Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 11/23/2012

(Sung to the tune of Naked Eyes's "Always Something There To Remind Me")

Of the comics that Donist read, you'll be surprised Marvel had three
Hawkeye ruled and Thor was strong yet Cap Marvel was tops you see
Oh, how can I forget you, comics, when there is
Always something there to intrigue me
Always something there to thrill me

But that's not all, Sword of Sorcery purple chick Amethyst
And I can't help reading groovy Where is Jake Ellis? How cool is this?

Oh, how can I forget you, comics, when there is
Always something there to intrigue me
Always something there to thrill me

I was born to read them and I never want to be free
I'll always be a fan indeed

Obie, some comics,
and Tulip
Arrrrgh!  Okay, okay. I know this post is totally later than usual, but I will not allow the forces working against me against me. Yeah, that's the ticket. You see, faithful Donist World readers (Hi Mom!) I am at war with gluttony. No, not my gluttony, although I did go a bit off the rails with that filthy dirty vodka martini with jalepeño-stuffed olives and something like four chocolate chip pumpkin cookies (oh my stars and garters those were heavenly). I'm talking about the gluttony of Donist World CFO, Obie (my friends' Boston terrier), and his sister the director of marketing/administrative assistant/party planning/turkey gobbling, Tulip, who is my dog. You see, the puppies gorged themselves on turkey, stuffing, wasabi mashed potatoes with gravy, brussels sprouts, homemade cranberry sauce, and homemade pumpkin pie (thanks A-M-Y!). I also have a suspicion that they hit up some martinis themselves, but there's no way for me to confirm my hunch. Anyways, they are still passed out and refusing to move. The only good I've been able to squeeze out of those over-indulging knuckleheads is that they read all eight of the books we bought this week, five of which I will discuss below...without the help of Tulip and Obie. Yeah, don't look at me like that, Tulip. You should feel bad. Now I'm left with only my steely resolve to keep Donist World alive and running and <ding>...oh...oh my, my, that a fresh batch of chocolate chip pumpkin cookies? Okay, I promise to get back to keeping this ship sailing, just after I get me some of that slice of heaven known as the chocolate chip pumpkin cookie. Speaking of "heaven," have a look at...

Friday Slice of Heaven

Hawkeye #4
Hawkeye #4 - Written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Javier Pulido, published by Marvel Comics. I actually got the shivers when my LCS put this issue in my to-go bag. The shivers I tell you. I mean here I was, six months ago, practically on my way out the door with Marvel comic books, then came this little gem. Now I'm up to three Marvel titles, with a fourth being added to the list--see the next post, Donist Worldoids. On this issue's decent into my brown bag of hope, there was one thing that caught my eye; the lack of "Aja" being listed in the top right corner. Oh no, I thought, I love David Aja on this title. Hawkeye without him is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the blackberry jelly! How can the book continue to be so damn hot without the blackberry jelly? Then I read it and you know what? Grape jelly is also purple and...crud...enough of the metaphors--I just can't do them right without Tulip and Obie's help. So, yes, Aja is missed on Hawkeye, but Pulido is one helluva great fill-in artist on this fantastic superhero comic.
Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you. The funny thing about hauntings is that they only work well when you've done something bad that you don't want people to know about. Having that moment on VHS only helps to make what happened that much seedier. Hawkeye's plane arrives in Madripoor and he's on a hunt for just such a stolen video. The problem is that the video is going up for auction among the deadliest criminal organizations in the world, with Madame Masque looking to place the winning bid using a stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. AMEX Black card; a card she took from Clint Barton. Some guys can never catch a break.
From beginning to end, Hawkeye is a total blast. Fast-paced action and excitement, great characters, recognizable and appropriate bad guys, and a down-on-his-luck lead who you can't help but root for make this book one of my most anticipated superhero reads. Fraction has the character of Clint Barton down. His nonchalant, resigned-to-his-fate demeanor makes him relatable as well as someone you'd want to have a beer with, while his bravado makes him someone you wish you could be. Aja is missed in this issue, but Pulido easily pulls his own weight, keeping to the style of the book while Matt Hollingsworth's colors maintain the look and tone of the series. If you are trade waiting Hawkeye, I'm inclined to say you're making a terrible mistake and missing out on a great series that operates beautifully on a monthly basis. Not only that, but why would you want to wait on the title that is easily one of the best Marvel comics on the stands. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Thor: God of
Thunder #1
Thor: God of Thunder #1 - Written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Esad Ribic, published by Marvel Comics. Oh come on now! Dammit, Marvel Comics. Here I was with my mind all set that I was going to be down to only a couple of your company's titles. Heck, just over a year ago I was buying none, but then I begin to hear stirrings of a new Thor title that is not just good, but has the potential to be great--not knocking past Thor books, they just weren't for me. Then they have to go and put a writer like Jason Aaron on the book and some amazing artist guy named Esad Ribic, and there's no way I'm going to not check this out. Oh wait...$3.99 cover price for 20 pages of story with advertisements strewn throughout (the Red Baron one with the dude about to shovel the chemical "pizza" into his gaping facehole REALLY broke the momentum) nearly made this purchase a no-go, but I pulled the trigger and bought the book just to see what all the hubbub was all about. Then I read it. Ohhhhhh...that explains the hubbub. Every comic book lover could stand to have a little more hubbub.
When Thor Odinson was a younger, less-experienced, more reckless thunder god, he would still heed the prayers of those who sought his aid. If a village was besieged by say a troll or a frost giant, Thor would answer those prayers. This call should have been business as usual for a god of Asgard. What is not usual is to find the head of another pantheon's god washed up upon the shore. In the present, a more mature Thor arrives at a distant planet of alien beings who need rain. Who better than to answer that call than a god of thunder? It seems the gods of this alien race have long since abandoned them, but Thor brings the rain they desperately need. He also brings a curiosity to find just where these gods have gotten to. He's not going to like the answer. Finally, we see a distant version of a battle weary Thor as he faces the army of the the very enemy that has caused him concern over the ages.
Okay. This is ambitious. Jason Aaron not only leads us through the past, present and far-away future of our favorite Asgardian, he also threads a story throughout each period and successfully shows a different version of the same character at each point in time. The great thing, is this story works with each jump in time flowing into the other. The transitions are not jarring and although each age is itself essentially a different story, the main story of the god killer moves forward. This is not an easy thing to pull off. Before reading this book, I was not familiar with Ribic's work, but his art is tremendously well-suited to the world of Thor, with each time period and location having it's own distinct look that is only accentuated by Dean White's stunning colors. One look inside Thor: God of Thunder and I knew I had to give the title a try, but one read is all it took to bring me on board to anxiously await what comes next. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Captain Marvel #7
Captain Marvel #7 - Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrated by Dexter Soy, published by Marvel Comics. What the heck is goin' on?! Three Marvel titles on FSoH/SitW? I don't remember the last time that happened. Dang, there might not have even been a first time, but hey, better late than never. Captain Marvel continues to be a joy to read.
Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) is out helping colleague Monica Rambeau (once Captain Marvel, too) who requires the use of Carol's talents in an undersea reconnaissance mission. As she explores the vast depths, what she sees startles her, but what she actually finds looks to pose a big problem to each of the bickering Captain Marvels.
DeConnick and Soy continue to show that one of the world's most powerful women can kick a whole lotta ass without having to reveal all of her own ass to that world. Carol Danvers is a character with tons of personality and a lust for life that is inspiring and one that I continue to look forward to reading each month. RECOMMENDED!

Sword of Sorcery #2
Sword of Sorcery Featuring: Amethyst #2 - Written by Christy Marx and illustrated by Tony Bedard, with back-up story written by Aaron Lopresti and illustrated by Javier Saiz, published by DC Comics. Finally, a non-Marvel comic book to talk about. Amethyst (let's call the book by the name of the title feature, okay?) continues to be the interesting and compelling fantasy drama title I have been wanting to read (outside of Saga of course) for some time.
Amaya learns more about her strange new world and also meets the grandfather she never knew she had, which is a huge problem for said grandfather. Her mother, Graciel, decides to share the power of the Amethyst with her daughter, which looks to depower Amaya's aunt, Mordiel. Enemies are put in motion and an enemy might be more noble than anyone suspects. "Beowulf" continues to be enjoyable with even more ties to the DC Universe revealed.
Not one person is hacked or slashed in this issue's main story. Not one. In fact, most of the comic is dialogue, but that is fine as the overall story is one I'm definitely interested in knowing more about. RECOMMENDED!

Where is Jake Ellis? #1
Where is Jake Ellis? #1 - Written by Nathan Edmondson and illustrated by Tonci Zonjic, published by Image Comics. At least now I no longer need to ask where is my copy of Where Is Jake Ellis?. If you've been following Donist World for a while, you will know I'm a definite fan of Edmondson's Who Is Jake Ellis? story of an ex-CIA agent who knew more than he should, as well as things he couldn't possibly know.
Jon Moore and Jake Ellis are separated and on opposite sides of the world. With Jake now awake from his coma and a heaping dose of regret in his heart he's left to wonder what has happened to him while he was gone. He's also wondering who it is who is out to get him. The funny thing is that Jon is kind of wondering who it is trying to eliminate him as well.
Although I thought the second part of that story would be an instant pull at my LCS, I should have known to be more diligent. Oh well, one week late is better than not at all for this beautifully illustrated and intriguing story. I'm glad to have it back. RECOMMENDED!

Things To Be Thankful For - There are so very many, but I will keep it brief. My lovely and impossibly patient wife, Amy. My best buddy, Tulip. Discovering the joy of writing. My friends who I don't see as often as I wish I could see them. My family. Obie (Obedicus Maximus as he calls himself). My Brutal Circle and Comics Experience friends who push me to be a better writer and helped me push past the fear of sharing my work...I hope to actually start meeting these people in person in 2013. Seeing my comic friends' getting their work out there and noticed. I'm thankful for it all.

Slice Into the Woods

Nah...Not This Week - Eat, drink and be merry.

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