The Only Thing I Read This Week

DMZ #41

A totally dope issue that showcases the awesomess of my favourite character, the smart and cool-headed radical-medic, Zee. This series has been a brilliant critique of war from all angles, and this issue really touches on what DMZ is all about. Wars are fought by governments and corporations, but the bloody, ugly battles are between people. Young, naive, and in many ways, innocent, people. INTENSE. Oh, and guest artist, Nikki Cook, makes the whole thing gorgeous.

Johnathan Munroe's John Buys Comics

Oracle: The Cure No. 2

Hmm. I'm not too sure about this series. I mean, it's basically Oracle vs Calculator, which was among the best subplots of Birds of Prey, but this Oracle isn't quite as interesting. Maybe it's the fact that this is a distinct series - some of the character that was built up over the course of n issues had to be discarded in order to keep people who didn't read those issues but are following Battle for the Cowl in the loop. So Oracle spends some time being stoic about her paralysis and gets mugged and kicks the muggers asses and gets mistaken for an agent of the real/male Oracle. It makes me wish that this were just a crossover sneaking into a series that I read, much as I normally dislike that.

Eh, it's an okay book. Honestly, the whole Battle for the Cowl thing has been okay so far: better than the average crossover if not as good as a well-written regular series. Cons: lots of cheesecakery (yes yes: some of you will consider this a pro, but if I want that I'll go looking for it) and the whole thing seems like it was written by someone who doesn't know as much about the Internet as prior Oracle scribes. Babs Gordon having to look up who Charles Babbage is? Not knowing what the DCU equivalent of Second Life is? Ha.

The Phantom: Generations No. 1

The Phantom appeals to me in theory: line of adventurers stretching back hundreds of years and doling out justice in a purple union suit, whoopee! So much to read, so little time, though: the only time that I've ever read the Phantom was as a part of a 1980s team called Defenders of the Earth, with Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician, I think. Their battle cry wasn't "Liscenced Properties Assemble!" but it should have been.

Anyway, this series looks intriguing - actually, a lot of Moonstone's upcoming stuff does (okay, not all of it. MILF Magnet?). The first issue takes the form of entries from the very first Phantom's journal with accompanying pictures. The art (let's see... Pat Quinn) is good stuff - it'll be interesting to see it in a panel-based format, if that's the way they go with later issues. The writing (Ben Raab) turned out to be good. I wasn't sure at first, as the early pages are slightly drowned in archaicisms. Also, there's a big Norseman with a halberd and no attempt was made to de-bright-purple the Phantom's suit, which I appreciate. I'll be picking up No. 2, if that means anything. (huh. Turns out that there is a whole Phantom series out already by Moonstone. How'd I miss that?)

American McGee's Grimm No. 1

I know next to nothing about American McGee. I don't, for example, know whether he is the one that sticks his name in front of the titles of his projects. Heck, I haven't even played any of his games. Well, we had a copy of American McGee's Alice when I was in university but nobody had a computer that would play it unless we turned the graphics down to Virtua Fighter levels, which detracted from the dark reimagining. Anyway, it's a shame that all I have to judge him by is this comic. Heck, he didn't even write it (unless he is also this "Dwight L. MacPherson", possibly for tax reasons). Bah. I know that it's a tie-in to a video game (to the extent that the Grimm character gets what look to be in-game hints throughout the comic) but that's no excuse. From what I gather, American McGee's Grimm is about taking the happy-go-lucky fairy tales of today back to their gross and violent roots. This is an interesting concept, I admit. BUT! It is neither interesting nor clever to then try to do the same thing to comic books by essentially ignoring anything that has happened artistically or naratively in the last forty years. Grimm drops into a meeting of Sixties-esque villains and makes them dark and spikey and then takes them off to kill super-heroes. That is not subversive, Grimm - that is what we call The Early Nineties. Bah.

Johnny Monster No. 3 (of 3)

Speaking of The Early Nineties, remember Image Comics back then? Home of spikey violence and questionable plotting? How happy am I that it eventually became this neato home for creator-owned comicing (and they still have a little spikey violence if you like that sort of thing, don't worry). Now you got stuff like Invincible and Killer of Demons and Johnny Monster, which is a fun tale about a guy who fights creatures that resemble Sixties Marvel monsters and who secretly was raised by them and works to keep them safe rather than killing them like his fellow monster hunters. You got monsters and fighting and tentacle beasts and a little moral about communication. I'd check out a second series.

The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, Chapter 1

There's an interesting trend in recent years toward writing tales where those who write about the fantastic end up in fantastic adventures themselves. I have a novel somewhere in which Arthur Conan Doyle battles secret cults and Lovecraftian horrors and a few years ago I read a decent little comic about Charles Fort... battling Lovecraftian horrors. Well, now it's Lovecraft's turn to battle his own horrors, which should please Doyle and Fort. And it's good! H.P. is written (by Mac Carter) super-well: he's properly awkward and verbose, he has trouble with women and his aunts are creepy. The art is fantastic - check out the crazy-good, hyper-kinetic scene in the jazz club! Tony Salmans draws the Twenties astonishingly well - he both conveys why flappers are so appealing and that they weren't all ephemeral waifs.

This is a damn good comic, folks. There's plenty for a Lovecraft nerd like me to get all geeky about but it stands up on its own as well - I think that "tentacle monsters vs socially awkward writer in the Twenties" is a pretty universal plot by now, right? There hasn't been too much creepy craziness yet but I'm certain that both the art and the writing are up to the task. And I'm pretty damn pleased that they didn't go the easy route of making Lovecraft a gun-totin' Teddy Roosevelt-esque he-man, as amusing as that might be. Save it for the Robert E Howard comic, guys! Highly recommended - and hey, it's another Image Comic!

Green Lantern Corps No. 35

More Green Lantern fun. I'm pretty fond of the Corps and now of the Corps-es (and in this series, there are plenty of corpses) - having a superteam where everyone has the same abilities and thus cannot be defined solely by their powers leaves a lot more room for neato personalities. Or for countless weird aliens to bump off in an indiscriminate manner, true, but I think that this series manages to fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. The whole buildup to Blackest Night is being handled pretty damn well, I reckon, even though Dan Didio and others have been flinging spoilers to the winds for more than a year (oh look, an ad for Blackest Night toys! And there's a character that hasn't appeared in the comic yet! I sense... a spoiled dramatic reveal!) so it's more like when you watch The Sixth Sense again - you spend a lot of time admiring the mechanics of the storytelling process rather than the story itself. Not that the story isn't great - there's a giant snake in this one! And a dramatic reveal!

R.E.B.E.L.S. No. 3

Another story dealing with craziness in DC Outer Space. Vril Dox (aka Brainiac 2) has been ousted from L.E.G.I.O.N. again and is hopping around the universe gathering a team in order to reclaim his robot space police force. He's got a brainfull of information sent into the past by Querl Dox (aka Brainiac 5) in order to ensure that his ancestor lives long enough to spawn a little Brainiac 3 and continue the bloodline, though I thought that that was already taken care of back in the L.E.G.I.O.N '9X days with his dictatorial kid Lyrl Dox. Eh, what do I know. As usual, there are plenty of links to Legion of Super-Heroes future-continuity, now with more justificacation than ever thanks to the aforementioned brainfull of information. And of course he's acting like a total bastard, being Vril Dox. A magnificent bastard!

Plus: Omega Men, gratuitous robot head smooshing and a dramatic reveal!

Mysterius the Unfathomable No. 4

Speaking of bastards, though Mysterius has a more endearing sort of bastardry than Dox does, this series continues to be great. This issue: a really cool new character with a neato history and a smart plan! And not necessarily 100% evil! There's lotsa delicious moral ambiguity in Mysterius - Jeff Parker ain't no Objectivist, that's for sure. Also: "tall and paunchy" and "short and curvy" are underused body types in the funny books. Aw, I won't go on and on about this one - there's a relevant interview just a few posts away, after all. The writing is great, the art is great... definitely a series to check out.

Mini-review: Action Comics No. 876 - good times, still a solid comic. Nightwing and Flamebird were a neat little part of the Silver Age Superman Family and I've been glad to see them return.

Good night.


John Buys Comics, the Saga Continues

Battle for the Cowl No. 2

Okay. So Batman is (dead? missing? a caveman?)and everyone even vaguely associated with the Batman franchise is running around Gotham and some of them are dressing up like Batman and some or all of the inmates have been sprung from Arkham Asylum (again) and Commissioner Gordon has to deal with an unsympathetic new DA who doesn't cotton to vigilantes (again) and there's a gang war brewing and the Batmen are fighting and one of them is really homicidal.

Way to reset the franchise!

This isn't actually a bad comic, but it ain't anything especially new. It kind of reads like a better-written-and-drawn Knightfall or Knightbat or whatever part of that whole interminable series of comics was the birt where Azrael was the Batman.

However (SPOILERS, the rest of this sentence contains SPOILERS), way to try to tell us that Jason Todd is the murderous, unrepentant Batman and then show him fighting side-by-side with Robin as Red Robin in DC Nation. THAT DOESN'T GIVE ANYTHING AWAY AT ALL. 

World of New Krypton No. 2

You know, I've really been enjoying Superman for the last year or so - I must admit I was slow to notice that Geoff Johns was doing some neato things and really didn't start reading the Supes until the Legion and Bizarro arcs of Action had hammered the point home. One of my favourite things about the stories that have been happening since then is the fact that I have been regularly saying  "Augh, what? No, that's a terrible idea!" when I find out the next plot twist and then I read the comic and it's great. I'm really hoping that things keep on in this mould regardless of eventual creative team.

World of New Krypton seems to be delivering. Enlarging the inhabitants of Kandor? Having them make an artificial planet on the other side of the sun? Having them all be assholes? These are terrible ideas that I love. Seriously, this is great. This vision of Krypton is entertainingly alien and flawed without being the dour, frilly Byrne version, which never quite struck a chord with me. Plus, Zod.

Plus, Thought Beasts.

Thought Beasts! 

Green Lantern No. 39

Speaking of terrible ideas that make for great comics... Seriously, if someone had told me about this whole multi-Corps thing two or three years ago, well, I might have gotten excited, but I'm hardly typical. Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps have been consistently great for quite some time now, though, and the process of meeting the various Corps has been a big part of that. Jerkass Sinestro Corps? Villainously fun! Crazy, blood-spewing Red Lanterns? Gross and fun! Blue Lanterns, one of whom is basically an elephant? Also fun!

The Orange Lanterns, my friennds, do not disappoint. I will be looking forward to the next installment of this little saga eagerly.


Secret Six No. 8

It's date night for the Secret Six!

I enjoy this comic so much that it's going to get cancelled soon, I just know it. I'm sorry everyone. I'm sorry Gail Simone - you did such a good job writing such immoral, homicidal characters and making me care for them that my curse is sure to kick in any month now.

I can't think of much to say that isn't spoiler-ific, so I'll just point out that everyone is extra-delightful in this issue.



B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess No. 4

Hmm. If you were a follower of Paul and John Review you might have caught on to the fact that I am a big fan of the Hellboy comics and all of their various spinoffs and so forth. It's true, all true. I love horror comics and mysteries and mythology and people punching things that maybe they shouldn't and monsters and good writing and weird characters. To various degrees, these comics deliver on all of those. I am highly, highly in favour of Guy Davis as an artist on B.P.R.D. - his style is so far removed from Mignola's that there is no question of him being a style-copier and so his art can be apreciated on its own merits. His art is great! Also, Dave Stewart is a fantastic colourist.

Okay, so now that that's out of the way I promise not to do it every time I buy a Mike Mignola comic. Maybe I'll weigh in at the start of every mini-series, I don't know.

As for The Black Goddess, it's been highly satisfying so far. Last issue was the one that really made me sit up and go "Hot damn!" but this one - as per the cover, left - has lotsa dragons and frogs and little tidbits of information about the evolving story. That's one of my very favourite things about these series, by the way, the fact that they are a part of a very long story in which things have the potential to and frequently do change radically in the course of an issue or two. I can't deny I love the types of comics that have essentially maintained a status quo for sixty years, barring the odd Bat-Hound or two, but the act of reading a proper, evolving story fills me with delight. 

Okay, that's it! Oh, I also bought Booster Gold No 19 this week but couldn't think of much to say, other than that it was a decent read but that the events of the issue could have been handled in about two pages, except maybe what Rip was doing. It felt like trade paperback padding.

So long, folks.


Steve Rogers, Starving Himself To Be Pretty

Several of this week’s Marvel offerings had a teaser image in them that showed a white star on a black page with the word JULY underneath. This is probably just an ad for THE MARVELS PROJECT, Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s upcoming mini about the early days of the Super-Soldier Project and the creation of the original Human Torch, but it’s obviously supposed to make everyone think that Steve Rogers is coming back. And who knows? Maybe he is. Probably sooner rather than later. However, I’m pretty sure that this is the same gag Marvel pulled when they released an Alex Ross Cap image awhile back with the word RETURN underneath…which turned out to be nothing more than a teaser for the AVENGERS/INVADERS mini. My point is, it’s not enough to simply kill a character off anymore—as a publisher, it is also apparently your job to begin teasing the character’s return almost immediately. It’s like that story in THE ONION compilation, OUR DUMB CENTURY, reporting on the death of Elvis; the headline reads “ELVIS DEAD”, with the words “Is Elvis Alive?” underneath. None of this may seem very relevant, but I am going to review both a new CAPTAIN AMERICA comic and the comic that reintroduces Barry Allen to the land of the living, so as introductions go, it seems fairly solid. Anyway…

CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS  #1 70th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: This is basically the opening sequence from INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, but with horrifyingly skinny, pre-Super-Soldier-Serum Steve Rogers instead of River Phoenix. In this flashback-within-a-flashback, Steve Rogers—who is always depicted as little more than a walking skeleton before Dr. Erskine juiced him up...

...has to keep a military secret safe from a trio of Fifth Columnists. Like in LAST CRUSADE, Steve is chased across a bunch of train cars, even using a garbage can lid as a makeshift shield at one point. It’s a cute enough story by James Robinson, one of those “he was a hero before he got the costume” dealies (albeit one that stretches credibility a fair ways—Steve’s pretty able-bodied for a 98-pound weakling who only minutes before was labeled 4-F at the recruiting station!), but the reason to check it out is the always-outstanding Marcos Martin (BATGIRL YEAR ONE, DR. STRANGE: THE OATH) on the art. This guy needs a regular gig, stat. There’s also a great Simon and Kirby Cap reprint where he and Bucky foil a villain named the Black Toad, who’s out to kill a bunch of baseball players.

Check it out! Those dudes are totally sliding into their own tombstones, and Death's like, "You're outta here!" This forces Cap and Bucky to join the game, which is undeniably awesome, although they never question why a guy who calls himself the Black Toad is dressed in a bat costume.

Yep, fangs and everything.

FLASH: REBIRTH #1: After Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver’s super-successful relaunch of the GREEN LANTERN franchise a few years back, it’s no surprise that DC wanted them to do the same with Silver Age FLASH protagonist Barry Allen. It makes sense on a number of levels, really—like Hal Jordan before him, Barry’s the Flash with the least amount of continuity baggage and the most easily explainable origin. Also, comic books regularly sold in the millions back in the heyday of Hal and Barry, so why wouldn’t you try to recapture that? This, however, is a very different animal than GL: REBIRTH, since Barry already came back to life in FINAL CRISIS, with some sort of hasty explanation that involved him being “reverse-engineered back to life in a blizzard of faster-than-light particles” or some such. The mission of this 5-part mini seems to be the re-establishment of Barry as the DC Universe’s most prominent speedster, which, it seems, may require some pruning of the family tree. Let’s face it, the DCU is lousy with speedsters young and old, and the creative team seems intent on scaling back the cast, hopefully giving Flash back some of his uniqueness. This is a potentially controversial move, but I think it’s necessary—the last two FLASH incarnations failed because they started out with too-cluttered mythologies (that’s my theory, anyway). So this book sees Barry Allen, still clinging steadfastly to his old-fashioned notions of guilt and innocence, eager to get back to fighting the good fight, while the re-appearance of super-villain Savitar seems to indicate that something is up with the Speed Force (the otherdimensional source of all the speedsters’ power). For a FLASH title, this is a pretty slow-moving first issue, cycling through tons of supporting cast before introducing its title character, and Van Sciver’s hyper-detailed art doesn’t really convey the sense of movement that a FLASH title desperately needs. I’m as happy to see Barry back as most fanboys, but this franchise may not, er, find its feet until the inevitable ongoing title (much like Johns’ GREEN LANTERN did, say).

SEAGUY: SLAVES OF MICKEY EYE #1: The original 2004 SEAGUY miniseries was one of those Grant Morrison comics like THE FILTH (or FINAL CRISIS, even) where, as a Morrison fan, I just shrug and go along for the ride, not really understanding what the hell’s going on half the time but enjoying it nonetheless. The three-issue mini, illustrated with whimsy and creepiness by Toronto artist Cameron Stewart, seemed to be Morrison’s satire on the absurdity of superhero comics--the protagonist lived in a science-fiction amusement park, repeatedly playing chess with a goofy, easily-cheated Death, all the while bemoaning the lack of excitement in a world where the ultimate evil, Anti-Dad, had been destroyed by the sacrifice of somebody called Teknostrich. SEAGUY was also some strange parody of corporate domination, featuring an omnipresent logo/mascot/TV show called Mickey Eye and a sentient foodstuff called Xoo that is offered to the book’s bored, complacent superhero characters at every turn. The book’s namesake hero went on a doomed quest to save Xoo from corporate/industrial slavery, trying to win the heart of heroine She-beard along the way. Oh yeah, and there was a mummy on the moon as well. Still with me? This long-rumoured but unlikely sequel kicks off with Seaguy realizing once again that his amusement park world might be a lot more sinister than it appears, while Seaguy’s lost sidekick Chubby Da Choona appears from beyond the grave to offer cryptic warnings that soon send Seaguy off another crazy quest, pursued by the forces of Mickey Eye. If this description has you rolling your eyes, than SEAGUY is probably not for you. However, if you like the idea of a funny, disturbing adventure book that reads like a collaboration between Gardner Fox and David Lynch, and are prepared to shrug and go along for the ride no matter how crazy it gets, than check it out.

MARVEL SPECTACULAR ASSISTANT-SIZED SPECIAL #1:  Back in ’84, Marvel’s editors relinquished control of their books to their assistants for the duration of “Assistant Editors Month”. This wasn’t really an event, more like a month of somewhat goofy stories (or in some cases, a goofy letterhead illustration and not much else), but it gave us some classics like the MARVEL TEAM-UP where Aunt May became herald to Galactus, the Avengers appearing on “Late Night with David Letterman”, and a great IRON MAN story featuring a bunch of neighbourhood kids with an Avengers club whose Iron Man is booted out of the team in disgrace, just like his drunk-at-the-time namesake. However, in today’s hectic, crossover-driven marketplace, there’s no way Marvel would give up a month of their books to the whims of their assistant editors, so instead we have this two-issue miniseries that sees the lowly assistants convening in the Marvel bathroom to have their own pitch session. The resulting anthology features a Middle-Eastern-set D-Man tale by Brian Patchett and Xurxo G. Penalta, an American Eagle vs. Cottonmouth story by Jason Aaron and Richard Isanove, and an always-welcome MINI MARVELS entry by Chris Giarrusso…apparently, the only place a Clint Barton Hawkeye fan can get a fix these days. The resulting mix of tone and style in these stories is pretty weird—the D-Man story has a very indie comics feel, the American Eagle number is fairly gritty (and Isanove’s art makes the whole affair look like a DARK TOWER outtake—but the cute framing sequence by Chris Eliopoulous and Jacob Chabot and the Giarrusso story make it all better. The whole affair is topped off by a dope David Williams (HULK/POWER PACK) cover, who needs to do some more interiors, pronto.

KILLER OF DEMONS #2: This three-parter from Christopher Yost (X-FORCE) and Scott Wegener is a bit like the 2001 film FRAILTY, only less homespun and more crazy. An office drone named Dave starts seeing that most of the people around him are demons, and embarks on a mission from God to wipe them out. But is Dave actually being shown visions of Hell from his angel guide, Uriel, or is he just a plain old homicidal loony?

KILLER OF DEMONS is heavy on zany humour—Dave works for a tobacco company that is always looking for new ways to market their product to an increasingly younger audience, his FBI agent brother gleefully uses online gaming to trap pedophiles, Satan enlists a stripper-assassin to kill Dave—but this week’s issue two brings with it some surprising twists as well, like the lengths Dave’s cop girlfriend goes to in order to protect her guy when she learns about his hobby. Wegener’s angular, cartoony art is a lot tighter and more assured with the second issue as well, and Yost’s script has a nice balance of humour and action that has me looking forward to the wrap-up.

This Week's Haul: Flash Back!

The Flash: Rebirth #1

I have made it pretty clear that I will buy anything that Geoff Johns writes, so I was pretty excited about this. Plus, I really enjoyed Green Lantern: Rebirth, so I was hoping that this would promise to be as good. The first issue of the story of Barry Allen's return starts with some blood spashing all over the page, just in case you forgot that Geoff Johns is writing it. It also features lots of "Welcome Back" parties and parades being set up in various locations on the same day (because, y'know, The Flash can make it to all of them no problem. Cute!). It also features a lot of Barry chatting with his old pal Hal Jordan, which I loved.

It's a very exciting first issue and I can't wait for the next one!

JSA #25

And since we're talking about Geoff Johns anyway, this is the penultimate issue of his very enjoyable run on JSA. It's also the finale of a pretty exciting Marvel family story featuring Crazy Black Adam, Crazier Isis, Slutty Mary Marvel, Powerless Billy Batson, and Pissed Off Shazam.

Speaking of the JSA, I highly recommend Johnathan's recent and important posts about whether or not the member of the Golden Age Justice Society would make the Legion of Super Heroes. I was laughing my ass off reading it, and my husband was like "what are you doing?" to which I had to reply "reading Johnathan's post about whether or not members of the Golden Age Justice League would be admitted into the Legion of Super Heroes...which is NOT AS NERDY AS IT SOUNDS!" Anyway, check them out here and here.

Jonah Hex #42

In this issue, young Jonah Hex is put through a merciless, abusive involuntary Batman-style training regimen by his crazy drunken father to toughen him up. As we all know, it worked. But that doesn't make it right.

Or does it?

Either way it makes for great reading!

I love how nearly every issue starts with some dudes who are like "Say your prayers, Hex, because you are going to die now." And I'm all like "Oh shit! Those guys are totally going to die SO HARD!" Good comics.

Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

Holy hell. This was awesome. In general, I really love Captain America's origin story. And I really, really love Marcos Martin's art. But even I was surprised at how awesome the two things combined turned out to be. This is a definite must-own, people.


X-Men First Class Finals #3

Ok, the main story was really great and everything as usual, but I have to totally freak out here about the long and awesome Colleen Coover back-up story. She totally draws the most adorable Man-Thing ever! Check it out:

Pride and Prejudice #1

I didn't actually buy this or read it, I just flipped through it. I just want to say this: what if Colleen Coover had been the artist on this?

Awesome, right?

Other things I read this week: Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam #3 (A rare treat! A perfect kids superhero comic, I say. If only it came out faster!), Amazing Spider-Man #590 (it's got the Fantastic Four in it!), and Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius: April Fools (hilarious!).

Things I haven't read yet: Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil #3 (I forgot to buy it! Drat!) and Jersey Gods #3 (I just realized I haven't read issue #2 yet! Smack!).

Toon Books!

Art Spiegelman has been making the media rounds lately, promoting his line of comics for young readers. Toon Books are beautiful hardcover books aimed at readers between the ages of 5-8 or so. The goal of this series is to introduce very young readers to the comic book format. You may have noticed some of their earlier titles in book stores already (Silly Lilly, Otto's Orange Day, Benny and Penny). They are very eye-catching, and can potentially serve as the Beginner Books for a new generation. So, if you're looking for a quality Christmas gift for a young reader, I think any of the books Toon has put out would be good. I was sent three of the books to review, including Jack and the Box, which Spiegelman wrote and illustrated.

Jack and the Box was just released in comic shops this week. It's a very simple and surreal story of a young boy/bunny and his inability to control a fairy creepy-looking clown that keeps popping out of a box. The story is reminiscent of The Cat in the Hat, with the clown causing all sorts of trouble and messes when the boy's parents aren't looking. The art is really animated and fun, but I can't stop thinking about how much that clown would have scared me as a kid. But everything scared me.

Mo and Jo Fighting Together Forever by Dean Haspiel and Jay Lynch is a cute story about twins who are lucky enough to be given super powers. Their local super hero, the Mighty Mojo, decides to retire he gives his powers to the twins. The only catch: they have to share them. Mo gets elastic arms and Jo gets magnetic boots, meaning that they have to work together in order to equal the Mighty Mojo. Since these two fight about everything, it's a problem.

This is a fun book about cooperation and learning to love your sibling. Of the three books I was sent, it was the most like a traditional comic book, in terms of format, as well. I think this book would be a great way to get young readers started on super heroes at an early age.

Stinky by Eleanor Davis was my favourite of the three. The story is about a monster named Stinky who lives in a swamp on the outskirts of suburbia. He is afraid of humans, and is very agitated when a young boy builds a treehouse near his swamp. This book is really, really funny and has beautiful art. I was smiling the whole time I was reading it. It's also really adorable, especially as Stinky reluctantly befriends the boy, who is nothing but sweet and friendly to the monster.