Saturday, December 7, 2019

Mini Reviews [36]

Undiscovered Country #1 by Charles Soule,
Scott Snyder, Giuseppe Camuncoli & 
Daniele Orlandini (Illustrators)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): This November, New York Times bestselling writers SCOTT SNYDER (WYTCHES, A.D.: AFTER DEATH) and CHARLES SOULE (CURSE WORDS, the forthcoming novel Anyone) will team up with artists GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI (The Amazing Spider-Man, Darth Vader, Hellblazer) and DANIELE ORLANDINI (Darth Vader) and 2019 Eisner Award-winning colorist MATT WILSON (THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE, PAPER GIRLS) to embark on an epic adventure in the brand-new ongoing series, UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY!

In this special oversized first issue, readers will journey into the near future, and an unknown nation that was once the United States of America—a land that’s become shrouded in mystery after walling itself off from the rest of the world without explanation over thirty years ago. When a team seeking a cure for a global pandemic breaches U.S. borders, they quickly find themselves in a struggle to survive this strange and deadly lost continent!


Even after reading the synopsis, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started Undiscovered Country. Normally, I wouldn't grab something like this on my own, but my husband was very excited when he stumbled across this series, so I decided to see if it was worth all the fuss he was making over it. Surprisingly, it is worth the fuss and fanfare. Soule and Snyder have created something utterly unique and captivating, and I cannot wait to see what they do with this story.

The United States of America hasn't been in contact with the rest of the world in over three decades, and no one knows what's been happening inside of its walls. There's even a barrier in the air that will destroy any aircraft or person that tries to breach it, which means someone from the inside has to allow access. After all these years, a team has been invited inside the walls, and what they found was... sooo unexpected. I'm still thinking about everything I saw! I thought the characters were interesting, and particularly liked the sibling aspect. I want to know more about them and how they found themselves in their current circumstances. 

The characters, world-building, and story all exceeded my expectations. If you're looking for something you've never seen before, Undiscovered Country is definitely worth picking up.

Amazing Mary Jane #1 by Leah Williams,
Humberto Ramos & Carlos Gomez (Illustrators)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): One lucky lady just hit the jackpot with her own series — THE AMAZING MARY JANE #1 by writer Leah Williams and artist Carlos Gomez will bow this October, putting the spotlight on the love of Peter Parker's life! But if Spider-history has taught us anything, such a position is rarely a good one and usually spells trouble! In a story spinning from the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25, Mary Jane Watson just got her big shot — but at what cost? And can she really trust anyone as she pursues her Hollywood dreams?
Mary Jane is no stranger to drama, so you can be sure that THE AMAZING MARY JANE will be offering up action, glamor, grit, and even a little sass in this new ongoing series, coming in October!


Finally! A comic about MJ and what her life is like without Spider-Man's influence. Normally, we see her in his comics and she's developed just enough to make her relevant, but not so much that her character overshadows Peter. After all, he's Spider-Man, and she's just his classmate-friend-girlfriend-fiancΓ©-wife (depending on the comic). However, MJ is so much more than that, and she's repeatedly proven that she can hold her own in a universe full of Powered People. 

Leah Williams is writing a few things I'm reading, and I'm still undecided on whether or not I like her writing style. I feel like she takes some liberties (which writers are allowed to do) that change the essence of very predictable characters. Take Gwenpool for instance... she's one of my favorite characters, and I'm really fond of how both Hastings and Thompson have written her in the past. Williams writes Gwenpool in a way that feels both familiar and foreign, and it's throwing me off (not in a good way).

In The Amazing Mary Jane, we get to see MJ live her life outside of Peter Parker's shadow, and it's a breath of fresh air. She's presently surrounded by various villains, and the girl's not even breaking a sweat. She taking everything in stride, and hasn't told Peter any of the dirty details surrounding her arrangement with a certain someone. I do love that Peter is still in her comic, and that he's there without being the focal point. It's an interesting perspective for sure! We'll see how it goes. 

Canto #6 (of 6) by David Booher,
Drew Zucker (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): The blockbuster finale to Canto’s first epic quest is here and… there’s no place like home! Atop the Emerald Tower, Canto faces the Shrouded Man to demand his beloved’s heart. Having finally made it to the end of his journey, will Canto learn the truth behind his people’s captivity? Can he battle the Shrouded Man… and survive to return home to tell the tale?


Canto was a mini-series that ended without really ending. I was expecting the story to conclude at the end of this issue, but a lot of nothing happens before we're told Canto's story will continue in blah blah blah. 

I felt like Canto was underdeveloped as a character, and none of the secondary characters were memorable. Honestly, I couldn't even tell you their names at this point. Someone assisted Canto in the later issues and they had a dragon-like creature, but I can't remember who they are or where they came from. Canto also has a pet that doubles as a friend (sort of). 

I grabbed this comic because I thought it would be an interesting story to read with my son, but there was nothing that separated one issue from the next. Canto goes on a journey, but it never felt like he did anything. I wish we'd seen more between Canto and the girl whose heart he wanted to retrieve/save, but there are only a few broken conversations in the darkness, which were just his memories. If he's risking his life to save someone, I want to know more about that person. 

Also, the villain is the bag guy... why?? His story didn't make sense either. He's super evil now because his own journey didn't go the way he wanted it to? So? Dude makes super evil creatures, enslaves countless others, and all because someone peed in his Cheerios? He said he was "saving" everyone, but I couldn't get behind his reasoning. Canto isn't a series I will be continuing in the future.

Rivers of London: The Fey and the Furious #1
by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Lee
Sullivan & Paulina Vassileva (Illustrators)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): The award-winning urban fantasy series Rivers of London begins a new story of fast cars and fairy queens, from series creator Ben Aaronovitch!

When an English racecar washes up in the Netherlands, wizarding cop Peter Grant is called in to investigate its unusual cargo. Fresh from suspension, Peter infiltrates the street racing big leagues – but can he find the finish line when he’s sucked into real-life fairyland?

A canonical story, set after bestselling novel Lies Sleeping.


Make it stop. Make it stop! MAKE IT STOP!

If I wouldn't have felt terrible for DNFing something that was maybe thirty pages (and something I spent money on), I would have stopped reading Rivers of London: The Fey and the Furious after just a few pages. The story was boring, confusing, and the characters left a lot to be desired. Needless to say, I will not be continuing this series.

Deadpool #1 by Kelly Thompson,
Chris Bachalo (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Deadpool’s newest mercenary job has him going after the King of Monsters, who has claimed a new kingdom for his monstrous subjects…on Staten Island! But you know what they say, when you come at the king, you better not miss! The Merc with a Mouth finds himself neck deep in political intrigue, monster law, and a monster hunter out for blood! It’s like The Crown but with even more swords and monsters! Can Deadpool’s smooth charisma and deft diplomacy allow him to keep his head, or will he be royally screwed?


Deadpool! Kelly Thompson! Jeff the land shark!

I've always thought Deadpool was an interesting character, but I tend to avoid his comics because he's really gross. He can't die, so he usually gets hurt in very creative and disturbing ways. Also, there was the one time he hid on the Guardians of the Galaxy's ship, and everyone knew he was there because of how badly he smelled. He had broken himself on purpose to fit into a panel or something, and then his body odor gave him away. See? GROSS.

However, I will forever read whatever Kelly Thompson writes, and she's currently writing Deadpool. I loved both her All-New Hawkeye and West Coast Avengers series, so I'm hoping this one will be just as entertaining and creative. I really enjoyed the first issue, although the story didn't unfold how I thought it would. I started to care about one of the characters too soon, and was left feeling very angry at the end. I'm totally okay with this, because it means Thompson is a remarkable writer that makes her readers feel invested in the story and its characters, but ugh. THAT GUY. 


  1. Undiscovered sounds pretty good! Bummer about Rivers of London though... :(

    1. I think you'd really like Undiscovered Country! Rivers of London was monotonous. It's not that I don't like stories about cars or whatever, because I enjoy the F&F movies, but this just felt like one big blur of words.

  2. It's cool that MJ gets her own story in The Amazing Mary Jane. I agree that it can be hard to read a story with familiar characters that have been changed to feel different. I'd still be interested in reading this since I'd love to see her story outside of Peter Parker's shadow.

    1. I was mostly referring to the writer's portrayal of Gwenpool, since MJ hasn't really played a prominent role in the past. It's hard to change a character too much, when that character has always been in the background! She's mostly a clean slate (except for her connection to Peter). :)


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― Marissa Meyer, Heartless