Thursday, January 23, 2014

Read Somewhat Lately

As you loyal readers know I've had a down and out year of gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth (love) in any case I'm putting forth a renewed effort to be around and keep up some useful if not entertaining content.

The Hammer and the Blade, by Paul S. Kemp

I thought this was great and am very pleased to note that Mr. Kemp has recently announced here that he will be doing at least 2 more collections of Egil and Nix.

This harkens back to the days of Sword and Sorcery novels being quick action romps before the days of the long convoluted multi-character epic fantasy phone books.

In any case, Egil and Nix are out for that big score, and what happens next has repercussions throughout the novel with sinister sorceries nipping at their heels for revenge.

I liked the magic in this (powerful but at a terrible cost) and I enjoy Kemp's action prose. I will get the next in the series reasonably soon.

Gardens of the Moon, by Steven Erickson

 And just as I finish singing the praises of the standalone small roster of character novels I begin on one of the BIG ONES! Steven Erikson (and Ian C. Esselmont's) Malazan Books of the Fallen.
This has a ridiculously huge cast of characters with enormous far reaching points of view and plotlines spanning the globe. Like the Illiad and Odyssey we have some Gods or at least Demi-gods interfering with human plans and wars, we see the two sides of warring nations and even the intersecting allegiances within one army.

It seems that Erkison has a flair for many characters and I applaud him for it, they all have depth and feeling and even a small aside is important. It can fly in the face of the reader who always wants to be with their favorite and I can't recommend this for those readers who need the intimacy of a small cast but if you are in the mood for such I truly enjoyed this. Much more so than Jordan's Wheel of Time, and almost on par with Martin's Song of Fire and Ice.

I will start on the next in the cycle (or even a prequel of Esselmont's) soon.
Savage Wolverine: Kill Island, by Frank Cho

I've been a big fan of Wolverine since day one, and a fan of Frank Cho's art for ages as well, though this is the first time I've actually read one of his stories.

Let me start by saying Cho's art is fantastic as usual, always visceral and sensual he really mixes what is so appealing about the comic as medium. When it comes to storytelling I can't say he is as strong, I was lost a few times with one of the POV characters within the arc, but that could be my own fault for falling out with regular Marvel reading the last few years.

I did enjoy the idea of a savage new island within the Savage Land, a Cthulhu type alien held in stasis, and the revolving story of Wolverine and Shanna therein. It did open up for a continuing storyline and I'll have to look for that to see how things continue. So I suppose it did hold me enough to continue with Cho's writing as well.

 Avengers Prime, by Brian Michael Bendis, Alan Davis

Bendis got me back into the Avengers back when Marvel relaunched New Avengers around 10 years ago. Since then the team had some great story-lines and even a Civil War that really tore at the Iron Man/Captain America bond.
Avengers Prime is largely about them getting that bond back via becoming powerless in a shattered Asgard with Thor.

If there is one kind of storyline that appeals to me in comics it is when your super hero loses his superpower - for example best run of Wolverine ever???
{When Magneto pulled out his adamantium and he lost his healing factor and all his enemies came gunning for him. Wolverine #75 - #100+ by Larry Hama}

So I loved seeing Iron Man doing his best smart alecky self without the suit, Thor without his hammer, and Cap with a sword AND shield!
Nothing brings a team back together like something so desperate and perilous.
And its neat to see even old foes like Enchantress lending a helping hand against the forces of Hel. Great book.


Paul R. McNamee said...

Good to have you back!

Avengers Prime does sound intriguing!

(as does the powerless Wolverine arc, too....)

Keith West said...

Welcome back.

I hadn't heard that Kemp was doing more Egil and Nix. This is good news indeed.

David J. West said...

Oh yeah Paul, the easiest way to get that Wolverine arc is Essential Wolverine vol.4

Excellent Keith, I think I first heard about Egil and Nix from you!