Batman: Hush Comic Review

Hush, Little Baby don’t say a word. Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird. 

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Batman: Hush graphic novel cover. Image from Amazon.

After beating Batman Arkham Knight for the 2nd time, I became fascinated with reading more Batman comics. I’m currently reading through Knightquest which is the story line in which Batman’s back is broken by Bane. This story line is what inspired the Dark Knight Rises film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. Recently, I finished reading Batman: Hush written by Jeph Loeb. Loeb is a familar face to fandom as he was hired by Marvel Entertainment to co-head the Marvel Television series including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. This graphic novel is probably one of my favorite Batman stories I have read thus far.

Batman: Hush begins with Batman attempting a rescue mission for a kidnapped boy being held by Killer Croc. After saving the boy, he chases Catwoman around Gotham City for money she stole from Killer Croc. When Batman catches up with her, his grapple gun line snaps and he falls to the ground. Bruce Wayne has devastating physical injuries which are repaired by his childhood friend and renowned surgeon, Thomas Elliot. Throughout the story, we see past memories interwoven in the story detailing Bruce and Thomas’s friendship.

As Batman figures out who deliberately cut his line, he recognizes other super villains coming after him within a few days of each other. It becomes clear to Batman that someone is trying to take him down while also knowing incredibly personal information about him. The main premise behind this story is who could be the mastermind behind the vicious attacks against Batman.

I truly ship Batman and Catwoman together. I enjoy their romantic partnership as Batman and Catwoman are both anti-heroes who think they are doing the right thing while also bending the law to fit their needs. You may have seen this famous image of Batman and Catwoman kissing which is found from this graphic novel:

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Batman & Catwoman. Image by DC Data Base 

Batman: Hush is perfect for introducing comics to new fans. Within the first two chapters, famous Batman villains are introduced which has been a common complaint from other fans about this story. I personally loved it because it fits the plot.

Who else has read Batman: Hush? I would love to hear your comments below along with your favorite Batman comic.

 

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4th Annual 2018 Bookish End of Year Survey

This is my 4th year participating in Perpetual Page Turner’s End of Year Survey specifically relating to books, graphic novels or manga read this year. I started this in 2015 and I will continue to participate for many more years to come. Last year, I read 46 books which was a record turnout for me. This year, I only read 39 books although for 2019, I’m going to attempt to read fifty books. In the meantime, here is my 2018 End of Year Book Survey answers.

*This is going to be a longer blog post, Sorry… (not sorry).*

2018 Reading Stats

Number of Books You Read: 39

Number of Re-Reads: 1. I re-read the first issue of Hawkeye #1 My Life is a Weapon. 

Genre You Read the Most From: Graphic Novels, but to be fair, it’s much quicker to read a graphic novel than a traditional book.

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1. Best Book Read in 2018

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Ship It by Britta Lundin. I absolutely adored the premise behind this book because it takes place on a convention tour. I also appreciate the representation with the LGBTQIA+ population since it highlights a lesbian relationship. Britta is also a writer on Riverdale which encouraed me to purchase this book on the boyfriend’s kindle. I’m debating purchasing the paperback version to add to my book collection.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Would Love More But Didn’t?

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. To summarize the book’s plot, Louise is an insecure, single woman living in England. While staying at a hotel, she meets David at the hotel bar who is incredibly irresistible. Louise is devastated to find out David is married to Adele who looks like a supermodel. As Louise develops a friendship with Adele, she finds their relationship to be unhealthy and it becomes clear something is odd about the two of them. Without spoiling the plot, this book has a supernatural twist at the end which was off putting and I didn’t like it.

3. Most Surprising (In a Good or Bad Way) Book You Read?

Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn had a nice surprise twist in the end. Imagine the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie Rear Window meets Gone Girl. There’s still time to read this book before the movie is released in October of 2019. The movie will star Amy Adams in the title role.

4. Best Series You Started in 2018?

WarCross

Image from GoodReads.com

Warcross by Marie Lu is a great book especially if you consider yourself a gamer. Emika is a hacker who enjoys playing the world renowned game called Warcross. When she accidentally hacks into the Warcross World Championship, she’s flown to meet Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross. He tasks her with finding the identity of another hacker who Hideo believes is going to ruin the Championship game. Emika becomes involved in the scandal which has its consequences with everyone involved.

I’m shocked because I found out today that the sequel, Wildcard, was released a couple months ago. Initially, I thought Wildcard was being released in 2019. I’m going to use some of my Barnes & Noble gift card money to purchase Wildcard and it will become my top priority to read it next year.

5. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I really liked Amy Schumer’s autobiography titled The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. I know there’s a lot of controversy with her regarding whether or not she steals jokes. I personally haven’t looked into that much, but I do like Amy’s sense of humor. I found her book to be funny with a nice touch of personal stories from her past. I appreciate the story she wrote on gun violence as I also believe we, in the United States, have to do something to end mass shootings.

6. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

Even though I didn’t like The Post Mortal by Drew Magary, I thought the book posed fascinating hypothetical questions. In this book, the cure for aging is discovered which poses the question of whether or not human should take the cure. I personally wouldn’t because I would hate to live for eternity without my loved ones unless my loved ones could get the cure as well. Unfortunately, this book’s pacing was a little too boring for me so it ended up taking forever for me to finish it.

7. Book That Shocked You The Most

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Calamity is Brandon Sanderson’s concluding book in the Steelheart trilogy which is one of my favorite trilogies I read. This trilogy stars David, a teenager who exists in a world where once the star, Calamity, appeared in the sky, humans were given powers. David joined the Reckoner’s, a rebel group which sought to fight evil Epics (humans with powers). Calamity reveals the history behind the star which is what shocked me the most because it wasn’t what I had anticipated it would be.

8. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) *One True Pairing*

Claire & Tess from Ship It are so cute together! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

9. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I’m going to nominate Saga for this one. I read the first volume in 2017 and I read both volumes #2 & #3 this year. Unfortunately, Saga is on a hiatus  right now, but the only positive part about this news is that I have time to catch up since there are eight volumes in the series.

10. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

It’s going to be a tie between Warcross and Calamity. Both books created equally thrilling environments. Honestly, I wish both Warcross and the Steelheart trilogy were getting movies. This would be visually stunning to see, but never say never I suppose.

11. Hidden Gem of the Year?

Manhattan Projects

The Manhattan Projects is a series I wish I had read earlier. It combines history, science and aliens into one epic graphic novel. book-blogging.jpg

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

I enjoy watching Super Space Chick’s Youtube Channel even though we don’t always have the same book interests. Kristin reads a lot more Young Adult and Contemporary novels than I do. However, our interests coincide with her recommendations of Fantasy and Science Fiction novels. One of my favorite books I read in 2017 titled This is Our Story by Ashley Elston was recommended to me after reading one of Kristin’s blog posts. I hopefully plan on following more book bloggers in 2019.

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?

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I really liked my post regarding my love for the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Sexual assault is an issue I hold near my heart due to being a woman along with how women are treated when they report sexual violence. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo does a great job balancing such a delicate issue while also allowing the survivor to take revenge against her rapist. This post also acquired more comments than I initially thought it would which is a nice bonus.

3. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Can I say being an adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?? I try to read before bed which doesn’t work out because I end up passing out at 8:30 PM instead of reading a chapter and then going to bed. When I was in college, I read a lot more books than I do now. That’s why I’m setting my reading goal in 2019 to be 50 books to encourage myself to read more next year.

4. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Most of my comic book posts never get any comments or likes which always makes me sad. Comics are such an important part of my life and I wish these posts were more well received. I write what I want to write about which means I may not get any attention on blog posts that I feel deserve the spotlight, but that’s okay.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

My top books I’m Looking Forward to Reading Are:

  • Wildcard, the sequel to Warcross by Marie Lu
  • The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston. I mentioned This is Our Story a couple paragraphs ago which is also written by Elston. She’s one of those authors where I will be on the lookout if she releases a new book.

2. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I’m going to attempt to read Game of Thrones this year, wish me luck. This is mostly because of my friend’s obsession with the TV series along with the fact that I have the biggest celebrity crush on Richard Madden after watching the Bodyguard. 

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Princess & the Fangirl by Ashley Poston who also wrote Geekerella. Geekerella was a fairy tale retelling of Cinderella, but with a comic con twist. It’s being released April 2nd 2019 and I’m considering pre-ordering it.

If you end up completing this book survey, link your post in the comments below. Happy New Year book readers! 🙂

 

 

 

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; One of My All Time Favorite Novels

TRIGGER WARNING: This novel contains violent depictions of rape and sexual violence. If this is triggering, please do not read this blog post.

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Jessica Jones meets Lisbeth Salander on my book shelf. 

To unwind after an eleven hour day, I like to curl up on my sectional sofa with a fuzzy blanket and read a book. I try to end my night reading, however I end up crashing at 8:30 with my boyfriend removing the book from my hands. I’m a self proclaimed bibliophile as they’re certain books on my shelf I treasure more than others. One of these books is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

When I was a junior in high school, I enrolled in a Gothic & Detective Literature course. It was one of my favorite high school classes where I read Frankenstein, Dracula and A Study in Scarlet. One assignment was a book report to present to the class. As you can predict, I chose The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I was engrossed with the characters, the setting and the real life implications of the violence women face at the hands of entitled men.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo begins with Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced journalist who lost a case of libel against a powerful industrialist. Immediately after the sentencing, he’s summoned to Henrik Vanger’s mansion. Vanger is a retired CEO of a successful company who originally heard of Blomkvist from following his trial. Vanger says he will give Blomkvist evidence of this industrialist’s illegal activities in exchange for helping Vanger solve the murder of his niece, Harriet Vanger which occurred over 30 years ago.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been approved by the cat as the #1 spot to rest her paws. 

Meanwhile, we have anti-social, goth Lisbeth Salander. She’s an intelligent computer hacker who has been assigned to conduct research on Blomkvist specifically for Vanger before Blomkvist meets with him. Salander and Blomkvist become entwined when she helps Blomkvist unravel the mystery behind Harriet’s disappearance along with reveal a horrific family secret.

As I first read this book, I was disgusted by the sexual violence Salander was subjected to. It was uncomfortable to read this book while comparing how society handles victims of sexual assault. I will never forget reading the section where Salander gets revenge on her rapist. It made me really like Salander as a character because even though hypothetically, this was not the way to seek justice, it was a relief to see her rapist got what I felt like he deserved.

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Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Graphic Novel Volume #1.

I was feeling inspired to write this post since I finished reading the first volume in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo graphic novel released in 2013. I’m preparing to read the second volume shortly as it’s a nice recap to the story while also showing some gritty artwork in each panel.

Before I end this post, I wanted to share a story Stieg Larsson told. When Larsson was fifteen, he witnessed three men raping a friend of his while he stood by and didn’t intervene. This moment altered him as he pled for forgiveness to his friend and they never forgave him. Let’s stop sexual violence by believing surivors when they come forward and intervening if there might be unwanted sexual activity occurring. We can all be allies to prevent sexual violence.

Britta Lundin’s novel Ship It is geeky and gay.

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I started watching Riverdale back in Fall of last year and it became one of my favorite shows on the CW’s line up. One of the writers on the show, Britta Lundin, released her debut first novel combining geekiness, LGBTQIA+ and fandom together into her book titled Ship It. Ship It is easily one of my favorite books I read in 2018 despite the controversy surrounding the novel which I will discuss below.

Ship It details the life of Claire, a sixteen year old recently becoming obsessed with the show Demon Heart with similarities to Supernatural. She has shipped her two favorite characters Smokey and Heart together as romantic partners even though it isn’t canon. Claire attends the Demon Heart panel at a local convention and asks the cast about her ship between Smokey and Heart. Forest Reed, the actor who plays Smokey comes across as a jerk and calls Claire crazy. Claire is immediately stunned and leaves the panel as fans boo the cast.

The crew make amends with Claire by inviting her on the convention press tour to help renew Demon Heart for a second season. Throughout the convention tour, Claire starts to realize maybe she isn’t straight herself and Forest recognizes what he has to do to save his career from being tainted by the Smokey and Heart ship.

I enjoyed this book for multiple reasons. The book is excellent in exploring the downsides of toxic masculinity. Forest Reed when prompted about the chance of his character being gay on the show reacts negatively. Forest reacts this way partly because he’s also auditioning for a role in a hyper masculine action movie. He doesn’t want the chance of playing a gay character ruin his chances of attaining the role. Apparently gay men cannot be action heroes? Is this because of how gay men are perceived as being less masculine? All of these horrible stereotypes play a role in toxic masculinity. Forest has quite the character development as he starts to fully embrace his own geeky personality along with becoming more educated about Tumblr and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Most of the book takes place in various conventions across the U.S. I absolutely love attending conventions and I feel it’s the perfect atmosphere for me to thrive. I liked reading about Claire’s reactions attending her first convention along with Forest and the rest of the Demon Heart cast.

After reading multiple reviews on Goodreads for Ship It I discovered the multiple controversies surrounding this book. This book doesn’t depict fans in a flattering way. Claire hijacks Jamie’s twitter to convince him to make Smokey and Heart fall in love with each other. Jamie being the creator of Demon Heart has every right to be angry with Claire. Claire comes across as a ruthless fan trying to get what she wants even though Demon Heart doesn’t belong to her. As a fan, I personally would never attempt to do this.

Besides how fans are portrayed, Claire makes questionable decisions which led to quite a few readers disliking her character. One such example is when Claire writes fan fiction about Forest revealing a secret kiss between Forest and another man. Forest told Claire in secret about this interaction without knowing Claire would publish it on Tumblr. This is unacceptable as Forest shared this in confidence with Claire. I stand by Claire as a character partly because of her age. Being sixteen, I remember being selfish at this age. Being a teenager shouldn’t be an excuse for behavior, but I find teenagers in their immaturity say things they don’t mean and Claire isn’t an exception.

Overall Ship It was a fictional geeky novel I enjoyed reading although I empathize with readers who disliked this book. I do recommend purchasing the novel and reading it for yourself because it’s crucial to support novels written or include LGBTQIA+ content. Don’t forget to watch Riverdale on the CW premiering Wednesdays 8/7c and watch Britta Lundin’s writing skills in full force.

Aliens & Atomic Bombs in the Manhattan Project

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My favorite way to spend my one hour, unpaid work break is to read comics. Thirty minutes is plenty of time to delve into a story without feeling fatigued. My comic back log is slowly decreasing as a result of my comics reading at lunch. Included in this backlog was the first volume of Image comics Manhattan Project series. I was able to snag this at Convergence a couple months ago when one of my favorite comic book stores appeared as a vendor. They were doing a buy one get one 50% off which to a comic book reader, is the perfect deal. This trade is equally intriguing, historically accurate and entertaining.

Imagine if the Manhattan Project was more than creating the atomic bomb, but to cover up the fact the U.S. was collaborating with aliens. The inventors or contributors to the Manhattan Project are as follows:

Joseph Oppenheimer: physicist, multiple personalities, slightly psychotic

Albert Einstein: German, beer drinker, physicist.

Richard Feynman: Genius, narcissist, slightly annoying

Harry Daghlian: super genius, fried in a radioactive accident, consists of a skeleton with black smoke around his head.

Wernher Von Braun: Nazi, rocket scientist, fake arm.

Leslie Groves: Recruiter, smokes, enjoys bombing other countries

FDR A.I: Yes, this actually exists.

Harry S. Truman: Illuminati?

This first volume details how all of these people interact with each other along with the alien species they cooperate with. What’s so intriguing about this novel is how all of these characters are real people with a twist. Harry Daghlian was a physicist who unfortunately died because of accidental exposure to radiation which I never knew about. Joseph Oppenheimer is a real physicist who is apparently not a serial killer. I felt this novel allowed me to learn more about U.S. history in an interesting way.

The Manhattan Project was written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Nick Pitarra. Hickman has been Eiser-nominated for a couple of other indie series such as Nightly News, Transhuman and Pax Romana however, he’s also known for writing at MARVEL on books featuring the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. Pitarra has completed covers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, God Hates Astronauts and Judge Dredd. Both of their talent is being utilized in this ongoing series which has 6 volumes total chronicling U.S. history, science and the supernatural.

Honestly, this trade is fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed how each of the characters introduced were actually a part of the real Manhattan projects and I like the twist on each character especially the design of Harry Daghlian.  Who knew learning about U.S. history could be so enthralling.

 

1980’s Defenders Comics

Facebook marketplace is where I have found cheap furniture for our apartment. Me and the boyfriend bought our living room comfy chair for $30 along with a used TV stand for $50. As I was browsing through Facebook marketplace, I found someone selling a whole complete run of the 1980’s Defenders from Marvel. I couldn’t pass the opportunity to acquire these comics for my collection. Three months later, I have read every single comic in the stack.  It surprised me how little I knew about this super group.

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Doctor Strange started the Defenders? *photo taken by me*

Before Luke Cage, Iron Fist or Jessica Jones, there was Doctor Strange..? The Defenders in the 1980’s comics I had been reading were led by Doctor Strange featuring the Hulk, Valkyrie, Namor and Nighthawk. Nighthawk was a super villain belonging to the Squadron Sinister attempting to flood the Earth by melting the polar ice caps which by the way aren’t we as a population doing that already? Realizing how horrible this would be, he seeks out the Defenders who defeat Nebulon, a golden god reminding me of David Bowie in comic book form. Nighthawk becomes a hero and fights for the Defenders trying to right his wrongs.

Guest appearances include the Silver Surfer, Hawkeye, Luke Cage before he became a full fledged member of the Defenders and the Fantastic Four. Hellcat aka. Patsy Walker also appears in a couple of the comics as a friend to the Defenders. One of my favorite issues features a comic inspired by Dr.Seuss and shows the Defenders being transported to a cartoon themed planet.

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Dr. Seuss inspired Defenders comic. *photo taken by me*

After finishing this comic book run, I wanted to know for myself when did Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones become involved with the Defenders. Luke Cage was written into the Defenders in the series Secret Defenders which was released in May 1994 along with IronFist. Both Daredevil and Jessica Jones weren’t introduced to the Defenders until the release of Defenders Vol. 5 in 2015.

Defenders Comics Stack

I finally read all of these!

As someone who is relatively new to comics, I’m a huge fan of reading older series. This comic run helped shape the comics universe and we wouldn’t have the new Defenders without Doctor Strange or the Hulk. There are two things I learned from the Defenders comic series: #1: The Defenders didn’t start out as the team I originally knew and #2 Facebook marketplace can be useful in acquiring vintage comics.

Captain Marvel Reading Material

Marvel is FINALLY making a female led superhero movie in their current movie universe. Remember in 2005 when Jennifer Gardner started as Elektra in that forgotten Marvel movie? This isn’t Marvel’s first time producing a movie with a female led superhero if you even consider Elektra a hero to begin with. Marvel is behind considering they had an opportunity to make a Black Widow movie, but they didn’t. I’m happy with Marvel’s decision to make a Captain Marvel movie even though I don’t know anything about her character. I wanted to come up with a reading list / bucket list of comics to read before the movie releases in 2019.

The Life of Captain Marvel

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This Captain Marvel series has been advertised as an origin story which is perfect for anyone who doesn’t know the character. Based on the description, Carol Danvers is from Boston, MA where she encounters the Kree and they give her mystical powers. She eventually joins the Avengers and helps to fight evil beings from outer space. This series is written by Margaret Stohl who wrote the Black Widow Young Adult book I read a couple years ago.

Captain Marvel 2012 Series #1

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This story features a team up with Captain America which intrigues me as I wonder how their chemistry is with each other. This comic also features Monica Rambeau who has used the Captain Marvel title in the past. Monica Rambeau is briefly seen in the Captain Marvel movie trailer played by Lashana Lynch. I hope this series would delve into Carol Danvers and her friendship with Monica Rambeau.

Honorary Mention: A Force

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A-Force is one of Marvel’s first all female Superhero groups. Captain Marvel has joined this group along with: Medusa, She-Hulk, Singularity and Dazzler. This comic has nothing to do with the new Captain Marvel movie, but I’m all about a female comic book superhero action team. It would be kind of neat if this would be able to translate to the big screen.

Based on my Captain Marvel research, these comic series were recommended for fans of the Marvel cinematic universe who don’t know much about Captain Marvel as a character. This is perfect reading material for me to prepare for the new Captain Marvel movie. After watching the trailer, I’m excited for the return of Phil Coulson, a younger Nick Fury and the fact the movie takes place in the 90’s. Thankfully I have plenty of time to read these comics so I’m prepared for the Captain Marvel release in 2019.