Jump, Jump, you know, you should read 'em
Obie is not having anything today
Didn't buy your comics? Be stressed out!
Donist World will make you
Kenji's bat will smack ya whump, whump
Swamp Thing is more than a stump, stump
DD's love makes his heart thump, thump
Rex, Zombie Killer, you best be buyin' son, 'cause it's rad
Abby and Alec's forbidden love, kept apart, so sad
Now get up bump, bump wiggle and shake your rump
Hit your comic store for books that'll make you wanna jump
I'm going to talk in a whisper today and keep the intro somewhat short, so gather close kids. You see Obie, my friends' Boston terrier and COO of Donist World, is consumed by one of the titles listed below. Wanna take a guess at which one that might be. Anyhow, he's in comic book La La Land and commands dead silence as he reads his books, but today he is even more intent on my keeping my yapper shut. The good news is that every single book I bought this week was damn incredible and I had a blast reading all of them. So let's get into it right away and have a look at...
Friday Slice of Heaven
|Rex, Zombie Killer #1|
The zompacalypse has hit, but instead of following a ragtag group of men and women struggling to survive the harsh conditions of the new world before them, we have a group of animals. They consist of the following: Rex, a golden retriever with an intellect far beyond what is normal for the breed or most humans for that matter; Brutus, a previously abused pit bull whose challenges before the fall make him a formidable opponent; Buttercup, a small but brave corgi who lends much optimism to her new family; Snowball, a white cat with a disliking of everyone and everything...except for food; Kenji, a sign language-speaking gorilla with a baseball bat. Each character has their own personality and traits, some of which do not work to their own personal benefit, but together they form a tight team, a pack. Each animal is desperate to survive and with the aid of Rex's superior intellect they devise a plan to head toward "Nah-vah-da" in hopes of finding the scientist who raised Rex. Just as they begin their journey, Brutus is abducted by a gang of cruel bikers who have a horrible fate in store for the pit bull, but his pack sets out to rescue him from the terrible compound with a plan that rests primarily on the shoulders of one happy, little corgi named Buttercup.
This book was written for me. If you've read any of my posts in the past, you know that I'm a dog lover and an animal lover. Hell, the COO of Donist World is a Boston terrier for gosh sake, but what we have here are three dogs, a cat and a gorilla, all of whom have distinct, strong personalities that can easily be attributed to your own pets and to some degree people. Anderson gets you to identify with and care for each animal almost immediately. It is impossible to not sympathize with the sad, dire past lives of primarily Rex and Buttercup in this issue, and the flashbacks to their situations pull painfully at your heart. As with The Walking Dead the zombies are a fact of life in this world, and the true monsters are the humans, just as they unfortunately could be in the world before the dead combed the streets for the living...ask Brutus, he'll agree. Dafu Yu provides beautiful artwork that almost has a classic comics feel for the animals, while maintaining a more realistic look for humans and zombies to great effect that is enhanced by the striking colors of Kevin Volo. Rex, Zombie Killer is a stark look at the effects of a zombie outbreak on the world as seen from the eyes of not just our pets, but other animals...both loved and abused. At one moment action-packed and riveting, the other emotionally touching, Rex is everything a comic book lover, pet lover, horror lover could ask for and at 56 pages for $3.50 this is a must buy. I can't wait to see what comes next. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
*sidenote - Damn you, Rob for writing a comic that actually made me cry. Buttercup is the best.
|Swamp Thing #9|
Abigail has been transformed into the Queen of the Rot, a creature remotely resembling Sethe only with more of an insect quality about her. She is horrific, powerful and with Sethe's influence she is about to annihilate the Green's warrior, Alec Holland. But Alec thought ahead before engaging with the Rot and returns control to Abby, the woman he has very real memories of loving from a life he never actually lived. Abby breaks free and in turn uses the power of the rot to destroy Sethe and to heal the dying Alec. In the aftermath, the true evil rises once again, a foe from years past, one who fully intends to keep up the family link to the Rot.
Fantastic! Scott Snyder keeps upping the stakes on my favorite comic of the new 52 and he has successfully brought me back to one of my all-time favorite comic characters. In Moore's run the strain on Abby and Alec's relationship was that they were human and plant, but they worked around this. With Snyder's take we have an exceptionally powerful agent of the Rot and the strongest warrior of the Green and although they are together now, there are some foreseeable problems with the situation, but ones they will have to work through. This issue was almost as exceptional as the past few, but the mid-book change of artist from Paquette to Rudy was noticeable and jarring. This is not to say that Rudy's art was subpar, only that the change did take me out of the book for a moment, but not by much. Then there's the last panel reveal that will leave the fans of this series desperate for the next issue and happily terrified for what is to come. If you have not been reading Snyder's Swamp Thing, don't wait until August to buy the hardcover of this series, track down these issues and experience an engaging horror story and one of the best books DC is releasing. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Kristin McDuffie, the new Assistant District Attorney, is convinced that Matt Murdoch is actually Daredevil, but then again who doesn't suspect as much? The difference between Kristin and most other people is that she has Matt's attention as much as he has hers. The pair go on a date to the carnival, but not on an ordinary date, Kristin has agreed to let Matt blindfold her so that she can experience what it is like to be an ordinary blind person. Of course Matt is nowhere near ordinary, but anything to place doubt about his secret identity will work. The night goes perfectly as the pair's romance grows and Matt tells a story from school days with Foggy until a vengeful Black Spectre agent shows up to ruin the evening with a dire warning for Daredevil and Matt Murdoch.
Warning to fans of heroes punching villains or other heroes...this is not the issue for you. In fact, not a single punch is thrown and there's only one panel of heroes in costume. Again, only one panel of heroes in costume, and you know what? This is the best Marvel comic I've read in a year, and a tremendously well-written issue period. Where Swamp Thing was a story of an old love that refuses to die, Waid's Daredevil is a charming story of new love and the telling of a long-term friendship with his closest friend. I was hooked on the first page, and the second page splash revealed what was really happening and left me going, "ohhhhhh, I see." Then there's page five, which is laugh-out-loud funny with the playfulness between Krisitin and Matt and it was clear how much I would love this issue and wish for this romance to work. Chris Samnee. Man, oh man, this is a beautiful issue with great expressions telling everything you need to know about what is happening in the scene and I cannot wait to see what Samnee does next. Bravo, Waid and Samnee, this is the superhero comic I love to read. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Other Heavenly Items:
|Animal Man #9|
|Sweet Tooth #33|
|Dial H #1|
Took the Day Off From Work to See... - the AVENGERS! A day off of work is always great, but getting up early to write without a rush out the door, coupled with Amy's fresh strawberry and blueberry scones, followed by a run, a viewing of Iron Man, playtime with the dog, beers in the afternoon at Hollister Brewing Company, and then the Avengers movie?! I couldn't have a better day planned. I can't wait to see the movie that I've been waiting to see for most of my life.
Slice Into the Woods
Blue Cross Blue Shield - As some of you have read in my "One Heck of a Bad Month" post from October 2011, I went through some shit. Actually, I went through a lot of shit in 2011, but October was the worst. Anyhow, I'm thankful that I have health insurance and it made the surgery (and the unnecessary following events) not devastating from a financial standing, but that's the point of health insurance. Over the past six months I have received so many bills and explanation of benefits that make zero sense, that when I received a check from Blue Cross Blue Shield for $34.50 for an overpayment, I just shrugged my shoulders, cashed it and bought some extra comics. Why not? Then I received a letter this week that stated the following:
Dear Donald McMillan
We sent payment to you on January 11, 2012, in error for the patient listed above. We must request that you refund $34.50 for the reason(s) stated below.
BASED ON THE INFORMATION FILED BY THE PROVIDER ON THE ORIGINAL CLAIM, OUR PAYMENT WAS INCORRECT.
If we have not heard from you within 30 days, we will deduct this amount from future payments to you and/or send this information to our collections agency. Please send this amount and blah, blah, blah.
So, what they are telling me is that they screwed up with a drop-in-the-bucket amount and they will send me to collections if I don't pay them back. Nice. All they needed to add was "Hey Asshole" instead of my name to really drive home their thoughts about those who contribute (and/or their employers who cover this as employee compensation) the premiums that enable the CEO to take in just above $4.5 million in compensation for the 2010 year (as provided by a two minute google search...research man, research). Hey CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield, enjoy my contribution to the remodel of your third vacation home's swimming pool. Thanks a lot, smooches, Donist.