Comic Book Reviews 05-27-15

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

Deadly Class #13 review
Deadly Class #13 review
Deadly Class #13 – A+
Sweet baby Jesus, this book is so good. It puts readers in a constant manic state, thanks to the onslaught of violence and rage, but it is the much deeper layer of violence and rage that I really latch on to. Seriously, the whole off-campus adventure is one of the most heart-pounding, frightening and enthralling stories I’ve ever read. There is some major depth to it, too. Each character has their own complex backstory, and makes difficult decisions based off those decisions. In this issue, it’s all about Maria. The inner turmoil she has while getting revenge for her parents’ deaths is beautifully converted into each panel, and not enough can be said about the superb pencil work by Wes Craig or the apropos colors by Lee Loughridge. The end of this one will through readers for a loop, though. I’d put it on the level of Batman #40 the way I had to reread the last few pages and make sure I understood the situation correctly. Who would have thought that the most dangerous place for the students isn’t the streets, but the academy itself. – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Dark Horse Comics:

Fight Club 2 #1 – B
Forgive me for being skeptical, but usually when books, TV shows, etc. are continued in a comic book medium, they… suck (that’s right, Dark Horse, I’m looking at you for Buffy). That doesn’t seem to be the case here; Fight Club was a terrific book and movie that seems to translate very well into comic book form. Sebastian is a very boring man, his urge to suppress Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) from making him do all types of ill shit. With a failing marriage and reliance on pills, Sebastian is close to the breaking point when it comes to medication. We’re all hoping that he gets one eensy push into insanity. The scale of events in Fight Club 2 look to be much grander than the first book. There’s enough of familiarities and differences between the first book and this one to keep new readers engaged and old ones satisfied. – Sherif

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Convergence – Justice Society of America #2 – B+
The old men got their youth back! I really liked the concept – the Justice Society of America are now like a bunch of retired cops; they are old, they get coffee together, and they talk about their glory days. But on this particular day, they didn’t just talk about the glory days; they relived them. The appreciation of their strong minds and strong bodies was evident. Most people will never get to do what they did, much less be a superhero one last time. This was a fun read, and my favorite series out of all the Convergence stories. – Adrian

Convergence: Shazam #2 – B+
Ok, this was a lot fun. Shazam is fighting a giant robot controlled by a tiny worm, who was also controlling a bunch of early 1900’s versions of Batman villains?! I love the old school touch to these comics. The art is absolutely fantastic. Now there may not have been a whole lot going on in these issues, they’ve seemed pretty inconsequential, but they were a lot of fun. I really like Batman flying a small dirigible. Naturally, Billy and the gang wins and all is right for Fawcett City. SHAZAM! – Scott

Suiciders #4 – B-
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve lost interest in this book, but I’m starting to see through the vail of the story a bit. Lee Bermejo’s art is still magnificent, especially when the story is focused on the arena fighting, which this issue gets a heavy double-dose of. We continue to switch between the present and the past, a method that helps connect the big players of the games, and how the situation in New Angeles came to be about. However, since the debut, I feel that Suiciders has largely undelivered on that plane, and instead focuses on this conspiracy that surrounds Savior. I don’t doubt that this will tie back into how New Angeles came to be, but there is just too much forced mystery getting in the way of great art and story potential. – Sherif

Convergence – Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #2 – C+
The last Convergence – Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters was pretty good, so I was a little disappointed that this issue focused more on how the Nazis can get one over on the good ole Americans and then not be able to get one over on the good ole Americans. The best part of this issue was the updated version of the old newspaper print. It wasn’t part of the paper, like it used to be, but added as a kind of homage to the tales of yore. It is an enjoyable book, but with the updated art, I figured the storyline would be updated too (beyond robots). – Adrian

Convergence #8 – C-
Convergence has been kind of problematic from the start. It feels similar to Homer Simpson’s float: he drives an automatronic float onto the field featuring a man with a college sweater whipping another person on all fours wearing fetish gear. As the crowd hisses and boos, he shouts back, “Bear with me for a moment! There’s a lot of symbolism!” That feels like my experience with Convergence. Here in the final episode, Brainiac (who’s now good? Or at least not-bad?) just deus ex machinas the shit out of everything with the explicit promise of “returning the multiverse to the way it was before the first crisis.” What does that mean? Are we now back in 1986 DC? Pre-Flashpoint? Events like these are what actually drove me out of cape books 15 years ago: we promise something epic, but really, the “epic” is just an excuse to return things to normal. This, the eighth and final issue of Convergence, was a letdown in multiple ways. 1. I read it in probably five minutes; 2. It half-a-nips us with some tantalizing ideas (like Brainiac evolving alongside the monitors) that I feel it should have been delivering on earlier; 3. The ending is very underwhelming. Essentially, the walk away is a guy we never cared about (Telos) remembering his real name (the significance of which is kept hidden from us, as well as what his name is), and then an ending shot of a smiling grandma. Smiling grandmas giving the thumbs up are how you know your heroes saved the world from unremitting horror. – Montgomery

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #46 – A
This issue of TMNT is filled with so much story development and dialogue, you almost have to read it twice in one sitting before taking it all in! Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow and Tom Waltz are definitely bringing their A game to this current arc, which scared fans half to death with the fear of killing off Donatello (I even knew people who stopped reading al together…buncha drama llamas). By having Donnie’s mind transferred to Metalhead, they’re actually borrowing from the old Image Comics run where Donatello became a cyborg. This issue starts with Donnie treating himself in an out-of-body experience, and teaching the others. Angel and Alopex make their way to Casey’s only to find Hun there being his normal drunk idiot self. Karai takes charge of the Foot clan, Metalhead Donnie and Fugitoid discuss being sentient minds in robot bodies, and Mikey take a pizza break with his pal Woody before setting out to find the Mutanimals. April finds an ancient text that likely is foreshadowing something terrible that will happen soon, Baxter and Shredder tighten their friendship for whats to come, and Hun decides to start a war…whew those are the basics AND only the basics of what happens. See why I said it was packed with story? I feel like I read all of war and peace within 30 or so pages. But every word was great and progressed the story tremendously. The art, of course, is on par with Mateus Santolouco’s usual genius, as he is back at the drawing table for this arc, which has me excited for the giant #50 and what will come in that! – Jacob

The Fly: Outbreak #3 – A
Well, I think I finally have this series figured out: it has absolutely horrible characters, it’s choppy and lacks a good flow but it has really amazing artwork and a genuinely scary story. Maybe it’s because seeing the movie as a kid fucking traumatized me, but an outbreak of the monsters from The Fly sounds just god damn terrifying. Martin is such a whiny emo douche that it is basically impossible to root for him as the good guy. I get it, it’s all you fault, stop crying about it and move on. But I haven’t stuck it out with this series because I care about what happens to the people in this book; I keep reading because it’s genuinely haunting, and a great horror/sci-fi crossover. The latest issue really pushed the story forward with the monsters hatching and breaking out of the quarantine facility. I imagine from here things can only get more horrific and now more than I ever I am glad I gave this series a shot. – Keriann

Infinite Loop #2 – C
The sequence feels a bit off in this book and less natural than the first one. It almost feels like there should have been a book before to help transition the narrative. I would have liked to see more of how Ano is affecting a switch in the perception of Teddy’s world. Teddy was pretty adamant about maintaining the order of her world. More so than her friend, Ulysses. Instead, the story jumps from Teddy finding the anomaly that is Ano and then suddenly they’re running away from the icky people who irradiate the anomalies. The villains come off as a little too over the time and we don’t get enough time with the wise old man at her hideaway. It’s clear that it’s love at first sight and she plans to save the girl. We still don’t know who she is or where she’s from even though the woman seems to be aware of what’s going on. Despite the jagged nature and the story holes, I was still enjoyed the story. It’s something different that speaks to that annoying romantic side of me. I still want to root for their infatuation and hope that they find their bliss in the end. – Jené

October Faction #7 – C-
Issue after issue of October Faction, I tune in, hoping to fall in love. This week, I think I’ve finally decided to give up. Steve Niles is a great writer and is responsible for some of my favorite series, but this is not the one for me. The story has yet to really take off, and while each character has their own charm I am just not feeling them the way I probably should be. Each issue revolves so much more around family quirkiness than actual story action that even now by issue #7 I have no idea what the overarching storyline for this series is. Way too little attention is paid to what is going on around the characters so it almost feels like there is no real story at all. The werewolf, Lucas, has cancer in his human form but can live healthily as a werewolf. That problem has a pretty easy solution so theres no real drama there. Dante was a bad guy, the very bad guy responsible for the wife being hospitalized in the first issue but now he’s a member of the family. I know this last issue tried to end on a cliffhanger, but it flopped. I highly doubt the local sheriff is much of a threat to a supernatural family of monster hunters. As much as I hate to say it, October Faction may just be kind of a dud. – Keriann

Image Comics:

Postal #4 – A+
Postal seems to alternate a lot between stronger and weaker issues. Lucky for us, this month was one of the strong ones. Overall the series is pretty darn great, but I am especially pleased with this one because it gave me that great feeling I got when I finished the first issue. At this point I’m really pleased with where the story is going, it is not at all predictable and really enthralling. I think this issue stood out so much because it was really heavy on characterization. This is the first issue I’ve given a crap about Maggie and I honestly really started to like her. Mark’s mom is fearsome, but also kind of awesome in that evil Mallory Archer sort of way. Mark is so lovable, and he became even more endearing with the story about when he was a little boy and hid in a hole all night waiting for his mom to find him after being beat up. Not only that, but he also became kind of badass when he hunted down all the people who hurt him. Overall, I think this series has some of the best writing and is one of the top crime books out right now. – Keriann

Material #1 – B-
(B) I had to go over and over this one, both while I was reading and once I was finished. I kept trying to wrap my head around it; was this book super deep and it just went over my head? In all honesty, the jury is still out on that one. Perhaps I should clarify; Material does not follow a direct plot line and instead jumps from place to place, person to person, conversation to conversation. Some of it touches on things that are very real in our world: there are direct quotes for Darren Wilson’s deposition, some of it follows a survivor of Guantanimo Bay and what his life has been reduced to, and some of it follows a young black men being held by white police officers for being a peaceful protester during a riot. But some of it follows a professor who is supposedly being contacted by the first real AI in existence because it wants to prove a point to him. So basically, just when I thought I was really getting the gist of it I was thrown a curve ball. I enjoy the artwork and the writing is thoroughly well done, so even through the confusion it was an enjoyable read. I have to say that I do really hope the second issue pushes out at least a little more structure because I would like to keep up with this series, but I fear I will lose interest if I keep feeling like I’m missing something. – Keriann

(C) Well that was weird. Overall, I appreciate the interesting concept behind this book; however, I am not certain it is enough to hold my interest as time progresses. Following four different stories which may or may not be connected is somewhat cool; yet, several stories stick with you more than others. And let’s be honest, it’s clever leaving your readers with four cliff hangers compared to just one, very clever. I understand how this book attempts to be “deep” and introspective, yet somehow it somewhat comes off as hipster-ish. I am still deciding if that is a negative or not. Either way, it’s a coin flip if I will be reading the next issue or not, just depends on how interesting my Wednesday is that week. – Evan

Invisible Republic #3 – B-
(B) This book is still proving to be an intriguing one. It’s fast paced and yet not at the same time. Not much really happened in this book. The Croger finally has claim to the mysterious journal of Arthur’s cousin and we still don’t understand why it’s so important.  Only that she’s related to this famous “freedom” fighter that is still famous. Back in time the Arthur and his cousin have split up. It is interesting because I think in the last panel it hint to something that will prove to a very interesting reveal. I think she has more to do with this concept of an “invisible” republic than just a bystander in her cousin’s story. The art is dark and gritty and has an edge to it I really appreciate or maybe strong is a better word for the art. Anyway, I’m bummed I have to wait so long for the next few pages. – Jené

(C) So far, Invisible Republic is hit and miss. Issue three was essentially one long chase sequence, in both flashback and current time. Croger doesn’t do anything except lose his bag and get it back after chasing the man who was going to drop him off a ledge. The story between Arthur and Maia is a little dramatic, which is to be expected after Arthur finds out Maia didn’t deal with her problem. But the rest of the issue is them running from the police only to be forcefully separated from each other. Now Maia is on her own with no one else. Here’s hoping there’s more substance next time. – Scott

Sons of the Devil #1 – C+
Well, the book title definitely is reflected in the panels. I always appreciate some mystery in my comics, and I believe this book has enough to keep my interest. Following Tyler and his journey for answers seems to be one he may not be ready for. With a life full of anger, violence, and confusion, Tyler needs to make some major changes, and do some major soul searching before he becomes a devil himself. There are so many questions I have and the only thing I truly hope is that the answers to these questions don’t turn out to be stupid. I have a fear this book will turn out like so many I’ve ready before, where the ending simply turns out to be stupid and I feel like I’ve wasted my time. Yet, I have hope for this book, and I believe good things will come from watching devils. – Evan

Providence #1 – D
The first issue of Providence was not at all what I was hoping for. The whole thing moved really slowly and bordered on full-blown unreadable. Alan Moore writes fantastic dialogue, but the overall plot was too far hidden behind the nice linguistics. From what the story FINALLY eluded to, in the very end of the book where you have to decipher three pages of hand scrawled journal entries, there could be something very interesting and dark here. The idea of books that cause people to kill themselves after they read them an intriguing idea, and so is the theory that all of America is built on each individuals lies. In all honesty I’m pretty sure this series will end up being really good, but I don’t like that I’m sold on it out of blind confidence in the writer and subject matter as opposed to what I saw on paper. – Keriann

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Inhumans: Atillan Rising #1 – A
Wow. This is a number one. Right out of the gate legitimately cool stuff is going down: a ’40s gangster looking Ghost Rider called G-Man invades The Greenlands (I’m thinking essentially Planet Hulk) with a mist designed to give the hulks back their intelligence. The Thors Corp (sticking with the vaguely Nazi imagery that Doom is playing with, they’re like Hitler’s SS) show up and wreck everyone’s junk. The art is crisp and stylized with gorgeous thick black lines, and immediately we get a sense of how this world works: political intrigue, awesome Ghost Riders, a bizarre array of hulks, and good ol’ Manhattan. – Montgomery

Old Man Logan #1 – A-
(A) Before picking up this series, I suggest picking up the original 2009 Old Man Logan as this issue seems to take place very soon after the last series ended; plus, the original series is by far one of the best Wolverine stores of all time, written by the awesome Mark Millar. This time, Marvel brought in another seasoned and well-liked writer to helm the new series, Brian Michael Bendis. The biggest thing that may have fans of the original a bit wary of is the art by Andrea Sorrentino (I, Vampire and Green Arrow), as it is drastically different from the original run, but it does separate this as its only solo story and if you don’t think every panel done by Sorrentino is gorgeous and worthy of framing, you are likely blind. The actual story for this issue was great, but lacked explanation for a many things and the ending left me rather confused at what exactly is going on. All we know is that Old Man Logan is brutal – like Sabretooth on PCP brutal – while still being the good father to the Hulk Baby he took in from the original series. I just love this universe so much it is hard to take even the largest flaw and say it makes this issue bad, but I am lucky that it is no where near being bad and is actually the best and most interesting title from Secret Wars to me at the current moment. – Jacob

(B+) I’m sold on the pure chaos in this book. Although not much happened, what did occur was enough to hold my interest and bring me back to the next issue of the comic. It’s nice to see Logan being Logan – keeping his murder game strong. Perhaps what I liked most about this book was how thematically reflective it was of Logan’s overall life: very dull, gloomy, little hope, and pure determination. These themes were so evident throughout the entire story, from the interactions with the goons wearing the Daredevil suit, Gladiator and his son, and all the way through Emma Frost. I’m interested to see where Logan’s journey will take him in this new world. With straight determination but unclear guidance, I suspect Logan’s journey with be once full of pain. Awesome. – Evan

All-New Hawkeye # 3 – A-
I’m a total sucker when it comes to Kate Bishop, so having her as an integral, independent, kick-ass character in this comic has made it a joy to read. Don’t get me wrong. I love Clint and he is fantastic in this as well, but there’s something about watching Kate kick butt that really makes me happy. The scene where Clint takes a backseat to Kate’s beat down was really cool. He knows she’s strong and can take care of herself, so he doesn’t get in her way. He even warns one of the scientists not to make her angry when she’s asking questions. “Girl? That’s Hawkeye, dude. You really want to piss her off again?” What I love about Hawkeye is the gender equality it promotes. They both have the same name. Kate isn’t Lady Hawkeye or Hawkgirl. She’s Hawkeye and she’s just as deadly as Clint. Clint also shines in this issue. Seeing his backstory unfold issue to issue and the fantastic parallels between past and present really makes me emotionally invested in the story. The change of art style is also really cool and works well for the medium. The depictions of Hawkeye’s childhood are absolutely beautiful. I have a weak spot for origin stories, so this part is particularly interesting to read. I can’t wait to see more about Clint’s life as a carny and just what’s in store for him for breaking the rules. Going by the next issue cover, I’m guessing it isn’t good. – Charlotte

X-Men ’92 #1 – A-
For fans of the X-Men Animated Series, don’t be alarmed; this is not 1992. Contrary to what it looks like, this is a completely different book. The nostalgia is so strong with this one, long-time fans will instantly find themselves falling back in love with the X-Men. Ya know, before it turned into whatever the hell it became today. Cyclops is still an insufferable douchebag, Logan is still creepily in love with Jean Grey, the tension between Rogue and Gambit could be cut with a knife, and there are tons of Sentinels! I forgot how much I loved this storyline, and unlike other series that are just being slapped together right now, you can tell that creators Chad Bower and Chris Sims know their stuff. It’s a wonderful reintroduction to the timeline, and I can’t wait for it to keep going. – Sherif

Secret Wars Journal #1 – B+
Secret Wars Journal is another anthology comic, like Battleworld before it containing a couple vignettes inside the greater Battleworld universe. The first one takes place in King James’ England, and is, I think, a story about Agent Carter. But maybe she’s also Hawkeye – there’s a lot of bow and arrow-ing. She’s trying to steal… a… thing from Doom’s castle, but gets arrested. Maybe I just don’t care enough about Agent Carter or Hawkeye to really care about this story, but it was mostly uninteresting. It felt like a slow build up for a reveal that could only possibly matter if I already knew what was coming next. As is… it ain’t so great. The second story is hot molten awesome. Khonshu, the Egyptian deity worshiped (or “worshiped”?) by Moon Knight has enslaved all mutants in a world resembling agent Egypt (which makes the absence of En Sabah Nur interesting) and tasked them with building her pyramids. A plucky band of mutants bearing an uncanny resemblance to the X-Men (I see what you did there) decide they need to murder this goddess for her treatment of the slaves. Things get bananas. I feel like the entire structure of Battleworld has a finite end in sight; I doubt the entire premise and ponderously interconnected world could sustain much more beyond 12 issues, but so far, I’m really enjoying the experimentation and creativity.If not for the uninteresting first half, this might have been an A+ book. – Montgomery

Inferno #1 – B+
One of my favorite things about the X-Men was how they equally straddled the worlds of science fiction and horror fantasy, and now we get Inferno, which capitalizes on the horror fantasy. It seems a little darkest-timeline esque for the X-Men: not only were they not able to rescue the fabled Ilyana – Collosus’ sister – but she’s set up residence in one of the alternate Manhattan’s as a kind of queen of hell. And she wrecks the X-Men’s junk. There was a slow spot between the first few pages and the last third of the book where I wasn’t sure what I should be expecting, but god’s balls, this book kind of brings back the fun of the X-Men comics I remember from the 90s. It’s interesting to see Cyclops as the governor, or whatever, of that particular zone, but it makes me wonder where Professor X is. Fun, but probably not even the best X-book to probably be coming down the pike. – Montgomery

Black Widow #18 – B
It feels as though every issue of Black Widow is about to be the last one. The good thing about it is that I am content with the closure. The bad thing about it is that every month, I think, “Oh! There is a new Black Widow?” As much as I have enjoyed this series, I am ready for a send off. One of the final panels in this issue showed Natasha on a boat saying that no one will ever know her full story – a true testament to how the series as been handled. I’m fine with that, but it easily could have been the last panel of the series. Oh, well. See you next month Natasha! – Adrian

Secret Wars 2099 #1 – B-
What I really appreciate about the 2099 story line is how cool everything appears to be at first glance. It offers us the same heroes we love, simply with new faces, new suits, and new perspectives. Okay people, I’m about to go on a slight tangent, ready? Everything seems cooler. Captain America is dope, Iron Man is dope, Hawkeye is dope, the Vision is dope, and Black Widow is dope. If I can see more of Black Widow’s crazy ass, I am there. Perhaps the coolness of this comic is enough to shadow the fact that the story in this issue was simply not there. Perhaps we will see more story in the future; however, within this certain issue, nothing really happened. I also appreciate having women of color being two major characters within the new Avengers. So yeah, I think I’ll be cool and continue to read this one. – Evan

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #1 – C+
M.O.D.O.K. is probably the most unintentially-turned-intentionally goofy Marvel character. So, in the first issue of his Battleworld, it kind of makes sense that he’s set up a world for himself where he’s the first and last authority. He’s like the Kim Jong Il of Marvel. He revels in the fact that he’s killed all the heroes and rules the people through sheer terror. The setup is pretty funny stuff, and the cover art is shabamz, but the actual story itself was a little flat. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t the pure goofy funny I’d learned to expect from last week’s Secret Wars: Battleworld, and that’s kind of a bummer. I also feel that, as funny as M.O.D.O.K. may be, he probably doesn’t have the power to sustain a series for long. Another plus is that I just noticed M.O.D.O.K. looks a lot like Garrett from Community, so now my internal voice for M.O.D.O.K. is Garrett. Crisis alert! – Montgomery

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. # 6 – C+
While I enjoy that this comic finally had some sort of lasting story arc, it’s not very original. We’ve seen rage virus before and while there’s a little bit of originality thrown in with the magicians, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. I’m also not totally sure where this big bad comes in and if he’s so easily defeatable with the help of Crusher Creel, then I’m not sure how long this story-arc is going to last. I absolutely adore Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so I was excited to see it in comic book form, but as of late, the comics have lacked the thrill and hilarity of the first three issues. If they could bring back a little more of the wit and fun they had in the second issue with Ms. Marvel. I think what this comic needs is more intel into exactly why we should be so terrified of this virus. Right now it just seems like it’s some chaos feeding on smart people. What’s the objective here? If Dormmamu’s controlling it, why and to what end? The stakes just aren’t quite made clear here. We know it’s not good and people are going to die, but what’s the overall meaning here? What’s the endgame? I want to know. – Charlotte

Infinity Gauntlet #1 – C+
I knew there was a reason I didn’t like bugs. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, it’s about damn time we see women of color as headliners in comics. It was hard for me to pinpoint exactly what the aim of this comic is going to be. I fully understand it’s a quest for the infinity gauntlet particularly on Thanos’ part; however, other than that, I see the direction as fairly open. It was nice to see the perspective of a struggling family who fail to understand a hero’s sacrifice, simply because we often see it from the other perspective. We typically see our hero reflecting on their unbearable choice and wondering how the family can ever forgive them; however, in this comic we see how that sacrifice can turn families against each other while the love still holds strong. Overall, there was nothing special about this comic this week, but I am interest to see more of the infinity gauntlet and the Nova Corps. – Evan


Funniest Panel:

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Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.