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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