Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/16/2016

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 / potluck proponent Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). The Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) has had it up to here with being served extra portions of home improvement fail this week and as such have decided to serve up some good food instead. That’s right, Denizens, we’re having a Donist World potlock. I made up a fresh batch of grape salsa (the jalapeños could have been hotter, but whatchagonnado) and brought a couple bags of tortilla chips. Reverse Obie brought a green jello dish with fruit in it, and Tulip…also brought a jello dish (red color) with fruit in it. Hmmmm. Here’s hoping Amy the Intern (my wife) brings burgers or chicken or something for tacos. Whatever the case, it looks to be a good time. So, cook up your favorite dish for the potluck (you know, the one you’re famous for), read some of the awesome Prez comic, 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***

Wonder Woman #6
Wonder Woman #6 - Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Nicola Scott, colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr., lettered by Jodi Wynne, published by DC Comics. Diana and Steve Trevor land an invisible plane in sunny San Diego with the bodies of Trevor’s former team as cargo. The military is probably going to have a question or two for them.

Wonder Woman continues to be one of the best DC Superhero comics I have read in quite a while, and I have read some pretty cool DC superhero books over the past few years. The funny thing about this issue is not a single supervillain or superhero appears. Not one punch or kick is thrown. Instead, Rucka and Scott focus on Steve and Diana’s connection, their communication issues, and them trying to explain to the military about Diana and the Amazons; this book is all the better for it.

Diana and Trevor’s relationship is at the forefront of this “Wonder Woman: Year One” storyline, and Scott’s simply gorgeous artwork completely sells the trust between the two through some of the best character acting I have seen outside of a Terry Moore comic. As you read the page, you experience exactly how overwhelming this new world is to the Amazon princess, and how hesitant and guarded she feels in dealing with these strange, new people.  Aside from Trevor, Diana is alone. No one speaks her language except for one individual — which wonderfully ties this story set in the past to the story in the present. Whether you see Diana react to a bunch of police officers with weapons drawn, or Trevor breaking the bad news to his buddy’s widow, or Diana waiting in a holding cell you can’t help but empathize with these characters. The emotion on their faces and the stunning display of body language when combined with Fajardo Jr.’s lively, vibrant colors easily pulls you in.

I guess the eyes have it, Denizens, as Wonder Woman has transitioned from a superhero comic to a story about characters I honestly care for. Yup, no action, only drama, and this issue is one heck of a compelling read that leaves me eager to see what happens next. It’s not too late to jump in with the even-numbered issues covering the past or the odd-numbered issues covering the present, and while you’re scooping this series up, don’t forget to grab a copy of Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 while you’re on the hunt, you’ll be glad you did. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Black Science #24
Black Science #24 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, colored by Moreno Dinisio, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Grant McKay has a lot to make up for with his family, but for his daughter Pia, he’s willing to give up that which he prides himself on the most.

Last issue’s art blew me away with its brilliant colors and its tremendous linework, especially when it came to the wicked witch, and this issue delivers more of the same awesomeness. Even when a scene is something as minor as Grant and Pia calmly walking down the street at night, there’s something to admire. The mixture of Scalera’s character acting and dynamic storytelling combined with Dinisio’s complementary colors and bold highlights make each page a thing of beauty.

I’m not gonna spoil nuthin’, but I will say that true to Black Science form, this issue throws in a couple of curveballs I did not see coming at all. Now more than ever, I cannot wait to see what happens next. If you’re a fan of Remender and / or good science fiction stories, then look no further than the fantastic Black Science. You can easily catch up with the four trades or the oversized hardcover and rest easy that Remender will take care of you every bit as well as he did back in the days of Fear Agent. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

All Star Batman #2
All Star Batman #2 - Written by Scott Snyder, illustrated by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey, inked by Danny Miki, colored by Dean White and Jordie Bellaire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by DC Comics. It’s two tales: One with the madman Two-Face, the other with the psychopath Zsasz.

Wait a sec…didn’t the last issue end with Bats driving a semi as the Gentleman Ghost clung to the back of the rig? Now, the story opens on a train as the Dark Knight fights Killer Croc, King Shark, and Amygdala (no idea who this cat is, but I can roll with it) as Two-Face watches. Okay, I guess there was a jump in time or somethin’, but as much as I was looking forward to seeing this Gentleman Ghost guy get his butt handed to him, I have to admit seeing Batman serve up some critical beatdowns to some cerebrally-challenged monsters is dang cool. We also get a new(?) villain, who goes by the name “The Beast,” and the backup story, although a tad confusing, is a creepy good time.

The art on this series is striking with one of the highlights being White’s colors over Romita Jr.’s linework. White brings shocks of color to this usually desaturated, murky world, and the mixture of smoke-grey and sharp reds pulsing across Two-Face’s face is a look that makes him all the more sinister. Shalvey and Bellaire’s short backup story looks mighty fine, too.

If you’re a fan of the New 52 Batman series by Snyder and Capullo, or if you’re a fan of the character in general, you should definitely seek out this 40-page, $4.99 comic that looks to offer shorter stories (spread over three issues for both the main story and the backup, at least I believe that’s the case) and a rotating roster of superstar artists. We’re only two issues in thus far, best get on it while you can! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Blue Cross - Wow. Despite having raked in $2.5 billion in profit, and having raised premiums on subscribers between 10–20 percent, I just received a letter from my hospital’s anesthesiologist, that Blue Cross refused to allow them to raise their rates to Blue Cross (supposedly the anesthesiologist rates are 10–15 percent below country average). The anesthesiologist group has not raised rates in over three years. Wow, I guess times must be VERY tough when $2.5 billion in profit is considered chump change. I guess the ol’ “Take a big swig of this cheap whiskey, bite down on this here wooden spoon, and hold very still…this might sting a bit” method of performing surgical procedures is coming back. We need to divorce our health insurance providers from prioritizing shareholder returns over quality care. This just seems wrong.


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