Thursday, December 15, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 12/16/2011

(Sung to the tune of REM's "It's the End of the World and We Know it")

That's great it starts with a Wednesday, comic books just have a look
At Jeff Lemire's killer book
Son it's called Frankenstein, that cat brings the sci-fi
D-World knows what you need, cousin you should have a read
Below's a damn fine lead, grunt
Robinson's hero/villain Shade's well-played with top hat fancy that.
Hark it's the dark representing Dickie Swift dueling lizard gods with heart, all right a fight
Now there's Flamebird's goose getting cooked by a freak's hook in the Batwoman book.
My oh my, Kate Kane's night was out of sight, but drats
Chase is on her case!  Fine then.
Uh Oh, undertow, Weeping Woman's dead, yo.  What's she gonna do?
Read yourself, serve yourself
Also great's Demon Knights, spotlights the Shining Knight
Learn about a quest for a treasure and wizard, right?  Right
Comic book thrills and chills best bust out the bright night light,
Feeling pretty psyched.

Obie loves Donist World yeah you know it.
Obie loves Donist World yeah you know it.
Obie loves Donist World yeah you know it and I hope you do too.

Okay, short intro this week as that song has left me completely tongue tied and unable to form a clear thought.  Of course there were some great comics this week as detailed below and there were a couple that I am probably going to drop, but that is the way it goes.  Maybe if the titles that are on the fence for me were to drop to $1.99 digital I would keep buying them, but at $2.99 and $3.99...funds are unfortunately limited.  This saddens Obie, but unfortunately it's the laaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww of the west*. 
(*a line I remember from an old Tom & Jerry episode)

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Batwoman #4
Batwoman #4 - Cowritten by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, illustrated by J.H. Williams III, published by DC Comics.  Another great installment that really could have used the old--can you believe this is considered old?--format of 22 pages.
As Kate Kane (Batwoman) enjoys a night of intimacy with Detective Maggie Sawyer, Kate's cousin, Bette Kane (Flamebird) hits the night and also the faces of some gun runners.  A new villain arrives on the scene, one looking like a Frankenstein/Solomon Grundy mashup with a hook/scythe on his left hand, an instrument that he uses to practically eviscerate the outmatched Flamebird.  Cameron Chase, who is hot on the Batwoman's trail, locates the barely living Flamebird and pumps the dying woman for information in a cruel and heartless way.  Batwoman, still unaware of the dire straits of her cousin's life, continues to track the Weeping Woman and discovers her identity to be that of a dead woman.  Speaking of discovered identities, what happens now that Chase and those who employ her know the name of the woman who calls herself Batwoman?
With Batwoman you can expect beautiful art and an engaging story and this issue does not disappoint, although, as I mentioned above, this issue could have used the extra two pages of the not-so-olden-days past to develop Hooky, or Hooker (huh?) or Agapanthus, or whatever the new villain's name is and why the Weeping Woman appeared from nowhere to warn Flamebird.  I am not saying that the Flamebird fight against Hookster was not exciting or expertly executed, but that I needed just a kick more to really bring it home. The love scene between Kate and Maggie was beautiful and dreamlike as it played out between the scenes of Flamebird being brutally taken down and nearly killed.  I also liked how Williams III portrayed the usually in charge and tough-as-all-getout Kate the next morning as calm, quiet and uncertain through the use of her expressions and body language (this was also the third style of art used in the book at that point).  Cameron Chase comes across as a cruel and dangerous woman, and I'm left wanting to know more about her and how and why she became so cold (going to have to pick up the Chase TPB in January or on Comixology).  Overall, I really want to see Kate beat the living daylights out of Hookie-Cookie and make that jerkwad pay for what he did to her cousin, but that is probably going happen in the second arc.  The next issue brings the conclusion to the current "Hydrology" storyline and I can't wait to see what happens next.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Demon Knights #4
Demon Knights #4 - Written by Paul Cornell and illustrated by Michael Choi and Diogenes Neves, published by DC Comics.  Another issue has come and gone and this one does not have a single panel of Etrigan the Demon to be found.  You know what?  That's okay.  What has finally sunk into my head is that although the title of this book is Demon Knights, that does not mean that the Demon is necessarily the main character.  Rather, what you should be holding in your hands is a fantasy team book that looks to give equal time to shine to all of the characters involved and not just a yellow-skinned, pointy-eared Etrigan.
After the cliffhanger death of the young girl from last issue, the Shining Knight is ready to enact vengeance on the Horde, but instead she (??? seems like it, but then again...) has a vision of Merlin and we learn of the Shining Knight's quest that she herself was not fully aware of until now.  Ages past, the young warrior was gravely wounded at the fall of Camelot and would have perished if not for Merlin allowing the child with "two natures" to drink from the holy grail and thus heal and gain immortality.  The knight learns of how Merlin later lost the grail and how she (?) was charged with retrieving the artifact.  She also gains insight into her own future and certain events look less than desirable and unfortunately unavoidable.  The evil red-bearded child killer meets a just end at the hands of the "horse woman," but she then turns on the Demon Knights and commits a completely unexpected act.
Whoa now!  What the heck?!  I was not expecting that ending at all.  Cornell has been pulling me into this magical world since the first issue and this spotlight on the Shining Knight makes me love this unusual team book all the more.  Although we get a look into the this character's origin, there are still plenty of questions left unanswered and some new ones raised during the process.  Michael Choi provides the artwork for the vision scenes, which is most of the book, and he does a stellar job in telling this tale.  Diogenes Neves does have a few pages, which are beautiful as ever and he will supposedly be returning to the illustrate the entirety of issue five.  Not much happened in this installment to move the main story forward, but that is perfectly acceptable when Cornell allows us a glimpse into the history of one of his fascinating characters; I can't wait for Savage to have his turn.  Demon Knights is ready to accelerate forward, and moments to pause and take a breath like this only help this rich world, leaving me wanting more.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Frankenstein Agent
of S.H.A.D.E. #4
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. - Written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Alberto Ponticelli, published by DC Comics.  I like this series more and more with each passing issue.  Frankenstein completely reminds me of something you would find in the Warren Magazines of old, and that is definitely a good thing.
Frankenstein and his team learn that Monster World is actually a living, telepathic planet that was overtaken by the three titans--only two remain after Frankenstein took care of one in amazing fashion last issue.  The problem is that the monsters have nearly killed the planet and they will only have one place to turn to...Earth.  Frankenstein and Nina go after the sea titan and the vast monstrosities of the ocean have a most odd reaction to the pair's arrival.  Lady Frankenstein, Velcoro (Vampire) and Griffith (Werewolf) are charged with killing the Ogre titan, but they are quickly overwhelmed by the masses aligned against them.  Thus arrives "The Toybox" and its G.I. Robots and the incredibly cool War Wheels, which helps even the odds.  Lady Frankenstein proves to be a skilled tactician, but even if they Creature Commandos can defy the odds and defeat the Titans, time is running out for them to return home.
Crimony this issue was a blast.  What could have been one of the silliest of the 52 comics to see print, turns out to be one of my favorites, which should be no surprise with Lemire writing this fun and exciting comic book.  Despite the title, this issue belongs equally to Lady Frankenstein and to what I call the "back office" or the ones running the show from behind the scenes.  The fantastic page with Dr. Belroy and Father Time taking remote control of the War Wheels cracked me up and it is apparent that Lemire is having a grand old time with all of these characters.  The premise is ludicrous, but the right mixture of charm and intense situations makes the comic work.  If you are tired of your average superhero fare, take a look at the supernatural heroes in Frankenstein and you should not be disappointed.  This is exactly the type of alternate programming that DC Comics needed and I hope to be reading this title for years to come.  Forget team Edward and team Jacob, I'm team Frankenstein all the way.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Shade #3
The Shade #3 - Written by James Robinson and illustrated by Cully Hamner, published by DC Comics.  Once relegated to the ranks of F-List characters, The Shade was revitalized to the big leagues by Robinson's excellent Starman series and he was cemented as one of my favorite DC characters of all time.  So, it should come as no surprise that I like this series, but there is plenty to love for those new to the character and any confusion after the first issue should be a thing of the past--you should still read all of the Starman Omnibus books though.
The Shade arrives in Sydney, Australia to aid an old friend in return for information that he might have in finding who has put a hit on the life of the master of darkness.  He learns that Darnell Caldecott is now called John Cross and that the man lives in a secluded home and is under the guard of a lizard god, a creature even the Shade has no prayer of besting.  The Shade then consults with magician Diablo Blacksmith, an old adversary who agrees to offer some advice, and the lizard god battles the Shade allowing a startling secret to be revealed.
Although this issue seemed slightly less engaging than the previous two installments, it was still immensely enjoyable.  It was great to see the Shade cut loose with his powers against an unbeatable foe he has no hope of defeating, but what was missing were the character moments that I loved so much from the previous two issues.  Still, this was a fun book and after the cliffhanger reveal of Richard Swift's enemy, the next issue promises to be most interesting indeed.  RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

What Happened to Green Lantern #4? -  Well...I made a boo-boo and forgot to pick it up, which blows.  For some reason I forgot to add this title to my pull list and now I will be making a trip to the store this weekend to pick it up.  OH NO!  Go to the comic store and look around?!  *gasp*  Odds are high that I would go there anyways to take in the aroma of the new books and their crisp, freshly printed pages.  It's like free therapy to me to just walk into the place.  KnowWhatIMean?

No comments:

Post a Comment