Hawkeye: Little Hits and L. A. Woman – Matt Fraction

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Hawkeye is some Robin Hood wannabe dude who hangs out with The Avengers. In his private life, it turns out that he owns an apartment complex which he’s constantly defending against a tracksuit-clad sunglass-wearing gang of middle-aged men. They say bro a lot.

I enjoyed it. I’d enjoy it more if I’d managed to catch the first one in the series, but maybe that’s what I deserve for sourcing my comics exclusively from public libraries.

Smaller-scale conflicts work great for a fairly un-superhero like Hawkeye. I’m thinking that if the MCU want to make another film on the cheap, they ought to consider adapting this storyline to film.

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Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee

You’ve probably heard of this book, it’s more or less sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird.

And it’s pretty disturbing. Turns out that Atticus Finch is a massive racist, and a surpriisngly horrible person. This novel could well have opened up a rich new vein of horror, being disillusioned about your childhood idols. Seeing Atticus Finch turn out to be a jerk would be like learning that Santa Claus committed eats children’s dogs.

Happy – Grant Morrison

 

An alcoholic ex-detective is recruited by an imaginary cartoon horse to rescue a little girl from a pedophile ring. Sure, the art was great, but Happy didn’t work for me. I’m guessing it’s because the little blue horse reminded me of Babe The Blue Ox from Fables. Still, it’d make a great film. The premise has Bruce Willis written all over it.

Nemo: Berlin – Alan Moore

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Another League of Extraordinary Gentlemen story, meaning that everything within it is a reference to some famous work of literature. This book demonstrates how that approach can go wrong, by telling a story set in the World War Two Berlin where every character, prop and setting is pulled from some German story I haven’t read. I caught the references to Metropolis and Doctor Mabuse but everything else confused me. I get the feeling that wtih these Nemo books that I’d have to read them all in one sitting to really enjoy them. Still, I loved Moore’s prose epilogue, written in the voice of a slightly drunk gossip columnist.

The Twelve by J. Michael Straczynski

Twelve WW2 superheroes are unleashed from a cyrogenic slumber into the modern Marvel universe. Including a robot, a vigilante journalist and a glamorous woman with a Faustian past, these veterans are given a mansion by an American government anxious to groom some more wholesome superheroes for the post-Civil War world. What follows is probably the most interesting superhero murder mystery I’ve read since Watchmen (although the one other example I can think of, Identity Crisis, wasn’t much competition.) I enjoyed this book far more than I expected, I like the characters, and I hope to see more of them in the future.

The Plot – Will Eisner

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A documentary graphic novel about the horrible anti-semitic pamphlet The Elders of Zion. It’s a profoundly depressing read, but the subject matter is important and the medium accessible enough for this book to be a necessary addition to every school or public library. I’m serious about this, if more preadolescents read this sort of thing the world would be a more sensible place.

Return to Slumberland – Eric Shanower

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A modern sequel Winsor McKay’s classic comic Little Nemo, Eric Shanowar and Gabriel Rodriguez ‘s Return to Slumberland tells the story of a young boy who is summoned to become the playmate of Slumberland’s princess. This humorous adventure is accessible for readers of all ages while the inventive layouts, particularly one recalling an iconic M.C Esher print, will impress even the most jaded comic readers. If you’re a school librarian looking for a graphic novel that’ll blow your students’ minds, check this one out.