“Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More” by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Captain Marvel, Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More(Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick) + (Year: 2014) + (Goodreads)


I guess Kelly Sue DeConnick and I are just not meant to be. I hoped that Captain Marvel would change my mind, but it did not.

This book’s basically a poor man’s Saga meeting a poor man’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Having read Ms Marvel before this, I thought that this will be the magnified experience and that I will love it even more than Ms Marvel. The sad reality of the situation was that Captain Marvel is too much space and too little heart.

The story took a rather unexpected turn from my expectations with Captain Marvel deciding to venture into space and be an outpost avenger. The explanation for that, her being restless and needing to find her place in the world, was just a bit too juvenile for my tastes. Her mission in space, reporting to the Avengers and saving a girl in a coma, didn’t really elicit any response in me. I kept expecting a more exciting story to appear out of nowhere. In vain.

So, we joined Captain Marvel on a short journey of her meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy and deciding to make a team of outcasts on her own. Her opponents, just as her friends, were rather weak and not really threatening, and the stakes were very low for a superhero. Captain Marvel’s speeches, though… They were so needlessly dramatic and over the top that I couldn’t help cringing. This is something that I remember noticing in DeConnick’s writing earlier, too. Nothing much is happening, but the characters are making it seem like a poor man’s Shakespearean tragedy.

What I disliked even more than this soulless execution was Captain Marvel’s head gear.


Nice mohawk. Not.

I get it that suits are made to look formidable and badass, but this is not what I would call badass at all. What’s the purpose of that head gear? How does it make her a better fighter to have her hair pulled up in the middle of her head? What the heck?

And I’m not even going to start with this strange, useless little skirt-thing that she has.

Other than that, I generally liked the art and the big, colorful landscapes. That was probably the best part of this volume.

Considering how much people seem to like Captain Marvel’s series, I will give it another shot with the second volume, but I’m afraid that they lost me with this space theme, so if the next one is also like that, I will remain unimpressed.

“Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal(Author: G. Willow Wilson) + (Year: 2014) + (Goodreads)



I had started developing a small phobia of superhero comic books after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to read them (namely, and to my partner-in-crime’s huge disappointment, Hawkeye). The thing is, I love the Marvel movies, I also like a lot of the DC movies. But the comic books just don’t live up to it a lot of the time.

Ms. Marvel definitely did, though. This comic book was so cool and unconventional, that I couldn’t help but really like it. It’s just so original and a lot more heartfelt than some of the other superheroes’ origin stories. Part of this might come from the fact that I have been over-saturated by movies about Batman and Superman’s sap stories, but Ms. Marvel is something else altogether.

As a character, she is a big dork, so I can definitely sympathize. However, she also comes from a very conservative family and background and this volume does a good job at trying to explain this culture in an easy-to-swallow kind of way. It also tries to show the soul of the regular Muslim family, instead of the inhumane side of Islam that we see through terrorism. Considering the fact that I, myself, despite being a Christian, have spent a lot of time among Muslims, I know that I have a different view of them and that many people do have a hard time understanding the difference between Islam and radicalism. Ms. Marvel is not subtle about trying to explain that to its readers, but nevertheless, the authors have burdened themselves with a rather unorthodox and admirable task.


I also thought that the story was generally very cute and light-hearted, unlike many of the superhero comic books that I’ve read. In that sense, it kind of reminded me of Batgirl, back when I loved it. The atmosphere was fun and exciting, instead of depressing and dark, so to me, it was a big plus.

The art was pretty but in a way which was as equally unconventional, as the book itself. The characters were drawn in a cartoonish but pretty way, and with some very nice colors.


I’m definitely adding Ms. Marvel to my list. The only drawback is that the list never seems to get shorter. Eh…

“The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man” by Tom King

The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man(Author: Tom King) + (Year: 2016) + (Goodreads)


From the moment I started reading The Vision, I felt that something was creeping in on me. I knew that this was mostly supposed to be a dark comedy, at least from most of what I had read or heard about it. However, that was not the feeling that I got from the volume itself.

First and foremost, there is something that I really enjoyed: the ominous chill running through the entire volume. From the very beginning, I felt slightly disturbed by the characters, perturbed by their way of interacting and of viewing the world. Most of all, I was always, to one degree or another, unsettled by Virginia. This part is clear enough from the very, very beginning of the story, with the little “At the end of the story… will happen.” remarks.

However, the more I read, the more I felt like I’m missing something. I was trying to get why this family bothers me so much. It took me a couple of attempts at guessing, until I realized that what really, really bothered me, is that The Vision is not a story of a family. It’s a story of a lonely man who feels so disconnected from his world that he makes a new one for himself. It’s also the story of an orphan. A man, or a little worse than one, who has been brought to this world but feels no connection to it. He has no roots, no family, he didn’t grow, didn’t become, he just was. Also, one who is very powerful, but also deeply misunderstood. One who will always be out of place.

If you choose to see The Vision as I do, you’d realize that this is a coming-of-age story. Just a very unconventional one. And also very beautiful, yet tragic one. And I say tragic, because, in this volume, at least, I don’t think that the Vision achieved what he wanted to. Despite all of his efforts, he stayed on the outside looking in. There were many great moments in the volume, to illustrate how sad it actually was, from Viv‘s talk with her lab partner in the courtyard, to the Vision’s first lie and the reasons behind it, and most all, the entire “The Villainy You Teach Me” chapter. I absolutely loved this one, both the parallel between the story and the Shakespeare quote, and the choice of the quote itself.

And, by sheer coincidence, I happened to be listening to the Hamilton musical while reading The Vision. Which was the one part of the story that came out of circumstance, but gave me a totally new viewpoint. I realized that the two could be compared so easily. If you feel I am going way out there, please bear with me.

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten
Spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted
Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of
The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter


Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned
Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain


Alexander Hamilton
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait…
When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden
Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden
Half-dead sittin’ in their own sick, the scent thick
Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide
Left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside
A voice saying “You gotta fend for yourself.” 
“Alex, you gotta fend for yourself.”
There would have been nothin’ left to do
For someone less astute
He woulda been dead or destitute
You could never back down
You never learned to take your time!

When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be the same, oh



If you want to experience The Vision, Vol. 1 the way I did, you can head over here:

“Watchmen” by Alan Moore

Watchmen(Author: Alan Moore) + (Year: 1987) + (Goodreads)


As this is most probably the most commented and admired comic books of all time, I think it makes sense that I would not be able to get through everything that makes it great.

In all honesty, Watchmen is quite frankly mesmerizing. Both the story and the art bring comic books on an entirely new level. If one would consider Watchmen just a comic book, then many “comic books” would not even have the right to try to claim that name.

Because Watchmen is, most of all, a philosophical novel. It juggles with many topics, among which most famously, the humanity of the characters. In a world where even humans struggle to be human – and I mean our own, – heroes are us. Because the Watchmen are not the likes of Captain America, Professor X, or Superman. They are humans who have taken the task of watching over the world. But who watches the Watchmen?


If you have seen the Watchmen movie, you might have been left with the impression that Doctor Manhattan was the hero of this story. Having read the comic book, you might think that it was Rorschach. I would say that there is no hero in this story. It’s one full of disturbed, wounded, marginal people, who are trying their best to do what they can about the world they live in. Even the ones who choose to live in denial are not spared the reality of their lack of actions, or the consequences of it.

And as wrong as some of the characters might be, all of them are lively. Moore manages to breathe life into them, make them as real as we are, and just as flawed.

“The morality of my actions escapes me.” 

As deep and as intricate the entire book is, the one story that summarizes the whole, is Tales of the Black Freighter. It took me a while to catch on the story, because in the beginning some of the points it was making were still not connected to what was happening between the characters. But once we reached the end, I was mesmerized by the cleverness of this one, seemingly unconnected to the whole, plot line.

The one element of Watchmen that should never be overlooked is the fact that this book does not justify our world, or even us, the people in it. It doesn’t sugarcoat, and it doesn’t go into allegories which cannot be understood. What is special about Watchmen, in fact, is that it is a two-sided knife. There is much more to it than we can see, and it is still clear, if one has the right mindset. And the mindset is actually crucial to reading Watchmen, as this book is dedicated first and foremost, to us, our morality, and the justifications we give for our actions. Be it that we see life as too inconsequential to bother, or that we hate humanity to bits, and yet we’d sacrifice ourselves to save it, or even going beyond that, think that we love it so much that we justify our horrible deeds with other people’s well-being and future rewards.

I know that I am taking this review on a more philosophical level, rather than by analyzing the behaviour of the characters, but I rather think that Watchmen is not really its story, but what the story represents. While there are novels in which you have a beautiful narrative which could mean other things, but it is also important on its own, to me Watchmen is a different level if ingenuity, which should not be restricted between the panels of drawings.

And speaking of the art of Watchmen, it is, of course, beautiful, realistic, old-fashioned, ever so clever, and, I’d like to think, always valid. The symbolism, the creativity, the continuity, even, are undeniably shining bright and unlikely to be overshadowed by another piece of comic book art. I could even admit to not being too aware of Watchmen, until we discussed Alan Moore’s amazing descriptions while writing comic books, and how he’d go into details about every single part of the picture, to a point where the illustrator would have to but follow the instructions while drawing.

A real must-read!

“The Batman Adventures: Mad Love” by Paul Dini

The Batman Adventures: Mad Love(Author: Paul Dini) + (Year: 1993) + (Goodreads)


*** 3.5 stars ***

Okay, let’s start with this: I’m pretty sure  you know what got me to this story.

Having previously said that I’m not a Batman girl, I never really feel any specific urge to read yet another famous Batman novel. But everyone, to one degree or another, was interested by the Harley/Joker romance in Suicide Squad. Even a bunch of people who don’t know what a comic book is managed to get into it. (I would say that the latter could be explained with an entire series of psychological issues, among which hardcore daddy issues, but that’s another topic of conversation.)

So naturally, from everywhere, I started hearing about Mad Love. THE Harley/Joker novel, it seems. And to be honest, I was impressed with how they related some of the moments to the screen. Arguably, Suicide Squad was edited and cut up enough to lose coherency, but nevertheless, I enjoyed how they included so much of the lore.

Long story short, here I am, having read Mad Love. And I would say that it’s one of the Batman stories that I’ve enjoyed the most. The reasons are as follows:

  1. Batman is not even a main character in this. P.S. Batman sucks. Enough of this gloomy sociopath already.
  2. This book is seemingly very lighthearted and funny, while also being deep and disturbing, especially in the aspects of Harley and the Joker’s abusive relationship.
  3. This is the first time I actually cared about Harley Quinn. She is such a famous character/villain, but I’ve never really been interested in her. Villains usually go in to categories: crazy evil and coaxed into being evil. She is neither. Harley, as we see in this book, and as I believed for the first time, is truly mentally unstable. And that was actually cool to read about, as it made her more original and interesting.
  4. The Joker is not almighty. He’s not much of a mastermind either. She actually outsmarts him, even though she’s crazy so it doesn’t really count as much.

And in all honesty, there were a lot of conflicting emotions in me while reading Mad Love. The more I thought about it, the more upsetting it became, albeit making me even more impressed with Dini’s novel. Because there are many moments in the book where I was like “Ha-ha-ha… oh wait…”

Which brings me to the last part of my review: it’s okay to see disturbed people in comic books. It’s 80:20 of crazies:normals, and a lot of the crazies are the heroes themselves.

It is, however, upsetting to see how many young people want to be a part of a relationship like this. Many men, especially young ones, see themselves as Jokers, usually guys who want to be cocky and impressive; but more so, it’s worse when girls feel like Harley Quinn is a role model. Because not only is she crazy and murderous, but she is in an abusive relationship with a psychopath.

And in reality, I even personally know girls who want to, as the song from Suicide Squad “eloquently” puts it, “meet a gangster to treat them better than the others do.” (or something). We all know that the issue here is that a lot of young women want to be special to the one guy who would kill everyone, but love them more than anyone, and treat them special… But if you are a girl who thinks that, and is reading this post: Get your shit together, darling. The most you would get is a special slap, because your boyfriend is an abusive creep.