//Bookworm Beat / Get Yer Comics!

This past week has been kind of a fun one for me, book-wise. I didn't actually read that much for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was sheer laziness. So when it came time to write this post, I knew I needed to pick something I could finish quickly but that would still interest me. Then I realized that I've been neglecting my comic books and graphic novels for way too long--the stack of unread single issues alone is daunting! Then an idea hit me: BRING THEM ON THE TRAIN! A volume like the ones I read this week are perfect because I easily finish the whole volume during one trip on the train during my work commute--so I bring at least two volumes to read--and they are slim and compact, which makes bringing them in my work bag easier!

The three volumes I chose for this week are a mix of styles (both in writing and art) and publishers (DC and Marvel). They've all been sitting on my shelf for quite some time, which is the worst habit I have as a reader. I'll buy books and then won't even read them for years on end. Maybe I'm a book hoarder??

Moving on...

//contains issues #1 through #5 of Ms. Marvel//

Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal was the first one I chose to read because it's the one I heard the most rave reviews of. Critics were clamoring over how fantastic the character and writing is and you know, they were right to hype it up so much. I really loved it! I'm not terribly familiar with the character, Ms. Marvel, but I really loved this in so many ways.

The writing IS great and fun and fresh. The art is wonderful--I especially love all the little touches by the artists that are subtle and in the background, like the names on product labels, for example. It's colorful and light in ways, which fits because the protagonist is a 16-year-old Muslim girl living in Jersey City named Kamala Khan. Kamala's personality is that of being incredulous with the whole experience and yet she rolls with the punches. She has a sense of humor, but also a strong sense of dignity when it comes to her faith and culture and loyalty. But I think the best thing about her to me is the warmth and heart of this character. I'm excited to see where her journey continues from volume 1!

//contains the first five issues of Batwoman from The New 52//

In a 180-degree spin, I picked up Batwoman, Volume 1: Hydrology. It's not only an opposite of Ms. Marvel in terms of publisher (Batwoman is DC, for those who aren't aware), but the writing and art and character are vastly different. Batwoman is darker in the art (and the story, to be honest)--almost starker--and the color palette was more limited to me. But boy is the art in here stunning! Every full-page color art I saw I thought it would look amazing framed up on my wall!

Now, the storyline here is much more sinister than Ms. Marvel (at least as far as volume one goes) and the character is tough, smart, and determined. Actually, ALL of the featured female characters in here are badasses and I can't tell you how excited that makes me! This volume highlights aspects of Batwoman's past that makes me curious to find out more, and the storyline and villain were unique to me. I think I'll keep up with this series.

//contains the first seven issues of Suicide Squad from The New 52//

The third volume I chose was Suicide Squad, Volume 1: Kicked in the Teeth, which is also from The New 52. Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen the trailer for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie so you likely understand the gist--the Suicide Squad is a task force comprised of supervillains who work for Amanda Waller and a shady government organization in exchange for not being locked up for the rest of eternity.

The plot here involves cybernetic zombies--need I say more? The writing is funny (as in I actually laughed out loud at parts) and the comic features my favorite comic book character: Harley Quinn. I'm not crazy about how sexualized she is, what with the costume and the sex-bunny motivations at every turn (seriously, though...LOOK at that costume! HOW have her boobs not totally popped out while she's fighting?!?!). That's a huge negative for me. I will say though that when she's got jokes, they land for me. There are also a few turns here and there that end up keeping you on your toes. Plus, King Shark.

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