Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 7/15/2011

(sung to the tune of Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun")
I don't have The Sixth Gun
I don't have The Sixth Gun
Donist World's come undone
No latest book by Cullen Bunn
What did my LCS do?
Jilted me on Frankenstein too
They said when Owner placed the order
He musta skipped those titles on me
But man, it's been three weeks I don't have The Sixth Gun
Donist World ain't never gonna be the same.

Seriously, what the hell?  How can it be so difficult to get this book in stock the day it is released?  If not on the release day, then how about the following week...or the one after that?  Okay, then, the week after, the week after, the week after the original release date?
"Alright, deep breaths, Donist.  Deep breaths...just like you practiced.  You're bigger than this, maintain your calm."  I'm alright folks, just a tad disappointed is all.  Not getting one of the best books on the stands the day of its release is like getting tighty whities for Christmas from your Aunt Helen.  But let's not dwell on the negative.  That's not what we do here at Donist least not until Slice Into the Woods down below.  No, no, no.  We focus on the good and the positive.  You know what I'm saying...we focus on the uber-rare Micronaut action figure deceptively wrapped by Uncle Beuford in a pair of tighty whities, just to mess with you, on your birthday.  So, although the spectacular The Sixth Gun is STILL not here, fret not my mom and my friends' Boston Terrier Obie, Christmas does come in July with these awesome comics...


Friday Slice of Heaven

Detective Comics #879
Detective Comics #879 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla, published by DC Comics.  I'm sad to say that I am a little late to the whole Scott Snyder, Detective Comics run, but that did not stop me from getting up to date on this killer series.  
This issue of Batman Detective Comics does not feature a single panel of Batman--unless you count the Converse shoe ad--and he was not even needed in this comic.  Instead, the story focuses on Jim Gordon's hesitation at accepting that his son, James, is indeed the disturbed individual that Gordon suspects him to be.  From what I gathered in previous issues, James was the type of kid that gave everyone the willies, including his own parents to the point of Jim Gordon suspecting him for years in a missing girl case.  After being sent away from Gotham at a young age, James has returned to town and he is supposedly taking Diaxamene, a pill designed to treat psychopathy.  Gordon's instincts still tell him not to trust his son and he instead steals one of the pills to have his daughter, Barbara (aka Oracle), who also does not trust James, to examine the pill leading them to a terrifying discovery.  Also in this issue is the nightmarish return of one of Batman's deadliest adversaries in a way that has me eager to read the rest of the issues before the DC reboot.
Issue 879 is the third story arc in Snyder's run and although this is somewhat of a jumping on point, certain "key" elements will not make sense to the new reader who has not read issue 875 that provides much of James and Jim's backstory.  Don't let this stop you as I'm certain Snyder will clarify some of the details in the next issue, but pick up issue 875 anyways, it's equally fantastic.  
Also, it would be criminal to not mention the breathtaking artwork and storytelling of Francesco Francavilla.  His dark line work is complemented by an intense color palette that directs your eye where it needs to go while evoking an emotional response through imagery and color.  Oddly enough, the colors and imagery reminded me of the older, trippier episodes of the late '60s Spider-Man cartoon; stark, contrasting and captivating.  I hope to see more of Francavilla.
If you love superhero comics and/or Batman, then you owe it to yourself to track down ALL of Snyder's run on Detective Comics; you will be glad that you did.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Superboy #9
Superboy #9 - Written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Pier Gallo, published by DC Comics.  Okay, this is what I'm talking about.  Remove the requirement to adhere to an "event" and that is when Lemire's Superboy shines.  This issue is absolute creepsville with a closeup look at the Hollow Men, golems constructed from the earth and made to live out a disturbing reenactment of life far underground.  Superboy, Simon, Krypto and the possibly-traitorous Psionic Lad, led by the Phantom Stranger, seek to stop the evil that lurks in Hollowsville while also trying to save Lori Luther from the twisted town's clutches.  The situation becomes dire when Superboy comes face to face with Eben Took, a man who should have died decades ago yet is alive and well and running a startling experiment that threatens not only Conner Kent's resolve but the lives of everyone in Smallville.  Betrayal, fear and powerful magics drive this fast-paced and twisted tale.  
I cannot wait to see what happens next issue and I pray that Lemire has enough time--and issues--to wrap up this exciting tale before the DC reboot moves him to other book--which I will be buying in September (Animal Man and Frankenstein).  Too bad about this iteration of Superboy coming to an end, it was starting to turn into something dark and spectacular.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Batman Gates of
Gotham #1
Batman Gates of Gotham #1 & 2 Written by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins and illustrated by Trevor McCarthy, published by DC Comics.   When the Gotham Press receives notice that "The families will fall by the Gates of Gotham" three Gotham bridges explode causing death and turmoil.  Batman, Red Robin and Commissioner Gordon are left to pick up the pieces and discover who is behind the attack directed at the founding members of the city: the Waynes (Batman), the Cobblepots(The Penguin) and the Elliots (Hush).  Robin and Cassandra, the Black Bat, also join in the hunt for the man responsible for the death and destruction as the Bat Family uncovers the history of Gotham before the killer can commit any further atrocities.  
I need to state again that before Scott Snyder came along to take up writing Detective Comics and Batman Gates of Gotham, I honestly did not really care about the world of Batman, but after picking up all of his issues--except for the elusive BDC #873--I am completely hooked on these books and cannot wait to see what happens next.  At times nerve-wracking and at others engrossing, Batman Gates of Gotham never fails to be what comics are supposed to be: intelligent, exciting, fun.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Detective Comics
Detective Comics #871, 872, 874-878 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla and Jock, published by DC Comics.  I know, I hate having to lump all of these into one little area, but writing a little review for each of these books at this point is just redundant after mentioning 879 at the beginning of this post and then following that with Batman Gates of Gotham.  
I had to order most of these issues and basically absorbed them in the span of a couple of days when they all delivered.  They are that fantastic.
871 - 873 Deal with "The Black Mirror" story arc illustrated brilliantly by Jock, with a back up story concerning Jim Gordon and his possibly psychopathic son, James, titled "Skeleton Cases" and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla.  
874 Contains the final part of "Skeleton Cases" with additional pages concerning Batman and a lead in to issue 876.
875 Almost exclusively follows Commissioner Gordon and his quest for the truth about his son, while offering essential backstory on their relationship and history in a story titled "Lost Boys".
876 878  Follows the storyline "Hungry City" with Batman facing off against a new (?) enemy by the name of Tiger Shark in an effort to protect an ex-Mob Boss's daughter, who is supposedly a much loved banker on the straight and narrow.  Also featured is the truth behind who James really won't be prepared for this.
I need to stress that if you are at all interested in Batman--and even if you are not--pick these books up if you can find them.  I have not followed any Batman book for years and I am completely on board after reading this awesome series.  While you're at it, if you happen to find a copy of 873 lying around, please send it my way...I'm dying to find out how the "The Black Mirror" arc ends.  I will also be rereading all of these in the next week or two.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

My LCS Skipping Out On More of My Books - I really hate to pick on my comic store.  Hell, I've been going there for over sixteen years.  I was there the day the place opened across the street from its current location, and the rush I feel every time I walk in is the same feeling I've had since I was a child and first discovered comic stores.  I have a loyalty to my LCS that no online store or digital comic can ever replace, but at the same time, I want my books the day they are released.  As you can guess from my past couple of posts, I still have not received The Sixth Gun #12 and this week saw me missing the following books: Red WingFrankenstein & the Creatures of the Unknown and Lady Mechanika.  Granted that I did not add the above three books to my pull until early this week, but come on, ordering a few extra copies of some of the more hyped and positively-reviewed books wouldn't hurt that bad; selling those should be a cinch.  *sigh*  I just want my books...dammit.


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