Thor, Vol. 2: Who Holds the Hammer?, by Jason Aaron

Two and maybe a half stars, read in 2016. I gave the first volume four stars, but this one is disappointing. She’s barely even in it, and it’s not even a full five issues like trades usually are. There are only three issues of actual current story, followed by one about Thor’s friends making her…

New Volumes of My Favorite Comics

Saga, Vol. 8, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Four stars. Excellent as always, less robot penis than usual, so plenty of good news. For the bad news, in chapter 47: oh my god, Brian K. Vaughan, no, absolutely fucking not. That is too far. Such excruciatingly graphic sexual violence against women is fetishistic, and…

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel

Five stars, read in July 2014. For the first 50 pages it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress—it’s one of those books that looks longer than it is, so you feel like it will never end. Once I got to the last hundred or so pages, I was hoping it never would. It’s funny, really, because several of…

Mini Reviews: Comics and Manga

Everything I’ve read so far in January and February 2017, because apparently I haven’t reviewed any of them yet! Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1, by Fumi Yoshinaga. Four stars. What an absolutely fascinating combination of ideas at play in this book. A sort of dystopian premise with a historical setting, a matriarchal society that still…

Rocket Girl, Vol. 1, by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder

Two stars, read in July 2016. This is a great premise, but it wasn’t carried out well. The dialogue is lame and the story is very unclear: teenage police officer leaves the year 2013—”the past”—to go back in time to 1986—”the present”—to stop a company from developing the technology that created her world, which she…

Mara, by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle

Three stars, I think? Read in October 2016. I probably shouldn’t even write a review of this because I do not in any way have a solid grasp of what is going on, but there is a lot that is great about it, and I guess I want to remember that. It’s a confusing combination of…

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous, by G. Willow Wilson

Two stars, read in October 2016. This was my least favorite Ms. Marvel, very disappointing after how completely fabulous the previous four have been. I just felt stressed the whole time as she piled fuckup on fuckup, and then I was unsatisfied by the ending. There was a lot of moralizing, but where I usually…

Silk, Vol. 0 and 1, by Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee

Four stars, read in September 2016. This is a great story, and I’m so excited about Silk/Cindy Moon as a character. As with Spider-Gwen, it was frustrating to be reading volume zero—basically a prequel in itself—and still have tons of backstory missing from all the Spider-Verse comics. Robbie Thompson does a pretty good job filling it…

Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson

Four stars, read in August 2015. This is a fabulous, diverse, female-led fantasy series about the girls at a summer camp “for hard-core lady-types.” The Millennial humor is a little much for me, but mostly it’s fun. I love all the exclamations referencing women from history—”what the Joan Jett,” “oh my Bessie Coleman,” “holy Mae Jemison!”—and…

Storm, by Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez

Four stars, read in September 2016. I have been looking for this comic for so long. The thing is, about comics, that there are way too many of them, and they are too expensive. There are so many I want to read, but unless I can find them at my libraries or Half Price Books,…

Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Five stars, read in September 2016. Jesus. Where to start?? This book needs all the superlatives. The artwork and the characters themselves are so beautiful it’s extravagant. The story is suspenseful and spectacularly violent. The protagonist is the most powerful, hardcore badass I’ve read in a long time; like Hannah from Rat Queens, only less…

In Which I Finally Read My Free Comic Book Day Haul

Yeah, it took me this long. Mike and I got our free comic books together, and we each bought one or two at the same time, which I also did not read until today. How can it take me several months to read a 25-page comic, you ask? This is a good and unanswerable question….

Speed Reviews (Catching Up)

I haven’t been exactly sure what’s going on here lately. I’ve been through some reading slumps and revivals and slumps again, and I think the same is true of my blogging. But in the past couple months, a lot of really great books have come through for me.   The Vegetarian, by Han Kang Five…

Top Books of 2016 So Far

It’s June, so it feels like we’re halfway through the year, but also it’s only the beginning of June, so really only five months have passed. If this post is any indication, I am going to have a hard time narrowing down my “best of” lists when January 2017 rolls around. Despite my falling into…

It’s Time For More Women of Color in Comic Book Movies — PANELS

It’s official: we’re all mad for Black Panther. You could argue, if you wanted, that people’s enormous reaction to Black Panther’s inclusion in Captain America: Civil War indicates just how thirsty fans are for representation in comics and related media. And even as we celebrate an awesome showing of an awesome character in a huge…

Comics Round-Up

This past weekend was a long one for me, and I spent two of the three days off work putting a sizable dent in my graphic novel TBR stack (with mostly excellent results). Beautiful Darkness, by Fabien Vehlmann and  Kerascoët : four stars. This book basically just revels in how horrible people are. The characters aren’t particularly…

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, Vol. 1, by Gail Simone

Three stars, read in September 2015. I did not realize, and ended up loving, that this was an anthology, each comic produced by a different team. Only one was terrible: “No Chains Can Hold Her,” in which Supergirl and Mary Marvel feature, which is cool, but (1) I truly hate the Golden Age illustration style, (2)…

The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

Four stars, first volume read in August 2015. I couldn’t believe it when I realized that the volume I read first was actually volume two. It happened to work out very well—it didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening, so even though I was obviously coming into a story in progress, I thought…

Comics Round-Up

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson Four stars. This is by far the funniest Marvel comic I’ve read yet. Squirrel Girl is such an upbeat, confident character; she solves problems with ass-kicking, yes, but also empathy and creative thinking, and that is cool. The “screenshots” of tweets between…

Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson

Five stars, first book read in June 2015. Have you read the Ms. Marvel series yet?? Kamala Kahn has exciting action and excellent stories, but I love her most for who she is: a girl balancing all the complicated aspects of life and knowing that only she gets to decide who and what she’ll be….

Captain Marvel, by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Four stars, first book read in August 2015. It’s a tough contest, but Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez’s Captain Marvel might be the most badass woman I know in comics. Her closest competition is Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, and I can’t quite decide between the two—my first thought when I finished Blood was how desperately I want…