Mera: Tidebreaker – Review

Written for and published by Forces of Geek March 2019

Mera: Tidebreaker is the initial offering from DC Comics’ young adult readers imprint, DC Ink. New York Times bestselling author, Danielle Paige, and animator Stephen Byrne collaborate on this tale featuring the future queen of Atlantis.

Yearning for a life that is truly her own, Mera sets out to bring peace between Atlantis and her home of Xebel.

She has to kill an unsuspecting Arthur Curry to accomplish her goals.

The reimagining of the Aquaman mythos doesn’t stop there. Arthur is sans the blonde hair, the inhabitants of the Trench are no longer monstrous creatures, and the beginning of a particular origin story underwent some minor alterations.

However, every change that was introduced is in service to the journey of the titular character.

Not to be stereotypical of the YA genre, but Mera and Arthur’s blossoming kinship was a given before the first turn of the page.

Strong character building by Danielle Paige established clear motivations that made the antagonists and protagonists earn every narrative inch. Obviously, Mera wasn’t going to kill Arthur; however, her observation of his kindness slowly chipped away at her cold murderous intent.

Make no mistake about it, Mera oozes teenage royalty. Still, while another princess might be overly concerned with their ensemble for the next big gala, Mera makes it clear that she is more than just a pretty dress. Light comedy sprinkled throughout the book such as Atlantean vernacular, “You got to be sharking me,” will bring about a few smiles along with some fish out of water hijinks.

It would have been easy for Mera to get lost in her own story, but Paige gives the multitude of subplots plenty of time to breathe and marinate. The final act is chock-full of revelations, but it is beautifully synchronized with the main story.

Stephen Byrne’s artwork exhibits a submersible pallet serving as a constant reminder of the books oceanic backdrop. Mera’s hair stands out like a red rose in a black and white portrait. This creative choice augments her presence, especially if the reader remembers nothing about Mera’s heroism and convictions.

Despite Aquaman being massively popular right now, producing a Mera-centric story was a gamble. Mera is a secondary character who doesn’t have a celebrated story such as Supergirl, Catwoman or even Black Canary. Geoff Johns made Mera an essential part of Aquaman’s New 52 run. However, no one has ever talked their favorite Mera moments on the playground.

Danielle Paige’s story is a big leap in that direction. The exploration of duty, love, valor, and liberty through the eyes of underwater royalty works exceptionally well. If the goal of this graphic novel is to make the reader a bigger Mera fan than they were going in, mission accomplished.

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend (Review)

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 Andre the Giant: Life and Legend| Writer & Artist: Box Brown | Publisher: First Second Books

It doesn’t matter if you are an avid professional wrestling fan or if you’ve never witnessed a single body slam because Andre the Giant is known the world over.

He is one of the elite few that transcended his industry and made an indelible impression on pop culture. Continue reading “Andre the Giant: Life and Legend (Review)”

Star Wars: Legacy – Prisoner of the Floating World #1 Review

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Star Wars: Legacy – Prisoner of the Floating World #1 | Writer: Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman | Art: Gavriel Hardman | Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg | Letters: Michael Heisler | Cover: Dave Wilkins | Publisher: Dark Horse Comics |Price: $2.99 | From my column @ Forces of Geek.com

Dark Horse goes back to the Legacy saga of Star Wars and follows Ania Solo, Han and Leia’s great-great-granddaughter. This all takes place 138 years after “A New Hope,” which pretty much frees the creative team of any continuity issue.

Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman are renowned for their work on the “Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes” series because of the strong character work, which gave real and important stakes for everyone involved. That trend continued in this opening installment of a new legacy.

Continue reading “Star Wars: Legacy – Prisoner of the Floating World #1 Review”

Injustice: Gods Among Us #3 and #4 Review

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Injustice: Gods Among Us #3  | Writer: Tom Taylor | Art: Jheremy Raapack | Colors: Andrew Elder | Letters: Wes Abbott |Publisher: DC Comics | Price: 99¢ | 

Tom Taylor hasn’t pulled a single punch in this video game prequel. In Fact, in this issue, he has thrown an armada of over hand rights to the jaw with the latest developments building towards a world of injustice. Lex Luther is usually the guilty party trying to destroy Superman through physical means with various LexCorp gadgets. The Joker, on the other hand, plays a different game and test the mettle of the Man of Steel like never before.

  Continue reading “Injustice: Gods Among Us #3 and #4 Review”

Spider-Men #5 Review

Spider-Men #5 | Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Art: Sara Pichelli
Colors: Justin Ponsor | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $3.99

The charming tale of when Peter met Miles comes to a close, and guess what? Peter approves of the 13 year old web slinger. Of course, that’s not all that happens in this instant classic team up story.

Mysterio of 616 Earth will remain in the Ultimate Universe for the foreseeable future. Brian Michael Bendis weaves a grand finale that will have a lasting effect on all things Spider-Man.

Sara Pichelli’s work is top notch as always and Justin Ponsor’s coloring is the icing on the cake. The ingenuity of Bendis’ script is to be admired at the subtlety of certain character’s actions that heavily suggest this story is only over in the numerical sense.

If subtlety is not your thing, then the ending is anything but and the possible ramifications of it are endless.

Grade: A

Click here to read the rest of the column I wrote at Forces of Geek.com