Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 5/11/2012

(Sung to the tune of The Car's "My Best Friend's Girl")

Donist World tells you somethin' neat
Comic book surprise
Talon scum the one to beat
Batman sees minus crazy eyes

(Here they come again)
And he beats them to a bloody pulp
He'll make you flip
(Here they come again)
Batcave's gettin' cold, run 'em down...gulp
Good comics such a groovy trip

Nina's Frankenstein's girl?
Give this title a whirl
Obie likes them just fine

Have you seen those Iron Man plastic toy masks, the ones with the voice modulator in them? You know what I'm talking about right? "I am Iron Man!" Have you ever seen a Boston terrier wear one, because that's exactly what Donist World CFO, Obie, is wearing. I am wearing a set of Hulk hands with a plastic Thor hammer duct-taped to them as well as a Thor helmet squeezing the bejesus out of my cranium--I guess I should have gotten a hair cut. Anyways, despite our excitement and dire need to re-watch a certain Marvel film again--sneaking a dog into a theater is no easy task, I tell you--you might notice that the books mentioned below represent only half of the big two and not the one who put out the movie. So while you're trying to guess which flick has ol' Donist and Obie completely pumped, I'm gonna try to peel myself out of this rubber Black Widow costume which keeps tearing the hair off my chest, legs and...never mind, it's...

Friday Slice of Heaven

Batman #9
Batman #9 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo, published by DC Comics. "The Night of the Owls" is in full swing and despite being yet another crossover in the New 52, and comprising 19 different issues over 12 titles, it is safe to say that following only Batman works out just fine. I have nothing against the other 11 titles, I just have other things that my $33.89 can be spent on and as much as I love the character of Batman, I'm in this for Snyder's writing and Capullo's lovely art.
Wayne Manor has been infiltrated by a group of deadly Talons, but Batman has a suit of war armor to even the odds. That and a butler named Alfred who is locked in the safe room and is dropping the temperature of the Batcave to a level that will slow the superhuman owls down enough for the Bat to take them all down, IF he doesn't die from exposure himself. He also has some other tricks up his sleeve to dispatch the Owl infestation, but as the outcome of the battle shifts to Batman's advantage, the symbol of the Court of Owls hangs in the Gotham night sky and Batman has to rush to protect the few remaining survivors on the Talon's hit list, namely Lincoln March. Can he make it in time? What vital piece of information does March hold?
Another great action packed issue in the "Night of the Owls" storyline has come and gone, but as much as I enjoyed the past two installments, I'm ready for Batman to get back to what makes him such an amazing character, the moment when he solves the mystery. Of course you cannot have a Batman comic that doesn't have the hero punching someone in the face or stomping the baddie in unique and creative ways, but this hero is known for his sharp mind and deductive prowess as well as his stubbornness and occassional over-confidence. That is the aspect of the character I want to read about the most, and that is what looks to be coming with the next issue; I can't wait. As for Capullo's illustrations, I'm finding it increasingly more difficult to complement the guy issue to issue, so let's just say this one is more beautiful than the previous one. For a crossover comic, "Night of the Owls" could have been an Infinity Crusade (Marvel crossover from the '90s) level of annoyance, but it is not. DC thankfully allows the reader to clearly follow the story with the title issue alone, with the crossover titles only adding to the experience as opposed to being a requirement to understanding what is happening. I am eager to see what Batman does with his newly gained knowledge and he proves not only that brains beats brawn, but having both makes him undefeatable. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Frankenstein Agent
of SHADE #9
Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #9 - Written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Alberto Ponticelli, published by DC Comics. What do you know...another New 52 DC crossover book, but you know what Donist World fans? This is actually one that I follow ALL of the books involved. This was not intentional, it just happened and I'm glad that it did. This issue--as the title printed on the cover clearly states--deals with the menace of the Rot, which ties Frankenstein to Scott Snyder's Swamp Thing and Jeff Lemire's other (and fantastic) book Animal Man.
Father, the head of SHADE, has given Frankenstein and Nina, the fish woman, their latest assignment: they must find Animal Man and find why dead animals are rising from their graves. Frankenstein, although losing trust in Father, agrees to go and what he finds once on-site can make even a monster's blood run cold. Lying dead, bloated and misshapen is one Detective Karl Krenshaw, who, unknown to Frank, was a victim of the Rot. What follows is a gross battle that Frank and Nina cannot possibly win without the aid of SHADE, but winning drives home a known truth that would threaten Frankenstein's resolve, if not for Nina's kindness. The hunt for Animal Man is on.
I have to admit that I have been toying with the idea of dropping Frankenstein Agent of Shade, but after reading this issue, I will be staying on and seeing what Matt Kindt has in store for the characters once he takes over the writing duties. Lemire does a wonderful job of getting the reader to love a monster and his friend especially in the scene where we see Frankenstein offer up a rare but touching smile. Ponticelli's cleaner line work is easier to follow and ultimately more striking than what was produced at the beginning of the series and thus makes the book more accessible to new readers. One mistake in the art that made me laugh was in the scene with Frank and Nina sitting on the rock and Frank turns to look at Nina, but his little mohawk of hair stays in the same position as when he was staring straight ahead at the ground. The slip managed to be more charming than disruptive just as this particular crossover managed to pull me back into a story that was beginning to lose me as a reader. RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
The Avengers Movie - Okay, I'm not going to go into any detail here as MANY other sites have written some oozing-with-adoration reviews. Let's just say I loved it, my wife loved it, and I'm going to take my mom to see it next week. "Your mom?!" you say. Well, guess who bought me all those comic books when I was nuthin' but a little cuss. Just know that I really enjoyed the Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America movies and this one blew them ALL out of the water. Great character development, fantastic lines, intense action and a decent threat made this a must-own movie and one that I will gladly see multiple times in the theater. If I have to say something bothered me, it was that Loki's motivation could have been a little more realistic, the on/off switch (you'll know once you see the movie) was a little too convenient, Hulk had an odd change, and another event was a little forced (you'll know it when you see it). But despite those minor negatives to the story, I L-O-V-E-D T The Avengers movie and there's a reason why it's kicking ace in the box's a helluva ride. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

My Note to My Insurance Company - Last week I told you about how Blue Cross Blue Shield had sent me a check in January for $34.50 and then two weeks ago sent me a letter saying they made an error and to pay them back immediately or they would send me to collections. There were no apologies for the inconvenience, there was no remittance slip, no instructions of who to make the check out to, the return address was different on the letter than what was listed on the prepaid envelope (at least they gave me that). I ended up calling them to try to talk the representative into waiving the $34.50, but they were the ones in charge and they weren't having it. Pay up, Donist, or go to collections. So I paid up, but I wrote a little note to them that stated the following:

Please add this $34.50, that was your error, to your CEO's $4.5 million 2010 compensation package. Thank you for threatening me with collections.

They could have at least been polite about it, they were the ones that (not "who," corporations are NOT people) screwed up. Bummer.

Our Complex Is Being Tented for Termites -Talk about a pain in the rear. Packing up to go to a hotel, double bagging food that stays, putting everything that did not need to be in a refrigerator into storage (that gets tented next), plants into the car ports and an 8:00 AM "get out." Not fun, but at least I cleared out a lot of ancient crap from the refrigerator that could food poison a mummy. This is also why this FSoH/SitW is a tad rushed. Oh well, the termites were getting bad.

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