Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/11/2017

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/Fenrir of Fitness Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). All right, I have but minutes to write a little intro as my puppy executive team and I are rushing out the door to continue our commitment to not only maintain our status as a Fortune 320,000 company but to lead healthier lifestyles, to not sit at our desks for hours on end, to get up and move, and to strengthen our bodies alongside our minds!!! <ahem> Anyhow, we’re going for a walk to get some breakfast burritos, the ones stuffed with tater tots. So, before you get up and get active, grab a tasty beer or refreshing iced tea, relax, 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

Mister Miracle #1

Written by Tom King; pencils, inks, and colors by Mitch Gerads; lettered by Clayton Cowles; published by DC Comics. The week I heard Tom King was doing a Mister Miracle comic, I immediately had my LCS add it to my pull. Seriously, how could I not secure a copy of what is certain to be one of the most talked about superhero comics of 2017? After being so thoroughly blown away by both the critically acclaimed The Vision and the less lauded yet equally fantastic The Omega Men, it’s no surprise that the first issue of Mister Miracle has already sucked me in.

I initially wanted to say that Mister Miracle “charmed me,” but that is not the appropriate term given the opening splash page and the subsequent double-page spread. I’m not going to spoil what you see, but I will say that it is worrisome, it is alarming, and you will most likely carry those feelings with you through to the end of this 12-issue maxi-series. Even Jack Kirby’s original run from the ’70s had a certain edge lurking behind the cheerfully colored yellow, red, and green hero. Mister Miracle (aka Scott Free) was raised in an orphanage within the hell that is Apokolips where he learned to become a master escape artist. Despite Scott’s many adventures and meeting his wife, Big Barda, his time on Apokolips was a rather dreary experience, one which King only briefly mentions, yet carries through via the underlying emotions of his current situation in life.

There are no grand escapes, epic battles, or explosive confrontations in this issue. In fact, the actual moments of physical violence, when Orion appears, are deliberately paced to show the callous expectations these New Gods place upon one another. The menace lingering in those early Kirby issues is now front and center in King’s take on this character, very much making Mister Miracle a worthy follow-up to what he achieved with The Vision and The Omega Men.

If you are expecting the art to be reminiscent of Kirby’s work, then you might be in for a shock. Much like the story itself, the imagery is darker. Here you will not find the lively color palettes and characters performing daring feats, but rather more character acting and murkier color schemes set the tone of what is a thematically heavy book. Never fear, though, once Scott and Barda don their costumes on the final two pages, there is a slight elevation of hope that will have to carry us over the course of the painful month-long wait for the next issue. One interesting thing I have to mention — and I am not sure I believe — is that my guy at the LCS said that if you wear X-Ray Specs while reading the intentionally blurry television interview sequence, then you are in for a cool experience…I don’t have X-Ray Specs, but I kinda want to test this out.

If you are a fan of King’s other superhero reimaginings, then Mister Miracle better be sitting on the table next to you as you read this. If not, rush out and pick up a copy before they’re all gone. As I said, I expect this series to be talked about from issue one all the way through issue twelve and for good reason. One thing I am unsure of is how Mister Miracle will read to someone less familiar with the New Gods mythos and the many characters like Darkseid, Orion, High Father, Granny Goodness, and all the others. If you have a basic knowledge of Kirby’s Fourth World, you will be fine, and if not, then a little time on Wikipedia should bring you up to speed on what is sure to be one of the most important comics of the year. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


Thor Vol. 1 & 2 and The Mighty Thor Vol. 1 & 2

Written by Jason Aaron, mostly illustrated by Russell Dauterman, published by Marvel Comics. Okay, I’m not going to go too far into these four thrilling collections other than to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and to give you the gist of what is going on. Cool? Cool.

First off, I feel it is necessary to beat Marvel up a little bit over their asinine numbering, renumbering, rebooting, renaming quagmire that is the sequencing of their titles. If you could only look at the covers of Thor Vol. 1 and The Mighty Thor Vol. 1, would you have any way of telling which one you needed to read first? I suspect the answer is “no.” Just looking at them, I have no clue which one you should read first, and there is a definite order to these collections that must be followed, but enough griping, here’s the order:
  1. Thor Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder
  2. Thor Volume 2: Who Holds the Hammer
  3. The Mighty Thor Volume 1: Thunder in Her Veins
  4. The Mighty Thor Volume 2: Lords of Midgard
Now that we got that settled, you might be wondering who is this woman claiming to be Thor? What happened to Thor Odinson, and why is he no longer worthy? Why were nerds so irate over a cool new twist to a comic that needed a little shaking up? Well, discovering who this woman is is part of the mystery of the book, which is part of the allure of the series. As for Thor Odinson…something happened in an event book that I wasn’t really interested in, and I should probably check into what happened sometime just so I know. And the overly vocal nerds…they can 1) shut it, 2) let Aaron and Dauterman tell their compelling as heck story, and 3) rest assured that things will be right back to normal all too soon.

All four books are masterfully written and gorgeously illustrated with appearances by the Destroyer, Ulik the Troll, Odin, Thor Odinson, Malekith, Loki, and everyone else under/above/upon the Bifrost Bridge. Sequences range from humorous to dire and the battles are as epic as a comic about Norse gods should be. The Goddess Thor is an awesome force to be reckoned with and it’s great to see her use her powers in new and exciting ways that Odinson never imagined. Not only that, the issue devoted to the hidden origin of Mjolnir is especially cool.

If you’ve been following Donist World for a while, you will notice that I have not been reading all that many of the mainstream superhero books as of late, but with Aaron and Dauterman’s fantastic take on the new Thunder Goddess in town, The Mighty Thor is a Big Two superhero comic I am more than happy to read. Now, if only I can figure out what the heck the next trade is supposed to be called…


Slice into the Woods

45 and North Korea  - What in the actual fuck?!?! Someone needs to put our imbecile of a traitorous president in prison and quick.


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