By Christine Marie Vinciquarra
Happy Wednesday Bleeding Coolers! I hope that you all had a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and are now indulging in a heavy dose of the holiday spirit. I'm at Conquest Comics in Bayville, NJ feeling very enthusiastic about the lineup of comics that have been released this week. On to the comic reviews!
Some of you may know about my love for Gail Simone and her writing. So when I found out that she would be writing a new Secret Six series I was insanely excited. I made it my goal to read the previous Secret Six series before this one was released, but only had time to read Villains United and the first volume of Secret Six, Unhinged. Even though I'm not caught up, I couldn't resist picking up Secret Six #1 from DC Comics, written by Gail Simone, with art by Ken Lashley. I assumed since it is being released under the "New 52" spectrum, it would be safe to read and I would be able to offer a "new reader" perspective. Right off the bat, I was super happy that the first character we see is Thomas Blake, or Catman. He was my favorite when I read the other books anyway.
The thing that enticed me most about this issue is the plot. Essentially six strangers, Catman, Porcelain, Ventriloquist, Big Shot, Strix, and Black Alice, are thrown into the same room, and are trapped there. They are posed the question "What is the Secret?," and if the mysterious voice asking the question doesn't get an answer, trouble is going to ensue. I'm really unfamiliar with most of the people trapped in the room, but as always Gail Simone's writing makes it easy to become invested in characters. The situation alone makes your heart race as you wonder what's going to happen next, and why such drastic measures are being taken to find an answer to this question. Packed with intense action, this first issue of the New 52 Secret Six is powerful and definitely worth reading regardless of whether or not you are familiar with the original story.
The charming comic Penny Dora And The Wishing Box #2 from Image Comics, written by Michael Stock, with art by Sina Grace, continues today with a comical chain of events that takes the plot to a whole new level. Still unsure of the boxes potential, the innocent Penny, begins to slightly warm up to the idea of a magical wish granting box in her bedroom. But it isn't until her friend Elizabeth unknowingly tests the power, that Penny starts to think it might actually work. I briefly touched on my feelings with this concept in my review last month, but as I continue to read the series I realize how much potential and disaster could come from it. This issue forced me to look at Elizabeth's character in a more cautious way.
It's interesting watching Penny interact with her and evaluating their different reactions as they further explore what the box can do. On one hand they have this really special secret between the two of them, but Elizabeth pushes the subject too far. It goes back to that classic saying "with great power, comes great responsibility." Penny has been given a magical opportunity, and by trusting the information in her friend, she has to deal with the consequences (or benefits) that will come from that. A new character is revealed later in the issue that really peaked my interest, just from her gothic type appearance alone. I cannot wait to learn more about her, because we see her sitting across the street from Penny's house and seems to be observing something. It's clear that Stock is setting up the next issue and hooking us with a bit of suspense. Just like last month, Iggy the Cat provides a comic relief that makes this comic sweet and playful. Even though I'm an adult and very much enjoy it, I will say that this is a very kid-friendly comic. They might make a great Christmas present for the little comic book reader in your life.
Words cannot describe how absolutely mesmerized I am by the Gotham Academy series. Gotham Academy #3 from DC Comics, written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher, with art by Karl Kerschl. It just keeps getting better and better. I feel so invested in this colorful cast of characters. Olive has really proven to have so many layers, and as more and more of her past is revealed I feel very connected to her. This issue even made me more open minded about Pomeline's feisty spirit! The story is unfolding at a perfect pace. Cloonan and Fletcher know how to sprinkle bits of clues at certain points to keep readers wondering and guessing about what's going to happen next. As more characters are added to the group in the hopes of finding out what happened to Millie Jane, it adds a great team oriented feel to the book.
I'm pretty content with the amount of characters they are writing with now, and hope they don't add too many more. There's a nice balance now. I want to take a moment to talk about Olive and Kyle's conversation on the dock. Not only did this scene reveal some important information, but it was also incredibly heartwarming. Because I'm such a hopeless romantic, I find myself rooting for the two of them even though I don't even know too much about what happened between them in the past. Maps is such a fun playful character. She adds this bright spirit to every page that she's on and her loyalty to being Olive's sidekick is admirable. Gotham Academy continues to transport me to a spooky mysterious world that I honestly wish I could visit myself. I know I've mentioned the similarities it has to Harry Potter before, but seriously, if you are or ever have been a fan of the Harry Potter series, go pick up an issue of Gotham Academy today. It will fulfill the void that formed in your life when you finished reading the last Harry Potter book. Yes, I realize how dramatic that sounds, but hey…I love Harry Potter and I love Gotham Academy. I only want to share the love with all of you!
To finish off my Live report, I'll share co-owner Pete's pick of the week! He chose, Angela: Asgard's Assasin #1 from Marvel Comics written by Kieron Gillen with art by Phil Jimenez.
Well, it has been a great Wednesday here at Conquest Comics. Thanks for reading Live From The Comic Shop! Be sure to come back next week for more new release reviews! If you're looking for some more awesome things to read on Bleeding Cool, check out Typing on the Dead and Sweet Release by Jared Cornelius!
Christine Marie Vinciquarra is a writer and bibliomaniac with a love for all things creative. Some of her favorite things include: Batgirl, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Saga, Game of Thrones (the books and the show), Johnny Depp, and all things Disney. She spends her weekends feeding her competitive side while she plays tabletop and/or video games with her husband and friends. She is currently working on a series of young adult fantasy novels. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AWritersWay or on her blog writerchristinemarie.wordpress.com.