DOCTOR STRANGE: THE FLIGHT OF BONES
By Various (Authors) and Various (Illustrators) Marvel Comics (Publisher)
Review by Maia Bankhead.
Just how long can you let your past haunt you? How long can you handle distancing yourself from others? Sorcerer Stephen Strange tests these limits in the stories within this graphic novel. In The Flight of Bones arc, Doctor Strange finds himself searching for answers about a strange chain of robberies and the supernatural spontaneous combustions of regular civilians. And to top it all off, he’s suffering from deterioration of motor function in his hands, making it more difficult for him to cast spells. The writers of this story mixed fantasy and noir, giving Doctor Strange a darker feel that is hard to find with him nowadays while still having him make witty banter, even in the middle of a fight. The artists, sticking with the theme, chose a noir art style and often used cooler colors, like lavender and blue hues. The other stories included were a range of humorous to psychologically disturbing, depending on the team in charge of the presentation. The overall personality I got from this graphic novel reminded me of what I’ve seen from the trailers for the movie “Doctor Strange.” If the film’s producers follow this theme, then the movie will be spectacular.
SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN
By Max Landis (Author) and Various (Illustrators)DC Comics (Publisher)
Review by Gabriel Allandro.
In Superman: American Alien, Max Landis has crafted a thoughtful, emotionally evocative tale that manages to do what has often been thought impossible: make Superman relatable, with his inner doubts, his fears, his insecurities all on display. What is it like, always being aware that you are unique, and will forever be on the outside, looking in at the “normal people” you so desperately want to be? In that inner struggle, Landis makes Clark Kent one of us, forever alone in his thoughts and feelings, isolated from the majority, and lucky when he finds someone to trust, to love. But as philosophical as the book is, Landis always finds time for the laughter that provides life’s texture (and trust me, Clark gets himself into some utterly ridiculous situations!). The illustrators shift tone as Clark ages, the art growing sharper, more defined, mirroring Clark’s inner growth and increased understanding of himself and his place in the world. Ryan Sook’s cover art provides the crowning piece: people of all ages, races, ethnicities and sizes wearing the Superman emblem, while Clark is nearly unnoticed. The message is clear: We are all Super; our commonalities are stronger than that which divides us.
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