Books

Squirrel Girl, Paper Girls and Harley Quinn

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe!

Grade: B+

Of all the books I read over the holidays The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe was the one I was probably most looking forward to. Doreen winds up getting cloned accidentally (because Tony Stark apparently can’t do anything right in the comics) and cloned Doreen decides that in order to make the planet safe for squirrels she needs to get rid of the humans.

This was almost to packed with cameos (and really why does Tony always come off like such a dip in these stories?). The most emotional moments involved the squirrels and I kind of felt for clone Doreen. I enjoyed it and it had some cute moments. But it was also a bit disappointing and it lacked some spark that the other Squirrel Girl’s had for me. I think  even despite the clone Doreen’s starting to veer into that too perfect category for me but like I said I still overall enjoyed it. If only for the Squirrels. Recommend: Yes. 

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Grade: B

Paper Girls Vol. 2 is another one I was really looking forward to that kind of fell flat. We jump back into the story with Erin, Mac and Tiffany who have been slingshotted into their future (2016) and meet up with the older Erin.

There are some cute moments where the girls are off balance in the future and an interesting emotional fate for one of the girl’s to deal with but it’s a whole lot of set-up.

Everything expands and there is not a whole lot of answers. Really only one I can think of and that’s not until the very end and it might be considered an answer without an explanation. I love Brian K. Vaughn so I believe this will go somewhere but it was a little frustrating this time around.

Recommend: Yes. Despite my frustration I’m enjoying this series and to be fair I read a lot of people who said they actually enjoyed the second volume more than the first.

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Grade: B

Last among the graphic novel reading was Harley Quinn Vol 4: A Call To Arms. I always love Harley and this one starts off fun going forward with her “Gang of Harley’s” and crime-fighting. That was definitely my favorite part. I generally love Harley’s interactions with her friends and her trying to do good.

So it was a little weird that I had a hard time finishing this one- especially the last stories. There’s one when she’s in LA and another with a road trip with Poison Ivy and Catwoman. I just found both a bit dull even though there’s a Suicide Squad character cameo in one of them. I’m also not a big fan of this Catwoman. It probably took me longer to read this one than any other Harley.

Recommend: Yes. If for no other reason for her fighting crime and doing good while happily blackmailing the Mayor as only Harley can 🙂

Books

Comic-Con Inspired Reading

Paper Girls

Paper Girls

Brian K. Vaughn

Grade: A

A little bit of random reviews and comic-con inspired reading for people who won’t be there this weekend. (I’ve always been torn on comic-con like part of me really wants to go at least once but part of me thinks I’d be absolutely miserable.) So… I read and watch everything on line 😉

Paper Girls Volume 1 is a graphic novel about four, well, paper girls who go out one morning and have increasingly strange things happen. They find what looks like a Dalek and then there’s disappearing people, strange creatures, people from the future (maybe?) and a whole lot of intriguing adventure and plot lines.

The art work by Cliff Chiang is really lovely in this one and while this is only volume one I’m totally down for more. This is not really one for kids despite the title. There’s a shooting, suicide attempt, some sci-fi like violence and because it’s 1988 some discriminatory language from one of the main characters.

I’m definitely looking forward to Volume Two.

Armada

Armada by Ernest Cline (B-) didn’t get the best reviews but it wasn’t bad for a “weekend take this to a convention” book. I actually listened to the audible book narrated by Will Wheaton.

The story is about Zack Lightman whose wildest dreams come true one day and he finds himself defending the Earth from an invading army that’s a lot like the video game he happens to excel at.

At first the pop culture references weren’t too bad. Mostly because I understood them but everything does kind of wear on you. At a certain point in this story I really thought it was all in Zack’s head. The problem was once I got to that point it was so extremely hard to take any of it seriously. You could also see where it was all going. Wheaton’s narration really did help save my enjoyment of the book.

One Con Glory

One Con Glory by Sarah Kuhn (B) My e-book version of this one was only about 107 pages. It’s a quick fun read about an entertainment like reporter covering the conventions and her search for the under appreciated somewhat forgotten hero of her childhood. In toy form of course.

There’s also a cute guy whose a closet nerd. It’s a pretty fast easy read. But the characters were fun and lively even if the supporting cast wasn’t that deep or interesting. And I can understand the love for under appreciated characters. You connect with who and what you connect with you know?

Lastly there’s Zeroes (B) by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti:

Zeroes

This one started off slow to me but the characters, while not entirely likable or easy to connect with,  had some really intriguing powers. Especially Scam who has a voice (that he can’t control) that seems to be all knowing and starts mouthing off in the middle of a bank robbery which only leads to increasing trouble for him. There were times the voice seemed almost demonic.

Another intriguing power was the ability to control crowds which could be good or bad but was at one point used to calm the situation during the bank robbery. I liked how the powers were described and used and there’s definitely some good stuff here. Good characterization but I just wasn’t feeling it for some reason. Right now it’s like I feel it was an interesting book to read but I can’t imagine going onto the next one at this point. It’s like I was feeling the powers themselves but not really the plot.

Recommend: Definitely Paper Girls.

Enjoy the weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!