Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nightwing Vol. 1: Better Than Batman by Tim Seeley - Book Review

From the publisher: Nightwing is back...in blue!

He's been Robin, he's been a super spy, a ghost. Now, Dick Grayson finds himself back in Gotham City fighting to reclaim the life that was taken from him. But when a new evil threatens those closest to Dick, as Nightwing he must once again choose whether or not to tear himself away from his home in order to combat this dark force.

Everything Dick thought he knew about being Nightwing will be brought to bear, and his relationship to his former mentor Batman will be put to the test in NIGHTWING: VOL. ! written by Tim Seeley (GRAYSON) with art by Yanick Paquette (SWAMP THING, BATMAN/SUPERMAN) and rising star Javier Fernandez (RED HOOD/ARSENAL). Collects NIGHTWING: REBIRTH #1 and NIGHTWING #1-4,7-8.

As a long-time fan of Nightwing, I was happy to read Nightwing Vol. 1: Better Than Batman, by Tim Seeley, the first collection of Nightwing as part of the Rebirth event. During the New 52, Dick Grayson underwent a lot of changes, being thought dead by the public, losing his Nightwing persona, and joining the (somewhat questionable) spy organization Spyral. While I enjoyed those stories, I've always been a fan of Nightwing's superhero adventures, as Dick Grayson has always been a happier version of Batman.

In Better Than Batman, Seeley returns Dick Grayson to Nightwing, but with a twist: Instead of being undercover in Spyral, he is now undercover (of sorts) in the Court of Owls. While working from the inside to bring down the Owls, Nightwing is sadled with a new partner/mentor, Raptor. Raptor is there to make sure Nightwing's morals don't prevent him from accomplishing the goals of the Court of Owls. As the story progresses, with several cameos by other members of the Bat-Family, it becomes clear that there is something more to Raptor than was originally thought.

I really enjoyed this return to Nightwing, and found Seeley's story entertaining. While still loosely working with his former comrades in Spyral, Nightwing is also able to be more superhero-ish. Seeley does a fine job of continuing the natural evolution of Dick Grayson/Nightwing that he began with the previous Grayson series. At the same time, he found a way to add to Nightwing's history in a way that seems organic, and doesn't feel like it retcons any of the things readers love about how Dick Grayson became Robin and then Nightwing. The characterization is great and the story is engaging.

A quick note: Issues 5-6 of Nightwing are not part of this collection, as they are part of the Batman - Monster Men storyline. This doesn't affect the flow of the story; however, due to events in Detective Comics, there are some unexplained references to Tim Drake that some readers may find confusing.

Overall, I enjoyed Tim Seeley's first Rebirth: Nightwing collection, Better Than Batman. It is great to see Grayson back in his Nightwing costume, and to have more of a superhero feel back in his book. I highly recommend this to fans of Nightwing, and it is a fine jumping-on point for new readers. I look forward to discovering where Seeley takes Nightwing from here.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Latest

Lexi had two basketball games, both of which her team lost. She did get to play in both games, though. She had an assist in the first game, and a rebound in the second. She is continuing to grow in confidence with the ball, and made several nice inbounds passes (including her assist). She nearly had a couple more rebounds as well, but wasn't quite strong enough. More games to come next week. She also cheered once last week, and is hoping to pull off the "double" on Monday, where she would play a game in one gym, then change and head to another gym to cheer (last boys home game).

In addition to her athletic activities, Lexi also had a choir competition this week. She sang a solo and was part of three ensembles. Each of her performances earned a Gold rating. She was really excited and we're very proud.

Cami had her first volleyball tournament. The team finished 2-3 overall, but actually did a really nice job. Cami had fun, and it was entertaining to watch her serve, hit, and return serves. She still has a bunch to learn, obviously, but she got better with each game.

Griffin's rec league team won again, by a point. He made a nice basket around the free throw line, took several more shots, had some rebounds, a couple steals, and tied up the ball, as well. His coach mentioned how he thought Griffin was making good decisions with the ball, not forcing something but passing the ball out and resetting the offense. He also complimented Griffin's ball handling.

Griffin's travel team got the opportunity to play two more games, kind of a consolation for not being in the top 4 tournament. They won both games in blowouts. Griffin played a bunch, got several rebounds, made a few good passes (including at least one assist), took a bunch of shots that all just missed, and played his usual hustle defense. The team has one last tournament in February.

More of the same coming up next week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #6 by Joshua Williamson - Book Review

From the publisher: Legendary JLA artist Howard Porter returns for the ultimate showdown between the Suicide Squad, the Justice League and the forces of [REDACTED]. Unlikely heroes emerge from the rubble of DC’s first major event since DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, leaving both teams in a place they’ve never been before...and setting the stage for the all-new JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.

*Small Spoilers*

Throughout the preview five issues of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Joshua Williamson continually raised the stakes for his characters while also adding small character moments. As each chapter added a new reveal, they all built to this final issue, #6. And the conclusion is big, and yet small at the same time.

As the heroes of the Justice League and the Suicide Squad are being possessed by evil, Batman, Lobo, Amanda Waller, and Killer Frost are left to save the world. The solution comes from a surprising place, and with a satisfying result. In the aftermath, secrets are revealed, a new Justice League is put into motion, and a big, but as yet unclear, consequence results.

I have really enjoyed Williamson's writing. He effectively raised the stakes each time out, which is hard to due in an event series of this sort. He also did a fine job of developing the characters, in particular Killer Frost and Amanda Waller, while adding to the legend of Batman. The series also may act as a springboard to at least one, and possibly two, new teams. All in all, it was a fun, entertaining read.

I highly recommend Joshua Williamson's Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6. This should appeal to fans of either team, as well as those who are looking for event series that have an impact on the DC Universe overall. At this point, it may be easier to wait for a collected edition, but if you can't wait, it's definitely worth collecting all six issues.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Justice League Vol. 1: The Extinction Machines (Rebirth) by Bryan Hitch - Book Review

From the publisher: A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

Spinning directly out of the events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, a new day dawns for the Justice League as they welcome a slew of new members into their ranks. The question remains though, can the world's greatest superheroes trust these new recruits? And will the members of League be able to come together against an ancient evil that threatens to reclaim not just the world, but the entire universe!

Masterful storytelling, epic action, and unbelievable art come together in JUSTICE LEAGUE from best-selling comic book writer Bryan Hitch (JLA) and superstar artist Tony S. Daniel (BATMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS). Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE: REBIRTH #1 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #1-5.

Rebirth honors the richest history in comics, while continuing to look towards the future. These are the most innovative and modern stories featuring the world's greatest superheroes, told by some of the finest storytellers in the business. 

Honoring the past, protecting our present, and looking towards the future. This is the next chapter in the ongoing saga of the DC Universe. The legacy continues.

With Justice League Vol. 1: The Extinction Machines, Bryan Hitch has done a terrific job. The Justice League, at least with this membership (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and two Green Lanterns), needs to face world crisis-level events. The Extinction Machines qualifies.

As the League begins to work together following Rebirth, the Green Lanterns and the new Superman are trying to find their way. They begin by facing a nasty foe called a Reaper, who warns them that something worse is coming. The main story arc deals with this "something worse". As earthquakes rock the world, large groups of people become "possessed", speaking about stolen powers, words, speed, and light, and something known as the Kindred. Meanwhile, strange bug-like alien creatures are landing all over the world, looking to start the Purge. The Justice League is split up, trying to deal with all these issues at once. As they realize they need help, Batman is forced to call on the new Superman, whom he is very suspicious of. Superman has his own doubts, as he has grown accustomed to hanging in the background.

Hitch does a fine job escalating the threats with each successive issue. They are truly worthy of being dealt with by the Justice League. He also gives each character his/her own star turn, making sure that no one is underused. Of particular note is his characterization of Superman, and how he is trying to reconcile his past with this new (to him) group of heroes that have previous relationships with the now-deceased New 52 Superman. Batman and Wonder Woman in particular are struggling. Additionally, both Green Lanterns are relatively new and inexperienced, and their development into stronger characters gets off to a good start. Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman all play their roles well. Finally, Hitch has set up future storylines nicely with his first Justice League arc.

I enjoyed Justice League Vol. 1. Bryan Hitch is off to a good start on one of DC's flagship titles, and the future looks bright as well. I highly recommend this book to fans of the Justice League, as well as new readers looking for a good jumping on point.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice (Rebirth) by Joshua Williamson - Book Review

From the publisher: A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well...you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts--but just where did this amazing new friend come from? Spinning directly out of the epic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, the Fastest Man Alive finds himself at the center of a DC Universe at a crossroads--and reeling from the reemergence of his protegee, Wally West!

From up and coming writer Joshua Williamson (Illuminati, Red Skull) and illustrator Carmine Di Giandomenico comes THE FLASH VOL. 1! Collects THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1 and The Flash #1-8. 

Rebirth honors the richest history in comics, while continuing to look towards the future. These are the most innovative and modern stories featuring the world's greatest super-heroes, told by some of the finest storytellers in the business. 

Honoring the past, protecting our present, and looking towards the future. This is the next chapter in the ongoing saga of the DC Universe. The legacy continues.

The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice is Joshua Williamson's new Rebirth book. The Flash family took on a lot of changes in the New 52 universe as a result of Barry Allen's Flashpoint adventure. The most significant of these changes, at least in my opinion, was eliminating the original Kid Flash, Wally West. The opening chapter of this book is the Rebirth issue, and it reintroduces Wally West to the DC Comics universe, and is the first step in righting many of the perceived "wrongs" of the New 52 years. The Flash and Batman get together and decide to investigate what happened to cause everyone to forget years of their lives, and everything that entails.

The bulk of The Flash Vol. 1 deals with Barry Allen looking in to a robbery at S.T.A.R. Labs. Shortly after the robbery, a freak lightning storm occurs, similar to the one that gave Barry his powers through the speed force. And wouldn't you know; the storm hits multiple people, creating a very large group of inexperienced speedsters. Throw into the mix Barry's friendships with Detective August Heart and Iris West, her nephew Wally West (not the original), and a potential love interest, and Williamson has the makings of an interesting book. Things only ramp up when the mysterious new speedster Godspeed arrives.

I enjoyed this book. Williamson has done a nice job with the characters, and has written an intriguing arc as The Flash begins its Rebirth series. He has carried over the New 52 events and has laid some groundwork for what is to come in future installments.

For my money, though, the best part of The Flash Vol. 1 is the Flash: Rebirth story. The emotion of Barry saving Wally from oblivion and the mystery of who or what is behind all that happened in the last five years of DC Comics is fantastic. I wish that Williamson had been able to explore this story more. It also spun Wally off on his own again too fast. I look forward to seeing how the relationship between he and Barry is repaired.

Overall, The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice by Joshua Williamson is terrific. I highly recommend it to Flash fans and to anyone looking for a good jumping on point.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What a week!

Sometimes we have one of "those" weeks, when all the kids have multiple activities every night. This was one of "those" weeks. Coming off a weekend with basketball, cheer, and volleyball, we had 7 basketball games, 4 basketball practices, cheer practice, a cheer lock-in, and volleyball practice.

Lexi cheered two different nights, with some really exciting games. She also had two games this week. She only played a little during the first one, a loss, but played 3+ minutes in the second, a win. She is continuing to improve, playing good defense and becoming more confident with the ball on offense. No shots this week, but she did have an assist, rebound, and tied up a loose ball. She has one game (I think?) this week, plus more cheer.

Griffin's rec league team won again, to stay undefeated. He is a pest on defense, causing multiple turnovers, grabbing rebounds, and getting a steal or two. He had a few shots, several of which just barely rimmed out. His travel team regular season ended this week, with a win and a loss. Griffin's performance was more typical Griffin: hustle, solid D, scrapping for loose balls. There is an outside chance they will qualify for the end-of-season tournament, but it looks like they'll be playing in a separate tourney in February.

Because of a miscommunication, Cami's volleyball team was left off the tournament schedule this week, so she had practice instead. However, she may have two tournaments (definitely one) next week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #5 by Joshua Williamson - Book Review

From the publisher: [REDACTED] has finally obtained that which [REDACTED] has sought all this time—it’s the means to utterly [REDACTED] the Justice League forever. Now, only [REDACTED] and the Suicide Squad stand in [REDACTED] path of total world domination. No pressure!

*Minor Spoiler May Follow*

Joshua Williamson continues and terrific story with Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #5. As the story opens, Maxwell Lord has control of the Heart of Darkness diamond and all of the Justice League except for Batman. Finding himself unchallenged, Lord creates "peace" in the U.S. Meanwhile, Bats, Amanda Waller, and the Suicide Squad have been left to dig out from the remains of Belle Reve Penitentiary. The rest of the story finds the our "heroes" gearing up for a final confrontation.

Issue #5 is full of action, and it is nearly all set-up for what is to come in issue #6. Williamson has done a great job steadily amping up the action and the stakes, without it seeming forced. The story has progressed naturally from the first issue through this one. One of the fun aspects is how Williamson is taking the Suicide Squad and making them legitimately the good guys. How he does that needs to be read, and it is a fun ride. I'm anxiously awaiting the final issue to see how/if Williamson can stick the landing. Based on the first five issues, I think he's got a really good shot at wrapping the series up well.

I would recommend Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #5, but would definitely not recommend it as a starting spot. Read the previous issues to prepare yourself for the book and the one to follow.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

TRINITY #5 by Francis Manapul - Book Review

From the publisher: “BETTER TOGETHER” part five! Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman must battle for their lives against their greatest foes in an arena of their own making! And the fight won’t be done until they confront each other in this deadly match. The mastermind behind this attack has revealed himself at last: Mongul is back!

Trinity #5, by Francis Manapul, finds Poison Ivy giving some background about the dream state the heroes are in. Meanwhile, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman confront Mongul, who reveals his plan and his need for the heroes. A mysterious child, who looks like Mongul, appears to have a purpose in Mongul's plan, as well.

While Trinity is still a beautifully drawn and colored book (which is also done by Manapul), this particular issue felt like it was spinning its wheels. Coming into this issue, I felt like the story would be coming to its climax and wrapping up, but this was one long "bad guy reveals his evil plan" story. I'm not sure it couldn't have been combined with an earlier issue to tighten up the story a bit.

Regardless, I still enjoyed Trinity #5 and would recommend it to fans of the Big Three heroes. I'd like to see how Francis Manapul pulls all the threads together and concludes the arc.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham (Rebirth) by Tom King - Book Review

From the publisher: A part of DC Universe: Rebirth! "I AM GOTHAM"

The Caped Crusader has never been stopped. Not by the Joker. Not by Two-Face. Not even by the entire Justice League. But now, in the wake of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, Batman must face his most challenging foe ever--a hero who wants to save Gotham...from the Batman!

From one of the biggest breakout writers in years and former CIA analyst, Tom King (GRAYSON, THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON) and superstar artist David Finch present BATMAN VOL. 1! Collects BATMAN: REBIRTH #1 and BATMAN #1-6.

Rebirth honors the richest history in comics, while continuing to look towards the future. These are the most innovative and modern stories featuring the world's greatest superheroes, told by some of the finest storytellers in the business. 

Honoring the past, protecting our present, and looking towards the future. This is the next chapter in the ongoing saga of the DC Universe. The legacy continues.

Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham, by Tom King, is the first Batman arc after the Rebirth event. Because the New 52 didn’t drastically change the character of Batman, there isn’t a huge shift in this version. In fact, a most, if not all, of Scott Snyder’s run is still valid, which is nice for long-time readers.

I Am Gotham details Batman’s discovery that there are two new heroes, Gotham and Gotham Girl, working to protect the city of Gotham. It follows his attempts to guide them through their learning curves, while still trying to stop a rash of suicide bombings in which the trigger-men warn “The monster men are coming” before detonating. King provides an origin story for the heroes that echoes Batman’s, with a few crucial differences. Meanwhile, Hugo Strange and the Psycho Pirate are on the loose and causing havoc. This combination has a lot of potential, due to Strange’s manipulative nature and Psycho Pirate’s control of emotions. Ultimately, I Am Gotham is a tragic story that lays the groundwork for King’s run on Batman, allowing him to carve his own take on the character in the wake of Snyder’s epic run.

One of the subplots that I really enjoyed is Bruce Wayne’s approach to Duke Thomas, a young man who was acting as one of a group of Robins. As a result of the fallout from an attack by the Joker, Duke is brought in to contact with Bruce and learns he is Batman. King’s approach to this relationship allows Bruce to take on a new partner without it being yet another Robin, and I’m really interested to see how this develops in future story arcs. There is also an undercurrent of Bruce dealing with his mortality, and what that means for his “family”, as a result of the trauma of his last encounter with the Joker. This lends itself to some intriguing storylines, as well.

Overall, Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham is a terrific start to Tom King’s run on this title, and a fine way to begin the Rebirth era of Batman. I highly recommend it to Batman fans. It’s also a great jumping on point for new readers.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lots of Basketball

Lexi cheered at a game, and played her first game of the season. Her team won pretty easily and Lexi got to play a bunch. She was very excited. She got some rebounds, played defense, and also got a shot off. We were excited, too, because at this point in her career, playing time isn't guaranteed any longer. She continues to work hard and is showing improvement, according to her coaches. One of the big things is free throws, and she is getting better at that all the time. This week, she has two more basketball games, with to cheer games as well.

Griffin's rec league team won a thriller with two free throws with seconds left. He took several shots, including a three, played good "D", and hustled all over the place. They are still undefeated. In travel this week, Griffin's team lost both games in close contests. He keeps playing crazy defense and going after loose balls. He had some rebounds, and took several shots which rimmed out. He also got two free throws, both of which just missed. It was that kind of day for the whole team. My favorite part was when he played post on offense, though. One of the big guys is out, and so the team had several boys sub with the healthy post player. Griffin ran several plays as the "5", setting high screens. Its fun watching the littlest guy play the big guy position.

Cami had volleyball practice, and has her first tournament next Sunday.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Morning Glories Vol. 10 by Nick Spencer - Book Review

Morning Glories, Vol. 10 TP
From the publisher: Features the “Expulsion” arc and the blockbuster Season 2 finale! Casey takes a stand in the Student Council election, Guillaume challenges the headmaster in the Towerball finals, and Vanessa and Ian face off in the science fair. When it’s all over, one of the biggest mysteries of the book is revealed, and the stage is set for the upcoming MORNING GLORIES: SUMMER VACATION! Collects MORNING GLORIES #47-50.

So I just finished reading Morning Glories Vol. 10 by Nick Spencer. I don't even know how to describe what I just read. First off, there is plenty of strange teenage conspiracy drama, violence, and relationships, much like in the prior volumes. Add in time travel, astral projection, earthquakes, weird supernatural stuff, raising the dead and potential human sacrifice. Stir it all up with a twisty plot and wonderful art, and you have Morning Glories, the creepiest prep school ever.

I've read all nine of the previous volumes, and I still can't keep all the characters straight, so I'm not going to even try. The cast is large, and there are multiple versions of several of the characters. I just try to go with it while I'm reading, trusting in Spencer's skills to make everything clear.

Some of the big plot points of Morning Glories are why all the students are at the academy, who is actually running the place, and what it's purpose is.  I feel like there have been answers to several of these mysteries along the way, but I'm not real clear on what they are. However, Vol. 10 promises to reveal a big mystery, and it fulfills that promise and it's a doozy. Unfortunately, I'm still not clear on what the reveal means.

I really enjoy Morning Glories, and love the mythology of the stories. My only complaint is that when stuff is revealed or made clear, I still don't really get it. Maybe the answer is only part of a much bigger picture, but I still have very little idea of what is actually going on. I'm willing to keep reading, though, because at this point I'm 50 issues worth of invested in Nick Spencer's story and really want to see it through to the end (and I'm not sure if he has set an end date, yet).

Reading Morning Glories reminds me of watching the tv show Lost. It is very engaging, the characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, and the story-telling is well done. But, I wish that the answers would be parceled out a little more frequently and/or clearly.

I would recommend Vol. 10 to long-time readers, but this is definitely not a series that new readers can just jump in to. Spencer has used this volume to wrap up this "season" of Morning Glories and left the reader on a cliffhanger for "season 3". I anxiously look forward to see what happens next, hoping for more answers than questions.

I received a preview copy of this book from Image Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4 by Joshua Williamson - Book Review

From the publisher: [REDACTED BY ORDER OF TASK FORCE X DIRECTOR AMANDA WALLER] and [REDACTED] crew of unstoppable [REDACTED] besiege Belle Reve to take possession of the lost [REDACTED], and only the unbelievable team-up of the Justice League and the Suicide Squad can prevent [REDACTED] from taking revenge on Amanda Waller! 

In the issue #4 of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Maxwell Lord's team of villains attacks Belle Reve penitentiary. What they find is both the Justice League and the Suicide Squad waiting for them. What ensues is an issue long battle, full of mayhem, individual moments, and odd team-ups. Joshua Williamson continues to do a fine job of balancing the storyline line of this series with the large number of characters, giving each one their moments while constantly moving the plot along. In addition to the all out battle, Lord's true purpose in attacking Belle Reve is revealed. And the scope of what he is planning may be too big for the Suicide Squad and the Justice League to handle.

This continues to be a fun series, with all a reader could hope for in a series titled Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. It is big, loud, and entertaining, with Williamson raising the stakes higher with each subsequent issue. I highly recommend this series, and can't wait to see where it goes from here.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Death and Life Of Oliver Queen by Benjamin Percy - Book Review

From the publisher: The way the Emerald Archer lives his life will change forever, as Green Arrow is betrayed by those closest to him!

A budding relationship with Black Canary forces Ollie to confront the fact that you can't fight "the man" if you are "the man." And one by one, all of his friends leave him, and all the money in the world won't bring them back when he needs them most. The events of "The Death and Life of Oliver Queen" will rattle Oliver's status quo so much, his choices as a superhero will never be the same again.

DC Universe: Rebirth continues with this fresh take on GREEN ARROW from horror novelist Benjamin Percy and rising star artist Otto Schmidt! Collects GREEN ARROW: REBIRTH #1 and GREEN ARROW #1-5.

Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Death and Life of Oliver Queen, by Benjamin Percy, is the first collection of Green Arrow comics under the Rebirth banner. Oliver is at home in Seattle, where he is the face of Queen Industries and also the Green Arrow. He's got a pretty good relationship with his younger half-sister, and he's just begun a relationship with Black Canary, aka Dinah Lance. He even saved a group of homeless people from the Underground Men, a group of human traffickers. Along the way, he discovers that there is a much larger group working behind the scenes: The Ninth Circle. What they do, how they attack Green Arrow, and several betrayals form the basis of this book.

I didn't read any of the New 52 Green Arrow books, so I'm not really sure how this version differs, if at all. However, I do watch Arrow, and this seems to be an attempt to bring the comic and tv show in line a bit. Oliver has a half-sister, Emiko, who fights crime with him, Dinah Lance has joined him to fight as Black Canary, and John Diggle also makes an appearance, as does Shado. Additionally, there is a back-to-basics approach to this story that seems reminiscent of Arrow. None of these are bad things; in fact, I found this book to be entertaining and fast-paced. Percy does a good job with the characterization, particularly with Oliver Queen's more liberal, social justice seeking aspects, which have long been a part of this comics. It also has a nice reflection on the dichotomy of a rich playboy passing himself off as a hero for the common man. As far as the villains, the Ninth Circle was serviceable but seemed to function more as a foil for resetting Oliver Queen's life.

While a good read, Benjamin Percy's Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Death and Life of Oliver Queen works more as the opening arc in a much bigger look at who Green Arrow is and what his mission will be. I found it fun and highly readable. It should appeal to fans of the comic version of Green Arrow as well as fans of the show Arrow. It is also a great jumping on point for new fans. I highly recommend it.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

We're back at it

Griffin returned to the court this week. In rec league, his team won a tight game to remain undefeated. He got off several shots, but none of them dropped for him. He continues to be scrappy on the defensive end, getting a couple of steals, harrassing opposing players, getting a rebound or two, and tying up loose balls. His travel team won both of their games, in tight contests. Griffin did his usual, good defense, etc. He had a nice fast break, but none of his shots dropped for him, unfortunately.

Lexi got back into the cheerleading swing of things. She also has her first basketball game coming up this week.

Cami's team was crowned as league champions due to their undefeated record. The tournament was canceled due to bad weather before Christmas break, and there wasn't a time to reschedule. Additionally, she has decided she's like to try volleyball, so she is playing on a club team with her school. They practice on Sundays and have one tournament a month. This week was her first practice. She had a great time.

Busy week coming up.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #3 by Joshua Williamson - Book Review

From the publisher: Belle Reve Penitentiary. Headquarters of Task Force X, home to the worst super-criminal scum in the DC Universe and new residence of…the Justice League?! The Suicide Squad delight in showing Earth’s greatest heroes how the other side lives, and you’d better believe the Justice League needs to be restrained to hear the terrible secret Amanda Waller has to tell them.

Issue #3 of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad finally puts all the cards on the table. The League has been captured, the Squad is reveling in their victory, and Maxwell Lord and his team are moving closer to their goal: the death of Amanda Waller! Joshua Williamson continues to produce a fun, action-packed book.

Batman, doing his Batman thing, finally gets Waller to open up about why she had the League captured. As the Suicide Squad gloats over the captured heroes, Waller decides to free them. This leads to the long-standing tradition of unlikely allies teaming up to stop a greater evil: in this case, Maxwell Lord and his team of killers, which includes Johnny Sorrow, Dr. Polaris, Emerald Empress, Rustam, and Lobo.

I'm really enjoying Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, and Joshua Williamson's third issue is no exception. The plot moves forward and the resulting team-up promises to push everything into high gear. I highly recommend this book, particularly to fans of huge team-ups.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.