FSFH Book Review

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Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
Collaborations G - M
Collaborations N - R
Collaborations S
Collaborations T - Z
Anthologies A - R
Anthologies S
Anthologies T - Z
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Reviewing Literature
The Books of Brian Michael Bendis

Brian Michael Bendis writes comic books.
Average Review Score: 4.3 out of 5 (3 books)

House Of M
(Graphic Novel with art by Oliver Coipel, Tim Townsend. Rick Magyar, Scott Hanna and John Dell)
The biggest 'event' story in the Marvel Universe since the Onslaught saga of the mid-90s.  Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch is losing her mind and control of her mutant power; the ability to alter reality.  Whilst the X-Men and the Avengers meet to decide her fate, Wanda and her family undertake desperate measures.  In a flash she uses her power to completely change reality, creating a new world in which each of the heroes featured has been gifted with an ideal life.  However, the world order has been turned on it's head, with humans being a minority oppressed by mutants and the planet being ruled by the House of Magnus (Magneto, Quicksilver, Polaris and the Scarlet Witch herself).  I loved this alternate reality for the wealth of 'what if?' scenarios it features.  As it turns out, two people remember the world as it was; Wolverine and a girl who can unlock the truth in the minds of others.  Slowly the heroes are awakened from their new lives with mixed results.  Spiderman was always my favourite Marvel character and I liked the way in which he is emotionally torn apart when his new life, in which he's married to Gwen Stacy and both Uncle Ben and Aunt May are alive, is shown to be a lie.  Perhaps the best story element here is the way in which the heroes are so devastated by the changes wrought that they make revenge against Magneto and Wanda their priority.  My favourite single scene of the book is a great bit where Wolverine, awaking to find himself the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D and the lover of Mystique, jumps off of the Hellicarrier a couple of thousand feet above New York.  Bendis saves the biggest upheaval for last, though.  When Wanda uses her power to return the world largely to the way it was, she makes a dramatic change which leaves mutantkind reeling from it's worst disaster ever.  This is a brilliant event story and is made all the more enjoyable by the fact that the entire core story is told here, allowing the tie-ins to tell parallel stories.
5 out of 5
New Avengers: Civil War
(Graphic Novel with art by Howard Chaykin, Leinil Yu, Livier Coipel, Mark Morales, Pasqual Ferry, Jim Cheung and Livesay)
A tie-in to 'Civil War' by Mark Millar, in which the Superhuman Refgistration Act splits the Marvel Universe down the middle, with violent results.  Here we are presented with five stories telling of how various members of the New Avengers deal with the events of the Civil War.  The first features the leader of the rebel heroes, Captain America, as he becomes a fugitive and begins gathering other heroes to his banner, beginning with Falcon.  The second is by far the most poignant as Luke Cage refuses to sign the Registration and points out it's fascist nature.  He is forced to send his wife and child into hiding and then is attacked in his own home by SHIELD agents.  Next, Spider Woman, pursued by SHIELD is driven into the arms of Hydra, who offer to make her their leader.  The fourth story focuses on Sentry, as he wrestles with the knowledge that his power could win the Civil War for whichever side he chooses.  Finally, we are presented with a story in which one of Tony Stark's friends brings down the mighty Iron Man out of disgust at how the technology he helped build is being used.  Overall, this is nice little collection of vignettes from across both sides of the Civil War.
4 out of 5
The New Avengers: Revolution
(Graphic Novel with art by Alex Maleev and Leinil Yu)
In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, the Avengers have been split into two separate teams; the Government-sanctioned Mighty Avengers and the fugitive New Avengers.  This book focuses on the latter, an interesting new mix of Avengers, including Ronin, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman and Iron Fist.  This book cleverly plays with time in an almost 'Pulp Fiction' sort of way, which I found very interesting to read (but which must've been a nightmare in the original comic books).  Basically the story is split between two timeframes, a day apart.  In the earlier of the two the New Avengers follow up the rumoured possibility that Captain America is not actually dead, only to run headlong into Iron Man and the Mighty Avengers.  The later of the two timeframes has the New Avengers travelling to Japan to rescue one of their own who has fallen afoul of Elektra and the Hand (ninjas, lots of ninjas!).  I really enjoyed this book, primarily because I'm glad to see some heroes still fighting the good fight despite losing the Civil War, but also because this new team of Avengers is one of the most interesting and unconventional there's ever been (particularly the inclusion of Doctor Strange, the most powerful magic-user on Earth).  I will say that something about Bendis' writing of Spider-Man just didn't seem to ring true, but you can't have everything.  Also of note here is a sort of 'House of M' epilogue in which Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) tracks down Wanda Maximoff (aka the Scarlet Witch) in search of closure.
4 out of 5

If you liked Bendis:
Then you can either hunt up the other 'House of M' books, or try the rival series from DC, 'Infinite Crisis'.

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