Category Archives: Graphic Literature

Adam Glass’s Suicide Squad: Kicked in the Teeth

I was fairly enthusiastic about the last version of the Suicide Squad, written by John Ostrander. Well, in the DC Universe, when all else fails, reboot: the latest version of the “team” (and you’ll see why I use the quotes) … Continue reading

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Scott Allie and Matt Dryer’s Mike Mignola’s Hellboy: Weird Tales, Volume One

In the introduction to this first volume of Weird Tales, editor Scott Allie has penned a loving homage to any fan who’s ever taken up a pen or pencil to write or draw their favorite comic book characters. He indulges … Continue reading

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Wim Wenders’ Once: Pictures and Stories

Wim Wenders is, of course, a noted filmmaker. His first book, Once, reveals that, just in the photographs themselves: they are, in many respects, akin to movie stills, but not necessarily the ones that a studio would choose to release. … Continue reading

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Bill Willingham’s Fables: War and Pieces

“And that, my friends, is how the great war ended. Not with a bang, but with a wienie roast.” –p. 169 GMR previously reviewed the final issue collected in this eleventh volume of Bill Willingham’s stellar series Fables, and now … Continue reading

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Bill Willingham’s Fables: The Good Prince

When a series is as consistently excellent as Fables, it can be extremely difficult to decide which is the finest issue or volume. However, The Good Prince, the tenth volume, certainly makes a strong case for itself as the best … Continue reading

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Bill Willingham’s Fables: Sons of Empire

In this ninth installment in the ongoing Fables series, Bill Willingham is back in top form, delivering solid character development and intriguing plot in spades. A mix of multi-part and one-shot stories, Sons of Empire introduces new characters and provides … Continue reading

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Bill Willingham’s Fables: Wolves

Wolves, the eighth installment of Bill Willingham’s long-running series of fairy tale characters alive and well in our world (and at war with a fierce Adversary) finds Mowgli of Jungle Book fame still hunting down the Big Bad Wolf on … Continue reading

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Bill Willingham’s Fables: Storybook Love

Storybook Love is the third collected volume of Bill Willingham’s Fables, and given the somewhat mordant cast of the first two volumes, one might guess that the love of the title is not all it’s cracked up to be — … Continue reading

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Gail Simone’s Secret Six: Six Degrees of Devastation; Unhinged

Gail Simone’s Secret Six is actually the third superhero team under that name. The first two were really, truly heroes; this group, not so much. They are, in fact, all bad guys from the DC Universe, some recycled from other … Continue reading

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Matt Wagner And Michael Wm. Kaluta’s Madame Xanadu: Exodus Noir

This second collection in Matt Wagner’s back story of Madame Xanadu has a more intimate focus than the first, which spanned a number of centuries and exotic locales. Here the primary story spans a few days — possibly weeks — … Continue reading

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Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley and Richard Friend’s Madame Xanadu: Disenchanted

In Madame Xanadu, Matt Wagner delves into the (until now) unknown back story of longtime DC Universe character Madame Xanadu. Created in the 1970’s, Madame Xanadu has served as something of a fortune teller to DC characters, but little has … Continue reading

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Will Eisner’s The Best of The Spirit

The name Will Eisner is synonymous with groundbreaking comics, and his most famous and most widely acclaimed creation is criminologist Denny Colt, left for dead and prematurely buried, but escaped from the grave and revived as a crimefighter known only … Continue reading

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Peter Milligan’s Hellblazer: Scab

The latest Hellblazer trade paperback, Scab, picks up after the events of recent three volume arc by Andy Diggle. Peter Milligan, a veteran writer probably best known for a slew of Vertigo titles — Shade: The Changing Man, Animal Man, Enigma … Continue reading

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Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Violent Cases

Violent Cases marked the first collaboration between Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean — and the first published graphic novel for both. The title comes from a child’s misunderstanding, or mishearing, of the idea of violin cases used by the mafia … Continue reading

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Brian Michael Bendis’ House of M (Hold)

House of M represents a nexus in the Marvel Universe, giving us the story of how the Red Witch, Wanda Maximoff, managed to strip the world almost completely of mutants. By way of prelude, it’s evident that Wanda is not … Continue reading

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Gail Simone’s Secret Six: Villains United

I mentioned at the end of my review of two of Gail Simone’s Secret Six collections that I was “going to lay hands on a copy of Villains United — I want the back story on this bunch.” Well, I … Continue reading

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Gail Simone’s Secret Six: Cats in the Cradle/Secret Six: The Reptile Brain

Gail Simone, with her crew of D-list villains turned super-sort-of-heroes, has hit on a winning series — she’s turning out some of the best multi-layered, post-Dark Knight adventure stories going, with enough plot twists and quirky — and sometimes downright … Continue reading

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Jason Latour’s Spider-Gwen, Volume 0: Most Wanted

Both DC and Marvel some decades ago decided that they’d expand their universes from just this one to a multiverse in which almost anything could happen. And that’s how we came to have the quite excellent animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse … Continue reading

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Joshua Dysart’s Harbinger: Volume 1, Omega Rising

Peter Stanchek is gifted, and not necessarily in a good way: he’s able to make people do what he tells them, among other things, but there’s a downside to that: he’s a kid, one who has good impulses — as … Continue reading

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Brian K. Vaughan’s Ex Machina, Vol. 3: Fact v. Fiction

And the adventures of Mitchell Hundred, formerly the superhero known as “The Great Machine” and now Mayor of New York, continue. In the first story in this collection, “Fortune Favors,” Mayor Hundred decides it’s time to crack down on the … Continue reading

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Brian K. Vaughan’s Ex Machina: The First Hundred Days

I was impressed enough with the first collected volume of Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga that when I spotted Ex Machina at my local comics store, I grabbed it. I wasn’t disappointed. Mitchell Hundred has a past — as a superhero … Continue reading

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Brian K. Vaughan’s Ex Machina, Vol. 2: Tag

Brian K. Vaughan immediately took up residence on my list of best comics writers, right up there with Warren Ellis and Gail Simone. The second collection in the story of Mitchell Hundred, while not as substantial as the first, does … Continue reading

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Garth Ennis’ Midnighter: Killing Machine

I have to confess to some ambivalence toward Midnighter: Killing Machine, the first collection of the eponymous series on the character introduced in Stormwatch and who continued as part of the Authority in the Wildstorm universe. I think that ambivalence … Continue reading

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Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch

Jasmine Johnston penned this most excellent review. So long as we neglect [the] subjective side of history, which may more simply be called the inside of history, there will always be a certain limitation on that science which can be … Continue reading

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Warren Ellis’ The Authority, Volume 1.

Looking for the beginnings of The Authority, I finally found Warren Ellis’ complete run, issued by DC as The Authority: Volume 1, which begins after the demise of Stormwatch. Stormwatch is shattered, most of the members dead, and the UN … Continue reading

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Warren Ellis and Mark Milar’s The Authority: Under New Management

So, after being sucked in by the Stormwatch reboot, I decided to pick up on The Authority, the successor team, not least because Warren Ellis was involved. Needless to say, what I found first was Volume 2, but it works … Continue reading

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Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda’s Stormwatch Vol. 1: The Dark Side

It’s significant of something or other that so much in comics and comics-related work in recent years stresses “the Dark.” One of those is DC’s new version of Stormwatch, titled The Dark Side, which is something of a prequel to … Continue reading

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Christopher Moore, Ian Corson, and Jennyson Rosero’s The Griff

The Griff, scripted by Christopher Moore and Ian Corson, and drawn by Jennyson Rosero, is a story of the Apocalypse, told while said Apocalypse is happening. It was developed, we are told, from the script for a film — Corson … Continue reading

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Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga, Volume 1

The very helpful and knowledgeable young man at my local comics store directed me to Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga, which is one of the more bizarre examples of graphic lit I’ve run across recently. Marko and Alana are — or … Continue reading

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Various Artists and Writers’ Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor, The Many Lives of Doctor Who

The dawning of the era of The Thirteenth Doctor, which Denise reviews here, heralded the arrival of Jodie Whittaker as the first woman, long overdue in my opinion, to play that role. Other than the fanboys who hated her on sight, … Continue reading

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John Ostrander and Timothy Truman’s Grimjack: Killer Instinct

I bust people out of prison, hunt down vampires, fight alien gods — all the fun jobs other people are too squeamish or too polite to do themselves. Call me a mercenary. Call me an assassin. Call me a villain. I … Continue reading

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Grant Morrison & J.H. Williams III’s Seven Soldiers of Victory (Volumes 1-4)

To read Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers as a straight narrative, or to take it at face value, is really to miss the point of the series. It is a deconstruction of the classic superhero team-up comic, done with malice aforethought … Continue reading

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Grant Morrison, Richard Case et alia’s Doom Patrol: Crawling From The Wreckage

Forget Alan Moore and his sexually charged reinterpretations of classic literary characters; never mind Neil Gaiman and his uncanny talent for post-modern synthesis. If you want the truly weird in the DC Comics universe, you go straight to Grant Morrison. … Continue reading

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Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben, Dan Day, and Rick Veitch’s Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book One

For the first time, Moore’s early work on Saga of the Swamp Thing — the first eight issues — has been released in hardback format. This edition includes issue 20, which has not previously been available outside the original single … Continue reading

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Mike Mignola and John Arcudi’s Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest and Other Stories

Among the many spin-offs from Mike Mignola’s Hellboy is the series Abe Sapien, relating the exploits of the eponymous hero, the amphibious man introduced as part of the B.P.R.D. This collection, The Devil Does Not Jest, is the second Abe … Continue reading

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Yeo Beop-Ryong and Park Hui-Jin’s Chronicles of the Cursed Sword 1-3

Yeo and Park’s first collection of Chronicles of the Cursed Sword contains the first three volumes of the original manhwa series. Like King of Hell, it’s a Korean action/adventure story with heavy supernatural overtones, this time involving not one but … Continue reading

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Ra In-Soo and Kim Jae-Hwan’s King of Hell,Vol.1-3

King of Hell is manhwa from Korea, a medium that, along with Chinese man hua, fits within the overall manga model. It’s what I’ve taken to calling a supernatural adventure, based on the exploits of one Majeh, an envoy for … Continue reading

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Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta

It was Dickens who said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but by the time it rolled ’round to Alan Moore and David Lloyd, it was worse: nuclear holocaust, fascist dictatorships, concentration camps for … Continue reading

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James Tynion IV’s Justice League Dark, #1-2

First, a disclaimer: I almost never read single-issue comics, for reasons that will become clear. Secondly, I haven’t been following DC’s Justice League Dark, a series first introduced in 2011. In fact, I have to confess to not being a … Continue reading

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Tite Kubo’s Bleach Volume 1: Strawberry and the Soul Reapers

Tite Kubo’s Bleach is a wildly popular manga and anime series (which was initially rejected when Kubo offered it to his publisher) that went on for 74 volumes of the collected manga and 300 episodes of the anime before Kubo … Continue reading

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Joss Whedon and Georges Jeant’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Volume One — The Long Way Home

If you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer like I am, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Volume One: The Long Way Home is something you’ve been looking forward to for a few years now. If you’re only generally aware of … Continue reading

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Peter Straub and Michael Easton’s The Green Woman

The Green Woman, written by Peter Straub and Michael Easton, is a hallucination in full color — the latter thanks to John Bolton’s art. Reality gets severely warped here — if we can figure out whose reality we’re seeing. Fielding … Continue reading

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Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Season of Mists

Rebecca Scott penned this review. To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and th season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devils his due. –Hob Gadling’s toast When his sister Death shames him … Continue reading

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Allan Heinberg’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade

As our story opens, the Young Avengers are battling the Sons of the Serpent, a paramilitary group (read “militia”) devoted to racial and moral purity — their words, not mine — when Captain America, Iron Man, and Ms. Marvel show … Continue reading

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Allan Heinberg’s Young Avengers

After reading Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways, I decided that Young Avengers was one series I definitely wanted to follow up on. It was worth it. The story starts with the “Sidekicks” story line, and a full-page frame of … Continue reading

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Charles Vess’ The Book of Ballads

This review was originally published in 2004. Really cool things arrive here at Green Man for review, some so cool that they barely make it out of the wrappers before being snatched up by an eager staffer. Fortunately the revised … Continue reading

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Youka Nitta’s Otodama 1: Voice from the Dead

BL manga legend Youka Nitta’s Otodama: Voice from the Dead, is not BL. It’s a crime thriller, and it’s a good one. Kaname Otonashi is a former police investigator who was known as “the Ears of the Police” — his … Continue reading

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Jim Butcher’s Welcome to the Jungle

Jim Butcher has moved the Dresden Files into the realm of graphic novels with Welcome to the Jungle, a prequel of sorts to his series on the adventures of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only wizard for hire. It looks open and … Continue reading

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James Asmus’ Quantum and Woody! Vol. 1: The World’s Worst Superhero Team

I’ll be very honest here: James Asmus’ Quantum and Woody! had me at the cover. How can you beat “The World’s Worst Superhero Team”? (And yes, there’s a goat.) Derek Henderson is a physicist who has been working on some … Continue reading

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Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Jess Nevins’ Heroes and Monsters: The Unofficial Companion to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Who among us hasn’t, at one time or another, played the “What if….” game with characters, ideas or settings we’ve found particularly appealing? Maybe we spin out a colourful yarn in our head, or if we’re inspired enough, we put … Continue reading

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