Quick comic book reviews, part 1

I’ve read a lot of comic books in the last few months and haven’t reviewed them. So it’s time to play catch-up! Yay!

Ms. Marvel vol. 1 – G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona ★★★★½
This is just as great as everybody says is it! The art and characters and story are all fantastic. This first volume is basically about Kamala (a Pakastani American teenager who lives in New Jersey) coming to terms with wanting to use her superpowers and do good, but that doing so will make her family worried and alienate her from them/her friends. Bonus points for the backgrounds having tons of “blink and you’ll miss it” details.

Locke & Key vols. 1-6 – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez ★★★★½
I’m not really a huge horror fan, but I DO like dark fantasy. Locke & Key is about a family in charge of a set of magical keys, and which a demon wants possession of. It rides the line between those two genres and throws in a heap of family issues on top of it. Can be confusing sometimes (especially that one issue where they kept switching the art depending on whose POV it was), but the slow build-up to a Graduation Day-esque ending was overall very satisfying (though still super depressing because of all the death). The art in particular was excellent; a good balance of realistic and horror-fantasy elements that made everything about 10x spookier.

Locke & Key: Guide to the Known Keys – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez ★★★½
Basically a collection of all the little back matter strewn throughout the main series’ issues. It’s a history of how the main keys were created throughout the years, but focused on the people who made them and the consequences of each key. Much like the series, it’s both scary and kinda depressing. Definitely read it after you’ve read the other stuff or it won’t make sense.

Locke & Key: Grindhouse – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez ★★★
A short story centered on a family who lived in the Key house sometime before the family in the main L&K storyline. They fight off a B&E using their keys (most of which we hadn’t seen in the main storyline). It actually isn’t all that great, maybe BECAUSE it’s so short? Or maybe just because a breaking-and-entering story isn’t as exciting as everything in the main series. (Or maybe I was just burnt out on L&K stuff, who knows.)

Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E., Vol. 1-2 – Warren Ellis & Stuart Immonen ★★★
A ragtag group of superheroes go after a bunch of super villains who want to rule the world. Everyone is very sarcastic. Warren Ellis does a certain kind of humor that is very recognizable when you read it. It’s kind of crass, anti-authoritarian, and very intelligent. I feel like Nextwave is less about the characters or story and more about showcasing WE’s writing style? Which is fine, I guess, but not very fulfilling since the character development is nil and the story is a bunch of nothing. The art is nice, though! It’s colorful and stylish, with great facial expressions.

2 thoughts on “Quick comic book reviews, part 1”

  1. Locke & Key sounds great, and while it has been several years since I read the first volume, I now have volumes 2-6 ready to read. Yay! (I am hoping that it remains comprehensible even though I seriously read the first volume in like 2011.)

    1. I think you will like it! I remember being confused for, like…the first two volumes, maybe? But by the end of the second volume I was so sucked into the story anyway that I just pushed through it and marathon-read it til the end.

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