Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman, Avengers Academy, and Hercules

Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank (Illustrator)   Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Gary Frank – 4 Stars. While this isn’t the most out-of-the-box take on an alternate Batman/Bruce Wayne, and I’m not sure the art did much for me, but the storyline was engaging and solid. I really liked the changes that were made to Alfred and to Harvey Bullock. And that Barbara was featured in the story being pretty awesome. I also liked the focus on Gotham’s corruption and the effect that would have on someone like Jim Gordan. Although the Batman here is a loner in many ways, Alfred ensures that he is never alone and that made me very happy.

Avengers Academy Vol 1: Permanent Record Avengers Academy Vol 2: Will We Use This in the Real World? Fear Itself: Avengers Academy Avengers Academy: Second Semester              Avengers Academy vol. 1, 2, Fear Itself, and 3  by Christos Gage - 3.5 Stars (overall). All of the new characters took awhile to grow on me and initially the only reason I kept going was for Ant Man, Tigra, and Quicksilver. But by the end of Second Semester (vol. 3), I found myself really invested in this new team of young superheroes as well as their mentors. It just honestly takes a very long time. I’m also not sure how ideal a starting place this would be for a new fan, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Just make sure you also plan on reading the Fear Itself tie-in for this team because otherwise volume 3 will make no sense at all.

Fear Itself: Herc  Fear Itself: Herc by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente – 3.5 Stars. I have to admit that, outside of nifty bad guy concepts, most of Fear Itself didn’t exactly appeal to me so I was a bit shocked to find that Hercules’ side story/side quest was actually a lot of fun. Then again who doesn’t enjoy Hercules teaming up with weird bad guys to take out even weirder bad guys who are working for the deranged son of Ares?

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About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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2 Responses to Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman, Avengers Academy, and Hercules

  1. wwayne says:

    I hugely like the “superheroes in training” kind of series, so I’m deeply in love with Avengers Academy. In the 90s and early 00s Marvel published a series with the same storyboard but executed in an even better way (Generation X): when it closed, it was one of my biggest pains as a comic reader, so now I’m really thankful to Marvel for giving me a good substitute of that wonderful series.
    If we talk about excellent series, then Marvel and DC are in a draw: Marvel has Daredevil, Punisher and Avengers Academy, while DC has Animal Man, Grifter and Nightwing. But, if we consider their whole offer, you can see that Marvel, apart from the 3 series I mentioned, isn’t publishing anything worthy, while DC is printing a lot of interesting comics: for example, almost all the Batman titles and spin-offs are not excellent, but very good indeed. This is another reason why DC is doing better than Marvel: DC superheroes have a lot of well defined supporting characters, and, since they are so interesting, they can easily carry a title on their own, like Catwoman and Batgirl do. Marvel comics, on the contrary, are too focused on their main characters, and this makes impossible for Marvel to create a good spin off and consequently to vary their offer.

  2. Oh wow. And I have to say, I found all these free graphic novels on the Nook so started downloading them. I need to get to reading them, but I’m excited after hearing all these ones here and want to give a few new ones a go. :) Thank you!

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