Check out this lil’ comic strip I made with the aqua-version I doodled of myself, (your good ol’ admin Starling.)
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood (The New 52)
Confession: I used to avoid Wonder Woman comics because I was afraid it would be filled with sexist-against-guys femi-nazi hatefulness. If that’s the way it used to be, (I don’t know), then it sure isn’t now! I would not be ashamed for a man to read this comic at all! The story of Wonder Woman’s plight, the vicious, back stabbing nature of the gods, and the strength and loyalty of the Amazons makes a story worth getting lost in whether you’ve been a previous comic book fan or not! It is one of the greatest examples of the DC Comics New 52 reboot at it’s finest! I have been impressed with the fresh perspective and beginning feel of so many DC titles so far, but Wonder Woman really takes the cake! (Make your own Wonder Woman cake here.)
It really feels like a lot of research and thought went into creating the gods for this story. They are deliciously selfish and make very hateful, unique, and powerful villains. (Not to mention there seems to be some god for every type of fan to relate to! Take your pick for your favorite!) I am excited to turn the page just to find out what god may be introduced next and what awesome way they’ve chosen to portray them! The way they interact with one another seems natural and very psychologically deep. As a writer with interests in mythology, ethics, and morals it is very intriguing to study this particular spin on the world of the gods and their role in man’s world. They’ve taken the already existent mythological stories and blended them into a very nice ongoing soap opera for us to enjoy!
Now to speak of villains! Though Hades, Strife, Poseidon, War, etc…are very thrilling, wicked bad guys to contend with, the one that makes me shudder the most is Hera! When she is against someone she is everything dangerous to fear from a woman scorned, and the Wonder Woman comics are the perfect place to have such a strong, beautiful enemy. I find myself empathizing with the jaded queen of the gods, desperate to find a way to make Zeus love her the way his man-slut-self seems to spread his love out to everyone else. With Zeus’ disappearance she has the weight of the world, (and more), on her shoulders. I can really appreciate and respect her as a villain even though I can understand that Wonder Woman is in the right with her duty to her own conscious and her own self respect.
Hermes is my favorite so far! He is super cool with his talon feet!! I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say that one of my favorite lines is after he asks a girl what shape Zeus disguised himself as to get her to want to have sex with him. (That’s a thing Zeus does. He’s always shape shifting to woo chicks.) The girl lists off several different men because she gets around and isn’t quite sure which one Zeus might have been. The look on Hermes’ face is priceless!!! The girl then says, “I like men, Hermes, and I’m not gonna apologize for that.” Hermes says, “As you shouldn’t.” Such a great guy! No judgement from him!
Wonder Woman is drawn much more feminine that I expected, though she is in no way dainty or meek like a Victorian lady. I love how being a woman, being a girl, is not frowned upon here! Wonder Woman and the Amazons are women with purpose and are very much people to admire. They are not jaded and living their lives the way they do out of fear or anger toward men, but rather that they are embracing what it is to be a woman. I have seen Amazon-type stories completely ruined by making the women all victims acting out of vengeance or fear, but Wonder Woman is no wallowing victim! She is a woman to be respected and she shows this by the way she values herself and treats others with respect as well. (When it is due them, of course. If they don’t deserve respect she lays the painful smack down on them! Yes!)
The artwork is very pleasantly colorful, shifting from light settings to creepy dark settings as needed to very efficiently set the mood. It seems like all the characters are very, very flawless and beautiful for the most part, which is understandable sense they are all gods, mix breed gods, or people the gods are coveting/consorting with. I very much appreciate how the sad/crying/anger faces in this are also decent to look at and beautiful in their own pitiful way, unlike some comics which make their heroine a snotty pinch-faced ugly mess when they’re upset. *Cough* Catwoman New 52 Vol 1: The Game. *Cough*
The drawings are not super detailed on every page, meaning that the light and shadow are sometimes simply outlines rather than catering to every muscular curve and crevice of a body, but I like the affect it has, so it’s a good thing! The background in places also looks like it was hurriedly added in at the last minute as filler, but it wasn’t distracting. What WAS distracting was the way Strife was drawn. Maybe she’s supposed to look unnatural and like she just doesn’t belong, because she’s strife, after all, but that’s just what it looks like. Her character seems to float on the pages as if she was drawn by a completely different artist and just penciled in on top of the story. The way she stands sometimes, it’s clear in real life she should just tip over. There’re several panels of her walking through the forest at one point, and her arms and legs do NOT remind me of something walking, but rather she seems to be a manikin posed to pretend she’s moving. It’s a consistent thing throughout the comic that the way Strife is drawn is a tic distracting.
Something I really don’t like, though, is the way I see feet drawn in here from time to time. They do it nicely all the time, so I know the artist(s) know how to do it! Then out of nowhere they revert back to High School concept are and have these triangular cartoon feet that give the limbs a swollen allergy appearance. It’s just a pet peeve of mine, and I bet most people don’t even notice. I, on the other hand, am looking at this powerful image of Hera standing over a shamed worshiper, looking down at her disapprovingly in all her naked, confident queen-of-the-gods glory, and I scan down her lovely frame and cringe when I see those doofy feet they added at the end! *Miff* It doesn’t match the detail of the rest of the body art.
This New 52 comic has really wet my appetite to read much more Wonder Woman! I’ll be getting the next volumes as they come out, and at some point I may even start back tracking to the older comics to compare. I highly recommend it! I give Wonder Woman Vol 1: Blood five hearts! You can click on the picture of Vol 1 up there and it will take you to the amazon link where you can buy your own copy! (Or you can just click here.)
Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones
First off, the art in this comic is beautiful! The colors are rich and earthy, and I think it’s very creative how the panel dividers change shape and design with the theme on the pages as the story goes along. Instead of strait lines when the ‘green’ characters are present, there are lovely vines and branches gracefully stretching across the page to frame the panels. Then when the rot comes into play the panel dividers become black and red and appear to be spreading across the page as if the story is eating it’s way to my eyes!
I felt the story did really well in describing the basic foundation of what the green (plants/flora type stuff) and the rot (decay) are and why they are always at odds. The heroes of the story (Swamp Thing) can manipulate the green (plants), and the villains can manipulate decay.
There is a third force of life that is mentioned in this volume, which is the Red, but not much description of that third faction is in this volume. My husband, Master Betty, says that he read Animal Man volume one and that the red is about animals and the ability to influence/borrow characteristics from animals. So it would probably be a good idea to read along with Animal Man sense they compliment each other so well. The Red and the Green are apparently against one another and each want control of the world, but they work together to fight the rot. This is the same basic principal that has always been throughout the Swamp Thing comics, but it never gets old. There have always been creative writers to take this horror fic to new terrifying levels.
I didn’t expect this comic to be so frightening, but it is! My expectations could probably be blamed on the old Swamp Thing movies or TV show, so boy was I in for a shock when I began to read the actual Swamp Thing comics. Both the green and the rot are chilling to read about! Nature in general takes on a different form in Swamp Thing, and there truly were merciless sections of horror. *shudder* It really takes the primitive fears instilled in mankind and finds a way to throw back the shower curtain of civilization and dump them on you so they can no longer be ignored. The rot has a way of making me scared of the villain no matter who it’s going to be simply because they’re in tune with the rot so they’re probably thinking the same collective nasty things.
This new Swamp Thing is not the same as Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, who was actually a plant elemental and not really an actual person, allowing him to be super powerful and godlike. Although I’m thinking that will always be the most respected Swamp Thing, it’s kind of necessary to start with someone fresh or else there wouldn’t really be much of a conflict to give Swamp Thing that he couldn’t handle with less effort than swatting away a fly. I feel bad for Alec Holland, the new guy, because he is not familiar with his calling to be the Swamp Thing, nor does he seem to be very enthusiastic about stepping up to the heroic plate. This story does an excellent job of gaining my empathy for the hero so that I feel invested in his struggles.
If I had to pick my least favorite thing about the comic, I’d say that there wasn’t much of the actual Swamp Thing in the entire volume, but then again it is a kind of origin story with The New 52. All in all, the art is breathtaking, the story is intriguing and scary, and it is thoroughly informative as an origin story without becoming boring at all. I would definitely recommend it and I plan to pick up volume two when it comes out! You can click the picture above to go to amazon.com and get your own copy of Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones to read and review for yourself!
Catwoman: The Game
This is one sexy comic! There are several panels that I gasped and had to show to my husband so he could join in the ogling.
The artwork is captivating and Catwoman is drawn very…curvy. She moves gracefully and oozes seduction; whether she’s undercover or in the middle of an epic battle. Sly and sexy, she is most definitely all I could hope for out of a cat-woman!
Volume one is packed with action and suspense. Catwoman loves testing her limits and living on the edge, and this gets her in over her head repeatedly! The writers do an excellent job of making me adore her so that I am effectively anxious when she’s in the process of placing her pawns and setting her plans into motion. I get duly hooked when things fall apart and she has to use her clever brain to improvise a new plan of action. I get heartbroken when things go south for her social life and she struggles with her guilt. I feel fulfillment when she gets her way, and excitement when she shrugs her shoulders each time and decides to throw caution to the wind and lunge right back into danger.
It seems that Catwoman brings all the trouble to herself by accident rather than actually looking for it. She has fun tempting fate and living it up with her stolen goods, but she repeatedly gets more than she bargained for. She may have some subconscious death wish, for she never opts to get out when she can, rather she pushes herself and the ones she cares about deeper into danger. She starts out by hurting some jerks out of revenge for wrongs they committed to her and/or her loved ones. She winds up stealing from a guy named Bone. He isn’t the most frightening villain, even though he looks to be made of stone. His body language and lingo puts him as a respectable, though maybe lower-level, mobster type. He takes a lot from Catwoman to make up for what she took from him and talks a big pity party excuse for why he’s so upset about her stealing from him. She is not impressed with his sob story and she talks like she has seen much worse than what he’s gone through in his life to work his way up the success chain. Bone makes the mistake of being just another guy who hurts someone she loves, and he does it in a way that makes me empathize with her longing to deal him out a vengeful bashing. I’m thinking all the villains in this comic are not all that great. Their backgrounds are either non existent or mundane. I don’t find myself hoping to see them again. Catwoman’s inner struggles and the troubles she causes herself make the main course of the central conflict, though, so I suppose I can get over these random villains being tossed in there simply to give her a face and a name to embody the conflicts and project them out where we can see her fighting them. It seems the villains are more a means to an end, but not interesting characters that can stand on their own.
Catwoman repeatedly goes around with Batman in this story line. When they’re not rolling around with erotic intentions, it seems the main quarrel between them is when she puts herself and others in more danger than he can get them out of. I get the impression that Batman looks the other way for the kinky little temptress, and her swaying hips have certainly earned that from him, but she just keeps getting in over her head and that winds up putting the caped crusader into a crises of conscious. I think he can tell himself that ignoring her cat-burgling is fine because he’s more about stomping out violent crime and intimidating thugs, but when her shenanigans start people turning up dead he isn’t able to turn away as easily. Though it seems he is not one to victim blame, the criminals come after her because she’s stealing from or messing with them. He likes to work alone and doesn’t have any interest in being some kind of twisted, and often selfish, Robin Hood in the way that Catwoman is doing. I think he’d like it better if she would stay small time and easy to ignore, or maybe even if she would retire and cat burgle her way into his mansion (and bed) every night instead just so she would be safe. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about her safety or the safety of others she puts in danger and then, as a result, he has to rescue those she seeks vengeance on later. I could see how their agendas can sometimes coincide to cause them to work together, but it is clear in this comic that Batman isn’t able to trust Catwoman’s unpredictable and deadly behavior. She is one vengeful murder away from getting on Batman’s eternal bad side, and it is a sad, but I think necessary, part of Catwoman’s plight.
This same theme has worked for so long in complimenting Batman’s inner struggles so that the reader can be pressed into deeper thought on the shaky border of right and wrong and how blurry that line can sometimes be. The Game is doing an excellent job of bringing up all those age-old questions in the Catwoman/Batman world that cause us to reflect long after we set the book down. Especially when taking into consideration Gotham City’s signature corrupt police force, who also give Catwoman a lot of trouble. If the justice system isn’t the honorable way, then who is actually the good guy, or is there really one at all? Could it be that the most lovable villains are actually the just force? Is Batman wrong for sparing Bone’s life when Catwoman wants him dead? Is it really right to leave Bone for the corrupt system to punish or release at their whims? Is that justice, or protecting the criminal? Is Batman living in a fantasy of justice, or do his no-kill morals and ability to walk away from his own longing to overreact out of vengeance keep him even more pure and human than the corrupt cops? Does it matter not what the corrupt choose to do and only that the vigilantes stick to their codes? Batman holds himself accountable, and it is clear that he will hold Catwoman accountable in the same way. Now, is it fair for him to do so? Is he trying to protect her? Should feminists be offended by this fatherly attitude from a man toward a potential lover? Should moralists’ heads explode while trying to decide which one of the characters in Catwoman’s world is actually in the right; if any at all? What does that mean for our own world out here in reality?
Speaking of the corrupt police force, someone on the force hires a woman named Reach to go after Catwoman after the feline thief swipes some money meant for their dirty bad-cop hands. Reach has the ability to manipulate gravity. Their battles are…well…sexy, and very painful. I would not want to tick either of these women off. If I showed up to a party and happened to be wearing the same dress, I would totally go change before they noticed, because scratching and biting to them are a world different from what I’d think a civilized cat fight should entail.
If I had to pick something I like the least about this comic, I’d say that I don’t believe Catwoman’s face necessarily has to look so, very twisted and ugly when she is crying or frustrated. Several times she goes from steamy-hot leather-clad dominatrix to seventy year old constipated librarian. (And not the cute-nerd librarian type, either.) I found myself cringing and going to the bathroom mirror to mimic my own upset emotions just to make sure I did not have the same condition. However, this didn’t put me off from enjoying every page.
It gets a pretty violent in some places, and I was shocked at first because I wasn’t expecting it. I like the occasional angsty blood bath, though, and I’ll be ready to appreciate it more when I pick up volume two!! I recommend this comic to all Catwoman fans!! To get your copy, you can click on the picture at the top, or go here.
Now behold! It’s me as a sexy dominatrix!
Aquaman Vol. 1: The Trench
Oh my cod, I am loving Aquaman so glubbin’ much! I am so glad I decided to try this comic! I think Aquaman is one of my new favorite superheroes! To prove it, here is a doodle I made where I am Aquaman:
The artwork in this comic is very beautiful and I’m enjoying drowning in every page. The story line is exciting and hooks me to keep turning the page to see what happens next! It’s not that the whole wicked-creatures-from-the-deep tale is a new idea, but it’s the art that keeps me interested the most.
This comic is darker than I expected, both in theme and appearance. It’s drawn as if they started with a wash of black and added the light in later rather than starting with light and adding shadow. I notice that same technique in the Spiderman comics, and I respect this method a lot. Leonardo Da Vinci said, “A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”
A big difference I notice between the current Aquaman and Spiderman comics, though, is that the rich colors in Aquaman are used to draw the characters more beautiful than they ever could be in real life. In the Spiderman comics I notice that there is a kind of Norman Rockwell approach where the artist exaggerates the quirks and features of the characters in an endearing way to give them personality. I personally enjoy both quirky and unbelievably perfect characters in stories, but I can see how some would want for more realism. This does not take away from the character development in the Aquaman story line, however, for the background information and how the heroes deal with current events really lets me get to know them so that I’m invested in their plight even if I have trouble empathizing with how hard it must be to be so super sexy.
I feel bad for poor Aquaman because of the disrespectful way everyone treats him in the comic! I thought that was just a joke on television, but in the comics the same thing really happens to him. He takes it in stride, and even though it is clear that it gets to him, he keeps his composure and doesn’t lash out at the insolence around him. His drop-dead-gorgeous lady, Mera, though, makes it clear that all these fish-out-of-water jokes are only allowed to be uttered because of Aquaman’s patience. Mera is very hardcore and drives in the point that a lack of water is not her weakness, but a weakness to everyone else. She gave me plenty of shivers. If Aquaman went evil…well…might I mention that he punched Superman one time in an older comic I found at the comic trade store? That’s right! Who punches Superman and walks away without a broken hand? Aquaman, that’s who. Superman had it coming. He was being a snot to Aquaman at the time.
If you want some more reasons to know just how badass Aquaman is, check out this link. “He will throw a bear at you.”
The bad guys from the trench are very creepy and I enjoy fearing what they’re going to do next! They are an awesome creation and I’m really impressed! I mean, just look at them in the background of the comic volume picture up there…with their piranha-like chompers. They eat people. Not only do they eat them, but their main goal in leaving the trench in the first place is to make people their food source; sticking them into super icky cocoons and dragging them down into the depths of the ocean like some kind of big, cryptic doggy bag; leaving the people in the cocoons alive until time for dinner, I might add! I didn’t expect to see this type of pleasing horror scenario in an Aquaman story line. I notice this kind of organic, primal force in Swamp Thing and Animal Man a lot. It’s natural order striving to ignore humanity’s plea for peace and empathy and the shudders that come with looking a compassion-less foe in it’s blank, empty eyes. It’s not personal. It’s just dinner time. *Quiver*
Something that does confuse me in the DC world of Aquaman is that no one believes in Atlantis. This seems really strange to me. Why would everyone have such a hard time believing this? What, is the existence of Swamp Thing and the whole rot world not enough to make people give Aquaman the benefit of the doubt? Superman is an alien and attracts villains from far off worlds all the time. Man has been to the moon, yet we don’t know all that much about our own ocean floor. It’s not so fantastical to believe that some smart race of ancient people, whether they originated on Earth or not, could make an underwater city to live in that we just haven’t stumbled upon yet. Trench creatures come out of the sea and start dragging people off to eat them, but Atlantis? Ha! Don’t be ridiculous! Piranha people? Sure. Atlantians? You need medication!
I would dolphinately recommend reading Aquaman! I am now a serious Aqua-fan! I even ordered an Aquaman shirt to advertise my Aqua-love! I’m getting it from superherostuff.com. You can click on the picture for a link to it if you want your own, or click on the Aquaman comic picture up there to go to Amazon.com and get your own copy of the Aquaman comic!