Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn – A Review

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Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn
Art by Dalibor Talajic
Superheroes | Comic Book
Published by Marvel
Released November 14th, 2011
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars

Over the years, Marvel has done a lot of interesting comic book series that take place outside of their normal Earth-616 universe, which is the primary universe for Marvel Comics. Setting their stories outside of the main universe allows them to get away with things that they otherwise wouldn’t, such as killing off big-name characters or destroying the entire world.

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe is one of those stories. Containing four issues, the series focuses on Deadpool as he tries to wipe out all of the world’s superheroes and villains while breaking the fourth wall. Like many Deadpool comics, this one is fairly meta, and it was an enjoyable story to read.

While many comic books are appropriate for all ages, I would say that this one might not be okay for children or people squeamish about blood and violence – there’s a lot of gore. It’s also rather silly though… so I guess just use your discretion.

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Dalibor Talajic did a great job with the art. The style fits well with the story, and it’s the kind of colorful, simple yet detailed art style I prefer in comics.

There are other books in the Deadpool Killogy series, as well as three other Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe volumes. I enjoyed my time with volume one, but I’m not sure if I’m going to read on. The novelty of it was enjoyable, but I have a feeling it’ll get a bit repetitive after a while.

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe will never be considered one of Marvel’s great series. It’s a fun tale set in the non-dominate Marvel universe that’s enjoyable to read once but probably not over and over again. I definitely recommend it if you like Deadpool, as it’s a decent representation of his character. However, I would not recommend this short series if you’re new to Marvel’s universe or to Deadpool.




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Best Comic Book Covers for the Week of March 18th, 2020

One of my favorite things about comic book release day is seeing all of the wonderful cover art.

Here are the five best covers of the week.


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The Low Low Woods #4
DC/Black Label
Cover art by Jenny Frison


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Witchblade Vol 2 #18
Image/Top Cow
Cover art by Roberta Ingranata


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X-Ray Robot #1
Dark Horse
Cover art by Chris Samnee & Matthew Wilson


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Batman Vol 3 #91
DC
Cover art by Francesco Mattina


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Bitter Root #7
Image
Cover art by Eliza Ivanova




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Is Wolverine Gay?

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When I was browsing my newsfeed this morning, I came across an article that I was pretty sure was clickbait: “The Internet’s Freaking Out Over Marvel Making Wolverine Gay.” Another article that came up was from Vice: “Wolverine Might Be a Sexually Fluid Mutant in a Throuple – Deal with It.

I did more research, and yeah, Marvel definitely has made some insinuations that Wolverine is gay or bisexual and is possibly in a relationship with Jean Grey and Scott Summers. Also, apparently in an alternate universe Wolverine and Hercules had a thing? I don’t think I read that one, but that happened.

While some people are welcoming this change, there’s also a large group of people who are very opposed to it. A lot of the articles I’ve found are in favor of making Wolverine gay or are applauding Marvel for being “woke”, and I wanted to share a different opinion to voice some of the problems that die-hard comic book fans experience with Marvel’s changes like this one.

First, and most importantly, it’s incredibly unfair for these news sources (or for anyone, for that matter) to call anyone that is unhappy with this new change “homophobes and bigots” (quoted from the first article I linked to). It’s okay to have discussions about sensitive topics without resorting to calling anyone that disagrees with you a bigot.

A quick note: Both Marvel and DC have focused a lot on diversity over the past several years. This article, however, will focus entirely on Marvel. First, because it was prompted by the Wolverine controversy; and second, because 90% of the comic books I read are published by Marvel.

I love and support diversity. America is full of so many people with different religions, races, and sexuality, and it’s amazing! As a die-hard comic book fan, I want more diversity in comic books. 

Yes, traditionally, a high percentage of comic book characters are white, straight men. However, over time that has changed. In 1966 Marvel created Black Panther; in 1979 Northstar, the first openly gay mutant, made his debut. Marvel is not new to diversity: we have disability rep with Daredevil and Xavier; religious diversity with Kitty Pryde and Magneto; superheroes from all over the world, like Sunfire, Storm (one of my personal favorites), Brother Voodoo, Warpath, Thunderbird, and Nightcrawler. Is there room for more diversity? Absolutely, and I welcome it!

There are a lot of problems that I have with Marvel’s recent decision making, however. I understand that they want to attract more people to their comic books, this just isn’t how to do it. And here are the reasons why not:

It’s lazy.

Instead of retconning existing characters, and making an established heterosexual character (like Wolverine) gay, make awesome new characters! I’ve read Marvel comics that have been published from the 60s to recent times, and 90% of the time, the story is made up of essentially all the same characters. Marvel needs fresh, exciting characters to breathe some new life into their stories, which might help them boost sales.

It alienates existing fans.

As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, I got upset at the articles I was reading that labeled anyone upset at Wolverine’s very sudden change a homophobe or bigot. That’s not what is going on here.

Here’s an example of this kind of controversy that happened a few years ago concerning the MCU. Iron Fist. Iron Fist was created in 1974. His origin story is as follows: Danny Rand, a white, rich kid from NYC, is in a plane crash with his parents over the Himalayas. Both of his parents die, and Danny is raised by a group of monks who rescue him. After becoming the Iron Fist, having completed a series of challenges, he goes back to New York and fights crime and such.

He’s a character completely out of place in the Himalayas, but the monks take him on and train him as one of their own. He’s a great character, with a lot of growth. For people who are life-long Iron Fist fans, it’s difficult when people attack the character for not being Asian and doing martial arts. When the series was released on Netflix, there was a lot of yelling about Danny Rand’s race. Here’s one quote that always sticks out to me, from Keith Chow:

Instead of a white man appropriating the qualities of Asian mysticism, it could have been a story of an Asian-American going back to his parents’ homeland as a way of reconnecting with them — a feeling that many second-generation Asian-Americans can relate to.

It does change the character and the story. I’m not going to broach the topic of cultural appropriation in the article. Comic book fans take canon seriously, just like other fandoms do. These backstories are important to a lot of fans, and they define who the character is and where they come from, why they are the way they are.

One of the reasons that people are upset that Marvel is insinuating that Wolverine is gay or bisexual is that his character, from his first introduction in 1974, has been that he is a heterosexual, cigar-smoking, tough guy with a lot of snark and the hots for Jean Grey. And Mariko Yashida. And Rogue. And Storm. And Domino. And Lady Deathstrike. And Maureen Logan. The list continues on and on.

It’s insulting.

This ties in a bit with my first point that Marvel is just being lazy and not making the effort to create new characters. I can’t speak for everyone, obviously, but do we really want diversity in the form of slapping a new sexuality, religion, or skin color onto an old character? That’s not how diversity works. This is another reason why Marvel and DC should focus on creating new characters instead of just changing existing ones.

The personalities and storylines are taking a back seat to labels.

As I’ve mentioned several times in this article, I love diversity and want more of it in comic books. I’d especially love to see more fat and disabled characters. However, many newer stories and plotlines that Marvel has come out with seem to equate race or sexuality with a personality trait. A personality trait is being short-tempered or giddy. It’s not the same thing, and focusing so much of their storylines on the diversity of their characters makes them feel one dimensional. We are all so much more than a label, and that should apply to well-rounded fictional characters as well.


I’m aware that not everyone is going to agree with me. My goal here is to make people aware that different viewpoints exist, and that jumping to calling people that disagree with you bigots just fuels the anger and divisions that are springing up everywhere. Diversity in literature (including comic books) is important and we need to have these discussions. We just need to look at how we’re getting that diversity and what can be done to best represent the cultures that have been in the background.



What are your opinions on all this? Let me know in the comments.




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Aconyte Books’ Partnership with Marvel

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Asmodee‘s new sci-fi imprint Aconyte recently announced a partnership with Marvel to release novels based on the Marvel universe in Autumn of 2020.

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The Marvel universe is full of fascinating characters, and I’m eager to see what they end up releasing.

Fortunately, we do get a bit of a hint from Aconyte’s publisher Marc Gascoigne:

“The Marvel comic book universe has featured a host of great characters and storylines crying out to be told over the years, and now is their time to step into the spotlight. You can look out for legends from Asgard, several volumes focusing on some of Marvel’s heroines, and stories of some of Professor Xavier’s lesser-known students, and that’s just to get us started.”

I love the idea of novelizing comic books, so I’m 100% here for this. I actually reviewed a Doctor Strange novelization earlier this year. Is this something that you’d be interested in? Let me know in the comments!


To hold you over until the end of next year, here are some already published Marvel novelizations:




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Shuri, Vol. 1: The Search for Black Panther by Nnedi Okorafor – A Review

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Shuri, Vol. 1: The Search for Black Panther by Nnedi Okorafor
Illustrated by Leonardo Romero
Coloring by Jordie Bellaire
Comic Book | Science Fiction | Superheroes
Published by Marvel
Released May 7th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

I wanted to like this collection so badly, but it just… wasn’t good.

When I saw that Marvel’s Shuri series was going to be written by science-fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor, I added it to my TBR immediately. I’ve read Okorafor’s Binti, and although I didn’t love that novella, I was intrigued enough by her writing to want to give some of her other work a shot.

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Nnedi Okorafor

In the Marvel comics world, Shuri was never a prominent character until quite recently. While she at one point took over the role of Black Panther from her brother and played parts in several storylines, she wasn’t ever the center of the story.

With the success of Marvel’s Black Panther film, that’s changed. Which is great! I loved the Black Panther movie and Shuri’s character was delightful. I’m always going to root for a fun, brilliant, female scientist. I wasn’t surprised to see Marvel releasing a Shuri-centric comic book series in the film’s wake.

It didn’t take long into the story to start to realize that Shuri, Vol. 1: The Search for Black Panther wasn’t going to live up to my expectations.

The very first thing I noticed was the atrocious artwork, which you can see below. The art itself was done by Leonardo Romero with the coloring being done by Jordie Bellaire. I don’t know whether to fault the artist or the colorist for this or perhaps both of them:

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It’s just bad. There’s no shading or defining of the character’s faces. It’s blocky and made up mainly of primary colors. There’s no depth to it. The artwork turned me off of this collection before the story even started. Comic books are a medium that depends on the art just as much as the story, and I was surprised to see such a lack of quality in a comic book series that has the potential of attracting new fans.

As a quick side note, the covers for this series were done by a different (and better) artist named Sam Spratt. The covers of all of these issues are gorgeous.

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One of Sam Spratt’s covers

The story takes place after T’Challa, aka Black Panther, takes off into space for an unknown mission. He’s essentially disappeared, and no one is sure how to bring him back. In the meantime, Shuri is approached by her mother and by a secret organization of African leaders and is asked to take on the role of Black Panther until her brother returns.

That’s only one part of this story. The other part is Shuri and friends trying to defeat a giant space insect who eats music and excretes black holes.

The story did absolutely nothing for me. Like the artwork, it was simplistic and one-dimensional. It also required previous knowledge of the characters, especially since Shuri is followed around by multi-dimensional beings and/or ghosts called the ancestors that sprang from a previous series. As I mentioned before, the creation of this series, at least on Marvel’s end, had to have been to attract some movie fans into the comics world, and it can be intimidating to readers when there’s so much of the backstory not explained.

Another issue I had is that there was so much nonsense going on that Shuri’s personality faded into the background. She can be a more interesting character than this series presents her as.

I’m going to give Nnedi Okorafor’s writing one more chance, mainly because I own a copy of her novel Akata Witch. However, I’m starting to think her writing just doesn’t mesh with me. Aside from that, the art in this collection is just terrible. I can’t recommend this series, but I guess if you’re a huge Shuri fan you might still want to read it. I won’t be continuing with this series.


Have you read Shuri, Vol 1? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.


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Dead Man Logan, Vol. 1: Sins of the Father by Ed Brisson – A Review

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Dead Man Logan, Vol. 1: Sins of the Father
Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Mike Henderson
Comic Book | Superheroes
Published by Marvel Comics
Released June 25th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

Dead Man Logan is a follow-up series to the much more popular Old Man Logan series. When we encounter Logan (Wolverine) for the first time in this collection, we learn that he’s dying due to the adamantium in his body slowly poisoning him. Before he dies, however, he’s out on a mission to kill the supervillains responsible for taking over the world in his own universe.

Let’s back up a little, in case you haven’t read or aren’t familiar with the Old Man Logan series. In that series, we follow Logan (Wolverine/James Howlett) in one of Marvel’s alternate universes, this one called Earth-807128. (Marvel’s normal timeline is Earth-616.) In all the ways that count, Earth-807128’s Logan is identical to the Wolverine that we’re all familiar with: the adamantium skeleton, the claws (snikt!), and the incredible healing factor.

For a review and more information about Old Man Logan, read my review of the first collection of issues. Essentially, however, Logan lives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the supervillains of the world have united and won. The United States has been divided up between the Hulk Clan, Kingpin, Doom, and Red Skull. Logan and his family live on a small farm in Hulkland, where he tries to lead a normal life while blaming himself for the death of the X-Men.

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That’s essentially all you need to know to go into Dead Man Logan. 

One of the biggest things that bugged me about Dead Man Logan is that the art, which is done well by artist Mike Henderson, isn’t dark enough for the story. It’s too colorful and cartoony for a story about Logan’s illness and his mission to prevent a terrible war before it has a chance to occur.

While the plot itself was an interesting concept, the execution of it was a bit lacking of substance. For one thing, it was incredibly predictable. There were only one or two moments in the entire collection that I wasn’t expecting, and that made it rather boring to read. Also, why did writer Ed Brisson turn Hawkeye into a huge douchebag? I hate the direction they’ve taken with Hawkeye’s character over the past few years, and the insults to him in this series is obnoxious. There are a ton of jokes along the lines of no one knowing who Hawkeye is, his not having any superpowers, being useless, etc. However, this isn’t exactly true, as Hawkeye was one of the earliest members of the Avengers and has done a lot of amazing and heroic things throughout Marvel’s history.

(Side note: Hawkeye is one of my boyfriend’s favorite Marvel characters, so I’ve learned a lot about his history and personality over the past two years.) 

As always, I’m not going to give away spoilers, but at the end of the collection, Logan meets someone he’s only heard about, and that was probably my favorite part of the entire story.

In the end, there was too much that I didn’t enjoy in this collection for me to give it more than three stars. As I said before, the plot of the story was interesting but it’s execution was not well-down. Logan’s revenge could have taken a much more interesting track than it did in Dead Man Logan. 


Have you read Dead Man Logan, Vol. 1? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!




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Storm by Eric Jerome Dickey – A Review

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Storm by Eric Jerome Dickey
Collects Storm #1-6
Art by David Yardin & Lan Medina
Comic Book | Superheroes
Published by Marvel Comics
Released on January 16th, 2008
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

The X-Men’s Storm is one of my favorite Marvel characters; probably in my top five. So, when I saw this collection at my local library, I definitely wanted to read it.

I had never heard of this series before, which isn’t that weird considering how many X-Men comics Marvel has come out with in the last fifty years. Storm is the story of Ororo Munroe growing up in Africa as a member of a band of thieves and orphans. She’s a master lockpick and is learning how to control her burgeoning powers.

One day, Storm steals a camera from a tourist at the prompting of her peers. In the process, her powers manifest as she gets away. However, the man she steals the camera from isn’t just any tourist; he’s on the lookout for a “Windwalker” such as Storm, and from then on tries to capture her at any cost.

At first glance, it’s a decent premise. However, that part of the story seems to be secondary to the main plot, which is Storm (Ororo) wanting to become a woman and losing her virginity to Black Panther (T’Challa). That’s one of the reasons I rated this collection two stars – we don’t need a comic book series focusing on that topic. Also, I found it very off-putting that Storm’s character was written in such a way that the only way she can truly feel like a woman is through sex.

Another issue I took with this series is that it isn’t canon. This collection proposes that the first time Ororo and T’Challa meet is when she’s a teenager and he rescues her from her would-be captors. In reality, however, (well, in Marvel’s Earth-616 reality), it’s actually Ororo that aids in rescuing T’Challa after he’s kidnapped. Their romance is canon, but it didn’t happen as written in Storm and, again, is it really necessary to make one of the main plots in this series about her losing her virginity just so that she can feel like more of a woman? No. The answer to that is no.

The art is fine, not a favorite of mine or anything spectacular. The cover art was a bit off-putting, but that’s a personal preference.

Storm is a wonderful and very complex character in Marvel’s universe, but this collection reduces her to being nothing more than a boy-obsessed normal teenager. Skip it and just read some classic X-Men.


What is your favorite Storm or X-Men comic series? Let me know in the comments!




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Best Comic Book Covers for the Week of August 28, 2019

One of my favorite things about comic book release day is seeing all of the wonderful cover art.

Normally I only post the five best covers of the week, but there was absolutely no way I could narrow it down this time. Therefore, here are the ten best comic book covers of the week.


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Doctor Strange Vol 5 #18
Art by Marcos Martin
Marvel


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Stranger Things Six #4
Art by Christian Ward
Dark Horse


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Marvel Comics #1000
Art by Jen Bartel
Marvel


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Tommy Gun Wizards #1
Art by Christian Ward
Dark Horse


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House of X #3
Art by Sara Pichelli
Marvel


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Doctor Strange Vol 5 #18
Art by Alan Davis
Marvel


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Martian Manhunter Vol 5 #8
Art by Joshua Middleton
DC


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Black Panther Vol 7 #15
Art by Daniel Acuna
Marvel


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House of X #3
Art by Mahmud Asrar
Marvel


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Ascender #5
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Image




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The Best Merch for Doctor Strange Fans

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I’ve mentioned so many times on this blog that Doctor Strange is my favorite Marvel character. I spent some time this morning playing around on Amazon for some cool Doctor Strange merch (I like to virtually window shop when I’m bored) and wanted to share some of the stuff I found with you guys.

Note: I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these items through the links provided, I make a small percentage at no additional cost to you. It helps to keep the website up and running. 



Eye of Agamotto Leather Journal

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As someone who loves journals and collects more than I could ever dream of using, this immediately caught my eye.


Tamashii Nations Doctor Strange Figure (Movie Version)

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Why most of this list will be items based on the comic books rather than the recent Marvel film, I had to include this. While a little on the pricy side, this is one of the best Doctor Strange action figures based on the film that I’ve ever seen. The quality is wonderful and I love the hand prop. This is one that I would definitely add to my collection.


Doctor Strange and Baron Mordo Coasters

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I love these minimalistic steel coasters of Doctor Strange and one of his oldest nemeses, Baron Mordo.


The Mysterious World of Doctor Strange by Billy Wrecks & Danny Graydon

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This is an art book that takes a look at Doctor Strange since his beginning. I’ve seen this in person and it’s gorgeous.


Eye of Agamotto Keychain

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Doctor Strange Action Figures – Defenders Version

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This is one of Doctor Strange’s less known costumes from his time as part of The Defenders. I love the quality of this figure.


Doctor Strange Omnibus

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If you want to just buy one book to get to know this awesome character, may as well make it this one.


Sanctum Sanctorum Lego Set

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Mezco Doctor Strange Figure

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Doctor Strange Little Golden Book

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It’s never too early to get your children hooked on Doctor Strange.


Diamond Select Doctor Strange Figure

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Doctor Strange Funko Pop Bobblehead

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I actually already own this, and I love it so much. I have it on my desk at work and it’s fun to play with while I’m being screamed at by customers over the phone.


Doctor Strange Mr. Potato Head

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I’m not sure why this exists, but it does.


Doctor Strange Wig

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I always encourage cosplay, and this is one of the better quality wigs I’ve seen for his character.


Eye of Agamotto Makeup Brush Set

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Doctor Strange Classic Hoodie

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What are your favorite items on this list? Let me know in the comments!




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Best Comic Book Covers for the Week of August 14th, 2019

One of my favorite things about comic book release day is seeing all of the wonderful cover art.

Here are the five best covers of the week.


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Silver Surfer Black #3
Art by Tradd Moore


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Captain Marvel Vol 9 #9
Art by Mark Brooks


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Doctor Strange Vol 5 #17
Art by Emanuela Lupacchino


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Wonder Woman Vol 5 #76
Art by Jenny Frison


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Powers of X #2
Art by Patrick Zircher




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Best Comic Book Covers for the Week of July 31, 2019

One of my favorite things about comic book release day is seeing all of the wonderful cover art.

Here are the five best covers of the week.


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Powers of X #1
Marvel
Art by Mike Deodato Jr


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Powers of X #1
Marvel
Art by Joshua Cassara


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Beauty #28
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Art by Thomas Nachlik and Nick Filardi


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Captain America Vol 9 #12
Marvel
Art by Alex Ross


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Ice Cream Man #13
Image
Art by Wes Craig




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The Despicable Deadpool, Vol 1: Deadpool Kills Cable – A Review

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The Despicable Deadpool, Vol. 1: Deadpool Kills Cable
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Scott Koblish, David López, Matteo Lolli, and Mike Hawthorne
Published by Marvel
Released March 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

This collection of Despicable Deadpool issues 287-291 has been sitting on my graphic novel/comic bookshelf for at least a year. I finally decided to pick it up in order to complete the “read a book in one place” challenge for the 2019 Reading Rush.

While I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie (I still haven’t made time to watch the second one), I’ve had a very love/hate relationship with Deadpool in comics. Part of that has been because of the movie. Ever since the film was released, Marvel has been writing Deadpool to be sillier and meme-y, and it’s gotten old very quickly. I tend to avoid modern Deadpool comics because I haven’t found one that I’ve liked very much.

This collection, Deadpool Kills Cable, is just what it sounds like. Deadpool is hired by Stryfe to kill Cable. It’s hard to talk about the plot without giving away spoilers, so we’ll just get right into the review.

The one part of this collection that I enjoyed was the art style. There are several artists that worked on this series (see above), and they’re all great. Here are a couple of examples:

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Although the art was great, I can’t say the same about the story. In a lot of places it was just a confusing mess, and even as someone who loves comic books and reads them frequently, there were definitely spots in this collection where I was just staring at the page trying to figure out what in the hell was going on.

This would not be a good collection for someone new to Marvel comics or Deadpool. You do need to be familiar with Cable and Deadpool’s backstory and history in order to enjoy this comic book series.

If you’re looking for Deadpool comics to read, I’d suggest skipping this collection and going straight to the older Deadpool comics.


Have you read this volume of Despicable Deadpool? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!




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Best Comic Book Covers for the Week of July 24, 2019

One of my favorite things about comic book release day is seeing all of the wonderful cover art.

Here are the five best covers of the week.



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Invisible Kingdom #5
Dark Horse Comics
Art by Christian Ward


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House of X #1
Marvel
Art by Joe Madureira


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Wicked + The Divine #44
Image
Art by Emma Rios & Miquel Muerto


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Valkyrie Jane Foster #1
Marvel
Art by Meghan Hetrick


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Star Trek Q Conflict #6
IDW
Art by George Caltsoudas




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

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If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Best Comic Book Covers of the Week

One of my favorite things about comic book release day is seeing all of the wonderful cover art.

Here are the five best covers of the week.



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Little Bird #5
Art by Ian Bertram


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Pearl #11
Art by Taki Soma


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Domino Hotshots #5
Art by David Baldeon


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Cyberforce Vol 5 #11
Art by Raff Ienco


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Collapser #1
Art by Nick Derington




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Best Comic Book Covers of the Week

One of my favorite things about comic book release day is seeing all of the wonderful cover art.

Here are the five best covers of the week.



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Wolverine vs Blade Special #1
Art by Dave Wilkens


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War of the Realms Omega #1
Art by Phil Noto


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Wonder Woman Vol 5 #74
Art by Jenny Frison


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Wolverine vs Blade Special #1
Art by Matteo Scalera


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Catwoman Vol 5 #13
Art by Joëlle Jones




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!