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!


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