Ginny Lurcock’s Comic Round-up: Volume 1, Issue 2

I read a lot of comics. A lot. Of comics. Always have and probably always will. And while comics are still snubbed, they’re gaining ground fast. Or maybe I’m just hanging around with a better group of people…

Either way, most comics no longer fall into the category of pearl-clutching. I still want to review them though. To share my love (or hatred or head-scratching or…) with you. So every other month I’ll be posting a round-up of the comics I’ve read. Rated from least favorite to most favorite. Basically. It usually gets a little vague in the middle.

The saucy comics will continue to get their own reviews. Or a separate round-up. Who knows, I’m flying by the seat of my pants here…

So without further adieu…

Ginny Lurcock’s Comic Round-up (Volume 1, Issue 2)


Dollface by Dan Mendoza, Bryan Seaton

Synopsis: In the town of Boston, a witch-hunter lurks among the shadows, but this witch-hunter is like none you’ve ever seen. She is Lila, a 17th century soul that has been transported into present time and into the body of a life size, ball jointed doll, created by a couple of MIT students trying to use technology and a 3D printer to create the perfect woman. Join in this super action packed origin story and find out how DOLLFACE came to be.”

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 128 pages
Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Genre: Spankbank
Content Level: There was content?
Trigger Warnings: I’m sure there were some, but I’m trying to get this out of my brain
Rating: *vomit*

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: Oh Jesus fuck… this is why we can’t have nice things.

Listen, I’m all for pretty women. I adore pretty women. I just need something more than your fucking masturbatory fantasies put on paper. People aren’t just orgasm factories. They deserve depth, even in satire, comedy, and- you guessed it- porn.

I’m done wasting time on this.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Infinite Seven: Volume 1 by Dave Dwonch, Arturo Mesa (Contributor), Geraldo Filho (Contributor)

Synopsis: For centuries, a secret world government has employed the INFINITE SEVEN, the world’s greatest assassins to do their dirty work. The only way to become one of their members is to prove your worth by killing one of their members. But what happens when Anthony Zane, a teenage boy from the suburbs does just that? Action hero archetypes are reimagined in what is sure to be the blockbuster series of the year! Collecting issues 1-4 of the ongoing monthly series.

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 96 pages
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Genre: action hero
Content Level: teen+
Trigger Warnings: murder, shitty parents
Rating: ughughugh

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: I know I say this a lot, but it’s 2017. Do better. That includes your “classic action flick comic book adventures.” If you throw in dumbass misogynistic tropes, I’ve got no time for you. I don’t want to hear that I’m busting your balls, or being a feminazi, either. I don’t give two fucks about your balls. Keep them, unbusted. Look…

Zero fucks.

All I’m trying to say is that if you can’t come up with stories and characters that aren’t lazy half-developed stereotypes (that are usually shitting on and/or belittling women)… sit down and let someone else tell the stories.

(This was unfair… the narrative is also racist)

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Peter David’s Artful by Peter David (Author), Nicole D’Andria (Author), Laura Neubert (Artist)

Synopsis: Award winning author and comics legend, Peter David, brings the adaptation of his novel, Artful, to Action Lab! Artful is the dark, funny, and action-packed story of one of the most fascinating characters in literary history, the Artful Dodger from the classic Oliver Twist, this time with a twist: Vampires.

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 192 pages
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017
Genre: vampire historical AU
Content Level: teen+
Trigger Warnings: antisemitism
Featuring: shitty vampires, shitty humans, and shitty art
Rating: shitty

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: You know what makes it super easy to review a comic? The watermark “COPYRIGHT 2016 ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT. FOR REVIEW COPY ONLY” printed over and over and over again on the page. (see example below)

But really… the art doesn’t demand that you actually see it. The watermark may have improved it, tbh.

I had previously purchased the novel version of this, way back in 2014. Oliver Twist and Vampires! How could this not be awesome?! Then I remember that I rarely actually read the books I purchase and instead read ARCs and fanfiction…

So I came into the comic adaptation without expectations from the novel, and I have no idea if this improved my reaction or not. What I can tell you is that I won’t be going back to read the novel. A rather uninspiring narrative that seeks to redeem Artful Dodger while making the Jewish Fagin even eviler than he was before. And like, totally casually. Like it just drops this antisemitism on the last panel before closing…

Just… no.

Bad comic. If I could rub your nose in that panel, comic, I would…

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Disney Manga: Magical Dance Volume 1 by Nao Kodaka

Synopsis: A young girl joins a dancing competition with her fellow students and soon realizes that she has two left feet! She spends a lot of time practicing but is discouraged by her results. Because of the young girl’s passion and dedication, Tinker Bell appears to grant her a wish. When Tinker Bell casts a spell on a magical card, the young girl enters the magical world of Disney and learns the joys of dancing!

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 192 pages
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: magical girl
Content Level: kid’s and up
Featuring: Disney Characters, which is the only reason I tolerated this
Rating: I’m upset with you, magic girl trope…

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: Oh, the magical girl genre… how I love and loathe you all at the same time. It will always have a special place in my heart because of Sailor Moon (my introduction to anime and manga), but…

Listen, I don’t have to like watching the main female protagonist be dumped on. I don’t have to enjoy her being insulted, told she isn’t good enough, or the implications that she’s not feminine enough. That’s some full-on toxic masculinity and we have to stop passing it off in works designed for anyone… ever. But we especially have to cut that shit out of our art that’s made for young impressionable girls.

So while the art was good and the concept was adorable… I can’t rate this favorably. It’s 2017. We deserve an updated and improved magical girl trope.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Zombies: A Brief History Of Decay by Olivier Peru, Arnaud Boudoiron

Synopsis: A vivid and richly illustrated graphic novel, Zombies offers an action-packed tour through an apocalyptic vision of America.

Mankind is no longer at the top of the food chain. Zombies have taken their place, and nothing can stop them. Is this the end of humanity? Perhaps, but for some it is only the beginning.

Six billion living corpses are all that remains of civilization. Among the few survivors is Sam Coleman, a man who owes his salvation to Smith & Wesson and a little luck. Fleeing Seattle at the onset of the zombie outbreak, he was forced to leave his daughter behind. Yet now that silence has fallen over the city, he believes that she may still be alive. And his conscience serves up a constant reminder that to be human in this grim world is to have hope—and to keep fighting.

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 152 pages
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Genre: …zombies
Content Level: Adult
Trigger Warnings: Rape, suicide
Featuring: That one actor in all those B-List movies as the new leader of the free world…
Rating: Eh. (Except that one sequence, at the end)

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: Everyone’s trying to be the next The Walking Dead. Want to know a secret? I don’t even like The Walking Dead… I don’t need imitatiors…

But Zombies does have some high points that stand on its own. It has its own low points too. There’s a fuck ton going on here and it took me as long to read this as it did A Song of Ice and Fire. (That’s probably an exaggeration, but fuck it felt that way…)

Let’s break it down:

The Good: What happens to Sam at the end of the story… the last few panels with him? My god, they were astounding. I didn’t even like Sam through most of the story and yet those few pages blew my freaking mind.

The Bad: I couldn’t actually tell most of the characters apart for most of the story. I certainly don’t remember anyone’s name. Hell, I had to look up Sam’s name earlier just to mention him in the review.

The Ugly: Rape. Two throwaway mentions of it and one image of women tied to a bed so rednecks could rape them. Just casually thrown into the story. Because sexual assault and violence against women is just a necessary building block after an apocalypse.

In summation: Basically, everything that could be in a zombie story was in this one. And because it tries to do so much, it does it all in a fair to poor fashion. I’ll be sticking to Warm Bodies, World War Z, and Dawn of the Dead for my zombie fixes…

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Army of Darkness/Xena: Warrior Princess – Why Not? #1 by John Bayman (Writer), Miguel Montenegro (Illustrator)

Synopsis: The cross-over no one asked for — or expected — is finally here! Too big for the movie of television screen, Dynamite presents the ultimate “Why Not? tale as Ash and Army of Darkness meets Xena, the Warrior Princess in the first issue of this 4-part mini series event! Written by master … uh, scribe, John Layman and illustrated by Miguel Montenegro, the first issue of our most unnecessary adventure finds Ashley J. Williams transported to the world of Xena and Gabrielle and most importantly Autolycus, who of course, bears more than a passing resemblance to our main man Ash. Throw in the Necornomicon and an evil little ash taking charge of a group of fairies (the winged kind) and hey, you’ve got yourselves a story! Featuring two covers, one by UDON studios and the other by Fabiano Neves!

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 100 pages
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: …is crazy 90s crossover a genre?
Content Level: Teen+
Trigger Warnings: Gabrielle on the verge of death. Repeatedly.
Featuring: All the love of my teenage self’s life.
Rating: I… have no idea.

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: I can suddenly think of several reasons why not…

I fell in love with Xena and Army of Darkness in my teenage years, back in the 90s. Where I should have left them. Since they’re both actually raging assholes.

Xena reminds me more of the evil version we only got in flashbacks during the show. It’s a little upsetting to see someone who was a role model to me reduced to that. Ash is still a sexist asshole who reads as being slimy. I suppose it’s okay though since the woman he’s trying to seduce is more than willing. I’m still not sure why… I mean, Bruce Campbell is hot but is he hot enough to warrant all the effort she goes through as he jackrabbits through time?

I doubt it.

The story felt disjointed and odd, but when I went back through and tried to pick where it went wrong, I was hard pressed to find one moment. To locate one solid example that I could show to my husband and go “see! This is absurd.”

So I guess it wasn’t awful… it just wasn’t good either.

(I went to reclose the file and found this image… which is pretty funny…)

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Generation Zero Volume 2: Heroscape by Fred Van Lente (Goodreads Author), Diego Bernard (Contributor), Javier Pulido (Contributor)

Synopsis: ZEROES TO HEROES!

Generation Zero managed to survive their first mission, and now duty has called on them to venture deep inside a perilous dimension only known as the Heroscape to see the world through a new set of eyes! They’ll discover their friends’ biggest secrets, their enemies’ darkest fears, and their town’s sinister connection to this imagination-fueled reality. But just because the Heroscape is imaginary, doesn’t mean it can’t kill you… And, from anime-inflected zombie hordes to psychedelic sci-fi warriors, all of Rook, Michigan’s most deeply buried fantasies are about to come roaring out of your daydreams!

Dream big because New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (IVAR, TIMEWALKER) and acclaimed artists Javier Pulido (Daredevil) and Diego Bernard (X-O MANOWAR) are gearing up to send Valiant’s temperamental teenage time-bombs blasting out of the suburbs and into their most grisly adventure yet!

Collecting GENERATION ZERO #6-9.

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 112 pages
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Superhero/dystopian
Content Level: teen
Trigger Warnings: that fucking fetus… I’m sure there were others, but I’m blinded by that one
Featuring: My girl Keisha
Rating: wow… that was more than I expected.

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: eugh… there’s still a super intelligent psychic baby fetus. And it still squigs me.

But the artwork is still stunning. The story is still captivating. I was turning pages as quickly as I could, holding my breath and my heart pumping wildly. Keisha is still my hero (see below.) And I just… I really enjoyed it. The two volumes together are masterful. It was a great ARC with a wholly satisfying ending, and if you can get around the creepy-fetus I recommend checking it out.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Nightwing, Volume 2: Back to Blüdhaven by Tim Seeley

Synopsis: Dick Grayson’s adventures as Nightwing continue in the second volume collecting the best-selling Nightwing series from DC Universe: Rebirth!

Former Robin and retired superspy Dick Grayson has returned to Gotham and stepped back into his life as Nightwing–the blue-and-black clad vigilante known for going where others won’t. Fresh off a deep cover operation to infiltrate the Parliament of Owls, Nightwing must come to terms with secrets of his past that will forever change his destiny. Featuring appearances by Batman and Superman, this volume is packed with nonstop action and adventure!

Written by Grayson veteran scribe Tim Seeley, Nightwing, Volume 2: Blüdhaven continues the spectacular adventures of the former Robin, Dick Grayson!

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 172 pages
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Genre: superhero
Content Level: adult
Featuring: Basically every cameo ever, except Wonder Woman
Rating: weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, I love Nightwing. Thank you, Tim Seeley, for not making him a secret Nazi

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: I got my whole round-up posted. It was formatted all fancy like and everything. Then I open Netgalley to see where my ratio was and BAM! Nightwing comic…

If it wasn’t Nightwing, I’d have been pissed…

Instead, I’m just pissed that there’s so much Superman. Not really, but dammit DC, you know how I feel about Superman. Stop trying to ruin my Nightwing with… fuck I can’t be mad at someone who fanbois over Nightwing…

I hate you…

No, but seriously. Nightwing goes to “Back to Bludhaven” to find himself. In doing so, we get a glimpse of Dick Grayson. The real Dick Grayson. The one who wants a life outside of Nightwing, who wants to trust himself and his instincts. The one who wants hobbies outside infiltrating evil organizations by going deep undercover.

Deep undercover.

*gigglesnort*

But that’s not so easy, as we discover along with Nightwing. And it’s a great story. It’s got everything I’m looking for in a superhero comic these days. Redemption, betrayal, deceit, shenanigans, witty banter, being shot down at attempts for witty banter…

It even has a romance. Which, I will admit, started out kind of rough.

Well, actually, when they first met I shipped it hard. But it turned out they had history. A weird, antagonistic history. And once they realize this fact, they share some really antagonistic panels before they… almost kiss?I don’t really know. I guess he said he believed in her and her pals, so that counted for something?

Yeah, I’m still not sure. But they work together and beat the bad guys and the last thirty pages pretty much revolve around their romance and talking to their friends about their romance. Which, oddly enough, I am here for…

Forced almost kisses and weird Superman clones aside, I really love what they’re doing with Nightwing in The New 52, and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Great Divide by Ben Fisher, Adam Markiewicz (Contributor)

Synopsis: In the near future, humanity awakens to the horrifying reality that the faintest touch from another’s skin results in agonizing death. The survivors isolate themselves, many driven mad by fragments of memories absorbed from those they’ve killed. Two years after the “Divide,” a pair of thieves stumble upon the means to save their species… but not everyone is eager to see the old world order restored!

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 144 pages
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Horror. Straight up ass clenching horror
Content Level: Adult
Trigger Warnings: allusions to bestiality, kidnapping, forced gladiatorial combat
Featuring: the ultimate bubble rule
Rating: I was disturbed and horrified, and I loved every heart-pounding second of it.

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: This was, quite possibly, the most horrifying thing I’ve ever read. I am freaked out beyond belief, and now it’s late and I have to try and sleep. But my nightmares are going to be full of not being able to touch people while trying to pay for my Netflix subscription. (It’s always my Netflix. I stopped questioning why when I was being stabbed by terrorists at Disney World…)

I am not sure I’m capable of reviewing this book properly… but I can tell you that I will be reading more. And recommending it to every who enjoys horror.

And sleeping with the lights on.

Without allowing my husband to sleep in our bed. “It’s too hot,” I’ll say… but really it’s because of this fucked up fucking book from Scaretopia.

(Good art, original idea, captivating story, and all the “WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK” moments weren’t racist or sexist… The redneck lacking mental acuity could be considered ableist, possibly. That’s not my lane so I can’t judge. Oh, and there’s a fuck ton of nudity.)

(And I just keep turning my head to the side because this story was so fucked up… I’m buying it for my husband for his birthday. He’s gonna love it.)

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.

 

 


Wonder Woman, Volume 2: Year One by Greg Rucka (Writer), Nicola Scott (Artist), Romulo Fajardo, Jr. (Colourist), Jodi Wynn (Letterer), Bilquis Evely (Artist)

Synopsis:
A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

New York Times best-selling writer Greg Rucka continues his return to Wonder Woman! The team of Rucka and artist Nicola Scott weave the definitive and shocking tale of Diana’s first year as Earth’s protector.

Paradise has been breached, Ares stirs, and the Amazons must answer with a champion of their own…one who is willing to sacrifice her home amongst her sisters to save a world she has never seen. Wonder Woman’s journey begins in this epic origin story!

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 168 pages
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Genre: wonder woman (which should be a genre), superhero
Content Level: teen
Featuring: more sapphic love than you can shake a stick at
Rating: is so good

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: In many ways (in all the ways) I wish that this book was released before Volume 1. It would’ve cleared up so much…

Actually, I feel like there are three or four books that probably would’ve been prudent before the release of what was labeled volume one, but…

Listen, let’s not dwell on the past. Instead, let’s look to the future… by reviewing Diana’s origin story.

Oh my glob, kids… this is the Wonder Woman story I needed in comic book form. Set in the modern world instead of World War I, the story still follows Steve crashing in Themyscira and Diana being chosen to bring him home, giving up her place in paradise.

Instead of World War I, we have her being introduced to the modern world. Malls and margaritas… it was glorious. Hell, there was even the allusions to sapphic love outside of Themyscira. There are Greek gods in the form of animals, new powers, stopping terrorist cells, language barriers, and battles with Ares.

What more can you ask for in a Wonder Woman comic?

(this, but it comes in a later volume… It’s cool. I can wait.)

*insert image: batman*

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


Flash Gordon: Kings Cross (Dynamite’s Defenders of the Universe #5) by Jeff Parker, Jesse Hamm, Grace Allison (Illustrator)

Synopsis: Ming the Merciless wants to claim Earth as the crown jewel of his empire! His latest scheme?

Teleporting a continent from his homeworld of Mongo into the Pacific Ocean, thereby unleashing its monstrous beasts into our seas and causing catastrophic tidal waves to devastate our naval defenses! It’s up to Flash Gordon, the fearless daredevil who has unraveled the tyrant’s previous schemes at every turn, to once again rally his friends in defense of the Earth. Join intrepid reporter Dale Arden, eccentric scientist Dr. Zarkov, Mandrake the Magician, two iterations of The Phantom, Jungle Jim, and the timelost hero Prince Valiant in the wildest adventure on this or any world!

Meta Details and Rating:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 120 pages
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: classic superhero/space opera awesome
Content Level: Teen
Featuring: so much campy awesome win
Rating: You have to read this *shakes you*

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: My previous knowledge of Flash Gordon extends to that one Queen song, mentions of him in Ted, the knowledge that he was the OG space opera (or something) and that one softcore porn ripoff that I had to spend an entire day tracking down for my mother.

Don’t think on that too hard…

So I come into this story with only names, and those are only because of the Flash song…

Ah-ah…

Oh god, I need to read everything about all the things…

Other comics I’ve read lately have seemed as if they were trying to recapture the feel of some glory days of comics or action movies or… just not 2017. This, though… This is campy and funny and fun and doesn’t make me want to rip my eyeballs out with shit art or offensive story lines. It doesn’t rely on lazy writing or sad, sorry tropes.

I didn’t think anything was going to top Wonder Woman in this roundup, but Flash Gordon does… Handily.
It was everything. A stunning comic that modernizes a franchise. I think I might cry over how much I love it…

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


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