Holiday Reading – Quick Reviews (1)

I have returned, and with nowhere near the amount of tan I wanted. I stuck my face out from under the big umbrella plenty over the past two weeks but nope, my shoulders went red and that’s about it.

Browning issues aside, I did manage to get through plenty of reading material during our stay in Gran Canaria thanks mainly to the sweet e-reader my good lady gave me for my birthday. Although strictly a paperback kind of guy, I can definitely appreciate the new tech as it will save me both physical room in my bag and extra money on not buying properly bound books. Comics though, forget about it, I’m not missing out on the smell of ink for anyone. Speaking of which, they’ll be the first two quick reviews I’m gonna give in this post of what I read during my spring holidays.

Note: this wasn't actually taken on holiday.

Note: this wasn’t actually taken on holiday.

Mass Effect: Evolution

The second in the series of Mass Effect comics from Dark Horse, Evolution fills in just a couple of the gaps of the Illusive Man; wayward protector of humanity and a bit of a rebel in his day. This story takes the path from one of his final missions as a mercenary to his seat of power in front of loads of computer screens giving out that he’s our last hope against the rising alien threat.

Although it’d have been dismissed as non-canon by Disney right about now if they were getting ready to make a Mass Effect Part VII movie, I do kind of like what the writers of these comic series have done to paint in some broad strokes about the Illusive Man – but that’s the thing really; half the fun of the stories of in-game characters is leaving you to imagine what went before, and without Shepard there really isn’t much you can feel involved in as the universe plays out without your direct involvement as the protagonist. I’m not hugely into the art either and the dialogue’s a bit clunky but it’s a great bit of peripheral vision for the already epic story of the game trilogy.

The Invincible Iron Man: My Monsters

This series has quickly leapt above my other occasional trade paperback buys to the front of the collecting queue; I love everything about Matt Fraction’s writing and Salvador Larroca’s art in this run of Iron Man comics, but sadly this particular volume bucked the flow a bit.

As it’s inclusive of issue #500 of the Iron Man series and an annual (which is weird since the directly preceding issue was #33, bloody renumbering) it strays from the ongoing narrative to tell some one-off stories which go into the overall mythology without being strictly necessary reading – and this is disappointing because it means they get to run what’s basically a What If? story set in the future…which I happened to think was a bit rubbish, plus a long story about The Mandarin being a dickhead which doesn’t directly affect the life of Tony Stark or the world he is tasked with saving. I am still psyched to get back into the run proper with volume eight though so it’s all good.

More to come this week!

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