then got whammied. How’s that for a thank you?

Imagine Deadpool going completely zen, ‘violence is not the answer- no guns allowed’ kind of zen. When you really think about it, it’s extremely believable.

Deadpool got a change of character, clothes and he exchanged his katanas for a turkey- inside joke, I guess. Of course you can guess that the Misses isn’t too happy about this.

Characters: Deadpool was awesome as well he usually is. Whether he’s killing everyone in sight or fixing up a garden, Deadpool is still the same wise guy. I liked the makeover but I’m glad it’s not permanent.

The wife was amazing as always. (Can we say her name now? Is it still a secret?)

The X-Men: I loved seeing these guys…Deadpool kind of, almost, sort of got invited to join the X-Men. He declined. I’ve never read an X-Men comic but if this was just a gist of it, then sign me up.

The Faux-Men: The X-Men from North Korea. Yes, I said North. I’d say that was weird but it’s really really not. When reading a Deadpool comic…expect anything.

Overall Thoughts: Many times we’ll find awesome guest characters but so far I’m loving these the most. Brian Posehn did it again! Amazing story. I loved the artwork as well. It was the perfect amount of gory and extremely detailed. I can’t wait to get to Vol.8

Read: 17 May 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 24 March 2015
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Posehn
Illustrators: Gerry Duggan | Mike Hawthorne