Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/25/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: The Infinity Entity, and Daredevil Season 2

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 / Daredevil enthusiast Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). Well, we only had one book in our pull this week, which is weird, so we are deciding to take a break from maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company and decided to play hooky today by reenacting our favorite parts of the fantastic second season of Daredevil. I, of course, am pretending to be Matt Murdock / Daredevil, while Tulip is covering Karen Page / Elektra, and Reverse Obie wanted to be…Foggy Nelson. Foggy is an odd choice, and for a moment it seemed like Reverse Obie’s fur flickered back to his original colors as he brutally cross-examined me about the state of the company refrigerator, but it might have been a trick of the light…not sure. Anyhow, go queue up some Daredevil on Netflix, order up some tacos, be sure to stay healthy, and most of all read some great comics…even if you only have one in your pull this week like me. 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***

The Infinity Entity #3
The Infinity Entity #3 - Written by Jim Starlin, illustrated by Alan Davis, inked by Mark Farmer, colored by Wil Quintana, lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino, published by Marvel Comics. The celestial beings — the most powerful entities of the Marvel Universe — have gathered to convince Adam Warlock to leave their reality. It’s time for some answers.

Starlin could write a comic with Adam Warlock meeting with his tax preparer and I’m sure it would be interesting. We’d have a dramatic entrance, a high level discussion of rights and wrongs, and a slow steady descent into madness that threatens to engulf the space-faring hero with each deduction he realizes he cannot itemize on his Schedule A. Then, when all seems lost, his business expenses come through to save the day: Adam Warlock gets a sizable refund. (Can you guess what’s been occupying my time?)

Anyhow, the point of my rambling is that I love this character. Warlock — under Starlin’s deft keystrokes — is a tragi-hero who has thrilled me for most of my life, and although we don’t see Thanos in this issue, we get the next best thing: the supreme beings of the Marvel Universe. Here we have Eternity and Infinity, Order and Chaos, Death, and most of the usual suspects who helped compound the stakes of the amazing The Infinity Gauntlet (there’s also one cosmic character who I do not recognize at all…hmmmmmm, who is he?). The witty banter and the dance of threats and pleas made this issue the most compelling in the mini-series thus far.

Davis’s take of the golden-skinned hero only seems to improve with each new panel. His depictions of the cosmos and the beings within it are simply stunning, especially when paired with Quintana’s perfect color palette. This is a beautiful book to behold, but the page that completely blew me away is the rather simple splash of Warlock reproaching the divinities. It’s just Warlock, his shadow, some word balloons and that is it. Dang, Denizens, I wish I owned the original art for this page. Dang.

So, we have one last issue in the mini-series before we get the Thanos: The Infinity Finale Hardcover, and the two week wait is going to be a long one. I should also mention that this series spurred me to reread, for the umpteenth time, not just The Infinity Gauntlet, but also Thanos Quest (which I totally forgot to mention is a prequel to The Infinity Gauntlet), and now I’m at the beginning of Warlock and the Infinity Watch. I love me some Starlin space opera, and The Infinity Entity does not disappoint. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Daredevil Season Two (A Netflix Original Series) - I’m not going to spoil this brilliant show. Nope. Ain’t gonna do it. But I need to preface what follows by saying if you have not yet watched the first season, then stop reading and start watching. Come to think of it, if that’s the case…you monster! Call in sick for work for the next couple of days and power through what is now one of my top three favorite television shows of all time. I’m not just saying this, and I’m fully aware that there are some phenomenal shows out there, but Daredevil…dang, Denizens, it touches upon my love of the Frank Miller era that floored me as a kid, while pulling from the best moments of the Brian Michael Bendis material and the awesome tone of Ed Brubaker’s run as well.

The first season is all about introducing us to Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), and Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). We see the first incarnation of the “Devil of Hell’s Kitchen,” we meet the Kingpin, and get seeds of future story lines yet to come. All of this is enough to spark a Daredevil fan’s interest, but when each actor actually becomes their character from the moment of their first appearance, there’s little chance of turning away. The story is beyond solid, with enough twists and turns to keep fans of the comics in suspense, while remaining faithful to the Daredevil mythos every step of the way. Then you have the stunning fight scenes…episode two of the first season had a — for lack of a better word — intense, single-take fight scene that still gets my heart pounding just thinking about it, and the rest of the fight scenes never fail to thrill.

But this isn’t about the freakin’ amazing first season…

Yes, I fell in total and complete love with the first season, but the second season surpasses the already lofty heights of what came before. I’m not spoiling anything by saying that we are introduced to Frank Castle (owned by Jon Bernthal) and Elektra Natchios (brought to life by Elodie Yung) as those characters have been mentioned for many months prior to this season’s premiere. With two new major players on the scene, the writers not only manage to develop compelling back stories for each while seamlessly working the characters into the main story, they also continuing to move all of the regular characters forward on their own journeys. At a glance, I would say the writers could never stuff so much material into a measly 13 episode season, but they do so flawlessly, with nothing feeling rushed or out of place.

Oh yeah, the fight scenes are even more spectacular than the first season, with the stairwell brawl in episode three nearly equalling the previously mentioned stunning battle from season one’s second episode.

I don’t want to say I’m necessarily glad for it, but I just happened to be stupidly ill for the release of Daredevil, and Amy the intern (my wife) just happened to be out of town, which meant some much needed rest and quality couch time pounding through each fantastic episode last weekend. Even if I wasn’t ill, I would have watched half of the first episode and remained firmly glued to the television set until I had made my way through all 13 episodes. I guess you can say I like this season. I’m already desperate to see what happens next, and to see a season two of the awesome Jessica Jones. The brutal 20-second tease for Luke Cage has me excited for September (or is it October? Doesn’t matter…too far away), and the promise of Iron Fist is just…it’s almost more than I can handle. I realize I’m coming off sounding like an over-sugared, nerdtastic, teenage fanboy, but the thing is that this show succeeds in bringing that feeling out in me, which given my general cynical outlook of current world events says something about how great this show is. Now I need to convince Amy to watch this must-see show with me so I can pick up everything I missed. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Still, Still Sick - But at least I’m on the mend…finally. I think at this point my problem is allergies as opposed to the knock-you-out illness that has afflicted me for the past month. Regardless, I’m eager to experience full health, or at least pick up a 1-Up somewhere on the way to work today.

I know, I know, again no song, but I will try to update one later this evening. Have a great weekend!


Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/18/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Low, The Infinity Entity, and Power Man and Iron Fist

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 / primary care puppy Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). Ugh, Denizens. Ugh, I say! It’s been over a month now, and — to quote a great The Smiths song, which I’m sure is about everything other than actually being sick — I’m “Still Ill.” Thankfully, Reverse Obie decided to spend the night at my house for two nights and keep an eye on me while Amy the intern (my wife) is out of town on non-Donist-World-related business. This is great as not only do I have my own puppy healthcare team, I also have my chums nearby so I can focus on what is most important of all: namely watching Daredevil Season 2 episodes tonight and tomorrow…oh, and also getting plenty of rest and recovery. So, queue up the Netflix, order in some burritos, be sure to eat plenty of organic yogurt to counteract the effects of those antibiotics, 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***

Low #12
Low #12 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Stel Caine and reformed pirate Zem have finally reached the surface with just 100 miles between them and a probe that might have the answer to humanity’s salvation. Unfortunately, there is much more than just distance between them and their prize.

I have been saying for some time that although I am loving Rick Remender’s other phenomenal creator-owned work (Black Science, Deadly Class, and Tokyo Ghost…not forgetting the must-read Fear Agent), Low is still my favorite of those currently hitting the shelves — this was true even before this amazing issue. Holy guacamole, Denizens, this is exactly why I love everything about the comic book medium. Not only does this issue serve as a jumping on point complete with perfectly timed exposition (although I strongly encourage new readers to start from the beginning to truly feel the Caine family’s pain), it also gives us a glimpse of the surface world. It ain’t pretty…at least only in regard to the harsh realities found within this world.

The art, however, is a different matter. The Tocchini / McCaig team deliver cool tech / costuming, frightening monsters, and multiple new creature designs all amidst a warm-to-red-hot color palette that left me feeling as if I could feel the oppressive heat of the long-abandoned surface world. At the same time the storytelling and character acting instill the characters’ sense of wonder and hope and accomplishment…up until certain insane events begin to unfold. The tension of this issue is off the rails, and so much goes down in this issue that it felt double-sized compared to its 22 pages, which is high praise to the creators for seamlessly packing so much into such a limited space. Dang, I cannot wait to see what happens next when the Caine girls attempt to catchup with their mother.

This series has everything that this Donist needs: strong as hell characters, a great post-apocalyptic story about the will to survive, underwater adventure, monsters, sci-fi elements perfectly brought to life by gorgeous (and I mean gorgeous) art, and a compelling story that leaves me fearful for the wellbeing of these much loved characters. I also have a desperate need to see what happens next. As I mentioned above, you can jump in on this issue, but by golly why would you ever do that when the first two inexpensive trades are totally available to catch you up with what remains of the Caine family. I for one will surely be double dipping on this series once an over-sized hardcover sees the light of day. Low is the real deal, Denizens, you need to check it out. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Infinity Entity #2
The Infinity Entity #2 - Written by Jim Starlin, illustrated by Alan Davis, inked by Mark Farmer, colored by Wil Quintana, lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino, published by Marvel Comics. Adam Warlock’s memories start to return the deeper he delves into the recesses of the cosmos…he’s not going to like what he discovers.

I liked the first installment of this weekly, four-issue limited series well enough, but dang if this isn’t what I’ve been waiting for. Starlin sees my favorite cosmic hero traveling throughout space and time in a desperate attempt to piece together the missing events that led to his recent bout of amnesia. We discover mystery after mystery along with Warlock as we visit the usual places and presences of the Marvel-U who fans of Starlin’s space opera have come to associate with the golden-skinned character. I will only spoil the appearance of The Inbetweener — we saw him last week / issue — but the other players you should be able to guess easily enough. What matters most is we are now set to receive answers to Warlock’s plight in the next issue and I am excited for next Wednesday.

This issue also sees Davis fully channel the power cosmic in his awesome depiction of the galaxy, that very much channels Starlin’s distinct style; one that I have loved for many years. Davis also seems more comfortable drawing Warlock in this issue, adding just the right amount of shadows, brooding, and grace to the character as he glides through the expanse of space. Quintana’s colors only add to Davis’s gorgeous art, creating a sense of both majesty and madness, which is a must for a comic starring this character. This is especially true of the full-page splash of Warlock standing on the moon, looking at the Earth; dang, I love that page.

As I said in last week’s look at the first issue (read about it here), you need to check out the two recent hardcovers first, if not ALL the other trades that I mentioned before attempting to delve into The Infinity Entity. For newcomers, it is kind of varsity level cosmic comics, but if you’ve been a fan of the weirder side of sci-fi superheroes, primarily Starlin’s awesome work, then this is a book you cannot miss. Five more days until the next issue! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Power Man and
Iron Fist #2
Power Man and Iron Fist #2 - Written by David Walker, illustrated by Sanford Greene, colored by Lee Loughridge, lettered and produced by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. No. There is no Power Man and Iron Fist. There is no Heroes for Hire. There is no team up. No way, no how. Luke and Danny are just trying to right a wrong. Nope. They are not back together again. Seriously, it’s a one time thing.

For two weeks in a row, I have bought more than one Marvel comic and thoroughly enjoyed what I read. Thoroughly. I really shouldn’t be all that surprised, given that these books are event-free, crossover-free, and have been either fun, insane, beautiful, starred beloved characters by fantastic creators, or all of the above. Power Man and Iron Fist goes for the “all of the above” category.

This issue is a blast from start to finish. The creators had me laughing at the heroes’ banter as well as at the ridiculousness of the villains in this issue as they try to recover a mystical artifact from the confused heroes. Having the Spider-Womanses make a brief appearance only made me smile wider, especially given their running commentary of Luke and Danny’s fight with the weirdo villains.

The writing alone is a joy to read, but combined with Greene’s lovely and humorous cartooning, I laughed out loud more than a few times. But there is more to the art than the massive Luke Cage driving around in a SMART Car, or Gorilla-Man starting static in a diner as Iron Fist shovels down some pancakes, there is the insane level of storytelling and choreography involved in the fight scenes. The panel of two henchmen flashing back to getting their asses handed to them by the Heroes for Hire is a treasure that leads the eye from battered thug, up Luke’s punching arm to his reared back fist, through Danny’s strike into the other henchman’s face. It’s all rather perfect in its layout, and pretty darn cool to boot.

So, just when I thought I was done with Big Two superhero comics, along came the gem that is Power Man and Iron Fist. As long as the comic stays this entertaining, I’m definitely on board for a good while. If you were on the fence about this book, then you need to rush out and see if you can scrounge up a copy of the first issue, which might take a little doing, but you’ll be happy you did. So much fun. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Still Sick - This is just stupid. I have been sick for over a month now. It has been a roller coaster of feeling crappy, feeling better, feeling worse than ever, feeling better, and all over again. Well, sick of being sick, I finally went to urgent care only to wait two and a half hours to be told I needed antibiotics…which took all of 10 minutes. I then waited at home for an hour before heading to Walgreens where I had to wander around for over an hour before I could get my medicine. So, my day to “rest and recover” involved 3.5 hours of waiting around other sick people in order to get the medicine I need. Hopefully, this is the end of this icky ickiness. Ick!

I know, I know, again no song, but I will try to update one later this evening. Have a great weekend!


Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/11/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Descender, Weirdworld, and The Infinity Entity

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 / wellness advisor Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). Geez Louise, Denizens. You remember how I said I was going to head out for a run last week? Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I got sick — again — only way worse than before. I basically sat on the couch for two days, unable to eat, and tripping balls on the congestion in my head. Not fun. Then, once I finally start to feel better, I venture out to my LCS to get my Wednesday bonanza only to be turned away by a darkened store and a sign talking about an electrical fire that shut off all of the electricity, forcing the store to close early. The worst thing was that I could see a copy of Tulip and Reverse Obie’s favorite book, Descender, sitting on the new release table. Taunting me. Haunting me. Denying me. Breaking my heart. Thankfully, my puppy executive team went out on Thursday to get my books, but now we are once again in rush-’n’-panic mode. So, take a breath, get thyself a bagel with cream cheese and a nice cup of coffee, 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 #11
Descender #11 - Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. The Hardwire reveals what it is truly after.

Not being able to get this book is what so thoroughly bummed me out Wednesday evening. As I mentioned above, I could see a copy of the comic — my copy of the comic! — sitting on the new release table in the closed store. I’ve made no secret of the fact that Descender is currently my favorite comic seeing release and now that I have what is the concluding issue of the second story arc in my grubby mitts, was the temper tantrum outside of the closed LCS that nearly caught the eye of law enforcement, the scrambling, the multiple trips through five o’clock traffic all worth it? Oh my stars and garters, yes.

I’m not going to spoil a thing other than to tell you that we learn more about what the Hardwire is actually after, and how this band of robots aren’t as far removed from humanity as they would like to believe. The creators pulled the rug out from under me more than once in this issue, each time masterfully leading me up to a page turn moment where I had no idea what I was going to see on the following page. The story beautifully builds in tension to such a degree that I noticed I was holding my breath as I tried to imagine what awaited our heroes on the following page. All I will say is that Lemire and Nguyen finally allow tough-as-nails Telsa to show concern and caring for TIM-21; it’s a feeling of love for the character this ol’ Donist has been feeling since issue one.

Oh, yeah, Dr. Quon unveils another secret…and boy howdy is it a doozy.

It’s gonna be a long, painful wait until Descender returns in June, and I will tell you this, Denizens, no store-closing electrical fire is going to dissuade me from getting ahold of issue twelve on that Wednesday; I just adore this series too much to wait even an extra day. You simply have to read this book, which you can do with the first amazing trade, and then follow with the second once it releases in about a month and a half. It has been a long while since I felt this excited about the next issue of a comic, and this amazing sci-fi adventure is so wonderfully written, so gorgeously painted in watercolors, and so thoroughly compelling that I expect I am not alone in the sentiment. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Weirdworld #4
Weirdworld #4 - Written by Sam Humphries, illustrated and colored by Mike Del Mundo, color assists by Marco D’Alfonso, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics. Becca, Ogeode, and Goleta stumble across a wondrous town built of candy. Sounds good, but Mom always warned you about eating too much candy…

Weirdworld is weird. Not just because of the crazy monsters and circumstances of our hero’s journey, but also because of the fact that this is a Marvel comic. No superheroes from their massive stable of properties, no real ties to anything in the broader Marvel Universe (same was true for the whole Secret-Wars-in-title-only thing with the original mini-series), no lead-ins or ties to any sort of broad event. Nothing. Weirdworld is as Weirdworld does…it is weird in every sense of the word, and that goes a long way in my enjoyment of this series.

For those of you new to this title, it’s about a girl trapped in another world and trying to get home. Of course it is so much more than that. It is also about self-discovery and growing and changing…only with monsters, crystal warriors, wizards, magic-fueled cars, barbarians, and general weirdness. The story alone is thoroughly entertaining, but throw in Del Mundo’s STUNNING artwork (no, seriously, do a search on the guy’s art and you’ll see what I’m talkin’ about) and you have something that looks as great as it reads. This book is a vibrant, heartfelt, hilarious blast of fun.

Weirdworld is so unlike anything else that Marvel is putting out that I hope it’s not on the chopping block. I’m serious. It’s a fringe title that’s loosely (and I mean loosely) ties to the greater Marvel Universe, and it seems as if the creators have been given free rein to do whatever the heck they want, which is all sorts of fine by me as long as we continue to get awesome, creative beauties such as this. So, bolster those sales numbers, Denizens. Support this comic so we continue to have not just many more issues of this tremendous series for years to come, but also other outside-the-norm offerings for those of us tired of the usual capes-’n’-tights fare. You can catch up on this awesome series by reading the introductory “zero” volume Weirdworld trade, and then pick up these oh-so-beautiful first four issues by Humphries and Del Mundo…you’ll be glad you did. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Infinity Entity #1
Infinity Entity #1 - Written by Jim Starlin, illustrated by Alan Davis, inked by Mark Farmer, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino, published by Marvel Comics. Between death and rebirth, alternate realities, and dabblings with gods, Adam Warlock’s sanity has been called into question on more than a few occasions. Now having his self in one reality overwritten by another, his memory is not what it should be, although his powers have grown exponentially.

Longtime Denizens know that I’ve had a deep love of Starlin’s golden-skinned Warlock for most of my life (you can read some early Donist World thoughts on the character here and here), and you can rest assured if Starlin is writing him, I’m fully in. With that understanding in mind, I will say that the Infinity Entity is not really for the Warlock newbie. Nope. Before you tackle this comic — and eventually you should! — you need to study up on your history, son. If you want to know about this awesome, cosmic, tragic hero, then here’s some required reading material (in order) that should bring you up to speed:

Okay, that list is by no means all that is out there, but it is a great place to start. You especially need the last two Thanos hardcovers (which are positively amazing) to really understand what is going to happen in this four-issue mini-series that serves as a bridge to the concluding hardcover Thanos: The Infinity Finale, which I positively cannot wait to read; it drops in early April. Now, with all of that setup, you’re probably wondering what I think about this first issue: I liked it.

I have to be honest and tell you that I really wish Starlin was illustrating both this mini and the final hardcover, but alas it was not meant to be. Filling in on art for the mini-series is the legendary Alan Davis, who gives us some great visuals and action sequences for this foray into cosmic greatness. The book looks good, and despite much of the issue involving Warlock running around trying to remember who he is, the story worked for me as well…but then again, given the writer and the character, Warlock could have spent the issue attempting to order a pizza and I would have been pretty happy. Newer readers, however, would probably be left scratching their heads.

Overall, not much happens in this issue, but like I said, I’m a fiend for the Starlin cosmic space opera, and I will be gleefully skipping to the LCS next week for the second issue. If you are a fan of Adam Warlock, Thanos, and Jim Starlin’s work, then you are already nodding your head in agreement. If you are new to these characters…well, you have a pretty impressive “To Read” list ahead of you before you tackle this one. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

So Late! - The unfortunate delay in getting my new comics really threw my schedule out of whack. Hopefully next week things level off and I can get back into the groove of things. 

I know, I know, again no song this week…I’m already pushing it on the tardiness, though, so it didn’t make the cut. Hopefully next time!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/4/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Deadly Class and Ms. Marvel

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 / food consumption monitor Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). <shhhhhhhhhhhhh> Be very, very quiet, Denizens. Only this time it is not for my trusty puppy executive team, but for me. I’m done. Stick a fork in me. I’m tired, both in a good way in that the new job’s been fantastic and I am mentally exhausted (yay!), and in a bad way with this stupid alergies/cold that will not go away (boo!). I’m just going to lounge in bed a little while longer, then eat a lovely everything-bagel that Tulip brought in, and then…crud…I’ve been so out of it I haven’t been exercising like I should. Ugh. Time to go for a run, but dang…it looks really cold out there. . So, by all that is holy, get thyself a bagel with cream cheese and a nice cup of coffee, 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***

Deadly Class #19
Deadly Class #19 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. The Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts version of freshman finals is a bit different from most high schools. Unfortunately for Marcus and his pals, those known as “Rats,” or those who don’t have a family legacy with the school, are to be hunted down by their peers. To pass finals…the Rats simply have to survive.

The awesome exchange between the music store employee and the customer on the very first page of this issue is simply priceless. One page in and I knew this would be one of the best installments to date, which is saying a lot given how many great issues we have seen since the beginning. The creators go all out this month by throwing open the door (literally), grabbing the reader by the wrist, and dragging them on a whirlwind panic-stricken chase as Billy runs for his life from the homicidal Viktor and his pair of goons. My heart rate escalated with every turn of the page as each scene brings the hunter ever closer to his prey. The thing is, you know Viktor is going to catch Billy. You do. But despite knowing this, the moment when he finally corners the young punker, you are still shocked, and the creators pull no punches.

The crazy thing about this immensely stressful yet thoroughly exciting issue, Craig does not even rely on a single slanted panel to aid in ramping up the action. Instead, he uses panel counts and his phenomenal storytelling skills to keep you zipping from one brutal moment to the next. Trust me, Denizens, keeping up the frenetic pacing while refusing to allow the reader to catch their breath is a massive feat and one difficult for most artists to pull off successfully. Not a problem for Craig. With the added bonus of Boyd’s mood-enhancing colors — I still love those black line knockouts…boy howdy! — and Wooton’s lettering only helps in keeping the ol’ nerves a rattlin’. This issue of Deadly Class is what happens when all aspects of the creative process are working in perfect harmony.

Oh, yeah…I need to go on record by clarifying The B-52s are next to godliness. You will just need to read the issue for perspective.

I love this series. I’m also totally amped and need the next frickin’ issue ASAFP! If this is your first time coming to Donist World (welcome, btw), then you probably haven’t noticed just how much I have been lovin’ on Remender’s current onslaught of awesome creator-owned work. Deadly ClassBlack Science, Low, and Tokyo Ghost have all been rockin’ my world for sometime now, and although I never thought anything would ever meet the greatness of the man’s oh-so-sweet Fear Agent series, I’m very cool with being wrong. This book is harsh. It is brutal. It is beyond entertaining. It is something you should be reading. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Ms. Marvel V.2
Generation Why
Ms. Marvel Volume 2: Generation Why - Written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Jacob Wyatt and Adrian Alphona, colored by Ian Herring, lettered by V.C.’s Joe Caramagna, published by Marvel Comics. Kamala Khan’s been a superhero all of what 10 minutes? A week? A month? Let’s just say it hasn’t been all that long, and already she has her own evil nemesis out to get her. Mix that with family, her powers on the fritz, and a visit from a hairdresser’s nightmare personified named Medusa, who has time to be an ordinary high schooler? At least she had her first official superhero team-up!

First off…this is a very different book than that from the previous review. Although both comics center around a character(s) in the high school age range, that is about where the comparisons end. Ms. Marvel is a heck of a lot of fun. Wilson gives us an upbeat, positive, Muslim teen trying to juggle not only the unbearable burden of being a teenager, but that of parental pressure, religious pressure, and now the added pressure of using her abilities to make the world a better place. Kamala makes mistakes, she learns from them, and she tries to do what’s right, all while trying to act cool (while internally freaking out with joy) when a certain well-renowned superhero (I’m not spoilin’) crosses her path and treats her like an equal. I laughed often throughout this volume, but at no time did this all-ages comic seem “kiddie”; there’s truly something for everyone.

Wyatt and Alphona’s art is full of energy and excitement and I actually loved Wyatt’s stylized take on the surprise superhero. The storytelling is fantastic on the book, and Herring’s vibrant colors bring an uplifting boost to the usually dark and dreary world of today’s comics. This is a dang pretty book, Denizens.

I’ve been hearing the buzz about this series for quite some time — there are still two more volumes available — and I am glad I finally decided to take the plunge. As I say above, Ms. Marvel has something for everyone: superhero action, a strong female lead, real stakes, relatable problems, and an inspiring drive to do what’s right even when the situation is dire. Dang, is this xx-year-old man, wishing he was Ms. Marvel? Well, yeah, Kamal’s cool, although I don’t think I’d ever willingly return to my teen years, even if you paid me. Now, I need to get my grubby little paws on volumes three and four. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

What Time Is It?! Crud, Gotta Take Tulip For a Walk and Get Out the Door! - Aside from the cold / alergy nonsense that refuses to let me get back to normal, all is going well except for reconfiguring my time schedule. I also desperately miss having Tulip ever by my side, but unfortunately her surly attitude prevents me from bringing her to the office. <sniffle> Oh well, I just have to give her extra love when I get home each day. 

I know, I know, again no song this week, but I have to finish up my first full week at the new job and my schedule is totally messed up. I’ll get it under control in the coming weeks. Dang, and I still have this other…thing…I’m working on that I want to get up and running for all to enjoy.
More on that later. ;-)