Archive for April, 2010

Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

This was an alternate history of the tale ending the Elizabethan reign in England. Combining supernatural occurances, with historical references, the plot revolves around Virginia Dare returning to England from the New World.  Bizarre weather occurances concern Queen Elizabeth and her court magician, Dr. Stephen Strange.  Assassination attempts, warfare, and chaos ensues as characters try to figure out a connection between the strange occurances.  Gaiman presents the Marvel characters in a unique light, 400+ years in the past.

I loved this book.  The combining of history, sci fi, and superhero action is a trifecta of reading bliss. Although I am not a huge Marvel reader, it was a great read, and I was able to figure out which superhero (or villain) the 1602 characters represented.  The X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, DareDevil, and more are featured here.

Highly recommended if you have a basic knowledge of Marvel characters.  If not, try brushing up on the basics first, before tackling this otherwise tough read.

Reviewed by: Angie

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This was the final installment in the trilogy by Pfeffer.  This book returns to Miranda’s home nearly a year after the catastrophes resulting from the moon being knocked out of orbit took place.  Her diary records her story of surviving, first with just her brothers and mother, and then when her father and his new family and friends show up.  She falls in love with one of the strangers, and the story takes a romantic turn, with the apocalypse still going on around them.  More surprises occur; with a final, climactic tornado that threatens everything that they have fought for.

I was engrossed from the beginning of this book.  I very rarely finish a book in one sitting (except for graphic novels), but this was an exception.  I got caught up in the gamut of emotions that Miranda felt, and as I got closer to the end of the book, started to dread the end that I thought was going to occur.  I just did not want the book to end.  I had waited so long for this book.

Possible Spoilers:

SPOILER

SPACE

Although I knew that this book was not going to have a pat happy ending, I did not enjoy the way things wound up.  I felt disappointed; the book, although very well written and gripping otherwise, left me feeling angry.  I felt that Miranda’s actions did not fit the character, and that her previous spirited independence turned into characteristic “I am not anything without him” syndrome.

Disappointing ending to an otherwise great series.  Recommended, but only in order to finish up the series.

Kingdom Come by Mark Waid, et al.

This Graphic Novel was released in 1997 as a possible future of the DC Comics characters.  Told from the perspective of a pastor who has apocalyptic visions, he is transported by the Spectre to various places that are gearing up for warfare against out of control metahumans that all call themselves “superheroes”.  This is a future in which Superman is in retirement after the death of his wife Lois Lane, and the world is in need of a superman more than ever. This is the ultimate tale of good and evil, and of a possible Armageddon. 

In 1997, this was written as an out of continuity “elseworlds” story, but in the last few years, the world of DC is starting to include some plot points and characters of this miniseries as a result of re-introducing the multiverse.

Alex Ross was the artist of this graphic novel, and so the artistry is amazing.  The characters are very life-like. I highly recommend this book.

I also recommend the sequel, “The Kingdom” also written by Mark Waid. Although not illustrated by Alex Ross, this story is a continuation of the events of Kingdom Come.