Publisher: Marvel Comics

Night of the Living Deadpool by Cullen Bunn

Posted November 11, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Graphic Novel / 0 Comments

Night of the Living Deadpool by Cullen BunnTitle: Night of the Living Deadpool (Goodreads)
Author: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Published: Marvel Comics, 2014
Pages: 96
Genres: Graphic Novel
My Copy: eBook

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Deadpool is a Marvel Comics mutant anti-hero best known for his dark humour (he is sometimes referred to as “Merc with a mouth”) and breaking the fourth wall in his comic. He is a mentally unstable mercenary, weapons expert and has regenerative healing abilities. The perfect hero to put into a zombie apocalypse and in Night of the Living Deadpool this is what happens.

The series begins with a nod to The Walking Dead, which is a homage to that classic opening scene in The Day of the Triffids. Deadpool wakes up from a food coma a few days later and finds that he has awoken to the zombie apocalypse. This four issue series goes on to make multiple references to the genre.

Writer of Deadpool Killogy, Cullen Bunn joins forces with a relative new artist, Ramon Rosanas. The series is a stylised black, white, and red (for Deadpool) with a very warped sense of humour. What stuck with me through this series was not just the references to classic zombie movies or macabre nature but the short, straight to the point approach to the genre. Comic book series can often go for a long time and while that is good, it was nice to start and end a series in one sitting.

I loved the art within this book; I liked how Ramon Rosanas avoided using colours within the comics. It highlights Deadpool as a character not like all the others, while leaving the focus on the drawings rather than the colours. This style is different to what is seen in Sin City but it works; flashbacks are in full colour so really it portrays the apocalypse as a dark time for humanity.

Because this series was only four issues, I find it hard to talk about this comic book. Everything happened so fast and then it was over. I enjoyed the short and sweet experience as stated before but the lasting effects are very small. I was left with memories of the references and art but nothing much more. I think this means that it will be a good series to revisit again; it is just a weird experience.

Black Widow, Vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson

Posted September 14, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Graphic Novel / 2 Comments

Black Widow, Vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan EdmondsonTitle: Black Widow, Vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread (Goodreads)
Author: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Phil Noto
Published: Marvel Comics, 2014
Pages: 144
Genres: Graphic Novel
My Copy: eBook

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Is it weird that I am drawn to heroes in comics that don’t have any powers? Batman and Iron Man’s only power is the power of money but I tend to be more interested in people like The Punisher (maybe his power is the power of not dying). So recently I read Matt Fraction’s series featuring Hawkeye and I wanted to explore my favourite Avenger, Black Widow. Thanks to a recommendation, I have now started the new Marvel Now! Black Widow series by Nathan Edmondson and illustrated by Phil Noto.

Natasha Romanov is Black Widow, a Russian soldier of fortune/assassin with a strict moral code. Her back story is a little sketchy. Through the course of the series there are hints that she once was a Soviet super spy but Nathan Edmondson intentionally keeps her past a mystery. Yet we still get a better idea of the character that is Black Widow and she really knows how to kick ass.

The Finely Woven Thread combines the first six issues of the new Marvel Now! series that follows Natasha on her different jobs which slowly start to piece together. Further into the comic Black Widow finds herself facing the Hammer of God, a mad Russian Orthodox monk wreaking havoc on the world. Soon Natasha is hired by Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D. and together they work towards uncovering just what is going on.

It is hard to summarise the plot of this series as there is so much going on and I don’t want to give too much away. It all seems random but in the game of espionage these things start to come together and you get the sense that there is something bigger lurking in the shadows. In all honesty I’m about ten issues into the series and I can’t remember which other heroes or villains appeared in the first six issues but there are some great cameos.

At times the writing by Nathan Edmondson is a little weak and clunky, you get the feeling that he is all over the place but then I also suspect that it will start to make sense and come together in future issues. However what stands out in this series is the art; Phil Noto has done an amazing job and I’m not quite sure how to explain it. It reminds me of water colour paintings, with rich and vibrant colours throughout the pages. It is just stunning to look at the art and yet it still feels very much like a comic book.

Recently I asked for some recommendations into the world of comics and I am happy with what I have in my wish list so far, but keep them coming. I will be continuing this series of Black Widow and I’m curious to see where it goes. It is a real joy to read a superhero that is not only a woman but also someone without superpowers.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

Posted August 14, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Graphic Novel / 14 Comments

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow WilsonTitle: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal (Goodreads)
Author: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Adrian Alphona, Sara Pichelli
Published: Marvel Comics, 2014
Pages: 120
Genres: Graphic Novel
My Copy: eBook

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

The new series of Ms. Marvel brings about an exciting new direction for Marvel Comics. Kamala Khan is the fourth character to take on the name Ms. Marvel and for the first time ever, we see a Muslim headlining the pages. Co-created Sana Amanat (editor), G. Willow Wilson (writer), and Adrian Alphona (artist) the new Ms. Marvel was created out of the need for a strong Muslim superhero. However, this is not only a hero that deals with struggling with their superpowers but a minority struggling to fit in with the American culture.

The comic depicts a 16 year-old Pakastani-American Muslim in New Jersey struggling with fitting in, family, religion, school and all the normal teenage struggles. Then one day she has an encounter with Ms. Marvel and she confesses that she wishes she was like her. This wish was granted and now Kamala has to work out not only what it means to be a Muslim woman in America but how to use her new shape shifting powers.

“This is not evangelism. It was really important for me to portray Kamala as someone who is struggling with her faith. Her brother is extremely conservative, her mom is paranoid that she’s going to touch a boy and get pregnant, and her father wants her to concentrate on her studies and become a doctor.” – G. Willow Wilson

What I found exciting about the new Ms. Marvel is the way this series tries to break the stereotypes. As a teenage Muslim living in America, Kamala has all these ideals and stereotypes projected onto her and she has to navigate through it all and work out who she is. Ms. Marvel represents everything she wants to be; a strong, beautiful woman standing for good. However when she becomes Ms Marvel she quickly realises that being a superhero doesn’t solve the struggle of a misfit. This new Ms. Marvel series isn’t just a struggle with new found powers; it is the everyday struggles she faces. Kamala slowly works out that her new powers, religion or heritage is not what defines her but they do play important roles in the person she wants to be.

“As much as Islam is a part of Kamala’s identity, this book isn’t preaching about religion or the Islamic faith in particular. It’s about what happens when you struggle with the labels imposed on you, and how that forms your sense of self. It’s a struggle we’ve all faced in one form or another, and isn’t just particular to Kamala because she’s Muslim. Her religion is just one aspect of the many ways she defines herself” – Sana Amanat

Interestingly there are a few mentions where Ms. Marvel is referred to as Captain Marvel, unfortunately I don’t know the back story of this but I think it is a positive step. Ms. Marvel was originally created as the female counterpart to Captain Marvel. The move to turn Ms. Marvel into Captain Marvel means that the female superhero is no longer considered the counterpart but a strong and dominate hero in her own right.

You may noticed that I haven’t mentioned anything about the art work and this is because I’m new to reviewing graphic novels and have not learned how to talk about art yet. I hope to learn to critically analyse the art but for now I’m leaving it out of this review, not because it is bad but because I don’t know what to say apart from it being good. No Normal is the conclusion of the first arc (first 5 issues) and I’m really looking forward to seeing where this series goes. I think it is fresh and exciting change for the better in the world of comics.