Review: Avengers Epic Collection: Behold…the Vision

Avengers Epic Collection: Behold…the Vision
Avengers Epic Collection: Behold…the Vision by Roy Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the better Epic Collections, primarily for some great Buscema artwork on the initial Vision tales in The Avengers. Barry Windsor-Smith, Sal Buscema, Sam Giacoia, and Gene Colan all provide pencils for this book, with some great Roy Thomas stories to buttress them. The Vision debuts, as does Yellowjacket, the new Goliath, Hawkeye’s brother Barney, the Squadron Sinister, the Grandmaster, and Ultron-6.

It’s hard to go wrong with this book – it’s worth the cover price!

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Review: All Star Comics Archives, Volume 4

All Star Comics Archives, Volume 4
All Star Comics Archives, Volume 4 by Gardner F. Fox
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fun volume of the All Star Comics Archives, though even golden age fans will probably be disappointed with most of the artwork. There are a few chapters of Sandman by Simon and Kirby, Spectre by Bernard Bailey, and Sheldon Moldoff does his usual great work on the Hawkman chapters, but most of these Justice Battalion tales are a bit lacking. Maybe it was the loss of the bullpen to the war effort or something, and I normally don’t mind of the likes of Stan Aschmeier or Paul Reinman, but there’s too much of it here and I think it was done so quickly that it’s really sub-par. The stories are great though, featuring the first two appearances of the Brain Wave.

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Review: The Case of the Stuttering Bishop

The Case of the Stuttering Bishop
The Case of the Stuttering Bishop by Erle Stanley Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the odder Perry Mason mysteries I’ve read, but it does keep you guess until the final pages. There’s a lot of strangeness going on with Perry’s clients this time, and Perry gets himself in what could be SERIOUS hot water – and Hamilton Burger ain’t gonna let it slide. Definitely worth reading if you’re a detective fiction fan!

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Review: The Case of the Sleepwalker’s Niece

The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece
The Case of the Sleepwalker’s Niece by Erle Stanley Gardner
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Very serviceable Perry Mason entry, like most of the early novels. Perry’s still a tad more hard-boiled than he was to become, and his clients are still trying to pull the wool over his eyes. He actually makes it to trial in this one, which has been a rarity, as he usually pulls down the prosecution’s case during preliminary discovery sessions. Well written, though the characters are broadly drawn as always.

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Review: The Case of the Caretaker’s Cat

The Case of the Caretaker's Cat
The Case of the Caretaker’s Cat by Erle Stanley Gardner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good Perry Mason mystery that I honestly didn’t guess the ending of, which is a rarity. Gardner didn’t Christie us with the real killer, either, so it’s all good. Well-written as usual, there are a couple of instances where Perry Mason does some things that, while aren’t illegal, are pretty mystifying to the reader until the very end.

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Review: Earth, Air, Fire and Custard

Earth, Air, Fire and Custard
Earth, Air, Fire and Custard by Tom Holt
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Really wanted to like this one, and this series, but there’s far too much of the exact same stuff that went on in the previous books, and a quarter of the way in to this one, I really can’t justify wasting the time to continue reading the same story a third time. I like most of Tom Holt’s books, but this series isn’t his best by a long shot.

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