Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 9/23/2011

(Sung to the tune of Nena's "99 Luft Balloons")

You and I in a comic book shop
Buy The Stuff of Legend with the money we've got
Batman, Red Wing I'm tellin' you son
Wonder Woman I got none
Of course they're out, but I don't care
Sold on Witch Doctor's charming flair
One reboot book?  I won't lie
52 DC Comics fly

Peoples, I'm here this week in my own basement, since the Sears delivery man is intalling a new washer at my mom's house, but rest assured that this is the perfect place to do this little thing we call Donist World.  Since Mom is occupied, I am joined by my only other reader, Obie, my friends' Boston Terrier, and we are listening to some truly depressing stuff to maintain the mood of the past two dreadful weeks.  What better albums to put on repeat than The Cure's Disintegration and Pornography to put you down in the dumps and keep you there, but the main problem is these "gd" comics that I read this week keep screwing things up.  Seriously, how can I get my forlorned on when I have books like the below to make me good and happy?  What's a sad boy to do when the comics he reads are so amazing?  "gd"

Friday Slice of Heaven

Stuff Of Legend
A Jester's Tale #2
The Stuff of Legend A Jester's Tale #2 - Written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith and illustrated by C.P. Wilson III, published by Th3rd World Studios.  The latest chapter of the wonderful--and criminally under appreciated--The Stuff of Legend series released this week and wastes no time picking up from the cliff hanger ending of the previous issue where an unconscious Jester lay sinking beneath the waves.  
Jester awakens on a distant shore only to be captured by a group of dolls who provide insight into the history of the "Laughing Ghost" who is terrorizing the seas of The Dark and who looks surprisingly like Jester.  He is led back to the town of predominantly female dolls, many of whom he has already charmed to his favor, except for the leader of the town, Rebecca.  He finds the mayor in stockades on charges of "groping" and a duel ensues over Jester's mistaken identity as the "bad clown."  Can Jester convince Rebecca and the dolls to help him in his quest to find his missing Princess, or will they proceed with killing him.  Percy and the rest of the toys appear briefly on their trek to escape the dark, only to run into an unexpected guest.
I have been enjoying this series ever since the beginning as should be all too apparent in every posted review I have written concerning this wonderful comic.  The writing is so true and honest from the flashbacks of the relationship of the boy and his brother, to the quest to rescue Jester's true love, that it is impossible not to become enchanted by this adventurous tale.  Wilson III's art is gorgeous and the production on the book is unlike anything else on the shelf.  The Stuff of Legend continues to be one of the best comics in publication and something that everyone should be reading.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Batman #1
Batman #1 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo, published by DC Comics.  After a fantastic run on Detective Comics, Scott Snyder resumes writing Gotham's dark protector in the new 52 Batman title, only this time with Bruce Wayne as the lead character.
The story opens with Batman at Arkham Asylum investigating a guard only to find himself staring down a mob of his most diabolical adversaries.  When the situation becomes dire an unexpected ally joins the fight and Bruce Wayne later explains what happened to a rebooted, younger Jim Gordon.  Always on the go, Bruce then attends a charity event where he announces that he will be dumping tons of his fortune into restoring Gotham to a beautiful city and that the rest of the Gotham elite should join the cause.  Then while investigating a grisly murder scene involving knives emblazoned with the image of owls, Batman makes an unsettling discovery and evidence in the murder points to an unexpected suspect.
I loved Snyder's dark, twisted Detective run and the lurking terror of that book can be found in the reboot, but there is also a light-hearted edge at times that I was not at all expecting, yet the story pulled me in immediately and kept me riveted.  I will say that I miss the art of Jock and Francavilla, but Greg Capullo's art is lovely and fitting to the title, with the colors pushing the story and mood to the necessary extremes.  My main concern is that a new reader will be confused as to who Red Robin and Nightwing are, and if they know anything of Batman's history why Dick Grayson is not Robin, but other than that, this issue manages to be accessible.  With no origin story or painfully blatant exposition, this comic starts with action, offers insight into Bruce Wayne and kicks into high gear with an immediate, multi-layered case to be solved.  Fun, exciting and fairly open to new readers, this book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Witch Doctor #3
Witch Doctor #3 - Written by Brandon Seifert and illustrated by Lukas Ketner, published by Image Comics.  Seifert and Ketner continue their gross, creepy, weird and at times horrific tale of Witch Doctor, Dr. Vincent Morrow and thank goodness they have.
The story begins with the end as Morrow justifying the events of the next two issues to two of his superiors in order to retain his mystical license. Through flashback, we see an actual live gillman is strapped to the table where an over-eager Morrow makes the enormous mistake of dumping water on the monster, reviving it.  Penny Dreadful comes to the rescue and some of her backstory is finally revealed, as is the nature of Morrow's blood-red sword.  Eric Gast is taught the "true history of the world" and we see exactly what it is the mystical doctor is up against.  Gast and Morrow track the gillmen back to the Arkham Aquarium where they find a most unpleasant surprise.
This penultimate issue sees questions answered and the world defined and I found myself enjoying this installment the most of the three released thus far, but then I'm a sucker for a good gillman story.  Seifert explains the world quickly and in an understandable manner to the reader through Morrow instructing Gast.  Through these revelations I am hooked.  Ketner's art is dark, dreary and perfectly suited to this tale; plus he can draw a damn fine-looking monster.  This book is the stuff of nightmares, but with interspersed moments of light-hearted comedy ("Penny, we've got not choice.  It's up to you.  Kill them all.") and an intriguing story, Witch Doctor is a fun and exciting read.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Red Wing #3
The Red Wing #1 - Written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Nick Pitarra, published by Image Comics.  After leaving off with a startling ending last month, the latest The Red Wing returns with the penultimate issue of this intense sci-fi story.
The enemy returns to trouble Dom and Val's world and this time it's not just a couple of ships, but rather the entire fleet.  As the Red Wings struggle to route the enemy, Dom's father is lectured by his captor and learns their motives and that the marauders are there to strip mine the world of its resources.  Val pursues the enemy back to their time-line in an effort to determine the extent of their forces, only to learn the scope of what they are dealing with.
Although I still enjoyed this installment quite a bit, little happened in comparison to the first two issues, but the enemy was revealed and the scale of their power shown for a good lead-in to the finale.  Where the previous issues provided more characterization--with the exception of the enemy leader--this issue provided a grander glimpse of what the Red Wings are up against.  Hickman's statement on the world we leave to our children and how that poses a very real problem in this world is one I can appreciate and enjoy seeing played out.  I will again tout the lovely art of Nick Pitarra and my hope to see more of him after this project is completed...a big "wow" on the final two-page spread!   I am hopeful for a strong conclusion to this unique and fascinating sci-fi comic.  RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

I Don't Want to Go Into It - All I want to say is that my LCS was out of Wonder Woman.  The rest is not worth repeating here.  Boo hoo.


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