Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 10/19/2012

(sung to the tune of Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream")

Oh what a beautiful day, I went to town
I bought tons of comic books, I was soarin'
You read Hawkeye? Dang, son, it is rockin'
Abducted redhead, arrows a flyin'

Yeah, comic lover's dream
That Bunn and Hurtt speak to me
Drake Sinclair's a mystery, I'll go where the Sixth Gun leads
Comic lover's dream

Chew is damn good, those powers aren't possible
Fuglies easy now on the eyes.
Wonder Woman in her book and in Batwoman
They will whup your ass, I tell no lies

Yeah, comic lover's dream
Daredevil's villain gives me the creeps
Amethyst in Sorcery, purple magic works for me
Comic lovers dream

AAAAGGGGHHHH! Tulip! Grab that phone and tell that insurance agent go do something of a rude nature to themselves. Crudcakes! Who's at the door now?! Criminy! Hi folks, I'm here with my Boston terrier, Tulip, who is also Donist World's marketing director and we are under siege. Under siege I tell you! You see, we had seven whole comics this week (yeah, not much but if you knew how long it takes me to write still wouldn't be phased. Fair enough), plus we are down in man power puppy power. As it turns out, Obie (my friends' Boston terrier and Donist World CFO) has a problem of dislocating his back knee when he runs too hard and tries to turn on a dime. You know Obie though, work hard(ly) and play hard. So, unfortunately, he is taking a bit of PTO for some R&R, but that leaves Tulip an I with a slammed comic book week of awesomeness; a great problem to have if I do say so myself. We also received a Kickstarter item and a creepy book by Bernie Wrightson (see what I did there) that we can't even begin to talk about this week, so maybe next week. Like I said, we're slammed and...hold on a sec. Tulip just got a text on her iKibble phone. Give it here, Tulip, what's it say? Oh. It's a picture of Obie, drinking a puppy-sized Mai-Tai on the beach?! He does have a cast on, but still. Ugh...anyhow, I need to prepare a passive-aggressive statement for a dog, but while I do that, take a gander at...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Hawkeye #3
Hawkeye #3 - Written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by David Aja, published by Marvel Comics. So, this Hawkeye book...since his early Avengers days, I've been on friendly terms with the character and I eagerly bought his mini-series in the '80s (now where did my copies go???). At some point, Hawkeye and I lost touch. Then The Ultimates, and their insanely tough rendition of the character arrived a decade ago that carried the awesome through to the Avengers movie, but I still wasn't completely onboard the Hawkeye train. Enter the news that two of the three involved on one of my all-time favorite Big Two superhero comics ever (Immortal Iron Fist) are back and taking a shot (see what I did there?) at the purple archer. With just three issues thus far, it is safe to say that Hawkeye is my favorite superhero comic on the stands.
Superheros have bad days, too. They also make the occasional mistake, but those mistakes tend to lean towards the super in their scope, especially when Clint Barton is making them. What can possibly go wrong when you leave the house to buy something as stupid as tape and end up in bullet-ridden car you just spent a bundle buying, a beautiful redhead you just slept with tied-up and gagged in the back seat, a quiver full of unlabeled trick arrows, a teenage sidekick with a crush driving said car, and the returned tracksuit Dracula squad set on abducting said redhead. All this because he needed some @$%^ing tape?!
I'm listening to David Aja's Hawkeye Spotify set as I write this review, and it is such a cool touch to have a soundtrack to go along with the comic, especially when the artist's music taste coincide with my own while perfectly fitting the mood of the sequentials. Check it out and give a listen. Back to the comic...WOW. It's apparent on the first page that Fraction and Aja are having just as much fun creating this comic as I am reading it. Fraction has the reader immediately going, "Oh no, Clint don't..." and leaves them hammering through the rest of the book anxious to see just how bad things are going to get, and loving the whole journey. As great as Clint is, he isn't Fraction's only star performer in this series. Kate (Hawkeye II? Kid Hawkeye? Lady Hawkeye? Sparroweye?) also has her moments, many of them spent teasingly kicking her mentor/crush while he's down and proving that this teen has her act together much more than he does.
Aja's art continues to be perfectly suited for this series, setting tone and providing tense action to pull the reader so far into the scene that you feel like you're sitting in the back seat, yelling at Clint to pull over and let you out of the damn car. Aja is the perfect artist for this book, bringing excitement, emotion and extra helpings of humor to every page. For colors, Matt Hollingsworth provides a "flats" style of coloring that works for this book far better than hyper-realistic coloring of gradients, glows and drop-shadows, giving the book a '70s feel.
Can you tell that I like this comic book? Are you reading it? If not, what's wrong with you? Get thee to your LCS, or buy it on Comixology, but preferably get the print version for the experience. Crank up the Spotify and enjoy this wonderful comic. It has been far too long since I have been this excited for a Marvel comic and Hawkeye is must-own material and is a blast to read. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Sixth Gun #26
The Sixth Gun #26 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press. Okay, what the hell is going on? Usually, getting ahold of this comic month-in and month-out is like Indiana Jones retrieving that gold idol at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but last month I received issue 25 with no problem and--call me crazy--here I am with issue 26 in hand in what seems like only two or three weeks later. ??? I'm not complaining or anything, hell, go weekly on this fantastic title for all I care, just keep 'em coming. But, hey, let's not jinx anything and get right down to it.
As Drake Sinclair and Becky Montcrief sit trapped and freezing in a magically induced snowstorm awaiting a Wendigo's next attack, Drake recounts his first encounter with the mythological beast and what it took to kill the monster. A new character is introduced and an "old" character is given opportunity to shine in pursuit of (or being pursued by) the first Wendigo. Gord, Kirby and Asher (mystically-inclined good guy?, thief, 9-foot-tall mummy respectively) set out to locate Drake and Beck so they can gain access to the five of six cursed guns the pair have in their possession. Meanwhile, Drake knows how to kill the evil hunger spirit, but unfortunately, he also has a suspicion of what happened to the missing townsfolk. Becky's not going to be thrilled with what needs to be done.
I always love when Bunn takes us into Drake's mysterious past and although this glimpse is brief, he introduces us to the new and currently absent character, Abigail, who used to travel with Drake and Billjohn. Follow up the Wendigo history lesson with an exciting covered wagon chase and a terrible decision to come, and Bunn leaves you desperate for the next issue. Hurtt delivers the tension-riddled action and intense emotions, and then brings the scary with the giant stag adorned with heads impaled on its antlers. Bill Crabtree's colors round out the mood and style that gives The Sixth Gun its unique look. With a prequel in the works and a series being developed for NBC, good things are happening for one of the best comics you'll find on the ol' spinner rack. With any luck the next issue will show up on time, or better yet early. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew #29
Chew #29 - Written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob Guillory, published by Image Comics. Just when you think you've seen and read it all, you read an issue of Chew and realize you were oh so wrong. But that's okay, why would you ever want to be right about something like that? Now, I have to admit that way back when Chew #1 was released, I read the promos and just sort of wrote the series off as a "pass." Then I began to hear all of the crazy reviews and issues became difficult to find. I finally caved and read the first issue, then did the scarce commodity scramble trying to find all the issues I was missing. The moral of the story: read Chewissue to issue it's unlike anything you've ever laid eyes on.
NASA, the FDA and the USDA are forced to work together to bring in a victuspeciosian, or one who can change the physical appearance of individuals through the use of food-based beauty masks. Although this power is temporary, changing ones appearance can hold dastardly implications, especially when there is a power collecting vampire looking to add to his collection. Enter Toni, Caesar and Colby as they rush to find the victuspeciosian beauty salon worker before the collector can gather her up for his collection. But as the trio watch the salon, who's watching them? Also, double-page splash Poyo style!!!
Hot diggity dog! I love this comic. Disgusting, charming, intriguing, baffling, laugh inspiring, and many other "-ings" make this book a total joy to read and reread over and over again. As long as the anti-immigration nuts don't deport Layman back to whatever planet he's from, we can only hope to have new issues of Chew forever and ever. Layman has created some truly wonderful characters to such a point that the supporting cast has been carrying the past few issues and he even succeeds in making horrible a_holes like Applebee relatable at times; these are people you'd want to have a beer with. Guillory is the only artist I can ever see drawing this series and his distinct style is just as essential to the complete work as is the crazy subject matter. Yeah, I like this comic and if you have not read it, you must give it a try, especially before Showtime gets around to airing the adaptation currently in development. Who knew cannibalism could be so much fun. Man, I want that Poyo DPS on my wall. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Daredevil #19
Daredevil #19 - Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Chris Samnee, published by Marvel Comics. Speaking of favorite Marvel Comics, Daredevil is definitely a close number two. Waid has turned Matt Murdoch from punching bag to hero, but this issue has a villain from the recent past who returns to make the hero's life hell. We're not sure what turned the C-lister into what appears to be an A-list threat, but the new creepy-as-all-hell costume, that diabolical manicure and the mako shark smile left me going, "Whoa!" Foggy makes a decision that will cause havoc down the line and Daredevil needs to not loose his head with this new villain--yeah, check the cover. Waid and Samnee are a fantastic team on this superhero book that more than deserves all of the praise it has received since issue one. If you haven't been reading Daredevil, then pick up the trade and have a look at what you've been missing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Batwoman #13
Batwoman #13 - Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman with illustrations by J.H. Williams III, published by DC Comics. Despite the inopportune timing of the "0" issue--that I really, really liked btw--we pick up chapter two of the "World's Finest" storyline pairing Batwoman and Wonder Woman together to take on the might of Medusa. The pair travel underseas (gorgeously painted on page two and three) to visit the penitentiary of the mythological to see if Medusa is still being detained. Mr. Bones is a cold-blooded bastard, Bette Kane is one freakin' tough cookie, Nyx is terrifying, and Pegasus is so far from what I was expecting I don't know what to think. All in all, Batwoman is more than just a collection of the most beautiful art you have ever seen in comics, but this arc looks to be a fabulous look at two of DC's strongest female characters, both human and divine. The next issue cannot come soon enough. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Wonder Woman #13
Wonder Woman #13 - Written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Tony Akins, published by DC Comics. Wonder Woman continues to be unlike any version of the Princess of Power that I have ever read before...which is why I have happily been buying it each month. I love that this Wonder Woman is part of the Greek Pantheon of gods and goddesses that in no way resembles anything out of my treasured D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths, and leaves me wondering what strange new twist Azzarello will come up with next. The story opens with Orion (I think, could be wrong here) biting off more than he can chew (with awesome "chew" SFX) and Apollo sees the problem with those pesky 3000th year family reunions. Tempers run hot at Wonder Woman's home before she heads out to find her half-sister, Siracca, the wind. Tony Akins steps in for Cliff Chiang for this calm-before-the-storm issue. This ain't your traditional Wonder Woman book folks, but it's definitely one of the best and worth checking out. RECOMMENDED!

Sword of Sorcery
Featuring Amethyst #1
Sword of Sorcery Featuring Amethyst #1 - Written by Christy Marx and illustrated by Aaron Lopresti with backup story Beowulf written by Tony Bedard and illustrated by Jesus Saiz, published by DC Comics. Although last month's "0" issue was actually more of an first issue offering, making this issue one more of an issue two, I...sorry, I got lost in my own train wreck of thought. Let's ignore the minutiae. DC opens up the diversity of their comics line, with Amethyst. A young woman raised on boring-ass Earth named Amaya discovers she is actually a princess of a magical world where her Aunt reigns with an iron fist and who seeks to take Amaya's amethyst power from her. We are introduced to other members of other gem houses and see that there might be more to Amaya's relationship with her aunt than we know. "Beowulf" continues the sword and sorcery fun with the tale of a savage "hero" who a boy convinces to help with a slight Grendel problem. We also see a post-apocalyptic nod to current DC continuity. Both stories are enjoyable, well-written and beautifully illustrated, especially by Lopresti. Worth checking out and SoS:A will hopefully be around for some time to come. Not thrilled with the $3.99 decision that will most likely damage sales, but whatchagonnado. RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Hey! Where's My Captain Marvel Issue! - Dammit! *sigh* Hopefully next week.


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