Saturday, December 9, 2017

Comics Lust 12/9/2017

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/emotional-support Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It’s been a shit week. My grandma died suddenly on Tuesday. A heart attack or blood clot. Not completely sure. It was quick, which was how she would have wanted it to be. She would not want to suffer and more so would not want to have anyone fussing about on her account. Still, it was terrible, but the thing that warmed my heart was how many people who worked in the retirement community where she lived took the time to tell me how much they adored her. Each expressed what a joy she was and how sorry they were for my loss, but seeing the earnest love these people had for my grandma it was clear that they too had lost someone dear to them. She was an amazing woman. I loved her dearly. I am sorry for our collective loss. To compound matters, the Thomas Fire in Ventura has been a nightmare that has caused work friends and colleagues to evacuate from their homes and for my workplace to be in jeopardy—it’s still in jeopardy three days later. I’ve been working from home this week and only able to go outside for brief periods of time as the smoke and ash have reached out into Goleta and are a health hazard; even now the sky is a sickly, menacing, grey-yellow mass of awfulness. It’s scary out there and I’m dreading hearing that someone I know has lost their home. Like I said, it’s been a shit week. But life must go on. So, respected Denizens, love those close to you, appreciate what you have, lift a drink in honor of someone you’ve lost, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks 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.


Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust


The Gift of Giving (Part 4)Big 2 Superhero Comics for Those Who Like the Movies and TV


The funny thing about “Comics Lust” is that days, weeks, and even months after writing a post I have these Oh no, I forgot to talk about xxxx, yyyy, and zzz moments where I have to jot down notes to remember to talk about involuntarily omitted titles for a later post. This week, I’m extending the running theme to pick up a couple titles that clearly slipped my mind the first couple times around.

I have found the X-Men movies to be hit or miss, but the ones that “hit” really hit with a bang. I love X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Logan was one that completely took me by surprise as a stunning and powerful character-driven drama with severe stakes. So, for someone who likes those films as much as I do, there really is no better choice than to start them down the addictive X-road paved by writer Chris Claremont. X-Men Epic Collection: Second Genesis (Written by Chris Claremont and others; illustrated by Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, and others; the first issue was published by Marvel Comics in 1975). This beast of a book has the first appearance of the most popular incarnation of the X-Men, which includes Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, among others and most of the issues are ones I remember reading over and over again as a kid when the X-Men were a huge part of my life. At 520 pages, this book is a treasure trove of material in and of itself, but it also serves as a leadup to the mind-blowingly amazing The Uncanny X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by John Byrne and Terry Austen, first issue published by Marvel Comics in 1979). Here you have the Hellfire Club, Phoenix being manipulated until she becomes Dark Phoenix, and an emotional roller coaster as our greatest heroes struggle with having to take down one of their own. I reread this one often and it never gets old, and frankly, you could probably give your loved one this collection first, and then the Epic Collection once you have them good and hooked, but that call is ultimately up to you. Come to think of it…you might as well also give them the Wolverine mini-series (Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by Frank Miller, originally published by Marvel Comics in 1982), too. A dark, perilous journey through a portion of Wolverine’s secret past with real-world threats and only one supervillain to be found. With two powerhouse creators joining forces on this exceptional comic, it’s no wonder my brother and I read this four-issue miniseries until the books literally fell apart. There are a bunch of entry points into the quagmire that is The X-Men continuity, but these three collections are a heck of a good start.

Not everyone subscribes to Hulu, but those who do and who have been watching Runaways knows that the streaming service has something special on its hands. The 18-issue first volume of Runaways (Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Adrian Alphona, originally published by Marvel Comics in 2003) is an odd story in that it had practically nothing to do with the regular Marvel Universe (although Cloak and Dagger show up much later) and thus allowed the creators to tell the story they wanted to tell without fear of getting wrapped up in any sort of “event”; it was a…runaway…hit. I loved the comics when I read them many years ago, and from what I can remember, the show mirrors the source material quite nicely. I do want to reread the series, but I think I will let the first season of the show run its course to avoid spoiling anything I might have forgotten. Even if there was no Runaways show on television, Runaways comic book series is a fantastic gift for younger and older readers alike. So very good.

This Week’s Reading List



Batman Vol. 1 and 2 (Rebirth) (Mostly written by Tom King, mostly illustrated by David Finch and Mikel Janin, colored by Jordie Bellaire, published by DC Comics.) Why, oh, why did I wait so long to read these? I’m a diehard fan of King’s must-read Omega Men (Illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda, published by DC Comics), The Vision (Illustrated by Gabriel Walta, published by Marvel comics), and the best new title of 2017 Mister Miracle (Illustrated by Mitch Gerads, published by DC Comics), but for some reason I was reluctant to jump into a twice-a-month superhero title. Now, having finally weakened enough to dive in, I‘m hooked. Both volumes are great, with the first focusing on new heroes Gotham and Gotham Girl, and the second focusing on the “Breaker of the Bat,” Bane. Both volumes are beautifully illustrated, and the stories are powerfully told, but I will admit to being thoroughly confused by a page in the Bane story where Batman wedges himself on the wall with his fist and knees and cracks his own back. (???) No idea what that was about, but other than that, I am eager to read volume 3, and also the Batman: Night of the Monster Men trade, which occurs in-between volume 1 and 2, and is comprised of two issues of Batman, two issues of Detective Comics, and two issues of Robin…looks like I have some reading ahead of me! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Detective Comics Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by many, published by DC Comics.) Way way back, I was surprised and thrilled by the revamp of Detective Comics. This Bat book features Batman on occasion but primarily focuses on the team led by fan-favorite Batwoman, which includes Spoiler, Red Robin, Orphan, Batwing, and shockingly enough Clayface. I had no idea who half of these characters were before reading the thrilling first volume, but that didn’t matter; a few pages in and I was on board with them all. This volume focuses on the super-creepy The Victim Syndicate, a group of villains whose lives were destroyed after being caught in the crossfire of Batman’s war on crime. The conflict within the team and the pain of a supposed loss (nope, not spoiling) kicks the tension through the roof on this fantastic series. I just have to throw this out there…Batwoman is my favorite with Clayface taking a close second. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Comics Lust 12/2/2017

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/truly-tired Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Dang, denizens, I’m barely standing after this hectic week, and from the look of my puppy executive team, they’re pretty much toast, too. So, we’re going to keep the intro short and get right to it. But before we do, load up on some grilled chicken tacos, pour yourself a nice session beer, take a long nap, and when you’re feeling refreshed read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks 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.


Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust


The Gift of Giving (Part 3)
Big 2 Superhero Comics for Those Who Like the Movies and TV

We love our comics. We also love to share our love of the medium whenever and wherever we can, which is why I’m always happy to spread some happiness when someone tells me how much they enjoy a movie or TV show yet have never read the very source material from which the show originated. When just such a moment arises, you can come to the rescue of your friend/significant other/family member/coworker with a few easy entry points into the wonderful world of comics.

All Star Superman (Written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Frank Quitely, published by DC Comics, 2005) is a fantastic choice for those who love the Man of Steel, no matter what movie or television version we are talking about. Originally released as a 12-issue miniseries, All Star Superman tells the tale of what happens the day Superman rescues a group of scientists exploring the surface of the sun and he then has to look to his greatest enemy to understand what that much exposure to the sun has done to him. Beautifully illustrated and vibrantly colored, this award-winning series is enough to make a luke-warm fan of Supes into a diehard believer. There’re huge stakes, fun, excitement, and above all a sense of hope that we all could use a little bit more of. On the “old school” ’80s side of things, The Man of Steel (Written and illustrated by John Byrne, published by DC Comics, 1986) is a fantastic retelling of Clark Kent’s origins and early days as a hero. Equally amazing and somewhat of a cheat is Superman: Secret Identity (Written by Kurt Busiek, illustrated by Stuart Immonen, 2004). What I mean by “cheat” is that although the story is about Clark Kent, it is about someone who happens to have the same name as the fictional superhero from the funny books. This Clark is even teased about being able to “leap tall buildings with a single bound”…until the day he can actually do exactly that. Superman: Secret Identity is a powerful and moving book I bought on a whim and one I need to re-experience in the very near future.

When it comes to the mostly-great Marvel movies, as much as I love Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok, my favorite to date is still Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The story is one of redemption, second chances, righting of wrongs, and a belief in the system that has let our hero down, all mixed in with a spy/espionage thriller of a movie. Captain America (Written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Steve Epting, published by Marvel Comics, 2005) kicked things off with a new number one and with the “Winter Soldier” storyline from which the movie gains much of its staying power. It is definitely a darker tale but coupled with the espionage and betrayal angles and some great appearances by the Falcon and the Black Widow, this spy thriller will keep you whipping through to the end to see all of the differences between the page and the reel. Thankfully, I have the out-of-print Captain America Omnibus, which I definitely need to hit up again some time soon.

Leaving the silver screen and tuning in to the small screen at home, I was thrilled by what I saw during the first few seasons of Arrow. If you want someone to have a parallel experience to what goes down on that riveting show, then Green Arrow: Year One (Written by Andy Diggle, illustrated by Jock, published by DC Comics, 2007) is a exciting retelling of the character’s origins, specifically his time on the island. If you want to go with a more retro ’80s vibe, look no further than Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (Everythinged by Mike Grell, published by DC Comics, 1987), a three-issue, prestige-format, limited series that gives the Emerald Archer a new look, a serious adversary, and some legitimate and lofty problems. From either of these two books, a jump into Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s New 52 Green Arrow run (issues 17–34) wouldn’t hurt either given the younger Oliver Queen and his quest to stop a deadly rival archer.

Now, I have been a huge fan of the Netflix Marvel shows despite some of the episodes not quite hitting the mark, but overall I’ve been stoked to watch them and eager to see what comes next. This is also true for plenty of non-comic readers, too. The strongest entry to date for me is Daredevil, which practically begs for newcomers to read the works of the man who reinvigorated the Man Without Fear to new heights: Frank Miller. Miller’s Daredevil (Written by Frank Miller and others, illustrated by Frank Miller and Klaus Jansen, published by Marvel Comics, 1979) is a must read for everyone, especially when Miller begins writing and drawing the series. Follow that up with the Daredevil: Born Again storyline (Written by Frank Miller, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli, published by Marvel Comics, 1986) and I promise you people’s minds will be blown. For Jessica Jones fans, Alias (Written by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Michael Gaydos, published by Marvel Comics, 2001) is pretty dang close to the television material with some intriguing expansive looks into the character. One of my all-time-favorite superhero stories is The Immortal Iron Fist (Written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction, illustrated by David Aja and others, published by Marvel Comics, 2006) and offers not just Aja’s freaking stunning artwork but a cool and exciting take on Danny Rand and what it means to be an Iron Fist; man, I love this run. For Luke Cage, Power Man and Iron Fist (Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by John Byrne and Dan Green, published by Marvel Comics, 1978) goes to show just how awesome a Heroes for Hire type show could be and solidifies how bad-ass Luke Cage is on his own or as a member of a heroic duo.

There you have it. Plenty of material to covert those you care for into fellow weekly LCS visitors, and possibly some stuff you need to reunite with yourself. Enjoy.


This Week’s Reading List


Doomsday Clock #1 (Written by Geoff Johns; illustrated by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Rob Leigh, published by DC Comics) I know I’m a week late in reading this issue. I honestly had no intention of buying it. But after many positive reviews and an otherwise mellow week, I decided to pull the trigger; I’m so glad I did. I know many would call it sacrilege that this new 12-issue expansion of the industry-changing Watchmen (Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Dave Gibbons, published by DC Comics, 1986) even exists, I will say that at one issue in I am sold and eager to see what happens next. It’s difficult to avoid spoiling anything so I won’t even go into any story elements, but just know there are some definite cool twists to what happens after the events in Moore’s masterwork. Johns beautifully tells the story and Frank and his fantastic art and adherence to the nine-panel grid used in Watchmen made me feel right at home. My main concern—as with all events—is the merging of one world with another: the Watchmen universe is going to crossover with the DC superhero universe as seen with a couple of pages featuring Clark Kent. This event book is not going to be an easy thing to pull off, but with Johns and Frank at the helm, my confidence in the success of Doomsday Clock is pretty high. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Swords of the Swashbucklers (Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Jackson “”Butch” Guice and others, published by Dynamite Comics). Swords of the Swashbucklers is one of those series I’ve wanted to read since I saw my first issue back in the late ’80s, but never had enough money leftover to give it a try. Then this series vanished for a couple of decades. Now, thanks to the hard work of Jackson Guice, a successful Kickstarter campaign, and my digital reward, I was finally able to read yet another treasure from my personal writing hero: Bill Mantlo. The collection contains both the 1984 Marvel graphic novel and the original twelve issues of the series that followed until its cancellation in 1987. It has everything I could want in a series: Mantlo, Guice, pirates, outer space adventures, a lovely hero, a cool new hero with superpowers, aliens, epic battles, monsters, and an engaging story that springs from actual historical characters. I loved every bit of this collection with the exception of the rushed ending (as I mentioned it was canceled, not the creators’ fault), but Guice has mentioned there might be further tales to tell of the space pirates known as the Swashbucklers. I truly hope to one day see them sail the stars again. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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