Archive for CMcomics

Mara by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by CountMechaBlog

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     Mara is a science fiction limited series written by Brian Wood, who’s known for his work on comics like The Massive, DMZ, and his current ongoing run on Marvel’s adjective-less “X-Men.” The art is done by Ming Doyle, free-lance illustrator and comic book artist known for her work in things like Johnathan Hickman’s excellent Fantastic Four run.

Mara is very much a coming of age, or “coming-of-rage” as the first page would tell you, story about a girl who lives in a totalitarian society where volleyball is the sport of choice to distract the citizens of the world from the war that plagues Earth. Mara happens to be one of these volleyball players, making her an international celebrity. At the age of seventeen, she spends her days managing corporate sponsorships, playing volleyball, and being a beacon of hope and inspiration to the people of earth. That is, until one day she manifests superpowers during one of her live, broadcasted matches.

This is the first book I’ve read written by Brian Wood. He apparently handles his characterizations of women quite well, making me really curious to read his ongoing run on X-Men soon, an all-women X-Men team book. The art by Ming Doyle is beautifully drawn, she really excels in character designs. The illustrations are definitely the strong points in this book. At 162 pages, 6 issues, this is a relatively short read. This book could have benefited from being at least a little bit longer to fill in some gaps, it could have even had potential to be an interesting full series. Mara is definitely an interesting take on the Superman archetype with a female perspective.

Would I recommend Mara? Sure. It’s an entertaining read. Mara might not be something I’d come back to read multiple times, but its definitely worth reading at least once.

**Thanks to Kevin for letting me borrow this.

47 Ronin by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2013 by CountMechaBlog

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The story of 47 Ronin is one of the most important stories of Japan. It is interesting to note that this story and the tale of events it follows are in fact based on true events and has captured the imagination of the Japanese form the very beginning. There are many versions of this story and this is one of those versions brought to us in a 5-part mini-series from Dark Horse Comics.

47 Ronin was written by Mike Richardson, founder of Dark Horse comics and one of the three creators of the brutal 90’s comic The Mask. Since there are so many versions of 47 Ronin, the story was consulted with Kazuo Koike, known best for his more tame works like Lone Wolf and Cub. The art is done by the legendary Stan Sakai, a Hawaiian Japanese-American artist known for his deservingly award winning Usagi Yojimbo series. Truthfully, seeing Stan Sakai’s name being slapped onto this book is what peaked my interest initially.

The story of 47 Ronin is fairly simple. In 18th century Japan, powerful  landlord Asano is wrongfully killed while being summoned to the Shogun’s Palace. This leaves his samurai to become Ronin, Samurai without a master. It is then up to these warriors to restore the honor of their master. The beautiful art by Stan Sakai and story direction really made 47 Ronin engaging and fun to read. This version of this story took Mike Richardson many years to set in motion and I for one am glad that it is finally here to be enjoyed by myself and everyone else interested in this tale.

”To know this story is to know Japan” and this book is a nice love letter to Japanese culture. I definitely recommend checking this series out, especially if/when it gets released to the more easily accessible trade paperback form. Alternatively, 47 Ronin is available digitally from Dark Horse.

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