Book Review: Primer by Jennifer Muro, Thomas Krajewski, & Gretel Lusky (2020)

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Where street art meets superheroing jobmensa lebenslauf herunterladen!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley lego star wars building instructions for free. Content warning for child abuse.)

Twelve-year-old Ashley has had a pretty crappy life. Thrown into the foster system after her abusive, career criminal father was finally caught, she’s been shuffled through five foster families in two years fremde instagram story downloaden. So you can understand her skepticism when she’s introduced to newbie foster parents Kitch and Yuka Nolan.

They quickly hit it off, though: Ashley and Yuka share a love of football (go Knights!), and Kitch is an art teacher at a community college, which dovetails nicely with Ashley’s penchant for illicit nighttime street art feuerwerk geräusche herunterladen. Before you can say Bansky, Ashley has a second family, a new friend (Luke, a classmate at Angelou Middle School – nice! – who’s seriously into wigs), and a mentor who loves art as much as she does herunterladen.

But things quickly go sideways when Yuka brings her work home … literally and covertly microsoft office word 2016 kostenlosen. A geneticist at Zecromax Labs who holds multiple degrees (again, nice!), Yuka was involved in the development of body paint that interacts with human DNA to grant its wearer superpowers kostenlose herunterladen apps. Part of a top secret government program called Project Warpaint, Yuka’s having a crisis of conscience over how the army will (mis-)use this technology – so she deletes the research and steals the paints, replacing them with fakes herunterladen.

Being a nosy almost-teenager, Ashley quickly discovers Yuka’s secret cache – and transforms into the superhero Primer (with a little costuming help from Luke) how can I download songs from youtube. But the army is keen to get its weapon back, and Yuka and Ashley’s good intentions have put them in the crosshairs of a rogue agent called Strack whatsapp über play store herunterladen. It’s up to Primer to protect her found family – but is this so-called “bad seed” up to the task? (Spoiler alert: Yes. Yes, she is. She is also adorable and sweet and almost makes me want to have kids of my own. Okay not really but you get my gist.)

Primer is a superhero story with heart and gumption and every gorram color in the rainbow. The storyline is maybe a little predictable, but delightful as heck. I love Ashley and Kitch and Yuka and Luke, and their relationships with one another.

The art – vibrant, arresting, and bursting with color – is really what takes Primer to the next level. Like, it’s jaw-dropping. Ashley, short and squat and oh-so-sure of herself, is crazy adorable, and her found family is pretty captivating too.

So many of Muro and Krajewski’s choices are inspired, from the limitless superhero combinations granted by the paints, right down to Luke’s passion and the namesake of his middle school. So much love all around.

I really hope this is the beginning of a new series at DC; I’m gonna be disappointed if we don’t get to see more of Ashley and her posse.

That said, don’t listen to Kitch, vegan lasagna is heckin’ delicious, okay.

S is for Skillet-Style Lasagna [Betty Goes Vegan] (0013)

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Book Review: Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson & Leila del Duca (2020)

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

A fresh reimagining of Wonder Woman’s origin story.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley chaos on the net. Trigger warning for violence against women and children, including street harassment, human trafficking, and allusions to rape.)

Princess Diana’s sixteenth Born Day party is well underway when the barrier guarding Themyscira from the human world ruptures, allowing several rafts filled with scared refugees ashore. In keeping with the Five Mothers’ decree, Queen Hippolyta is content to care for those who make it to shore, nursing them to health, only to send them back into the world they fled – after administering a forgetting serum, of course story von instagram herunterladen. But further Amazonian intervention is prohibited until the mysterious “Great Evil of the Universe” returns.

So when a raft packed with men, women, and children threatens to capsize at sea, Diana rushes to their aid. Though she’s still coming into her powers, this Changeling-Amazon is plenty strong enough to pull the raft to Themyscira … that is, if the barrier didn’t do such an excellent job of shielding it from the outside world, which is where Diana now finds herself egg clock.

Along with her comrades, Diana eventually winds up in an immigration camp in Greece, where her ability to speak literally every language makes her an emissary of sorts. She quickly catches the eyes of Steve and Trevor Chang (side note: I love love love the recasting of Steve Trevor as a gay couple!), who use their UN connections to get Diana a U.S where can I download tubemate. student visa and temporary housing in NYC.

Diana becomes fast friends with her pseudo guardian, Henke, but Henke’s granddaughter Raissa proves harder to win over. Diana loves helping Raissa in her volunteer work – providing free lunches to kids during the summer months, and tending to the community’s green spaces – even if it introduces her to some of the harsher realities of life in the human world: street harassment, homelessness, corporate greed, human trafficking, and sexual violence gratis herunterladen von youtube. When one of her young friends goes missing, it’s time for Diana to break out the lasso of truth and get to superheroing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love DC’s YA imprint, because it makes a nice entry point for relative newbies like myself. But Wonder Woman is a bit of an exception, both for me and as a whole: I’m already familiar with some of DC’s Wonder Woman titles (most notably the New 52), and she’s such a huge part of popular culture, that I don’t think you can help but have some passing knowledge of her mythos herunterladen. That’s not to say I don’t love and adore Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed – just for slightly different reasons.

For starters, there’s the storytelling; it’s lovely and urgent and exactly what you’d expect from Laurie Halse Anderson. In keeping with the progressive bent of DC’s YA titles, Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed gives Wonder Woman’s origin story a fresh spin that incorporates a number of pressing contemporary social issues herunterladen. Chief among them is the plight of immigrants and refugees, a group that includes Wonder Woman herself. Cut off from her homeland, unable to return, Diana is a young woman without a country or family…at least not one that exists in this world. She’s special, sure, but also one of millions: just one face in the huddled masses. Absent her warrior tribe, Diana must learn how best to harness her powers to help lift up others herunterladen.

The theme of alienation also hangs heavy: as the only child born on Themyscira, Diana isn’t like her Amazon sisters. She’s (comparatively) weak, frail, and prone to mood swings and inexplicable crying fits. Her body frequently betrays her. She’s a (shudder) teenager – on an island filled with ageless, immortal warrior women. The indignity of it all musikvideo downloaden! But if she feels like she doesn’t quite fit in on Themyscira, Diana is truly out of her element in Greece and NYC, where capitalism is a death cult that reigns supreme.

I really enjoyed watching Diana Prince adapt to her new life, making friends, mastering parkour, and beating on street harassers. Raissa and Henke are interesting characters as well, but mostly take a backseat to a young Wonder Woman (as does almost everyone, or so one must assume) herunterladen.

The ending is a little improbable, in that the two big bad plotlines converge so neatly, and yet. Maybe it’s no so outlandish after all. The one percenters have all but become cartoon villains these days.

The artwork is lovely, and I especially loved those scenes set on Themyscira. (Hippolyta & Co., living the dream. Although the scene where she kicked a refugee in the face was unexpectedly harsh and dark. I wonder if we’ll get some backstory there?)

And the final pages, where Diana and her new family celebrate Henke’s boyfriend’s naturalization? TEARS.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

Book Review: Superman Smashes The Klan by Gene Luen Yang & Gurihiru (2020)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

The Hero We Need

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley herunterladen. Obvious trigger warning for racist violence.)

The year is 1946, and the Lee family – mom, dad, Roberta, and Tommy – has just moved from Chinatown to Metropolis, so that Mr gimp nederlands. Lee can begin a new job as Chief Bacteriologist of the Health Department. Gregarious and handsome, Tommy fits right in, easily slipping into the spot of star pitcher at the Unity House diamond diaries saga kostenlos herunterladen. An aspiring journalist with a stomach made of jelly,* Roberta – birth name Lan-Shin – is immediately homesick for Chinatown, where she didn’t feel like such a “weirdo” facebook messenger videos.

And then her family is targeted by the local chapter of the Clan of the Fiery Red Cross, which lights a cross on the Lee’s front lawn and attempts to fire bomb their house herunterladen. The Allies may have won World War II, and Superman literally just crushed the Nazi supersoldier Atom Man, but racism is still alive and thriving – and firmly entrenched in Metropolis’s social institutions herunterladen.

Luckily, the Lees live right across the street from cub reporter Jimmy Olsen (who is obviously and adorably smitten with Roberta), and Superman and Lois Lane are pursuing the case, each in their own ways zoom hintergrund video herunterladen.

I’ve really been enjoying DC’s YA imprint, but Superman Smashes The Klan takes things to the next level. Based on a sixteen-part radio show that aired in 1946 called “The Clan of the Fiery Cross”**, the story expertly dovetails Roberta’s journey with that of her idol, Superman herunterladen. At this point in his story, Clark Kent is thirty-something and has only been superheroing for ten years. As a kid growing up in Smallville, his differences were a source of shame: they marked him as different, a freak, nonhuman herunterladen. Demonic, even. And so he learned to suppress and ignore his powers. It wasn’t until a circus tent that he, the Kents, and Lana Lang were sitting under caught fire that Clark used his super strength for good lexware quicksteuer herunterladen. After that, Mrs. Kent sewed Clark his iconic red cape and Superman was born.

Yet, even as Superman, Clark hides pieces of himself: he has super strength and super speed, yes, but he runs along phone lines rather than flying, because defying gravity would give him away as not entirely of this world. And his ruse works, a little too well: the story’s big bad, a grand Scorpion of the Klan, proudly claims Superman as the best of what the white race has to offer; irrefutable evidence of white superiority.

An honest-to-goodness alien from another world, created by two first-generation Jewish immigrants, Superman has always functioned as a stand-in for marginalized groups: refugees and immigrants of various races, religions, and ethnicities (depending on which group is currently being scapegoated). Superman is as American as apple pie and AK-47s, and he’s a legit alien. Yang masterfully underscores this aspect of Superman’s identity by enmeshing his story with Roberta’s. Both of these “weirdos” learn to embrace their differences, because it’s what makes them – and, indeed, the world – so damn special.

Yang’s story is also deeply steeped in history, in ways I wouldn’t have fully appreciated without reading his essay “Superman and Me” (it appears in pieces in the single issues, and as a whole in the TP). I especially loved the showdown between the scorpion and grand wizard, as the two clashed over the Clan’s true purpose.

This piece, in particular, seems especially relevant today.

* Roberta’s “gurgly stomach” is a mood.

** “To avoid getting sued by an organization that was legally recognized in several states, the show’s writers created a stand-in organization called The Clan of the Fiery Cross,” Yang explains in “Superman and Me.”

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

Book Review: The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel by Michael Moreci, Sas Milledge & Phil Hester (2020)

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

The Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet, in the YA DC ‘verse nikon coolpix images.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

DC’s new line of YA and middle-grade graphic novels provide an excellent entry point into the publisher’s extensive catalog, and The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel is no exception elster steuerbescheid downloaden. I love comic books, but mostly stick to newer series/those based on other media I already love (think: Pretty Deadly / Firefly), since DC and Marvel’s decades-long history can be intimidating how to download how to follow on netflix. (Where to start!?) Luckily, these are standalone stories that don’t require a whole lot of knowledge about the characters going in.

Here, Dick Grayson – the Robin to Bruce Wayne’s Batman – is a teenager living in modern day America formel 1 manager kostenlos downloaden. In keeping with the character’s original backstory, Dick comes from a family of acrobats; along with his parents, the Flying Graysons spend their summers traveling and performing with Haly’s Circus veoh video download for free. Unlike the original incarnation, his parents are not mowed down by the mafia.

Rather, Dick is feeling somewhat alienated: bored by days that seem to blend into one another; unchallenged by the Flying Graysons’ predictable routine; and longing for a “normal” childhood herunterladen. As if that’s not enough, the very fate of the circus rests on the Graysons’ (admittedly well-toned) shoulders: the circus is hemorrhaging customers, most notably to The Lost Carnival, a decadent affair that somewhat mysteriously threw down its stakes right across the way from Haly’s, seemingly overnight free music waiting loop free download.

As tensions rise between the competing groups of carnies, Dick finds himself caught in the middle, torn between his family and the enthralling Luciana mails download iphone. Unlike his BFF Willow’s magic, Luciana’s powers seem to be the real (read: supernatural) deal: when her uncle calls forth menacing, Swamp Thing-like creatures, it’s up to Luciana to prevent them from escaping spiderman spiele kostenlos herunterladen. The deeper Dick and Willow dive into the world of The Lost Carnival, the more bizarre things get. Can teenage love really conquer all? (Spoiler alert: No film download app. No, it can’t.)

This is a really fun and surprisingly sweet story that’s an intoxicating blend of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Romeo and Juliet, and the DC ‘verse, with a YA spin. Even though the plot proved somewhat predictable, it’s still a fun ride. Dick is interesting enough, but it’s the supporting characters that really captured my imagination: Luciana, Willow, Quinn, and the employees at The Lost Carnival. And the carnival itself, naturally, which is all kind of magical and mystifying.

I devoured an ARC, so I’m not entirely sure what the finished art will look like – but what I saw was lovely indeed. The colors mostly alternate between a moody blue and glitzy gold-ish, occasionally coming together for that extra pop. Dick is a cutie, and the rep here is great. (You’ve got to love that there are not one, but two families of POC magicians.)

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

Book Review: The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp & Manuel Preitano (2020)

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

A thoughtful and engaging origin story for Barbara Gordon/Oracle android 5 downloaden.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley apple mobile device service. Trigger warning for medical abuse. Caution: this review contains vague spoilers.)

Teenager Barbara Gordon – daughter of police commissioner James Gordon and hacker extraordinaire – is running toward the scene of a crime when she’s shot and paralyzed from the waist down automatically media usage rights. Six weeks into her recovery, Commissioner Gordon sends his daughter to the Arkham Center for Independence, where she’ll undergo physical and mental rehabilitation voedingswaardetabel downloaden excel. Ghosted by her longtime friend Benjamin, Barbara is reluctant to get too close to anyone – everyone leaves you in the end, after all. Luckily, fellow classmates Yeong, Issy, and Jena refuse to let Barbara be, and an unexpected mystery further helps draw Barbara out of her shell herunterladen.

The ACI is as creepy as it is opulent; at night, the halls echo with cryptic sounds and the shadows of residents who have long since disappeared voucher template for free. Jena, teller of ghost stories whispered in the wee hours of the night, begs Barbara for help finding her missing twin brother. Dr. Maxwell insists that Michael died in the fire that severely injured his sister, and that Jena’s mind is too fragile to accept the truth gute nacht bilder zum herunterladen. Though she’s reluctant to get sucked into another mystery, Jenna’s sudden disappearance tips her hand. Friends are precious, and she’s not about to let another one slip through her fingers music illegally download penalty. Before you can say “Birds of Prey,” Barbara is brain-deep in a corporate conspiracy that involves child trafficking and human experimentation adobe player kostenlos herunterladen.

I’m really digging this new DC YA series; if anything, it provides a handy entry point into the DC ‘verse for newbies like myself herunterladen. (I love comics, but the decades-long history of so many DC and Marvel characters can prove overwhelming. Mostly I just stick to newer series, like Sex Criminals, Pretty Deadly, Bitch Planet, and the like.) I was lucky enough to review Shadow of the Batgirl (in which an older Barbara Gordon plays a role as Cassandra Cain’s boss/mentor), and The Oracle Code lives up the expectations set by its predecessor.

The storyline is engaging enough, but it’s really the characters who stand out here. YA author Marieke Nijkamp – who identifies as queer, non-binary, and disabled – writes Barbara, Yeong, Issy, and Jena with compassion and care. There’s a great exchange between the eeeevil scientists and the margnalized teens in which the teens challenge their doctors’ assessment of them as “broken” people in need of “fixing.” (Is there a white savior analog that can be applied to the ableds? If so, this is a prime example of IT.) Hopefully you’ll also catch how the doctors try to gaslight Barbara when she starts sniffing around, insisting that she believe them instead of her own two eyes and ginormous brain.

Barbara’s squad – as well as the residents and staff at ACI – is diverse as heck and thus reflective of reality, which I appreciate. And the brief few panels of wheelchair basketball are great.

And now I shall go back to counting the days until Superman Smashes the Klan (Gene Luen Yang) and Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed (Laurie Halse Anderson) hit the shelves!

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

Book Review: Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn & Nicole Goux (2020)

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Find out how Cassandra Cain got her wings zombie spiel kostenlosen.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

— 3.5 stars —

Let me preface this review by saying that, although I love comic books, I mostly stick to one-offs, new series, or adaptations of stories I love in other mediums piktogramme powerpoint herunterladen. DC and Marvel, with their long-running series, can be rather intimidating – where’s the best place to jump in? But I simply could not resist DC’s new line of YA graphic novels, penned by some of my YA favorites skat free download full version windows 7.

Anyway, that’s just a roundabout way of saying that I come into this with little background about the characters, save for what I’ve picked up from tv and movie and pop culture in general fh dortmund excel.

Shadow of the Batgirl focuses on Cassandra Cain, daughter of notorious crime kingpin and all-around baddie, David Cain tax program for free. Raised by dad and trained to be an assassin, Cassandra goes rogue when she tries – and fails – to kill a man. With his (would be) dying breath, her mark whispers a single word that plucks a long-buried chord of empathy in Cassandra: “daughter.” Terrified of what punishment surely awaits, Cassandra seeks refuge in the stacks of the Gotham Public Library muster 52 herunterladen.

There, Cassandra learns to speak, read, and write – by spying on the kids’ storytime lessons held by librarian Barbara Gordon and, later, volunteering as her intern snipping tool windows 7 kostenlosen. Barbara has developed an app called Oracle to help her track the recent crime wave in Gotham, while Cassandra helps her investigate Batgirl’s exploits…and mysterious disappearance herunterladen. She cultivates a found family there in the stacks: delightfully nerdy and welcoming Barbara; Jacqueline “Jackie” Fujikawa Yoneyama, she of impeccable style and delicious noodles; and Erik, a romantic at heart who wants to be seen as more than just a jock adobe photoshop elements gratis downloaden.

Cassandra wants desperately to be something other her father’s weapon, to forge her own path in life and, perhaps, fight for the people and city she loves, just as Batgirl did herunterladen. But how can she keep everyone safe when her father is wreaking havoc across the city?

Shadow of the Batgirl is an enjoyable and heartwarming origin story for Cassandra Cain/ Batgirl/ Kasumi/ Black Bat/ Orphan. Written by Sarah Kuhn – who also pens the popular Heroine Complex series – the Asian rep in this story is great. In addition to Cassandra, there’s also the awesomely flamboyant Jackie, as well as Blasian jock with a heart of gold Erik, with whom Cassandra strikes up a tentative friendship – and romance (which is no less sweet for its inevitability). I really love these two together – and Cassandra with anyone, really – since she has an endearing, socially awkward Bones thing going on.

I mostly liked the artwork, too; my only complaint is that Cassandra looks awfully young in some panels – others, not – giving it a bit of an uneven feeling. Barbara is adorable, with her oversized glasses, and Jackie is a legit badass who I’d love to have as an adopted grandmother. Erik is swoon-worthy, natch, and the scenes where he and Cassandra geek out over books are the best.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)