Saturday, September 9, 2023

Graphic Novel Interlude

I have a pile of graphic novels that a friend lent me.  While I really want and need to read some of the books I own (I'm going to be moving in the nearish future), I decided it was a good idea to get through the books that people have lent me first (so I don't accidentally pack and/or lose them).

So I started with Godzilla vs The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which was a pretty ridiculous romp. Rita finds a magical stone that lets her travel to another world without the Power Rangers, but finds Godzilla instead!  Tommy was brought along with her, and tries to stop Godzilla from destroying the world, mistakenly thinking Godzilla is one of Rita's monsters. The other Rangers come to help, and after failing to take down Godzilla, they realize that he is their best bet in stopping Rita and an alien race called the Xiliens who keep summoning more and more monsters to destroy them!

Next up was Sonjaversal. I'm not familiar with Red Sonja at all, but I still enjoyed this graphic novel. The different Sonjas of the multiverse all pray to their god or goddess, and gain power but in exchange for keeping to a condition.  The gods or goddesses are all different, the conditions are all different, but that is the essence of their power.  Saint Sonja is the only one who can commune with the gods or goddesses directly.  It is her job to keep everyone true to their oath.  When they break their oath, she has been pitting the oathbreakers against each other, with the winner being forgiven.  But no matter how many Sonjas she sends after Red Sonja, they all die!

This was a very interesting graphic novel which seems to open up so many story possibilities for the many different Sonjas (and honestly just for coming up with all kinds of creative takes on Sonja).  I also really liked how the Sonjas were all so different.  While they were (almost - shout out to Lacrosse Sonja!) all great at killing, they killed in different ways. Some were futuristic Sonjas, others were more modern, and yet others were more fantasy-esque.  Even the devil was a Sonja!  

While I admit that I probably won't specifically go looking for more Red Sonja stories, I did enjoy reading this one.

Next up was Die!namite Volume 1, which was an insane story bringing various Dynamite characters together into a zombie apocalypse that threatens the entire universe! I didn't know who some of the characters were (like Project: Superpowers), but I did recognize Red Sonja, Vampirella, and John Carter (from Edgar Rice Burroughs' books). No one is safe as the zombie plague spreads from world to world and throughout time! 

While this one started out rather interesting, it really shone at the end.  Our heroes have retreated to the last safe place and are being assaulted by zombies.  They realize that the whole cause of the plague is that Hel is looking for her assassin who forsook her and is hiding there from her.  With the help of Hel's super-powered zombies (members of Project: Superpowers who succumbed to the zombie outbreak almost immediately), they manage to take down Red Sonja.  But rather than becoming a zombie, she ends up assuming the mantle of Hel's assassin.  And in an even crazier twist, she murders Hel and assumes command of the undead army herself!

While I was expecting at least one of the main characters to become a zombie by the end, what happened with Red Sonja took me by complete surprise!  

Prior to that moment, I was on the fence about reading more of this story.  But now that this happened, I would definitely like to read Volume 2!!!

Finally, my friend lent me Operation Dragon. Have you ever wondered what WWII would have been like with dinosaurs?  This graphic novel helps to answer that question!

A disgraced ex-cop named Rick and a mobster trying to escape his past named Tony cross paths in the Pacific Theater.  Despite hating each other from when they previously met, the two end up working together with an intelligence officer on a mysterious mission.  Her mission brings them to a hidden island where the Japanese have been raising and training dinosaurs as their super-weapons!  

Operation Dragon is a lot of fun.  It takes a little bit for the story to really get going (the book holds off on revealing the dinosaurs, even though thanks to the cover and the book's blurb, the audience is well aware of what is happening. But once the trio get to the island, and the US Rangers show up and attempt to rescue them, things really get going.  How will the US forces escape?  And how will they stop the Japanese from shipping dinosaur eggs out to the rest of the Pacific Theater?

I also really liked the interplay between the three main characters, especially Rick and Tony. How they went from absolutely hating each other to being able to work together made this story that much more interesting. 

So there we have it - the pile of graphic novels I got through over the last few days!  

I'd also like to note that previously on this blog I missed talking about was Crossover Volume 2.  My friend who lent me these four graphic novels lent me that as well.  I reread the first volume and then read the second one awhile ago. Unfortunately I forgot to post about it here at the time, and now I don't remember what I thought of it.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Sonic the Hedgehog: Scrapnik Island

I haven't read a Sonic the Hedgehog story in a long time, but saw this one at work and wanted to give it a shot!  Sonic and Tails take refuge from a storm on one of the old Death Eggs, which crashed in the ocean. There they discover the Scrapniks - old, discarded badniks which Sigma-117, himself a badnik, has rebuilt so they can be free from Robotnik's programming. The Scrapniks help Sonic and Tails rebuild their plane. But while looking for a part that they need, Mecha Sonic's old programming is triggered!  

I really enjoyed this story about second chances and building the life you want to build.  Your future is in your hands, even if you start out as a badnik - you can change your programming and live the life you want.  It's a very cute story, and I very much recommend it for all Sonic fans!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

To Tell You the Truth

 I don't know where I got Gilly Macmillan's To Tell You the Truth from (I suspect an aunt gave it to me), but after it had been sitting on my shelf for some time, I randomly decided to give it a read.  I was in the mood for something different from what I normally read, and boy did it deliver!

To Tell You the Truth tells the story of Lucy Harper, a very successful author who has penned a series of novels about Detective Sergent Eliza Grey. Unbeknownst to almost everyone, Eliza is Lucy's childhood imaginary friend who has been in her head since forever and now manifests for Lucy, thanks to the strength she has gotten from the novels. While penning her latest novel, Lucy's husband, Dan, has secretly purchased a house for them right by the woods where Lucy's brother disappeared when she was a child. When Dan disappears too, Lucy's past comes back to haunt her, all the more traumatic because she is in the public eye. Lucy is left confronting the past while also trying to discover what happened to Dan. Did she kill him?  Did she kill Teddy?

While I admit it was a little odd at first having Eliza present along with Lucy, it made the book that much more interesting, especially when Eliza first takes over for Lucy, or when Eliza first disappears. That really adds to the suspense, as now you have no idea what's going on!

The book is interspersed with small snippets of what happened to Teddy years ago.  I really liked how that came together into the present of the book (it turned out to be a manuscript that someone was writing about Lucy's life - I totally did not see that coming!)

I also really liked that I did not see the ending coming at all!  To Tell You the Truth really kept me guessing right to the end.

To Tell You the Truth was a really fast read, and the perfect "something different" that I was looking for!  I will definitely keep Gilly Macmillan in mind for the future when I feel the same way!