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!


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