Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/12/2016

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 / home improvement hater Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). The Donist World office (Mom’s Basement) continues to have problem after problem as each voluntary and involuntary phase of the remodel goes shockingly askew. This week, we finally got the new flooring put in, but while taking a break from our discussions on maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company, and attempting to load a tray of spicy meatballs into the oven, well…the oven door fell off. No kidding. 375 degrees and the hefty door just popped off. Thankfully, my puppy executive team was not near the door, and the heated slab of metal did not damage the new flooring, but I was definitely freaked out. Don’t worry, Denizens, the spicy meatballs were fine as I was able to trick the door back onto the oven to finish cooking, and I later was able to fix the mysteriously locked hinge with no problems — fixing that thing is like a setting a freakin’ bear trap, though. <ugh>. So sneak a few sips of coffee before pouring yourself a fresh cup of green tea, grab some carrot sticks (I want pizza! Beer! <sob> French…fries…), check-in on an episode or two of the exceptional Stranger Things on Netflix, 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***

The Flintstones #2
The Flintstones #2 - Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Steve Pugh, colored by Chris Chuckry, lettered by Dave Sharpe, Published by DC Comics. Consumerism, 24-hour news, and a glimpse under the hood of the god Morp come to Bedrock!

As I said last time, I had no intention of picking up The Flintstones until I learned that Mark Russell was writing. My interest quickly went from a total lack thereof to extreme excitement. You see, Denizens, Russell’s (and Ben Caldwell’s) Prez is one of the best books I read in 2015, so there was no way I was going to miss out on this modern take of the cartoon I used to hold so near and dear to my heart. Unlike the cartoon, and very much like Prez, Russell provides both subtle and in-your-face commentary on society, religion, and the news — with a touch of the ol’ Ponzi for good measure — in a satirical upgrade to the more tame and kid-friendly cartoon show.

As serious as this comic might sound, don’t worry, it’s a crackup from beginning to end with Pugh’s art and Chuckry’s colors. The men in this series are predominantly brutish cavemen, the women lovely, the creatures laugh-out-loud funny — Powergoat! — and the character acting make this one heck of an enjoyable funny book even before the tons of sight gags. The colors also keep the mood lighthearted and more vibrant than a place named Bedrock has any right to be, with the exception of the few desaturated flashbacks that bestow a mood all their own.

I still eagerly await the return of Prez, but if The Flintstones continues to be this fun, this smartly written, this beautifully illustrated, then I am totally chill hanging with the fab family from Bedrock. I will say that this series is more geared towards adults than children, but then again aren’t most comics? Two issues in, and The Flinstones looks to be one of my favorite books of 2016. You should give it a try. “Powergoat, biznatch!” VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Wonder Woman #4
Wonder Woman # 4 - Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Nicola Scott, colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr., lettered by Jodi Wynne, published by DC Comics. We jump back to the past with Diana’s first encounter with Steve Trevor and the events that will bring her from the paradise of Themyscira to the world of men.

The creators pick up the pace this issue as they move Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor from their first encounter, through the contest that decides their fates, and on to their journey to the mortal world. There are no bad guys, no ultimate evil to clash with this issue. Rather we see the governing individuals deciding what to do with this man, and how he, let alone anyone, was even allowed to reach their island to begin with. They also discover the weapons Steve and his now deceased team brought with them. This issue is mostly deliberating and confiding between characters, but I was fine not having any battles. Instead, I let the character development and world building take over as Scott provides some tremendous character acting and drama, adding weight to each scene. The lively colors continue to elevate this comic above the drab that has pervaded too many superhero comics for too long.

Diana and Steve are on their way to Steve’s world, and the next issue might possibly be a look at Wonder Woman’s attempts to understand her strange, new surroundings, again with no real bad guys to be seen. I am more than okay with that so long as the Princess of Power continues to receive a tale truly worthy of her greatness. With Rucka and Scott, I know we’ll get it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Empress #5
Empress #5 - 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. The Empress and her children have been divided, but just because the children are on their own, does not mean they are helpless; King Morax is their father after all.

As far as roller coasters go, Empress continues to be exciting as heck. But with the fast pace, there’s little opportunity to catch your breath and dig into all of the cool characters. Don’t get me wrong, Denizens, I’m not ripping on the mini-series, or saying that I am not thoroughly enjoying the comic, but rather the creators made me care so much about these characters in the first issue, that I really want to know some more about each of them. With only two issues left and a lot of craziness to deal with, those backstories might not be coming. Still…this comic is a blast to read, and the art is stunning — seeing King Morax’s daughter whup ass doesn’t hurt in the slightest, either.

Empress is a great sci-fi series, and I can’t wait to see it done properly for the big screen once all is said and done with the comic series. You need to be reading this thrilling mini-series, but at this stage in the game, unless you can get all the floppies in one fell swoop, you might have to wait for the inevitable hardcover, which is certain to be lovely. Just make sure you read it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

All Star Batman #1
All Star Batman #1 - Written by Scott Snyder, illustrated by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey, inked by Danny Miki and Declan Shalvey, colored by Dean White and Jordie Bellaire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by DC Comics. It’s two tales: one involves Two-Face and a deal no one can refuse, the other finds the detective and his new partner investigating a grisly scene.

Snyder’s Detective Comics run is one of my favorite Dark Knight tales of all time, and his New 52 Batman series — especially “The Court of Owls” storyline — is simply fantastic. One thing in common between those two series is the lengthy, multi-issue (occasionally multi-year) storylines found in each. That is where the new series differs from Snyder’s earlier work.

All Star Batman is set to feature a host of different and prominent artists of Snyder’s choosing, as well as multiple tales each issue and much shorter arcs. Each story is to focus on a different character from Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery, and the book wastes no time as the first story quickly brings in four (!) villains, not to mention Batman with a chainsaw and a host of new enemies created by Two-Face. Romita Jr. and White’s art is beautiful, dynamic, and exciting, and the story wastes no time throwing the readers into the thick of things as the details of what is going on slowly unfolds between all of the excitement.

The second story, illustrated by the great Shalvey and Bellaire team, is shorter in length, and does not reveal the villain who has created the, frankly, disturbing crime scene that Batman and Duke — I still know little about this guy, but I definitely like him — are forced to investigate. Both tales have that tinge of horror Snyder is so well known for, but there are also lighter moments in this book that were a rarity in the writer’s previous takes on the Dark Knight.

We’re off to a great start with All Star Batman, and I am excited to see where these storylines go, as well as which superstar artists popup in future issues. Prepare to be shocked by the $4.99 price, but pick up the book and you will see it is 40 pages of great material, wrapped with a lovely, thicker matte cover, and is every bit worth the price. We might be only one issue into this series, but All Star Batman looks to be everything we could hope for. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

I am Sick of Home Calamities - Multiple-daylong and delayed paint jobs, washing machines rifling water from the second story onto the patio below, old carpet tear outs followed by ruined carpets and weeklong delays, missed work to accommodate shifting schedules, oven doors falling off midway through cooking meatballs, no toilet, near toilet catastrophes…I’ve had it, Denizens. This brutally expensive nonsense has been going on for a month now, and I want nothing more than to kick it in my crib this weekend without a SINGLE thing going wrong. It’s gonna happen. I got some comics I want to reread, dagnabbit.


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