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Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa
Benjamin Constable
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan
Joshua Dread: The Nameless Hero
Lee Bacon
Marvel 1985 - Mark Millar Summary: A 13-year-old Marvel comic fanboy struggling with his parents' divorce and mother's remarriage finds himself at the center of an epic battle when the villains of Marvel appear and start wreaking havoc in the real world. The fate of mankind rests on his shoulders, unless his unmotivated father can pull off a miracle.

Plot: Have you seen "The Last Action Hero"? Same concept. Fictitious villains cause chaos in real life, and it's up to one ordinary, troubled boy to convince the heroes to ride to the rescue. Ho hum. The villains hog the stage most of the time, killing people, burning stuff, you know, evildoers and their evildoing. There's a little bit of backstory attached to the hero's father, a few red herrings that probably won't throw you off the plot resolution's scent, and Bob's your uncle. Nothing new, nothing moving.

Characters: To be fair, the character development of the "real" main characters is detailed. The hero is likable and believable, but flawed, much like his father. Other than those guys, though, the real people are fairly stereotypical: the mom who distrusts her ex and wants the best for her son, the cold but fair stepfather, the comic store geeks. But we didn't come here for them! We are here for the party! We are here for the heroes. Well, you may be a little disappointed. The villains show up early and often, but the heroes put in the shortest of appearances. The Hulk appears early and Spider-Man plays a pivotal role, but everyone else is a last-minute arrival. Sad face.

Art: The art's slightly dreamlike, but it is still colorful and dramatic.

Writing/Dialogue: As with character development, we get some decent interactions between the main characters, and the villains put on a nice show. However, most of the heroes don't have any lines. They also don't have a lot of action. The epic battle is told, not shown. There are a couple of fight scene panels, but they are obscured by the hero's narrative: Spidey said this, Captain America did that. The superheroes are an afterthought.

Ending: You could see the identity of the supervillain from space. The ultimate ending is cloyingly sweet and doesn't completely make sense.

What more did I want?: Once again, for a book that's about a comic-obsessed kid meeting all his idols, the idols sure don't stick around long. Also, I didn't feel there were enough visual cues that this was 1985. Rather than get a sense of the 80s, I got a sense of Anytime in America.

If I were a poor library, would I buy this?: Probably not. I feel that the people interested in this kind of nostalgia story would buy it new, not check it out. I'd be more likely to purchase Mythos HC (Mythos Volume 1), which ties in more clearly with the actual story arcs.