Books: Graphic Novel

Wannabe (2006), No Way Home (2009)

See also: X-23

Wannabe (2006) Joe Quesada, Joshua Middleton, Robert Teranishi

Kiden had a normal life once. But it all fell apart. Then, when things are at their absolute worst, she discovers she has powers. Unfortunately for her, it seems to cause as much harm as good. Over the course of the story she meets up with three other mutants, and they try to work their way out of the trouble they're all in.

This came up as a recommendation before, but I wasn't sure how big of a series it was, or where it started. Then I came across the second volume of the series, realized it was written by Marjorie Liu, and realized I had to get the first volume.

It's a strange thing. I'm pretty good at knowing what books I'll like, and picking up books I enjoy. Sure, I get a few that are lousy, but I've got a pretty good record.

Comics, however, I seem to have only a 50% or so success rate. I always find the ideas fascinating, but the implementation is often not to my liking.

Thus I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked NYX: Wannabe.

First and foremost, the story telling is very well done. We just back and forth in time and between multiple characters, which can sometimes throw me out of a story, but Wannabe is very well done, and I found myself quickly turning the pages to discover what happened.

The characters are all damaged in some way, but we don't necessarily learn why how they got the way they are, which makes the story even more compelling, since I'd like to know what what happened and how they got the way they were.

It's also a look at the world of X-Men for mutants that don't end up with Charles Xavier or Magneto.

This is a very good story, and I can't wait to read the second volume, and I'm kinda sad to learn that there are only two volumes to read–I'd like to learn more about these characters than I think I'll get from two volumes.

No Way Home (2009) Marjorie Liu, Kalman Andrasofszky, Sara Pichelli

I came across No Way Home at a book store and snatched it up. When I realized there was a volume prior to this, I ordered Wannabe, wanting to read that first.

I loved Wannabe.

Only problem with that is it set up expectations for No Way Home.

No Way Home is good, and I liked it, but it wasn't quite as good as Wannabe, which is the problem with reading books one after the other.

But setting aside the first book, I did like No Way Home. We learn more about the background of Bobby Soul and little brother, which is just as horrible as you'd expect, but we knew going on they were just as damaged as Kiden and Tatiana coming in.

The story opens with Kiden chained to a table, in bad shape. There is someone talking about her, but we have no idea who it is. The we jump back two days earlier. Cameron is still checking in on the kids, and trying to get them back into school. Unfortunately, someone is after Kiden and her friends, and is willing to do anything to get them.

The story is good, and a little more resolved than the ending of Wannabe, and I kept turning the pages to discover what happened, which is always a good sign for a story. We're still left wondering what is going on with Kiden's father, but we know he achieved what he wanted.

The characters remain very well done and maintain their individuality. Kidden and Bobby Soul remain complex, and I enjoyed learning more about them. I like that Tatiana has remained scared and seems far younger than her companions, even if their age difference isn't that great.

I would recommend this series–especially to non-comic readers–but just be aware that Wannabe is the stronger of the two volumes.

Published by Marvel