Tag Archives: comic book reviews

Trade Review: Lumberjanes Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

Writers: Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis
Artist: Brooke Allen
Publisher: Boom! Box
Price $14.99

As someone who primarily picks up their indy books in trade, the waiting process can be an interesting process. While you’re waiting for that first volume, lots of talk goes back and forth in the comic shop and on message boards about certain books that make you consider checking out certain books when the time finally comes. Certainly, there have been many highly praised books from the past that have left me disappointed, but enough good talk was going around for Lumberjanes that I decided to give it a try. And I’m sure glad that I did, because even though I’m about the furthest thing from the target demographic here, this turned out to be one of the most enjoyable comics I’ve read in a while.

Coming from co-creators Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters, Lumberjanes is centered around the eponymous group of 5 who stumble upon a number of misadventures while attending summer camp; that is to say that this is a book about girl scouts exploring a supernatural wilderness. If that sounds like a quirky premise, that’s because it is, and the writing reflects a light-hearted sense of fun that pervades the experience. Each of our leads has a distinct voice and personality, and the dialogue provided by the writing team is filled with charm. On artistic duties, Brooke Allen matches the atmosphere of the book nicely with high-energy line work that exudes a quirkiness all its own.

So the book is quite charming, as I expected going in. But beyond this, though, the story does a very effective job establishing a good long-form story. The mysteries of the camp are introduced subtly and effectively, with a lot of moving pieces being put into place in a way that makes me anxious to come back for more.

And I must say that it’s a good thing the book is of high quality, because it’s something that the industry needs more of: a book with compelling female protagonists. Our heroes don’t sit around daydreaming about boys or anything like that, but rather lead lives of action, and indeed kick a lot of ass.

Lumberjanes is one of those rare books that adults can enjoy and then pass along to their kids to read. It provides both boys and girls with good role models and provides good life lessons (the words to the Lumberjanes pledge in particular are good words to live by). Maybe it’s not very complex and doesn’t have a lot you can sink your teeth into, but that won’t keep you from enjoying yourself. This is a book that can be enjoyed across a wide range of demographics, and it’s one that really should be. Whether for yourself or for your kids, be sure to give it a look.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

Review: Legenderry Vampirella #4

Story: David Avallone
Art: David T. Cabrera (art), Robby Bevard (colours) and Dave Lanphear (letters)

The Basics:

This series picks up from the world that writer Bill Willingham created in his 7-issue mini series Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure, in which he re-imagined heroes and villains we know (largely from older, pulpier favourites) and built a steampunk world out of whole cloth. Continue reading Review: Legenderry Vampirella #4

Review: Uncanny Avengers Issue #17

Uncanny Avengers 17

The conclusion of Ragnarök Now!
• The Avengers Assemble! But are they too late?
• The Twins’ revenge on Kang is complete, but at what cost?
• Planet X is born!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

If you’re a regular reader of my comic book reviews you know that I’m not a big fan of putting too many spoilers in them. My goal is to get people excited about the comic book so they will go out and buy a copy of their own, and if I’m just giving panel for panel plot details, it sort of defeats the purpose. This, however, will NOT be the case for this review. Rick Remender is simply doing too terrific of a job on this title for me to be so allusive with the details.

The Background

Yes, Uncanny Avengers may only be up to issue #17, but this is in no way where the story being told within the pages of this comic begins. Rick Remender has been telling an ongoing story of Apocalypse since his days on X-Force, and he’s continued that through this title. Apocalypse may have been a lot of things in the past – a megalomaniac, a baby, a child, even good old Archangel – but Remender has flipped the script in Uncanny Avengers. Apocalypse is now a set of evil twins, Uriel and Eimin, born of the Horseman of Pestilence Ichisumi from the Dark Angel Saga from, that’s right, Remender’s run on X-Force. It’s quite brilliant. Sure the overall tone of the book came out of the whole Avengers vs. X-Men event with “Unity Team” of Avengers starring in Uncanny, but it’s all been part of an amazing epic. But the whole thing is still enjoyable from issue to issue and from arc to arc, and issue #17, the end of an arc, is testament to this great title.

The Good

Uncanny Avengers has been building up for quite some time, but, besides the character interactions, subtle nuances, and a even a bit of politics, all you really need to know to get the gist of this particular issue is that Kang raised some kidnapped Apocalypse-spawn, trained them to be the best damn Apocalypse they could be, tricked Thor into creating a Celestial busting super-sword, and twisted time to his own gains to bring about the complete domination of the planet Earth. But these twins had other things in mind, got over on their would-be father-figure and the members of the Uncanny Avengers themselves, evacuating every mutant from Earth and tricking a Celestial to bring down his godly wrath upon the puny planet. Along the way we saw Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Wonder Man, and several other character die in spectacularly shocking fashion. Yes, I know it’s a comic and they’ll be back eventually, but this time-warping tale of the Twins gives the whole idea of character death some extra clout. Last issue we ended with a giant Celestial bearing down on Earth, with a determined Thor laying some smack down on the Twins. Ish 17 picked it right up from there, Ragnorak Now ends here.

The action in this issue is nail-biting. Thor is fighting the remaining Twin as he attempts to regain the magical axe Jarnborn and bring down the Celestial now on top of Earth. The Avengers on Earth move to intercept the behemoth with a shoe the size of South America, as Tony Stark and others work on a giant shield to protect the planet long enough for Thor to get the job done. The addition of Dr. Doom to the team of scientist working on the shield stressed just how dire things were, and was a great touch of subtlety. The book builds with another fight between Wasp and a resurrected Grim Reaper, but seeing Captain America enter the fray, and then quickly leaving it, was yet another great moment in this amazing comic book arc. Thor finally wins the struggle for Jarnborn, heads toward the giant Celestial, and, of course, he’s going to kill it and the Avengers win, right? Right?! Hell no! Earth is destroyed, Thor is teleported to Asgard, and Ragnorak in complete. The Twins have taken away what Kang wanted most in this life, and there is now no Earth to conquer. It was an amazing, edge-of-your-seat ride of a comic book, and, as always, was wonderfully depicted by Steve McNiven’s work on art.

The Bad

There’s so much going on in this single issue that a lot of it seems rushed. That’s an odd thing to say in an industry that tends to stretch stories out as far as they can (often snapping them in the process), but this story is such a great one that it demands more attention; more panels; more pages. This arc could have easily been stretched out another 3 or even 4 issues, giving us more fights, more insights, and just more everything, and I would have been quite happy. McNiven’s art is too good to be contained in this book, and the single page spreads should have been double-paged landscapes. I just wanted more!

The Verdict

Uncanny Avengers is a joy to read, and issue #17 is by far the best of the series so far. It was an amazing cap to an epic story arc, and continues to be the little dog with big fight in an arena full of Avengers titles written by Hickman and Spencer. The best part: You don’t need to get any other titles besides Uncanny Avengers to get the full joy of Uncanny Avengers. Everything is self-contained, and everything is epic. Sure, Remender may have started his love affair with Apocalypse in another book years ago, but he’s really showing how deep that love is in this book. Next issue is a Point.1 and promises a great jumping on point, but do yourself a favor and pick these books up in trade or issues. You will not be disappointed. As for this single issue have to give Uncanny Avengers #17 an as close to perfect score as I give ANY comic

Writing: 5 out 5
Art: 5 out 5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

I don’t like giving perfect scores (yeah, I’m one of THOSE guys) but this ish gets close.