Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 9/23/2011 - Part 2 - Revenge of the Fallen

(Sung to the tune of John Cage's "4'33"")

*Rachel Rising...* Shhhhhhhhh!
*The Sixth Gun rules!* Hey buddy, do you mind keeping it down?
*I, VAMPIRE!  Ahhhh, I can't take it, I can't take it! The silence!  The crushing silence!*

Wow, song of the environment my sweet patootie.  Alright, here's the rest of Friday's FSoH/SitW entry that I did not get to do on account of being immobile, on vicodin and no way to pick up my books, until  I could properly bribe Obie into running down to the LCS and picking them up for me.  Hopefully, this week's entry will be on time and I am well down the road to recovery.

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Rachel Rising #2
Rachel Rising #2 - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio.  I really enjoyed the first issue of Terry Moore's latest series.  The slow pacing and the building of mood was just perfect and the latest installment does not disappoint in this regard either.
Rachel Beck continues her quest to discover who killed her and why, but she finally gains an ally with her Aunt Johnny, who unfortunately is tad off after working for 20 years at a mortuary.  The blond woman who witnessed Rachel's rise from the dead briefly appears to a young girl who then murders her own sister in a horrific manner.  Who is the mysterious blond woman and why does she and Rachel bare a resemblance to one another?  And, why do the people who knew Rachel not recognize her?  All questions I can't wait to learn the answer to.
Again, not much momentum is gained in the story, but this is a good thing while Moore takes the reader through the process of preparing a dead body for viewing, as Rachel tries to explain to Johnny what has happened.  Although there is some humor to the scene, a quick cut to the girl murdering her sister firmly reminds us that this is book of mystery and horror, and very different from the types of stories that Moore has written in the past.  Rachel Rising succeeds in showing off Moore's skill with pacing and character building and the ever-lovely art looks as good as ever.  The next issue cannot come soon enough.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Sixth Gun #15
The Sixth Gun #15 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press.  Despite the awesome news that Bunn and Hurtt's properties are being made for television, writing for Marvel and illustrating a Vertigo book, the pair continue to bring out The Sixth Gun--one of my favorite books on the stand--on a regular basis, keeping the quality of the writing and the art top notch.  I imagine this is not an easy feat, and as a reader I could not be more pleased.
After a couple of train heist issues and a glimpse into the history of the terrifying mummy, the story slows down slightly to focus on Becky Montcrief and to bring back Gord Cantrell.  Gord returns to the haunted estate of Braxton Bell Hood for reasons as yet unexplained and stirs up the ghost of not only the cruel estate owner, Hood, but also a few ghosts he would never have expected to see.  Becky finds herself in the protective stronghold of the Sword of Abraham and attempts to learn the fate of Drake Sinclair through the aid of an uncooperative sixth gun.  Brother Roberto shows her the holy location that imprisons General Hume's body and Becky begins to see ghosts of her own.
Bunn and Hurtt delve more into the horror aspect of their story through the use of silent panels and creepy imagery to great effect.  Although not a single gun was fired and not a single skirmish occurred, this book expands The Sixth Gun world and pulled me in even deeper than before.  This series continues to be one of the comics I anticipate picking up the most on a monthly basis.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

I, Vampire #1
I, Vampire #1 - Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, published by DC Comics.  I remember the days when I was a kid and seeing House of Mystery with the "I...Vampire" tale on the spinner rack at the grocery store.  Although I often flipped through the book, I usually opted to buy The Micronauts or The Saga of the Swamp Thing as my one comic that I was allowed to purchase.  Now I wish I had pushed mom to go the extra $.60.  Fast forward to the 52 relaunch and I am essentially a new reader to the franchise and know as much as the next newbie.
Andrew Stanton is a vampire who hunts and kills other vampires, but his main conflict--emotional and soon to be physical--arises when Mary, a vampire he sired and has loved deeply for 400 years, fully embraces her evil nature.  The story alternates between lovely flashbacks of the pair realizing their time together is over and the present of Andrew walking into a trap of dire consequences.  Mary Queen of Blood, as she now calls herself, has set her sights on ruling the world and no one, not Andrew or any caped superhero will stop her plans.
I'm going to admit that I was fairly confused by this book on the first read through and I don't believe it was because of the vicodin.  It's understandable, because on the first page, the location caption, Andrew's captions and Mary's captions all look remarkably similar and then there are the flashbacks that occur without any sort of notice at all.  That is not to say that I did not enjoy the book, quite the contrary, it just took a couple of reads to make sense, which is not the best way to go for a new series.  That said, Fialkov does a wonderful job of explaining the world, and Andrew and Mary's relationship without slapping the reader in the face with blatant exposition.  Also worthy of praise is the haunting art of Andrea Sorrentino coupled with some of the most intricate coloring to set the mood firmly in the reader's eyes.  All three artists combined produce an incredible book that looks to become better and better.  I only drop the "HIGHLY" from this book due to the confusion of the like colored caption boxes, which was probably something that happened in the production stage of this fine book.  RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Vicodin - I hate this crap.  Sure it takes the pain down a few notches--so I HAVE to take it--but it really clouds the mind.  Writing even these three pieces has been a tremendous chore and I have not been able to work on the book or any of my comic book projects, but soon enough I will be off of it and back into the flow of things.  I can't wait to get back to being productive.

The 52 Scorecard

Loved and Keeping!
Animal Man
Swamp Thing
Action Comics
Demon Knights

Really Enjoyed and Keeping!
Frankenstein - Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Green Lantern
I, Vampire

Might Drop After Issue Two
Justice League

Ones I Missed
Wonder Woman
All-Star Western

Let me know if you have any comments on the 52 or any of the other books I've been mentioning, I would love to see them.


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