Wes Reads Catch Up Edition 12/5/17: Sing Song Ladycastle

I’ve needed an informal blog format between the more serious reviews here and there. So hello Wes Reads Catch Up edition. As I am going through my backlog and just tearing through comics and books I haven’t read yet. I was tempted to put Ladycastle and Justice League of America into the same title but that would be a mess. I’m tempted to blog on more informal stuff too as Warren Ellis inspired me in his newsletter to do it. Heck if informal blogging makes a weird comeback in the coming year, rock and roll Wes Reads will be ready for it. I guess you can consider Wes Reads the great catch all of my site. My great experiment begins as I tell you what I’ve been reading in the Wes Reads Catch Up edition.

Yes I may have to tweak this as I catch up on reading but I am also always behind so Wes Reads works here.

Justice League of America Rebirth #1 DC Comics

If you’re wondering if these are going to be formal reviews, yeah these are not formal reviews. Just me telling you what I just read, so enjoy. The Justice League of America books I read were Justice League of America: Road to Rebirth and Justice League of America Vol. 1: The Extremists. When I recorded these on my Goodreads account I saw the reviews and I was baffled. These were both fun reads and some people were trashing them to pieces. I don’t get some comic fans at times. Then again in all of my adventures in Comics Internet I still have a tough time understanding some fans to this day. I had a blast reading both books though, I’ll detail into them a little as we go on here.

The Road to Rebirth collects all the Justice League of America one-shots with Rebirth #1. If you’re not sure about this series Road to Rebirth gives you a good idea as to what you’re in for. Steve Orlando writes all of the one-shots with Jody Houser co-writing the Vixen and Killer Frost stories. I think it helps to connect people to the series as you get to know these characters through the one-shots. This also came out of the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad series but if you haven’t read it yet, you will be fine as Killer Frost’s story fills you in. I can say that all the stories worked for me in one way or another. Definitely check it out if you haven’t yet.

I’m also trying to not make these 1,000+ word juggernaut posts but knowing me with Wes Reads, it’ll happen. I know me.

I’m also not mentioning all the artists but trust me when I say, the one-shots have rocking art in them. The same goes for Vol. 1 of Justice League of America, The Extremists. Ivan Reis is but one of the artists in the first arc. Now what’s weird about both Road to Rebirth and The Extremists is the Rebirth one-shot is collected in both trades. It’s weirder having the Rebirth one-shot in both trades reading them back to back, but I like that it is in both trades. The Extremists collects actually two story arcs too, the four issue Extremists story and a two issue mythological weapons arc. It’s interesting the arc that Orlando is taking with these characters as this is heavily character oriented and I like it. Great stuff all around.

Again, it was funny reading the Goodreads reviews of this as people were grouchy about this one too. It’s a cool take on a team, it’s diverse, it’s interesting, and there’s not one character I really dislike. If you haven’t read Justice League of America yet, I’d recommend getting on that. I may do a more formal review of all this down the line when I catch up with more of the series. For now though, still highly recommended. As I love good character work and some good world building in between. The world building here being how the characters operate and where the adventures take them, so I dig it. Go forth and read.

Now for the really fun part of Wes Reads, Ladycastle. I fully admit I love this comic. I really want more. You’ll see why as I type on.

Now Ladycastle I’d heard a lot of good things about over the past few months. I didn’t get the chance to read it until recently and now I’m clamoring for more. It’s got a musical element to it with riffs on just about any musical and theme song imaginable in there. There’s also a ton of heart to it and some genuinely endearing characters. The story of it is all the men except one Knight get eaten by a dragon, and now the women are in charge of the kingdom. I love how the concept comes together with the perfect balance of humor and drama. Delilah S. Dawson is great with these characters and I love how the artists Ashley A. Woods, Becca Farrow, and Rebecca Nalty gel this together.

See when all the men get killed, suddenly the Blacksmith’s Wife, Merinor becomes King of the former Mancastle now Ladycastle. Princess Aeve becomes the Captain of the Knights, with Sir Riddick teaching all the ladies how to fight. It’s a cool idea and it also gets deep within the four issues the series runs. You really do want more by the end as it does have a satisfying ending there’s so many more stories to do in this universe and I like what I see. It’s a beautifully written, well thought out, and wonderful world that I want more of. If you haven’t read this yet, fix that sooner rather than later.

Told you this would end up being a 1,000 word juggernaut of a casual Wes Reads piece. Like I said, I know me.

In closing, Justice League of America if you don’t know comes from DC Comics and Ladycastle comes your way from Boom! Studios. You can find these either at your local library or Hoopla Digital if your library is affiliated with it. If you want to own them outright, hit up your local comic shop or any other retailer out there. As likely you’re going to want to own these if you dig them as much as I do. All of these reads were fun, engaging, and above all absolutely delightful.

Anyway thanks for reading this and comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and I hope you all are doing well out there in the universe. Take care everybody.

Wes Reads Supergirl: Rebirth #1: Welcome Back Kara!

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 Cover

Copyright DC Comics and Cover by Emanuela Lupacchino and Michael Atiyeh

Let’s start this out by saying this, I’m a huge fan of the Supergirl TV series that starts its second season on the CW this Fall. With that admission out of the way I have to say, in the New 52 I felt Supergirl was a character that suffered a lot during that period. Deathstroke had a rough time of it too in the New 52 with Supergirl in the same boat. With DC Rebirth we get Supergirl: Rebirth #1 setting up the new status quo pushing Supergirl forward for her new ongoing. Steve Orlando has high praise as a writer from me with his work on Midnighter from DC in particular. With him in charge of Supergirl, my hopes were high for this series. Being a fan of the TV series and knowing the quirky history of Supergirl, this could have gone either way for me. With the comic now here and in my hands, now I start my thought process. How did it go? Did it live up to my expectations? What does the future hold for me and did I end up liking this comic? All this and more to be revealed as I dive into Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Supergirl DC Rebirth Title Panel

Copyright: DC Comics

In the art of playing my hand too early here I have to admit, I liked this book a lot. Any series that gives me Cameron Chase on a regular basis is off to a good start. Of course I am getting ahead of myself as the new series does establish Kara working for the D.E.O. as Supergirl like the TV show. The series starts her off in a different direction, she’s powerless to start out with and she’s having to rebuild from that. If any series sets the tone for DC Rebirth, Supergirl: Rebirth is one such series. This feels like a reboot of the character and that’s not a bad thing either. You get a look at her old home of Argo City as a framing point for the story proper. Even better her origin story is told in a fluid way that feels natural and organic to the story.

What does this journey hold for Supergirl?

Supergirl DC Rebirth Spaceship

Copyright: DC Comics, Writer: Steve Orlando, Penciller: Emanuela Lupacchino, Inker: Ray McCarthy, Colorist: Michael Atiyeh, Letterer: Steve Wands

The supporting cast gets a nice setup too, my early mention of Cameron Chase as director of the D.E.O and Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers as her foster parents on Earth. That’s how you use the material of the TV series and use it to make your comic that much better. Even better that Cameron Chase gets to be the awesome character I’ve loved ever since her ongoing series. I like that Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers get established as strong characters too, the supporting cast is well fleshed out by the end of the issue. The Argo City framing device I mention sets up many things to come in this series, at least for this story arc. The personality of Kara Danvers shines through as she’s a 16 year old girl learning how to adapt to Earth and looking forward to what happens from here. She works for the D.E.O. and is game to see where this goes and you can’t help but like her by the end of the issue. This is a great example of the best of DC Rebirth as to how to make a character better.

An excellent supporting cast with a strong lead will get you everywhere.

Supergirl: Rebirth already has strong character work with a great story and how does the art fare? The art team is up to the task and fit this comic brilliantly. Steve Orlando gave his art team plenty to work with here. Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, and Michael Atiyeh are a phenomenal team to have on this. Lupacchino’s pencils are dynamic, energetic, and expressive as anything I’ve seen before. There’s one scene in particular that’s a standout for me, the double spread of Supergirl coming out from the Sun and back at full power. That perfect expression, the bold lines of McCarthy’s inks, and the blazing hot colors from Michael Atiyeh, make Supergirl come to life here.  The Kryptonian Werewolf fight is a blast to watch too but Orlando’s way of expressing Supergirl’s soul shines with Lupacchino’s pencils. It’s a beautifully colored book too, Atiyeh makes use of bright and bold eye popping colors to show that above all, this book will be one about optimism. It’s an exciting time indeed to have a book like this shine art wise along with brilliant writing.

If you’re hesitant about buying Supergirl: Rebirth, don’t be. This comic is a great way for new readers to get to know Supergirl. It merges aspects of the TV and Comic worlds together to make a great comic book series in the process. I am looking forward to the upcoming Supergirl #1 even more than before. If this is any indication of what we’re in for with the series itself, we’re in for a great adventure.