Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 10/21/2016

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 / happy hound of healing Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). As I mentioned last week, I’m not going to be able to take a look at this week’s comics in time for FSoH/SitW. Remember last week how I mixed things up a bit by taking a look at some of my favorite mini-series of the ’80s? Well, I’m going to skip doing the usual review of the week’s new comics — there was only one book in my pull anyways — and instead highlight the comics that I return to every few years or so. These are the series that for whatever reason have charmed my soul, and I cannot help but dig back into them again and again despite having plenty of other things awaiting my attention. So, let’s get started and see what’s what on the great, golden spinner rack of adoration here at Donist World headquarters (Mom’s basement). kindly kick back Jack, pour yourself a Founder’s Breakfast Stout (or a coffee if beer ain’t your thang), check out Luke Cage on Netflix (so freakin’ great!) 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven

As always, these are in no particular order other than as they come to mind or as I happen to see them on the shelves; they’re all treasures.


I’m rapidly approaching 500 posts here at Donist World, and I know I’ve praised Marvel’s golden-skinned tragi-hero of the cosmos quite a few times. And when you mention Adam Warlock, you also have to include his greatest foe / ally / murderer Thanos. After that, you have to be sure that the legendary writer / artist Jim Starlin is the one guiding the spaceship of this pair’s destinies, and you have a substantial library of material that I have reread so many times that I’ve lost count. In fact, I just recently reread (March 2016) ALL of Warlock and Thanos’s exploits from the Warlock comics of the ’70s, to Infinity Gauntlet, to Thanos: The Infinity Finale. I finished the epic undertaking at the end of April, and figure I’ll start the process over again in sometime around 2019 or so. This stuff never gets old and I still hold out hope that Adam Warlock someday makes it to the silver screen. Respect.

The Micronauts

Here’s another series I mention often. Wait…you haven’t heard of it? Wait, what?! How can that be?!?! Actually, I’m not all that surprised. Yeah, I hate to do it to you, Denizens, but this is one of those Marvel series that just so happens to be stuck in licensing limbo. Not to go too far into this life-changing series, but The Micronauts transformed me into a comic book collector. In fact, I love this series so much that at the beginning of 2014, I began a six-month journey on Donist World called “Micronauts Monday” (this is where it all began) where I looked at every single Marvel Micronauts comic from the viewpoint of Young Donist and present-day Donist, and I had a blast doing it…even with the less-than-compelling “New Voyages.” Sadly, if you intend to track this one down, then you are going to have to bargain bin dive to find the actual floppies as licensing purgatory currently prevents any sort of trades from being released. It might take a while, but you should definitely seek these out. Bill Mantlo writing and Michael Golden, Pat Broderick, and Butch Guice illustrating? Dang, Denizens. Such glory indeed.

The Legion of Super Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga

Hey! Whatdoyouknow…a DC comic, and what a DC comic it is! I don’t mention it all that often, but as a teen I was a huge Legion of Super Heroes fan, and although I got left way way way far behind on what has been going on with the Legion over the past couple of decades, this particular storyline roped me and my brother in deep, and what’s not to love. You have a massive roster of spacefaring superheroes, deadly and monstrous villains under the command of a mysterious master (Darkseid…sorry, Denizens, no spoilin’ as he’s right there on the dang cover), guest appearances, and stakes so high you’ll be sweatin’ it all the way to the end. Criminy…I’m pumping myself up to reread this one as I write about it. Anyhow, my brother and I read the original comics so many times that the covers nearly fell off. I also was lucky enough to get none other than Paul Levitz to sign the gorgeous hardcover of the collection, but now that I think of it, I wish I had him sign those much-loved, beat-all-to-hell floppies that are worthless because of their condition, but priceless in their importance to me.


No comic book series put me through as much torture as did Preacher. Every single issue left off with such a brutal cliffhanger of such gravity that I wanted to scream and holler just to release the built up tension of seeing the characters who I thoroughly loved put through all sorts of hell. I just reread the entire series for the fifth or sixth time this summer, and I could not put it down. As engaging today as it was then, Preacher is the comic I recommend to those friends I believe can handle this controversial, exciting, addictive, humorous, romantic, adventure. The funny thing is that most people think I named my dog Tulip after the flower. They say it’s cute. But the reality is I named her after Tulip O’hare from one of the best comics ever to see publication. *Side note: I know plenty of people like the television show, but I am not one of them. There are great actors, and some fantastic moments, but it just did not work for me. If you like the television show, but have not read the comics, then you are in for one heck of a treat. Get the first collection, and I suspect you will be ordering the rest of this important series by the time you finish the third issue.


The ending to this 27-issue series gets me every dang time. I mean, choked up, sniffling back the tears, but smiling wide as I sit quietly to take in the final moment of this wonderful series. The mystery of the Fourth Man, and the issue by issue examination of various pop culture icons (Godzilla, Dracula, Vertigo comics, the Fantastic Four, and so very much more) immediately dug in deep, and kept me eagerly awaiting each increasingly delayed issue. The good thing is that those new to this must-read treasure can read it all in one fell swoop…something I intend to do again before the end of the year. The thing about putting Planetary on this list, is that I also need to mention it’s companion book The Authority which I love almost as much. The Authority is more of a superhero comic than Planetary — although the members of Planetary do have superpowers — and if you are going to read one, then you might as well read the other. You won’t regret the purchase.

Saga of the Swamp Thing

There must be some sort of law stating any sort of “Best of” list must include at least one title from Alan Moore. That book for me is Saga of the Swamp Thing. Now, as I have said many times over the past few years, The Micronauts is the book that made me a comic book collector, but Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s Swamp Thing taught me to appreciate sequential storytelling with the remarkable tenth issue. Almost a decade later Moore’s brilliant twist on Alec Holland changed everything for me before he went on to change the world of comics with his many other great works (Miracleman, V for Vendetta, Watchmen). Moore’s Swamp Thing was scarier, more horrific than what came before, and honestly gave me a couple of nightmares over the years, but one thing is for certain: I happily return to this series often. Come to think of it, I’m about due.

Mage: The Hero Discovered

Right around the time of Saga of the Swamp Thing, I was becoming obsessed with Matt Wagner’s phenomenal Mage. A hero’s journey with great characters, humor, monsters, magic, and tragedy — oh boy, lotsa tragedy — a cool twist revealed in issue 14, and a jaw-dropping three-page foldout spread in the final issue, this series had everything both high school Donist and the Donist of today could ever want. The follow up series Mage: The Hero Defined is quite good, and someday we will hopefully see the ending to this tragic trilogy. What’s more, Mage introduced me to the also great Grendel with the backup story “Devil by Deed.” One of my favorite days was meeting Mr. Wagner at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con where he signed issues one and seven of my copies of Mage. This happened on the first day of my first comic convention, and I got to meet one of my main comic book heroes. Not bad. Not bad at all. I often feel that Mage does not get the proper attention it deserves, it is one of those key series in my life that continues to give me the chills (the good kind, by golly) and frequently calls me back to relive Kevin Matchstick’s exploits once again.

Slice into the Woods

Tired…Keeping it Positive 

All this talking about my all-time-favorite series has me feelin’ the good feels. Gonna roll with that, and keep on keepin’ on. Peace.


1 comment:

  1. Great post. Couldn't agree more about the Great Darkness Saga. I get back to it every now and then and am always amazed. It's great storytelling, love the artwork, and it takes me back. I read it so many times, I could probably draw a few of those panels from memory