Monday, March 12, 2007

Short booknotes on graphic novels 10

Hirano, Kohta. Hellsing, vol. 2 Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Manga, 2004. ISBN: 1-59307-057-8

In this volume, the action begins right from the opening page. Hellsing headquarters are under siege as high ranked officers are meeting. After a harrowing victory, it turns out a group of modern day Nazis are involved. However, that is only part of it. It seems the Vatican and its infamous Section 13 have a hand in the matter as well. I was hooked from the first volume, and I will definitely continue reading this series. Fans of gothic horror and action will enjoy this series.

Hirano, Kohta. Hellsing, vol. 3 Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Manga, 2004. ISBN: 1-59307-202-3

The action continues as Alucard and the Hellsing team head to South America to find the Nazi forces. When they get there, they are attacked in their hotel by forces led by a man known as Dandy. The team manages to prevail, but it is only the beginning of their trek.

Various authors. Universal Monsters: Calvacade of Horror. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2006. ISBN: 1-59307-431-X.

This is a collection of graphic adaptations of classic monster movies. It features The Mummy, Frankenstein, Dracula, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. If you have seen the movies, you will appreciate reading these. If not, it may be a good introduction, and it may make you want to seek out the movies. Overall, it was a pleasant and entertaining read that I would definitely recommend. Different artists worked on each story, so just for the art this would be a good selection.

Rieber, John Ney and Chuck Austen. Captain America, Vol. 2: The Extremists. New York: Marvel, 2002. ISBN: 0-7851-11-2-6.

This is part of the Marvel Knights series. Captain American clashes with an old friend who has acquired the powers of a Native American thunder deity. Redpath, who shares with Captain America the dream of a unified America that does the right thing, has come up with a plan to cleanse the United States of those who took the lands away from the Native Americans. Cap struggles as well with the issue of trusting S.H.I.E.L.D. and its director Nick Fury, but much of Cap's issues reflect the fact that he is a man out of time in a post 9/11 world. The best line in the novel, which sets the theme, is said by Captain America: "The better American is the man who does what his heart tells him is right for the betterment of all mankind not just for other Americans." (emphasis in the original). Personally, in a way, given that the United States has, to put it mildly, a spotty record around the world, Captain America reminds people that indeed there is a lot of good in the country that he defends.

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