📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 6, Venom, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
I keep going back and forth on whether I’m going to rag on these comics for having silly comicbook logic, and now’s the time I’m really going to do it. Maybe it’s because I’ve never really cared about Venom, but this reinvention of the character feels especially silly. There’s a great conversation between Peter and Nick Fury that feels like it really gets at teasing apart superhero stories in fascinating ways, but as a whole, this was just not my favorite story in the run.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 2 Learning Curve, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
There are a lot of reminders in this volume of how dumb superhero comics can be (how is a 15-year old going toe to toe with a crime boss?), but it’s also fun in a lot of ways, and I know I loved reading this when I was a teenager myself. It continues to be a fun series.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Strong Female Protagonist (Book Two), by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag
I’ve skimmed the archives for this webcomic several times in the past, but I’ve never gotten this far in the story, and it was a delight to do so now. I was not sure this would live up to the first book, but it’s so, so good at using superhero tropes to explore philosophy and ethics. I really, really like this series.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Strong Female Protagonist (Book One), by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag
I hadn’t realized this webcomic had been released in print volumes, and I honestly couldn’t remember how far I’d made it through the webcomic archives, so I leapt at the chance to read a collection. I think I might like this deconstructive “realistic” take on superheroes more than any other. The questions are interesting, the art is uneven but compelling, and the characters resonate with me. It’s a great read.
This volume isn’t quite as good as the last (mostly because of the filler material that it concludes with), and it has some of the same problems with trying to do diversity but sometime undermining itself. However, I still think the best superhero stories are the ones that pick at and play with tropes, and I haven’t seen anyone do that better than this series.
I love Astro City. It is definitely not percect (the creative team is a bunch of white guys, and sometimes, that’s painfully obvious), but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best wholesale reimagining of superhero tropes out there. I’ve read every single story in this volume before, and I read them now with a more critical eye than in the past, but I had a great time rereading them all.
There’s a lot to love about Top 10, which is why I read it for what is at least the third time (likely more). The story is well-crafted, the concept is interesting, it riffs on superhero tropes while breathing new life into them, and the art is full of so many easter eggs for the savvy reader (my favorite is probably the Astérix and Obélix cameo, but there are lots of other great ones).