Monday, September 16, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/13/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/three-day-weekend thriller Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We are a bit late, later than usual that is. Not only are we nowhere near Friday, it’s past Saturday and Sunday even. The truth is that my puppy executive team and I are taking a three-day weekend and closing the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) this Monday so a handy can come and fix three doors and do some of the much-needed maintenance that we would definitely bollocks up if we attempted to do the upkeep ourselves. We are corporate masterminds, Denizens, the idea-men (and woman). Our strengths lie not in the practicalities of real-life situations that could potentially keep us alive—like being able to actually make the damn stuck door close—we traverse in the worlds of the mind and of corporate strategy…yeah, I’m not buying that nonsense either, in a zompacalypse we would be toast. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), sit back, and afterward check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven




Powers of X #4

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva, inked by R.B. Silva and Adriano di Benedetto, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, design by Tom Miller, published by Marvel Comics)
Once again, we get a non-red timeline issue in Hickman’s tremendous Powers of X and House of X mutant event run that seems pretty dang important to the X-Men’s world to me. Which means that this coming week’s House of X #5 will most likely rock our collective worlds. Here we learn that Krakoa has a sibling locked away somewhere along with a group of guardians long since thought gone; this can’t be good. We also see Xavier and Magneto’s first meeting with Mister Sinister and how they succeeded in bringing the ethically-challenged, mutant geneticist into the fold. Years later, Xavier arrives on Krakoa with Doug Ramsey, aka Cypher, so the younger man can use his powers and converse with the living island, continuing to move Moira MacTaggert’s plans for her 10th life along while hopefully saving mutantkind. As for the X3 distant future timeline, I’m going to have to read all of that again and again and again to hopefully figure out what the heck is going on there. So, yeah, I’m still thoroughly invested in what is—shockingly enough to me—an event book I am not only enjoying but one that has me counting the days to the next new comic book day. With only four issues left and the next supposed to be a doozy, I am thrilled to say I have no idea how this is all going to wrap up and that is a fantastic place to be. If you are waiting for a collected edition of this grand epic, or if you are like me and are excited to double-dip for a hardcover edition for your favorite bookshelf, then you are going to have to wait until the end of December to make it a truly Merry X-Men X-Mas.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Silver Surfer Black #4

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Tradd Moore, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
This penultimate issue of the exciting and gorgeous Silver Surfer Black has one glaring, soul-crushing problem: it is the penultimate issue. I love this book. I love this book. I love this book. Five issues will nowhere be enough to satisfy my need for more of Marvel’s experimental, groovy, mindbending, tripadelic journey through the cosmos. The Silver Surfer still needs the help of a young Ego the Living Planet in his quest to stop Knull, the God of the Symbiotes, but he will first have to extract a certain “malady” from Ego’s core else there will be no Ego to provide any form of future aid. Unfortunately, what lies at Ego’s core will torment the Surfer with one of the direst decisions of his entire existence. I would buy this book and love its weirdness on Cates’s story alone, but oh my goodness gracious this is one of the most visually magnificent comics currently hitting the stands. Moore’s art is something that has to be seen to be believed, and once you actually see it, it will send you on an optical trip, unlike anything you’ve been on before. This is also due in no small part to Stewart’s vibrant flat color schemes which are certain to amaze. Silver Surfer Black is going to be another X-Mas time beauty that will spring to life as an oversized must-have collection that will need to be displayed front and foremost on your favorite bookshelf. That said, don’t wait, buy the issues before the collection drops, you won’t be sorry you did. And, again, we need some dang Tradd Morre Silver Surfer blacklight posters, by golly.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #3

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Michael Walsh, lettered by Nate Piekos, published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics)
This is 100% the book I never knew I wanted and it is 100% the book I need. Black Hammer/Justice League is so very odd and contrary to anything I can imagine DC actually allowing to happen. But the thing is, they and Dark Horse have had some equally insane intercompany crossovers in the past and in Lemire and Walsh’s very capable hands this swapped worlds superhero tale hits on every level. I especially love the moments when Golden Gale hits on the various members of the Justice League and how uncomfortable they are with it. Equally fun are John Stewart and Colonel Weird working together to try to save a JL member at risk of making a terrible, life-threatening mistake. The ending couple of pages, however, sealed the deal by eliciting an audible gasp from me and now I nervously await the next installment of this five-issue miniseries. If you’ve never read the Donist World Darling that is Black Hammer then you best get on it, as it is one of the best series to drop in the past decade. That said, this is one oddball event you should not miss.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Venom #18

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Iban Coello, colored by Rain Beredo, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
This issue briefly dips its big toe into the pool that is the origin story of the new symbiote on the block: Sleeper. Sure, homie shows up outta nowhere from the depths of outer space to journey to Earth to meet the arrival of Knull the God of the Symbiotes and to aid in his defeat. The character is cool and expertly designed by Coello and I am not going to spoil this character’s secret identity other than to say it’s completely messed up; I would expect nothing less from yet another great Cates’s story. Anyhow, yes, this is an Absolute Carnage tie-in, but it doesn’t completely feel like it is as neither the title character nor the main adversary ever show up, not even once. But that is fine. I’m still enjoying both this comic and the event quite a bit.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this late installment of your friendly neighborhood Friday Slice post, but I will definitely see you next time. Thank you for reading. 




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Saturday, September 7, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/7/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/friend of the four-day weekend Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). For a three-day workweek, this past week was pretty darn hectic, so we’re going to keep the intro short as we need to get some grub for the corporate office (aka…Mom’s basement). Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), sit back, and afterward check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven


House of X #4

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, design by Tom Muller, published by Marvel Comics)
I am still immensely captivated by this 12-issue Marvel Comics “Event” series. We have moved into the second half of the story with no drop in quality, no expansion into dozens of other—and oftentimes unrelated—titles, no ever-changing artist lineups, and not a single delayed issue. Yeah, I’m as confused as you are, but why question a good thing? And what a good thing this event is. Now, at the back of each issue is a “Reading Order” page that also highlights three key issues in red: House of X #2 (and boy howdy did this one rock our socks off), House of X #5, and the final issue in the event Powers of X #6. What is shocking to me is that after reading this issue, it kind of seems like it should have been one of the red-highlighted issues, as some unexpected and brutal things happen. There’s no way I’m going to spoil it for you—it’s only the seventh issue in the event, after all—but if Hickman doesn’t count this as a major occurrence, then I’m positively terrified of what HoX #5 and PoX #6 have in store for us. Anyhow, you need to be reading this event and I can’t wait to binge read the entire series again once it concludes on October 9th. I’m really hoping the hardcover collection is oversized so I can slide it onto my favorite bookshelf come December.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Doomsday Clock #11

(Written by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Rob Leigh, published by DC Comics)
After what happened in the previous issue, I…wait a minute…what did exactly happen in issue #10? I honestly don’t really remember. Sure, I know I absolutely dug it, but the particulars completely escape me. Something happened to Superman in that issue, but for the life of me, I have no idea what that was. It was almost three months between issues and we had just moved to our new home, so it’s all a big blank. I could go back and read the issue, but I’m going to hold off on a big reread until after the final issue drops…hopefully before the end of 2019. As for the story, Ozymandias reveals quite a bit of what he has been up to, Lex Luthor is figuring out what has gone wrong, Mime and Marionette finally reappear, as does Rorschach, Black Adam arrives at the White House, and Superman and Dr. Manhattan meet. I’m still loving every bit of this series and this issue does not disappoint in either Johns’s story or Frank’s lovely art, and even with the lengthy delays between issues and my memory gaps regarding what has happened from issue to issue, the revelations, intensity of the situations, and my need to see how it all ends has me eagerly awaiting the final issue.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Absolute Carnage #2

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Mayer, colored by Frank Martin, published by Marvel Comics)
Phew! That wasn’t that long of a wait. I think my LCS was shorted most of the copies of Marvel’s other “Event” comic that I am totally enjoying—although, this one does branch out into a bunch of other series and one-shots that I am not reading. Stegman’s art is off-the-charts gorgeous especially when things get downright scary for Venom, Spider-Man, and especially for Mac Gargan the Scorpion. I love the vying for control between Carnage and Norman Osborn and this much-touted event leaves me desperate to see what happens next as Carnage continues to claim Codex after Codex.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Immortal Hulk #22

(Written by Al Ewing; illustrated by Joe Bennett, inked by Ruy José with Belardino Brabo, colored by Paul Mounts with Matt Milla, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit; published by Marvel Comics)
General Fortean has become the new, new Abomination and although it’s only him and some of his highly trained forces against the Hulk, his crew of Gamma “friends,” and some of the members of Alpha Flight, the scales are very much tipped in favor of the bad guys. The Hulk is a f_ing monster that is certain to give you nightmares—dang, that final full-page splash—and this series continues to get better and better. Plus, what the hell is the deal with this ghastly version of Rick Jones that is floating around and melting things with his gamma-irradiated hands? Even if you’ve never been a fan of the Hulk, you need to be reading this thrilling horror comic and you can do that with the soon-to-be four available trades.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Green Lantern #11

(Written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Liam Sharp, colored by Steve Oliff; lettered by Tom Orzechowski; published by Marvel Comics)
Is it just me or do other people feel like they are only getting part of the story here and they are scrambling to catch up? Morrison moves fast from scene to scene with all of these fascinating Green Lanterns from parallel universes but I, for one, could use a little decompressed storytelling to better understand just what the heck is going on. For instance, I’m still grooving on the hippy Magic Lantern from last issue and I can’t help but imagine how great it would be to have a one-shot—or better yet, a 12-issue maxiseries with each issue focusing on one of the 12 Green Lanterns—to better bring us all up to speed in some areas and embellish in others, but whatcha gonna do. Regardless, I’m still loving this comic and mostly from the must-see-to-believe, jawdropping art from Sharp who I want to be drawing ALL the sci-fi superhero books (pretty please, Thanos and Warlock on the other side of the Big Two!!!).
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Conan the Barbarian #9

(Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Mahmud Asrar, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham, published by Marvel Comics)
We creep and we crawl towards the death of Conan prophesied way back in the first issue of this glorious series. This is fine. Just so long as the kick-ace Conan stories continue to flow. Each issue has tended toward done-in-one stories of Conan’s adventures with each one having a page or two that leads him ever closer to his confrontation with the death god Razazel. Here, Conan finds himself facing enemies and monsters from his past (from back in the ’70s?) as he tries to lead a stranded group of people away from the perils of leech-men and the dreaded God Below. It’s that final panel on the final page that made me gasp. You can and should catch up with the first trade and see what all the fuss is about with the tremendously exciting Conan from Aaron and Asrar.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for the amazing new comics from this week, Denizens. Have a great weekend, stay groovy, have a burrito and a nice cool beverage, and Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I will see you next time.



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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/30/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/friend of the four-day weekend Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I won’t lie, it was an insanely busy and nervewracking week this week and it’s taken me all of yesterday and half of today to finally chill. Thank goodness my puppy executive team and I have a ton of comics to help us finally begin to unwind, so we are going to keep this intro short. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), sit back, and afterward check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven


Ascender #5

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, edited by Will Dennis, published by Image Comics)
I love this comic. Dang, how I love this comic. If you’ve been following Donist World for any length of time, then you know that the first half of this epic tale, Descender, was a Donist World Darling from the get-go. Now, with Ascender, and its shift from sci-fi/adventure to fantasy/adventure, I am loving it every bit as much. This month, we learn that failure to Mother mean very very bad things for those who underperform, that Telsa is now the captain of her own fleet of oceangoing ships, and, most importantly, that readers of this damn-fine series need to keep turning those solid black pages after the brutal and shocking event that I will in no way spoil. I will say that I was tempted to throw the comic across the room in anger, but that is the beauty of Lemire and Nguyen’s tremendous comic: they have made me fall completely in love with all of the characters to such a degree that I cannot abide bad things happening to them. Nguyen especially over-delivers on the lovely watercolored imagery in this first arc’s concluding issue with amazing emotional moments and the shocking red of Telsa’s much shorter hair. Heck, even the monstrously disgusting punishment that Mother inflicts upon her lackeys is lovely in its grotesqueries. So, yes, this issue continues to be a highly entertaining and rewarding tale that will keep you desperate for more. I’m not sure if the creators are taking a month or two hiatus before issue six comes out, but I promise I will be there on the day of release desperate to see what happens next. You need Descender/Ascender in your life and you can do this with the six available trades of the former before picking up the first trade of the latter come October. So damn good.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


House of X #3

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
After reading this issue, we are now at the halfway point of this fantastic Marvel Comics event. I know, I know, I can’t believe I am referring to a Big Two event as a “fantastic event” without making the “fantastic” part an adverb describing a string of derogatory words. Nope. In fact, I positively love this event. House of X is the half of the maxiseries that takes place in the present, whereas Powers of X jumps from the past to the present to the future to the distant future, and this issue sets us squarely along the path of Moira MacTaggert’s 10th life. If none of this makes a lick of sense, then you need to get out there and buy all three issues of each series (don’t forget House of X #4 this coming Wednesday!) so you can get caught up with the intense, complex, and captivating exploits of the X-Men. In this issue, the mutant island known as Krakoa is established as a sovereign nation, thus providing diplomatic immunity to all mutants who call it home…including some fairly nasty ones. While that happens, Cyclops leads a team of X-Men off world to destroy a Mothermold (a factory that spits out Mastermolds, which produce the dreaded sentinels) hidden in outer space and the issue ends with a veritable bang. I will be at my LCS as soon as I can make it there this coming Wednesday. I already have my sights on the House of X/Powers of X hardcover that drops right before Christmas.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Venom #17

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Iban Coello, colored by Rain Beredo, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Okay, now I’m mad. You see I took a chance on the first issue of Absolute Carnage and then I get to the LCS and they are sold out of the second issue; I had forgotten to put it on my pull. Now, I think the reading order is shot as that book preceded Venom #17. Still, I couldn’t resist reading Venom out of order, order be danged. Anyhow, Coello steps in as guest artist for this event and his art is the perfect fit for this horror-tinged, superhero versus symbiote slugfest. At its core, it is a spinetingling zombie flick, only instead of zombies we get creepy-as-f_ Carnage monsters swarming the city in search of anyone who has had contact with a symbiote. We also follow Eddie Brock’s son and Norman Osborn’s son who are both being watched by the Maker, who is trying to find a way to extract the symbiote codex from them before the monsters come calling…although I suspect the arrogant Maker has his own diabolical plans for the symbiote goo. And the hits keep coming when four symbiotes—who I have no idea of who they are—arrive to cause all manner of malice only to be thwarted by…Sleeper! Yeah, not a clue who Sleeper is and it looks like this character might be brand new but it doesn’t matter to me, he looks cool, promises to kick some ass, and Cates leaves me desperate to get that dang Absolute Carnage #2 in my hands ASAP!
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

That's it for this installment, Denizens. I’m off to ride the Taco Train to Beer Town. See you next week.




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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/23/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/sleepwalker Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I ain't gonna front; it was a long early, early morning. You see, Tulip, Amy the intern (my wife), and I went out to Telegraph/Epic Brewing for some amazing beers to enjoy with the sandwiches we brought. Afterward, when we were moments away from heading home, Reverse Obie (and his owners) called and asked if we wanted to meet them over at Third Window Brewing. Yeah, we went there. Anyhow, a Walkabout chocolate and orange stout followed by a lovely and powerful The Next IPA and this Donist was positively floating on air. Amy the intern was the responsible one and got us home safe and sound, where we had an after-dinner Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout). That did it for us and we slept like babies…until the junkyard neighbors’ Rottweiler began barking at the top of its substantial lungs. This would have been around 4:15 am and he didn’t stop until around 5:30. I assumed no one was home until I heard a ruckus and saw an old man leave the massive Winnebago parked near the two giant boats that are all surrounded by many other vehicles and broken, mismatched junk. The dude was there the whole time!?!? ARGGH! I’m just going to go with him being deaf, heavily medicated, or both. Still, that’s total bullshit. I’m sure everyone within a four-block radius is just as sleep-deprived and upset as we are, and if they are nursing a hangover like yours truly, then I know they are indeed in bad shape. Morons. Complete and utter morons. So, before you put the light shield over your eyes and affix the noise-canceling headphones and catch those missing Zs, take a sip of calming tea, sit back, and check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven


Powers of X #3

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva, inked by R.B. Silva and Adriano di Benedetto, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Discounting some pretty egregious typos and grammatical errors, this week’s Hickman X-Men offering is all sorts of kickass awesomeness that provides some clear answers to quite a few of the questions the previous issues have raised. This is also the first week that has not seen the series alternate from House of X to Powers of X and back. The book is also different in that we stick within Year 100 for the entirety of the issue. Here, we learn the identities of Apocalypse’s newest Horsemen with a 2nd Generation Chimera, two “Pureblood” Mutants, and a…well, you’ll have to read this fine issue to discover the identity of the VERY cool tree guy with the blood-red hands. The remnants of humanity are involved in all sorts of nuttery—when aren’t they?—and are challenged by most of the few remaining mutants. This is meant to draw the attention of Nimrod the Lesser away from Apocalypse’s true goal, which I absolutely did not see coming and which is beautifully played out on that shocking last page. Now, Hickman has me thinking again about timelines and a certain mutant ability while leaving me hoping for more adventures from this killer mutant lineup on this devastatingly bleak world. Hopefully, we will get to see more someday and hopefully, it will be brought to us by Silva and Gracia who give us the best-looking issue to date, especially on the scenes involving Nimrod the Lesser. However, as much as I want to see more of Apocalypse’s team, I more than anything need to see what happens next in House of X #3 this coming week. I can definitely see picking up the hardcover collection as soon as this fantastic event wraps.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Guardians of the Galaxy #8

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Cory Smith, colored by David Curiel, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
Last issue left us with a bleak look at how Rocket Racoon has been doing. It ain’t pretty. This issue lets us know how Rocket got to his current condition through a quick origin story that starts off as heartbreaking and ends as devastating. Then, the Patriarch of the Universal Church of Truth (Peter Quill’s father) reveals one (or rather many given that final page) of the methods through which he hopes to spread the Church’s evil influence. Given that the UCoT is involved, I’m hopeful to see Adam Warlock (one of my favorite Marvel characters) and/or Magus appear at some point and to hopefully play a prominent role in this great space opera. Time will tell, but I will say that I saw a solicit that looks to feature a kid version of Magus, which makes me a little nervous. I am NOT a fan of when comics make characters kids, but, again, time will tell. Cates has been rocking the Marvel books for a while now, and he continues to do so with Guardians of the Galaxy. You can and should catch up with the first trade if you aren’t already reading this fine series.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Sorry, Denizens, I gotta keep this one short and go lie down. I would have probably talked about Criminal #7 but unfortunately it didn’t make it in my pull, dagnabbit! Don’t let the dogs keep you awake and I’ll see you next time.



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