Showing posts from February, 2015

The Dark Phoenix by Chris Claremont and John Byrne

Midway through reading this classic Claremont tale, I understood its significance to the X-Men mythology instantly, and I also wondered if it had some kind of impact on the role of the female superheroine in comics back then and today. That's because I consider Jean Grey in this story to be a very empowered representation of what a comic book heroine can become and be undone for at the same time. I would like to try and touch upon that subject matter in this review.
This is quite possibly the most popular and enduring comics story arc in recent memory that any self-respecting fan of the medium will immediately associate the X-Men with, and The Dark Phoenix Saga is deemed with such high esteem and praise for many good reasons. One thing that I think we all should remember about reading classic storylines from comics that defined and shaped the continuity or characterization of a particular title is to curb our expectations and adjust our preconceived notions about it to something mo…

God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont and John Byrne

This is the comic book that inspired some of the important elements featured in the groundwork for the arguably best X-Men film from the first trilogy franchise, X2. This is why reading God Loves, Man Kills will certainly be recognizable to a reader who has seen the said film adaptation first. With a total of sixty-four pages and illustrated by artist John Byrne, Chris Claremont took the task of tackling hard issues such as racial discrimination and religious persecution in this story.

As a lapsed Catholic from a developing Asian country, I'm inherently curious of how fictional mediums handle social issues with meaningful messages so this particular comic book got me intrigued. Its premise had a lot of promise and potential but I would also assert that the delivery can certainly get awkward in some of the pages. The connections it aimed to make is one concerning that of prejudice against mutants which could be liken to that of racial intolerance. When this was written, the civil …

The Boy, the Myth, and Everything Between

I knew enough about the King Arthur mythology through cinematic adaptations I've seen growing up, but this is truly the first time that I ever read a novel which tackles this legendary hero, and I thought T.H White's classic masterpiece The Once and Future King is the best place to start as any, considering the raving reviews I've encountered about this one every time I browse the medieval literature section in book-related websites. I was also drawn to this book because of this singular quotation taken from it: 'Perhaps we all give our hearts uncritically to those who hardly think about us in return'. I remember buying a copy of this book once a paperback became available back in 2013 or so, and I started reading last year but had to stop because of my self-imposed Batman comics diet. I was glad to pick this up again last week where I was already halfway through the first of the four segments. Now that I have officially finished the entire thing, I suppose what I …

The human and inhumane devices of the mind and heart

"There must be a never-ending supply of Holmes stories just as there must be air and water. And they must be the finest Holmes stories we can create. Not the true quill of the Master perhaps, but still nourishing to a parched and hungry soul."
This is the final anthology I'm reviewing for the Sherlock Holmes birthday month last January which managed to bleed into this month as well because I was preoccupied with other readings so I had to take breaks for the last two books in my SH roster. But I eventually did finish reading all of them and now I'm officially ending with yet another collection edited by Michael Kurland, Sherlock Holmes: The American Years. It's worth mentioning that this is a re-read from six years ago which meant that the material is once again fresh in my eyes and I can honestly say that I barely remember a lot of these stories at all. Only one really struck me as a standout.

The ten stories included in this volume have operated with a premise …