Generation X – Scott Lobdell [Graphic Novels]

generation xWhen it comes to graphic novels, I have a tendency to pick up random ones at cons or second-hand ones in bookshops, depending where I am. Often they’re related in some way to characters I already know in certain franchises, or there’s at least some link, something that draws me to them, if I don’t pick up something unseen for a bargain, anyway.

This was one of those random purchases, picked up thanks to a longstanding love of X-Men, ensuring if I spot any sort of X-Men graphic novel on the cheap, I won’t waste a second before I purchase it.

These characters are not the same X-Men fans of the cartoons or films will be familiar with. There’s no Jean Grey, Wolverine or even Professor X on these pages. However, Jubilee is a familiar face, and though I haven’t read the X-Men storyline leading up to Generation X, it was still easy to dip in and follow what’s happening.

This volume introduces the new characters fairly seamlessly, with their various arrivals to Xavier’s School, including one interrupted by a dark, dangerous presence at the airport. The gang, of course, tackle this threat head on, but it takes more than fighting spirit for their next adventure.

Although these are introductory comics, they work really well, keeping the plot and action moving forward as we get to know each character. Small tidbits are revealed, and it makes a great starting point for the series.

It’s a shame this iteration of the X-Men has been overlooked, as there are some interesting powers at play here and possibly rich characters who could have been more fully explored. If I come across the next volume in the series, I’ll definitely check it out, but as with many of these random graphic novels, it doesn’t seem that easy to come by, or to work out what actually is the next volume.

For me though, this was definitely a fun and interesting read, and it was enjoyable to read about different characters in this familiar setting.

 

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume Two – Alan Moore [Books]

league vol 2It took me a long time to get around to reading The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and now I’m two volumes in I feel deeply invested in this mash of classic genre characters. For those who aren’t aware, the first volume introduces us to the core group of characters, pulled from works like Dracula, The Invisible Man, and Jekyll & Hyde.

If you’ve seen the 2003 film, you might have some idea of the characters encountered, but honestly from what I can remember of that film, it’s really not a great adaptation. If you want something a touch closer to the tone, style, and characterisation found within the graphic novel, Penny Dreadful is a much better choice.

The group is made up of Mina Murray, Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Hawley Griffin, and Henry Jekyll. Other characters from classic genre fiction are pulled in to serve various purposes, and the second volume follows the core characters as they battle against an invasion force from Mars.

This volume feels a bit darker than the first. From the moment we meet Griffin in the first volume, we know he’s a POS, a fact which is emphasised and really comes to play in this volume. From what I can remember of the first, the plot mainly revolves around gathering the League, and a plot against London. In this volume, the threat feels larger.

Not only that, but we get to see more of the characters, good and bad sides, as they are separated in order to find a way to end the war. Mina isn’t perhaps as formidable and powerful as she feels in the first volume, but the events that transpire almost push her to breaking point – and, fair warning, there are some graphic scenes regarding this. Not to mention each character feels as if their death is waiting, very close with the Martians seemingly unstoppable attacks.

This feels like a fitting sequel to the first volume, and pushes the events along nicely, leaving the reader with the sense of time passing as the century comes to a close.

There was one element I wasn’t too fussed on. At the end of the first volume is a story, giving the reader an idea of what Quartermain had been up to, prior to the events of the graphic novel. It was entertaining and interesting. At the back of this volume is a sort of traveller’s guide to interesting places around the world, mixed in with some glimpses as to what the League members might have got up to, both before and after the events in both volume one and volume two.

And it dragged. There are some interesting nods there to other classical works – such as a group going down a rabbit hole after a young girl disappeared, only to reappear sprouting nonsense about a strange land. The guide is worldwide, but it felt like it was too much information relayed in a really dry way.

The best parts of the guide were, without a doubt, the moments we dropped back in with Murray and Quartermain. Where we got to witness what happened to them after leaving London, and I suspect these were designed to plant the seed for the next volume in the series.

Overall, I think if you’re already read and enjoyed Volume One, Volume Two is worth picking up. It adds to the characters, and it has some brilliant references to other works that’ll make readers smile, as well as the interesting take on War of the Worlds.

 

 

 

Giveaway Time!

Disney Book GiveawayI promised before I would do a book giveaway if I hit 100 followers before my birthday, and somehow it actually happened! With over a week to spare, too.

So firstly, huge thank you to everyone who follows this blog. It really does mean a lot to me, and I just hope you get some enjoyment out of reading my various ramblings.

This giveaway is Disney themed because it’s where I’m going to celebrate my 30th birthday. I’m flying to France on 11/11, back on 14/11, so the giveaway ends 17/11 and that’s when winners will be drawn.

To enter, just make sure you’re following me on Twitter (@elleturpitt) and retweet (don’t QT) my pinned tweet. The giveaway is for a Disney or fairy tale retelling book of your choice, up to £15. It includes Star Wars and Marvel, and graphic novels as well as long as they’re below the price limit.

It is international as long as Book Depository ships to you.

Blogtober Day 16: This Time Last Year

Blogtober Day 16

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Day Eleven: Witches    /   Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read    /   Day Thirteen: Review – Under My Hat Anthology

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

As mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to be more selective with what Blogtober prompts I use for the last few days left of this month, mainly as I was struggling with some of them and I’m already behind, and at least this way I can do posts I enjoy, rather than forcing myself to spend ages stuck on one.

So! Books I was reading this time last year.

I often read graphic novels at my desk, between doing other things, so when I have some, quite often I’m reading them as well as a sort of ‘main’ book, so I actually have two books I was reading around this time last year.

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening & The Struggle- L.J. Smith

Date Finished: October 14th, 2018

vampire diariesA long time ago, I was in a Very Bad Place. Couldn’t sleep, and when I did, I faced nightmares. So I’d often stay up late, watching TV after my dad had gone to bed, and one day I decided to check out a series I’d been hesitant about until then. I didn’t realise it was a spin-off, but I quickly got absorbed into watching The Originals, and when I caught up, I devoured The Vampire Diaries, catching up with both right before their final seasons. So once they were all over, and I needed some sort of Vampire Diaries fix while waiting for Legacies, I picked up this book. And you know what? It was all right! (In the totally British way ‘all right’ way, imagine it with a certain inflection that indicates it’s somewhere around ‘good’) The writing isn’t amazing, and it kind of doesn’t hold up that well, but the characters were fun and tension ran throughout, and it was nice to lose myself in that world again.

It’s hard to say if you’d enjoy this book if you like the show. Certain elements are completely different, but it’s fun to read and see what the showrunners lifted, and the sort of things they decided (for the better) were best left out. The show remains true to the novel in the best way, while improving on a lot of it, for sure.

Damon is still absolutely drop dead gorgeous in it though.

Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Volume Two

got graphic novelI’m a big fan of graphic novel adaptations. Actually, I’m just a big fan of graphic novels in general, but when a book is transformed into one, it feels like it adds a whole new layer to the text. And it’s great to see an artist’s view on the characters and settings. One thing I really like about the GOT ones in particular are the fact they can put in so much more than the show could. Everything feels that more accurate to the book – character ages, the size of the Iron Throne, appearances, etc. It works really well, and it’s an absolute pleasure to read. The writers and artists have done an excellent job.

(I would also recommend The Dark Tower graphic novels. They are bloody brilliant.)

I’m kind of surprised no one’s done a Harry Potter one, as it’s a story that could work really well in this format.

Anyway, if you like the TV show and/or the books, I really do suggest picking this up. Overall, it’s a nice addition for any fan’s collection.

blogtober

The Boys, Volume One: The Name of the Game – Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson [Graphic Novels]

250px-The-Boys_Volume_OneWARNING: There is likely to be swearing in this review, as personally I think it might be hard to talk about The Boys without a little bit of swearing.

The Boys is a small group of people, four men, one woman, who have one job: to keep the superheroes in line. Superheroes who the public adores, who have fantastic public images, but who, in reality, are little more than ambitious, power-hungry sociopaths who think everyone else is there for their bidding only.

Our way in is through Wee Hughie, a young man from Scotland, who gets roped into The Boys after something horrific happens to him. But throughout the book, we also get glimpses of the superhero groups, of which there are various kinds in North America alone. The Young Americans, Teenage Kix, and The Seven, who are essentially the JL, but with less morals.

Admittedly, this is not going to be for everyone. It’s graphic in nature, both with sex and violence, and it strips away the clean-cut image of the hero to something much dirtier. These heroes aren’t in it to help people. They’re not Captain America, Superman, Iron Man, Captain Marvel or any of the others we’ve seen on the big screen. They are, unfortunately, a more realistic view of what happens when the wrong people get powers.

But they’re not all like that, and in Volume 1, we glimpse a young woman who achieves her dream and gets to play in the big leagues, only to find it’s not exactly what she was hoping for.

My literal reaction, just a few short pages in, was ‘HOLY SHIT’. Throughout, there are moments that make you want to weep, that stick in your throat, combined with a few instances of humour.

It seems like an odd word to use for such a graphic, err, graphic novel, but I did really enjoy reading The Boys, and I’m eager to pick up Volume Two, to find out what happens next. If you like comics with twists on the whole superhero thing, I would definitely suggest checking this out. And hopefully we’ll have the TV series to enjoy one day, too.