Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 6/10/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Wonder Woman: Rebirth, Empress, and DC Universe: Rebirth

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 / jump-on-the-bandwagoneer Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). Here at the Donist World corporate office (my mom’s basement) we’re all kind of scratching our heads. Okay, Tulip was actually scratching a flea, but she admits to raising an eyebrow and tilting her head at the sight of our comics this week (btw, it’s adorable when she does that, trust me). You see, Denizens, we only read Big Two books this week. Nothing else. In fact, we’re so out of sorts we cancelled our meeting on maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company, and I even dropped my doughnut on the floor in pleasant surprise. If one title I’m late to reading hadn’t sold out last week, I would probably have yet another DC comic to talk about; dang, I might even go digital on that one. Anyhow, while we pull ourselves together, pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee, have some delicious breakfast tacos, 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***

Wonder Woman:
Rebirth #1
Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 - Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Matthew Clark and Liam Sharp, inked by Sean Parsons, colored by Jeremy Colwell and Laura Martin, published by DC Comics. Wonder Woman has stood for many things in her life, but truth has ever been of the utmost importance. But something is not right in the world, and the Princess of Power means to uncover the truth as to who has been interfering with her history and her life.

If you look back to the Donist World of 2011, you’ll notice a marked jump in the number of DC Comics titles I was reading. Why was that, you might ask? No, really, ask me…c’mon, do it, ask me! That’s right, Denizens, 2011 was the beginning of the New 52, for which I started off with a hefty amount of titles to better see what all the hullabaloo was about with this big reboot shakeup. I was pumped. But despite my initial enthusiasm, my interest waned as titles I liked were canceled and creators I followed left the series for others, or left the publisher completely. So when I heard about this whole Rebirth thing I was skeptical and vowed to sit on the sidelines to see how things would play out with this “not a reboot” reboot.

Yeah, I didn’t last long.

After hearing about the excitement over Rebirth #1 (which I had to buy digitally, and thank goodness I did) I had to check it out. Then walking through the LCS, I could not pass by Batman: Rebirth #1 (which is fantastic, btw) and I am now scrambling to get ahold of the Green Arrow: Rebirth issue. But when you have Greg Rucka writing Wonder Woman…please, Denizens…there really is no decision to be made: I had to buy it.

Having only read roughly half of the New 52 Wonder Woman, I had no idea of what to expect going into this issue, and fully believed I’d be lost. Thankfully, this was not the case. Rucka does a fantastic job of giving the readers just enough info to acknowledge that Diana has had many differing storylines and histories, and that all those conflicting threads are part of what troubles her here. Through some very clever uses of her powers, Wonder Woman determines that all is not right with her or the world, and thus begins her journey.

And what a beautiful journey it is. The first fifteen pages are gorgeously illustrated by Matthew Clark, where we see Diana struggle with her mishmash of origins through solid storytelling and character acting — and some great hair — but it’s the awesome double-page splash that really blew me away. Two pages later, the art switches to Liam Sharp, who handles the shift in location (I’m not spoiling), for some wonderfully choreographed fight scenes. More than anything, though, both Clark and Sharp, as well as colorists Colwell and Martin, leave me with the a clear picture of who Wonder Woman is: a majestic, powerhouse worthy of everyone’s respect and admiration.

So, will I be continuing with the bi-weekly series? You betcha, Denizens. I honestly can’t wait to see where the creators take us next. I love the Wonder Woman of the ’80s, as well as the one portrayed in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited TV shows, and the animated movie, and I truly hope to add this version of the Princess of Power to that list as well. Exciting times. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Empress #3
Empress #3 - Written by Mark Millar, illustrated by Stuart Immonen, inked by Wade von Grawbadger, colored by Ive Svorcina, lettered by Peter Doherty, edited by Rachael Fulton, published by Icon, a Marvel Comics imprint. Queen Emporia, her children, her personal guard, and a shifty gambler with a teleportation device jump from peril to peril as they try to reach the homeworld of Emporia’s sister. They better move fast and sure, for if King Morax, Emporia’s dictatorial husband, catches them, their lives will be forfeit.

I am still loving this mini-series. Millar gives us a roller coaster ride of a sci-fi adventure that barely gives the reader a moment to catch their breath, which is part of what makes Empress so much fun. We’ve all read tales or watched shows about the wife and children fleeing an abusive husband, but never one set 65 million years in the past with monsters, aliens, and spaceships. It’s almost as if this book was written with this Donist in mind. I only wish things would slow down enough to where we can learn more about Emporia, Dane, Morax, Ship, and the rest, but that is the compromise in telling such a grand space opera, with a sizable cast of characters, and a limited number of issues. What I’m saying is that if the creators wish to drop some one-shots or preludes or what have you to supplement this awesome comic, I will be there to swoop them up in my loving arms.

Immonen. Daaaaannnnng. Dang! This is one pretty book. Whether you are looking at character design, character acting, choreography, storytelling, backgrounds, vehicles, past/future technology, monsters, or various alien environments, everything is beyond stunning. The thing is, if I had to nail down a single sequence as being my favorite of the issue, it would have to be brief respite when Emporia is feeding the baby and talking to her daughter. The layouts and emotions on display are fantastic, but when you add Svorcina’s colors to already gorgeous art, you can’t help but take pause and appreciate the imagery; this is especially true of Emporia’s hooded cloak.

I really dig Empress, Denizens, and I’m already dreading the day I hold the final issue in my hands. Not because of any worry the creators won’t stick the ending — they totally will — but because that will mean no more tales involving Emporia, Dane, Tor, and the rest. Everyone needs to be reading this compelling-as-heck space opera. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

DC Universe:
Rebirth #1
DC Universe: Rebirth #1 - Written by Jeff Johns; illustrated by Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, and Phil Jimenez; inked by Joe Prado, Ivan Reis, Matt Santorelli, and Gary Frank; colored by Brad Anderson, Jason Wright, Hi-Fi, and Gabe Eltaeb; lettered by Nick J. Napolitano, published by DC Comics. The DC Universe is in for a shock as a bolt of lightning strikes to reveal none other than Wally West…the real Wally West…and he is on a mission to not just save his own life, but to fix the wrongs in reality. But who orchestrated the changes and why?

Seeing as how this book is a few weeks old, I’m not going to go too deep into it as many other sites have already done so. This includes MANY places spoiling the big one-two punch of who is most likely responsible for the bleak, joyless world our heroes have found themselves in for the past few (make that five) years. Sounds cool, right? It actually really is.

First off, I’m guessing digging up a copy of the first printing might be a bit difficult, so you should probably hit up Comixology to get this 80-page giant of a comic offered at $2.99. (Word on the street is that the second printing will see a one or two dollar price jump.) Also be aware that at the bottom of the first page of the actual comic is a recommendation that you read Justice League #50 and Superman #52 before reading this issue, but I didn’t read either book and for the most part did just fine following the story. Sure I had absolutely no idea of certain events that happened, but Johns has got your back and gracefully clues you in to what has come before while he mostly brings you into a new, more hopeful world. The tone and feel of this issue is a perfect embracing of the best that comics had to offer back in the days of the ’80s with DC Universe: Rebirth bringing the excitement of Crisis on Infinite Earths to mind (which reminds me it is about time for a reread).

It’s almost criminal to skate over just how beautiful the art and colors are in this book, with all four artists truly shining on every page. The storytelling and pacing are phenomenal, and the colors are bright, bold, exciting, which again brings me back to more hopeful times. Just take a peak at a few pages and you will see what I mean.

DC Universe: Rebirth is wroth every penny of its $2.99 cover price whether you judge by writing, by art, by page-count, or by the excitement you should hopefully now feel for some of the coming titles. Yes, there is a major component of the story that is sure to irk some readers, but those guys tend to get irked at everything, even the characters and books they supposedly hold so near and dear to their hearts. But who cares. Things are about to get cray-cray over at DC and this issue was enough to make this Donist sit up and take note. I’m in. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Tired. So Tired. No Sleep. - I only got about six hours of poor quality sleep as Tulip kept getting up to get in my face so I would put her cover back on her, until she got so hot that she would crawl back out until she got cold and made me repeat the cycle again. Ugh. Okay, got to pull myself together for the commute and a full day of work.


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