Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 11/18/2011

(Sung to the tune of Quiet Riots "Cum On Feel the Noize")

Come on check these books
Batman's got the hooks
Give it a try, try, try
Then buy, buy, buy

Have your doubts about Wonder Woman?
I'll tell you honey
She's just so fly
She's not a guy

Say you aren't into Morning Glories?
It costs little money
You must go buy
Don't make me cry, anymore
Oh no

So come on, check these books
Obie's got the looks
Let's get wild wild wild
wild wild wild

Yaaaawwwwnnn.  Obie?  Are you making the coffee?  Oh, sorry.  I forgot for a moment that you only weigh 20 pounds and have paws, so I guess scooping ground coffee into the machine might be a little difficult.  Howdy folks.  It's 5:00 AM and I'm at my computer, showered, dressed and ready to do this thang we call Donist World.  Obie, my friends' Boston Terrier and my only reader outside of my mom, is here attempting to make me a desperately needed cup of opaque, bitter darkness to thaw out my fingers and my ever-lovin' mind enough to where I actually make horses as I type on my cereal.  I'm sleepy as all sweaters but *yawn*, I'm up and adrift and on the shift.  What am I saying?  Obie!  Where's my damn coffee?  I can't tank straight...

...Ahhhhhh, much better.  On with...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Batman #3
Batman #3 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo, published by DC Comics.  Before Scott Snyder came along, I would classify myself as a lapsed Batman fan.  It was not that I didn't like the character, watch the cartoon shows, the movies, much the opposite, I love all those things, but I was not buying any bat books.  Frank Miller's Batman The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, Grant Morrison's Batman: Arkham Asylum, Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke as well as Jim Starlin's Batman: The Cult were the books that stuck with me for years, and although there are plenty of well-regarded runs out there--I need to read The Long Halloween--that I am told are must-reads, I have been stuck in the past with this loved character; no longer.
The issue opens with a look back at Bruce Wayne's ancestor, Alan Wayne, supposedly experiencing dementia and ranting about being followed and watched.  He then mysteriously disappears.  Meanwhile, Batman is pummeling the heck out of a Ukrainian Mob and the Dark Knight dispatches them in one of the most unique ways I have ever seen... I'm still laughing about that one.  Wayne and Alfred discuss the nature of owls and their habits, which leads the detective to discover how the Talon of the Court of Owls made his way into the tower to attempt to kill him, leading him to question the Alan Wayne Trust for Young Architects and the nature of superstition.  From there he discovers the location of each of The Talon's secret nests for the past one hundred and fifty years, followed by an explosive conclusion.
"Wow," has been my reaction after reading each of Snyder's Detective Comics and Batman books and this issue is no different.  The reveal of the "owl nests" in each of the buildings was a thrill with the pictures of the masked owl members disturbingly chilling.  What is it about Snyder and psychos with creepy-as-all-hell masks?  It must be a phobia of his, which he has now extended over to me...brrrrrrr.  Capulo's art and layouts continue to amaze me, especially with the fight scene at the rails and the look of each of the respective owl's nests that grew more technologically advanced through the times.  My only complaint is that if not for the excessive squared jaw on Lincoln, he and Bruce Wayne would look identical.  That nitpick aside, this is a fantastic book that all current and lapsed Batman fans should be reading.  Exciting, creepy, at times funny, and ultimately engrossing, this is the superhero book to buy.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Wonder Woman #3
Wonder Woman #3 - Written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Cliff Chiang, published by DC Comics.  Wonder Woman, like Batman, is another character that I have not followed in any of her own titles...ever.  She has always been one of my favorite superheroes, but I followed the Princess of Power through her appearances in other comics, never in her own.  That was until the 52 re-whatever gave me the perfect jumping on point.  I'm hooked.
As the Amazonians build funeral pyres for the fallen who died because of a selfish goddess's meddling, Diana learns the truth of her birth and the danger that this revelation brings.  Strife continues to push everyone's buttons and Hippolyta has no choice but to reveal Diana's true history as opposed to the one that gave her the derogatory nickname of "Clay."  Thoughts of dissent run through some of the Amazons, until Diana, Wonder Woman, puts the smack-down (literally) on the growing anger and agrees to leave Paradise Island forever.
Another great issue of Wonder Woman and there was little fighting to be found, only that of naked Zeus and Hippolyta "battling."  *Who in their right mind fights in the buff against someone with a sword?!  Crimony, that is a bad idea, but the guy is a god, so I guess he is relatively save*  With mythology taking the forefront of this story and myths about Diana's birth being dispelled, this issue sets up the story for the inevitable wrath of Hera to come crashing down upon the self-exiled goddess and her odd assortment of traveling companions.  There is still much to be told of Diana's past with further glimpses into her character and Azzarello is definitely the one I want to take me there.  Chiang's art continues to be beautiful and I hope to see him involved in the exciting pages that are to come for this great comic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Morning Glories #14
Morning Glories #14 -  Written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Joe Eisma, published by Image comics.  I have to admit that a few months back I was wavering on whether or not I wanted to keep this title.  I was fearing that a Lost (the television show) effect was beginning to set in on Morning Glories, with more questions being raised with each tiny reveal.  Don't get me wrong, there are still questions being raised and the clarity on the mystery is slightly less opaque, but I get the feeling now that everything is happening for a reason.  I'm glad I stuck around.
In 1693, a woman (witch?), who we don't know, knows something that some other men, who we also don't know, want to know.  Do you know what I mean?  Miss Hodge attends a faculty meeting with Miss Daramount and Mister Gribbs to discuss the importance of Woodrun (?) and to threaten one another by tattling to the mysterious Headmaster of each other's failings.  A familiar scene plays this time from Zoe's perspective and showing that the mean-girl might have gained a little respect for Hunter, who she originally thought to be a weak-willed wet blanket.  The girl we don't know, agrees to divulge what she knows to the people we don't know, but we still don't know what it is that she knows, but I know it will not end well for her.  Jun, Hunter and Zoe are paired together for Woodrun, but in the course of their bickering the lights go out, leaving an angered Mister Gribbs and panicked Miss Daramount to wonder where all of the kids have gone.
As I have said for the past two issues, I have no idea what's happening, but I am intrigued and invested in the story enough to anticipate the next installment.  I like that the feel of the book has gone from a weird college why-can't-we-all-just-get-along vibe to a much heavier Twilight Zone feel.  I am identifying more with the characters, primarily Hunter and especially Zoe, who falls apart so well in this issue that I cannot help but feel sorry for her.  Something is stirring within this complex story that is going to take a while to work itself through, but I sense it will get there at exactly the pace Spencer has constructed from the very beginning.  Two things to mention: 1) This is not a "jumping on point," and you should probably pick up the trades or wait for the big 400 page hardcover next month, 2) BIG props to Spencer for "holding the line" on this whopping 32 page comic at $2.99!  Marvel, DC...this is how you sell comics.  Substantial content at a reasonable price.  Although Morning Glories is confusing at times and not for the tights-n-capes only crowd, I definitely have to say this comic is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Batman Obsession Kicking In Because of Scott Snyder and That Darn PS3 Game - Dang it.  Batman, Batman, Batman.  That Arkham City game is driving my crazy.  Until my month of illness (read about it here for the gruesome details) I rarely played video games, but having so much time requiring me to sit on the couch coupled with not having my brain functioning properly gave me the option of television or playing a game.  After reading Scott Snyder's amazing Detective Comics and the current Batman series, Batman has been pushed back into the realm of my favorite heroes.  Following those books and then reading some positive reviews of Batman Arkham City I had no choice but to buy the game to pass the time while I recovered.  Now here I am trying to Platinum the stupid thing, which I never usually have interest in doing, and generally having a grand ol' time flying around pulverizing unsuspecting thugs.  So much fun.  Now I fear my returned love of Batman is becoming an obsession.  Is it really so bad that I wear adult-sized Batman underoos to bed as well as a cloth Batman mask?  What right does my Amy have to be mad about this?  And HR should really not have a problem with my dressing up as Batman and--on alternating Wednesdays--Robin complete with green chainmail speedo...I mean the employee handbook says a casual style of dress is acceptable and to use my better judgement, which I have.  What's the problem?  It's Bat-Day every day at Donist World.

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