This first non-Ryan North Adventure Time arc wasn’t my favorite, but it was still entertaining. The premise was fun and somehow terrifying (welcome to Adventure Time). The peoples of Ooo have forgotten how to prepare food for themselves. Chaos ensues! Turns out the solution was inside Jake the whole time.
I’m behind on writing this week, but it’s okay, I compensated by reading a lot. In order to meet my lofty 2020 reading goals, I need to count graphic novels and comic books (TPBs not single issues–I’m not a total barbarian). This past week I caught up on some of the comics I had waiting on the shelf. Several upcoming reviews in the queue:
Kick-Ass (Mark Millar, John Romita Jr.)
Blackbird Vol. 1 (Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel)
Trees Vol. 1 (Warren Ellis, Jason Howard)
For now here are reviews of Adventure Time vols. 5-6 (Ryan North) and Captain America, vol. 2: Captain of Nothing (Ta-Nehisi Coates).
On deck to read once I finish the aforementioned reviews:
Kick-Ass 2 Prelude: Hit-Girl (Millar, Romita Jr.)
Adventure Time vols. 7-8 (Ryan North)
Watchmen (Alan Moore)–somehow I have never read this
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (Damian Duffy, from Octavia E. Butler)
Trees, Vol. 2: Two Forests (Ellis, Howard)
Superman: Year One (Frank Miller, John Romita Jr.)
Invisible Kingdom (G. Willow Wilson, Christian Ward–I actually have all six issues of this series on order, as the first run was amazing.
I’m always looking for recommendations of great graphic novels/comics. I generally stray from Marvel/DC, but only because of the sometimes sharp learning curve and extended history of certain characters. I will definitely check out mainstream superhero books that pique my interest and seem moderately self-contained (and so Superman above). Have any other suggests? Let me know in the comments!
Otherwise I posted one other review this week–Annalee Newitz’s spec fic time-travel novel, The Future of Another Timeline. Find that here. I enjoyed this book, even more than Newitz’s debut, Autonomous. In both, Newitz weaves together the political, the social, and the personal with technology.
I finished The Hero of Ages this week (my third time through Mistborn Era 1) as part of my reread of the novels in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere. I’m to the Era 1 short fiction (“The Lost Metal,” “Mistborn: Secret History”) from the Arcanum Unbounded collection. This is a bit of a deviation in my Sanderson reading plan, as I typically read the books in more or less published order (though always leading into The Stormlight Archive).
I also finally picked up a book that has been on my TBR for a long time: V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic. I’m enjoying it so far! My introduction to fantasy was really through magic “systems,” e.g. The Wheel of Time and anything by Brandon Sanderson. While I clearly still dig Sanderson, my interests have been verging more toward the “low magic” side. Not that these types of magics don’t have rules, but the rules are neither necessarily clearly defined nor intricate. I’m thinking of someone like Neil Gaiman here, especially The Ocean at the End of the Lane. As it happens, Gaiman is one of Schwab’s big influences, so. Look for a review of the first in the Shades of Magic trilogy next week!
My wife and I got to have a weekend away recently, featuring Indian food, time to read, free perusal of Barnes and Noble, and time not spent focused on a two-year-old. I made it through some comics from the library that have been sitting on the shelf for a bit: Adventure Time vols. 5 and 6 (Ryan North), and Captain America, vol. 2: Captain of Nothing by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Not sure how large the overlap is between Adventure Time and Captain America readers, but it’s a great place to be!
I’m not sure what specifically keeps me coming back to Adventure Time. The weirdness and creativity are surely important, but it might just be the colors.
In Volume Five, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline need to save the Candy Kingdom from the bubblegum that has overtaken the brains of its people. The semi-sentient bubblegum was PB’s fault to begin with of course, in all of her mad scientists-ness. PB finally discover the acidic solution to their problems as they employ the help of the um…delightful Lemongrab.
These Adventure Time stories continue to use Finn & Jake as starting points for adventures, but are delightfully exploring other characters. I am specifically enjoying the backstory and development of Bubblegum’s and Marceline’s friendships.
Five stars for another fast-paced, quirky Adventure!
For me the pacing of this book was off, especially in the first few issues. Things finally got rolling though, and overall I found Adventure Time Volume Six to be another delightful Princess Bubblegum-focused story.
Three stars for a decent AT book. Four starts for BMO and Ice King.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to live in a time in which Ta-Nehisi Coates writes comic books.
His Captain America run remains very engaging as Coates tackles the political and the personal. Steve Rogers is no longer sure what it means to be Captain America. What does that represent? Could the name–the persona–be doing more harm than good?
Steve must navigate the complex dynamics of those out to cheat the system in order to make it and those who are truly evil. People may exist along a moral continuum. Rogers himself may be morally ambiguous, as he is so often opposed to the government that he has perennially served. Though as Sharon Carter points out, Cap doesn’t serve a government but a country.
Steve Rogers may even be discovering a new future not in rogue libertarianism but in mutuality and support as he asks for help from the Daughters of Liberty.
Five stars for another great Marvel book from Coates!