Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 7/15/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: DescenderWonder WomanSabrina

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 / color coordinator Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Okay, the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) is getting a refresh as a team of painters have descended upon us and begun working their craft. Its a much needed  move guaranteed to revitalize our creative juices while keeping us steadfast in our goal to remain a Fortune 320,000 company. Now, while I try to determine which tarp Reverse Obie is currently trapped under, you should pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee, cook up some delicious waffles, 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 #13
Descender #13 - Written Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Telsa Nagoki steps into the spotlight with a glimpse into her past, present, and future.

Yup, Descender is still my favorite comic currently hitting the stands. Every time I get home with a brand spankin’ new copy, I do everything I can to set aside some uninterrupted time where I can pour myself a drink and immerse myself in Lemire and Nguyen’s wondrous world. Denizens, it’s always the first comic I read in the stack and also the last as I dive back in.

This is the issue I’ve been waiting for. Ever since the first issue, I’ve been eager to get a deeper look into Telsa’s past, and this issue delivered beyond my hopes. The creators rewind us to the point just before that one powerful splash page so many issues again, where we saw the loss of Telsa’s mother in the wake of the Harvester’s assault. Dang, and here I thought that scene was brutal, but when expanded upon in this issue, it is all the more devastating for both character and readers alike. This is to be expected from a Lemire comic, however, given how the creator once made me weepy over a story about hockey (read the masterful Essex County to see what I mean). Never fear, though, there’s plenty of triumphs to elevate your spirits in this issue as we see key moments in Telsa’s past before we are brought into the nerve wracking present. <gasp!>

Nguyen’s art is a triumph, which is saying something given how gorgeous all of the previous issues have been. Every watercolored panel is something to admire, but when he throws in some particularly nasty new (and old) aliens, you too will be lingering on the page and coming back to experience it all again. The character acting, the storytelling, the character designs…all bring back the warm nostalgia of the best of Epic Comics in the ’80s, while still being its own unique thing.

Criminy, I love this book. It’s space opera, sci-fi goodness with characters I adore and a compelling story that is certain to enchant those seeking something new and exciting. I double-dipped on the two trades (which you should get!), and I will triple-dip whenever the oversized hardcover drops. Descender’s the real deal, folks, you need to be reading this epic-in-the-making. Next issue: Bandit!!! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Wonder Woman #2
Wonder Woman #2 - Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Nicola Scott, colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr, lettered by Jodi Wynne, published by DC Comics. Travel back in time to see the Princess of Power’s early years and her first meeting with Steve Trevor.

When I first heard about DC doing the whole twice a month shipping on their main titles, I scoffed. My reaction might have been a tad presumptuous. Each successive issue is supposed to alternate between present and past with different artists for each, in a sense giving us two different books under one title; after reading this issue, I’m totally chill with this arrangement.

Rucka gives us a glimpse into Diana’s relationship with her mother and her fellow Amazonians, while also developing Steve Trevor’s oft-ignored life and friendships. By the end of the issue, we have a rich backstory for each character, a sense for each of their worlds, and need to join them on their journeys. There’s hope, a need to experience all life has to offer, duty, dread, isolation, camaraderie, desire, and so much more. Again, all in one issue.

The eyes have it in this comic as Scott’s tremendous ability to convey the weight of a scene with but a downward turned head followed by a knowing look tells you just how bad (or good) a situation is about to become. Her silent panels tell you everything you need to know without having to rely upon intrusive exposition to get a point across; you know how a character is feeling by the heaviness of their eyes and the slight turn of their lips. Fajardo Jr.’s vibrant colors make Scott’s already stunning art heavenly, bringing a liveliness to the superhero world that we, sadly, rarely see these days.

I am so onboard for this latest incarnation of Wonder Woman, Denizens, and I hope you are, too. With only the Rebirth issue, and these two issues out so far, it should be easy for you to catch up. But remember, this is a bi-weekly series, and you best hop on this train before you get left in the dust and miss out on the story of the strongest female character there’s ever been. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chilling Adventures
of Sabrina #6
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6 - Written by Roberto, Aguirre-Sacasa, illustrated by Robert Hack, lettered by Jack Morellli, published by Archie Comic Publications, Inc. The witches’ familiars discuss lives long past and the moments of their greatest mistakes…when they were transformed into beasts.

That’s the ticket! A (nearly) bi-monthly issue of Sabrina! With my deep love of the phenomenal (and equally delayed) Afterlife with Archie series, I initially had some hesitance jumping into the equally amazing Sabrina. Now, this ain’t your grand pappy’s Sabrina, or the ’90s television show version with the woman I had a huge crush on…nope. This is straight up horror. There’s witchcraft, the scary kind. The kind with blood, and sacrifice, and vengeance, and betrayal, and cannibalistic aunts. It’s dark, gruesome at times, but it still has its unmistakeable, if not murky, ties to Riverdale with the occasional bits of humor. This is not necessarily the best choice for the wee ones, Denizens. What it should be is the last book adults read before going to bed and turning out the lights.

In this issue, Sabrina and Madame Satan mostly step aside as Salem, Naga, and Nagaina provide a side tale of how they went from being humans to animal familiars. Given all of the delays with the series’s release, I was initially more interested in seeing what happens next in the main narrative, but the creators tell two compelling stories that greatly expand upon this rich, creepy world. The tone of the captions and dialogue, and the lovely art all succeed in reminding me of the old Warren mags that used to freak me out decades ago, which is one of the highest forms of praise I can offer for this fantastically scary gem.

Although Sabrina appears in both Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Afterlife with Archie, near as I can tell, these are two separate worlds and two separate versions of the same character. You’re just going to have to read them both, which I strongly encourage you to do. If you have been too big of a fraidy cat to read this spine-tingling tale, then now’s the time to stop your chattering teeth, pull your sheets up close, and give this beautifully written and illustrated tale a read. You might not sleep all that well, but this ride is definitely worth it. A trade of the first six issues drops in August. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Out of Time…Again - I know, I know. But seriously. Our place is having the interior painted, and I’ve been having to move lots of furniture around, while safely stashing pictures in closets. Now it’s time to turn off the computer and pull the desk into the center of the room. Ugh…I can’t wait to have the Donist World headquarters back to normal. See you next week.


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