Category Archives: Percy’s Reviews

Tabitha by Neil Gibson, Caspar Wijngaard

I really wanted to like this comic. It’s from an indie publisher, and I was hoping to give them a good review, maybe get them a few more sales and fans. It won’t be from this title.

Title: Tabatha
Author: Neil Gibson, Caspar Wijngaard
Publish Date: November 3, 2015, by TPub Comics
Genre: Thriller
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Luke works as a mailman in Los Angeles and moonlights as a thief – the empty houses on his postal route are rich, easy pickings for him and his friends. Everything goes to plan until one house turns out to not quite be so empty. The situation spirals out of control, leaving the happy go lucky thieves battling for their lives. And all because of Tabatha.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

I like the concept. It starts out as if it’s about some thieves and how they case places to rob later. Further, one of the characters is awkward around women, and I wondered if it was going to get dark because he would get some power over women. But it was not to be.

 

***Spoilers***

 

***Major Spoilers***

 

Ready for them?

 

Tabatha ends up being a doll that the bad guy thinks is real. He has conversations with her, and he is the one kidnapping and killing the other women to give Tabatha a real body through some ritual.

The idea is very good, but the execution is lacking. I think some of the ideas are an attempt to provide a reason to read it again, but it didn’t work for me. They would show the bad guy talking to his victim from the victim’s perspective. Then later, we get it from the bad guy’s perspective, and we “hear” Tabatha’s side of the conversation. I think it was too easy to fill in the blanks, and the later dialog doesn’t add anything new, which is why I didn’t feel the need to go back.

The group of kidnappers is even a bit stereotyped, with the girlfriend of one of them being taken to be the latest body for Tabatha. At least the girlfriend is not a damsel in distress, which is nice, and the group works together to save themselves.

I give this a three, right in the middle. Some good ideas and good artwork, but marred by cliches. If I hadn’t read so much, this might have been better. As it is, it doesn’t rise above the other things I have read through the years.

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Turncoat by Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus

I picked up a couple of titles from the TPub Comics booth at Wizard World Chicago. Here’s my review of the first.

Title: Turncoat
Author: Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus
Publish Date: December 6th, 2016 by TPub Comics
Genre: Graphic novel, superheroes, comedy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Turncoat follows the story of Duke, the world’s worst superhero assassin, and his constant battle with his ex-wife and rival assassin, Sharon. Duke is always one step behind Sharon, constantly missing out on the “big hit” that will set him for life (it certainly doesn’t help matters that he only ever seems to go up against D-list superheroes like “Bug-Boy” and “Freedom Fighter”). So when Duke receives a contract for the most famous superhero team in the world, he realizes his time has come, not just to finally make the big hit, but to finally move on from his ex-wife.

If only it were that simple.

Turncoat is a collection of the entire six-issue run of the popular webcomic of the same name (www.turncoatcomic.com). Created by Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus in 2014, despite the two of them never having met. Ryan is from London, England, and Klaus is from New York.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

This is a title that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s dark and anti-heroic, if not downright villainous. Before they get to the “big hit,” they do several smaller ones that truly show how bad Duke is. And it’s hilarious. In all the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons. He betrays. He’s petty. And I kept laughing.

He wants to be taken seriously but he is never the one who makes the big kill. When the “big hit” comes, he thinks he’s ready. He’s not.

I don’t want to spoil things here because I think this one is a solid four and worth a read. They eventually reveal Duke’s motivations and backstory, and it works well. And there are a few twists as it gets to the ending, which I did like.

There were several minor things here and there that didn’t work for me or I would have given this a five. Still, a good story and fun read.

Catwoman, Volume 1: The Game

Another New 52 from DC.  Again, they had a reason for the reboot and new stories, but I just pick up titles that sound interesting. This one was very good.

Title: Catwoman Vol. 1: The Game
Author: by Judd Winick, Guillem March (illustrator)
Series: Catwoman (2011)
Publish Date: May 22, 2012, DC Comics
Genre: Graphic novel
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, meet Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is—she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad and very bad at being good. But this time, Selina steals from the wrong man, and now he’s got her. He wants his stuff back, he wants answers and he wants blood. Writer Judd Winick begins a new chapter for CATWOMAN—hopefully, she makes it out alive!

This volume collects issues 1-7 of Catwoman, part of the DC Comics—The New 52 event.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

This was another great story for me.

Selina Kyle, the Catwoman, is a bad girl. She’s just trying to survive in a world that is tough. There are super-powered people, altered humans, and aliens all running around. This isn’t a happy place. Corruption is real and everywhere in Gotham. Those who got to the step stepped on lots of people to get the top and continued to do so to stay there. So what if she steals a few of their trinkets? They won’t miss them!

Selina herself is a real character, not two dimensional. We know what drives her, why she does what she does, and why she makes bad decisions. What makes this story different is that she now has to face some of the consequences. And it’s brutal. I felt for her and what happened. I was sad for her, happy for her, and want to see her in a better place.

Part of this story is Selina getting to the bottom and what she has to do to get out of it. I didn’t feel like I got that full story in this one, and I wanted to know. I’m hoping my expectations aren’t too high now for the next volumes. I highly recommend this one for its art, its story, and its great main character.

Other reviews of the New 52

Deathstroke, Volume 1: Legacy by Kyle Higgins

I don’t understand why DC did what it did with the New 52. I think they had a plan, but I have just been picking up titles that interest me and seeing if they are good. This one is. Solid five.

Title: Deathstroke, Vol 1: Legacy
Author: Kyle Higgins and several illustrators
Series: Deathstroke (2011), Book 01
Publish Date: August 14, 2012, DC Comics
Genre: Graphic novel, superhero
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionAs a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, Slade Wilson once ranked as the world’s greatest mercenary. But when his reputation starts to slip, and when a mysterious briefcase enters the equation, the man known as Deathstroke decides to carve a bloody, gory swathe across the DCU in a quest to show the world what exactly makes him the best.

Collecting: Deathstroke 1-8.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

It starts with Deathstroke getting a mission and being forced to work with a new team. He’s not impressed with the up and coming next generation and he makes his feelings known. He cuts ties with them and is back to being on his own.

Slade is a man that admires Achilles from the Illiad. He wants to be known as the best warrior and also have his own story last thousands of years. It’s what drives him to bigger contracts and to keep pushing himself, even as he feels the effects of aging.

While he is a villain, he is handled well. I felt sympathy for him but still knew he who is. It’s handled well. If anything, I think he spares a few too many people at times, as if the writer’s worry about that sympathy being lost, but I’m not so sure it doesn’t detract from his character.

The story quickly becomes Slade being shown up and having to prove himself to keep his legacy going. It’s not trying to tell a tear jerker or heart-wrenching story. I understood what he was doing and why but it doesn’t mean I wanted him to succeed. Further, a lot of this story is his own past coming back to haunt him. And that’s what made him a villain and why the story worked. He’s his own worst enemy and his actions have consequences. What kept me reading was how it was all going to be resolved and I thought it was well done.

Other reviews of the New 52

Storm of the Gods by Amy Braun

An excellent book, and a great start to a new series!

Full Disclosure: Percy’s wife and site co-founder, Ivana, was an editor on this book (and absolutely loves it!). She receives no remuneration from sales.

Title: Storm of the Gods
Author: Amy Braun
Series: Areios Brothers, Book 1
Publish Date: September 2018
Cover: Deranged Doctor Design
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionThirty years ago, the gods of Greek legend returned to the world. Their return restored their powers, which had been spent in a cataclysmic battle with the Titans. With the ancient deities imprisoned in Tartarus, the Olympians now reside in Néo Vasíleio, formerly known as California.

Twenty-four-year-old Derek Aerios is a war scion, a descendant of Ares, the God of War. He and his brother, eighteen-year-old Liam, capture mythological creatures and rogue scions as part of Ares’s elite military force. As he struggles to cope with his violent powers and the scars of a traumatic childhood, Derek tries to keep the two vows he has made: protect his brother and never kill a human again.

But when Ares forces him to hunt and kill four rogue scions under Athena’s control—by threatening Liam’s life—Derek chooses to go after the scions in order to save his brother and keep his promise to himself.

Yet the closer Derek gets to the scions, the more he realizes that his orders are part of a deeper conspiracy that put him at odds with his mission and his conscience. Athena may not be the enemy, a traitor could be in their midst, and the Titans could be closer to freedom than ever before.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

This is an action book. It starts with the brothers returning from a hunt for a mythological creature that was running loose. However, they are attacked by other scions from another region and soon have many questions.

The battle scenes are so much fun. These are demigods using a lot of power, throwing around fire, lightning, and other abilities that have been granted from their heritage. However, when it comes to actual killing, all of the scions do hold back from actually doing that. Sure, they will blast each other with their fire or harden their skin for powerful blows, but they don’t fully kill. It becomes a big moment in the book when killing is considered. I liked that.

The action continues as they are quickly given a new mission from Ares, the god whose blood flows through them, giving them their powers: find out who attacked them, what they were after, and stop them. Recover anything they had taken. It’s a wild ride across all of the different gods’ domains.

The small complaint I have is that we never get into deep background. But instead of a negative, it makes me more curious about the area. Why did the Greek gods pick California to rule? Why limit themselves in that regard? Are the other pantheons real? Will we find more scions?

Derek and Liam find themselves crossing into the other areas, making uneasy alliances, and learning about themselves as they dig deeper and deeper into the mystery of why Athena did what she did, what the end game is, and what will happen to them if they go against Ares?

All during the read, I was pulled into the world. Again, I’m given just enough to hint a bigger picture and want to know more. I liked the brothers, and while it almost veered into some twenty-something angst, it never quite got to the point that I find annoying.

A solid five and I look forward to the next book!

Full Disclosure: Percy’s wife and site co-founder, Ivana, was an editor on this book (and absolutely loves it!). She receives no remuneration from sales.

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