Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/14/2017

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 / princess of pizza Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It was a slim week for new comics here at Donist World this week. In fact, we only had one book sitting in our pull. Of course, we compensated by picking up the trade for Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer comic from Dark Horse, but we probably won’t even get to crack it open this weekend the way things usually go. We’ll just have to wait and see; the important thing is we have it. The one amazing comic we did buy heads up the list below of what we are calling “Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics.” The idea came to me last month after listening to the audiobook of The Handmaid’s Tale, which got me thinking about my 1/27/2017 post listing the various books to read in the dark times of a #45 presidency. So, why not compile a list of post-apocalyptic and dystopian comics where bad men have taken control, or religion has been twisted to enable individuals to seize power, or biological weapons have decimated populations, or corporations have taken over, or the wealthy tread on the poor. Basically, we’re going to look at what happens when sh_t becomes some f_ed up sh_t. So, sit down, strap in, and prepare to not be smiling by the time you get through these books, you will, however, be glad you read them. 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***

Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics (Part 1)

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. Get ready to be frightened. Be ready to be made uncomfortable. Be ready for some pretty dang great comics.

Seven to Eternity

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Jerome Opeña, published by Image Comics. Okay, this one might be a bit of a stretch for today’s topic, but issue number five was the only comic in my pull this week and since this fairly new series is now tied as my favorite comic on the stands with Descender (by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen) I simply had to include it on the list. But now that I think of it, this spectacular fantasy series fits all the criteria of what I’m looking for in a post-apocalyptic / dystopian world. You have a tyrannical ruler seeking to bend everyone to his will, the stripping of freedom, the demonizing of others, empty promises, and the backing of deadly forces. The difference is that there’re also giant flying squid ships, magical superpowers, as well as all sorts of cool beings inhabiting this doomed world. The only hope of freeing the populace from the control of the God of Whispers is to capture the formidable being, take him to an ancient wizard, and hope there is enough power to end the evil creature’s reign once and for all. So, yeah, there are some parallels to what’s going on in the real world. As I mentioned above, Seven to Eternity is one of the best comics being published and I am desperate to see what happens next. Oh, yeah, issue five…it’s phenomenal, gorgeous, and comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Michael Lark, published by Image Comics. I think it’s been two weeks since I talked about the latest issue of Lazarus, and if you’ve been following Donist World for a while then you know I tend to have quite a bit of praise for this brilliant series. If that is the case, then you also know that this comic tends to scare the bejesus out of me. Why? you might ask. Well, because this comic’s dreadfully bleak world is one that I can very much see coming to pass. The world of Lazarus is not one divided by political lines, but rather it is divided up by a handful of ruling families along the lines of wealth. The creators clearly spend a substantial amount of time researching everything from eugenics, to military weaponry, to caste systems, to biological sciences, all while having the bad guys betray those inside and outside of the respective families. I won’t lie, Denizens, this series can be terrifying in its parallels to our modern world, but the strength of the characters, the storytelling, and the lovely illustrations make this a must read for sure.

The Omega Men

Written by Tom King, illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda, published by DC Comics. I’ve been reading comics for most of my life, and over the years, there have been plenty of series that I just could not buy at that particular time. One such comic from the ’80s is the original The Omega Men series. Thankfully, however, a revamped version came out that I did pick up, and it happened to be one of the best things I read last year. In this telling, The Omega Men are a group branded as terrorist by the all-powerful Viceroy of The Citadel. The problem is that The Omega Men have captured the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, and executed him on live television in an effort to have their message heard. The truth is that Kyle Rayner is very much alive and The Omega Men want him to join their group. Unfortunately for Kyle, things are not always black and white, and The Omega Men might just be every bit as bad as The Citadel they wish to defeat. Gorgeous art and an intricately plotted story that will challenge readers’ morals on what it takes to be on the winning side. Religion, order, safety versus freedom, and classism all clash in this powerful MUST READ space opera. I will definitely be rereading this series many times over the coming years.

Sweet Tooth

Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint. You know I love Lemire’s work — especially when it comes to the Donist World Darling Descender — but one book that completely blew me away, while tearing out my heart and stomping it repeatedly on the floor, is the post-apocalyptic masterpiece Sweet Tooth. Dang, dang, dang, I need to dig this series out of the spider-ridden Closet of Doom and settle in for a week of gut-wrenching, beautifully-told tragedy. In this world, a plague known as The Affliction has decimated much of the world’s population, leaving scant humans and bizarre human-animal hybrid children to struggle for survival. The deer-antlered Gus is one such child. When a group of hunters seeks to enact their ill will upon Gus, a mountain of a man known as Jepperd rescues the boy and promises to lead him to the safety of a place known as The Preserve. <phew> Just thinking about this dark journey and the toll it takes on the many characters (and this Donist, too) is staggering Sweet Tooth is a remarkable series and one that is so beautifully told that I’m looking forward to crushing my heart all over again.

The Micronauts

Written by Bill Mantlo; illustrated by Michael Golden, Pat Broderick, and others, published by Marvel Comics. You know I love The Micronauts, right? I only mention it every other post or so. In fact, I’m simply silly for this series, and in the first half of 2014, I wrote the weekly column “Micronauts Monday” where I talked about every single issue of this great comic from the perspective of both my younger self and my current self. I had a blast writing it. The Micronauts is the story of the microscopic universe known as the Microverse, where a tyrannical madman known as Baron Karza rules over all with his gauntleted fist, giving leniency or favor to the wealthiest and most morally compromised of individuals. Only a band of alien rebels lead by Commander Arcturus Rann have the slightest chance of freeing the Microverse from the crushing weight of Karza’s heel. I adore the characters and the story is intense with severe stakes, and relentless action. There’s love, loss, victories, and the bitterest of defeats, all while having the occasional guest appearance (something which usually does not work) from a Marvel hero or two, and a story that more than stands up to the test of time. Now comes the disclaimer: Reading this one is no easy task given that the rights are tied up with a Japanese toy company, so there might never be a trade released. So…get thee to the back issue bins!

The Watchmen

Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Dave Gibbons, published by DC Comics. If you have never heard of The Watchmen, then I must congratulate you for finally resuscitating from your cryofreeze or for your newfound freedom from the bunker you escaped from. That said, given the state of the world because of #45, you might want to go back to the bunker for a spell while things get sorted out. The story… when a former member of an old superhero group is murdered, one lone hero begins investigating the murder and seeking the aid of his former comrades. But as secrets begin to unfold, and more people tied to The Watchmen begin to die or disappear, tensions between the US and other countries escalate and the world finds itself on the brink of nuclear war. Scary, right? I mean, this series written in the ’80s was not just a deconstruction of superhero comics but also a terrifying commentary on the Cold War / nuclear war. The Watchmen is the quintessential graphic novel to show the power and importance of the comic book medium. It’s also terrifying that the subject of nuclear war is once again surging. So, yeah, The Watchmen is a book to read if you want to freak your ass out. It’s also damn good.

Slice into the Woods

I Know These Things Can’t Be Rushed, But… - #45 and all of the halfwit monsters in his administration need to be removed from office for treason — and in many cases for being unqualified idiots…I’m looking at you, DeVos and Pruitt — as soon as possible, before any more missile strikes or bombs are dropped and jeopardize our lives further. This is madness.


No comments:

Post a Comment