Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/31/2017

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 / antagonist of allergens Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We’ve got quite a few books to get through this week, so we’ll keep the intro short other than to say Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I are pulling a late night at the corporate office (Mom’s basement) to get through as many of our new comics as possible. The Bonavita has been set to coffee overdrive, and we’re caffeinated to the max; maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company isn’t easy, but we’re dedicated to the cause. So, pour yourself a cup of Joe or brew some heavenly gunpowder tea, take care of yourself, remember the late and exceptional Bernie Wrightson, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. 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

Lazarus #26

Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Michael Lark, inked by Michael Lark and Tyler Boss, colored by Santi Arcas, lettered by Jodi Wynne, designed by Eric Trautmann, published by Image Comics. Gee my knee, Denizens. Lazarus began as a cautionary tale of a sci-fi dystopian world, but, after the past year of political nightmares, it has edged closer to our actual reality, which is utterly terrifying. I don’t believe the creators meant for aspects of the real to catch up with aspects of their fiction, but here we are. Anyhow, this issue… You already know I love this book, but as I have said many times in past reviews, this comic is one of the most stressful books I have ever read, and this particular issue is the most nerve-rattling thus far. The cover did not help with the feeling of dread. Page three made me mutter, “Oh no, things are about to get real.” And then Thomas — a Lazari — fired his RPG. The situation then gets worse from there. Denizens, I don’t believe any book has made my heart race like this one did. I expected the worst to happen to Forever, Sonja, Joacquim, and Thomas, and things got far worse than I ever imagined. <brrrrr> Dang. Lark’s art is phenomenal, especially during the brutal battle, but it is also a showcase of character acting during the quieter moments, but that perfectly choreographed fight scene is something that’s going to play through my mind for the next week or two. If you want to read a comic that will compound your fears of where the world is headed, then there is no better title than Lazarus. But do not dive in with this issue. You need to start from the beginning to get to know the players and learn about this damaged world brought about by greed, and then you will understand why I’m so messed up after Forever’s first meeting with the Zmey. There are four trades out to date (the fifth comes out in June!), as well as two lovely hardcover volumes if you feel like spiffying up your favorite bookshelf with some class. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Side comment: This issue also skips the regular letters column to explain that Michael Lark is taking a break for a while, but that we will get the next sourcebook, followed by six one-shots that will each detail a different character — including the horror known as the Zmey. Most importantly, Rucka includes a lengthy commentary on what has been going on in our country in regard to #45, the GOP, Russia, and of those who are really pulling the strings. It’s all rather messed up, but it’s all very much what I believe from the loads of evidence and facts that continue to build. Scary stuff. Let’s hope that the great work of sci-fi that is Lazarus stays sci-fi. Rucka’s commentary also comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Deadly Class #27

Written Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. The best way to calm the nerves after a shocking issue of Lazarus is to ease into the latest Deadly Class…yeah, that statement is totally false. Dang. Again, we have another series that new readers can’t just dive into. No siree, Bob. Last month had startling revelations up the wazoo, and although we jump away from the implications of those reveals and away from learning the fates of the new class, what we do get is a deeply satisfying look into Saya’s mysterious past. Of course, nothing concerning Saya is at all relaxing, and it wouldn’t be yet another fantastic issue of Deadly Class if it was. Craig focuses primarily on character acting and drama with this issue, but there are still plenty of high-panel-count pages and solid storytelling to get the heart pumping. Boyd’s colors, of which I am a huge fan, are still mostly flat and totally lovely in their analogous color schemes with the occasional halftone dot backgrounds, only this month he softens all the colors to let us know that this tale is firmly set in the past. As always, the entire package is gorgeous. If you want to read a compelling-as-heck comic about a high school for assassins set in the ’80s then Deadly Class is the book for you. You can catch up with the five available trades or the oversized hardcover. It doesn’t matter how you do it, you just need to be reading what is yet another fantastic series from Rick Remender. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Thanos# 5

Written Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Mike Deodato, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Thanos is my boy. Ever since he and Adam Warlock first met — where is Warlock these days? — I have been a fan. The thing is, I’m kind of one of those “if it’s not Jim Starlin writing him, then it’s not for me” kind of guys, but when Lemire steps in to take a crack at the Mad God from Titan, there’s no way I’d ever miss taking a look. At five issues in, I’m still glad I decided to take the plunge. The crux of the story is that Thanos is dying of a disease he cannot defeat, but that does not mean he won’t do everything in his power to remain among the living, regardless of the horrors he must commit while in search of a cure. We are also joined by Thane (Thanos’s son), Nebula, Star Fox, The Champion, Terrax, the Imperial Guard, and all sorts of other cosmic beings intent on helping Thanos not go gentle into that good night. One small gripe I have with this installment is that the warden on what is supposed to be the most secure prison in the universe is honestly dumb as a stump, but whatever, suspension of disbelieve and all. Deodato’s art is a lovely showing of light and shadow with Martin bringing vibrant life to the cold darkness of space. Odd decision with the warden aside, Thanos is just the Marvel space opera goodness I’ve been itching for. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Green Lantern & Space Ghost Special #1 

Written James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela, art and colors by Ariel Olivetti, lettered by A Larger World Studios, published by DC Comics. With a $4.99 price tag and a whole mess of other Hanna-Barbera crossover issues debuting this week, I almost decided not to pick this up. I’m so glad I did. Now, I’m a huge fan of the “Sinestro Corp War” event as well as everything that led up to the less-than-fulfilling “Blackest Night,” but after that, I kind of dropped off on the whole Green Lantern vibe. Thankfully, those past great memories combined with my nostalgic memories of Space Ghost and my current love of the fantastic Future Quest comic were all I needed to take the plunge. Basically, the story starts when a multi-universe-spanning distress call concerning a weapon attracts the attention of our two heroes and they fight each other, then they reconcile, then they fight a common enemy, which sounds pretty run-of-the-mill, but Tynion IV and Sebela make Space Ghost and Hal’s bickering entertaining and the inclusion of the two alien characters add even more heart to the story. Olivetti’s gorgeous art is painted in a style rarely seen in DC comics, bringing light and wonder to this fun, cosmic story. I have not yet read the “Ruff ‘n’ Reddy!” bonus feature, but I’m sure it will be enjoyable like most all of the Hanna-Barbera releases. What I do know, however, is that I hope to see a Green Lantern & Space Ghost Special #2 in the very near future. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Booster Gold & The Flintstones Special #1 

Written Mark Russell, illustrated by Rick Leonardi, inked by Scott Hanna, colored by Steve Buccellato, lettered by Dave Sharpe, published by DC Comics. Mark Russell wowed me with Prez (please, DC, please let him finish this vital work, especially given the current political climate!) and more recently with the exceptional The Flintstones; it was kind of a given I would pick up this book. To be honest, I’m not overly familiar with the character of Booster Gold, but I’ve seen him in many cartoons and hope to someday correct having missed out on the crucial Giffen and DeMatteis Justice League comics from back in the day. That said, although I enjoyed this issue, it wasn’t my favorite thing. I just don’t get the Booster Gold parts except for when he crosses paths with The Flintstones characters, which is where the story picks up for me. I guess I’m just a sucker for my friends from Bedrock. I also have not yet read the “The Jetsons” bonus feature, but will definitely read it in the next day or two. This crossover has some hilarious moments, but for this Donist it needs to hit me like a punch to the beef to pull me in completely the way Prez and The Flintstones series do. Regardless, this Special comes…RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Keeping it Short and Positive this Week - That said, I still want #45, Sessions, and the rest to be thoroughly investigated and removed from their posts before they can cause even more damage.


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