Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/28/2014

(Sung to the tune of Wham's "Careless Whisper")

Oh, ew, whoa, whoa. Ohhhhh...
I could not feel more sure
As I pay the LCS man for great books I adore
Comes as no surprise
Books to dazzle my eyes
The Wake is back I can't believe
Read with satisfied sighs

There's way too many great books again
Deadly Class, oh wow, my denizens
Rex, ZK's truly heaven sent
On this I would not fool
I'm glad I get to tell you 'bout these books, my friend
Like Chew, Hawkeye they're all a win-win
So Black Science rocks your socks again
Great books awaiting you

Alrighty, I ain't gonna lie to you, denizens. I'm feeling the pressure. It was a big comic book release week and between "Micronauts Monday," the three classes I'm taking, the project for one of those classes, a short comic story thing I can't talk about, the novel I'm finalizing, and FSoH/SitW...I've got a lot going on. I would normally say that I am joined my CEO Obie (my friends' Boston terrier) and by marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/lead-Earth-wanderer Tulip (my dog, Obie's sister), but this week I am joined by no one. Translation: I can't find my dang employees. Obie and Tulip said they were feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work and that they were going for a quick walk-n-talk to discuss prioritization and strategies for maintaining our status as a Fortune 250,000 company. This was two days ago...hold on...hey! I can see them playing with a frisbee at the park across the steet. Argh! Okay, while I wrangle up some support, have a look at...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Wake #6
The Wake #6 - Written by Scott Snyder, illustrated by Sean Murphy, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint. The first five issues introduced us to Lee Archer, a marine biologist specializing in cetology—the study of whales, dolphins, and porpoises—and the group of specialists who are called down to a deep sea, underwater oil rig where a vicious merman was captured alive. Inevitably, disaster strikes and a new form of terror makes its presence known to the world; things ended badly for all. 200 years later, a new tale begins, one that shows what remains of humanity and their struggles with the mermen, and one that leaves me desperate to see what happens next.
200 years have passed since the first half of the series finale, and although the battle between the humans and the mermen continues to be waged, they are winning. The creatures claimed the oceans as their own, and melted polar ice caps to sink countless cities, forever altering the Earth's landscape. Fresh water is scarce, and confrontations with the mermen on the coast are a fact of life that Leeward has come to expect—and profit from. Leeward is able to trade severed merman heads, which contain the hallucinogenic liquid produced by the creatures' eye sacs, for plenty of drinking water. She doesn't want water. What Leeward wants is an "ear," or rather old communication technology, that has been outlawed by "The Arm," the new form of government that does not want anyone listening in on anything going on out in the world. Unfortunately, they know Leeward has an "ear" and they mean to discuss the matter with her...forcefully.
I really enjoyed the first half of this series. It struck a chord with my lifelong love of monster movies, especially with the mermen, who are an awesome twist on the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was cool to see the modern day take on how we would deal with the discovery of a "mer," and the flashbacks to the creatures' influence on history was interesting as well. What confused me about the first half of The Wake was beginning the story with Leeward and the future, and then barely touching upon that time period over the course of the five issues. It seemed somewhat random. Now it all makes sense, but I still would have liked to have seen a couple pages not necessarily of Leeward, but of the state of the world 200 years from our time placed within those five issues. The first half of The Wake was essentially a prologue, but it was a great prologue none the less.
Enough griping, though, this issue is freaking amazing. Leeward is an awesome character, and I love her dolphin pal, Dash—dang, denizens, Flipper kicks ass! The world building that Snyder sets up quickly and brilliantly in this issue is staggering with brief looks at the Earth from space, at a map of what remains of the US, and with the wonderful dialogue that has zero traces of blatant exposition. For the most part, we have all new characters and a world that might as well be a different planet, and it is all handled economically in just 20 pages. More importantly, the story is engaging, fascinating, leaving me desperate for the next issue.
Murphy and Hollingsworth's art and colors might as well be gift wrapped with ribbon and bow as they deliver a gorgeous look at this new world, whether we are at sea, on the docks, upon the cliffs, or in the wastelands of the inner continent. The page three splash/title page is beautiful, depicting Leeward—with her bag of "mer" heads—on her glider, being hauled by Dash past the gates of the outpost. It only takes one image to tell you what remains of our world; it ain't pretty. A tattered flag, merman heads on spikes, dilapidated walls and the yellowed tone of the sky are all the artists need to instill despair, yet the whimsical image of the dolphin hauling Leeward gives you a sense of hope. Every page of this issue is pure storytelling and a treasure trove of information about the creators' world.
Although this is my favorite issue of the series thus far, I do have a couple concerns. The first is that many of the location/informational captions are lettered in white and appear atop a yellow background, rendering them incredibly difficult to read. Having experience with lettering, this does not fall on Fletcher or Hollingsworth, as I'm certain each was working separately off of the same black and white art, and that production deadlines forced the pages through. It ultimately pulled me out of the story for a moment as I squinted and held the book up to light to try to figure out what was being said. This would have been an easy thing to fix before going to print. My second concern is that the creators give us a map of the new US with depictions of new states, walls, and a bunch of new regions such as "Tree People," "the Deadlands," and "the Sands," but with only four issues remaining, I don't see how we can visit each of those locations without merely glossing over them, and therein lies the problem: the creators did their job. I want to see and experience everything this merman-ruled world has to offer, and four issues might not be enough. What I'm saying is I want to stay with Leeward for some time to come, much more than just the four remaining issues.
So, yes, I loved this comic. It covered the sci-fi, fantasy, post apocalyptic spectrum and was exceptionally done. You could even jump on with this issue, but please, please, please do not do that. Go for the buildup as that too is excellent and will prep you for what the second half has to offer. Plus, you can get the first five issues in trade format for $9.99 retail. I am so psyched for the next issue, that the next month(ish) is going to be a painful wait indeed. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Black Science #4
Black Science #4 -Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, colored by Dean White, lettered and designed by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Since the first issue of Black Science, I have said it is a cross between Indiana Jones and Lost in Space; even the creators have mentioned the similarities to those shows.  You have fun, adventure, exotic locations, bizarre inhabitants, and a sense of exploratory wonder. Now, I'm not so certain. Sure, Black Science still has those aspects, but where it diverges from the previously mentioned shows is in how main characters seem to die left and right...some die horribly! <brrrrr> I did not see the events of this issue coming at all.
Ward, Shawn and Kadir have their Shaman, unconscious and tossed over Ward's shoulder, but they got him. The problem is the rest of the high-tech Native Americans want their guy back...and they want his abductors' scalps. With two minutes left on the pillar before the next jump, and with Grant's life slowly slipping away, Ward, Shawn and Kadir are so close to their goal they can taste it. Then, tragedy. The survivors jump, and Grant awakens good as new to find a new team member has joined his Black Science crew.
Although we may have started this adventure with Grant, he is not the only narrator for this series, as other characters look to take center stage at times, making this a definite team book. That said, I wasn't expecting to see a main team member go down in such a gnarly way like the one in this issue. Dang, denizens, let me just tell you that it's cold. <brrrrrrr> Remender introduced us to a great character, one who seemed like he would be around for a while and then took him out hard, and it kind of hurts. But that's the point. Couple this death with the one from the first issue, and us readers can never relax in this series as death can strike at any moment.
Scalera's sequentials in this issue are outstanding, carrying a momentum from panel to panel that builds, then lets up ever so slightly, before becoming even more intense. The character design of the new villain (?) with the "onion" emblems on their armor is awesome and promising. White's colors—which make the new villain look really cool—are again outstanding, pushing the drama of each scene; I especially love his use of pinks, purples and blues. I rarely mention it, but I will say Wooton's lettering is perfectly invisible—this is a compliment—and leads the eye gracefully along with the action of the art.
I have to admit that I was ready to jump to a new world sooner, but like I said above, I was NOT expecting what happened in this issue at all. With the Shaman now being part of the team—I think—and members being picked off left and right, it looks like the creators will be having some inhabitants of these weird worlds join Grant's team of involuntary explorers on their mission to find their way back home. I couldn't be more excited to see where we go next. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew #40
Chew #40 - Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. With the end of this issue, we see the end of the "Family Recipes" storyline and I can now count the days until I can get the fourth Omnivore Edition...but that is a separate matter. Do I even need to say that Chew is great? After 40 issues (41 when you count the Poyo Special, which you better count) this series continues to be a fun, well-written, gross-out fest that just doesn't ever slow down, which is worrisome since we are now 2/3 through the series; the thought of this comic ending gives me a major case of the sads. If you read Chew, then you already know what a treasure this book is. If not, then get diggin' into the pirates' booty that is this incredibly unique series.
Tony's trippin' balls. His girlfriend and his daughter just fed him a psychedlic alien space fruit (tastes like chicken) that was cooked in blended chog juice (a chog is a chicken/frog hybrid...also, tastes like chicken) and now he is talking to his recently deceased sister on a planet in a distant galaxy. It happens. When Tony's partner, Colby, stops by and learns of the effect the food is having on his pal...well, he too eats some of the trippy stew. Chu and Colby then go on a crazy trip that will bring them into an immensely brutal pillow fight. After that, things get real weird.
How do Layman and Guillory come up with this stuff? What the heck are they going to hit us with next? And more importantly, can I join them during their next meeting? I will kill as many scorpions as it takes! Anyhow...yes, this series will leave you feeling like you ate a space fruit basted in a chog puree, and I mean that as the highest compliment. If you haven't yet sunk your teeth into Chew and you just can't bring yourself to buy the lovely hardcover Omnivore Editions (10-issues each), then you definitely can't go wrong buying the first trade for $9.99 retail. I can safely say you've never read anything like this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Deadly Class
Deadly Class #2 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Lee Loughridge, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. And to think that I was initially on the fence about picking up the first issue of what is yet another home run for Image Comics. In case you don't recall, I was blown away by what I read. Boy howdy am I glad I did not decide to trade wait what looks to be a thought-provoking and exciting ride.
After the deaths of his parents, deaths that could have been avoided had Reagan not cut funding for mental health services, Marcus spent some rough years on the streets. In fact, he almost died on a few occasions. Now, he's at the underground (literally) school of King's Dominion, a school dedicated to taking young, eager minds and turning them toward the fine arts of killing. Like other schools, Marcus has difficulty fitting in with the various cliques, so he seeks out those certain individuals that all schools have: the outcasts, the punks. He makes a few friends, he makes more enemies, and he's even invited to a special "invitation-only" class, with a rather unorthodox homework assignment. Man, the first day of class can be murder.
With all of the action and excitement of the first issue, this one slows the pace so we can begin to know the major players and to understand the nature of the school. We also get a glimpse of what Marcus once did while at a home for at-risk youths. it does not put a nice light on him, but I'm guessing that's one of the reasons why he was chosen to attend King's Dominion. The creators give us something reminiscent of Harry Potter's Hogwarts, only this school is for nurturing trained killers. After reading Remender's letters page at the end of the first issue, it is easy to see why the main character would gravitate toward the punks and miscreants of the school, and I love Marcus's driving goal, and what that will mean for the series as a whole.
Although I mentioned that there is little action in this issue, that does not mean there is a lack of intensity or excitement; the opposite is true. Craig creates the intensity through the emotions depicted on each panel of every page, while Loughridge's creative use of color pushes the drama even further, with one standout part being the AP Black Arts sequence. The storytelling on this series continues to be fantastic.
Deadly Class is off to a phenomenal start. Even without the tease and promise of the character from Marcus's past at the end of this issue, there is no way I want to miss seeing what happens next. If you made the grievous error of skipping the first issue of this comic that reminds me of a more murderous John Hughes movie—which some of the students poke fun of in the book—you should be able to find a second or third printing of the first issue, which I strongly suggest you do. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Hawkeye #15
Hawkeye #15 - Written by Matt Fraction, illustrated by David Aja, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Chris Eliopoulos, published by Marvel Comics. So...Clint Barton as Hawkeye...who's Clint Barton, again? Just kiddin', denizens and comic book creators. We just haven't seen our favorite hero for quite some time, but sweet bejebus if it isn't great to have the star of my favorite Marvel series back in action and drawn by one of my favorite artists of all time. Like all the issues before it, this one is funny, dramatic, and expertly develops the characters...and then you reach the final two pages. Sweet bejebus!
We open with Clint getting caught with his pants down...literally. The Tracksuit Dracula Bro Boys (TDBB for short) have had it with Clint and his meddling. They want their building back—the one that Clint happens to live in—and they do not care who happens to live there. In their minds, the side with the most guys and the most guns has the upper hand. Thankfully, Clint has his brother Barney to tip the scales in his favor, but with each minor victory, Kazu's (the assassin clown) employers become more enraged. Not even the help of Clint's posse of superheroine ex-girlfriends can help him out of this predicament, especially when they learn that his methods are not exactly on the up and up. The problem is that Kazu just found out that Clint's illegal interference just gave him the opening he needed.
What the @#$%!!! Bros. You cannot end the issue there. Aw hell naw. Criminy, denizens. I'm not going to spoil what happened, but I'm upset. So upset, that I'm forced to resort to math after reading this issue. Let me break it down: 1) This is issue 15 and it ends with something nuts; 2) issue 16 came out last month and covered Kate Bishop; 3) issue 17 is going to be a one-off drawn by Chris Eliopoulos, which I'm really excited to read, btw; 4) issue 18 will be a Kate Bishop issue. Cool; 5) Issue 19 will see Aja's return and the continuation of this storyline. Okay, 19 - 16 = 3. If  3 issues = 3 months + ((delays)*x), and you then factor in the pythagonorrhean equation divided by sine...or is it cosine?...Whatever, I will cosign anything to get the next dang issue here sooner.
What the above rant means is that Fraction and Aja have delivered a terrific (no surprise there) issue of Hawkeye, and we have a wait ahead of us before we can see the resolution to this storyline that has been brewing since the first issue. I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret...this is currently the only Marvel book I am buying. I decided that for the sake of space and cash-money, that I am going to try the Marvel Unlimited program in the near future, but this title is one that I will continue to buy in floppies before upgrading to hardcover. Although you won't see costumed villains getting punched through walls with each issue, you will get an expertly crafted superhero comic that is well outside the realm of what you are used to seeing, which is a great thing. Buy it. Buy it and suffer along with me during the 3 + ((delays)*x) month wait until we see what happens next. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Rex, Zombie Killer #3
Rex, Zombie Killer #3 - Written by Rob Anderson, illustrated by Dafu Yu, Colored by Juan Romera, lettered and designed by E.T. Dollman, edited by Paul Allor, published by Big Dog Ink. This is a great series for zombie fans, dog and animal lovers, and those who enjoy well-told stories. That said—and as I've explained in previous reviews—you have to realize the proper sequence for this story. First you need to read the one-shot, then you can hop into this four-issue mini-series. It's not required that you start with the one-shot, the creators take care of you brilliantly on that front, but I guarantee you will tell yourself, "Self, whoa, the first issue of the mini is awesome. Now, Self, why the heck didn't ya get the one-shot, too? Dagnabbit!" Well, you can get the one-shot and the first issue directly from Big Dog Ink...and possibly issues 2 and 3 as well if you contact them directly, which you should. It's The Walking Dead meets the Incredible Journey, and with one issue remaining, you should definitely pick up this wonderful creator-owned gem.
Rex, a golden retriever, has lead his crew of animals—a corgi, some pitbulls, apes, monkeys, squirrels, and a surly cat—to Las Vegas on their route to a "safe place" in California. This is by design. When Rex was a test subject for the military as a puppy, he remembers the humans stopping in the Sin City to unload some cargo, cargo he feels will be needed. The problem is that Vegas is crawling with the undead, way more than the group can safely handle, but with the right amount of planning and the fury of a gorilla king, reaching the house is doable. During their travels, Snowball (the cat) has a revelation, tragedy strikes more than once, and Rex might not have been exactly forthcoming with all of the necessary information.
Anderson and Yu deliver another exciting installment as the series rockets to its conclusion, one that looks to be huge. If this issue is any indication of what is to come, you know that none of these characters are safe, and that all of the trials of the past are going to be nothing compared to what now awaits them in California. We also learn that the hero of the book, might not be as heroic or well-intentioned as we at first believed. Anderson has the other animals begin to suspect this, even before Snowball's revelation that manages to surprise Rex himself. The characters each have a unique voice, and as you learn the backgrounds of the main players throughout the course of series, you fall in love with them, flaws and all. Seeing what happens to the minor characters in this issue, you can't help but worry for the others' safety.
Yu's cartooning is as astounding as ever, especially on the gorgeous double-page spread that the creators kindly give us a backstage pass to see the process involved at the end of the book. The character design is great, as are the backgrounds, and Yu's ability to put shock and sadness on the face of a corgi, or anger on the face of a cat is worthy of much praise. Romera's coloring brings every scene to life, making the necessary emotions pop, especially during the more shocking moments.
This is a fantastic and unique series, one that I am sad to see come to an end next issue, but one that cannot come soon enough. This is a creator-owned work available from a smaller publisher, so I hope your LCS has some copies available, but like I said above, you can order the books. I also have a sneaking suspicion that a trade will be available in the near future, but why not support the creators and the publisher today by picking up the floppies for this fun, exciting, and unique comic. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Hey, Where the Heck's My Satellite Sam?!?! - Ugh, Diamond mis-shipped (or is it "miss shipped") and subsequently charged my LCS for Satellite Sam, along with a few other titles I don't buy. Dudes, seriously, have a look at your crew handling the R-T sections of your shipments. When this happens, it only happens to Rachel Rising, The Sixth Gun, The Stuff of Legend and now Satellite Sam. Oh well, my errant copy will get here soon enough, and I guess I should be thankful as having to write about six amazing comics this week was already a huge time commitment; adding a seventh might have pushed me that much closer to the precipice...of madness!!! Still, not shipping yet charging the LCS just ain't cool.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Micronauts Monday, 2/24/2014

Hey there, Donist World denizens. Welcome back to Micronauts Monday, where I talk about my longtime favorite comic book series The Micronauts. You'll get a summary of the issue, my remembered reaction/experience with the comic book as a kid, and my thoughts as an adult after rereading the issues over the past week. The Micronauts is the book that introduced me to the wonderful world of comic book addiction. The sad thing about this amazing series is--as I explained in the first post here--is that if you haven't read the comics, doing so is going to be a bit of a hunt, since reprinting rights are firmly wedged into a Prometheus Pit of a printing-rights purgatory. But don't despair, it can be done, you can find them. has most of the main series for a fairly inexpensive price. If you want to dip your toe into the glory that is the Microverse before committing to a hunt for individual issues, then you could also check out the five "Special Editions," which I believe had two or three issues included in each. Or, better yet, if you have an opportunity to do some longbox diving into the $.50-$1.00 bins at your LCS, then I'm sure you can find many issues there. My only caution here is that the story has a tremendous narrative that builds over the course of the series, one that deserves to be read in order, but that said, any Micronauts is good Micronauts! 

Criminy, has been a few years since I've read this ol' favorite series of mine, and I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to read the below three issues. Unlike the posts back in Donist World's infancy, I generally try to watch my language when writing, but by golly I'm gonna cuss up a storm right now. The shit goes down in issue #28. Hells yes it does. It goes down hard. It goes down viciously. Even though I was covering my eyes as I read, I still could not resist peering through my fingers to see what triumph racked with tragedy followed next. But enough of my jabbering about how great these issues are, let's just get to it. Oh, I only cussed twice..."ass," there, I feel better now.

Micronauts Monday

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Micronauts #26 - Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Armando Gil, lettered by Joe Rosen, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Louise Jones, published by Marvel Comics. Wherefore goes the evil organization known as Hydra, you shall find the forces of SHIELD there to stop them. Last issue, the Micronauts learned that not only is Baron Karza back among the living, but he has usurped control of Hydra on Earth to better conquer both our universe and that of the Microverse. Our heroes find Nick Fury and team waging war in space against Hydra and they lend a helping hand, for The Micronauts will soon desperately need all of the help available to stop Karza. The Micronauts charge forth to stop the SHIELD ESPer units being controlled by Karza, Bug finds an ally, Mari gets blasted back to the Microverse, and Commander Rann loses the Enigma Force before Karza's mental might. As the Microverse prepares for war on their side of the Spacewall, the situation becomes dire as Baron Karza has just added the power of the Enigma Force to his own.
Young Donist - I wasn't completely certain about Hydra or SHIELD or Nick Fury as a kid, but I had seen them pop up before, and the first page splash (including title) of them battling in outer space made me an instant fan. I guess it reminded me of the James Bond movie Moonraker or something, but Broderick's art made the image absolutely stunning. Seeing my heroes blasting into action at the bottom of page four for the page turn had me cheering and dreading their confrontation with the as yet unseen Karza. This issue also compounded my already huge respect for Acroyear and Cilicia as they tear up flooring and smash the bejesus out of the Hydra agents—and to think, I didn't even know what was coming in issue 28! I was stoked that yet another Acroyear, Dagon, would be joining the team, but what got me the most with this issue was the page of Baron Karza's appearance as he soundly defeats Commander Rann. The final "Tales of the Microverse" shows that Mari did indeed survive her encounter with Karza, and although the pages are filled with talking, talking, and more talking, this Young Donist loved every panel of it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - Yeah, that space battle scene is still the hottness. Dang. But whereas I liked the action parts of this issue the most as a kid, it is actually the talking moments that get me the most now. As Rann and Mari charge forth to take out the mind-controlled SHIELD ESPers, their dialogue brings unbelievable tension to the page as it dawns on Mari that Karza lives again, and her anger at Rann for keeping his suspicions secret. (This part is a bit contradictory to Rann proclaiming "By the Enigma Force he lives!" last issue, but I'm cool with it.) The art is also somewhat psychedelic and disorienting in the best of ways as we gaze into the Microverse from the SHIELD Helicarrier. Then I turned the page to THE image. The one where Karza steps forth from the shadows to grab Rann by the face and force the 1000-year-old man to his knees. The dialogue, the captions, the art, the colors all contribute to the spine-tingling moment I've been dreading/anticipating even before cracking the cover.
I also have to extol Bob Sharen's colors with this issue, especially during the "Tales of the Microverse" segment where he pushes and pulls characters to the foreground and background with single shaded colors, or fantastic monochromatic shadings as seen on the Acroyear representative and Prince Pharoid. The ending two-panel page with the looks of horror on the Microverse delegates' faces, rendered normally—and to wonderful effect—before jumping to the final panel of the delegates all colored in blue before the image of the triumphant Karza seals the deal.
After reading this issue, I didn't want to go to bed. I desperately wanted to continue reading so I could relive the events that blew my young Donist mind so many years ago. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts #27
The Micronauts #27 - Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Dan Bulanadi, lettered by Joe Rosen, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Louise Jones, published by Marvel Comics. Okay, take a deep breath, maybe do some jumping jacks or something, loosen up and dive in to these shark infested waters. Baron Karza has returned and is preparing to take over the Earth, before turning his attentions back to the Microverse. Not only that, he now controls the might of the Enigma Force itself. Also resurrected is Prince Shaitain, but despite being instrumental in Karza's rebirth, the traitorous albino Acroyear has earned nothing more than a vicious beating at his master's hand (read the issue to know why this statement is funny). The Micronauts and SHIELD meet to discuss their best course of action to deal with the evil before them as Karza begins to bring his microforces across the Spacewall to join with his army of Hydra soldiers. As the war on Earth begins, a Micronaut dies and Commander Rann confronts Karza alone. But when Rann learns that it is the body of Prince Argon, Force Commander, that plays host to Karza's wicked mind, he stalls enough to give the megalomaniac the opening he needs to strike.
Young Donist - Somehow I missed this one when it came out and I actually found it on either the spinner rack at the grocery store or at KMart or something, so I knew what was to happen as I read, but that did not make this issue less impactful. The pages of Karza pummeling his lapdog, Shaitan, reinforced just how evil Karza is. I mean, here are two bad guys, and the more powerful bad guy is ruthlessly beating the person responsible for bringing him back to life. That's cold! I actually felt bad for Shaitan, and more than anything I wanted Karza to pay for being such an evil jerk. On the negative side, I was thoroughly confused as to why last issue ended with a group of captured Time Travelers, and in this issue there is only one, but I was able to get past it. Seeing a Micronaut die (for the second time...hint) caused me all sorts of grief, but it was the evil look on the face of the Karza-possessed Prince Argon that was seared into my mind right before Rann gets taken down hard. Even though I got this issue after 28, I still read and reread it until it fell apart. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - With the first page, I immediately noticed a slight difference in the art. The look of this issue is still stunning, but some panels might have been rushed a little or it is the new inker providing a different line weight than I had been used to seeing in some spots. Don't get me wrong, though, this is still a freakin' insane issue. To this day, I'm still disturbed by Karza's treatment of Shaitan and I'm left wondering if this is Mantlo's take on what it is like working for some employers, but I digress. The look Broderick puts on Shaitan's face, a mixture of disgust and horror, is an amazing moment for this loathsome villain who finally sees that he has been backing the wrong horse; the promise of this revelation will pay off tremendously next issue. The Rann versus Karza pages are brief, but awesome; I still feel that sinking feeling in my gut when he gets captured, and things look bad for our heroes.
I did crack up and roll my eyes at Dum Dum Dugan's dialogue, though. Do people actually refer to themselves in the third person nowadays? "Ah, if Don "Donist" McMillan knows one thing, it's that Don "Donist" McMillan loves him some multi-grain hot cereal. Don "Donist" McMillan also enjoys imbibing a big mug of Irish breakfast tea, despite the fact that it makes him have to pizzle like a racehorse for hours afterwards." Dude, if I had a friend who spoke like that, I think I would have to give him a Baron Karza style beating. Still, even with Dum Dum being a dum-dum, I loved this dang issue...although the Micronaut death is bumming me out somethin' fierce. The urge to read issue 28 immediately after this one was almost unbearable, but this issue is still VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts #28
The Micronauts #28 - Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Dan Bulanadi, lettered by Joe Rosen, colored by R. Slifer, edited by Louise Jones, published by Marvel Comics. Remember how I suggested limbering up a bit before cutting into last issue? Well, maybe you should go for a quick 6-mile jog, or meditate for a few hours before starting this one. Just a suggestion. This is the moment we've been waiting for. The combined might of Hydra and Baron Karza's diabolical, miniaturized minions set to take over the Earth! The Enigma Force bent to Karza's will! Commander Rann captured! A Micronaut dead! That was last, we see Fury and Dum Dum Dugan struggling against the onslaught of Karza's forces as SHIELD agents die left and right. With Mari believed to be dead, it is up to Acroyear, Cilicia and Bug to break past Karza's defenses and take the fight to him. Back on Homeworld, Mari, Pharoid and Slug mount a desperate defense against Karza troops who seek to reclaim the Body Banks. As Acroyear engages Baron Karza in fierce combat, he has to ignore the fact that each strike, each blow is shared by the imprisoned Rann floating helplessly nearby. Shaitan makes his treacherous move, allowing Mari and the Microverse rebels to journey across the Spacewall to the desperate battle, but Shaitan has made too bold a move by calling upon the Worldmind, the very soul of the Acroyear planet Spartak. A world dies, a mind is torn assuder, a queen is sacrificed, a prince is freed, a prince dies, it all falls to this one great cataclysmic battle.
Young Donist - I might very well have lost a month or two of memories after reading this comic book, as I could not think of anything else for quite sometime upon setting this book down. I had moved from Ohio to Santa Barbara, California a few months prior and was picking this series up from spinner racks at the 7-11, or the grocery store, but I remember finding this one at K-Mart. Just seeing the cover was enough to leave me awestruck. Although Bug was my favorite character, my estimation of Acroyear was heightened after reading the past few issues, and seeing him locked in deadly combat...let's just say I could barely stand it. I grabbed the comic, found my mom and grandparents and tried to hurry them along and out of the store so I could get home and absorb this issue. I flat out refused to look past the first page of the book, which I only checked to see if the art was consistent from what came before; it was. The ride from Goleta to Santa Barbara took forever, and the fact that it was getting dark and I could not stare at the cover left me squirming in irritation, but we finally made it home and I sequestered myself from family and the world in the living room.
Damn, denizens. Sweet Christmas this book delivered on what the series had been leading up to, and with what was promised on the cover. Holy moly did it deliver! Acroyear, Cilicia and Bug leap into battle as Fury and Dum Dum fight their losing battle in a gorgeous splash page, followed by an even more impressive double-page splash of SHIELD getting just hammered. Mari and Pharoid then appear as they fight many of the Micronaut alien toys I loved so much (Repto!), but it is the splash of Acroyear and Karza striking their first blows that gave me pause to linger and to take in every single inch of the page. Then Shaitan calls forth the Worldmind before realizing what it is he has done. Ooops! Then Acroyear takes up the Worldmind and the fight goes mental, as the Kaliklak queen even gets involved to deliver a suicide sting (trust need to see this) in hopes of turning the tide of the battle, which it does. Aggghhhhhhh! It's too much!
The idea that Acroyear has to sacrifice his world and possibly Rann's mind both thrilled and terrified me. I was about ten and half years old and the concepts in the story were mindbogglingly heavy, yet I worked through the story and the implications and upon finishing the issue, I could safely proclaim this was the best book I had ever read. So, obviously, Young Donist says this is VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - I don't smoke, denizens. I've never even tried. After reading this issue, though, I could sure go for a smoke (I'm being dramatic, here, don't try smoking; it's bad for you). Maybe I should pour myself some rye (do not try this at home...unless you are >21). Amy and Tulip had already gone to bed before I started reading The Micronauts #28, and in the quiet artificial light of the living room, when I set the completed story down, I had all the same sense of excitement I had as a kid. All of it. Even sitting down to write my thoughts and flipping through the comic to look at it from a perspective other than that of a normal reader, I still have the exhilaration of what I am seeing: the art, the drama, the horrors, the triumphs, the fantastic colors and knockouts, the awe-inspiring storytelling of Mantlo and Broderick. This book is what being a lover of comic books is all about for me. It's timeless. Sure printing technology has changed and vastly different processes are used today, but feeling the slightly yellowed pages and seeing what could be done with color at that time, it's kind of amazing and goes far beyond the nostalgia factor. All of the feelings and excitement that I had for this issue as a kid hold true today, so there is not much more to add than to stress that story, character, art, and color make this issue one of my favorite comics of all time. This one cranks the volume all the way to 11 (for you youngsters, this is a This is Spinal Tap reference, btw), denizens, and I want to say it goes far beyond being VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Wow...there you have it. Heck, I think I'm going to read issue #28 again before I move on to what is coming next. Now, just because I practically worship the issues I talked about today, that does not mean that what is coming in the near future is anything to shake a stick at. There are a couple moments that are almost, if not every bit, as great as this week's books, and I hope you join me next week as the repercussions of issue 28 become apparent. Thank you for stopping by.

While writing this entry, I listened to the soundtrack for "La Planete Sauvage" by Alain Goaguer, which is a trip and a half. Definitely check it out if you have a chance. I also listened to Miles Davis "The Complete On the Corner Sessions", which is also great, but these are some mind bending albums, which I guess go well with this week's books. Check 'em out if you have a moment.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/21/2014

(Sung to the tune of The Church's "Under the Milkyway")

So you need good books? Oh, let me see
Something more than a bit alright
Perhaps how 'bout below seas fascination
Undertow's the book to set you right

Drawback the curtain on Daredevil
Drawback the curtain Animal Man
I got no time for books that just don't thrill me
Undertow's a book to set you right

I think I know what you are looking for
Donist World will shine the light

Hello there, Donist World denizens. Welcome back. I'm joined as ever by Donist World CFO Obie (my friends' Boston terrier) and fresh from having two of here teeth extracted last week is Donist World marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/dental defender Tulip (my Boston terrier, Obie's sister). This week has been...challenging. You see, Obie has been relentlessly teasing his sister about the slight whistling sound she now makes when talking because of her two missing bottom teeth. I had to actually write Obie up for his conduct and place the notice in his permanent Donist World file. I also had to write Tulip up, because you just can't attack your co-workers in the middle of your presentation on "Maintaining Our Status As a Fortune 320,000 Company Via a Model of Transparency and Sustainability Through Social Content." We never even made it to a point where I actually understood what the presentation was about, but I can tell you this, I don't care what kind of faces the CFO is making, you don't attack him during your Power Point slideshow. Huh...I seem to be missing Obie's rather substantial personal file...while I try to find it—probably in his desk—have a look at this week's...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Daredevil #36
Daredevil #36 - Written by Mark Waid, illustrated by Chris Samnee, colored by Javier Rodriguez, lettered by VC's Joe Caramagna, published by Marvel Comics. Alas, all good things must come to an end...okay, not really. Waid and Samnee's thoroughly enjoyable, well-told, beautifully illustrated Daredevil ends with this issue, but fear not, denizens, the series will be back next month(ish) starting over with a new number one and probably with a new "Marvel NOW" proclamation—and hopefully without any sort of confusing decimal points or alphanumeric indicators of any sort. But why is the House of Ideas doing this? Many reasons: a place for new readers to jump in; a tactic to boost sales as first issues sell more units than later issues in a series—usually; and with this issue's ending the decision makes a heck of a lot of sense.
The Serpent Society is blackmailing Matt Murdock into defending the son of one of their higher-ranking members on a murder charge. They were threatening to reveal that Matt Murdock is indeed the costumed hero known as Daredevil, but what the Serpent Society failed to anticipate is Murdock taking away their leverage by announcing to the court and to reporters of his formerly secret identity himself. The courtroom becomes a calamitous mess, and Murdock surmises things aren't all hunky dory in the Society's ranks. Unfortunately, taking down the white-supremacist group will jeopardize Foggy Nelson's desperately-needed health insurance and their careers.
Talk about ending with a bank! Waid and Samnee's Daredevil run has been a more uplifting look at a hero whose past has been mired in a state of darkness and despair for the past few decades. I'm not complaining about those past books, as Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker have given us some phenomenal takes on the character that I absolutely love. It's just been refreshing to see the hero being elevated for a change versus being as emotionally, mentally, and physically battered as he has been for so long.
Waid's take on ol' Hornhead has been predominantly positive, and as everyone who has ever talked about this run has But what has grabbed me the most on this issue has been the subject matter and ties to current events that Waid has pulled in throughout the past 36 issues. The bullying issues are fantastic as much as they are timely, and this past arc has focused on a group of racist extremists who have taken over many facets of the government and are using our pathetic health insurance industry (sickness = guaranteed $$$) as an cudgel against what our hero holds most dear: his friend Foggy Nelson. Many of this character's deepest troubles stem from real world problems many of us are all too familiar with, giving us a connection and an understanding with him; Daredevil fights for us.
Samnee's art shines, as always, in this issue with beautiful storytelling and drama, especially during the scenes with Matt and Foggy...the ones that can sometimes be emotionally difficult to read. The comic book courtroom sequence is riveting with the facial cues combined with the wonderful dialogue, but Samnee mixes things up with a four-page fight scene bursting with energy. The perfectly timed diagonal panels on the third page of the fight intensify the lines of action with the baddy's gun pointing at his victim. Then we get a heck of an awesome splash page. Rodriguez's colors succeed in making the mood of the scenes more intense, especially during the hospital scene and the aforementioned splash page. It's all rather stunning, an example of comic books done right.
The past 36 issues have been a blast of exemplary storytelling from all involved parties. Although the series in New York is ending, Waid and Samnee's Daredevil will be picking up with a new number one, only this time in San Francisco. We can look forward to the same great comic book based in a different geographic location. I'm looking forward to it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Undertow #1
Undertow #1 - Written by Steve Orlando, illustrated by Artyom Trakhanov, lettered/designed by Thomas Mauer, published by Image Comics. Certain books seem as if they were developed specifically for me. A good chunk of my childhood was spent at the swimming pool and competing in competitions; I never grew tired of being in the water. I'm also a huge fan of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and when I say that, I mean the actual creature—although the movie is good, too. I have always been fascinated by the idea of hidden worlds beneath the waves. We have seen cartoons, and movies, we've read comics and books detailing what is to be found below, but Undertow turns the idea of exploring the unknown into something altogether different. Spoiler's kind of really cool.
Most of Ukinnu Alal's life has not been his own. Nearly every facet of his childhood was dictated to him or chosen for him by his parents: the people he would meet, school, toys, arranged marriage. He had input on none of it; then he enlisted, just so he could make a decision on his own. War is hell until the day the terrorist known as Redum Anshargal appears in all his mythical glory with an offer Ukinnu cannot refuse: that of exploring the primitive world above as a truly free man. I neglected to mention that Ukinnu and Redum and all of the people in this issue are Atlantean mermen leaving the "safety" of the ocean to explore the dangers of land.
Image Comics has done it again. I've read this issue twice now, liking the first read well enough, while becoming completely immersed (get it?) in the story and art on the second. With this first issue, you get 25 pages of art and story, as well as an insane level of worldbuilding with enough characterization to make both Ukinnu and Redum relatable. Orlando takes much of the modern world, transporting it back hundreds of thousands of years to the Atlanteans (did they conceptualize Wall Street?) who live a stricter, more regimented life all but void of choice. Enter Redum, who offers the young Atlantean freedom and danger and uncertainty in the unexplored surface world, and the decision is one Ukinnu cannot pass up. The great thing about this issue is that Orlando takes Redum, a character who is supposed to be a myth, a legend, a terrorist monster and made me a believer in the man's legend by page six. Then as we follow Redum, he becomes more admirable and I became convinced I would have followed this guy to the new lands as well. Ukinnu is the personification of anyone who has ever felt trapped and not in control of their own destiny, and by page four I understood this character and sympathized with his plight. All it took was a new world, two characters, and six pages of this brand new comic book series and Orlando had me.
Trakhanov's art is gorgeous. His sequentials instantly gave me a Warren Magazine vibe, which all Donist World denizens know I hold near and dear to my heart. The design of the characters is just off from normal humans as to be noticeably different, while similar enough that the Atlanteans are relatable. The character designs offer hints of gills, and differing eyes and teeth, and the costuming with the sleek uniforms when submerged and the bulky, bloated exploratory suits are both unique and practical; overall they're just really cool. Trakhanov's colors also need to be mentioned as they add much depth to the storytelling and the differing environments, making great layouts amazing. I have to admit that I found the first few pages of the underwater war somewhat confusing, but perhaps that was the point, as the rest of the storytelling was seamless.
Undertow is a heck of a strong first issue. We have a new, fascinating story with great characters living in a strange, yet recognizable, world from a perspective I have never before seen. Like I said, this one grabbed my attention on the first read, but it was the second time through that made me go..."Wow!" It's Friday, this just came out on Wednesday, and if you call in sick or duck out of work on "personal business" to run to your LCS, you just might be able to find a copy, but I have a sneaking suspicion you might have a bit of difficulty getting ahold of this fantastic comic. I strongly suggest you try. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Animal Man #28
Animal Man #28 - Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, colored by Dave McGaig, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, published by DC Comics. I have to admit that I have been floundering on this title as of late. I love that a member of the Parliament of Limbs has gone crazy and killed his fellow members while instilling his own Avatar of the Red to go and mop up what is left of the old regime: Buddy and Maxine Baker. The problem is that although the Parliament of Limbs horn-faced guy is cool and has been around for a while, I knew nothing of Baron Blood or why he mattered or why he was a threat; he was just kind of showing up. This issue changed all of that and brought me back into the story. Too bad next issue is the last.
Shepherd lies dying as Brother Blood prepares to kill Maxine, the former Avatar of the Red. Buddy Baker, complete with his space animal powers (umm...don't ask), battles the murderous Parliament of Limbs's leader (does he even have a name? Let's call him P. Limbsy). Will Animal Man and Animal Girl be able to survive and keep what remains of their family intact?
I still know next to nothing about Brother Blood, but in this issue the character spoke and presented more of a danger than he has in past issues; he finally became an actual threat. This issue also had tons of action on three fronts (Buddy vs. P. Limbsy, Maxine vs. Bro. Blood, Buddy vs. Bro. Blood), all of which rang true with the dialogue and was exciting to follow. Man, denizens, what Buddy does to P. Limbsy...gruesomely awesome thanks to Albuquerque's fantastic art.
I've been with Animal Man from the beginning of the New 52, and I will be be here for next month's conclusion. I will say that the series has been hit or miss—mostly hits—with my favorite moments being the ones steeped in the realm of horror that the series promised since the beginning. Maybe fewer ties to the DC Universe proper would have served the series better, and stronger roots in supernatural horror with more done-in-one stories would have been the way to go, but come to think of it, that would be a Vertigo book from the '80s—which would be awesome. I hope to reread this and Swamp Thing at some point this summer to see how they read in one chunk, but overall I am glad I stuck around and will be here to see how it all ends next month. RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Nothing Negative To Go Into This Week - Yeah, let's go positive this week. I have a couple graphic design quizzes to take, a couple Typography exercises to complete, an Media Design project to work on, and a comic script I'm not allowed to talk about that I need to give a once over before submitting. Couple all of that with a run and a Tulip walk...wait, it's ALREADY past 9:00 a.m.?!?! In the words of MC Hammer, "Stop...hammer time."


Monday, February 17, 2014

Micronauts Monday, 2/17/2014

Hey there, Donist World denizens. Welcome back to Micronauts Monday, where I talk about my longtime favorite comic book series The Micronauts. You'll get a summary of the issue, my remembered reaction/experience with the comic book as a kid, and my thoughts as an adult after rereading the issues over the past week. The Micronauts is the book that introduced me to the wonderful world of comic book addiction. The sad thing about this amazing series is--as I explained in the first post here--is that if you haven't read the comics, doing so is going to be a bit of a hunt, since reprinting rights are firmly wedged into a Prometheus Pit of a printing-rights purgatory. But don't despair, it can be done, you can find them. has most of the main series for a fairly inexpensive price. If you want to dip your toe into the glory that is the Microverse before committing to a hunt for individual issues, then you could also check out the five "Special Editions," which I believe had two or three issues included in each. Or, better yet, if you have an opportunity to do some longbox diving into the $.50-$1.00 bins at your LCS, then I'm sure you can find many issues there. My only caution here is that the story has a tremendous narrative that builds over the course of the series, one that deserves to be read in order, but that said, any Micronauts is good Micronauts! 

Oh boy, these three issues are the calm before the AWESOME that is to come for next week's covered issues; I'm biting my nails to get to them. But don't take the previous statement as an indication that the below issues are not great. They are. These issues, however, are building blocks to the return of the greatest evil to plague the Micronauts, and a foretelling of a battle that will rival even that of the tremendous issue #11. How's that for a build up? Let's get to it...

Micronauts Monday

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Micronauts #23
The Micronauts #23 - Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Danny Bulanadi, lettered by Tom Orzechowski, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Louise Jones, published by Marvel Comics. So, Biotron...he's kind of been stuck repairing the Micronauts' ship, the Endeavor, for the past three or four issues, but not today as our favorite biodroid takes center stage. Having lost telepathic communication with Commander Rann, Biotron is unsure whether his comrades are even alive, but without a functioning Endeavor to begin his search, he will never know the truth. He sets off in a short-range hydrocopter to a nearby junkyard where he hopes to find some necessary parts. In his search, he comes across a down-on-his-luck man who happens to come into contact with a powerful wand, instilling him with the powers and consciousness of...The Molecule Man. As a bonus, we get a glimpse into the Endeavor and this issue's "Tales of the Microverse" mentions the new hero Prince Pharoid.
Young Donist - I saw the Molecule Man on the cover and instantly recalled his appearance in Fantastic Four #188, and how I loved seeing Mr. Fantastic being compelled to do terrible things until he drops the wand into the factory smokestack. I always wondered what happened to the wand, and this issue answered that lingering question in the best of ways. Although I never really gave Biotron much consideration, and he had predominantly taken a backup roll, this issue elevated him to so much more; I actually wanted to rush out and buy the Biotron toy. The reunion of the characters was brief, but great. I can't even begin to imagine how much time I spent poring over the map of the Endeavor, imagining where I would want my room on the ship to be. The "Tales of the Microverse" feature with the recently resurrected Prince Shaitan blew my mind, especially with the mention of Prince Pharoid, one of my most prized toys at the time. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - I really enjoyed this issue. It was great to see Biotron have his much-needed moment in the spotlight, and seeing the Molecule Man brought back my fond memories of that Fantastic Four issue. Mantlo succeeded in humanizing a robot (yes, he's actually a biodroid with feelings and emotions and whatnot, I know). Biotron has fear and worry for his friends, his thoughts of being stranded, abandoned on Earth are compelling and all too relatable; after 23 issues I finally love this character. The issue isn't all doom and gloom, by any means, it is also funny at the right moments, and knows when to push the action into overdrive.
The Molecule Man is a cool villain and Broderick gets to showcase his grasp on superhero sequential storytelling and anatomy. The Molecule Man looks fantastic—despite having a costume that could be confused with that of Plant-Man from two issues ago—but it is through clever angles that Broderick gives Biotron and his limited range of facial features actual emotional heft that left me impressed. I still love the Endeavor map, and now fantasize that my room aboard the ship would actually be a level higher than I wanted as a kid. Plus the implication of what goes on behind the closed (but unlocked?) door of Commander Rann and Marionette's room...hubba hubba.
As much as I liked the events in this issue, it is the "Tales" feature that still gives me that sense of foreboding that I love so much when reading this comic. The creators' depiction of the diabolical Shaitan is terrifying, but the promise of Prince Pharoid still leaves me hungry for more. Another plus is we are up in page count to 21 pages. Nice. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts #24
The Micronauts #24 - Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Armando Gil, lettered and colored by (?) Parker and (?) Rosen, edited by Louise Jones, published by Marvel Comics. The Micronauts are together once again, and now that the Endeavor is (nearly) functional—thanks to Biotron—the crew are ready to begin their journey to find a way back home to the Microverse. But this is Earth...a place where danger lurks around ever corner, and this time the threat is a sentient computer program known as Computrex! You also get a double-page spread of Homeworld and a "Tales of the Microverse" backup that fully introduces Prince Pharoid to the Microverse and that shows how wicked and cruel the undead Prince Shaitan can be.
Young Donist - "Oooooo...Commander Rann and Princess Marionette sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes..." ugh, never mind. Anyhow, even though I was a young boy, I was fine seeing these characters finally together, it was a love that was meant to be, but I will say that I was thankful for the timely comedic relief from Bug and Microtron. Computrex was awesome! I was uncertain as to why he looked like the Silver Surfer, but he was still really cool with the blue and pink effects. Seeing Commander Rann take charge and whup butt on Computrex's innards was great. But the creepy dream sequence and the following illusion that provoked my hero to attack Mari thinking he was instead fighting Karza upset me; I shared the Commander's rage and was happy to see him take down the insane computer program. The Homeworld Map gave me hours of enjoyment as I fantasized over each molecular sphere and what those regions were like...I would soon find out. I cheered as Pharoid came to save the lovely Slug, and the promise of next issue's "The Origin of Baron Karza" left me frantic to finally get some background on the evil of all evils. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - Brodericks art is just astounding in this issue. Computrex as a pink and blue knockout is just plain groovy, but it's the character expressions that grab me: Mari's panicked scream, Rann's desperation, the scholarly Karza, Rann's pain-wracked horror at what he has done. Despite the outdated technology—Bug being attacked and choked by computer ribbon?!?!—Mantlo's dialog builds Computrex into a viable threat with the psionic daydream being an awesome moment. Broderick translates this scene to eerie effect with one of my all-time-favorite panels of the panel-busting Rann painstakingly crawling from a pit. I am once again noticing the colors of this issue, like when aboard the Endeavor, or when using a single color to drop the focus on certain panel elements and characters to great effect. The "Map of Homeworld" is still really cool, with a promise of distant lands to come. "Tales of the Microverse" had an amazing fight between Shaitan and Pharoid, but with what comes next...oh boy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts #25
The Micronauts #25 - Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Armando Gil, lettered by Joe Rosen, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Louise Jones, published by Marvel Comics. It was the villains Mentallo and Fixer who caused Computrex to go out of control, and it has also put the Micronauts on the pair's radar. As Biotron and Microtron discuss what it is that drives their fellow crew members, Acroyear and Cilicia enjoy some...alone do Mari and Rann, who is still recovering from his injuries after battling Computrex. Unfortunately, Bug has never felt so alone after losing his ladybug Jasmine. Then Mentallo and the Fixer attack. Too bad for them, despite being small, the Micronauts are mighty. When Commander Rann uses his growing telepathic abilities to combat Mentallo, he learns that it is the earthbound group known as Hydra commanding the two villains, but the group is being controlled from the Microverse by evil incarnate reborn. "Tales of the Microverse" delivers on a brief history of Baron Karza before Prince Shaitan succeeds in returning the monster to the realm of the living.
Young Donist - I had no idea who these bad guys were, but I liked them. I was titillated by the intimate Acroyear and Cilicia scene, deeply saddened by my favorite character Bug's isolation, and was then re-titillated (oh boy, shouldn't be admitting this, naughty) by the Mari and Rann...uh...intimacy scene. Bug "stinging" Mentallo in the face with his trusty rocketlance was awesome, and Rann proved to be a kick ace hero and not just the guy who spent far too many issues unconscious. Commander Rann for President! I loved seeing Karza's history—especially when he was transferring his mind into his armor—but that ending two-panel page...holy cow! Because of the five-page "Tales of the Microverse" to top the already great issue, Young Donist would say VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - Well, whatdoyouknow...still titillated, denizens. Yup, still titillated. Beyond that, though, I love Biotron and Microtron's discussion that cleverly hides the exposition to bring new readers up to speed. After reading this issue, I would even dare to say that this could be a jumping on point for new readers, but I would still advise against not starting with issue one. The Acroyear and Cilicia love scene is touching and beautiful, as these two seemingly emotionless warriors drop the pretenses and reveal their hearts and their love. It is also a beautifully illustrated page with a uniquely-shaped center panel with a shifting two-tone coloring scheme that is just killer. The panels of the troubled "Bug" are kind of heartbreaking despite Jasmine never really being around enough for me to become attached to her. Broderick also gives as a sexy as heck sequence with Mari and Rann—<phew> is it getting hot in here, or what?
Anyhow...the battle with Mentallo and the Fixer is still cool, but it is the awesome "Tales" feature that makes this issue shine. We see some of Karza's history after his failed assassination attempt on the royal family—he will later correct this failure—and his ending page resurrection has me, get to what comes next. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

That's it for now, and I hope to see you next week where I'll be looking at issues 26, 27 and the holy-calamity-scream-insanity issue that is number 28. Hot diggity dog, I got some The Micronauts comics to read.  Thank you for stopping by.

While writing this entry, I listened to the Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass's "Classics Volume 1", which is no longer readily available, but you cannot go wrong with "Whipped Cream & Other Delights." Check it out if you have a moment.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/14/2014

(Sung to the tune of Queen's "We Are the Champions")

I give you truths, time after time
Of great things to read, books completely sublime
Like Rachel Rising, you need to peruse
A book of witches and demons
That freaks me out, I'm telling you
And I want more, and more, and more, and more

Must read The Sixth Gun, denizens
We're gonna stick with Becky to the end
Must read The Sixth Gun
Must read The Sixth Gun
Also, Burn the Orphanage
But you must read The Sixth Gun, give it a whirl!

Hello and welcome back, denizens. I'm Donist, and I am joined only by Donist World CFO Obie (my friend's Boston Terrier) this week. Donist World marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/dental hygienist Tulip (my Boston terrier, Obie's sister) is out today as she recovers from having two of her bottom incisors extracted (more on that at the end of the post). It is Valentine's Day and Amy, the lovely Donist World intern ( wife) had left me a lovely box of chocolates, while she is out of town on Donist World related business to strategize our position as a Fortune 320,000 company... that or she's at teacher conference, I forget which. The problem is that I am at my mom's basement the Donist World corporate headquarters with Obie who had stolen the box of chocolates, laid them in the dirt, and peed on them. Usually, I would be outraged, but the note he left me on the pee-soaked chocolates is a rare instance of him caring for my wellbeing. What does the note say? In his ever-shakey penmanship, he writes, "What are you trying to do? Kill yourself?!?!" I had forgotten that chocolate is poison to dogs, so I suppose I should be touched by his concern, but man I do love me some chocolate. So, while I go to the kitchen to treat myself to a yummy carrot instead of dark chocolate with dried raspberries, please enjoy this week's...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Sixth Gun #38
The Sixth Gun #38 - Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Brian Hurtt, colored by Bill Crabtree, lettered by Crank!, designed by Keith Wood, edited by Charlie Chu, published by Oni Press. The Sixth Gun has been a Donist World favorite since I picked up the first trade and went straight to monthly(ish) floppies upon finishing the first issue in the collection. Bridging the gap of about four or five installments between the end of the trade and the current issue of the time was no easy feat, but through working with my LCS, and ordering a couple missing issues from various online retailers, I finally caught up. Then came the months where Diamond billed my LCS for goods that they had not yet shipped, and for the span of a year I was having longer waits than I should have, or received two issues back to back. Thankfully, things have been on track for the past year and a half, which means I have been getting my issues on the day of release. After this week's gnarly events, I'm glad I didn't have to wait to see the insane happenings...of which I will try to steer clear of spoiling. As the series winds down, I am more worried than ever for the characters' fates, and I eagerly await each subsequent issue, which by golly better not see any shipping delays!
Griselda the Grey Witch's snake men have taken over the town of Brimstone and they have set their sights on reclaiming the five mystical guns in Drake and Becky's possession. What's even worse is that our heroes have been separated, one of them is a traitor to the cause, and the snake men are about to find the very books that detail how to destroy the six once and for all. One will fall, one will be taken, another will set off alone, and a showdown with an old friend goes badly.
Holy guacamole! This issue is a blast to more ways than one. The creators have been developing many of these characters over the course of the series, and I've grown quite attached to them. So much so, that when the bad thing(s) go(es) down, I was completely taken aback. On one page in particular, I stopped reading, blinked, and flipped back to the beginning of the scene to be sure that I actually saw what I saw. I had to confirm that I wasn't misreading the events clearly laid out before me, and no just kidding moment was coming; there isn't one. The very next page, Bunn and Hurtt had me worried for a different character, then they jump to another person whose situation is also turning grim, and all I can think is no, no, no as I sped through the rest of the book. A day has now gone by, I've been incredibly busy, but I just can't stop thinking about what went down in this issue. Not only that, we are left with brutal, nail-biting cliffhangers on many different fronts, and the wait for next month's release is going to seem like an eternity. I love this feeling.
Where the past couple issues have showcased Hurtt's talent for conveying drama and emotion, this issue shows he's equally adept with action and sequential storytelling. The four pages of Asher fighting hordes of golems are simply stunning and by far my favorite sequences in the book. Add Crabtree's turquoise lights and the molten mud effect, and it's all but impossible to tear your attention away from the page.
The Sixth Gun was already a fantastic series, but as the stakes become more dire the closer we get to the final issue, it's safe to say the series has never been better. If you're suffering from an overdose of capes and tights, or double/triple shipping, or "events" that spill across multiple titles, then you cannot go wrong with this supernatural Western tale. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Rachel Rising #23
Rachel Rising # 23 - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio. Rachel Rising is a wonderful series that immediately grabbed me from the moment I brought home the first issue. It's a fine mixture of the classic horror dramas—none of that Saw torture pr0n crap—and the finer moments of the Twin Peaks television show. What you get is an underlying mystery with wonderful characters dealing with increasingly bizarre, demonic situations. I absolutely love it. So please understand that it breaks my Donist heart to hear Mr. Moore say that sales are not where they need to be. I also have seen mention of a Rachel Rising television series in the works (yes, please, but on cable only, not broadcast) for which the book would be perfect. This Donist World darling needs more eyeballs on it to be sure that Moore can continue releasing this book for as long long as...well, how about forever? Okay, maybe not forever, but I want Moore to keep things running for as long as he needs to tell the story he wishes to tell. Trust me on this one, denizens, this, like Moore's other creator-owned work, is an important book.
The unnatural snowstorm plaguing Manson is quickly shutting everything down, but not for two very determined dead girls--one of those girl's bodies, Jet's, is also occupied by the mind of a young's complicated. Rachel (Bryn Erin) and Jet (James) find themselves at the Manson Historical Society where the Bryn Erin portion of Rachel hopes to find some much needed spell components to help restore Rachel's Aunt Johnny back to normal...again, it's complicated. The situation becomes weirder when Rachel and Jet notice a little girl--inhabited by the spirit of a serial killer--parked in a van on the side of the snow-covered road. The power goes out, Earl finds the dog, Dr. Siemen gets really—and I mean really—creepy, and Rachel, Jet and Zoe see something shocking.
If you need to have some kind of problem with Rachel Rising there is one and it is a doozy: each issue ends in the most frustrating of ways. Goodness gracious, denizens, the end of this issue is going to torture me until the next release in six weeks. C-R-E-E-P-Y! As I have mentioned before, Moore is in this tale for the long haul, but this is not the Lost television show that dangles mysteries, then adds another, and another without providing anything in the way of answers. Moore carefully dishes out answers with the introduction of each new plot point, and Rachel's world continues to be fascinating and fresh.
Moore is a master storyteller, in both the written word and through the progression of his gorgeous imagry. In contrast to the other supernatural title I read this week (The Sixth Gun #38 above), Rachel Rising is all about the character acting and drama this month(ish)—although there is a beautifully laid out panel of Rachel kicking in a door. The expressions on each person's face tells everything you need to know about the tone of a scene, particularly on the pages with Zoe in the van. The final, nearly silent page, however, is the one that left me wishing there was more to follow. Seeing that there was not, I gave strong consideration to hibernating until issue 24 sees release. The wait is going to be painful, but this is one of the reasons I am drawn to the comic book medium, for that pang of desperation to know what comes next; Moore has that aspect of the craft down to perfection.
If you are not reading Rachel Rising, then I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but you've messed up. You blew it. But ol' Donist is here to set you straight. You also need to read this one from the beginning, and getting the individual issues at this point might be a tad difficult and costly. That's where the inexpensive, and binge-worthy, trades come in. You can get the first three trades easily enough here, and experience for yourself this delightfully chilling series. Do the right thing. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Burn the Orphanage #2
Burn the Orphanage #2 - Written by Sina Grace and Daniel Freedman, illustrated by Sina Grace, colored by John Rauch, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. If I had a dime for every time I saw a blond-haired fighter with a one-syllable name tear the junk off of a ram-headed luchador with his teeth, then I would have exactly one dime. Sweet bejesus, denizens, what the heck did I just read? Whatever it is, I can tell you I absolutely loved it! Holy moly. It's also a story of boy meets lady with horns, boy gets in the sack with horned lady against his will, boy gets suckered into horned lady's open marriage, boy gets abducted into horned lady's birthday fighting tournament; how many times have we heard that story?...yeah, never.
I also noticed that I never talked about the phenomenal first issue—huge error on my part—which I picked up at a comic store while out of town. All you need to know is that issue #1 is an homage to 8-bit fighting games, and this issue pays clear tribute to 16-bit fighting games, most notably Mortal Kombat. The star of the show is the orphan Rock, a fighter who learned his trade on the cold hard streets of the first issue where he met his fighting buddies Bear (a big hairy guy who likes to where shorts and pummel the heck out of bad guys) and Lex (a tough chick in fishnets and fingerless gloves, who whups ass and could care less about names). Rock, Bear, and Lex proceed to beat up lots of unsavory characters, lots of 'em. In issue 2, Rock is abducted and forced to level up his fighting skills to take on the odd assortment of characters in the wicked Elyse's birthday tournament. That's all you need to know.
Each issue is over-sized and worth the slight bump in price if you are a fan of the old retro 8-bit and 16-bit video games of the past. The story in each issue is wonderfully crafted to bring back the nostalgic feeling of playing the games and reliving the oftentimes ludicrous stories found within them. Grace's sequentials are tremendous and keep the rip-roaring action flowing throughout. This one took me completely by surprise, and the third and final issue cannot come soon enough—I shudder to think what could possibly come next. So very fun. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Tulip Had Two Teeth Extracted on Thursday - Poor little puppy. I had to take Tulip in to have two of her bottom incisors removed yesterday morning. She had four little crooked bottom teeth that were so crammed in her mouth that two had become loose. The vet suggested extracting the two loose teeth to give the other two enough room to fully set and to prevent Tulip loosing all four down the road. It was a necessary procedure, but that did not make dropping her off for six hours at the place she hates more than anything any easier. $420 later—she also had a teeth cleaning—she was groggy, but home. This morning, she woke up at 1:00 a.m. making little chirping noises that I thought was the result of pain from the stitches, but come to think of it, once I put the covers back on her she was totally fine. She's eating normally, wanting to play, and I we'll probably head out to the nature preserve for a walk...she's doing just fine.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Micronauts Monday, 2/10/2014

Hey there, Donist World denizens. Welcome back to Micronauts Monday, where I talk about my longtime favorite comic book series The Micronauts. You'll get a summary of the issue, my remembered reaction/experience with the comic book as a kid, and my thoughts as an adult after rereading the issues over the past week. The Micronauts is the book that introduced me to the wonderful world of comic book addiction. The sad thing about this amazing series is--as I explained in the first post here--is that if you haven't read the comics, doing so is going to be a bit of a hunt, since reprinting rights are firmly wedged into a Prometheus Pit of a printing-rights purgatory. But don't despair, it can be done, you can find them. has most of the main series for a fairly inexpensive price. If you want to dip your toe into the glory that is the Microverse before committing to a hunt for individual issues, then you could also check out the five "Special Editions," which I believe had two or three issues included in each. Or, better yet, if you have an opportunity to do some longbox diving into the $.50-$1.00 bins at your LCS, then I'm sure you can find many issues there. My only caution here is that the story has a tremendous narrative that builds over the course of the series, one that deserves to be read in order, but that said, any Micronauts is good Micronauts! 

I'm going to spoil things ahead of time by saying this round of issues and the next 20 or thereabout mark an immense change in the quality of the art and the story. After the predominantly lackluster past six issues, #19 kicks off an engaging ride that builds upon the greatness established in the first 12 issues and makes an already fantastic series even better. I can't wait to read what's coming!

Micronauts Monday

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Micronauts #19
The Micronauts #19 Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Armando Gil, lettered by John Costanza, colored by Ben Bean, edited by Al Milgrom, published by Marvel Comics. This issue we catch with Bug, who after the death of his ladybug Jasmine, wandered off to have some alone time to process his loss. On his excursion he comes across a farm and comes into contact with one of the substances he hates more than anything...water. Bug realizes he is on Earth, a most unsettling situation indeed. As Bug stirs up a ruckus with the barnyard animals, the farm's owner, Odd John, comes to investigate. Unfortunately for Bug, Odd John is something of an insect specialist who has been experimenting with a mutagenic gas on his captive pets. Odd John is also a touch mad.
Young Donist - The cover to this issue blew my ever-lovin', 10-year-old mind. First we have my favorite character front and center, the sub-title confirms this is Bug's issue, Bug has been turned into a flying monster, and the artwork looks to match that of the first 12 issues. This is winning on every possible level. I'm pretty certain I found this issue at the Summit Hills Mall in Akron, OH and part of me wants to believe that I bought this book and then went to see The Empire Strikes Back immediately afterwards. Heck, this day was so monumentally awesome, that I would not doubt I also bought a new Micronaut toy, and went roller skating at the roller rink, followed by dinner at the Red Barn. Before I even cracked open this issue, it was destined to be my favorite comic of all time at that moment. Then I opened it.
Inside there was no Michael Golden to be found, but there was definitely a new artist. Holy...cow...the first page alone was stunning and had a return of the coloring schemes I had loved six-months earlier. But it was the four-panel layout for pages two and three that melted my dagburned eyeballs. This is Bug. This is how he is supposed to look. The action, the style, the threat, everything was exactly what I hoped to see--no, everything was better than I could have ever imagined. Then we catch up with the other Micronauts and Commander Rann looks amazingly heroic, and every character leaps from the page. Then my heart expanded with love as I came to the splash page of the mutated Bug...I wished so hard for a duo-set Bug toy (one for normal Bug and another for mutated Bug); unfortunately these never came. The issue ended with a cameo by next issue's guest star, Ant-Man, and the terrible, horrendous agony of waiting for the next issue began. No longer was I willy-nilly picking up issues. I was now a freshman comic book collector. This comic is the one that stretched my mom's patience to the point of breaking, pushing her toward a special realm of madness reserved for the parents of kid's begging to go to the mall every single day on the off chance the new issue of their favorite comic was released. Sorry, Mom, I love you, but I also love The Micronauts, and we should remember that time not as one that nearly broke you, but as one that brought us closer together. Right? Mom?... Mom? VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - Yes, I vaguely know what's coming and I'm excited to get there, but in case you missed all the gushing above, this issue changed my life. I am pretty sure I only missed one or two issues prior to the series going to the direct-market-only model after issue 37. The Golden art on the cover is fantastic and would still visually leap out from the stands today with the white and yellow background and the eye-catching mutated Bug. I still smile when I see see this issue's cover, remembering the fantastic day I picked up my copy. Even if I could remove all of the nostalgia and the warm-fuzzies I get from reading this issue, I would still love every dang page of this comic--despite the fact we only get 17 pages of content.
The page three and four spread is phenomenal, and Broderick carries the action perfectly from the first panel on this page all the way through to the end of the book. He breaks panel borders at just the right moment, and the emotion and drama of each character's face tells you everything you need to know. He even manages to make Odd John, an unnerving bad guy for a normal human, a sympathetic person as we see flashbacks of him being bullied as a youth.
On the writing side, Mantlo has returned to form, with the shockingly jarring exposition moments of the past six issues mostly left behind. The tone of the book returns to one of menace, but with Bug as the focus for this issue there are some fun and laughable moments, before we see aspects of the lurking horror elements found last issue.
With a compelling story that gets under your skin and new art that launches the book into overdrive, this issue is just as engaging as it was when I ten-years old. The "guest-appearance" by Ant-Man doesn't bother me in the slightest, and I am so psyched to re-experience what happens next, I stayed up late to keep reading. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts #20
The Micronauts #20 Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Armando Gil, lettered by Jim Novak, colored by R. Slifer, edited by Al Milgrom, published by Marvel Comics. Bug mutated and leading an army of mutated bugs on a rampage, Acroyear and Cilicia brought down, the Endeavor crash-landed, and Odd John about to add Commander Rann to his bug collection via a pin through the sternum?! Our heroes were not left in a good place last issue. Princess Mari finally shows that she is a brilliant and skilled warrior as she rushes to save the man she loves, and she succeeds in taking down Odd John. After briefly interrogating the mad man, the Micronauts learn of Bug's location and rush to help their friend. Thankfully, they have the help of none other than Ant-Man!
Young Donist - "Finally! Finally! Finally!" was the cry I gave when I finally found this issue at the newsstand--my poor mother probably said the same thing. I burned this cover firmly into my mind with the groovy mutated ants (I was confused as to why the one top center had different eyes, but whatever) and the oblivious Ant-Man. This book was everything I hoped the followup would be. Seeing the unconscious Commander Rann about to be pierced through the chest with a needle freaked me out on so many levels, I'm certain I had a couple of bad nights of sleep because of it. Odd John taking a hammer to the head probably messed me up, too. Princess Mari, however, wowed me with her skill and determination, and seeing Monster Bug in action, before reverting back to normal--thanks to Ant-Man--left this young Donist immensely satisfied as he sat in the living room drinking his massive, opaque, blue Hi-C beverage. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - This issue still gets me pumped. I know I keep coming back to Mari taking down Odd John, but the four-page sequence is fantastic in dialogue and imagery, especially over page two and three. The look of determination on Mari's face as she leaps from one panel into the next and to the panel where she drops down onto the hammer to send it flying at Odd John's head, all play out like a movie with my mind filling in all of the undrawn frames. Ant-Man is great in this issue as well, and although he only happens to meet Biotron--Bug does not count because he is a monster when they meet--he is a great addition to the story and one of the few instances when a "guest-appearance" actually pays off. I also loved the single panel of the Micronauts launching into battle with their gliders as they prepare to take on Bug's mutated ants. Although this issue was not as dark as the previous one, it was the perfect followup to the Bug-centric tale I loved so much as a kid. My only nitpick is that this issue is also only 17-pages long, but Mantlo's dense story, and Broderick's fantastic art made the missing pages of content almost unnoticeable. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts #21
The Micronauts #21 Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Armando Gil, lettered by Tom Orzechowski, colored by Barry Grossman, edited by Al Milgrom and Louise Jones, published by Marvel Comics. After last issue's battle with Odd John and the mutated Bug, the Micronauts find themselves separated on the world of giants known as...Earth. Commander Rann is once again unconscious, and it is up to Princess Mari to keep him alive, only this time in a plant shop. When the shop owners boyfriend appears, Mari instantly has a bad feeling about him, which is confirmed when the man dons a green costume and announces himself as Plant Man; no good will ever come of such a thing. After that, a 5-page backup story beginning the "Tales of the Microverse."
Young Donist - Oh man! Here's my heroes peeling back the pages of the comic to reveal the Microverse springing to life. It's so cool that I almost missed reading the non-descript proclamation of "Starting this issue: Tales from the Microverse." Upon closer inspection, however, I'm really confused as to why Bug now looks like an old man who is missing his teeth. I shrugged my shoulders and just assumed it had something to do with what I was about to read (spoiler didn't). Like last issue, I liked seeing Mari step up and prove how formidable she is, but at this point I would like to see Commander Rann in a state other than catatonic...he's the first Micronaut for cripe's sake! I don't know who this Plant Man guy is, but he looks cool and I liked watching Rann and Mari take him down. This was a fun book, but it was the twisted, messed up, "Tales of the Microverse" that really tweaked my young impressionable mind. We get the time traveler, tons of Acroyears, these faceless silver guys, and most dastardly of all...the resurrection of the fiercely evil Prince Shaitan. The reintroduction of Shaitan made this issue VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - Denizens...I love the analogous color scheme on Golden's cover of the Micronauts. It drops them into the background causing the Microverse to burst from the page. Inside the book, we have the expected great writing, art and colors on what is a basically filler tale. This is not a bad thing, as the story is a heck of a lot of fun to read and watch as Rann and Mari's love for each other blossoms--although I hope Rann stays conscious for the next couple issues. This is another 17-page comic that feels much denser than it actually is with a 12-page main story and the key draw of the "Tales from the Microverse" feature. Mantlo and Broderick setup the backup beautifully with the first page instilling a grand, dark forboding, followed by a page two that is chilling. With Shaitan alive once again, I cannot wait to see what happens next...and I already know what happens next. By golly, I love this. Both the story proper and the back up are VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts #22
The Micronauts #22 Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Pat Broderick, inked by Armando Gil, lettered by Tom Orzechowski, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Louise Jones, published by Marvel Comics. As an ex-employee robs a McDonald's, the Micronauts once again face down an angry Earth vehicle. It's fast food mayhem as the Micronauts stop a robbery and reunite once again. In "Tales of the Microverse," after a terrifying firestorm, Slug (ex-rebellion leader, bride-to-be to Prince Argon) notices that as Homeworld is pummeled, Karza's abandoned Body Banks remains untouched. She is shocked to find the someone lurking within, only to be rendered unconscious by the unexpected inhabitant!
Young Donist - I was so happy to have the latest issue, but I have to admit being slightly miffed that my favorite heroes were once again facing down a truck. <sigh> Once I opened the book, the creators left me absolutely no choice but to be engaged as the truck barreled down on Bug, Acroyear, and Cilicia. Seeing Acroyear tear the hood off the truck left me cheering, as well as suddenly being fine with another traffic-based issue. The burglar was cool, but seeing Acroyear stop a bullet was freakin' amazing. Bug bouncing off of hamburgers, Acroyear falling into the fryer, Mari being lowered in front of a guy reading a all cracked me up. "Tales From the Microverse" should have had a soundtrack built in, because I imagined dark "bad-tidings" music playing as I read up to the point of the shocking Body Banks inhabitant's betrayal. I definitely gasped at that. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Current Donist - What you have here is another filler 12-page story, that is a lot of fun. All the goofy moments I loved as a kid, still make me smile today. Dialogue, captions, art, colors, it all works in perfect harmony, and I once again have to praise Broderick's fantastic take on this tremendous series as he makes this run his own. The backup is tense, exciting, creepy at times and does its job with expert precision as I'm biting my nails to see what happens next. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

That's it for now, and I hope to see you next week where I'll be looking at issues 23-25. These are once again issues that build toward the events going down in the "Tales of the Microverse" backup. The menace and tension are only going to get stronger from here on out, denizens, and I'm...forget it, I got some Micronauts comics to read.  Thank you for stopping by.

While writing this entry, I listened to the Hans Zimmer's "The Man of Steel OST". Check it out if you have a moment.