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Review: Fables, Vol. 21: Happily Ever After

Fables, Vol. 21: Happily Ever After
Fables, Vol. 21: Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read this along with Volume 22: Farewell. There is a sense that an ending is coming, and I can’t help but feel that Willingham was trying to plan it such that it all ties in neatly by issue 150 (aka Volume 22). Short stories which tell the last stories of various Fable characters are peppered throughout the book, bringing closure to some of these characters that we’ll never see again.

Once thing that I just can’t shake is the weirdness of this impending battle between Snow White and Rose Red. Sure I know why, now, they have to fight, but the reason wasn’t compelling, and was in truth a little hard to swallow since Rose Red has done a great job reforming herself, and became such a great sister and aunt. There were scenes where Rose Red seemed to be compelled by some sinister force to behave badly, muttering bad intentions to other dastardly characters (like Leigh Douglas) like some cinematic villain. That’s something that seemed out of character given what she’s turned into recently, which is a generally good person.

In fact, I was disappointed by the dispatching of various Fables throughout this volume. It was a little anti-climactic feel to many of them, especially for Lancelot and the abovementioned Ms Douglas.

The rating was really in recognition of the difficulty I had with the compunction for the sisters to basically raise armies against each other.

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Review: Ragtime

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sorry. One of those books where I have completely no recollection of what I read. There’s Harry Houdini, whose story was interwoven into the narrative, giving some texture and background to his life what you’d otherwise not glean from what popular culture have you know (which of course, could be fiction). The other players in the book, well, it’s very steeped in Americana, expects you to know the majority of the famous characters showcased.

Wait wait, it’s coming back to me now. Towards the last third of the story there’s this black chap (who of course has appeared in the novel earlier, but comes into prominence here for this sequence of events), who wanted to get back at a white fireman for not taking action against his team of firemen for a pretty blatant petty crime committed against him (black chap). His car was smashed and defecated on, and it was clear to everyone at the scene who did what. However due to the racial element the fireman not only did not take any action but insisted that the matter not be brought up any further or risk arrest. This injustice set off a chain reaction where the black chap went underground, and started killing firemen and blowing up firestations across several locations, and demanding that his car be restored.

His activism attracted like-minded band of brothers and culminated in a climactic scene where he holds a museum housing priceless artifacts hostage while demanding for this car, and ends with him bargaining for the life of the said firemen with those of his men, before getting shot as he surrendered.

Ok lar, it wasn’t a horrible book, but it simply wasn’t very memorable. This book has won many awards, so it simply underlines how much I really know (which is, of course, not much).

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Review: Daredevil Legends, Vol. 2: Born Again

Daredevil Legends, Vol. 2: Born Again
Daredevil Legends, Vol. 2: Born Again by Frank Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s almost perfect. Karen Page is apparently now a complete junkie, who sells the identity of DD to a pusher for a fix, and this info gets all the way up to the Kingpin. And the Kingpin orchestrates a really clever deconstruction of Matt Murdock’s life, and how Matt climbs back up.

It’s didn’t cover the way Matt’s life changed back to normal (because it doesn’t), but it begs the reading of subsequent issues because you kinda want to know what happens after this. Which this book doesn’t tell you (it ran out of pages!).

Frank’s DD work is great stuff, indeed. Gimme more Miller Daredevil!

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Review: Hawkeye, Vol. 2: Little Hits

Hawkeye, Vol. 2: Little Hits
Hawkeye, Vol. 2: Little Hits by Matt Fraction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fraction and Aja is doing something very different here. I liked the departure from normal comics conventions here, best illustrated by an issue told entirely from the perspective of Hawkeye’s dog. It’s a fun comic. It’s not the tired, same old stuff. It’s a little light, but that’s not to take anything away from the work itself. It’s the equivalent of a very well done summer Hollywood blockbuster, a great quick read novel.

After Secret Wars, it’s unclear what will happen to this Clint Barton, but I liked the Kate and Clint dynamic very much indeed.

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