Comic Review: The Adventures of Aero-Girl

Comic Review: The Adventures of Aero-Girl

In just one issue I’ve fallen in love with a 15 year old girl who does gymnastics and wants to be a super hero, just like her dad. Jackie MacKenzie, aka Aero-Girl is a pretty average girl, except for the fact that her dad, Battle Jack has the Battle Spirit, and is the protector of their home town Foxbay. Training as his sidekick has become her main focus, and while her mom worries about her safety, her dad worries more that she thinks she’s indestructible when no one ever is, even super heroes. That is never more clear to Jackie when her father is killed in a battle. The Battle Spirit, which was supposed to have been passed on from her father to Jackie is lost to her when a gorilla named Jak-Jak is in the wrong place at the right time, but it may not be such a bad thing. Jak-Jak may be just the thing to pull Jackie out of the darkness that she falls into after her father’s death.

The Adventures of Aero-Girl is a totally fun little romp of a comic suitable for all ages. I can’t wait to see what writer DeWayne Feenstra comes up with for the rest of this series, and I know I’m going to fall even more in love with Jackie and Jak-Jak as they start to work together. Artist Axur Eneas and colorist Juan Pablo Riebeling team up to do a wonderfully colorful and lively comic, and DeWayne Feenstra really makes this story accessible to everyone. A cool little project that I think will do big things, The Adventures of Aero-Girl has definitely gone on my ‘to watch’ list.

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Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire

Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire

I received this book free from NetGalley and IDW Publishing as an advanced reader copy.

I have to admit that as a kid, I wasn’t very girly. I was much more into G.I. Joe (I had a Snake Eyes figure before I had my first baby doll) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than I was Barbie and Polly Pocket. I was in love with, nay, obsessed with TMNT when I was younger, but as sometimes happens, I moved on to other things as I got older. Getting the chance at a first look read of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire however, brought all those great TMNT memories flooding back.

Here we find Krang’s prisoner Fugitoid, all the information he has stored about the Technodrome stolen from him as Krang tries to find a way to make Earth his for the sake of his dying race. Fugitoid of course is trying to destroy himself and the Technodrome, but Baxter Stockman throws a wrench in his plans, wanting the technology himself for his own personal gains. Through this series we find out the origin of the Utrom race and Krang’s history, and we even see a little emotion from Krang (if you can call it that), or at least find a reason for his bitterness and rage. By the end of the third issue, Fugitoid seems to be working with Krang to find a way to fulfill his own plans, and the Turtles it seems may have to work with some adversaries to overthrow Krang once and for all.

There is an urgency about this series that I absolutely love, and a complexity that doesn’t deter you from the story. I love the fact that we finally find out Krang’s history, and even see a side of him that is never displayed. I think we gain a lot of understanding about his motives and about his attitude, and in some twisted way, I think at least some people will sympathize with his wanting to save the last of his race from complete extinction. The beginning of this series really focuses on Krang and the Utrom empire’s history, so don’t expect to see a lot of the Turtles, but the ending of the third issue leads me to believe that the Turtle action is definitely about to start. And there’s this awesome cliffhanger, that leaves you wondering who’s going to have to team up with who to get the job done! Needless to say, Paul Allor is writing a great story here, and I cannot wait to see what else he has in store, and the art by Andy Kuhn is gritty and totally fitting to the story. I would absolutely recommend Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire to lovers of TMNT; whether you’ve watched the cartoons, or read the comics this is definitely something you can get into!

Book Review: The Friendship Pact by Tara Taylor Quinn

Book Review: The Friendship Pact by Tara Taylor Quinn

I received this book free from NetGalley and Harlequin as an advanced reader copy.

The Friendship Pact by Tara Taylor Quinn was a great read for the very beginning of summer. I was drawn to this book as soon as I read the description and saw it was about two very different friends who had been together most of their lives. I don’t find many books about friendships, especially between women around my age, so this was definitely a refreshing find, and truthfully I’m glad that I came across it.

Koralynn and Bailey met in elementary school. Even then they could see the differences between them, feel it like a palpable wall separating them, but still their friendship formed into a tight bond. Through high school and college they become as close as sisters, and Kora’s parents even accept Bailey as their unofficial daughter. Bailey suffers through the divorce of her parents and the problems her own mother faces with alcoholism, becoming stronger, though more emotionally withdrawn and guarded while Kora basks in the light of her parents’ love. But through everything that happens to them together and separately they always seem to understand one another, and to share a special bond that no one and nothing can break. As Bailey has trouble with romantic relationships, Kora is lucky in love with her high school sweetheart Danny. But the tables seem to turn dramatically when in their mid twenties, Bailey decides that what she really wants in life is a baby, and to raise that child as a single mother. Kora is vehemently against it, and makes that known to all involved, which while creating tension between the friends, hardly breaks them apart. In fact, Bailey waits months to do anything about it, hoping her friend will change her mind because she cannot do it without Kora’s support, but still nothing changes. When Danny comes to Bailey behind Kora’s back and offers to be the donor for her artificial insemination, they become closer like Kora always wanted. Bailey eventually takes the offer, but it creates a secret between her and Danny that results in disastrous consequences. Soon after the birth of Bailey’s son a string of unfortunate incidents threaten to tear the best friends apart for good, and change everyone’s lives and relationships forever. But life works in mysterious ways, and friends as close as family find their own ways to work through even the roughest patches.

This book reminded me instantly of Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, but without the lingering animosity towards one of the girls. I never at any point felt like I hated either girl, even though they sometimes clashed and refused to see the other’s point of view. Kora was so caring and optimistic and Bailey so grounded and determined that there was never a dull moment between them. It reminded me so much of my best friend and I, especially the way Kora’s family made Bailey like their second daughter since her family situation was always less than ideal. This book really drove home for me why I love my best friend and that through it all, no matter what life throws your way it’s always good to have someone you know you can trust wholeheartedly. I don’t know what I would do without my ‘sister’ Katie, and I think you’ll see as Bailey and Kora do, that friendship sometimes really is everything. The Friendship Pact is a book I’d recommend to any women looking for a great beach read this summer.

Comic Review: Romeo & Juliet: The War

Comic Review: Romeo & Juliet: The War

In 2011 I had the great honor of meeting a man most of us comic readers revere – Stan Lee. While I’ve always loved X-Men, I came across Romeo & Juliet: The War, as they’d just published it, and got my hands on the special collector’s edition, and got it signed by the man himself. It was a pretty surreal experience meeting such a legendary creator, and something I will definitely never forget.

Romeo & Juliet: The War follows pretty closely the story we all know of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. This story takes place in a war torn Verona, where two different genetically altered ‘families’ cannot come to peace over their differences. Like the original story, the two young people meet at a masquerade ball and fall in love pretty much instantly. They’re kept apart by intermittent fighting between their respective factions, leaving members of both families dead, and decide to marry to hopefully restore some semblance of peace to Verona. After Romeo kills Tybalt he must flee the city and Juliet takes measures to make sure that her family will never try to find her once Romeo comes back to get her, by appearing to die. A message about the plan never gets to Romeo and he ultimately storms Juliet’s funeral with a group of Montagues and gets himself shot by Paris. Juliet wakes up to find Romeo dead beside her and kills herself after a speech overheard by both heads of the separate families. At the end all does not seem lost as the Montagues and Capulets put their differences aside after the deaths of the two lovers.

I have to say that without changing a classic tale, Stan Lee and Terry Dougas did a wonderful job of reimagining it for a future generation. The idea that the two families were differently genetically engineered humans was awesome, and it made the fight sequences that much better. Max Work did a great job of writing this story, truly bringing to life this recreated classic. The artwork by Skan Srisuwan was phenomenal, and the collector’s edition offers a few huge cityscapes in particular that are frame-worthy. The battle scenes are fantastic and overall there isn’t anything bad I can say about the story or the art. This is a great graphic novel for people who enjoy reimagined classics, and those who prefer one shot comics, along with all of us who enjoy Stan Lee’s work in general.