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Review: Locke and Key, Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom

Locke and Key, Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom
Locke and Key, Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Aaaargh!!! I feel like Charlie Brown trying to play football with Nancy right now. The three previous volumes wrapped up their storylines nicely, giving you nicely complete stories in each volume. Technically this one did the same, but at the same time it left us with a cliffhanger ending with a major change in the playing field dynamics of the primary characters. I want to know what happens next, but unfortunately I now have to wait for the next volume to become available. Fortunately it has already been published and I am just waiting in a hold request line at my library, so it could be worse, but I don’t want to have to wait for the next installment of the story.

The writing, as is likely self-evident from my above statements, is still quite up to par, and is holding up very well as the series progresses. Having the same writer throughout helps to ensure consistency! The artwork did catch me off-guard when I first started this volume. At first I thought that we had an invasion of a new artist and it was now styled to look like Calvin & Hobbs instead of the style I have grown accustomed to seeing. In a few pages it became apparent that I was seeing that part of the story through the eyes of the youngest of the children, and once the viewpoint shifted to another character things were back to normal. In that light I find the change in art style rather interesting as they lend a new look into the mind of the different characters.

All in all a very solid series, and the Will Eisner nominations were well earned. Now…now I have to wait…I don’t want to wait…

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Review: Superman: Sacrifice

Superman: Sacrifice
Superman: Sacrifice by Greg Rucka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this one. The underlying plot that ties it all together is cohesive and whole, but some of the stories were more than a bit rough around the edges. And don’t let me talk about some of the horrid artwork for part of the arc. It was bad enough that I basically just skimmed that section as I couldn’t bear to stay there long enough to read the story. That said, there were some very nice parts in there, and I finally got the story where Wonder Woman committed murder that I had encountered in the Manhunter books, so that filled in some blanks quite nicely. All in all, while it all made up the story arc, only about 50% of this volume was really Superman and worth reading. The other bits…not so much, and they are what pulled the rating down so low.

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Review: Superman (Volume 2): For Tomorrow

Superman (Volume 2): For Tomorrow
Superman (Volume 2): For Tomorrow by Brian Azzarello
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow!!! Really, that pretty much says it all. This was probably the best Superman story arc I have ever read. An extremely powerful story told over the course of two volumes with some absolutely astounding artwork. I wasn’t so sure when I read the first volume, and while I enjoyed it I didn’t like the incomplete feeling I had when I finished it. Add this to that story, as was intended all along, and that story is complete. Make the effort to read both volumes and you won’t regret doing so.

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Review: Superman/Batman Vol. 11: Worship

Superman/Batman Vol. 11: Worship
Superman/Batman Vol. 11: Worship by Paul Levitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love how the writing in this series just keeps improving over time. This volume had some excellent stories in it and I truly enjoyed most of the book. The only part that doesn’t seem to fit with the overall volume are the stories that open and close it. They are entertaining and fun, but they don’t seem to mesh with the plot of the stories in the middle of the volume. Still, an entertaining read even if there are stories that don’t seem to mesh with the central plot. Very worth the time spent reading it.

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Review: Manhunter, Vol. 3: Origins

Manhunter, Vol. 3: Origins
Manhunter, Vol. 3: Origins by Marc Andreyko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now that the story is out from under the shadow of its predecessors the character is really starting to come together. There were two very cohesive story arcs in this volume, and both were enjoyable to read. The pacing was handled well, the action was appropriate, and the look into origins was much better handled than in the initial volume. All in all a very good read, and perhaps in some ways it should have been where the series started.

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