Category Archives: Comics

SciFi Book Review: Black Widow: Forever Red

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams.

Natasha (Black Widow) saved Ava from the same man who tortured Natasha as a child and turned her into a lethal assassin. But years later, when Ava is in danger again, she wants nothing to do with the young woman who all but abandoned her in America. Ava is a strong-willed teen who has strange dreams. And when she meets the boy she’s been dreaming about, nothing will ever be the same.

Forever Red is a standalone book marketed for young adults that older Marvel fans will enjoy as well. Black Widow is such a great character, that it’s past time that she get her own story past just comics. Though this story equally, if not more, focuses on Ava as well. This is Ava’s origin story as well. This link will take you to a bit of a spoiler about her character. I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting story with plenty of mystery, intrigue, drama, action, and a bit of romance. And I hope this only the first of many standalone Marvel books that Disney Publishing releases. Keep them coming.

DVD Review: iZombie Season 1

iZombie: Season 1

From the executive producers of Veronica Mars, iZOMBIE stars Rose McIver (Masters of Sex, Once Upon a Time) as Olivia “Liv” Moore, a medical resident on the fast track to a perfect life … until she’s turned into a zombie. Now stuck between half-alive and undead, Liv transfers to the city morgue to reluctantly access the only thing that allows her to maintain her humanity – human brains. But there are side effects to Liv’s new diet. With each brain she consumes, she experiences flashes of the corpse’s memories – including, at times, clues as to how they were killed. Her boss, a brilliant but eccentric conspiracy theorist, encourages her to embrace this gift and to work with an eager, unproven homicide detective to help solve these murders … and quiet the voices in her head. iZOMBIE is based upon characters published by DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint. Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley and David Anders also star.

iZombie was easily my favorite new show last year. From the creator of Veronica Mars, this show has just as much humor, mystery, and fantastic character development – plus zombies. The show is loosely based on the graphic novels of the same name (which I recently and quickly devoured). Liv is a reluctant brain-eating zombie who tries to help solve murders, while keeping her nature a secret from everyone save her too-smart boss. Meanwhile, another zombie starts make a name for himself in the underworld, creating other undead and establishing himself as boss.

Each episode Liv ingests the brains of someone recently deceased and takes over their personality and quirks, making for some very funny situations. There’s also plenty of mystery, suspense, heartache, and even romance. I’m not even a fan of the zombie subgenre, but love this show. I highly recommend it to anyone. And this the show I looked forward to most coming out on DVD. I was bummed it wasn’t released on Blu-ray. Hopefully, it will make it eventually.

Received in September

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received in September for review and/or giveaways:

Swamp Monsters Season 1
iZombie Season 1
The Flash Season 1 Blu Ray
Arrow Season 3 Blu Ray

Subscription Boxes:
Collectible GEEK
Power Up Box
Hero Crate

Amazon Publishing / 47North:
Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind by Anne Charnock

Del Rey:
Star Wars: The Rise of the Empire by James Luceno and John Jackson Miller
Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed

Disney Hyperion / Lucasfilm Press:
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Smuggler’s Run by Greg Rucka
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Moving Target by Cecil Castellucci
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Black Widow Forever Red by Margaret Stohl
Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code by Heidi Schulz
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
Spinning Starlight by R. C. Lewis
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Gallery Books:
Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season by Mike McMahan

Harper Teen / Katherine Tegen:
Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin
Hollowgirl by Sean Williams
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Harper Voyager:
Shadow of Empire: Far Stars by Jay Allan

The Battle for Oz by Jeyna Grace

Macmillan Teen / Fiewel and Friends / Swoon / Roaring Brook:
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker
High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker
Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
The Inn Between by Marina Cohen

Penguin / Putnam:
Saturn Run by John Sandford

Penguin Teen / Nancy Paulsen Books / Philomel / Razorbill:
The Poe Estate by Polly Shulman
Ranger’s Apprentice Early Years: The Tournament at Gorlan by John A. Flanagan
Soundless by Richelle Mead

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Voyager: Atonement by Kirsten Beyer
Star Trek: Titan: Sight Unseen by James Swallow

Nebula Awards Showcase 2015 by Greg Bear

Random House / Bantam:
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin

Inherit the Stars by Tony Peak
The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

Flashes by Tim O’Rourke

Simon Teen / Simon Pulse:
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound by F. Wesley Schneider
Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig
Dragon Coast by Greg Van Eekhout
Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer
Hell’s Foundations Quiver by David Weber
Against a Brightening Sky by Jaime Lee Moyer

Virgin Books:
Thunderbirds: The Vault by Marcus Hearn

Box Review: Comic Bento – September 2015


Comic Bento is a subscription Graphic Novel Box – A surprise selection of fantastic Graphic Novels with at least $60 worth of comics in every box and mailed right to your door!

Pricing starts at $20/month plus shipping.

Comic Bento

The box comes with a nice card that gives details on each of the selections.
This month’s theme was FIGHT THE FIGHT and included the following titles:

Comic Bento

Superman Batman: Vengeance (Retail $12.99) – I already had the first and second volume of this series, so this was a win for me! I loved this series when it started. I just got distracted and forgot about it after a while. I’m happy to get back into it though.

Comic Bento

Daredevil Season One (Retail $24.99) – I just started collecting these Season One editions, so I was happy to see this. It’s also a hardback, which adds more value to the box. I don’t think I have any standalone Daredevil books.

Comic Bento

X-O Manowar Enter: Ninjak (Retail $14.99) – Here’s a series that’s new-to-me. It has good reviews on Amazon, so I’m excited to try it.

Comic Bento

Executive Assistant Iris Volume 1 (Retail $18.99) – This is another new one for me, not being mainstream DC or Marvel. But a strong, female lead – I’m willing to give it a go.

Comic Bento

Highlander Volume 1: The Coldest War (Retail $19.99) – This was a bonus item that I would otherwise love, but I already own volumes 1 and 2. But hey, it was a bonus item.

Summary: This is probably my favorite subscription box. I could only love it more if it was weekly instead of monthly. I love that it introduces me to new series and offers older books. I already buy newer graphic novels, so there’d be more likely of an overlap that way. And the value in the box always greatly exceeds the price. So, I highly recommend this sub to comic lovers and new comic readers.

Blu-Ray Review: The Flash Season1

The Flash: Season 1 Blu-ray

CSI investigator Barry Allen is endearingly book-smart, somewhat awkward late and – as a result of a scientific experiment gone awry – the fastest man alive! He’s The Flash, zigzagging through the action-packed new series from the creative team behind Arrow and based on the supersonic DC Comics character. With his life shadowed by his mother’s murder and his father wrongly convicted of the crime, Barry finds that his newfound power of super speed grants him the ability to move through Central City like an unseen guardian angel. Barry quickly discovers he’s not the only “metahuman” created by the explosive disaster, however – and not everyone is using their new power for good. Now, to protect the innocent, Barry and the close friends who know his secret race to combat evildoers in one astonishing adventure after another that come at you like lightning in this fantastic set.

Special Features Include:
· The Fastest Man Alive!
· Creating the Blur
· Audio Commentary
· “Behind The Story The Trickster Returns”
· The Chemistry of Emily and Grant Screen Test
· DC Comics Night at Comic-Con 2014 Presenting Gotham, The Flash, Constantine and Arrow
· The Flash Factor!
· Gag Reel
· Deleted Scenes

This first season of The Flash has some great characters and continuing mysteries. Tom Cavanagh steals the show as the villainous character who hides as a wheelchair-bound benefactor to Barry. As a fan of the original show, I love that John Wesley Shipp has an occasional part as Barry’s incarcerated father. Grant Gustin is an awkward, young Flash that reminds me of a teenage Peter Parker. I’d love to see Barry’s character develop and become more confident and self-assured. My only complaint is that the villains-of-the-week are often hokey and one dimensional. I’m hoping they either make the villains a little darker or believable going forward.

One of the best episodes was the crossovers with Arrow. I’ve been really impressed with The CW and it’s quality shows these past few years. The Syfy channel had better step up.

Box Review: My Geeky Goodies – Mystery Mega Mashup 4.0


My Geeky Goodies is a monthly surprise package delivered straight to your door filled with geeky and nerdy apparel, toys, and collectables! Every pack of goodies will come with either a custom t-shirt (in your size) or a POP Vinyl Figure, and 4-6 other super cool items for you to get excited about!”

My Geeky Goodies is currently on a monthly sub hiatus. However, they are still doing Monthly Mashups with hints give out each day they are selling. You have to buy fast, though as these do sell out. These are one-time boxes, not a subscription.


Sackboy Funko POP! (Retail $8.95 on Amazon) – I love and collect Funko toys, but I’m not a gamer – so I’ve never heard of Sockboy or Little Big Planet. So, this was a disappointment for me.


Robin Funko Mopeez Plush (Retail $9.88) – This is my first Mopeez, and it’s Robin – so yay!

Infinity Gauntlet Keychain (Retail $7.36 – originally $9.99) – Move over Thanos, I have the power now. This (pewter) keychain is HEAVY, so I wont be using it on my regular batch of keys. But if there’s a key I don’t use daily, that I don’t want to lose – this is the keychain to use! Or it’ll probably just go on my shelf of fun Marvel props.


Here comes the filler:
Lucky Charms Lip Balm (Retail $4.62) – This will go in a child’s Christmas stocking.
The Ugglys Pet Shop Toy Figure 2-Pack (Retail $4.15) – This will probably go in a White Elephant gift exchange.
Hook Trading Cards (Retail$2.99) – These are so dated, I don’t know of anyone who’d want these.


Transformers KRE-O Prowl Police Car Set (Retail $8.99) – KRE-O sets are usually cheaper than LEGO, but just as fun to assemble. If I don’t keep this, it’ll be loved by my Transformers-loving nephew.

Summary: While a great value, there wasn’t enough here for me to try it again until the subscriptions come back – if there’s an interesting theme.

What do you thinks of My Geeky Goodies?

Box Review: Hero Crate – August 2015

Hero Crate

“Each month, HeroCrate ships a themed mystery box centered on a new hero and stuffs it with a guaranteed epic t-shirt + 4-6 additional items!”

The Hero Crate monthly subscription is $29.99/month. Cheaper, if you buy more than one month at a time.

I received this August Anniversary box from Hero Crate for review.

Hero Crate

The theme for August was Batman!
Included, was a HeroCrate comic that went along with the theme (in the upper right hand corner of the pic above.

Hero Crate

Batman Tshirt (Retail $10?) – These are juniors sizes for women, and run very small. So order a size or 2 larger.

Hero Crate

Funko Dorbz Batman (Retail $7.91) – These Dorbz are super-cute, and I don’t have Batman yet. So, yay!

Funko POP! Batman Keychain (Retail $6.17) – Another Funko item – always a fun item to get.

Batman Mirrored Sunglasses (Retail $12.99) – My nephew will love these. Nice stocking stuffer for Christmas!

Summary: The value seems just above the monthly price. And this box only came with 3 items instead of “4-6” as described. But they’re probably higher value than the smaller items that are often included. I love that this box focuses just on heroes. I will probably check out future boxes.

What do you think of Hero Crate?