What's your latest read?

Just finished reading The Sandman: The Dream Hunters (trade), by Neil Gaiman.

The world was different in old Japan. In those day, creatures of myth and legend walked upon the earth, swam in the sea, flew through the air. Some were kind and some were cruel. Some were wild and some, at great cost, could be tamed.

So it was that a wily Fox made a wager to dislodge a humble young monk from his home - and lost her heart in the betting.

So it was also that a master of the demons of this world set his own eyes on the monk, seeking to seize the pious man's inner strength for his own.

And so it was, the King of All Night's Dreaming would find himself intervening on behalf of a love that was never meant to be...


In 1999, three years after the original Sandman ended, Gaiman was invited by Karen Berger (former Executive Editor at Vertigo, and the series' original editor) to write something to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the saga's start. He came up with The Dream Hunters - published not as a comic but as a novella, with illustrations by Y. Amano. It was a success, winning the Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative in 2000.

In 2007 frequent Gaiman collaborator P. Craig Russell decided to illustrate a comic adaptation of the story, published in 2008 as a four-issue mini-series; this is the version I've read.

The story seems to take place in 17th/18th century Japan (although the period isn't stated). There are four principal characters; Dream, the monk, the Fox, and a scheming onmyoji (basically, an alchemist/magician) - the last three never being named. As with his previous Sandman work, Gaiman intertwines mystical, mythological, and religious references and imagery seamlessly. That said, it works fine as a standalone (for any who have read the other volumes there are some nice nods). It's a tale of love, revenge, and destiny*; there's a strong sense of inevitability as you read. And whilst those anticipating a happy ending won't be disappointed, neither will those anticipating a sad one.

Gaiman originally declared his story was based on a Japanese folk tale - although he later admitted that wasn't true ("its faux pedigree [just] a whimsical part of the whole", Russell later commented).

Russell's artwork is generally a bit hit 'n' miss for me, but his style works here, being well-suited to both the tale and the period.

With Dream as enigmatic as ever, and the other characters - although nameless - being well-drawn (in every sense), this is a charming, impactful story.

7.5/10


*Destiny of the Endless never appears or is mentioned in the story - although some of Russell's illustrations do have Dream holding a very large book. The implication is pretty clear.
 
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My last reads from DC were the two latest DC vs Vampires issues. #8 and All Out War #2. Issue #8 got extra sexy this month for some reason, which has always been a funny side of this series. I've heard some have issues with the series, I don't take it seriously and find it enjoyable. I discuss more in my monthly wrap up on Youtube.
 
I just picked up Gotham City: Year One. You’ve got to respect a good Slam Bradley story. And Tom King is a good mystery writer.

This is dripping with atmosphere. It’s a great start. This is Tom King’s version of a Humphrey Bogart noir mystery. Definitely liking it so far.
 
I have just finished Death of the New Gods. I started that several times and then bailed a few issues in. So I decided that this would be the time that I actually completed it.

And wow, I wish that I hadn’t. This had to be the most nihilistic work I’ve ever read in comics. Jim Starlin’s whole message can be summed up in one panel from the second to last issue where Scott Free recognizes that The Source has abandoned him and disregarded him. Scott cries out to the Source, stating “I worshipped you. I have dedicated my whole life to your service!” And the Source’s response? “I never asked you to do that.” The story was joyless, depressing and lacked any sense of purpose.
I put this one just a notch above All Star Batman and Robin or Dark Knight Strikes Again for worst comics I’ve ever read.
 
Harley Quinn: Legion of Bats is my favorite book from DC right now it's so much fun!

And so ****ing wonderfully queer

Ivy and Harley are great together in this book and the whole cast of characters are a joy. This writer needs to get more DC work like this

Catwoman is pretty great so far too

Poison Ivy is another favorite title at present. G Willow Wilson is doing an amazing job writing Ivy here
 
Just finished reading the hardcover Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Zero - The Complete Collection.
A secret begins to unravel within the JSA about how one member controversially used a mysterious amulet back in World War II to help turn the tide of the war. Flash forward to the present, when this secret amulet is found in the hands of the Joker, and the Justice League and JSA suddenly find their teams being torn apart from the inside - is there a traitor in the room, or is someone hiding something that could ruin every DCU superhero forever?


This fourteen-issue series was originally published in 2020 and takes place a year before the events of Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One. An old and terminally ill man up for parole at Blackgate Penitentiary has his application for release on compassionate grounds denied. So, he gets a message to the outside; he'll provide the means for god-like power to whoever can get him out. Enter the Joker...

The writing is by Tom Taylor. Taylor is talented, and I've enjoyed much of his previous work (including Injustice/Injustice 2), but he seems a little off here. A good gauge for me is how he writes Joker and (especially) Harley, and here their dialogue just doesn't have that snap it's had before. It feels a little forced. His writing generally is okay, but where I really expect him to shine... he doesn't. However, there are some nice occasional touches of humour, and the overall story is a good one, with nostalgic callbacks to the Silver Age JLA/JSA crossovers (whilst lovers of the Golden Age will enjoy the WWII flashbacks and cameos). And of course, being an Injustice title, there are unexpected and shocking twists and turns - some of them particularly brutal.

Rogê Antônio and Cian Tormey handle the artwork, and it's frustratingly variable. I'm not a fan of the way they draw some faces, but their backdrops (space, WWII battlegrounds, ocean depths, building interiors/exteriors) are really nice. And they do action well.

I wouldn't call this in any way essential (Year One makes perfect sense without it) - but it does give some added context, along with a poignant foreshadowing of events to come. To that end it's worth reading if you're a fan.

7/10
 
Superman For All Seasons
I remember way back when I initially read Superman For All Seasons because of the ending of Smallville season 1 finale and the opening of season 2 and found out it was based from that book. So anyway big ups to Smallville for getting me introduced to Superman For All Seasons. Side note Smallville also lead me to Birthright because of the Clark and Lex relationship in that book and I remember that the hardcover included an intro from Al Gough and Miles Millar.
 
I remember way back when I initially read Superman For All Seasons because of the ending of Smallville season 1 finale and the opening of season 2 and found out it was based from that book. So anyway big ups to Smallville for getting me introduced to Superman For All Seasons. Side note Smallville also lead me to Birthright because of the Clark and Lex relationship in that book and I remember that the hardcover included an intro from Al Gough and Miles Millar.
I’ve always felt like Smallville was like an elseworlds tale that actually held the main continuity of the characters in high regard.

That’s why I liked the show, and also why I extended grace and leniency to it for all of its shortcomings.
 
I have been on a Len Wein kick of late, reading his Swamp Thing run and now some of his old Human Target stories from Action Comics. His Christopher Chance had to be the most suave and coolest character in all of DC.

I think that I will take a dive into his Phantom Stranger stories next.
 
I remember way back when I initially read Superman For All Seasons because of the ending of Smallville season 1 finale and the opening of season 2 and found out it was based from that book. So anyway big ups to Smallville for getting me introduced to Superman For All Seasons. Side note Smallville also lead me to Birthright because of the Clark and Lex relationship in that book and I remember that the hardcover included an intro from Al Gough and Miles Millar.

Tom Welling & Michael Rosenbaum just had Jeph Loeb on their podcast (Talkville) to discuss an episode he wrote (Red K Clark) and he also discussed how Al & Miles were influenced by "For All Seasons" it was a fun listen!
 
Just finished the trade The Batman Who Laughs, which collects the full seven-issue mini-series, plus the one-shot The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight.
Half Batman. Half Joker. Combining everything that makes the Caped Crusader a hero and the Clown Prince a killer, the Batman Who Laughs is the Dark Multiverse's deadliest criminal mastermind. Now he's come to Gotham to turn Bruce Wayne's home into an incubator for evil.

And he hasn't come alone. Emerging from another of the Dark Multiverse's myriad realities comes the Grim Knight. This vicious vigilante will use any weapon at his disposal to ensure those he has marked for death stay down.

A war like no other - a war of the Batmen - has begun. As Batman's closest friends, deadliest enemies and doppelgangers from across the Multiverse get caught in the crossfire, only one question remains: Who will have the last laugh?


Writing: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

Set between Dark Nights: Metal and Death Metal, this has the Batman Who Laughs, 'the Dark Multiverse's deadliest criminal mastermind', launch a criminal scheme to end all criminal schemes!! He'll... poison Gotham's water supply. That's what he comes up with. A variation of that good ol' tried and tested Joker plot. Ah... but here he comes up with an even more insidious side-scheme... He'll try to drive Batman as insane as he is. Riiight... And that's essentially what this is. Unoriginal, or homage? Either way, it's poor. Along the way we get Bruce Waynes from other dimensions dropping in (sometimes literally), the Court of Owls, serial killer James Gordon Jr (on a work-release program??), and Joker. And the whole thing's a convoluted mess. It's muddled, confusing, and ultimately just not that interesting. I thought maybe it's just me, but looking online I'm not alone. I'm not a huge Scott Snyder fan. He has some nice ideas, but I find he lets them down in the execution (Court of Owls), or they'd work better as an alternate reality (First Snow - which I love as a story, but as canon? No thanks).

The Batman Who Laughs is an interesting character - but a little of him goes a long way. I've lost count of the number of times throughout the whole Metal saga someone's said 'He knows everything Batman does, can do everything Batman can - but without holding back!!!!'. Yes, it's not a difficult concept. It's also pretty obvious. And boy, does TBWL love his pseudo-nihilistic monologues. Honestly, I ended up feeling I was reading this 'because I should do' (for stuff that comes later), rather than 'because I want to'.

Also, I'm not a fan of Jock's artwork, which I actually find pretty ugly. Although, seeing as it was as messy in its own way as Snyder's writing, I guess you could call it a good fit. And although I get the thinking behind it, whoever thought it was a good idea to have red ink on black background for TBWL's speech was an idiot. It's borderline unreadable (I ended up using a magnifying glass, something I don't expect to do when I'm reading comics... for relaxation).

The one saving grace in this was the one-shot The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight, included at the midway point. The Grim Knight is basically Punisher-Batman, and the chapter was a nice callback to/twist on the Batman: Year One origin. It was written by Snyder and James Tynion, with art by Eduardo Risso, and was pretty good (and on its own gets a 7/10).

This took several sittings to get through. I hope that when I embark on Death Metal reading this turns out to have been worth the effort.

5/10
 
Just finished the trade The Batman Who Laughs, which collects the full seven-issue mini-series, plus the one-shot The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight.



Writing: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

Set between Dark Nights: Metal and Death Metal, this has the Batman Who Laughs, 'the Dark Multiverse's deadliest criminal mastermind', launch a criminal scheme to end all criminal schemes!! He'll... poison Gotham's water supply. That's what he comes up with. A variation of that good ol' tried and tested Joker plot. Ah... but here he comes up with an even more insidious side-scheme... He'll try to drive Batman as insane as he is. Riiight... And that's essentially what this is. Unoriginal, or homage? Either way, it's poor. Along the way we get Bruce Waynes from other dimensions dropping in (sometimes literally), the Court of Owls, serial killer James Gordon Jr (on a work-release program??), and Joker. And the whole thing's a convoluted mess. It's muddled, confusing, and ultimately just not that interesting. I thought maybe it's just me, but looking online I'm not alone. I'm not a huge Scott Snyder fan. He has some nice ideas, but I find he lets them down in the execution (Court of Owls), or they'd work better as an alternate reality (First Snow - which I love as a story, but as canon? No thanks).

The Batman Who Laughs is an interesting character - but a little of him goes a long way. I've lost count of the number of times throughout the whole Metal saga someone's said 'He knows everything Batman does, can do everything Batman can - but without holding back!!!!'. Yes, it's not a difficult concept. It's also pretty obvious. And boy, does TBWL love his pseudo-nihilistic monologues. Honestly, I ended up feeling I was reading this 'because I should do' (for stuff that comes later), rather than 'because I want to'.

Also, I'm not a fan of Jock's artwork, which I actually find pretty ugly. Although, seeing as it was as messy in its own way as Snyder's writing, I guess you could call it a good fit. And although I get the thinking behind it, whoever thought it was a good idea to have red ink on black background for TBWL's speech was an idiot. It's borderline unreadable (I ended up using a magnifying glass, something I don't expect to do when I'm reading comics... for relaxation).

The one saving grace in this was the one-shot The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight, included at the midway point. The Grim Knight is basically Punisher-Batman, and the chapter was a nice callback to/twist on the Batman: Year One origin. It was written by Snyder and James Tynion, with art by Eduardo Risso, and was pretty good (and on its own gets a 7/10).

This took several sittings to get through. I hope that when I embark on Death Metal reading this turns out to have been worth the effort.

5/10
Your statement that “The Batman Who Laughs is an interesting character - but a little of him goes a long way.” Is 100% true. And Snyder rides that horse until he is dead and then beats it afterwards.
 
Just finished the trade Wonder Woman: The Cheetah, published 2020 (obviously in tandem with the movie Wonder Woman 1984).
Wonder Woman's most ferocious foe! The super-villainess known as the Cheetah has tangled with Wonder Woman constantly throughout the decades. Whenever Wonder Woman has defeated the Cheetah, she's hidden away to lick her wounds, but is never down for long. Whether it's facing off one-on-one or attempting to take down the entire Justice League, the Cheetah will stop at nothing as she tries to sink her claws into Wonder Woman!


We have Wonder Woman and the Cheetah (Wonder Woman #6, 1943), One Super-Villain: Made to Order (Wonder Woman #274, 1980), Claws of the Cheetah (Wonder Woman #275, 1981), Blood of the Cheetah (Wonder Woman #9, 1987), Truth or Dare Parts 1 and 2 (The Flash #219, 2005/Wonder Woman #214, 2005), The Secret of the Cheetah Parts 1 and 2 (Justice League #13/14, 2012/2013), The Hunt (Wonder Woman #23, 2013), Interlude (Wonder Woman #8, 2016), and Cheetah's profile page from Who's Who in the DC Universe #4, 1990.

Cheetah is easily my favourite Wonder Woman villain and this collection is a great whistle-stop tour of some of the pair's notable scraps. The talent includes George Perez, Gerry Conway, Len Wein, Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns, Mark Waid - even William Moulton Marston himself.

A warning... Anyone not familiar with DC's history of reboots will find this a little confusing - and possibly quite painful... The Cheetah is 1940s socialite Priscilla Rich. No, she's 1980's activist Debbi Domaine - but she was Priscilla Rich. Only Priscilla Rich now doesn't look old enough to have been active in the 1940s... No, no, she's Barbara Minerva - and the only other Cheetah was Priscilla Rich, Debbi Domaine never took over the role. Hold on, she's Priscilla Rich, Debbi Domaine AND Barbara Minerva?! Barbara Minerva has been her real name all along?? The others were just aliases??? But... but... we saw Debbi Domaine talking to Priscilla Rich! Her aunt!! :wall:

Ah, good old DC! :funny:

It's great seeing how comics writing and artwork has altered over the years. Whatever the style though, the storytelling is great, with the more modern stories reminding you just how truly terrifying Cheetah would be in the real world.

A very solid 8/10
 
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Say what you will about Tom King's Batman run (it has its good points and its bad points), but between Gotham: Year One and Batman - One Bad Day: The Riddler, the dude's been on a tear lately! His latest offering, "The Winning Card", which features in Batman: The Brave and The Bold, is proving to be no exception. It's truly one of the most deliciously written and gripping Joker tales I've read in recent memory.
 
Say what you will about Tom King's Batman run (it has its good points and its bad points), but between Gotham: Year One and Batman - One Bad Day: The Riddler, the dude's been on a tear lately! His latest offering, "The Winning Card", which features in Batman: The Brave and The Bold, is proving to be no exception. It's truly one of the most deliciously written and gripping Joker tales I've read in recent memory.
I love me some Tom King! Heck, I enjoyed his Batman run for the most part. After hearing interviews with him, I’m convinced that the parts that I didn’t like about that run were due to interference by Dan Diddio as opposed to any decisions by King.
I’ll also throw in Human Target as one of his more recent masterpieces. I’d place it a solid #4 on my all time Tom King list.
(In case anyone is wondering, my top 3 would be: 1. Superman Up in the Sky; 2. Mister Miracle; and 3. Omega Men. Human Target takes the fourth spot.)
 
Collecting some of the Geoff Johns Green Lantern TPBs I missed out on over the years.

Just read: Green Lantern: No Fear
Currently reading: Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns
 
I’m 2/3 of the way through The Longbow Hunters. I’ve wanted to read it for a while now, so I finally got around to it. I’m still waiting for a payoff. It’s good but not great. The art is a bit annoying and tonally seems a bit off. But I’m intrigued enough to want to finish it.

I bought the paperback probably around a decade ago and remember thinking it was good. That said however, it was during a time when I was reading a lot of Green Arrow because Arrow S1-2 had me completely into the character. I enjoyed Green Arrow Year One the most.

I picked up today:

Knight Terrors #3
Green Lantern Knight Terrors #2
The Flash Knight Terrors #1

Hopefully get around to reading them over the week. Local comic book shop was actually busy today. Was nice to see!
 
I bought the paperback probably around a decade ago and remember thinking it was good. That said however, it was during a time when I was reading a lot of Green Arrow because Arrow S1-2 had me completely into the character. I enjoyed Green Arrow Year One the most.
If you are ever wanting great Green Arrow, look no further than Denny O’Neil’s run (got to love Green Arrow/ Green Lantern: Hard Traveling Heroes) or the Rebirth run.
 
If you are ever wanting great Green Arrow, look no further than Denny O’Neil’s run (got to love Green Arrow/ Green Lantern: Hard Traveling Heroes) or the Rebirth run.

I definitely want to get around to checking out the Arrow/Lantern comics from O'Neil at some point for sure!
 
Lately all I've read as far as comics are the Looney Tunes. They're great fun though. Every issue is sure to get at least 2-3 scoffs, chuckles or guffaws out of me.
 
Lately all I've read as far as comics are the Looney Tunes. They're great fun though. Every issue is sure to get at least 2-3 scoffs, chuckles or guffaws out of me.
A few years ago, DC did a DC/Looney Tunes crossover event. It was pretty good, but it didn’t come close to the fun that was the DC/Hannah Barbara crossover. The Deathstroke/Yogi Bear crossover was legit amazing.
 
Amethyst Sword of Sorcery Volume 1. I really enjoyed this book, and the updated version of the character. I especially liked Eclipso's use here.
 

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