Whenever possible, I like to theme my reading or at least the posts I write here on the blog, but sometimes I just wind up reading a lot of disparate trades that have nothing to do with each other. That’s the case with this mix of books I pulled from my To Read boxes and the library. Let’s get into it!I’ve been sitting on the seventh and eighth Diary Of A Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney for way too long, so it was time to knock out the first of the pair! The main thrust of The Third Wheel revolves around Greg’s attempts to get a date for the Valentine’s Day dance. I thought it took a little while to really get going, but once it did, you get all of the hallmarks of a solid Wimpy Kid story, mostly Greg’s inability to understand a world outside of himself that must drive some readers crazy.
I’ve been a fan of this series since I got an assignment to interview Kinney for MTV Geek way back in 2010. Not only did that wind up being the coolest thing I did in my short time writing for that site, but it also introduced me to these books I probably wouldn’t have otherwise read. To prep, I tore through the first five volumes and fell in love. I haven’t been as much into the sixth or seventh volumes, but I’m always up for another installment!
I’ve written about my love of Starman a bit and even reviewed one of the amazing omnibus books six (?!) years ago. To sum up, I discovered that book while interning at Wizard and tore through it. It’s been a favorite ever since. So, of course, I got my hands on a copy of The Shade, the 12 issue series James Robinson created with artists Cully Hamner, Javier Pulido, Frazer Irving, Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone, Jill Thompson and Gene Ha.
So why did it take me so long to actually read it? Honestly, I was pretty worried. Starman has such a huge spot in my heart that I really didn’t want to walk away feeling disappointed. Thankfully, I wasn’t. Robinson and his crazy-talented collaborators were able to create a book that felt very much like part of the Starman whole while focusing on, arguably, the book’s most interesting character. But, the book also works on its own as an adventure story following this man who walks the balance between good and evil while globetrotting in an effort to clean up some old family business.
You guys, Matt Kindt makes amazing comics. I first discovered him with Super Spy, but have also really enjoyed the Pistolwhip books, Frankenstein: Agent Of S.H.A.D.E. and Revolver, so his Mind MGMT book at Dark Horse made for an easy request from the library when I happened upon it.
I knew nothing about this comic going on, so here’s the gist. It’s about a writer named Meru who decides to figure out what happened on a flight where everyone on-board came down with amnesia except for a guy named Henry Lyme. The more she digs into this mystery, the more we learn about a group called Mind MGMT that includes members with special abilities. I really don’t want to get too much into it because you should just do yourself a favor and read the book!
The books that Kindt both writes and draws always have a certain feel to them that remind me of some of the best indie filmmaking where he’s got a very clear style that comes through regardless of the material. On that same note, he also has this great way of conveying a vibe or mood through both his words and images that get into your brain. I’m hooked and can not wait to dig further into this series.
Finally, after quitting Frank Miller’s Ronin — I just can’t get through another 80s comic that tosses around racial slurs so constantly and flippantly, even if the whole point is to show how bad the world is — I gave Robocop Versus Terminator a read. Written by Frank Miller and drawn by Walter Simonson, this book is so awesome it makes you wonder why most of the big screen Versus movies fall short.
In this world, Robocop becomes an essential part of the Skynet programming that leads to the creation of the Terminators. It’s as simple as that. One lone surviving human travels back in time to try and kill him, but instead teaches him what will happen. RC wants nothing to do with that, so he does his best to stop the robopocalypse from happening. But it’s not a simple story thanks to a variety of time travel jumps that make this the kind of story you’ll definitely want to read more than once. And, how can you not love Simonson’s art?! He’s maybe most famous for his fantasy-oriented work, but he kills it in this book filled with all things sci-fi!