Bad science

Black Science #1
by Rick Remender,  Matteo Scalera (Illustrator), Dean White (Illustrator) 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Forbidden science. Think of Lost In Space with a twist. A group of scientists are thrown off course and seem to be jumping dimensions or alternate realities, trying to get home. Sabotage might play a part.

Wild guess though, as for half of this issue all you get to see is a guy running from aliens and lamenting how it was all his fault and everybody else didn‘t deserve this. Yeah, yeah, got it. Pop-psychology, running, screaming, one-dimensional and bland characters. The rest doesn‘t offer a lot of insights or meaningful developments of any kind. I was left with a big „Whatever!“ 

The artwork had its moments. I didn‘t like the look of the faces, they looked very old-school. And that human with the negative attitude had really weird ears.

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Oh, another reviewer raised a very good question: Why would a fish woman have boobs?

Not continuing.

Fantastic space creatures and where to find them…

Sea of Stars #1
by Jason Aaron,  Dennis HopelessStephen Green (Cover Art) 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Dad is a space trucker, hauling goods from A to B. Mum is gone, there is no handy babysitter, so the kid comes along for the ride. And is bored, whiny and bratty. Ok, yes, he lost his mom.

The artwork is ok. Colourful. And then disaster strikes and the artwork becomes more interesting and the brat less bratty. 

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Dad and son get separated in the ensuing fight…

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A dad, a son, a whole lotta space between them… you get the idea of where this is going. Might be worth having a look at the next issue, not sure yet. It has a middle-grade feel to it.

Sailing on…

Ascender #7
by Jeff Lemire

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Flashback time… nicely done! 

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This is at least some of the backstory I was hoping for. Pretty much all about Telsa though.

And Hello there, romance! No, not those two…

Debating to wait with the next one, until issues #8, 9 and 10 come down in price…

Fix the end of the world!

Skyward #13
by Joe Henderson,  Lee Garbett (Cover Art), Antonio Fabela (Artist)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

It was ok. It felt like a filler chapter. Willa reached another waypoint, some dots were connected and now we are prepared for the finale.

The art was good. I especially loved that star-filled night sky.

I am not terribly happy with the introduction of Willa‘s mother and their relationship in general. I still don‘t buy that she never tried to find the way back to her husband and child and just continued with a different life. And now that Willa shows up, it‘s all like „oh hey, nice to finally meet you“ and then it‘s back to business as usual.


Skyward #14
by Joe Henderson,  Lee Garbett (Cover Art), Antonio Fabela (Artist) 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Big plot holes. And the situation with the diminished gravity wasn‘t resolved in a satisfying manner either. And for a pivotal fight at the end of a series this wasn‘t too spectacular. A little disappointing?

The artwork is still good.

I wonder what will happen in the ultimate issue?


Skyward #15
by Joe Henderson,  Lee Garbett (Cover Art), Antonio Fabela (Artist) 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The end of this series. Did this issue deliver? Well, not really.

Was the story arch of these last few issues a good one? This last story arc was the weakest for me. Maybe. To be fair, I think I should re-read all 15 issues in one sitting at one point. The beginning of the series was definitely the most exciting.

I was a little underwhelmed by the plot of these last few issues.

Heavy on the uplifting message. Let‘s all be friends and things will turn out for the better. Willa riding off into the sunset. Sony movie deal?

Bonus for the artwork. ★★★½☆

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June Wrap-up

Here is my June 2020:

It might look like a lot, but if you ignore the comics, it‘s only 2 novels and half an audiobook. 
I did enjoy How To Be A Normal Person and Boundary Crossed though. That one was a surprise anyway. I picked it for my TBR Challenge, not really checking that closely what it was about and going in with very low expectations. Lo and behold, it was fun.
I am however really struggling with City We Became. Great concept, really excellent audiobook narration, but the story itself is not doing it for me.

BR novels:
– How to Be a Normal Person, romance readers, ebook, ★★★½☆, grumpy guy romances asexual hipster.
– The City We Became, SF group read, audible, started & carry-over into July. 60% done and getting there…

Solo reads:
– Tell Me It’s Real, ebook, ★★★☆☆, mm-romance, humorous, DNF at 23%, didn‘t hold my interest enough to beat the expiry date of my KU subscription.
– Boundary Crossed, ebook, TBR challenge, ★★★★☆, typical UF with witches and vampires. Enjoyable.
– The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, short, TBR challenge, ★★★★☆, ethical dilemma, what are we willing to give up or live with for our privilege? 

Comics, aka my guilty pleasure:
– Civil War, ★★★★¼, entertaining and suspenseful, similarities to the movie.
– Doctor Strange, Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird, ★★★★¼, grimmer than expected. TBR challenge: Judge That Book (cover)
– Skyward #11, ★★★★☆, still trying to bring gravity back.
– Skyward #12, ★★★☆☆, not really buying this.
– Ms. Marvel Infinite #1, short, ★★★☆☆, introduction, little substance.
– Black Panther Start Here!, short, ★★★☆☆, Black Panther previews.
– Faith #1: Digital Exclusives Edition, short, ★★☆☆☆, supersized, flying superhero. Mostly boring.
– Vampirella Issue #1, short, ★★☆☆☆, boring vampires.
– Dead Irons #1, short, ★☆☆☆☆, Wild West with a werwolf, vampire, zombie… messy, no story, did really not like it.

Tell Me It's Real (At First Sight #1) by T.J. Klune Ms. Marvel Infinite #1 (Ms. Marvel Infinite Comics) by G. Willow Wilson Black Panther Start Here! (Marvel Previews) by Various Faith #1 Digital Exclusives Edition by Jody Houser Dead Irons #1 (Dead Irons Vol. 1) by James Kuhoric Vampirella Issue #1 by Eric Trautmann How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1) by T.J. Klune Civil War by Mark Millar Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1) by Melissa F. Olson The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin 
Doctor Strange, Vol. 1 The Way of the Weird by Jason Aaron Skyward #11 by Joe Henderson Skyward #12 by Joe Henderson 

Plans for July 2020:

BRs started:
– Limit, TBR challenge, started
– The Dragonriders of Pern (Dragonflight only), mid July, started already

BRs planned:
– The Traitor Baru Cormorant, mid to end July or August

Ongoing Solo reads:
– Hexarchate Stories, NetGalley, started
– Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, HarryPotterAtHome readings, up to chapter 10 with Whoopi Goldberg… (https://www.wizardingworld.com/chapters), TBR challenge (most reviews/highest ratings)
– Dwarf Stars 2020, poetry

Want to read, but probably no time:
– Unconquerable Sun, July 7, Buddy Read
– Ascender, Vol. 2: The Dead Sea, #6-10

Skyward, fixing the world

Skyward #11
by Joe Henderson,  Lee Garbett (Cover Art), Antonio Fabela (Artist) 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Finally decided to finish reading this series. To be honest, I barely remember what happened in volume 2. Anyhow, stop reading now, if you haven‘t read volumes 1 and 2 and plan to do so in the future…

Right, so we are chasing some evil dude to Kansas…

Too bad that we don‘t have a jetpack, that‘s going to slow us down!

Not sure yet? 

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Got it now? Ok then… I laughed on page six, which is always a promising sign!

This is the coolest post-apocalyptic world ever. I mean, who doesn‘t want to be able to soar and fly? Ok, the giant bugs are definitely a draw-back… 

Yes, this isn‘t exactly deep. The plot is straight forward. It‘s fun though.

Twist at the end that will need some explaining. Welcome to the third story arc.


Skyward #12
by Joe Henderson (Goodreads Author),  Lee Garbett (Illustrator), Antonio Fabela (Illustrator) 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Back to the beginning and taking a different path. I don‘t get it. Why does Nate not follow? Why does she not go out again to look for them? I don‘t buy it. But I am game, let‘s see what happens next…

Watch this space for issues #13-15…

Costly weirdness

Doctor Strange, Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird
by Jason Aaron,  Chris Bachalo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Weird is a good title for this. The story is indeed pretty weird and also funny and tongue-in-cheek…

I liked the artwork. With Issue #3 the story started to really take off. I especially liked the contrasting of bright colours with black-and-white line art. It made for unusual and very nice visuals.

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Issue #4 got darker and that bit more desperate. The art became grimmer. We learn about the cost of being the Sorcerer Supreme. Not something that ever was a topic in the movies, although I do know the concept from novels dealing with magic and witchcraft. Unexpected, but it added a nice layer of depth to this. 

Oh, and by the way, the Sanctum Sanctorum is quite a bit weirder and scarier than the movie version. 

Issue #5 got even grimmer. It does not look good for Stephen or the rest of us.

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Pretty good! Much better than expected, actually… Good plot, although on one or two occasions I struggled a little to make sense of what I was seeing.

4.5 points, rounded up. Added the next volume to my TBR pile.

Superhero fight club

Civil War
by Mark Millar (Goodreads Author) (Writer),  Steve McNiven (Penciller) 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Nice prologue with new warriors, wanting to pick a fight, looking for material for their Reality TV show. It‘s all about the ratings.

Something goes horribly wrong, something major is blown up, children are killed. Tony Stark is blamed and attacked for financing the Avengers and supporting reckless young Avengers not upholding the law. THINGS TURN UGLY.

And, same as in the movie, Tony is willing to work with the government and to become more accountable for the actions of superheroes…

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And, also as in the movie, Captain America is not a fan of the idea. For him the Avengers have to be above government control, lest said government starts to tell them who the bad guys are…

We go to Wakanda to meet T‘Challa, we visit Dr. Strange in New York, we go to Westchester to meet the X-Men. This encompasses pretty much everybody from the Marvel Universe. Tony is rounding up the troops. So is Cap. He and his Resistance group are getting into the undercover lifestyle…

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I was rooting for them, although I could see Tony‘s point of view as well. It‘s really hard to not end up disliking him massively for his course of action.

Things go to hell in a hand basket really quickly! There are a lot of fight scenes with tons of characters, things become very violent and grim. Lives are ended. Allegiances are questioned. This was darker than I expected. 

I liked the final battle and its aftermath. 

Bottomline, this was gripping enough for me to read it in one sitting. However, the multitude of characters was a bit too much. I had a hard time telling them all apart. And as I am not a hardcore Marvel fan, I really didn‘t have a clue who many of them were. Maybe fewer characters and instead more depth and character development would have been nice.

Combines Civil War #1-7.

Short comics

Well, all those free comic previews and shorter issues haven‘t really pointed me in any really interesting direction. And Dynamite Comics don‘t seem to be my thing either. Here is another two…


Dead Irons #1 (Dead Irons Vol. 1)
by James Kuhoric,  Jason Alexander (Illustrator), Jae Lee (Illustrator) 

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Another freebie. After reading this, I looked at reviews of the collected first volume to understand what I had just read. Wild West setting. A werewolf, a vampire, a zombie, some flashback, a fanatic preacher, messy artwork with sometimes barely recognizable frames… whatever. Not for me.


Vampirella Issue #1
by Eric Trautmann (Writer),  Wagner Reis (Artist) 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Don‘t like the artwork, don‘t like the lettering with the red/yellow framing.

Vampirella talks about the vampires she meets as if she doesn‘t belong to them and isn‘t a vampire herself. I have never read any Vampirella and therefore I am missing a lot of background information, that isn‘t provided here. Isn‘t she a vampire? What is the difference? There is no explanation.

Linear story, no real surprises, except fo that last frame maybe. Not interesting.