Friday, October 26, 2018

Mini Reviews [18]

Nightmares! (Nightmares! #1) 
by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller,
Karl Kwasny (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!

Charlie Laird has several problems:
1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is not a place you want to find yourself after dark.
3. He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.


What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed. And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.

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I enjoyed the premise for this one, but Charlie Laird was a terrible character. He was awful to his younger brother (Jack), and completely crushed the boy's confidence. Jack loved wearing Charlie's old Captain America Halloween costume, but Charlie was jealous. It was the last outfit his mother had made for him before she died, and he didn't want his brother to wear it. I could understand Charlie's feelings, but I stopped caring after he bullied Jack.

Charlie was also a horrible stepson. He refers to Charlotte as the stepmonster, but all she did was try to help Charlie. She exuded kindness, despite her stepson's cruel actions and offensive words. Even when Charlie didn't want her help, she would give it in subtle ways (to help with his nightmares). He snaps at his family, he's rude to his friends -- ugh. He was such a jerk! Oh, and when people try to help him in the Netherworld, he's even worse. He makes fun of people, taunts their actions, and provokes them until they give him what he wants. I hated his attitude and how he chose to interact with others. 

Another thing I didn't like about this book was the language. For example, I don't know too many twelve-year-olds that use the word fastidious. Also, the word stupid is used way too often. It was really bad when the goblins were taunting a small child. They called him fat, referred to him as a turtle because he was slow, and cheered for him to pee his pants. I understand all of this happened during a kid's nightmare, but I think it could have been handled differently. 

A few positives: I thought the world was creative and interesting, and I enjoyed some of the secondary characters. I also liked that this book focused on facing your fears, and that it mentions not always facing them alone.

 


Blackbird #1 by Sam Humphries,
Jen Bartel & Fiona Staples (Illustrators)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): An all-new ongoing series from fan-favorite writer SAM HUMPHRIES (Harley Quinn, Nightwing) and red-hot artist JEN BARTEL! In this neo-noir fantasy, Nina Rodriguez is positive that a secret magic world ruled by ruthless cabals is hiding just beneath the veneer of Los Angeles. The problem: everyone thinks she’s crazy. The bigger problem: she’s not crazy—she’s right. Can she unravel the mystery before the Great Beast catches up with her?

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I almost didn't finish Blackbird, but it seemed silly to DNF a comic. They're too short not to finish, you know? I also kept hoping the story would improve, but Nina was an incredibly frustrating character. She remembers magic that no one else does, and it quickly becomes an obsession.

I feel like the first issue of a new comic has to be informative, which Blackbird was not. Nina was able to predict a natural disaster before it happened, but it never tells you why. Mysterious, magical beings erase everyone's memory, but Nina managed to trick them into thinking she had forgotten. Again... how?

Fast forward (potential spoilers ahead)… she's doing drugs and abusing her prescriptions. She starts living with her sister after nearly dying, and promised to stop taking pills. Unsurprisingly, Nina is still taking pills and does a poor job of hiding it. Her life is a mess, her thoughts make zero sense (which might have something to do with how it was presented), and she still behaves liked a spoiled child.

I have no idea how she "stumbled" across a magical bracelet and knew exactly what it was. The language and magic were knew to me, but none of it was explained. At the end, she proves to be selfish and immature. Oh, and there's a cat with three eyes. I loved his name: Sharpie. This will not be a comic I continue reading in the future.



Cable & Deadpool Annual #1
by David F. Walker
Paco Diaz & Chris Stevens (Illustrators)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): THE TIME IS NIGH! History’s favorite duo are back together, and just in time! When Deadpool is hired to protect a woman from time-hopping villains, it’s only a matter of time until he breaks the timestream. Fortunately, his old pal Cable has some experience with that. But dark secrets have put the client, and reality itself, in more danger than either of our heroes could have foreseen! David F. Walker, Paco Diaz, and a host of stellar guest artists take Cable and Deadpool on an adventure of epic proportions!

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I'm not currently reading the ongoing series, but Jacob insisted I read the Cable & Deadpool annual issue since it can be read as a stand-alone. It was hilarious! I love these two together, and watching them travel through time is always fun.

I think it's fitting that Deadpool manages to make a plunger incredibly important, and later pees on Cable in the most unusual way. I never know what Deadpool will do or say next, and it's not always a nice surprise. I highly recommend this one if you like either character. Oh, and this issue manages to be politically and socially relevant! I loved the points they made, even when they came from Deadpool.



Synopsis (via Goodreads): Tales too big for Domino’s best-selling solo series! Neena Thurman’s never worked alone… She keeps her friends close and her lovers closer! FINALLY REVEALED: the origin of Domino’s posse! Colossus and Domino rekindled? Cable takes a bath! Plus: Domino’s not the only mutant wearing her X-gene on her sleeve… don’t miss the first appearance of the RejeX! 

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I didn't love or hate the annual issue for Domino. I enjoyed the backstory for Outlaw and how she joined the group, but it didn't really jive with the person I've gotten to know. It was an unexpected perspective.

I have no idea why the Cable story was there... it was weird and slightly jarring. Why were they in a bathtub? I know what was insinuated, but it didn't match Cable's thoughts.

I love Domino's relationship with Colossus, though it's not one I understand. I was also happy with the support group mentioned within this issue. It's important for people to love themselves and accept their appearances. 

I'm not entirely sure what RejeX is going to be, but it sounds interesting!

24 comments:

  1. Too bad Nightmares was such a letdown because the synopsis sure sounded promising. But Charlie sounds fairly wretched. :(

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    1. I think the authors were trying to imply that Charlie had a "darkness" inside of him, and that it was relevant to the Netherworld, but it was poorly executed. He would often mention a blackness rising up and consuming his thoughts, but we don't really get an explanation for that. Everyone gets upset about things, so why was Charlie a victim? Why did that excuse his actions when he was cruel? It was frustrating. I think a lot of his anger was misplaced, too.

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  2. A week ago, my grandma was at a thrift store and found Nightmares and she got it for me in case I liked it!

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    1. Hey! We found our copy at a thrift store! What an awesome coincidence! Also, your grandma sounds awesome. I wish mine had thought to buy me books... instead I bloodied my fingers trying to cross stich. They live out in the middle of nowhere and didn't have a TV when we were kids (my grandma didn't want holes in her walls), so we had to keep ourselves busy. My grandmother's idea of fun for a ten-year-old was making them sit still and stab at fabric. ;)

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  3. So, about DNFing a comic. Yeah, I've done it. But to be fair, I don't really read them that much. I tried to read the Walking Dead graphic novels because I love the show, but wanted to know how everything really went in the comics. When it changed illustrators, I lost focus and didn't enjoy it as much I recently started reading a Captain America, and don't know if I'll finish it either. Thanks for sharing these reviews!

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    1. Haha! I love that you've DNFd a comic! I always feel like I should give it the benefit of the doubt, you know? Maybe something spectacular happens at the end? I used to do that with books, which is why I stopped enjoying them so much. I had to tell myself to stop when I wasn't enjoying something, or I would keep reading and hoping for things to improve. I'm a lot happier now that I DNF! I guess I should apply that reasoning to comics?

      My husband and I used to watch TWD, but we stopped after a few of our favorite characters died. I just didn't have the heart to keep watching. I've never been curious about the graphic novels, but I know they're really popular. The show doesn't follow them exactly, so fans can't anticipate what's going to happen next -- right? I think that's what I heard! It's always a bummer when you love someone's artwork for something, and then they change illustrators. It always makes me sad. Normally, it's just for an issue or two, so I deal with it. However, there are times when it's permanent and I want to cry.

      Are you looking for comic recs? I haven't read Captain America, but I do know of some really great ones! You should look for Tom Taylor's All New Wolverine. It's over now, but it was a really great run. He invented Gabby, Honey Badger, and she's my new favorite comic book character. West Coast Avengers by Kelly Thompson is ongoing and only on its second issue -- LOVE it! <3

      All-New Hawkeye (ended)
      Gwenpool (ended)
      Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows (just ended)
      X-Men Red (another Tom Taylor, has Gabby, and is currently ongoing)
      Moon Knight (if you like darker comics, but it's on the last issue)
      Domino (definitely this one, and ongoing)

      Let me know if you try any of these!

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  4. They're all new to me I confess that I love the covers. Too bad for Blackbird

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    1. The illustrations for Blackbird were awesome! I just didn't care for the story. It's disappointing, but it happens. We can't like everything, right? That would be boring.

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  5. YIKES Charlie sounds horrible, too bad because it sounds so interesting.

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    1. I really liked the world the author's created, and I liked all of the secondary characters. Other than the villain, Charlie is the only character I didn't like. Everyone else was kind and looked out for their friends. His main friends were really nice to his brother, too. Charlie was just - ugh. He acted like he was the only person in the world, and only his problems mattered.

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  6. I hate when books for kids aren’t suitable.

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    1. This isn't something I would want my son to read on his own (not that he can yet), and I'm glad I was able to filter some of the negativity out. I don't want him to think that's how people are supposed to behave. If Charlie was meant to be an example, he was a bad one.

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  7. I feel like Nightmares had a lot of potential, but Charlie sounds like a pill! I guess he did have a lot to deal with, though.

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    1. His father remarried three years after his mother's death, and Charlie was still dealing with the loss. He felt like Charlotte was imposing on their lives, but she really was a kind person. She tried to give Charlie his space, but he made things so difficult for everyone. Jack loved Charlotte and was happy to have her in their lives, and he was so young with their mother died. He started referring to Charlotte as his mom, and Charlie was really cruel about it. He wasn't the only one trying to deal with loss and grief, or even realistic nightmares, but he was the only one acting like a spoiled brat.

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  8. I haven't read any of the Jason Segel/Kiersten Miller books, but that one sounds cute!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. I enjoyed the setting and secondary characters, but Charlie was the worst! If he had been more likable and less bratty, I would have enjoyed this one more.

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  9. Aw that's a bummer about Blackbird- I was thinking about that one the other day on ComiXology and debating whether to get it or not. Guess I'll skip it.

    Domino on the other hand haha I'm definitely going to read at some point! Especially knowing Diamondback is in it...

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    1. I don't mind when a new comic spends a few issues building up the world and the characters, but I cannot deal with an unlikable character. The thought bubbles were also all over the place, and it just wasn't a good fit for me.

      Yes! Domino!

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  10. Sorry that these were mostly misses for you. Good thing that Cable & Deadpool was good for you. It is too bad that Charlie's character was so difficult to like. It sounds like that book had some promise.

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    1. I loved the premise for Nightmares!, but it was hard to feel sorry for Charlie and his situation. I wanted to feel sympathetic or sad, but then he would be selfish or cruel and I just couldn't do it. I'm hoping there are additional books set within the world, and from a different character's perspective!

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  11. Sorry to hear you didn't like that one more.

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  12. Oh wow, I think I'd be avoiding Nightmares and keeping the little dude away from it too. I hate bratty kids in books, I can't imagine how much I'd hate a book when the bratty kid is the main character! :/

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    1. If they had explained why he felt "darkness" and why it prompted him to behave so terribly, I might have been okay with it. If Charlie's behavior had been out of his control, his actions would have been more understandable. However, he was bratty long before his nightmares started. He was angry about his mother's death, but he took it out on the people that loved him the most. Then he blamed them with things started to go wonky. He was even mean to the people trying to help him in the Netherworld.

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless