Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 12/30/2011

(Sung to the tune of Bing Crosby's version of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland")

Great comics, are you reading
Donist World says what you're needing
For beautiful art,
You could always start
Reading about a vampire no man's land

Vampire 'Drew is the coolest
One of DC's all new best
Fialkov is right
To give you a fright
Reading about a vampire no man's land

The Avengers got a group that's Secret (shhhhhh)
A story by Ellis you won't soon forget

He'll say: You expect this?
We'll say: No Man
But you do a fine job
Heck go to town.

Howdy Donist World folks.  Sorry for the slight delay in posting this, but with the past holiday, traveling, and the Kris Kringle Flu, I was unable to get to my LCS to buy my books...all two of them.  Once I post this, Obie should start talking to me again, it seems he is rather unforgiving when it comes to Donist World posts that are late, and I can't say that I blame the little guy.  Anyhow, I hope that everyone of my loyal readers (Mom and Obie) had a wonderful holiday and that they survived the weirdness of it all, so here's...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

I, Vampire #4
I, Vampire #4 - Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, published by DC Comics.  Oh...come...on... A guest appearance already?!  We're only four issues in and already we have DC Universe characters hopping into the series?  But here's the odd thing that I am not used to seeing--the issue is not hampered by the appearance of an outside character, rather the story and the world of I, Vampire is enhanced in a great way, showing the threat of Mary Queen of Blood is not one that outsiders are going to be prepared to deal with; this includes the supernatural "dark" heroes.
While Tig and John rest at a hotel, Andrew Bennett sets out on his own to find some food, and he comes across another vampire scrounging for leftover blood in a hospital medical dumpster.  Optimistic that he has found another vampire capable of controlling the dark urges, the centuries-old vampire allows the man to live, and believing the man can handle it teaches him how to transform into a strong and powerful being.  Unfortunately, Andrew was wrong about the man who embraces his newfound power and gives up trying to contain the evil within.  The young vampire terrorizes some diner patrons, not knowing that the supernatural John Constantine is there, but Andrew prefers to deal with his own problems personally.  After dispatching the vampire, Andrew warns Constantine about Mary Queen of Blood and a disappointing truth about the identity of the young vampire is revealed.
I expected this installment of I, Vampire to be good, but I also expected a loss of momentum by the introduction of a DC Universe character so early in the game.  I'm glad I was so wrong.  Fialkov provides further characterization into Andrew Bennett and his desperate need to find more vampires like himself, ones that are able to control and deny their very nature and work for the betterment of the world.  He is wrong in his judgement and it costs people their lives.  Constantine's appearance shows that he is still as mysterious as ever and no slouch in dealing with your everyday vampire, but Andrew is not what you would call normal and takes the mystical man out of play with little trouble.  Constantine fits well into this world and maybe someday Swamp Thing will appear as well, but when the brightly colored "Supers" begin to show up, that is going to be a little more difficult to pull off.  Batman shows up next issue along with Mary, but since his is one of the darker heroes and a human, I am looking forward to the meet up, BUT I also hope to see an absence of heroes for a while to further the story as opposed to pushing cross-marketing campaigns.  Sorrentino's art is even better than previous issues, primarily the silent stunning page two and three spread of Andrew setting forth into the night.  The coloring by Marcelo Maiolo is a gorgeous showing and brings home the mood especially in the scene with Andrew talking to the younger vampire.  If you are a fan of well-told horror stories and have not yet picked up these readily available issues, then you are missing out.  Dang...I am loving this series.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Secret Avengers #20
Secret Avengers #20 - Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Alex Maleev, published by Marvel Comics.  I think that I have mentioned before that I am trying to find an "out" on this series, primarily because of the $3.99 price point with only 20 pages of material (not counting the introductory page), but I'll be darned if Ellis doesn't keep preventing me from actually pulling the plug.  These one-and-done stories have been great and the latest installment is no different with the spotlight on surprise, surprise Black Widow (have a gander at the cover).
As the dead and dying members of her team lie strewn around her, Natasha Romanoff finds herself in possession of a time machine that removes her from certain death and takes her back to the past.  Playing with time is tricky business especially when the "timeflow must be maintained," and thus saving the lives of her teammates is difficult.  Natasha has to work with a brilliant master of time and his not-as-bright husband, Kongo, while consulting with a past version of the Beast and a back-stabbing weaponsmith in a ploy to rescue her comrades while maintaining the secret of her manipulations.
Time travel can be mind-boggling to say the least, and pulling off a good tale without confusing the heck out of the reader is not all that easy, but left in Warren Ellis's hands, this story shines.  I love Natasha's calm and realization that she has plenty of time to see things done right with little pushes and shoves and with the resources she has at hand.  Maleev's art is great for this issue and I especially enjoyed the 18-panel homage to Modesty Blaise (am I right in this?) with the change in look and production down to the cool yellowed pages of a newspaper comic strip.  Dr. Druid's appearance was a welcome surprise and I still wish that his excellent mini-series Druid--written by Ellis in '95-- had not been canceled before it had a chance to thrive.  Secret Avengers #20 was another fun, action-packed story and I will definitely be picking up the next issue.  RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Sorry for Posting Late - Yeah, again, sorry about that, but you know...the holidays, man, the holidays.  Also, I was hoping to have a copy of the Witch Doctor 1-shot, but I did not see it in my pull, so hopefully I will have that one to talk about next week.  That said, this coming Friday's post is going to be ridiculous with six titles supposedly coming out and the week after that is crazy with at least eight titles to read and talk about at Donist World.  I know, I know, "Boo hoo, Donist.  Eight whole comics.  Wah, baby pants, wah."  But reviews are difficult for me to write, which, aside from spreading the love of awesome comics, is why I do them.  The funny thing is that the rest of January will probably only see a couple of books each week, so can someone inform DC and Marvel that they need to break these books up some over the month to better accommodate my schedule?  I mean, it's for Donist World right?  But their response of, "What's Donist World?" might cancel out that initiative.
Joking aside, I wish everyone a fantastic new year and much success in 2012.  I for one am glad to see 2011 go--for the most part it was not kind to me--but I have a good feeling about the coming year and will keep everyone posted on what I am up to and what I am doing and when you can read some of my own comics.  Much success for you all.

No comments:

Post a Comment