Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/22/2013

(Sung to the tune of Abba "Voulez-Vous")

Comics everywhere
Dang things are overflowin', but I don't really care
Ouch I hurt my back
Nah, I'm good, twin Sixth Gun books waiting in my stack

And Saga's here again, midwives give fright, The Will gets pissed
Heavens to Betsy!
Gods slain at hands of Gorr and now his sight's set on Thor
Man, that cat is mean

Translation, "do you want it"
Books for you to get
Captain Marvel, sure, you bet
Ain't no big decision
Daredevil's for you
La question c'est voulez-vous

Alrighty, puppies. That's a wrap. Let's call it a day. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. Hi Donist World readers. Talk about a jam packed comic book week, especially after the two measly (but amazing!) books from last week. 12! That's how many came in, not counting one title that ran out and is now on order for me (Black Beetle #2). Next week I have something like two books coming in. Can you comic book companies with your marketing things and economic doohickeys break this stuff up a little more? You know, something that works better with the Donist World schedule? Tell you what, I'll have Obie (my friends' Boston terrier and Donist World CFO) draw up a more tenable release schedule with Tulip (Obie's sister, my dog, and Donist World marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/head nurse) and shoot that over to you Monday morning. How's that sound? Done deal, good meeting. I know it's only 7:00 AM, but Obie, Tulip and I are going to shower, slip into something a little more comfortable, and start happy hour a little early today. Maybe we'll watch some Tales of the Gold Monkey or something. All I know is it's time to take it easy and chill for a while. Come to think of it, you should come over and hang out too and while you're chillaxin' have peek at...

Friday Slice of Heaven

The Sixth Gun #29
The Sixth Gun #29 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press. I reckon you know I love this series. You've heard me gripe every darn time Diamond mis-shipped this title to the point I was simply fit to be tied. You've heard me carry on about how happy I was to finally get this little filly into my dust covered paws. Well, here we are again, and by golly with nary a delay to be seen. In fact,  The Sixth Gun fans struck gold this week as we not only got the issue proper, but a new mini-series to boot, but more on that later. If you have not read this series, and you like Westerns, or the supernatural, or better yet one hitched up with the other, then you have four trades available to keep you entertained. And entertain you they will, that's a Donist promise. Alrighty then. Enough jawin'. Belly up to the bar, get yourself something cold and learn yourself a little something about this spectacular comic book.
Gord Cantrell did it. He succeeded in bringing Becky Montcrief (possessor of the sixth gun) and Drake Sinclair (possessor of the first, second, third, and fourth guns) back from the mystical realm of the wendigo. Someday Gord will have to pay up for that little feat, but not today. Drake is in rough shape and minus a couple fingers. Becky is overjoyed to be back until she sees Gord is in the company of Kirby Hale, who she is none too fond of. As Kirby attempts to repair not just burned but decimated bridges, he makes matters worse and sends Becky on a rampage against Missy Hume (the holder of the fifth gun). It turns out that Missy was instrumental in causing Becky's father's death, and Becky taps into the twisted powers of her gun to pay Missy and her men a visit they will never forget.
Rootin' tootin'...okay, enough cowboy talk. This issue was fantastic. For a while now I have been saying that I have been glad to see Becky take a more active roll in the series (rescuing Drake from the Sword of Abraham, combating the wendigo), but in this issue, Bunn has Becky not just take an active roll in the story, but kick some major tail in the process. I've always liked Becky, but after this issue I love her...she also scares me a little bit now, but that's okay. Also in this issue, the sense of urgency kicks up tremendously as we look to have only 20 issues remaining in the series with a whole lot of story yet to tell. Hopefully Bunn begins to let slip more of Drake's backstory, which I'm sure is coming.
Hurtt's art in this issue succeeded in improving upon the already beautiful artwork prominent throughout the series. I'm not sure what it is about this issue, but both creators gave it an extra jolt of energy that you can clearly see. Becky's Joy at seeing Gord, her disdain for Kirby, Drake literally dying on his feet, and the adrenaline rush imagery of Becky using her gun's powers was all gorgeous. Bill Crabtree's colors turned the already wonderful art from lighthearted while in the forest to explosive with  Becky's assault on Missy Hume (great knockouts btw!).
The Sixth Gun has always been good and one of my top five comics being released, but as I mentioned above, something kicked into high gear with this issue. It was both sentimental and thrilling, while instilling a sense of a coming dread. This issue had a few extra pages this time around, but it was still not enough as I blazed through to the end and was left wanting more. There's a reason that a television pilot (and hopefully a full season) is being made of this comic and as I say with every issue, "you should be reading this." The sad thing is that my friend Bill just told me his LCS mentioned he was the only one at the store buying this comic. This disturbs me to no end. There is no reason this damn fine series should not outsell major "events"--you know, like Super Secret Infinite War Invasion Crisis for instance. This is one all comic stores should be pushing heavily, as here at Donist World it comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Saga #10
Saga #10 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples, published by Image Comics. <sigh> Darn you, you mean comic creators, you. Argh...I won't spoil the ending of this issue, but C'MON! I just...grrrr. Saga is my favorite book on the stands. Nothing but praise comin' from this ol' Donist. Even when you introduced the disturbingly sexy Stalk, and roped me in emotionally to the character only to off her in the next issue, I wiped my nose, dried my eyes and said to myself, "Self. It's for the good of the story." Immediately after that my wife said, "Donist...I'm trying to sleep. Stop talking to yourself," but that is neither here nor there. The ending splash page...that's ought went too darn far! Because of this, I will continue eagerly awaiting and buying every single issue of this fantastic series, I will buy the hardcover edition when it is released--I'm fancy like that--and I will continue to sing this comic's praises. So how do you like them apples, huh?! Yeah that's right, keep walkin', Saga creators. Keep walkin'. Do a thing like that to one of my favorite characters. I tell ya...
We begin with a glimpse back at the early days of Marko and Alana's romance, one to which we can all relate. He is a prisoner wearing no shirt with a literal ball and chain attached to his ankle as he wields a sledgehammer against a rail. She in her warrior's garb reading their favorite story aloud (it's how Amy and I met). She risks her life to free him. They kiss. Back in the present, Marko and his mother search for the ghost girl Izabel, who Marko's mother banished to what she thought was a planet. As it turns out, this "planet" is actually an egg that will soon hatch into a monstrous Timesuck monster. They meet the "midwives" of the Timesuck, nightmarish women who are utterly terrifying and will haunt my dreams for the remainder of my days (thanks BKV and FS). Meanwhile The Will (intergalactic bounty hunter), Gwendolyn (Marko's angry ex), Slave Girl (ex-slave girl), and Lying Cat attempt to find Marko, Alana and Hazel, but when the Timesuck hatches and Gwendolyn's rage gets the better of her, tragedy strikes.
Once again, Vaughan heightens the interest and love of his characters as another piece of Marko and Alana's budding relationship is revealed. Still we want more. Then there's the relationship between Alana and Barr, Marko's father, which is deeply touching especially knowing what we know about Barr and his secret. Finally getting to see Izabel after her multiple issue absence left me smiling and cheering as she appeared to save the day and take some well-deserved verbal jabs at Marko's mother. With all the characters involved and the story brewing between them, Vaughan has the reader eagerly anticipating the day when the family, The Will and his group, and Prince Robot all finally meet. With the enmity The Will has built up on all accounts, it should be something to behold.
Staples's art wins big with the emotions exhibited in this issue. We feel Alana's shy friendship and love for Marko at the beginning. Izabel's teen angst is relatable, while Alana and Barr continue to become an even a closer knit family right before our eyes. There's also the matter of the great page one splash, the awe inspiring double-page spread of the Timesuck hatching, and the "oh no..." moment of the last page spread. It's really just more of the gorgeous work we've come to expect and love on this title.
The biggest question from this issue...What happened to Fard? Actually, that is my second biggest question. The first is will my beloved character at the end be okay?! The wait between issues of Saga is painfully wonderful, and thus far each issue has more than delivered. If you read this series, you already know this, if not, you're nuts...Fard would agree (giggle). The first trade is a measly $9.99, so there's no reason not to give the best selling non-Big Two book on the stands a try. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Sixth Gun:
Sons of the Gun #1
The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun #1 - Written by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, and illustrated by Brian Churilla, published by Oni Press. Ever since issue one of the amazing The Sixth Gun series I have wondered about General Hume's lieutenants, twisted beings who were more monster than human. Who were these holders of four of the six mystical cursed guns that could bring about the doom of the world? Where did they come from? What was their story? We never found out since Drake Sinclair destroyed each of these madmen and took possession of their weapons. Now, thanks to Bunn, Hurtt and Churilla, we get a closer look at the men who were General Hume's riders and the evil lurking in their hearts, starting with "Bloodthirsty" Bill Sumter.
It's years after the fall, first death and burial of General Hume and "Bloodthirsty" Bill Sumter is alone in the desert and dying, not even the buzzards can wait for him to properly die before they begin pecking away at him. (Un)Fortunately, Bill is not as alone as he thought as a trio of wicked men find him and decide to include him in their group. Then the trio's leader learns Bill holds the first gun and the greed of the wicked sets firm, but Bill is not one to be messed with.
This is a great introduction to the lieutenants as Bunn and Hurtt leave the question as to why Bill is away from his three "brothers," while lifting the veil on some of what makes this character tick. Churilla is an excellent artist for this spinoff series, both providing an art style similar to Hurtt's while adding his own distinct take on things. If you love The Sixth Gun you cannot go wrong by picking up this great title. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Thor: God of Thunder #5
Thor: God of Thunder #5 - Written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Esad Ribic, published by Marvel Comics. This issue could almost be titled Gorr: God Butcher and it would be spot on as we see much of Gorr's motivation and beliefs. Aaron actually had me convinced for a while that maybe Gorr was onto something, that his actions were justified, but the last word balloon on the fourth page of the actual story slapped me back to reality. Then for the rest of the issue I danced between questioning Gorr's rational and despising him, but the fact remains that Aaron took a serial killing monster and made him a somewhat sympathetic character for the reader, which is an incredibly tricky thing to pull off. He does this with ease. We also see the fatal flaw in Gorr's "plans" as the hater of the immortal, the butcher of gods, sets himself up to become a god himself.
Esad Ribic's art continues to honestly boggle my mind with the beautiful attention to detail and the intensity of Gorr's startling mood swings. One moment this evil character is filled with rage, the next with an almost benevolent kindness; we see this creature's madness from panel to panel and it's kind of scary. Adding to Ribic's beautiful art is the gorgeous colors of Ive Svorcina, especially on page two as Gorr drifts through space to find a tittering god creating "life"; the emptiness and silence of this universe sent chills down my spine.
I believe this is the fourth Marvel book to pull me back into the Marvel fold and it has been a blast to read thus far. I'm glad to be back. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Daredevil #23
Daredevil #23 - Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Chris Samnee, published by Marvel Comics. This is wrong. It's totally wrong. Waid made a total mistake on page one of this issue of Daredevil. No way! Page one, panel two to be exact and he ain't doing ol' Hornhead's history any justice as he continues to...oh. Wait a minute. Waid totally done gone all tricksy on us and it's all quite clever and more than anything totally messed up. Anyhow, after last issue's revelation that Matt Murdoch's friend and law partner, Foggy Nelson, might have the big "C," we're treated to some brilliant, touching moments between the two. Then the chaos starts and it is both weird and great, leading us to the devastating ending.
I have to admit that I wasn't completely on board for half of the Coyote/Spot arc, but last issue brought me back in and this one actually affected me. In a mere 20 pages Waid had me confused and doubting, cracking up, confused and interested, touched, and finally very sad. Talk about your emotional roller coaster. Then there's the overall mystery of who exactly is attempting to pull Daredevil's strings and ruin his life in every possible creepy way imaginable, and you have a dense read that is over much too soon. Samnee's art is stellar as ever with the scenes of the fundraiser madness taking the cake (see what I did there? Page 11, Panel four). This is solid storytelling and something all superhero comics should dare to achieve and strive to surpass. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Captain Marvel #10
Captain Marvel #10 - Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick and illustrated by Filipe Andrade, published by Marvel Comics. A cool and timely thing happened this week. On Tuesday, the day before the release of this very comic, I attended the Comics Experience book club night with DeConnick and Captain Marvel editor Sana Amanat. Both were kind enough to offer insight into this great title, their history with the book, their histories with comics in general and much more. This only solidified my love of this title.
Andrade continues with his different yet stunning artistic style which made last issue such a joy to read. The battle scenes in this issue with Deathbird were great, but the standout pages are where Carol carries the train to safety; I even cheered when she touched the third rail for a power boost.
In DeConnick's hands Captain Marvel is no longer merely T&A material with her butt hanging out, but someone I wished I was cool enough to hang out with. She's admirable, worthy of being called a super hero. That's what makes last issue's revelation that Carol has a brain lesion that could burst if she utilizes her flight so shocking. She's potentially the most powerful female Marvel character, yet the reader can relate to her scheduling problems, her love of her friends, her willpower, and unfortunately the random health issue that can touch anyone. She is equally one of us and beyond us, and I can't wait to see what comes next. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Indestructible Hulk #4
Indestructible Hulk #4 - Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Lionel Yu, published by Marvel Comics. All right. I get it. You can't have a book called Indestructible Hulk and not have green jaws appear heavily in the book and smash stuff. Yup, I get it. Those parts are vital to the appeal of this Jekyll and Hyde hero, and Waid does a fantastic job of pitting monster against monster; the action is insane. What I like even more, though, are the Dr. Jekyll moments, the time when Bruce Banner takes center stage. That is when Indestructible Hulk really shines. Take for instance the opening four pages of Bruce getting ready to go to work. He washes up, gets dressed and walks out to say hello to his neighbors...neighbors who are nothing more than weathered mannequins from an atomic testing facility. The whole scene is macabre, but Banner accepts having to live in a ghost town to lower the risk of the Hulk harming any bystanders. It's all quite tragic. When he finally meets his new lab assistants, everyone's on edge. These are all incredible character moments I have not seen before on this title. Then Waid has to go and shoot Banner out of a torpedo tube at the onslaught of Attuma's army and I have to say I love the Hulk character, too.
Yu draws some mean lookin' sea monsters and some great Hulk scenes, but the underwater version of the SHIELD helicarrier, the Dreadnought, was most impressive. As reluctant as I was to try this comic, I'm glad I picked up what is turning out to be one of the best runs of the Hulk to date. RECOMMENDED!

Happy #4
Happy #4 - Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Darick Robertson, published by Image Comics. The end to Morrison's first creator-owned comic book mini-series is here, but did it deliver the goods? If it didn't, it wouldn't be on Donist World now would it?
Nick Sax is running out of time to save not just his daughter, but a group of abducted children from a perverted Santa Claus set to do all kinds of unspeakable things to them on a pay-per-view live internet feed that the criminal Mr. Blue seeks to make a fortune on. Sax isn't a moral man by any stretch of the word, but even his vile methods won't be enough help him save the kids. He needs help and that help comes in the form of his daughter's imaginary friend Happy, a tiny blue winged unicorn.
Well now, that was a hell of an action packed, non-stop, cussing-ladened violence fest that...I actually enjoyed quite a bit. Morrison gives us a twisted, little noir tale that began strong and stayed true throughout. The ending is satisfying and oddly enough touching and well...happy. After reading this book, I can't see anyone but Robertson bringing this harsh, dirty world and it's harsh, dirty characters (not Happy of course) to life in a truly beautiful way. The theme of blue shines in the colors of this drab world and in the story itself; I'm sad the ride is over. As much as I enjoyed this series in individual issues, I have a suspicion it will play out even better in one continuous read, which I hope to do in the near future. RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Sick - I swear. Every single time I let up, or relax just a little bit the sicknesses running rampant through Santa Barbara descend on me. This weekend, Amy and I were in Ojai celebrating our 16-year anniversary, which I spent half of in bed sneezing uncontrollably and looking out the window of our beautiful room at the Blue Iguana Inn. We had a great time, but man I was a mess. I actually just started feeling better today (Friday). Hopefully the worst is over.  Before I got sick though, we went to Surf Brewery, Hypno Comics, Ojai Beverage Company and I managed to make it to the fantastic Suzanne's before we left Ojai. Take that <achoo> you stupid cold!

No comments:

Post a Comment