Best Shots Reviews: LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #1, SECRET WARS #9, RED SONJA #1, More
CREDIT: DC Comics
The Legend of Wonder Woman #1
Written by Renae De Liz
Art by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon
Lettering by Ray Dillon
Published by DC Comics
Review by Vanessa Gabriel
'Rama Rating: 9 out of 10
It could be said that the comic book world doesn't need another origin story for Wonder Woman. It could also be said that when asked what Batman or Superman's origin story is, many people could recall it quickly. The same cannot be said for Wonder Woman, despite the character being just as important to pop culture as Bruce and Clark. Our darling Diana's story is not always so clearly defined, and The Legend of Wonder Woman attempts to do just that.
The Legend of Wonder Woman #1, a digital-first series, collects the first three installments, and gives us a brightly colored and engaging look into Diana's conception and existence as a Princess of the Amazons. It is a crystal-clear, classic approach to the character. The princess is not trained for war as the other Amazons are, and Diana's discontentment with this station leads her down a new path - one that is delightfully and expressively illuminated by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon.
De Liz not only writes, but pencils this nine-issue mini-series. Her style can be described as animated and endearing. She creates realism in the expressions of the characters and the fine details of costume and setting. But Dillon's bold, strongly contrasted colors elevate the story into the realm of fantasy. The two work incredibly well together creating a beautiful cohesion with story and style. While there are whimsically dynamic splash pages, the more powerful moments are subtle.
As the adorned and regal Hippolyta combs Diana's long, raven hair, Diana espouses her excitement over learning the languages of Mandarin and English. Her mother swiftly tells her of their uselessness in the role that Diana is destined to fill. Then she asks Diana which ornament she would like to wear in her hair. Young Diana's big, bright blue eyes are heavy with burden and she says, "Whichever you prefer, mother."
It is a small, but powerful moment that speaks to the story De Liz is telling, and how we are often faced with the challenge of being who we are versus who we are expected to be. Girls and boys, old and young can relate to this struggle, and of course, ever the strong-willed, impetuous one, Diana follows her instincts and it is a perfectly paced set-up for Diana's inevitable coming-of-age. And in that moment, in the face of the gods and her duties as Princess, Diana is decides who she is. Don't we all wish we can be so determined?
The Legend of Wonder Woman pulls a nice balance of traditional elements from Geek mythology while leaving out the more obscure or bizarre. It is a more light-hearted approach to the history of the Amazons that makes room for magic, mystery and divinely drawn mythical creatures. There is a youthful fantasy feeling that will appeal to a broader audience.
The strength of this story is in De Liz's most-ages approach to Diana's origin. Not only is the issue beautiful, the art and story are accessible and charming. Perhaps it will make way for that indelible impression on the next wave of Wonder Woman fans, delivering the same kind of classic DC story that can be recalled at the drop of a hat.
Secret Wars #9
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Scott Cederlund
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
“Did you know that one actually can holistically enjoy pizza?”
Secret Wars #9 ends as most of these big events do nowadays; the world/universe/multiverse is forever changed but the world still looks and feels like it did before everything started. In other words, Secret Wars #9 is all about the illusion of change. Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic, and Ive Svorcina have been laying the groundwork for this final confrontation, between God Doom and Reed Richards, a man without a world, for eight issues now. Truthfully, Hickman has been building to this confrontation since 2009 with Fantastic Four #570 ,when our Reed Richards met a multi-universal council filled with counterparts of himself. Whether it was Reed fighting less moralistic mirror images, or in Hickman’s New Avengers, where universes began colliding, it’s been easy to get lost in the big concepts of Hickman’s stories, but Secret Wars #9 tries to make the stories about the characters.
This has been an odd crossover, because it hasn’t been until the end where the true focus of this series has come into focus. This isn’t a Thor, an Avengers nor an X-Men event like so many of the past events have been. Even though Secret Wars most obviously grew out of HIckman’s Avengers run, and in its own way ends there as well, it’s a Fantastic Four story where the Fantastic Four has been locked away. Just look at all the key players here; they’re all from the foundational days of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four. The Black Panther, Namor and Molecule Man were all there in the beginning. Reed Richards and Doom were there in the beginning. And to loop it back to the beginning of Hickman’s own Fantastic Four run, the image of two Reeds, ours and the Ultimate Universe’s version of the character, recalls the Council of the multiversal Reed Richards which probably set all of this in motion.
Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina bring make this final, huge battle an intimate affair. While the battle is for the fate of this and every other universe, Ribic’s portrayal of it shows two men who were always destined to be here and having this fight. The stakes are grand and epic, but Ribic makes it emotional and personal. It’s about a man who has a family and friends and his spurned brother-in-science; the one who wanted all of that was was left with only his own anger and pettiness. The artwork isn’t the heavy-metal mythology that Ribic and Svorcina created in Thor: God of Thunder. Here it’s all about the personal stakes of what these two men are fighting for. And in a stunning checkerboard image of both men’s faces almost merged together, Ribic shows just how private the battle is between these two men who are so alike but so different.
Like so much of his writing, the author’s hand weighs heavy on this book. Hickman knows everything he needs to accomplish, both Marvel’s goals and his own goals, and he marches dutifully through those story needs. While it’s easy to get lost in the scope of the book, you need to pay attention to the small moments, such as Sue with her husbands. Her encounter with Reed and Doom gives one man the strength and resolve that he needs while it only how much he’s has lost, if he even ever had it at all. As his Fantastic Four run went on, Hickman demonstrated his growing ability to being able to write a real family. That was something he never got to do in his Avengers stories beyond the whole brothers-in-arms thing with Steve and Tony, so seeing Sue build up or destroy a man with her words and her love relates the dimensions of the Marvel Universe to something basic and human. And that is what Reed and Doom are really fighting for in the end.
So when the dust clears, the good guys have won, the worlds are restored and the Marvel Universe goes on and on. Thanks to "All-New All-Different Marvel" debuting a few months ago, there are few surprises here, but Hickman and Ribic still manage to sneak one or two of them in. Hickman and Ribic have set a world ticking away and take their bows. Worlds lived. Worlds died and, other than a few things here or there, nothing much changed. And that’s what happens with these things. The modern event is not about the destination, but about the journey there. And while it took eight issues before the heart of Secret Wars came into focus, this final issue gets to the soul of the Marvel Universe like no other event has before.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Hendry Prasetya and Matt Herms
Lettering by Ed Dukeshire
Published by BOOM! Studios
Review by Michael Moccio
'Rama Rating: 9 out of 10
When BOOM! Announced Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it was as if Rita Repulsa herself threw down her scepter and yelled, “Make my expectations grow!” And man, this absolutely exceeds expectations. Writer Kyle Higgins manages to take the superhero core of the Power Rangers and remove the over-the-top campiness from the television show to make a seriously compelling story in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0.
Regardless of how well Higgins made the story, it would be a crime not to have artists Hendry Prasetya and Matt Herms take center stage in this review. Just as Higgins modernized the story of the Power Rangers, Prasetya and Herms outdid themselves in making the Power Rangers look awesome. Herms’ coloring makes Prasetya’s detailed designs look incredibly slick and beautiful. From clothing, to the Power Ranger suits, to the detailed backgrounds, Herms brings it all to life. These pages are gorgeous and flipping through them invokes such nostalgia for the original television series, which ultimately makes the series more compelling.
Whenever a company adapts a live-action television show for comic books, one of the most difficult things for the artist to accomplish is capture the likeness of the actors from the source material. While Prasetya takes certain liberties—they don’t look 100% similar to their real life counterparts, the character’s faces echo enough of the originals to work well. What Prasetya really excels at is the fashion design for the characters, making everyone’s personalities shine through in their clothing: Jason wearing a sports jacket, Kimberly a little more relaxed, Billy looking more studious. It adds another layer to the story and makes it feel like the artists really took the time to get to know the characters enough to make those subtle decisions.
Higgins made the smart decision to remove most of the campiness when writing this story. Whereas the television series was over-the-top—which was fun at that younger age--Mighty Morphin Power Rangers looks at the more adult themes, which takes the story to the next level. Higgins dives deep in fitting in, as Tommy starts his first official day as the Green Ranger with the gang. Both at school and on the battlefield, Tommy has to learn how to integrate himself; the struggles he faces are struggles we’ve all faced, which makes empathizing with him immediate. Higgins also shows the collateral damage of the Rangers’ adventures, having Kimberly save civilians during these fights. It’s those kinds of moments that will remind us that this the Power Rangers for an older audience.
It’s important to note that this issue is a quick read because of how well this team does to craft the story. From the first page, Higgins launches a narrative momentum that propels us through the story. Prasetya’s layouts, as well, facilitate this by helping jump from one panel to the next. He makes it a point to not repeat panel structure or vantage points. We see what’s happening from all angles at various points throughout the issue, which made the visual story more dynamic and appealing.
If Mighty Morphin Power Rangers shows us nothing else, it’s that there’s room for superhero stories that aren’t bogged down with being too dark or gritty. At its heart, the story of the Power Rangers—in both the television series and in this comic book—is one of teamwork and hope. With Higgins framing the series’ starting point with Tommy looking to earn redemption and acceptance from when he was under Rita’s thrall, those themes become all too important. Higgins sets the series up nicely to start in March in the final pages of this zero issue, revealing a monster that’s rumored to be the main villain of the reboot film. If this first issue is any indication, the rest of the series will do the source material justice.
Written by Jason Latour
Art by Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Kelly Richards
‘Rama Rating: 9 out of 10
With #3 ushering in the return of Harry Osborn as a S.H.I.E.L.D-trained assassin with his sights set on Spider-Woman, it was clear that readers would shortly be heading towards a crescendo. Ambitious and incredibly fast-paced, Spider-Gwen #4 may be the best issue of this series yet. Nothing of the care or charm of the book is lost to speed as the creative team take everything from Gwen’s reliance on humor to the bold color palette up a notch and delivers in kind.
Although Spider-Gwen plays out as what is essentially one long fight sequence, Latour has also given readers Gwen at her most introspective. As such we see Gwen engaged in an unwelcome fight with the recently returned Harry Osborn, she also battles internally with the guilt of the situation she has created. Thinking on ideas of power and responsibility, it is Gwen‘s realization that doing what one “could do, instead of should” is what results in the creation of a monster. She has seen it happen with Peter, and now she is watching it happen to Harry, and maybe even herself.
Latour uses a very Spider-Man-style brand of humor to keep the issue light despite the seriousness of the subject matter. Quipping even more than usual and singing television theme tunes, its seems increasingly likely that Gwen uses humor not only to goad those she fights but in order to further herself from the persona of “Spider-Woman.” The Gwen we see out of costume feels very different to the one we see hidden behind the mask, for example the girl we see in her flashback seems a million miles away from the costumed hero dropping lines like “Spider-Woman is for the children, yo.” Because once out of costume, Gwen Stacy no longer needs a crutch.
Robbi Rodriguez’s lines are fluid in a way that highlights Gwen’s speed and skill, but also hints towards a level of vulnerability. So much emotion is conveyed through body language and the eyeholes of Gwen’s mask that the fact that readers don’t have to see her face to understand the intention and readability Rodriguez is conveying. Every panel is filled with motion and frenetic energy, and not just from the characters but the backgrounds, weather, and lighting effects created by colorist Rico Renzi. The rich palette utilized by Renzi creates an interesting visual juxtaposition against Rodriguez’s loose line work and emphasizes a level of fragility in both Gwen and Harry’s characters. Similarly the soft, hazy colors of the flashback stand in stark contrast to the main narrative which is punctuated with heavy blacks and neon and show both characters in a different light.
The creative team behind Spider-Gwen are moving from strength to strength with each passing issue and increasing the drama and tension as they go. While on the surface Spider-Gwen may seem like a fun, all-ages book, there are darker themes that lie beneath the jokes and eye-catching pinks and purples which will leave readers with much more to chew upon.
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Robson Rocha, Dexter Vines, Wade von Grawbadger, Norm Rapmund and Blond
Lettering by Rob Leigh
Published by DC Comics
Review by David Pepose
‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10
While many people may associate Tom Taylor with character-twisting work such as Injustice, Superior Iron Man or All-New Wolverine, it’s pretty eye-opening to watch him take two of DC Comics’ biggest icons and play it straight. Yet it’s great to see that Batman/Superman #28 succeeds on the strength of Taylor’s characterization, as he and artist Robson Rocha deliver a fun introduction to the World's Finest duo.
For a series like Batman/Superman, it’s easy to get lost in the continuity game, trying to chase down the wildly divergent status quos of DC’s two biggest power players. And as we’ve seen with the previous installments of this series, this winds up bringing in diminishing returns, with BatCop and T-Shirt Superman not particularly gelling with one another. But with this issue, Tom Taylor brings us back to the real deal — and I mean that in more ways than one. Taylor’s take on Superman as a gracious savior of the stars is about as sure-footed a characterization as I’ve seen in quite some time, while he portrays Batman as a fierce fighter who isn’t weighed down by brooding or melodrama as much as he is propelled by the need to get stuff done. Whether it’s a rescue in space or exploding Clayface in the streets of Gotham, Taylor doesn’t overthink his characters, but instead uses every opportunity to flesh them out simply — and it totally works.
It also doesn’t hurt that Taylor understands the roles these characters play as partners to one another. Batman is the cerebral detective, even without him being called directly, it makes sense that Superman would bring him to the surface of the moon to investigate a murder. Superman, meanwhile, has so much power, but uses it in the most benign ways — his heat vision is used to seal a leaking space helmet, his super-vision used to find a drone watching him on the surface of the moon. Taylor also has just a light level of conflict between the two — this isn’t Zack Snyder territory, but Batman and Superman may need each other, but they don’t approve of each other’s methods. Superman, for example, gets a sly dig at Bruce for having a penchant for reptile dissection, while Bruce coldly rejects Clark’s offer to cauterize a seeping wound: “I’ll deal with it.”
While Robson Rocha isn’t the flashiest artist to take on this title, there’s a solidness to his work that you might not notice upon first reflection. In certain ways, he reminds me a bit of Paul Gulacy, although the quality of the finished linework is less than consistency due to the three inkers credited on the book. Rocha has a little bit of a cinematic quality, particularly with his choice expressions — I think he has nailed the body language of Superman more than any post-reboot artist thus far, and I absolutely adore the expressions he gives Clark. Of course, this being an issue with Batman in it, Rocha really seems to enjoy drawing the Dark Knight — a panel of him standing within the exploded torso of Clayface is one of the most surprisingly awesome images I’ve seen of Batman in quite some time, and the look of intensity on Bruce’s face when he decides to take on Superman’s case is superb. That said, sometimes the color on this book does look a little garish — Blond sometimes relies too much on purples, blues and teals, making Gotham City look less like a realistic place.
If there’s one thing that holds this issue back, it’s that plotting-wise, Taylor doesn’t quite have as much of a hook as he does with his characterization. While the idea of a murder mystery on a moon is interesting, having a tease about Kryptonian history has already been done to death, even dating back as far as the very issue of Batman/Superman over a decade ago. What I’m hoping will happen is that Taylor can give us one strong twist to make the end destination seem worthwhile, and continue on his fantastic characterization to make the issues getting there feel this punchy. For now, this isn’t a must-read, but it’s certainly a surprising show of quality, and perhaps a sign that bigger things should be in store for this team.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Written by Mark Guggenheim
Art by German Peralta and Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Justin Partridge
‘Rama Rating: 6 out of 10
While Marvel’s first S.H.I.E.L.D. title drew strength from fresh team-ups and a rotating cast of artists, the latest iteration starring the super-spy ring takes a much more traditional approach. With veteran TV writer Mark Guggenheim at the helm, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 takes Agent Phil Coulson’s team and throws them into the thick of the Marvel Universe with mixed results. While it is fun to see Coulson, Agent May, and FitzSimmons mixing it up with the baddies of the 616, one can’t help but feel that its just the show with a different coat of paint on it. Along with the Declan Shalvey-like pencils of German Peralta and the black-tinged colors of Rachelle Rosenberg, this debut sets itself apart from its television counterpart visually, but not so much narratively.
Opening with a daring break in by a rogue Iron Man suit at the Pentagon, Tony Stark quickly attempts to enlist the titular agents through Agent May in order to put this down quick and recover what was stolen. Mark Guggenheim does an admirable job of quickly inserting the agents into the new status quo for the Marvel Universe, pitting them against a downloaded Iron Man armor that was unleashed onto the Internet in the solo Iron Man title. Of course, S.H.I.E.L.D has their own problems to deal with as Coulson and the rest of the team, including the powerful Deathlok, are butting heads with a splinter cell of A.I.M. Once again, it is fantastic to see characters that started life on TV finally carrying out missions and interacting with the larger Marvel universe, and Guggenheim even takes it a step further by making them interact with one another much differently that their TV counterparts. Relationships that are TV canon are completely different within this debut, even as the characters’ personalities are mainly intact.
That said, as a reader, I can’t help up think that this is just a bigger-budget version of the Marvel TV staple. For some, that may not be a bad thing. Quite the opposite actually, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 might be the thing that fully sells fans who on the fence about the show. That said, I can’t see fans who are already invested in the show spending money month-after-month to watch the same characters go on slightly bigger versions of the same adventures, despite some great character work from Guggenheim. Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but at least this debut attempts something more than just a carbon copy of the divisive television show.
While the script for this debut issue hits some familiar beats starring some recognizable characters, the visuals of this debut offers the most unexpected results. German Peralta and Rachelle Rosenberg move away from the clean, almost bland look of the television and in its place offer a moody, color heavy look that widens the gap between it and the homogenized look of the MCU. Peralta’s character pencils are clearly inspired by the actors, yet never slavish enough to look like mere copy jobs. Adding a much-needed visual flair to this first issue is Rosenberg, who floods the backgrounds of each scene with simple, yet effective color choices. May’s workstation pulses with an icy blue, while Coulson’s interrogation is dominated by a sickly yellow to match the uniforms of the A.I.M. goons putting the screws to him. Rosenberg finishes out the issue with a warm amber and a gun metal gray for the final scenes, giving Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 a visual energy that the show only has occasionally matched.
As a fan of Marvel’s TV efforts from the first season until now, I am fully aware of just how frustrating Coulson’s small screen adventures can be. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 is bigger, slicker, and finally occupying the large universe that the TV show hints at, but still frustrating all the same. Mark Guggenheim, German Peralta, and Rachelle Rosenberg work with what they are given in the best possible way, but it still feels too similar to what Marvel fans have been trying to connect to for three seasons. While the first S.H.I.E.L.D. title gave us fresh team ups and an episodic feel, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 feels and reads like a cover of an already struggling band.
Red Sonja #1
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Art by Aneke and Jorge Sutil
Lettering by Erica Schultz
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Review by Michael Moccio
'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
For fans who have heard great things about Red Sonja, but don’t know where to start, stop looking and pick up Red Sonja #1. Writer Marguerite Bennett makes a perfectly accessible first issue to bring on new readers as she sets Red Sonja off on her new quest, reintroducing us to her, the world, and what she’s all about.
This is a totally character-driven story, which makes it incredibly compelling to read. After the first ten pages, we know exactly who Sonja is, what she’s all about, and what the stakes of the story are. Bennett takes tropes from fantasy stories—such as a call to action, a dying king and kingdom—and makes them her own. Nothing in the story feels cliché or overused, which is a testament to Bennett’s use of that material. She does a great job balancing expectations between longtime fans and newcomers in that regard. The dialogue gets a little wordy, with characters explaining things they all probably know, but it helps us newcomers get into the story. Ultimately, that verbose dialogue doesn’t really detract from the momentum of the narrative and only strengthens it by making sure everyone is on the same page.
Bennett was smart to have Sonja go on a journey across the lands after refusing her call to action. We get a glimpse at the different parts of the Kingdom that, no doubt, are meaningful to longtime readers and help newcomers adjust to the world. It’s clear from Sonja’s journey that there’s so much to this world that we haven’t seen yet, so much culture and history that informs the present. Bennett shows us without making us feel like we’re missing anything. Colorist Jorge Sutil shines during these moments, as the colored landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful—Sutil has a way with shining light, particularly in the setting sun and the moon that takes these landscapes to the next level.
Artist Aneke and Jorge Sutil work well with Bennett throughout the story. One of the main themes they go back to is the consequences of Red Sonja’s decision to not take the throne. As the world changes, it becomes more peaceful—at least on the surface—and so we see Sonja struggle with that, since she’s predominantly a warrior. Aneke’s strength is in facial and bodily expressions: Aneke sells us on the characterization Bennett delivers through the story and the dialogue because we can always clearly feel the visceral emotion through Aneke’s art. We get that same effect during the fight scenes, as Aneke always draws the characters in dynamic poses. Nothing feels static and forced: it’s like watching the characters move from panel to panel and watching a fight on a television series.
Despite its major successes, there are a few minor flaws in Red Sonja #1. There are points where the narrative’s momentum stagnates, particularly towards the end when we see Red Sonja’s journeys. Although the three are each a page long and helped show how expansive Red Sonja’s world, they were so short that they felt meaningless compared to the actual plot. By the time we got back to the main story, it felt like those three pages could have been better served by tying it closer to the main plot. By the end of the story, when it’s revealed not all is as it seems, it comes out of nowhere, despite the fact that that’s exactly what we were all expecting to happen.
At its core, Bennett’s story in Red Sonja #1 is about finding your place in an ever changing world. The plot is fairly straightforward: the King of Hyrkania is dying, and in his dying breath he asks Red Sonja to take his place. When she refuses, she must accept the consequences as the new regime takes place. Like with any good story, not all is as it seems. The fact that the plot of this issue can be boiled down to a few sentences shows how accessible Bennet’s story is and how much potential it has. Readers aren’t going to be scrambling to try and understand what’s going on, so Bennett focuses on the most important aspect of the story: the characters. What comes from that decision is a heartfelt tale that, by the end of it, you’re absolutely going to want to find out what happens next.
The Adventures of Luna the Vampire #1
Written by Yasmin Sheikh
Art by Yasmin Sheikh
Lettering by Yasmin Sheikh
Published by IDW Publishing
Review by Richard Gray
'Rama Rating: 5 out of 10
All-ages comic books are best when they are a little batty, finding that bridge that sits between childhood entertainment and more subtle adult humor. It’s a familiar formula, having movement that entertains the young audiences assorted with jokes that will fly over their heads, and IDW have gotten quite good at this via licensed content of late.
The first issue of Sheikh’s comic is actually a series of short vignettes and interstitials, but it could more accurately be described as a random stream of consciousness. It’s basically the running monologue of the titular vampire in an outer space populated entirely by monsters, as she experiences social angst and awkwardness of buying a new dress, or the changing perceptions of what is considered to be “fat.” On this basis, it could be commended for skewering the ridiculousness of their importance for a young audience who are increasingly concerned with such things. Older kids could learn a thing or two as well.
Which would be great if the book wasn’t also partially impenetrable thanks to the form it has taken here. Adopting the surrealism and non-endings that have proven to be a hit in several popular web comics, you’d be forgiven for getting a little bit spun about on occasion. It’s like watching an intoxicated friend trying to explain the meaning of life: you’re sure it means something to them, but it’s all a bit messy from where you’re standing.
The art is actually adorably sinister, and one of the best things about the book. Sheikh’s delightful style was undoubtedly what made her original Kickstarter campaign a success, and appeals to the crowd that worships the light that shines from Adventure Time. Luna’s giant watery eyes, and the simple outlines of the monsters, play off against often complex cross-sections of Luna’s rocket house. As a mostly visual narrative it rarely comes up, but a minor criticism is that the cursive lettering is sometimes difficult to read. At times, it is deliberately obscured, but in a book where the form already serves as a type of barrier, it inhibits a flow that is necessary in this kind of comic.
At the risk of coming off as a bit of a Grinch, The Adventures of Luna the Vampire takes a lot of work to love. The nonsensical stories and the simple conclusions will alienate large chunks of the audience, and the very specific form will mean that it will only appeal to a small section of the rest. Then again, the Grinch came around in the end, and maybe Luna the Vampire just needs to give us more to sink our teeth into.