Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf: A reading conundrum

I finished the amazing Halloween by legendary writer Ray Bradbury, and may I say that it was the perfect book for this time of year.

My next adventure is the third book of the Companions Codex, Drizzt and the Companions of the Hall face the biggest war ever to hit Faerûn.

My next step in my perpetual list presents me with a conundrum.

Do I finish my trek thru Genabackis?

This will take thru 4 more books, being the next volume Reaper’s Gale, pictured above.

Or do I head for the stars and journey to find lost civilizations in the Saga of the Seven Suns ?

This journey will take me thru 7 books, starting with Hidden Empire.

So many great books, so little time.

What should I do ?

For now, I am off to read.

azr.

Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf: World of Warcraft: Ala Sombra Vol. 1 & Vol.2

This two-part story, written by American author Richard A. Knaak, who is no stranger to the World of this famous videogame haven written around 9 other stories in this realm.

He weaves a compelling story filled with Dragons, orcs, elves, humans, and some new mysterious creatures that roam this fantastic world.

The story centers on the human Jorad and the Dragon Tyri, who face a new threat, the mysterious abyssal dragons, with their purpose and leadership unknown, these young creatures are ready to wreak havoc on all of Azeroth.

With famous Korean illustrator Jae-Kwan Kim at the helm of the vibrant black & white artwork, the ample menagerie of dragons just pop up out of the page.

Although this title is part of the Manga collection of World of Warcraft, it does not read as a regular manga, it is a standard comic book read, and it is perfect to get yourself into the dynamic of the artwork and storytelling found in these type of stories.

For, off I go, to find a new adventure.

Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf: Justice League: Justice/Doom War

When I picked up this book, just by seeing who the main authors were, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, I was more than excited.

And surely, they did not disappoint.

The Justice League faces once again the incredible power of Perpetua, who has managed to destroy the wall of the prison that contain her, and with her new acquired pet Lex Luthor, she threatens to colapse the multiverse.

This is why all of the heroes from the various eras, and Earths, come to face her in an spectacular battle for existence.

Only two seasoned writers can handle the sheer amount of characters presented in these pages, and for us, the fans of DC comics, it is a visual feast, I mean, even Kamandi makes a substantial appearance.

I can wait for the continuation of the story, that, according to the final panel, it will continue in Dark Nights: Death Metal.

Now ,off I go, to look for my next adventure.

azr.

Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf, Hit-Girl: Hollywood

Hit-Girl written by Kevin Smith, count me in, and along for the ride is Danish illustrator Pernille Ørum, which gives this newest volume of the deadly Mindy a vibrant look that is perfect for this story.

The history is a huge wink to Kevin’s work on film, an if you are not familiar with his body of work ,you might feel left out some inside jokes, but mostly to his 2001 movie Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, even down to the doppelganger of Hit-Girl, which is a clear homage to the character Cocknoker , hilarious played by the legendary Mark Hammill.

Now the clear enemy are the sleazy studio executives who abuse their power, a direct reference of what the MeToo movement uncover as a wide spread practice in Hollywood, and the logical M.O. of Hit-Girl’s doppelganger for taking revenge.

I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith’s work in comic books and film, and this is a volume I enjoyed as much as some of his films.

Now ,off I go, to look for my next adventure.

Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf, House of X/Powers of X

This gargantuan volume of the X-men is basically a reintroduction to most of this long running series Mythos.

Written by Jonathan Hickman, and beautifully illustrated Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva, and it follows the mutants in various times of their history, the present day is marked by the founding of the mutant island Krakoa, and consequently we see 10 years in the past, when Professor X meets Moira, 100 years in the future, and the machine-mutant conflict, and finally 1000 years in the future, with a highly evolve mutant society.

I won’t spoil any more than that, the story jump from one period to the next, and it slowly untangles the events that became the result of the mutants society evolution, this story also works as the introduction of the new X-men titles and the storyline Dawn of X.

A great story, sometimes a bit difficult to follow if you are not that familiar with the X-men, but I assure you you’ll end up wanting more of the Children of the Atom

Now ,off I go, to look for my next adventure.

azr.

Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf, El triunfo de la memoria.

Back in May I subscribed to a membership of my favorite Mexican Independent publishing house, Paraíso Perdido, with the pandemic ravaging thru the world it became more difficult to promote their amazing catalog so they propose a reading plan where you receive 10 books divided in three installments, El triunfo de la memoria by Abril Posas, was one of the books of the first installment.

Comprised of 11 beautiful short stories woven into a single idea, memory, from the fading memory of a favorite neighborhood bar and a very special second hand pair of Dr. Martens boots, a punk rock gig with a slight smell of fish, to Jerry Seinfeld has an Virgil like figure, this book explores deeply what it means to be, and how memory shapes our reality.

Because at the end : “la memoria es, siempre, la que triunfa.”

I encourage you to pick up this book, which is available in the Editorial Paraíso Perdido official store.

Now ,off I go, to look for my next adventure.

azr.

Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf, X-men Gold Volumes 2 to 5

With the recent publication of the X-men : House of X/Power of X compilation volume, well at least in Mexico, it kick started my interest in the children of the Atom.

This 4 volumes are written in the most part by Marc Guggenheim, with the exception of volume 3, this is a crossover with X-men, written by Cullen Bunn.

Some is the highlights are the appearance of super villain Omega Red, the dangerous reality games of deranged producer Mojo, the fight against a sleeping God, but my personal favorite , the appearance of Magick, a character I haven’t read anything since maybe 2010, and graces the cover of volume 5.

Along with Ghost Rider and Doctor Strange, the X-men are some of the few Marvel titles I read on a regular basis.

This title is a great example of why this characters have endure for so long, 57 years actually, for they were published for the first time on September 1963, by the super team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Now off I go to look for my next adventure.

azr.

Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf Double Feature, Sandman Universe: Lucifer and The Bonehunters

I’ll start off by talking about the epic sixth volume of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, The Bonehunters.

It took me 69 days to read, which is typical for me on this series.

When I say that this series is epic, I mean it, it has the feel of reading the annals of a long gone Empire.

The story picks up two months after events of the fourth volume, The House of Chains, The Malazan Fourteenth Army has come out of the field victorious, but a new menace is brewing in the Imperial Court and with a mysterious plague ravaging the seven cities, the Empire hangs on the balance and puts all off its fate on the new master of Deck of Dragons, Ganoes Paran, to bring balance back.

Mr. Erikson is a master of fantasy, the scope of the world is vast, I highly recommend this series, but a fair warning, this is a really tough read, the whole series is about 11,000 pages and more than 3,000,000 words, this over 10 books of the main series, if you are not that familiar with epic fantasy ,you should really start with a milder series, and work your way up.

For my second feature is the first volume of the Sandman’s Universe Lucifer, written by Dan Watters and beautifully illustrated by Argentinian artists Max and Sebastian Fiumara.

The morningstar is missing, from Hell that is, he embarks on a perilous quest to find the mother of his abandoned son Caliban, while mysterious forces brew against him, looking to imprison him.

Of all the titles of the Sandman’s universe relaunch this is my personal favorite, Mr. Watters captures beautifully the essence of the character created by Mr. Gaiman, and does it justice just as good as Mr. Carey did on the series of 2000.

Now off I go to look for my next adventure.

azr

Azriel’s Infinite Bookshelf, Aliens: Salvation

What can I say about a graphic novel with this creative team, and tackling the xenomorph, a match made in heaven, or hell for that matter.

At the helm is Dave Gibbons, co-creator of probably the best graphic novel ever created, Watchmen.

In the roll of illustrator is none other that Mr. Mike Mignola, yeah, the f-ing creator of my favorite comic book character, Hellboy.

And to roundup this dream team, legendary inker Kevin Nowlan, who has worked with almost all of my favorite comic book creators or series.

The story follows Selkirk, a highly religious man, and crewmember of the Nova Maru, he becomes marooned in a small planet with his deranged captain.

He quickly realizes that the mission and deadly cargo they are hauling is the same devils that are stalking him, it will seem that there’s a secret purpose for the Nova Maru being in this back water planet.

Beautifully illustrated by Mr. Mignola, as you can see below, this is a must for any fan of the Aliens franchise or this series fantastic creative team.

Now off I go to look for my next adventure.

azr

Azriel’s infinite bookshelf, Age of Conan: Bêlit

Welcome to the first post of my new section, Azriel’s infinite bookshelf .

We have for this inaugural post a graphic novel of the return to it’s original publishing house, Marvel Comics, of the famous Cimmerian, Conan.

For this triumphant return there are two series focusing on the heroines that crossed paths with the Cimmerian, Valeria and Bêlit.

Bêlit, the pirate queen of the Black Coast, was first introduced by R.E. Howard in the issue of Weird Tales of May 1934.

This enigmatic character has seen two comic-book adaptations the first, was in charge of the now legendary team of Roy Thomas and John Buscema making its appearance back in 1976 in Marvel Comics.

Image taken from Conan: The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Savage Barbarian by Roy Thomas

The second was back in 2012 in the hands of Brian Wood and artist Becky Cloonan, sorry no picture, for Dark Horse Comics.

For this third appearance, in 2019, it has its own series with the amazing team of writer Tini Howard and artist Kate Niemczyk, with the beautiful covers by Sana Takeda.

The stories follows Bêlit’s rise to fearful pirate queen, this after the death of her father, from mutiny to facing the wrath of the serpent God Set, she becomes the one true captain of the ship Tigress.

In all, this is a really enjoyable story, and for fans of the world of the Savage Barbarian its a must volume to add to the mythology.

Now off I go to look for my next adventure.

azr.

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