Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 2/12/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Descender, Low, Black Science, and Weirdworld

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / bagel specialist Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). With the long weekend ahead of us, I’ve decided to close up the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) early so we can enjoy the rest of this unnaturally lovely February day. Reverse Obie has gone off to fetch a melon baller (not sure why, as I don’t think melons are even in season), and Tulip was talking about adding a touch of mint and some cucumber slices to the dog water so we could stay refreshed before ending our symposium on maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. Me…I’m off to get a bucket of French fries, because fries were born to be served out of a bucket; we all know this to be true.  So, order up some tasty tacos and a nice ginger brew, put on some ’80s retro synth music, and most of all read some great comics. Take care. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Descender #10
Descender #10 - Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Telsa and Dr. Quon worry about their hosts, as TIM-21 and TIM-22 connect. Andy’s wife makes her debut, and the UGC’s precognitive division has a terrifying vision.

<singing> I got a brand new issue of Descender! Donist World Darlin’ ain’t no other contender! <end singing> Okay, enough of that…I will say that seeing a new issue of this Lemire / Nguyen masterpiece in my pull is always enough to make my cold, dark, winter-hardened heart see double rainbows of joy. The funny thing is that this amazing sci-fi series is by no means a happy tale. It’s a story of death, loss, growing up, fear, hate, reestablishing previously lost relationships. Come to think of it there have been very few laughs. Still, with such an interesting premise of a futuristic galaxy decimated by impossibly monstrous robots, Descender’s charm comes from the drama, intrigue, and the ever-expanding list of fascinating characters who all have their secrets as well as their part to play in this impressive space opera. Descender is my favorite comic currently hitting the shelves, which is saying a lot given the many heavenly titles out there. It manages to spark that feeling I had when I first discovered sci-fi movies and television shows as a kid, while simultaneously feeding my adult mind the mysteries and complexities of an epic story told well. Dang, I love this comic.

Descender’s story hooked me within the first couple of pages of the first issue, and the perfect introduction of TIM-21, Bandit, Dr. Quon, and Telsa, all of whom I instantly fell in love with, left me desperate to know more about them. The same is true of Tullis, Driller, Andy, Blugger, and I expect Psius, TIM-22, and the sure-to-be-amazing Queen Between, who has to be seen to be believed (which you can do by feasting your peepers on the cover).

As I’ve said with previous issues, the writing and story alone are enough to make me love this book, but Nguyen’s gorgeous watercolored art takes it all to a new level of heavenliness. Every page of this comic demands you give it your full attention, and you can rest easy knowing that the quality of the work seen on Nguyen’s covers is fully reflected in the interiors. Standout moments in this issue are the video game sequence, the splash of Queen Between, and that damn final page that made me want to shout, “More more more.” But as striking as moments like these pages are, there’s also minor details that are certain to astonish if you take the time to appreciate them such as the crack on the right side of Psius’s face, the ethereal Robot City, Telsa’s beautiful scowl, and so much more. This is a gorgeous book.

You get it, right? I love this comic. I want spinoffs, annuals, a Trinket Tocket and his Toy Rocket children’s book, and anything else the creators want to throw at us just so long as I get more from the great world of Descender. Buy it, denizens. You can easily find the first ridiculously inexpensive trade and then pick up the floppies of issues 7–10, because I can guarantee you will be as hungry for more of this fantastic series as I am. Descender…so shiny, so chrome, so VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Low #11
Low #11 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. After so much time apart, twin sisters Tajo and Della have finally been reunited. So much has changed, but some things have stayed the same — mainly the need to join their mother on her quest to the surface.

Low is probably my favorite among Remender’s creator owned work currently hitting the shelves, which is not a knock against Black ScienceDeadly Classor Tokyo Ghost, which are all fantastic in their own right. But this series manages to press all of the Donist buttons: sci-fi, post-apocalyptic world, underwater adventure, monsters, compelling characters, unique and carefully thought out design, hopeless odds, and a strong will to survive. Oh, yeah, it also has Tocchini drawing the Caine women…bonus.

With this issue, we briefly get more of Tocchini’s lush cityscapes and backgrounds and cool mech suits (the robo-polar bear transformation just has to be seen), but most of the issue centers on the dramatic reunion between the sisters as they struggle to accept their pasts and move forward. This is fine by me. As much as I love the sea monsters and the intense action, it was time to slow things down and focus on the characters and the story, which the creators did beautifully. McCaig on colors continues to impress, but golly gee willikers, Denizens, the blues and reds on page two and three manage to pull you into the scene as if you were traveling in a mini-sub alongside Tajo and Della; so very beautiful.

If you’re a fan of Remender or Tocchini, or you like any of the subject matter mentioned above, then there is absolutely no reason to not be reading this amazing, epic comic series. You can easily catch up with the two available trades, which I highly encourage you to do. I, for one, am counting the days for an over-sized hardcover to better showcase the lovely art. I can’t wait for what remains of the Caine family to be reunited as they journey toward the Earth’s scarred surface. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Black Science #20
Black Science #20 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, colored by Moreno Dinisio, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Grant McKay has finally seen the light and knows what he has to do: get his people back as soon as possible. Unfortunately, some old enemies have expanded their reach to other dimensions and stand in the way.

I kind of want to stand up and cheer for my boy. Y’know, Grant...the insufferable prick who we’ve never really liked all that much ever since the first issue. But things have changed. We’ve gotten to know Grant a heck of a lot better over the course of this “Godworld” arc, and we’ve seen some of the horrible events of his childhood that lead him to become such a monumental dick…but like I said, “things have changed.” Now, he is determined to right the wrongs he has caused and looks to become — dare I say — a hero. I’m totally cool with that.

Scalera and Dinisio’s art on this issue is simply otherworldly. One look at the cover and you see what you’ll get with the interiors in the way of powerful imagery that would also look great as a blacklight poster hanging at home (seriously, how dope would it be to get a Black Science blacklight poster?!), but there is also so much more. Scalera’s character acting, character design, costuming, vehicles, and weaponry are phenomenal, and with Dinisio’s colors making all the exciting imagery leap from the page (especially the scenes with Grant’s helmet during the fight!), one flip through this issue is sure to amaze. Black Science has always looked great, but man oh man this issue showcases some stunning work all around.

I believe the solicits for this series said something to the effect that it was going to be like Indiana Jones in space, but they neglected to mention the thrilling roller coaster sensation that awaits you within the pages. Black Science is what good comics should be: a heck of a lot of fun. If you like Remender’s sci-fi extravaganza Fear Agent, then you are definitely already reading this fantastic comic. Right? If not, then you can catch up quickly with the beautiful, recently-released, oversized hardcover, or slightly-less-impressive trades. Whatever you do, just be sure you are reading this great series. I believe it’s about time for a reread. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Weirdworld #3
Weirdworld #3 - Written by Sam Humphries, illustrated by Mike Del Mundo, color assists by Marco D’Alfonso, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics. Lava monsters, wizard hunters, and Grand Mechanics, oh my!

Weirdworld is the best comic Marvel is currently putting out. Now now. Simmer down, Denizens. Simmer down. Weirdworld is also the only Marvel comic I am buying these days (which tells you something), so it is fair to say it is my favorite from the House of Ideas. (Oh, crud…does saying I actually love this book mean it’s now going to be cancelled? Cripes, I hope not.) Anyhow, whether you classify this comic as fantasy, humor, adventure, or whatever, all you need to know is that it’s a blast.

Humphries’s dialogue made me laugh out loud multiple times and snicker through the others. Del Mundo’s art had much the same effect, only I was also awestruck by the sheer beauty of what I was seeing. Holy schmoly! The Grand Mechanic’s machine! The dance off! The background critters running around everywhere! The BIG fight! Oh, man, the big fight is stunning. The book is unlike anything else out there. At this point, I’m kind of leaning toward Del Mundo being a Weirdworld inhabitant as he is employing some serious magicks to make his work look this phenomenal. <mmmmmm…sigh...I need a cigarette, Denizens, and I don’t smoke!>

Weirdworld is indeed weird, and I mean that as the highest of compliments. It is humorous, ridiculous, touching, and possibly a bit psychotic. But no matter how you look at the comic, it is above all a joy to read. If you have not picked up the “Volume 0” trade of the original limited series, I strongly encourage you to do so, and then you MUST check out the new ongoing. You’ll laugh, you’ll be amazed, you’ll want to see what happens next, and at only three issues in on the series proper, catching up will be a breeze. Now, excuse me while I head out to slay some wizards…it’s whatchagottado. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Keeping it Positive this Week - I finally got some much needed good news, so I want to keep it positive this week. Maybe I’ll go see Deadpool, or have a beer, or finally play some of that Lego Batman 3 game, or…I know… (d) all of the above. Peace, Denizens.

Have to cut out, so no song this week, but enjoy this clip from the second season of Danger 5 (which you can stream on Netflix!!!).


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