Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 10/14/2016

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 / primary caregiver 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. Sorry, Denizens, but circumstances beyond my control are gonna throw things off a bit. Tulip and Reverse Obie were all set to do the write-ups, but they too are busy working to maintain our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. But I can’t just leave y’all empty handed, so I put together a quick little somethin’-somethin’ below that I hope you’ll enjoy. Anyhow, we should be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week. So, enjoy this look at my favorite mini-series of the ’80s, pour yourself a Founder’s Breakfast Stout (or a coffee if beer ain’t your thang), check out Luke Cage on Netflix (so far, 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***

Ahhhh…the mini-series of the ’80s…oh, how I love thee. Whether you were alive and loving comic books like I was during the arrival of the glorious mini-series, or whether you recently came to comics, there is a treasure trove of groovy books awaiting you in the back issue bin — or in trade format depending on the popularity of the particular series. Now, Marvel was the one releasing most of the mini-series I read, but DC also had a few gems tucked away themselves. The thing that mattered most was that we had — primarily — done-in-four-issues stories that my mom would buy for my brother and me in an effort to keep us from strangling one another during long drives to a vacation destination. Her diversionary tactics brought peace to the realm of the red Ford Mustang II, and every so often brought a period of cooperation that was rarely seen back home. These comics were magical and having gone back to reread many of them over the past few years, they still manage to make this Donist smile wide.

Let’s have a look at some, and keep in mind that they are in no particular order other than what comes to mind…

Wolverine #1–4 - Okay, now this is one that we found on the spinner rack at the grocery store, and read as the issues released. This book was also much loved and it practically fell apart in our hands, which given the going price for pristine copies of this series…well, best not to think about it too much now. Man, how could you not be a fan of The Uncanny X-Men back then? Then Marvel goes and spins off this beloved character into his own story? We had to get it. Chris Claremont wrote, Frank Miller drew, and even without any crazy, tertiary-colored supervillains to be found, this series knocked it out of the park. Thankfully, there’s a trade available of this must-read mini.
Wolverine #1

Jack of Hearts #1–4 - Huh…I thought I talked about this one ages ago, but I guess I didn’t. I knew next to nothing about this vibrantly-colored character, but Young Donist loved everything about the playing card-themed Jack, and with Bill Mantlo at the healm there was much to love, indeed.
Jack of Hearts #1

Hercules: Prince of Power #1–4 Hercules: Prince of Power #1–4 - Wait just a minute…whaaaaat?! Yup, two separate series, each with the same title. Once came out in 1982 and the other in 1984, and both are a blast. Leaning more on the humorous side of things with the introduction of Herc’s wisecracking Recorder, this futuristic series at times became really, really dark. There is actually a third chapter that was released as a Marvel Graphic Novel titled “Full Circle” that I have never read and need to get a hold of. Bob Layton rocks the socks off these books. I wrote about the two minis here and here.
Hercules V1 #1
Hercules V2 #1

The Falcon #1–4 - Here we have today’s Captain America in his own mini. And speaking of Captain America, the original appears briefly as the heroes take on the menace of Electro!
The Falcon #1

Hawkeye #1–4 - Hey now! I just finished rereading this one this week. We get classic Hawkeye and the series co-stars Mockingbird! Lot’s of action and fun even when one of the villains happens to be Oddball. Love this!
Hawkeye #1

Cloak and Dagger #1–4 - I probably should not have been reading this more adult-oriented title, what, with drugs, runaways, prostitutes, and serial killers, but gosh darn it I was a fan. I still am, which is not a difficult thing given that this mini was written by Bill Mantlo. I guess I will have to pick up the eleven-issue series that followed — also written by Mantlo, no less! I wrote about this one a while ago here.
Cloak and Dagger #1

Gargoyle #1–4 - I kind of think this character is Marvel’s answer to DC’s Etrigan the Demon, only instead of a yellow and red color scheme, we have an orange and purple one. I like this series quite a bit now, but back in the day I was a bit irked that Isaac Christians was actually an old man. Definitely worth checking out, and you can read what I had to say about it here.
Gargoyle #1

The Demon #1–4 - About time DC made an appearance, and what better series than one of my favorite ’80s minis of all time. I adore this book not just for Etrigan, but because it is written and drawn by Matt Wagner of the amazing Mage and Grendel. A great story of monsters, mayhem, and intrigue. Dang, why haven’t I talked about this one yet?! Oh, wait, I did here. A trade recently came out.
The Demon #1

X-Men and the Micronauts #1–4 - A couple years ago, I covered each and every issue of Marvel’s The Micronauts in a series of posts called “Micronauts Monday.” For each post, I examined each issue from the perspective of my younger self and as an adult. The Micronauts is what made me a comic book collector, and what better way to grab my attention than to mix two of my favorite series into one. Hallelujah! You can read what I had to say here and then here. Unfortunately, because of licensing issues with The Micronauts, you will probably have to back issue bin dive to find it, or you can click on the link above and easily order up the series lickety-split.
X-Men and the
Micronauts #1

Vision and the Scarlet Witch - This is the the mini that got me through the massive trip to Huntington Lake back when I was a wee Donist. I read these four issues over and over again and really enjoyed them again a few years ago. One hint about issue four…Who’s your daddy? It’s also your lucky day, Denizens, you can find a trade of this mini with no probs, but buying the originals will probably save you a few gold pieces.
Vision and the
Scarlet Witch #1

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a bunch of others out there, some I have read, some I haven’t, but whether I like the stories or not, they all have a special place in this Donist’s heart. If you think of any others, let me know!



  1. Don! Great topic! As you might guess, it hits me right where my inner child lives. You've got some great choices here, though there are a number of ones I never read, of which, I plan on remedying that some day. Others that I remember with great fondness:

    - Super Powers -- all 3 series, crazy fun stuff!
    - Sword of the Atom -- Gil Kane!!!!
    - Jemm, Son of Saturn -- Gene Colan!!!
    - Legends -- love, love, love this series (Ostrander, Byrne, Kesel, the introduction of the new JLA and the Suicide Squad, along with the new Flash, Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman, with Guy Gardner Guy Gardnering it up all over the place...and my introduction to Darkseid! So good)
    - Phantom Stranger -- Mignola & P.Craig Russell on art, nuff said
    - Millennium -- it has a poor reputation, but I remember it fondly, and it messed with the status quo of so many series with all the Manhunter reveals, plus a checklist of issues!
    - Beauty & the Beast -- the Beast and Dazzler, written by Ann Nocenti, come on, ANN NOCENTI! (best DD writer, ever--there, I said it)
    - Kitty Pryde & Wolverine -- yeah, yeah, I said I wasn't an X-Fan, but I remember this book fondly, it was that point of getting EVERYTHING...almost.
    - Martian Manhunter -- that Mark Badger art was amazing, and so weird, loved it.
    - Hawk & Dove -- I still love this series, and Karl Kesel inking Rob Liefeld is really appealing.
    - Deadshot -- from the pages of Suicide Squad! Bam! Ostrander, Yale, and McDonnell. Great creatives with a great character (who wasn't so great before they got hold of him).
    - The Punisher -- by Grant & Zeck. Mind-blowing, for the art alone.

    These were all fantastic, but the BIG DEAL STUFF were all those Prestige Format series. I was all in on that, got every single one I could find:

    - Black Orchid -- Gaiman & McKean, come on...
    - Cosmic Odyssey -- Mignola art, so quirky and great
    - The Prisoner -- I didn't know what it was, but I loved it.
    - Gilgamesh II -- Jim Starlin unleashed. Fun, sci-fi tale.
    - Batman: The Cult AND Punisher: POV - Starlin & Wrightson
    - Green Arrow: the Longbow Hunters -- I don't know that much more need be said, Grell was on fire with this one
    - Hawkworld -- this might be my favorite "Prestige" series. Truman's story and art felt so revolutionary, at the time, gritty and serious. I re-read this every few years.
    - Dark Knight -- does this even need to be stated? I think not.

    This was my Golden Age of Comics. I've been dabbling in my longboxes, reading some JLI and Suicide Squad, G.I. Joe and Incredible Hulk, and it's been a blast. Thanks for sparking more memories.

    take care,

    1. Hey! So good to hear from you! Yeah, man, after I had hit "Publish" and went to bed a bunch more came to mind, but you reminded me of even more, including a couple I have not read and now have to find.

      From Marvel:
      Ice Man (don't remember this one at all, but I know I owned it.)
      West Coast Avengers (I need to get this one again)
      Kitty Pryde and Wolverine (Yes! Loved it and need to reread!)
      Nightcrawler (a bit goofy, but fun)
      Magic (I love the Uncanny X-Men issue and Annual with Belasco, and this is great, too)
      Beauty and the Beast (Never read this…need to now.)
      The Punisher (Oh, dude, this rocked my world…all 5 out of 4 issues.)
      Punisher: POV (Never heard of this! Starlin and Wrightson?! On it.)

      From DC:
      Super Powers (Have not read them. Need to)
      Phantom Stranger (How the HELL did I miss this?!)
      Sword of the Atom (read the first mini, need the second. Great.)
      Legends (Love this. Reread it last year.)
      Jemm Son of Saturn (I NEED to get ahold of this again. It vanished a decade or two ago and that makes me sad. :( )
      Black Orchid (Great one!)
      Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (Awaiting a much needed read…just need to free it from the Closet of Doom!)
      Batman: The Cult (just reread this earlier this year. LOVE this one.)
      Cosmic Odyssey (Yeah, this is a blast. Good crazy fun).
      Gilgamesh II (Starlin is my master! I have not read this. I have failed. Will correct this.)
      Dark Knight (Of course. Of course. Yay!)
      Hawkworld (Okay, I've been hearing about this one forever. Time to finally check it out.)

      Glad you liked the post, Chris. Yeah, the ’80s were a ridiculously great time for comics. There was honestly too much going on to be able to keep up with it all…that or I needed a massive boost in my allowance.

      All the best,

  2. Besides the Wolverine series, I don't think that I could have remembered most of these off the top of my head, but reading about them and seeing those covers brought them back. I loved Vision and the Scarlet Witch! I remember feeling disappointed with X-Men/Micronauts, but don't know why - only read it once. I have been trying to think of some other series to add, but our tastes were pretty well aligned and you covered most of the really good ones. The main divergence in our tastes came with Miami Mice, Fish Police, and Adolescent Radioactive Black-Belt Hamsters, which I liked more than you did (which is not necessarily a credit to me). I would add Lords of the Ultra Realm - don't know if it would hold up after all these years, but I liked it when it came out.