Anyway, on to the reaction shots!
[51-55/75] Gotham Central 1-5 by Ed Brubaker, Gref Rucka, and Michael Lark: Okay, I think I may have hidden this reasonably well because it's mainly a "Pounce on the TV and spend a quiet evening with my dad watching Lewis/Midsomer Murders/A Touch of Frost/etcetera" thing which I can't do any more for obvious reason of no longer having either, but I kinda have A Thing for detective stories. Not just Sherlock Holmes sallying forth to solve the crime based on mud on a left bootlace or the giant rats, but actual detectives.
I also have a thing for superheroes, and ordinary people being affected by superheroes.
GUESS WHICH TWO BUTTONS THIS SERIES MASHES! :D
I obviously have to go into a book-by-book breakdown of why I am filled with eternal and unrelenting hearts for this series, but in the meantime, have a short, spoilery list:
Okay, so it obviously has problems. Some of the issues depend so very, very obviously on something from the main Batman series - although I give the writers credit for taking a scene from Infinite Crisis and doing it properly HERE instead of there! And also boggle because uh, hello, GCPD are a BIG DEAL in No Man's Land and it's BARELY MENTIONED - and sometimes you don't realise a character's dead until three issues later when their partners come back and takes a shot at Batman. S-SOB. ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PLOT IS IN ALL THE OTHER SERIES. The art though? MMMMMM.
[56/75] Shadowheart by James Barclay: Another one of my big shiny buttons? Trashy fantasy novels. Especially ones that are roughly big enough to be pretty good doorstops, use pretty much every cliché going in SOME way, have epic, EPIC plots and so many characters it's impossible to keep them all straight. That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly the sort of book that makes my heart beat faster and makes me make grabby hands at bookcases. Shadowheart has an added bonus: it manages to have all that and be COMPLETELY AWESOME WITH IT.
That and there are ELVEN NINJAS.
You know I'm going to heart this book to the end of the world and back.
Lessee. It's the middle book of what I think is a trilogy, but it's one of those wonderful books that manages to worldbuild and mention past adventures without infodumping! *is shocked* And. And. As part of this, I love how they don't really angst over a character who died in the last book, but he's mentioned and provides motivation! (I'm not used to this. I'm used to stuff like Tamora Pierce, where once someone dies they are never mentioned again.) Although, on the flip side, do not get attached to any character without a name. THEY WILL DIE. It doesn't matter whether they're a ninja, a mage, or that schlub on the enemy's side. THEY WILL DIE. Not that the characters WITH names are safe, but.
Also, the main characters... They do seem quite similar to each other. Part of it's that there's some characters with similar names, part of it's that yes, they do seem to have some shared character traits, and the rest is probably me reading this in the middle of the night and sleepily shipping pretty much everyone in the party with everyone else.
(It's terrible, this. Half of the characters in the party are married, sometimes to each other, and I would still read fic of them all being an awesomely competent fighting force/arguing epically/being Together. Auum and his troup of Elven Ninjas who I am perfectly willing to believe are close enough that they share ONE SINGLE BRAIN. Goddammit WHY IS THERE NOT A FANDOM FOR THIS.)
In some ways, it feels like an RPG game (Look at the names of the spells and the way the story flows - THEY EVEN HAVE RANDOM BATTLES, GUYS! - and tell me you don't think of an RPG), and in some ways it just feels like he rolled a lot of clichés into a ball, shook it about a bit, and turned it into a book! The story works well, anyway (Well, so long as you're okay with keeping track of fightscenes, viewpoint characters you've never seen before and never will again, and the odd bit of "Holy shit where did that come from?"), random battles or no random battles. The female main character (I'm sure Baco's going to be miffed that the party has only one female character, but I hope the NINJA ELVES go some way to help?) KICKS ASS and is also Main Thing of the plot (I told you, CLICHÉS AND RPG PLOTS ABOUND!). The characters - even the villains! - are all generally likeable and admirable in some respect, and most display SOME COMMON SENSE, which is awesome. I am incoherent. AWESOME TRASHY FANTASY BRICK IS AWESOME, basically.
[57/75] Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Volume 2 by Shiro Amano: I admit, it's been a while since I played KH:CoM, but - I seem to recall there being a lot more... STUFF happening in the game around this point. Or at least more interesting things. ALTHOUGH, Axel? Creepy and unexpectedly badass, and I've spoiled myself for Riku's ending, but. LOOK AT HIM. DO LIKE. Anyway, it has the same little moments of humour that the game didn't, and different looks at the scenes it DOES keep from the game. I just wish it had KEPT a little more! D:
[58/75] Full Metal Alchemist Vol. 16 by Hiromu Arakawa: BADASS WOMAN WITH A SWORD. OMG. BADASS WOMAN WITH A SWORD. Do indeed WANT. The story is still shaky and confused and probably needs to be put to bed with a warm drink until it remembers where exactly it was going, but it has Hawkeye being calm and capable, Kimberly vs Scar in an EPIC BATTLE ON A TRAIN, the grumpy doctor getting some... I dunno, reassurance? And of course, the BADASS WOMAN WITH A SWORD. Apart from that? Ehhh...
[59/75] Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo Vol. 1 by Matsuri Akino: I went into this FULLY PREPARED to hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. The last volume of Petshop of Horrors pretty much chewed my heart up and used it for confetti, so having a new volume kinda... I dunno. Cheapened that for me? I KNOW, I'M STRANGE. So, I have to say I'm kinda relieved and disappointed that the new series is pretty much the same as the beginning of the old one! It's a different location, and a different recurring nemesis-character (fksdhgls.dkjgdsg WHERE IS LEON I DO NOT WANT SOME CRAZY BUILDING OWNER I WANT LEON BACK TO PUNCH D IN THE FACE! fskdhgfknsjdg), but it's back to focusing on the customers, which is a pretty good way to start it I suppose! Now I think about it, I do remember boggling at all the women in this book - the woman with the dream-eater's nightmare was sacrificing her child to save herself, and got her happy ending when she sacrificed herself for HIM, which doesn't really bother me anymore than abused-spouse stories usually do, but the next story has a woman who gets told that her husband dying doesn't matter because he's served his purpose by getting her pregnant; the story after has a silly woman sleeping with a mob-boss and completely undeserving of the devotion she gets from the underling (although by the end? I am willing to believe she IS more than a silly woman who used to sleep with a mob-boss, but that's after everyone concerned nearly gets killed, so.), and EVA BRAUM. As in. Hitler's girlfriend. Whose only desire in life was to marry Hitler and have his child. I boggle! I am slightly bemused by the women in this! I am impressed that Matsuri Akino actually wrote and drew a story featuring Hitler because I completely didn't expect that! (Although that story gave me the basis for a Nora/Sofu D/Alex OTP so you can tell I was taking it seriously) - but. I'm torn between boggling-and-going "... She really wrote a story where HITLER'S GIRLFRIEND got a creature that grants the wishes of the owner?" and actually enjoying it while doing that! It's just. It's as strange as I'd expect! I JUST WISH LEON WAS IN IT FOR MORE THAN ONE FLSUDHG;LDOMD PANEL!
[60/75] Swamp Thing: Reunion by Alan Moore, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch: ... I used to REALLY LOVE the Swamp Thing. I mean, come on, I was twelve and the one volume I could ever find had the Swamp Thing dying of radiation poison then going on to fight things from horror films (underwater vampires, a haunted house that possessed people, and a werewolf as I recall.), and JOHN CONSTANTINE. I think at that point I was convinced that anything with John Constantine was AWESOME. (I have two volumes of Hellblazer from my NEW library, actually, and one supports that view while the other doesn't. I AM TORN.)
Reunion has no horror film plots and no Constantine. It has the Swamp Thing's girlfriend Abby, who I always rather liked, it has a Green Lantern (It's a DC thing, don't worry about it if you don't know) who is a PLANT and who I think was having a thing with his teacher, it makes reference to things that happened in the volume I've actually read, and it has the Swamp Thing KILLING PEOPLE WITH PLANTS IN VERY CREATIVE WAYS, all of which makes me happy. I just - it doesn't flow as well as the one I read before! It has short, bitty stories that don't really seem to fit together (including one about some space traveller whose name I can't remember, and another about a mechanical planet that rapes/murders the Swamp Thing to SPAWN MORE PLANETS! And also a guy trying to get to the meaning of the universe or something.) and. I EXPECTED BETTER AND I'M DEPRESSED THAT I DIDN'T GET IT. S-SOB.