Comic Crush Saturday: April 4th, 2020
Welcome to Comic Crush Saturday, our bi-weekly feature focused on the graphic elements of the book world. Comics became a huge part of my life a few years ago when I started reviewing them (and comic related TV shows) on Forever Young Adult. I’ve maintained a pull list through my local comic shop, Isotope Comics, and even got Kelly to start one ;). You’ll find mini-reviews, what we’ve read recently, and more so check it out!
Featured Reviews of the Week
The Oracle Codeby Marieke Nijkamp, Manuel Preitano
Published by: First Second
on March 10, 2020
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends) and artist Manuel Preitano unveil a graphic novel that explores the dark corridors of Barbara Gordon's first mystery: herself.
After a gunshot leaves her paralyzed, Barbara Gordon enters the Arkham Center for Independence, where Gotham's teens undergo physical and mental rehabilitation. Now using a wheelchair, Barbara must adapt to a new normal, but she cannot shake the feeling that something is dangerously amiss. Within these walls, strange sounds escape at night; patients go missing; and Barbara begins to put together pieces of what she believes to be a larger puzzle.
But is this suspicion simply a result of her trauma? Fellow patients try to connect with Barbara, but she pushes them away, and she'd rather spend time with ghost stories than participate in her daily exercises. Even Barbara's own judgment is in question.
In The Oracle Code, universal truths cannot be escaped, and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they swarm her future.
I absolutely loved Marieke’s This is Where It Ends and Before I Let Go, two complex and heart wrenching stories, so I couldn’t wait to see what she did with Barbara Gordon!
Babs Gordon has long been one of my fav heroes, no matter what iteration she’s in. In The Oracle Code, Barbara has entered The Arkham Center of Independence after an incident that leads her to become a wheelchair user. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Barbara’s story (depending on the version you know), Barbara transforms from Batgirl to Oracle following her
Babs Gordon has long been one of my fav heroes, no matter what iteration she’s in. In The Oracle Code, Barbara has entered The Arkham Center of Independence after an incident that leads her to become a wheelchair user. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Barbara’s story (depending on the version you know), Barbara transforms from Batgirl to Oracle following an attack that leaves her unable to walk. I love that she becomes this badass hero in other ways without question.
What The Oracle Code does is take a story that is often viewed as tragedy and give life to it through new characters. This is a story about agency as much as it’s a story about trauma. Babs is working through her stuff as she’s working through the mystery presented in the story.
As is the norm with DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults, the art is stunning. The color is cool toned and the shading adds depth. Foreground characters are strong, drawing your eye to them. The use of two-page spreads and overall placement of panels tells a bit part of the story, as well.
Another stunning and unique take on a classic story, told outside canon and set wholly on it’s own. The Oracle Code is not to be missed!
Dragon Hoopsby Gene Luen Yang
Published by: First Second
on March 17, 2020
In his latest graphic novel, New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.
Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.
But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.
Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.
Gene Luen Yang is dang brilliant and Dragon Hoops is a story for fans of basketball…or not! A non-fiction and personal story, Dragon Hoops left me, a non-basketball fan, in tears.
Part memoir, part biography, Dragon Hoops is equally Gene’s story and the story of the Dragons, the basketball team at the high school he taught at. It’s a multi-generational tale, sharing “current” players, players-turned-coaches, historic coaches, and even some basketball history. He explores racism and sexism in the sport. Gene even shares pieces of his entire family.
As a person who lives in the town next to where the Dragons play, it was hard to avoid googling how things turned out. I cheered for this team and was sullen when they lost. I was angry with certain adults and tried understanding unfamiliar methods for others. I’d be lying if I didn’t google where the featured players are now.
I laughed. I cried. I cheered. I worried. I FELT A LOT OF THINGS. Well done.
What We Can’t Wait For
Will this be my return to reading Wonder Woman?! ahhhh
Best News of the Week
The saddest news :'(
Some covers are gorgeous and then there’s this AMAZING cover. Oh.My.Gosh.
Now is the BEST TIME to jump on the digital comic game!
Mariko is not only writing comics but ALSO TV SHOWS?!!
DC has started Kids Camp to support youth while sheltering-in-place.
I read this AND you are not ready for Melissa’s take on young Bruce!
Ahhhh I am here for all of the manga adaptations!