Rurouni Kenshin Volume 7

This volume marks a major turning point for the wandering samurai. It begins with him having a flashback to the past, before he gave up killing, and ends with a new direction for the series by Nobuhiro Watsuki. Kenshin’s thinking of the past foreshadows the appearance of an enemy with similar history. Fujita Goro was formerly a captain of a military unit of fearsome swordsmen. Now, he’s changed his name and meekly works for the police. He also takes on […]

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Breakfast After Noon

Andi Watson’s Breakfast After Noon tells the slice-of-life story of a British couple trying to deal with becoming unemployed. The Windsor Pottery, the town’s industry, has closed down, throwing Rob and Louise out of work. Not only are they worrying about everyday bills, but before the change, they’d been planning their wedding, adding another source of stress to their relationship. Rob learns some basic economics as he comes to terms with the idea that he’s not getting his job back. […]

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Superman in the Fifties

I didn’t expect to have quite this much fun with the reprints found in Superman in the Fifties, but due to the diverse selection, I enjoyed this book even more than I thought I would. Mark Waid’s introduction taught me some things about Superman I didn’t know (including how tightly tied together the various media appearances used to be), and there’s a lot of significant first appearances (of Krypto, Supergirl, and various villains). I wanted to read the stories behind […]

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Rurouni Kenshin Volume 4

Kenshin, the former assassin who’s vowed never again to kill, sets out to rescue Megumi. She’s a former doctor’s assistant being held hostage by Kanryu because of her knowledge of opium creation. Now, Kenshin has to fight past members of Kanryu’s private army of spies and freaks. Superhero fans who’ve been wondering about manga will find this a great starter volume. For one thing, at $7.95, it’s very reasonably priced, cheaper than even the standard manga price but of high […]

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Queen & Country: Declassified

Queen & Country: Declassified is a stand-alone spinoff of Greg Rucka’s popular spy series. This is a flashback story about Paul Crocker, the boss of Tara Chace, heroine of the regular Queen & Country. It’s 1986, and a younger Paul is doing the kind of job Tara does now. He’s a field agent, previously sent to get a defector through the Berlin Wall, but that effort was a failure. Newly married, he’s sent out again to Prague on a similar […]

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Skinwalker

In Skinwalker, an FBI agent, just promoted to the profiling unit, investigates the disappearance of his first partner after a panicked phone call. Ann Adakai, a Navajo Tribal Police officer struggling with the conflict between respected tradition and law enforcement methods, finds herself aiding him. This graphic novel was written by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir with pencils by Brian Hurtt and digital inking by Arthur Dela Cruz. Skinwalking is a term for Navajo witchcraft, but someone’s been taking it […]

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My Neighbor Totoro/Whisper of the Heart

I’ve been hearing how much I need to see Miyazaki’s films for a long while now, so I used the Turner Classic Movies showings to sample two. The first, My Neighbor Totoro, was fluffier than I expected. I knew that the movie was about two girls who meet a fantasy character, but I was surprised that the first third of the film was simply about them setting up housekeeping out in the country. The images were beautiful, as expected, but […]

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The Tomb

The Tomb, a mystical action movie on paper, is ably executed by artist Christopher Mitten and writers Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir. Jessica Parrish is a hard-charging archaeologist who lost her Harvard job after a political incident in Baghdad. She was trying to stop looters from robbing the museum, but soldiers arrested her to prevent her embarrassing them by doing the job they should have been doing. She’s the kind of “damn the consequences” bulldog fighter who’s sometimes envied but […]

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