An Impromptu DC Comics Weekend Readathon (mini reviews)

by - Tuesday, July 02, 2019

So I write my monthly wrap-up, publish it...and then on June 29 and 30, I read five more graphic novels. SORRY NOT SORRY. I got five ARCs from the DC Comics booth at ALA, and they all came in the mail on Saturday! So of course I had to read them.

I was a little worried about the two DC Ink comics I'd gotten since my luck with them hasn't been great. I enjoyed the Mera comic, but Catwoman's and Harley Quinn's depictions were not my favorite. I really, really enjoyed the ones I got though, thank goodness.

So if you've been curious about what comics DC is putting out in the next few months, read on!

Author: Kami Garcia
Publisher: DC Ink
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Genres: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Ever since I heard that Kami Garcia was writing a new origin story for Raven, I knew I had to have it. And it was everything I could have hoped for. Raven's story is fascinating as she deals with amnesia after a car crash that killed her adoptive mom. Then there's the nightmares, the raven shadow, and the creepy voice in her head. Oh yeah, and starting a new high school. Raven has it rough, but I liked her attitude. Sometimes it was overwhelming for her, but the lessons she learns by the end is powerful. I also love that she wasn't a character that was diminished to pure angst. Yes, she has emotions--yes, she acts like a teenager. But there's a lot of hope for her at the end.

The secondary characters really shine in this book as well. Max, Raven's adoptive cousin, has her own issues, her own story. Raven's love interest is really sweet, and their romance is one of the cutest I've seen in a graphic novel.

The art, of course, is AMAZING. I've been enjoying the DC Ink color scheme (...or lack thereof?)--it really makes some moments powerful. It makes certain things stand out.

I just found out that Kami is also writing a Teen Titans: Beast Boy and that cover is EVERYTHING! I need more Beast Boy in my life. Basically, I need more Teen Titans in my life. I'm so hyped for this amazing series.

Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: DC Zoom
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Genres: MG Sci-fi Action

This book was so cute! The art style, the characters...everything! I love thinking about a young Dinah Lance just coming into her Canary Call powers. This story feels very true to the voice of Black Canary, despite her being thirteen years old. She wants to protect those people around her, but she also wants normal friends, to win battle of the bands at her school, and get through one day without breaking something.

This story is short and sweet, and the themes, art, and fast-paced plot are perfect for a middle grade audience. I definitely recommend it.

Author: Scott Snyder
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Action
Of the bunch I read this past weekend, this one was my least favorite. But it wasn't bad! The story was solid, with high stakes and lots of alien battles--just what you would expect from a Justice League comic. I especially liked the parts with Mera--she's just so, so cool. The parts with Aquaman and Batman were pretty awesome as well; I connected to their stories a lot better than some of the other characters.

I think what docked a star for me was some of the inconsistency in the art and story. There's one issue smack-dab in the middle where the art goes from regular to green tones where there's a lot of floating heads (yeah, it's as weird as it sounds). It just didn't mesh with the rest of the story. And then when the art switched back, it's as if that issue never happened. It was kind of confusing. Maybe it was a special edition? But I couldn't find anywhere where it said that (I could totally have missed it though).

But other than that, I did really like the story! It was fun and fast-paced with lots of action.

Title: Batman: Nightwalker
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: DC Ink
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Genres: YA Mystery/Suspense
I hate stacking this up against other Batman stories. I really do. But it just doesn't stand out as a Batman story.

I haven't read the original novel by Marie Lu. I probably won't just because of the length of my TBR. But I was really happy to get this ARC. I've been curious to see how a YA author would take a teenage Batman. And it wasn't bad. I really liked seeing Bruce as Bruce, not as Batman. He acts like a regular teenager, has his own problems, despite being a billionaire. The mystery was fine. There was an interesting twist at the end, and Madeleine kept me guessing.

What really made me laugh (and not in a good way) was the fact that if there was any chemistry between Bruce and Mads in the original novel, then it didn't translate into the graphic novel. At all. Bruce's friends were like, "Dude, you're totally into her." And I was like, "...really???" But this is YA, so there has to be a romance...

I'm making this sound way more negative than it is. This is a good, quick read. Lots of fun action. A good mystery. Some fun plot twists. I would recommend to anyone who enjoyed the DC Icons books.

Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Genres: Fantasy
I was not expecting to be blown away by an Aquaman story. I thought it would be fun, action-packed, without much depth (kind of like the movie). But Unspoken Water delivered so much more than that.

DC Comics builds a lot of their setting around science fiction elements, but what sets this Aquaman story apart is that it is built on mythology and fantasy elements. There is a beautiful creation story woven into the narrative, and the art that came with the story was gorgeous. So lush, vivid, and colorful.

I don't normally enjoy an amnesia story. I often find them frustrating and confusing, but DC did it right twice (Teen Titans: Raven being the other one). This trope really kept me in suspense as the story went on to tell how Arthur Curry regains his memories. I loved that Mera was a key to it all.

This is a story that I will reread again and again. I'm also definitely going to be looking out for the next volumes. Can't wait!

Hoooboy, that was a lot in one weekend! But I just couldn't help myself. And I definitely didn't regret it. What's a graphic novel you've recently read that you enjoyed? OR do you prefer DC Comics or Marvel Comics?

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