Long ago, back in August, I participated in several readathons and tried to use them to catch up on the Saga volumes I own. The following are my reviews on the three volumes I read.
Saga is a popular comic book series about a couple from warring planets who fall in love and have a baby, a major taboo. Their union signify a possible end to the war and show that it’s possible for both sides to have compassion for each other. The couple’s respective governments would like to hide such a fact, so they send bounty hunters after the couple and their child to get rid of them.
Saga, Vol. 4
I continued the story with volume 4 in which Alana briefly takes a job as an actress and Marko becomes a stay-at-home dad. These roles place a strain on their relationship and they begin to move apart, which culminates in a tense ending that fractures their union.
Meanwhile, an assassin of sorts kills Princess Robot and kidnaps her baby, which unhinges Prince Robot IV even more when he’s briefed about what happened; and Gwendolyn and Sophie try to find a cure for The Will unaware that they are being hunted.
I forgot how I learned about this comic book. I bought it in a 2-for-1 deal at Barnes & Noble so it’s possible that it was just the cover and synopsis that caught my attention. Such is usually the case with comic books. If someone hasn’t recommended a comic book to me, then I’ll buy one based on the cover art and the illustrations within. As I’ve said in this Weekend Reads post, my interest in comics is driven by my love of illustrations. They are often what keeps me returning to some stories.
Birthright, Vol. 1: Homecoming by Joshua Williamson, illus. by Andrei Bressan with colors by Adriano Lucas
The Rhodes family lost their youngest son, Mikey, on his birthday. His father was out playing catch with him while his mother and older brother planned his surprise party. But when he went into the woods to find a ball his father threw at him, he instead found a world called Terrenos and learned that he is the prophesied Hero who would save Terrenos from the God King Lore, a powerful being that terrorizes the world and its citizens.
While Mikey is in Terrenos, his family in the real world is ripped apart by his disappearance. But a year after his disappearance, the police calls Mikey’s parents and older brother to the station to identify an unusual man who claims to be Mikey returned from a world called Terrenos. They are all shocked and wonder why is he dressed like “a Lord of the Rings reject.” Mikey’s mother refuses to believe the oddly dressed man could be her lost son, but Mikey’s father and brother recognize him and help him to escape the police’s confines and join him on his quest to defeat five mages currently in the real world so that the doors to Terranos will be closed forever.
A while back, I read a review of Wolf Children that made me seek to experience the story myself. Since I couldn’t find a place online to watch it, I decided to get the manga and read it. I was drawn to the beautiful illustrations but, as with all my book purchases, I immediately forgot about it once I shelved it in my bookcase.
It wasn’t until the Tome Topple Readathon rolled around that I sought it out to read for a challenge — Read a graphic novel (over 500 pages). I was glad to finally read the book after being curious about it for so long and sample its beautiful art.
Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda, art by Yu, character design by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, trans. by Jocelyne Allen
Genre: I don’t know
Wolf Children is about a woman who falls in love with a man who is half wolf, the last of his kind. Circumstances lead her to raise their two children on her own, which she does with great patience and care. She never complains despite the difficulties she encounters in raising half-wolf children, but instead faces her challenges with optimism and a smile.
The children are complete opposites of each other. As a child, the older sibling, Yuki, is a spirited girl who loves to explore and experience new things and is driven by her curiosity about the world. In contrast, her young brother, Ame, is introspective, quiet, observant, and most of all, cautious. However as the two mature, their experiences lead them to choose unexpected paths.
Here are two comic books I thought I’d love: Archie and I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After. Both are popular and have been mentioned by bloggers and booktubers so often that I thought I’d be an immediate fan. But instead, I was bored.
I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young (illus.) with colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
An Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness. Follow Gert, a forty year old woman stuck in a six year old’s body who has been trapped in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years. Join her and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood-soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND. (Goodreads)
My opinion on this is an unpopular one. Just about everyone who has read this comic loved it and it’s easy to see why, but it just didn’t work for me. At first, I thought it was my mood that was the problem, but recently when I tried to reread it, I hopped around instead. I simply wasn’t interested.
After reading Trang’s review of The Wicked + the Divine, I was convinced to give the comic another try. It was one of the first comics I read when I decided to give the medium a try about two years ago. I was attracted to the title and the minimalist cover design of its first volume. When I opened the book to quickly flip through it, I was hooked. I loved the illustrations. The sellers at the comic book shop then told me it’s about mythological gods incarnated as superstars and that one even looks like Rihanna — I was sold. Anything fantasy that deals with gods and how they affect people’s lives is catnip for me.
The Wicked + The Divine is a fantasy comic book series set in present day U.K. about mythological gods who are incarnated as humans every ninety years but die after two years. This time, the gods appear as pop superstars. Everyone loves them and hates them and wants to be them. The story follows Laura, a teenager who yearns to be part of the Pantheon (the group of gods), as she gets tangled in the gods’ affairs.
Another superhero comic set in the DC Universe that I borrowed from a co-worker. This one includes the Justice League and other superheroes and villians that I’m vaguely familiar with, but despite my lack of knowledge about the characters and the universe, I was still able to enjoy the story.
Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, illus. by Rags Morales with inks by Michael Bair, letters by Ken Lopez, and colors by Alex Sinclair. The original series covers were by Michael Turner.
Action/adventure; science fiction
When the spouse of a JLA member is brutally murdered, the entire super-hero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets! But before the mystery is fully solved, a number of long-buried secrets rise to the surface, threatening to tear apart and divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice. (Goodreads)
This one was fun. I enjoyed reading it and I’m pretty sure readers who’re more familiar with the characters in the DC Universe will enjoy it more than I did.
Here’s another superhero comic book my awesome co-worker introduced me to. I enjoyed the first one he leant me, Superman: Red Son, so I started this one with high hopes. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was great. I can’t tell if it’s the story that sucked or if I had unrealistic expectations of it after reading Red Son and so expected too much.
Hal Jordan–the Green Lantern of space sector 2814–has much to atone for. Possessed by an alien entity, Jordan once dismantled the entire Green Lantern Corps, killing many friends in the process.
Now he has regained the trust of his friends and allies and is rebuilding his life as a member of the Corps, a defender of Earth and a human being.
But fate won’t let Jordan move beyond his past. The Green Lanterns Jordan thought he had killed may still be alive…and crying for blood.
Now, to save the missing Lanterns, Jordan will travel deep into the heart of enemy territory and take on yet another threat from his past. But if he survives, the reward may be much greater than just redemption. (Goodreads)