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Mar. 2nd, 2018


[info]katara

| 170 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #12 (Darth Vader (2017-) (Single Issues) #12)
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 2, 2018
Book Summary: An expensive bounty has been put on Vader's head! Who would dare try to challenge the Dark Lord's place in the Empire?
Book Review: This issue pretty much picks up right after the last issue.

Vader has confronted the bounty hunters that had been after him and was told that the bounty on his head went higher. This has led Vader to believe that it may be Palpatine who has leveled the bounty upon him. For him, he believes it could be due to the fact that he failed to secure Jocasta Nu and bring the Jedi before the Emperor. This causes Vader to set his ship back toward Coruscant with one of the Inquistors, Ninth Sister, helming ship. Vader seems to be a bit busy fixing some final details on his lightsaber.



As they get close to the force field surrounding the planet, they find themselves being fired upon. It is then that Vader jumps into the pilot seat and takes over.



Unfortunately for Vader, his ship crashes. The next time we see Vader he and Palpatine at one of the former Jedi Temples. Here he finds that his master and finds that the hit did not come for Palpatine but who? For those within the Imperial Officer group, well they are about to take a slight hit because the person or persons have yet to come forward or be found.

So who is behind the hit? And will we know soon? I suppose we will have to stay tuned on that one. xD

You know I never really noticed how much of a hatred there was between Palpatine and Vader but there is also a respect for each other. They seem to feed on that between them and I suppose Palpatine's need for a soldier to keep the Empire in check is what keeps Vader pretty much alive but the question is would Palpatine, even during this time, have beaten Vader? I am on the fence with that one because I believe Vader would have a slight upper hand against Palpatine. Vader is a powerful character but we don't really know the extent of Palpatine's Sith powers.

My biggest grip on this issue was that between the crash of Vader's ship and him turning up at the temple with Palpatine was left with a big chasm. There was no interaction between he and the Ninth Sister upon their arrival nor exactly how he arrived. I went back between the pages to make sure that I had not missed anything. So this was a bit of a plot hole that seems to be unavoidably unfixable.

The issue, however, was a nice one. I am very pleased with its direction and I am excited how it will turn out for Vader as we move even more forward with this story.

Mar. 1st, 2018


[info]katara

| 169 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #38
Author: Frank Tieri, Mirka Andolfo (illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 28, 2018 to March 1, 2018
Book Summary: “ANGRY BIRD” part two! The Penguin didn’t come to Brooklyn alone this time...he’s put out an open invitation for some of Gotham City’s worst to join him in his new criminal empire, as long as they’re willing to hold off Harley Quinn! And when we say “worst,” we mean worst! Film Freak? Egghead? Condiment King?! Nateman’s Hot Dogs is gonna have a lot to say about that...
Book Review: This issue picks up where the last issue has pretty much left off.

Harley has begun her new life in the Big Apple far away from her friends in Coney Island. Unfortunately for those crew members, they are currently dealing with some big problems and these problems are in the form of big enemies like that of Mr. Freeze. This is rather big for Harley's former crew mainly due to the fact that this enemy normally doesn't stray far from the city and far from Batman. So now they are trying to figure out exactly why he is here and who has brought him.

As for Harley herself, she is having her own problems with the Gorilla Gang. Of course Harley isn't one to bite her tongue and not have a pun or two spill from her lips. Unfortunately for Harley, these guys are not amused with her puns and nearly toss her over the edge of the Empire State Building when Red Tool appears to save her.

And then there is Killer Croc. Exactly what is he up to? That is a question I am sure we are about to find out in our next issue.

Things continue to get worse for Harley's gang and no matter how hard one of them tries to get ahold of her, she doesn't seem to be taking their calls. So now they are forced to face Mr. Freeze and his cold takeover of Coney Island.


I am still unsure of this series now. I mean I understand why Harley seemed to have walked away from Coney Island. There are too many bad memories there for her right now but at the same time, why push everyone away? I know there is a reason behind everything when it comes to Harley but she is leaving her team to be torn apart by the enemies of Batman. I just don't see Harley being this selfish. She has never pegged me as one. She has always loved and cared for her crew so why now ignore them all together? I'm just trying to understand this sudden change in Harley.

I suppose my questions won't really be answered until the next issue. So we shall see.

Feb. 28th, 2018


[info]katara

| 168 |

Title: Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #1
Author: Simon Spurrier (Illustrator), Daniel Bayliss (Illustrator), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.85/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 28, 2018
Book Summary: Simon Spurrier (Godshaper, The Power of the Dark Crystal) and Daniel Bayliss (Jim Henson's Storyteller: Dragons, Kennel Block Blues) present a magical look into the world of Jim Henson's Labyrinth. Before Sarah braved the Labyrinth to save her brother, another young woman sought to save a young boy named Jareth from the clutches of the Goblins. Set in 18th-century Venice, Italy, Jim Henson's Labyrinth is a striking look into the history of the Labyrinth itself, and what happens to the little boys who don't get rescued. This is the untold history of the Goblin King.
Book Review: Oh my!

What can I say?

This issue was amazing to read. We are finally going to get to see how Jareth actually became the Goblin King!

In this issue, we are drawn back to a time when Sarah has wished away her brother and is currently running the Labyrinth in order to get him back. During this, Jareth is watching her as she is in the oubliette. He has sent Hoggle to take her back to the beginning.



His moment of triumph is rather interrupted by a goblin who believing it was time for a sing-along. It is about this time that Jareth picks up Toby to begin a storytime about a couple in 18th Century Venice. The couple are in love and seemed to be quite happy named Albert and Maria. Unfortunately there seems to have been some trouble that happened prior to their arrival here in Venice. It is not entirely known what it is or what it had been but Albert seems to be haunted by the goblins that want to make him there king. Maria seems to be the only thing that keeps the goblins away for Albert but things take a dark turn and we find that the young couple are living a lie. One that has resulted in a child and certainly this is a cause for some problems especially since it appears they are running from Albert's father. The two argue and she grabs their child and runs. Albert calls for her to be grabbed but Maria is already out the door and sprinting with her son in her arms. Unfortunately as the goblins begin to surround him wanting to make him their king, Albert uses this moment to wish them to take his son, sending Maria and their son into the waters.

We find that when Maria resurfaces, she does not have their son. So what does this mean for Maria? I believe she will be the one to run the labyrinth and ultimately fail in getting her son's freedom. This series will be a twelve-issue series and I am quite sure with many twists and turns that will take us on an adventure we may never recover from.

I have to admit I really like this issue. I am excited. Not because of Jareth but because we are finally getting an origin series on him. There have always been stories and rumors of who exactly Jareth is and now we are about to find out how he came about the throne of the Goblin King. This series is promising and exciting and for once I cannot wait for the next issue to come out.

If you are a fan of the Labyrinth, then this issue will definitely be for you. :D

Feb. 26th, 2018


[info]katara

| 167 |

Title: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 24, 2018 to February 26, 2018
Book Summary: Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Book Review: In Scythe, we find that humanity has figured a way to avoid death all together. In fact, people even have the ability to generate into various ages they wish. Some have even gone as far as to try to hurt themselves by falling off buildings and such just to be taken to a place where they can heal due to the nanites (?) in their blood.

But this also comes with a price. Humanity has become overpopulated and thus a society of Scythes have been created to lessen the burden upon the planet. This means Scythes must weave out people and carry out their deaths. Of course, not everyone who is chosen goes quietly. There are some that tend to try to find ways around it and that can be a problem because their family is often punished because of it. Those that go quietly without a fight, their family wins immunity for a year.

For Citra and Rowan, they are chosen to become apprentices to the Scythe Faraday. Of course, neither of them are willing to do it. That is until they learn they really have no choice. Even worse, they find that being two apprentices of a Scythe also comes with a price especially when the Conclave decides that when either one becomes the Scythe, then they must kill the other one. Now the two must compete against each other despite the fact their feelings for each other are growing.


I have to admit this book's premise was interesting. A world filled with people given the task of balancing humanity's population while allowing them to enjoy the ability to regenerate to any age they wish or survive a really bad fall. Unfortunately those that are chosen are given various different deaths and some can be extremely gruesome. I felt bad for some of the families whose loved ones fought against being given death because those suffer as well. I found that a bit unfair because I don't understand why others must suffer when the chosen ones are being idiots.

I would have given this book a bit higher rating but the story rolled out at a snail's pace. There were some things that were so boring that I had to put the book down to go do something before I fell asleep. The villian seemed one-dimensional and romance between Citra and Rowan fell a bit flat. I am grateful that the romance was not heavy in this book but there seemed to be no chemistry between the two of them. Maybe there will be something better between them? I suppose I will have to wait until I crack open book two.

Overall this was interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something in ya that has little romance to it. Unfortunately the action is slow and you may find yourself putting down the book from time to time to do something or pick up another book.

Feb. 24th, 2018


[info]katara

| 166 |

Title: The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen #2)
Author: Emily R. King
Format: Epub
Rating: 1.5/5
Status: Didn't Finish
Reading Date: February 19, 2018 to February 24, 2018
Book Summary: In the second book in The Hundredth Queen Series, Emily R. King once again follows a young warrior queen’s rise to meet her destiny in a richly imagined world of sorcery and forbidden powers.

Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.

But as Kalinda’s tournament strengths are once again challenged, so too is her relationship with Deven. While Deven fears her powers, Ashwin reveres them—as well as the courageous woman who wields them. Kalinda comes to regard Ashwin as the only man who can repair a warring world and finds herself torn between her allegiance to Deven and a newly found respect for the young prince.

With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?
Book Review: I tried, I really tried to find something about this series that I could enjoy about it and the only thing I really liked was the whole world building. It was a beautiful and interesting world weaved with mythology and a world I could have enjoyed immensely. Unfortunately the characters lacked anything I could remotely connect to. Kali and Deven seemed more one dimension than they should have and their romance seemed to be more of a burned out match than what it was looking like in the first book. Then again with these insta-loves in the first book, there is always something that seems to make the romance feel a bit fake(?) when it comes to the second book in the series.

Maybe later on I may try this series once again. For now, I am going to leave it completely unfinished and go away a bit disappointed in a series that I had been told was worth reading.

Feb. 18th, 2018


[info]katara

| 165 |

Title: Olympian Challenger
Author: Astrid Arditi
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 18, 2018
Book Summary: A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?
Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer.

Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers—the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay…

As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer—the granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach…but only if Hope can ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.

Olympian Challenger is the first book in a bold YA urban fantasy trilogy. If you like Greek mythology, forbidden romance, and feats of courage, then you’ll love Astrid Arditi’s heroic coming-of-age tale.
Book Review: I was given an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hope Diaz's life has been anything but happy. Her mother was diagnosed with dementia (early stages?) and it is slowly robbing her of her memories. Hope has given up her entire life to take care of her mom and she hopes to one day to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a doctor (her mother was a midwife). One day Hope receives a mysterious invitation. In fact, the entire senior class has received one. Only Hope's invitation has more and she ends up on Mt. Olympus after trying to save a young man from drowning. Here she finds herself trapped and will have to play in a tournament for the Gods. But Hope has only one thing on her mind - getting back to her mother and she will do anything she can to leave Olympus.

Unfortunately for Hope, the exits are sealed and the only way for Hope to leave Olympus is play in the tournament. As the games begin, Hope finds herself in a battle to not only keep herself alive but to win the tournament with the hopes of returning to her Mom.

Okay I admit that this book kept me glued from beginning to end. I liked the premises of Greek Mythology but then again any story with it will pretty much sucker me in.

I liked Hope. I felt she had potential. She is desperate to be apart of her Mom's life while her Mom is being robbed from her by the stages of dementia and I have to sympathize with her on that. My own Mom is in the early stages of dementia and much like Hope, I don't like leave her alone because I worry of coming home one day and her memory of me is erased. So I can see how hard it is for Hope especially when she is trapped on Olympus and forced to play in a tournament she really wants to part of. As each person is eliminated, Hope finds her goal within her sight.

The only thing I have grown tired of when it comes to ya is the fact that everything seems to incorporate the Hunger Games in their storylines. Next to insta-love (this one, I have to admit, is a bit different when it comes to romance. It is a slow burn), most of the ya storylines seem to think they need to add to some element of the Hunger Games into their storyline. While this story has set itself a bit apart from the dystopian storyline and used mythology instead, it still felt like I was reading something along the lines of a fanfiction.

There were also some sentence structures within that felt a bit awkward. Some of them caused me to have to re-read the paragraph twice to understand what the author was trying to convey.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It kept me rivted from the beginning of the book to the end. Again I am a sucker when it comes to anything written with mythology weaved into their storyline. I enjoy those types of books more than anything. If this is to be a trilogy, I cannot wait to see how the series ends. Hope has a ton of potential and I am looking forward to seeing how she does in the next book.

[info]katara

| 164 |

Title: The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen #1)
Author: Emily R. King
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 16, 2018 to February 18, 2018
Book Summary: He wanted a warrior queen. He got a revolutionary.

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
Book Review: Kalinda has been sick most of her life with fevers and has had to take tonics to keep them away. One day while she and her best friend are practicing, they find a carvan has entered the Temple. Both girls are curious as to why a carvan of men have come and it isn't until later on that the learn that Rajah has come to do a Claiming for his Hundredth Queen. Kalinda wants no part of it and will do anything to lose. Unfortunately when another girl harms her best friend during a tournament, Kalinda steps in to lay swift justice upon the girl. This, however, has consequences and Kalinda is Claimed by the Rajah. She will journey to the Emerald Palace and face the other wives in a tournament to find her place as his Hundredth Queen.

Why are all YAs lately have insta-love? I mean this is all I have seen in recent books that I have managed to skip them for the time being but it has now become a trend within the ya world. What is so hard about building a romance? I would think with these being a series that such romance would not happen so quickly within the first book.

Okay maybe a small attraction that I had hoped would be the foundation to a romance that would slowly come about. I see I was wrong. Suddenly our heroine and hero are "OMG TRU LUV!!111" the moment they see each other.

Also there seemed to be some world-building and yet that seemed to be it? I love the idea of India's mythology weaved into the story but this new world of India had little world-building. I would have loved to have known more about this world. Maybe in book two?

People keep telling me that this story is about smashing the patriarchy and empowering young women to step up to take their own destiny into their hands. This is not always easy and there is always going to be things thrown your way in order to halt progress but if keep fighting, you will break through the patriarchy.

I love the premises of this book but not how it was entirely carried out. The mythology was great weaved in but the world-building lacked where it should have been stronger. The insta-love really turned me off. I wanted to see the romance build and I was disappointed that it didn't go that route. I am hoping book two will be better.

Feb. 14th, 2018


[info]katara

| 163 |

Title: Darth Vader (2017-) #11
Author: Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 14, 2018
Book Summary: An expensive bounty has been put on Vader’s head! Who would dare try to challenge the Dark Lord’s place in the Empire?
Book Review: This issue sets up Vader's next adventure. This time he has a bounty on his head and the bounty hunters have all come to collect. Too bad their target is not that easy to catch and certainly being on his bad side is not something you want nor do you want him chasing after you.

Vader has been tipped off that a Jedi is in this bar. With him, a minion named The Ninth Sister. As Vader goes in to find his targeted Jedi, he finds himself surrounded by bounty hunters who have been told that there is a bounty on his head. Of course, Vader is not so easy to capture and he turns the tables on this hunters until he corners them, only to find that this bounty on him goes all the way to the top.

So what does that mean for Vader? Well we won't find out until the next issue. Certainly it does set up the next issue and will make the reader exactly wonder why such a bounty has been placed. I have always wondered if Palpatine was afraid of Vader. I mean if these comics are canon, I can see why. I mean Vader has the ability to become even more powerful than what Palpatine is. I would think that having groomed Vader that Palpatine must have felt in some way or another a fear that his own apprentice could turn on him as he did with his own master. Certainly this would be interesting to see especially to see how the Star Wars universe would have turned out if this had happened before episode IV.

This was a great issue. I have to admit I am always excited when I know Vader's issue is coming out. He has always been a fascinating character and I love what Charles is doing with him. I cannot wait for next month's issue.

[info]katara

| 162 |

Title: All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the Superstar Whose Life Ended on Murderers' Row
Author: James Patterson, Alex Abramovich, Mike Harvkey
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.50/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 13, 2018 to February 14, 2018
Book Summary: Everyone thought they knew Aaron Hernandez. He was an NFL star who made the game of football look easy. Until he became the prime suspect in a gruesome murder. But who was Aaron Hernandez, really?

Rich with in-depth, on-the-ground investigative reporting that gives readers a front row seat to Hernandez's tumultuous downward spiral, THE PATRIOT will reveal the unvarnished truth behind the troubled star, with first-person accounts and untold stories--from his hometown of Bristol, CT to his college days in Gainesville, FL to the Patriots' NFL locker room where he ascended to stardom, to the prison where Hernandez spent his final days. Packed with the shocking details of a true crime masterpiece and the pacing of a suspenseful thriller, THE PATRIOT answers the questions that everyone is asking about Aaron Hernandez.
Book Review: Aaron Hernandez could have had it all. He was one of the most paid NFL tight ends. He had a job with the New England Patriots. And a little girl who would have loved growing up having her dad guide her through life and be able to attend every game he played.

Aaron's life was anything but happy. His father died early in his life and his mother married a man with whom she was having an affair with. Aaron had a bright future in football. He had been looking forward to attending UConn with his brother but all that would change when he turned his eyes toward attending Florida to become a gator. There he would learn that Gator players tended to get away with anything and saw that as an advantage.

When Aaron is drafted by the New England Patriots, things seem to escalate with him. He now has money to burn and drugs (and guns to buy).

All that would end one day when Aaron becomes accused of murdering Odin Lloyd, a young man who played football with the Boston Bandits and worked for a living.

Aaron's trial would be the trial of the century that would end with a guilty verdict and lifetime look in prison.

My thoughts

This book was hard to put down that I ended up devouring it within an entire evening. The story of Aaron Hernandez is tragic. Here was a young man who had a promising career in football and ended up throwing it all away. This book paints Aaron as a tragic figure meant to garner sympathy for his choices in life. I felt sorry for him but only for his choices. He had a chance to change himself when he got into the NFL and he chose to continue with his lifestyle even after becoming a father. This told me he did not care one whit of what he was doing nor did he care any for the life's he was snuffing out. The only thing is, I am sure, is that he felt sorry that he was snitched on.

I am not a fan of the New England Patriots nor was I a fan of Aaron Hernandez. I was curious what led this young man down this path and I can see that most of it came from his family. I am just sad that his family did not do enough to reach out to this kid during the early stages of his life. Perhaps if they had, maybe things would be different? There really is no telling how this story would have changed. Maybe he would still be playing football and enjoying the rewards that came with it.

This book is something one should go into with an open mind regardless of what your feelings are for both the team and the player. This book will pull you in until the last page is turned and leave you feeling that either sorry for Aaron or believing him guilty.

Feb. 9th, 2018


[info]katara

| 161 |

Title: Harley Quinn #37
Author: Frank Tieri, Mirka Andolfo (illustrator), Amanda Conner (illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.90/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 9, 2018
Book Summary: “ANGRY BIRD” part one! Ever since he started horning in on New York City, the Penguin and Harley Quinn have been stuck in a cold war...and it’s about to heat up! Making a long-term investment in a Gotham City that’s crawling with Bats isn’t the Penguin’s style, so now he’s hell-bent on making Coney Island his new nest!
Book Review: It's really sad when I have come to a comic book series that you once loved only to be on the fence with the newer issues. I thought the whole man-bat was a ridiculous storyline and this one - I am not even sure what to think of this one.

In this issue, Harley has pretty much removed herself from her friends and has decided on becoming a one-army vigilante. She places an add on the television for her services which include several villians that she would be willing to take care of.





I doubt that Joker would really appreciate this commercial. I'm sure somewhere he has seen it and is stewing in anger over his portrayal. Will he do something about it? I doubt it. He may be too busy at the moment causing trouble for Batman to do anything or whatever he is is doing.



Although she has greatly distance themselves from them, Harley's gang seems to be concerned about her. I can see why though. She is out there doing things that could otherwise be something she may not be able to get herself out of.

Penguin has returned. And with him are his two beefy penguin guards.



Of course, a mob has converged and tries to stop him but there are consequences when you try stopping the Penguin from doing what he wants.

And that is in the form of his two beefy penguin bodyguards, who tear apart members of the mob and eat them.

But why is the Penguin back? He has gathered so many villains into one room and that purpose seems to be about Harley but why? Is he still reeling from the ass-kicking she gave him several issues back? Maybe. Or perhaps there is something more diabolical that he has planned and the only way to set that into motion will be to get rid of Harley before she gets wind of it.

So the best way to deal with Harley? Gather together the most vile villains together and make a plan.

Again this issue has me on the fence. I am not feeling the style or even the storyline at the moment. I feel that since Amanda and Jimmy have left, there seems to be something missing from it. Maybe I am just used to their style of writing and maybe because these are just two issues, I haven't given it a chance to grow on me yet.

I haven't called it quits yet. I don't see myself doing so at the moment. I am hoping the storylines don't continue to get ridiculous and that there are reasons behind them. Unfortunately I didn't see any of that with the man-bat storyline.

Here is to hoping for something good to come from this one.

Feb. 8th, 2018


[info]katara

| 160 |

Title: Rogue & Gambit (2018) #2 (of 5)
Author: Kelly Thompson, Pere Pérez (Illustrator), Kris Anka (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.25/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 8, 2018
Book Summary: ROGUE and GAMBIT dig deep into their past in "therapy" to maintain their cover, all the while snooping around after hours for clues about missing mutants. Will what they unearth about themselves in this "paradise" mean curtains for their relationship or bring them closer than ever? And what discovery straight out of a horror movie has ROGUE and GAMBIT wishing they'd never agreed to this mission in the first place?!
Book Review: This issue picks up right where the last left off.

Gambit and Rogue are less than pleased to be treated like lab rats when they are released from the lab. Of course, Dr Grand apologizes and uses the excuse they were trying to map their brain's patterns in order to set sail for the next course in the therapy.



Unfortunately a can of worms is opened when asked to begin their therapy with both of them flinging accusations from the past at each other.





The poor therapist seems to be overwhelmed by all of this that she halts it and decides to start a bit smaller - with their first meeting. Of course, Gambit and Rogue have different ideas on how they met. So they decide upon one - the whole Shadow King fiasco. We get a glimpse of this past meeting between the two but the story ends with Gambit's thoughts on the meeting and how Rogue has always fled from him.

The story changes and we find Gambit and Rogue up in an air duct trying to figure out exactly what is going on with the missing mutants of the island. Of course, the two do agree that this therapy is much better than any one set up by Emma Frost. But the two go back to the Shadow King story and we find that there was much more between them that even ends with the two locking lips with each other.

Of course it is a memory Rogue doesn't want to remember. Gambit, on the other hand, believes it was love at first sight where he thinks Rogue sees it as nothing more than being mind controlled. Regardless, Rogue wants the memory to be theirs and theirs alone forever and before Gambit can make any reply, they are interrupted by a group of mutants who tell them they are not suppose to be there. The two of them are attacked and a fight ensues that sends the two of them through a wall and right into a place where there a several mutants that seem to be hooked up to something.

And lookie what we find! Our villian named Lavish!


Ah Gambit and Rogue, how much I have missed the two of you together. There is always humor between you two but also an attraction that will never go away no matter who other writers and artists tend to hook you up with. This was a fun read and watching Gambit and Rogue fight over their first meeting was fun. I sort of felt sorry for Dr Grand because even she has no idea exactly how much of a history Gambit and Rogue have. Their history has gone through so much change throughout the years that it can be hard to decide exactly when the two really met. Still I loved this issue and I am quite looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

[info]katara

| 159 |

Title: X-Men Red (2018-) #1
Author: Tom Taylor, Mahmud Asrar (Illustrator), Travis Charest (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 8, 2018
Book Summary: THE FIRST SENSATIONAL ARC OF AN ALL-NEW TEAM OF X-MEN STARTS HERE! JEAN GREY is back! Returned to a world she doesn't recognize, the First Lady of the X-MEN gathers an unlikely team — NIGHTCRAWLER, NAMOR and LAURA KINNEY (A.K.A. ALL-NEW WOLVERINE) — to face an evil that threatens to tear down XAVIER's dream by any means necessary!
Book Review: Jean Grey is back!

And she has set up her own team!

In this issue, it begins with a young mustant asleep. She is awakened in the middle of the night by a voice warning her of incoming trouble that is seeking to do her harm.



The young girl manages to flee before the mob gets her but they corner her. The girl named Heather is surprised to see her own Mom being part of the charge. With a gun aimed at her own daughter, the mother calls her an abomination. It is then the young girl is saved by Jean and her Red team.



Jean uses her abilities to protect the girl while Nightcrawler gets her up off the ground to whisk her away.



Once they are safely away, we find that Jean Grey has made a base beneath the sea called Seaboro. Here is where we see the members of her team - Honey Badger, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Namor, Gentle, and Trinary.

Jean's real story begins about two months prior when a group of car jackers throw a young woman out of the car and steal it unaware that there is a baby in the backseat. When the baby begins to cry, it's powers begin to manifest causing the car jackers to stop. It is at this moment Wolverine and Honey Badger arrive on the scene and do what they can to contain the child's crying. Unfortunately the sonic cries cause Wolverine's skin to melt off and send both of them flying.

Jean arrives just in time to catch both girls and calm the child down. She gives the child back to it's mother, telling her that she had talked to McCoy who would be working on a necklace to help damper his abilities until the time came he could go to Xavier Institute. Jean goes on to tell the young mom that there will be a fallout from this but she would monitor and if there was trouble, Wolverine was nearby to offer any help.

And fallout there is especially with the newcaster who seems to be against anyone or anything different from himself even if the child looks like a human. Jean goes to several countries - Turkey, Pakistan, East Timor, Wakanda and Atlantis - with the hopes of reaching out to their representatives for their assisstance. The group is filled with great thinkers - made of artists, scientists, authors, etc. All of them once-in-a-generation minds and she wants to borrow from them by using her psychic abilities to probe their minds with the hope of finding that niche that she could use to build upon.

With their ideas fresh in her mind, Jean goes before the United Nations and tells them: if countries are going to start discussing mutant issues, then mutants should be allowed to sit in and be apart of that discussion. Unfortunately there is one Ambassador that seems to be against this idea citing that if there was to be a vote for such a matter, who was to say the vote would not be tainted by her. Jean returned that even if she was out of the room, she could still reach out with her mind. It is then that the countries of Atlantis and Wakanda recognize the mutant nation.

Of course, this continues outside with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom cool demeanor turns dark and tells Jean that the Phoenix and her ressurection has upset the status quo. Before Jean can make any sense of this, the Ambassador's head explodes in front of her and her team comes to remove Jean just in time as the armed police begin firing on her.



And our villian appears! What exactly does Cassandra Nova, Charles Xavier's twin sister, have to do with all this? Well, we will have to wait and see what this fallout causes and what Cassandra's next move is going to be.


I will admit that I was disappointed with the Resurrection limited run. It felt rushed and in only five issues, there was not a lot covered as one would hope. We didn't know how Jean was thinking or how things had become with the X-reunion. Of course we can see that Jean's resurrection has placed her on a different course of action than that of the other teams. She is determined to try to find a solution than going into battle. Unfortunately Jean is about to meet a villian that is on par with her abilities and this will be a battle that Jean will have to possibly fight.

This issue basically gave us a small taste of what is to come. Jean will have a lot ahead of her and a villian in the shadows doing whatever she can to undermine Jean's determination. Will I continue to read this? Of course, I like the idea of Jean setting herself apart from the other teams. It will be interesting to see how things unravel for Jean and what decisions she will have to make in hopes of keeping her dream of uniting mutants and humans alive.

Feb. 3rd, 2018


[info]katara

| 158 |

Title: Prince: A Private View
Author: Afshin Shahidi, Beyonce Knowles-Carter (Foreword)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 2, 2018 to February 3, 2018
Book Summary: Afshin Shahidi met Prince in 1993 and soon became his cinematographer and later one of the only people allowed to photograph him. He collaborated with Prince longer than any other photographer. Afshin was the only photographer allowed to shoot the legendary 3121 private parties in Los Angeles that became the most sought after invitations in Hollywood; some of those photos are included in this book.

Prince: A Private View compiles photographer Afshin Shahidi’s work into a journey through Prince's extraordinary life. With never-before-seen photos, it is the ultimate collection of shots of Prince. Brief, but complete and rich, stories about Shahidi and Prince’s collaboration and time together are alternately incisive, personal, and even funny.
Book Review: Born in Iran and moving to Minnesota when he was eight, Afshin Shahidi met Prince in 1993 when he was invited to be a loader for a music video. From then on, he became working regularly for the pop star until he landed the gig as his photographer.

This book is an intimate look into Prince away from the spotlight. Images never before seen to the public and shared with fondest memories of working for someone who always enjoyed his privacy more than anything. There are stories with each image. Memories of a time that will draw you in and remember a man that left us too early in his life.

This book is a must have for any Prince fan. There are images and stories weaved by a man who was given an unprecedent access to one of the world's most reclusive stars. My biggest peeve to this collection were the dreams. I felt they didn't quite belong but I suppose to each their own. Otherwise this was a wonderful book and I enjoyed it immensely.

Feb. 2nd, 2018


[info]katara

Title: Harley Quinn #36
Author: Frank Tieri, Inaki Miranda (illustrator), Amanda Conner (illustrator), Alex Sinclair (colorist)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 2, 2018
Book Summary: “Man-Batter Up” part two! Harley was sure she knew who was targeting her friends—but man, was she wrong! Or should we say “Man-Bat, was she wrong!”? And if you thought Harley had anger issues before, wait until you see her juiced up with Man-Bat serum!
Book Review: This issue is the second of the Tieri's takeover on Harley and it picks up right where the last issue leaves off.

Harley has been changed into a bat and is currently wrecking havok upon Coney Island. Her team of Harleys are doing their best to try to figure out exactly what to do with this new Harley but Harley isn't having it and she goes after them as well.

As for Red Tool, he has the easier job as he has headed off to search for a cure and the find the mad-man who made this serum that has changed Harley.

Harley continues to wreck havok upon the Coney Island pier and the Harley Quinns are doing their best to try their best to get through to the human part of her, even going as far as to offer her food in hopes of stopping the carnage but another female human-bat appears and sets about to destroy the Harleys with the hope of dragging them back to the lair and changing them.

It is at this very moment Red Tool arrives with the antidote and uses it on Harley. With Harley back to her old self, her depressive guilt of Mason's death comes back as well. She finds herself center of attention of those who believe in her but Harley's guilt is still fresh and the wounds of it have yet to heal.

Oh? And what is this? Could it be he behind it all? The suspense!


My Thoughts

I still find the storyline of the human bat still rather silly and stupid but I suppose it is needed. Harley is still in a funk and hopefully this may just pull her out of it. At least that is what I am hoping. I know she believes herself to be the one to blame and I am hoping that she will realize his death wasn't her fault. It belongs squarely upon the shoulders of Madison and I would love to see a rematch between these two women especially once Harley has accepted Mason is gone.

So I am looking forward to this one ending and we return to Madison and the crooked Mayor. Those two still need to be dealt with.

[info]katara

| 156 |

Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #35
Author: Frank Tieri, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Amanda Conner (Illustrator), Hi-Fi (Illustrator), Iñaki Miranda (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 1, 2018 to February 2, 2018
Book Summary: “MAN-BATTER UP” part one! Harley’s in a dark, dark place after the hard right turn her life took...so when the citizens of Coney Island say it was a mysterious “bat” that kidnapped one of her friends, she is not going to take it lying down!
Book Review: Where the last issue was the end of the Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, this issue will usher in a new era of Frank Tieri. Tieri is no stranger to the world of Harley. He was part of the team who made the Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys. So he really needs no introduction to this series at all.

In this issue, Harley is on the hunt for a man-bat that has taken one of her friends. While on his way home from a night of drinking and headbutting, Tony is taken by a man-bat looking creature. Harley, who is currently in a slump where nothing she enjoyed previously has made her smile, cannot even seem to get herself out of it. Her own group of Harleys are concerned for her and unfortunately it has made Harley less than happy with their meddling.

When Tony doesn't return, Harley sets out to find him. But nothing is always easy for Harley and she is about to find out what it is to be a bit more batty than normal.

My Thoughts

I love Harley in the previous issues of this series but this one I am not entirely sure what to make of at the moment. I find the concept of the man-bat pretty silly and honestly unbelievable. But we know that there is someone behind all of this. Who, exactly? It has yet to be said and I am pretty sure that with the Harleys in Arkham, they may get some clue or another that will direct right to the source or give that information to Harley that will lead her down the right path.

I will admit I am going to miss Amanda and Jimmy. I loved their story telling but I am willing to see what Tieri has in store for us and exactly which direction Harley will be going.

[info]katara

| 155 |

Title: Phoenix Resurrection: The Return Of Jean Grey (2017-2018) #5 (of 5)
Author: Matt Rosenberg, Khoi Pham (Illustrator), Leinil Yu (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 1, 2018 to February 2, 2018
Book Summary: The X-Men need to stop the cycle of death the Phoenix brings. Their worlds will violently collide as Jean searches for an opening and the X-Men fight for closure. But when they are brought together, will the X-Men be reunited with their long-lost teammate – or something darker?
Book Review: We have arrived at the epic conclusion of Jean Grey's rise from the ashes.

And let me tell you it was not an ending anyone would be expecting.

This issue picks up right after the last one.

Logan has made it inside the diner and is doing his best to reach through the illusionary world the Phoenix has created to get Jean to remember. And he seems to be getting right through to her by slicing her childhood friend, Annie. He thinks by "killing" Jean's childhood "friend" it would do what it had done when she was a child - awakening her powers.



Unfortunately it doesn't really do much damage to Annie. After all, she is the Phoenix herself and she is not happy at all with what Logan is trying to do.



But what Logan has done, it has awaken Jean and she emerges from the flames dressed in a rather new Phoenix uniform.



Of course, the X-Men are ready to take on Jean as the Phoenix but all this is halted when it becomes quite clear that this war comes down to just two entities - Jean and the Phoenix Force. The X-Men are aware of this and any fight they were ready for would not be happening for the moment.

The Phoenix Force uses everything in its arsenal with the hopes of luring Jean back into the fold. It tries to use Jean's parents and loved ones but Jean isn't having it at all.



Jean is so angry with the Phoenix and its illusions that it is unaware of that the real Cyclops has come to see her. Their reunion is bittersweet and Cyclops dies in Jean's arms.

Jean turns her attentions once more to the Phoenix Force and decides that she is done playing a God and that the time has come for her to just be herself now. This means she will no longer allow herself and the Phoenix be part of each other.



What comes next is rather interesting. Instead of a massive fight between Jean and the Phoenix, it is more of Jean trying to get the entity itself to realize that Jean doesn't want to have the power to play God or be the one who destroys her friends or brings them back. She just simply wants to be herself and nothing more and the Phoenix force is doing its best to try to change her mind. Unfortunately Jean isn't interested anymore in becoming something she really hasn't wanted.







Does this mean the end of a cosmic connection between Jean and the Phoenix Force? Perhaps. Perhaps not. There is never really an end to a story when something as powerful as the Phoenix is a very much part of Jean. Will we see the Phoenix again? Who knows. We may see her return to Jean later on in the future but for now, the Phoenix and Jean have seemingly parted ways.

My thoughts

I felt so sorry for the Phoenix Force. I believe that since Jean has been a part of it for so long that it believes that is cannot function without her. I think that is why we have seen her resurrected in the past. With Jean's death, the Phoenix really had nothing to do and felt empty without it's powerful host and that made it feel alive.

And it wanted that again.

Perhaps even thought the best way to get to Jean was to become a friend to her and living a normal life with her.

As for Jean, what does this mean for her? That simply remains to be seen. We really won't know what is going to happen with her and even what sort of confrontation that may come between her and her younger self but it should be interesting. We do know that Jean may have a team of her own called X-Men Red.

I really do hope we will see the Phoenix again. This does not resolve anything and we know the Phoenix isn't simply going to just go away because Jean says so. She may be out there waiting and bidding her time when she knows that Jean will need her the most.

Will I be keeping up with Jean now that she is back? I might. I do want to see what is going to happen between her and younger Jean. Plus I want to see what exactly the aftermath to this storyline is going to do to the X-Men.

Feb. 1st, 2018


[info]katara

| 154 |

Title: Phoenix Resurrection: The Return Of Jean Grey (2017-2018) #4 (of 5)
Author: Matt Rosenberg, Ramon Rosanas (Illustrator), Leinil Yu (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: February 1, 2018
Book Summary: A young woman named Jean is starting to go insane in her peaceful, suburban life. Nightmares and daydreams are spilling over into the world and revealing cracks in her reality. Jean's life and everything in it may just be a facade, but made by who? And why? Jean needs to escape.
Book Review: This issue sort of picks up after the last issue. We find Jean Grey laying on the ground of a destroyed home. It doesn't really tell us exactly what sort of conversation came between Phoenix and Jean. In fact, it gives us really nothing about the interaction at all, only Jean seemingly still a bit unaware of the illusion the Phoenix entity has created in order to keep her encased within its world.



In this world, Jean is blissfully living a life that contains no abilities that one could say is pretty normal life. Now exactly what the Phoenix is trying to do continues to remain a mystery over this. One can only assume that it has a bigger picture in mind for Jean and the only way to do so is contain her in this world until the right moment.

Unfortunately that time is now ticking down. The X-Men are right outside this little world and have begun to put two and two together, meaning they know the Phoenix entity has Jean but they really don't know why at the moment. But they have come to rescue Jean, even if it means facing one of their biggest and most powerful foes to date.



But the Phoenix has plans for the X-Men. She brings back those from the dead in hopes of stopping them until she can finish with what she wants with Jean. Unfortunately the X-Men are not the easily defeated and take down their dead comrades with no problems.

Once those comrades are gone, the Phoenix Force makes its most daring appearance on top of the diner, staring down the X-Men as if to dare them to defy her.

And Old Man Logan does just that.

My thoughts
While I loved the first three issues of this limited series, this one sort of fell flat for me. I had been hoping to see the interaction between Jean and Phoenix/Jean but that really never appears and we are sort of left wondering if that appearance was nothing more than a dream or even a nightmare.

I also felt as if this issue was rushed storyline wise. I understand that there is a massive need to get Jean Grey resurrected for whatever storyline they have in mind for her but I was hoping to see more thought and effort into her resurrection. Unfortunately the conclusion is up next and I am wary as to what is going to happen. I only surmise that whatever it is, it won't be the outcome I may be hoping for.

Jan. 14th, 2018


[info]katara

| 153 |

Title: X-Men: Grand Design (2017-2018) #2 (of 2)
Author: Ed Piskor
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 14, 2018
Book Summary: Revisit all of X-Men history with Eisner-winning writer/artist Ed Piskor!!! Relive the biggest moments in X-Men history: The flight of the Sentinels! The discovery of the Savage Land!! The death of Charles Xavier!!! For the X-Fan inside everyone!
Book Review: "Until the Universe blinks out, there is always more to the story"
-Uatu the Watcher

This issue picks up right where the last issue has left off. Where issue one introduced the stories of mostly Jean and Scott, this one kinda moves toward the X-Villians as well as the X-Men as a team. Of course, we do see more of the Phoenix here as well.

Our first villians are quickly introduced as Mesmero, Mastermind, and Magneto. Magneto is a mutant who has the ability to deal with the electromagnetic energy. He can manipulate to his whim and he is considered one of the most powerful mutants because of it.

Xavier pushes his X-Men into battle against Magneto but whether or not they have won against him is really not known. Magneto has put up a battle and so did the X-Men. In the end, Magneto's departure has left questions that have no answers at the moment.



Their next opponents did not give the X-Men much of a chance to recover from Magneto. Much like Magneto, these mutants were angry at being outcasts in human society and did their best to upset the delicate balance that the X-Men were trying to thread together that would keep war from happening. Although these mutants were often defeated and put away for some time, it did not necessarily mean they had changed their colors. They continued their war against humanity and the X-Men as much as they could.

Magneto's complete hatred of humanity is well documented throughout his course of run-ins with the X-Men. In the beginning, he held a team called the Mutant of Evil Mutants and had them carry out his agenda to destroy humanity. Unfortunately some of Magneto's plans often tried changing those non-mutants into mutants themselves. He wanted to make a society filled with mutants and he the ruler. Of course, the X-Men were not about to let this happen and clashed heavily with the Brotherhood time and time again.

Magneto was not one to take a beating and simply disappear forever. No, that was not Magneto's character at all. He believed in trying to get other mutants to join in his crusade against the human population. Unfortunately he did not count on others to be there to help out such as the Fantastic Four, whom battled against Namor's anger for humanity.

Magneto continued on recruiting for his cause unaware that there was another mutant waiting in the shadows and bidding his time. The mutant named Mutant Master whose interested reigned upon the Phoenix Force. He sent out his leiutenants out in search for ways to gain information to the Phoenix Force. Unfortunately they often meet up against the X-Men with no chance of gaining any sort of information Mutant Master required.

When their plan crashes, the X-Men find themselves in a new world called The Savage Land. Here the world seems locked in time to millions of years ago. Here dinosaurs and ancient humans roam the land battling to be the dominant species. They are unaware that the outside world is under attack by an invader named The Stranger has learned that the Mutant Master may have an idea on whom the next Phoenix host may be on Earth. Unfortunately he is not quite welcomed by Magneto and the two battle it out.

And this leads to Mastermind being turned into stone.

The X-Men's next opponent is Xavier's half brother, Cain Mako aka the Juggernaunt. From there, it becomes Trask and his robots called the Sentientals.

It is not long before Jean has had enough and decides that it has come time for her to leave the X-Men. After having villians try to discredit them and their cause and to be public enemy with the Avengers determined to capture them and bring them forth to justice, Jean believes that it has become too dangerous for her to continue. She leaves the X-Men and transitions into civilian life. Here she finds herself leading a normal life and finding love unaware that Mastermind has been trying to get his hands on her.

With Jean gone, the X-Men are continued to be hunted and are introduced to a new villian named The Banshee. He attacks the X-Men and is taken down by the new member named The Mimic. They learn that Banshee has been brainwashed by a mutant named Master Mutant, whom they discover, is still trying to find clues as to whom the Phoenix Force is coming for.

Mimic is quickly removed from the ranks of the X-Men and Jean returns after having her own battles against other mutant villians. During the time, Cain is put up to wires and finds himself yelling "It's here! I can feel it!" Xavier has no idea exactly what his brother is yelling about.



Cain escapes the X-Men and meets up with Banshee's evil cousin named Black Tom.

During this time, Xavier vanishes off the face of the Earth and no one has any idea where he may be. Jean does her best using Cerebro in hopes of finding him but even that turns out to be useless. As she is in communication with Banshee, she tries to warn him to watch out but Banshee is hit from behind by a bolt of energy and crashes below.



We find out that Mutant Master has Xavier, whom Mutant Master believes is one of the most powerful mutants and is the one the Phoenix Force will be seeking out. A battle between ensues between the X-Men and Mutant Master but the X-Men are captured. Jean uses what is last of her power reserves to awaken Banshee and Xavier. The X-Men free themselves and another battle ensues again and the Mutant Master is revealed to a space alien. As his co-horts turn against him, He does the one thing he believes that will keep out of their hands - he destroys himself.



I think I have shared enough on this issue. The rest will be up to you to read. We know that the next issue will deal with both the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas.

Once again, I must say that this was indeed a worthy issue to pick up. I love how Ed Piskor is compacting the X-history into these issues and giving us a bit more of the Phoenix Force than I expected. There was so much information to wrap my head around that I came out from the last page wishing that the third issue was out but I will have to wait until the coming week. :D

My only harp is the art. In one of the panels, Jean's hands looked huge and so out of place within the panel. I think that has been only grip with these issues is the art doesn't feel up to standards. I am quite sure it is just me and just my pet peeve. :D

Here is to the next issue!

Jan. 13th, 2018


[info]katara

| 152 |

Title: Harley Quinn: Be Careful What You Wish For Special Edition (2017) #1 (Harley Quinn (2016-))
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Mounts (Illustrator), Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), Chad Hardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 13, 2018
Book Summary: If you thought you’d seen all the mayhem Harley was capable of unleashing with the help of an all-powerful genie and infinite wishes...well, we wish you’d known better!
Book Review: This issue was actually given out during a loot crate thing. Then it was re-issued for public consumption and given some new material to go along with it.

This issue is also the last swan song for Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.

Harley decides to spend a day at the beach. Unfortunately the water is polluted with garbage and needles, which one of them gets stuck right in the behind of Harley. This also angers her that she sets out to do some damage to the ships that she believes that are behind the polluted waters. Unfortunately for Harley, she ends up nearly drowning in the process but she also ends up getting a fabulous treasure. Once she is back on dry land, she finds a place to inspect her treasure lamp and rubs it. Out pops a genie, who grants some of the most ridiculous requests she can make.

I have to admit this was a rather interesting and fun for Harley. It was funny to see her various wishes and even more funny as hell to see a male version of her.

Unfortunately this issue was just not for me. I loved the hijinks but who doesn't when it comes to Harley? I am not what it was that made me not entirely fond of this issue. I love Harley and I love what is being done with her. She is becoming the anti-hero and not under the thumb of Joker. She is growing and becoming something she knows she can be.

I cannot wait to see more of her.

[info]katara

| 151 |

Title: X-Men: Grand Design (2017-2018) #1 (of 2)
Author: Ed Piskor
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 12, 2018 to January 13, 2018
Book Summary: From Eisner award-winning creator Ed Piskor (Hip-Hop Family Tree) comes a thrilling new series chronicling all of X-Men history! X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN stitches together the most important moments in mutant history, creating a comprehensive narrative celebrating the X-Men's past, present, and future. The first in a trilogy, GRAND DESIGN returns to Charles Xavier's assembly of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel, and Beast! A must for fans looking to brush up on their X-Men lore or as jumping-on point for Marvel's merry mutants.
Book Review: In this new series, we find Uatu the Watcher observing the Earth and it's inhabitants. He calls over Recorder, a small little human-like robot, that lands on his shoulder. Recorder tells him that another Watcher by the name of Eternity had been a bit concerned about him.



Uatu seems to ignore the concern from the other Watcher and decides that the time has come for them to begin their story of Earth.

And he begins to weave his tale of the inhabitants of Earth, speaking of the mutants that had been part of Earth's history for as long as humans have been on the planet.



Then his tale turns to the Mutants such Namor and Howard Stark, whom had bought a powerful technology from the Xaviers.

And this, my friend, is where our story really begins to take root. We see Xavier and Storm herself as a child on the streets of Cairo. Xavier is determined to save her from Amahl Farouk, the leader of the thieves, aka The Shadow King.

After he returns to his home, Xavier begins to work on a project called Cerebro. Here he will be able to find other mutants and be able to offer them help.

And one would be in need of his help as a young child - Jean Grey.

She and her friend were playing when tragically her friend was hit by a car. Jean felt guilty for not being able to save her friend and withdrew into the recesses of her mind in trying to cope with her death.



Several light years away from Earth, a powerful deity named the Phoenix Force was scourging around galaxies in search for the one who would be able to host her powers. But in a single moment, it would change direction and head toward the galaxy that encased Earth within having felt the energy coming from one Jean Grey. It knew it had found it had the right host.

It is then the story turns to Scott Summers' family. Here we find that precisely after the Phoenix Force has felt the powerful energy of Jean Grey, the Shi'Ar have captured Christopher and Katherine Summers. Unfortunately the couple would watch their plane, a Cessna, blow up taking their kids with it. Katherine, distraught by the thought of losing her children, made the decision that she would never allow anyone to take her and the Shi'Ar responded by destroying her.



Here we continue the mutant history of others such as Angel and the arrival of Magneto's team, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

This was an interesting condensing version of the mutant universe of the X-Men. I love how we get a bit more fresh information upon this universe. We see things that only Uatu has been able to see from his vantage point. Here he is the observer over history. He tells you how things have been since the beginning of humanity and how mutants had become part of that history - the good and bad parts of it.

I really enjoyed this one. I am not a fan of the art though. I did like the way the pages seemed rather old as if we are looking back at older comics that have since yellowed with age. But I do suppose that with Uatu behind the scenes giving us his take, that it was made to be this way.

I am looking forward to seeing how the last issue comes out.

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