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.
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.
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!