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Review of Mini-Marvels: Rock, Paper, Scissors TPB (4 stars) September 12, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This graphical novel compilation is utterly hilarious and completely worth the cover price! If you enjoy superheroes and humor, this is a must read. My review can be found here.

-LOTRKing

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Flashback: Review of The Silver Surfer Graphic Novel by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (1978) July 21, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews, Flashback.
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In Flashback, LOTRKing normally reviews a random back issue (in most instances, one he hasn’t read before) and attempts to make sense of both the story and its place in Marvel history. In this special edition, he has not chosen rondomly and will be reviewing a rare non-canon graphic novel by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

For those who know nothing about this graphic novel (I didn’t until reading it), it is a retelling of the Silver Surfer character by his two creators. Instead of throwing him into the Marvel Universe populated with superheroes, they tried to introduce him to the “real” world. Did they succeed? I’d say so. While this book may be a bit dated, it is definitely a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby tale. Stan Lee maintains his slightly quirky writing and occasionally flawed logic, yet he hits the soul of the Silver Surfer perfectly. Like his two part Silver Surfer: Parable tale of the eighties (I’ll get around to doing that on Flashback one of these days) this is an introspective and interesting look at humanity from the eyes of a noble non-human character.

Like his original appearance in the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer is here the herald of Galactus, devourer of worlds. After finding Earth, he realizes that it is much like his old home Zenn-La, which causes him to regain much of his conscience. Refusing to allow Galactus to destroy a world populated by such a young and thriving race, he confronts Galactus and after an almost-futile battle, Galactus spares Earth, but exiles Norrin there. As Norrin learns about his new home and its natives, we get the earlier mentioned look and the good and bad aspects of humanity.

Aside from our own morals and foibles, it is through Galactus that Lee tries to define what exactly establishes good from evil, if the two even exist at all. Eventually, Galactus realizes that he needs the Silver Surfer, and the usually neutral entity must examine both his good and evil qualities as he decides what will make the Silver Surfer return to him. What follows in an entertaining and poignant story which ultimately ends in the Silver Surfer making a large sacrifice on behalf of humanity.

It must also be mentioned that while the comic book art of the seventies is nothing like today, Jack Kirby is nonetheless an impressive visual storyteller. Whether it is emotion, action, or even just scenery, it is easy to see why he was considered one of the greats of his time. Together, the story and art make this an enjoyable philosophical read. If you are a fan of the Silver Surfer, Stan Lee, or Jack Kirby and you can ever find it for a decent price, I’d highly recommend getting it.

Next week: Fantastic Four 63

-LOTRKing

Review of Ayre Force – Graphic Novel (4 stars) – And Other Matters May 23, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews, Comic Book Stuff.
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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Cool story: so a few weeks ago I was contacted by an agent of Bodog, an international media company, and asked to write an advance review for their upcoming (and first so far) graphic novel, Ayre Force. After checking out what the book was about, I agreed. I was soon sent the free copy and took a few days to read and review it. When I asked why my site was chosen as one of the reviewers, I was told that I was found through Google’s blog search, which rewards blogs that are both frequently updated and frequently read, which means I owe a portion of that to you guys! So thanks for reading! 😉 As for the actual review, I asked if I would be allowed to post it instead on WCBR, since it gets more reads, and would therefore likely be more beneficial to the publisher. Nonetheless, since you guys are in part what got me this opportunity, I want to make sure you know about it, so a link to this review is here. (You were supposed to click that. No really read it, then come back, that’s why tabbed browsing was invented. No seriously, this will still be here, go read the review first.) Back now? Good. Now that you’ve already been given the purchase link once, I’ll bombard you with it again: http://ayreforce.bodoglife.com

So why do I want to buy it? No, its not because I got a free book and now feel obligated to promote it. As I mentioned in the review, it really was a great read with tons of action. No, the reason I want you to buy it is for another reason mentioned in the review: all proceeds go to fighting animal cruelty, mostly bear bile farming. So, for $20, not only do you get an action-packed novel, you also get to participate in the same deeds that the book’s heroes are (though in a less cool way).

And now for the “and other matters” portion. Announcement: starting Monday (and following on Mondays thereafter) there’ll be a new column entitled “Flashback.” The inspiration for “Flashback” came from two sources: one, from Comics Daily’s Dusting Off weekly column, and two from my recent purchase of some of GitCorp’s Complete Collection DVD-ROMs but not having time to read them. So what will Flashback be? Once a week, I will use a random number generator to select a random back issue of Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, or Uncanny X-Men, which I will then read and review. With the exception of ASM, I will never have read these issues before, so much of the review will be me trying to make sense of the issue, and trying to place it in Marvel history. I will not be giving these issues stars for two reasons, one trying to review a potentially decades old comic by modern standards just isn’t fair, and two, because I will not have read the preceding story, it will be hard to judge its place, especially if I get confused. So check back on Monday for confusion, babbling, and old-schoolness!

-LOTRKing