Comic Review: Deadly Class

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Deadly Class by Rick Remender

5/5 stars

Deadly Class is packed with so much content that I love. It’s set in the late 80s and follows our main character Marcus Lopez during his entrance into King’s Dominion School for the Deadly Arts. I’m a sucker for the time period and the conventions of the high school setting. Anytime I can get a montage of a veteran at a school giving the new kid a break-down of the various cliques and VIPs, I’m in. The fun twist to the genre here is that King’s Dominion is a school that selects and trains the next generation of assassins. The groups here are mostly determined by the student’s family ties–we have “the preps,” rich children of CIA/FBI agents and another group, “sotos vatos,” hail from various cartel families. Marcus is immediately drawn to a group of misfits and the story is off and running.

I read through Volume One in a day. The action (pretty graphic stuff) takes off quickly and the character development is really done well. Lots of threads have been started in this first installment–Marcus’ mental health issues, a self-proclaimed “mortal enemy,” and even the very beginnings of a romance. Think Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters/Mean Girls school setting meets kickass action story and throw in a lot of darkness and moral ambiguity. I’m a big fan of Remender’s Black Science and despite several people recommending Deadly Class to me, I’m just jumping in now and I’d encourage any of you to check it out!

Comic Review: Black Panther

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4/5 stars

I’m a big Ta-Nehesi Coates fan. You can check out his journalism here and my review of his first collection of essays here (Between the World and Me was my favorite book of 2016). So when I heard that Coates would be writing a comic book–his first published fiction–I was excited.

While some of the dialogue is over-written, there was so much to enjoy about this addition to the Black Panther universe. T’Challa, our main character, is absent for much of the action as the book focuses on other key players that make up the political turmoil and murky ethics that plague the world of Wakanda. This move pays off as the other characters are fully rounded and help to flush out the world and the social and political issues Wakanda is facing.

T’Challa fights, but he unlike other superheroes, he is a king and a part of a rich history of duty and tradition. This difference allows Coates to work with some interesting themes that revolve around country, politics, and what powerful people have to do to stay in power.

Also, it’s just really nice to have two powerful, black queer women at the forefront of a story and the art work is simply beautiful. Check it out!

 

Book Review: Saga

The nonprofit that I work for is ramping up for our huge Fall fundraising dinner and as such, I’m swamped. Picture: multiple hour long conference calls, hundred of emails and phone calls, spreadsheets and growing to-do lists. I’ve been on vacation from my nanny job for the past week so I traveled down to Los Angeles to hang out with my family. I thought I’d have more reading time but my internship has been kicking my butt. At least I’ve been able to dedicate way more time and energy into getting a lot checked off my to-do list (energy that would have been drained by my other job). That’s all to day, any free reading time I’ve had has been broken up into small bits and it’s hard for me to read a book 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there. I have a tough time getting into the contemporary novel I’m reading when I can’t devote a larger chunk of time to it.

So instead, I read the first 5 Volumes of Saga this week. And Volume 1 of iZombie. And Volume 1 of Black Science. But let me get into talking about Saga.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughn

5/5 Stars

Yes, yes, yes. This was everything I hoped it would be, and more. I went into reading this series with no plot or character information. I knew that it was critically acclaimed and beloved by many and that’s about it. It did not disappoint! Saga is beautifully illustrated. The cover art gives you a glimpse into the art style, but seeing frame after frame of awesomeness is awe-inspiring. Also, the characters are so diverse and layered.

Saga tells the story of two soldiers from different sides of a never-ending war falling in love. Their child narratives the story and we get to see how they are hunted for their love and what it proves, while also getting glimpses into an expanding universe and the history these two lovers are a part of.

Alana and Marko, the new-parents and symbol of change are far from perfect. They can be needy, jealous, violent, stubborn. They are thrust upon a journey they didn’t plan for and through this journey we are able to unlock the political world Saga. I loved every volume and I can’t wait to get Volume 6.

Okay readers, any favorites from Saga? I LOVE Lying Cat. A cat who is able to say “Lying” whenever someone speaks an untruth is a fucking brilliant opportunity for both kickass badassery and some serious sass.

**Quick update on my summer TBR list** As you may have been able to tell, I’ve deviated a bit with reading a bunch of comics, and The Cursed Child. But, I’m still doing okay. I’m halfway through Mr. Penumbra’s 25-Hour Bookstore and halfway through the audiobook for Wolf by Wolf, which I plan on finishing on my roadtrip back home tomorrow. I’ll post reviews on both sometime next week. That leaves me 10 days to finish 3.5 books and a graphic novel. Woops.