Saturday, June 9, 2018

Comics Lust 6/9/2018

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/sleep-deprived Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Okay, Tulip’s already passed out on the bed, and Reverse Obie is doing the head bob as a six-inch strand of drool connects his mouth to a pool of puppy spit on the table in front of him. I think it's time for a little R&R and some sweet dreams about comics, beer, and french fries looks to be next up on our agenda. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Oh, and go see Deadpool 2, by golly. It’s freakin’ great! 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 Whole Story (Part 2)

We’re all busy. Too busy, at times. Which is why I suspect many people are hesitant to dive into many of the more mainstream comic books. If you pick up a copy of that comic starring that Spider guy, you might have no idea of who various characters are, why they are acting the way they are acting, or what exactly happened to the smoldering building he’s so upset about. Sure, there’s the obligatory exposition to “bring you up to speed” but it’s just not the same as experiencing things organically. Say you wanted to be fully caught up, you would need to read the previous 12 issues, the annual from last year, three issues of another series to cover a crossover, and possibly a side book or two. might then need to go to the 10-issue event book from a year and a half ago...and then some of the side stories that round out that experience, and then… Nah. Enough of that noise. Today, we’re going in, admiring the sights, and coming out clean. Here are some more comics that end in 12 issues or less and that require no prior knowledge, only a desire to experience new characters and to enjoy a story with a dang beginning, a middle, and an end.

Ghost Fleet: The Whole Damned Thing

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Daniel Warren Johnson, published by Image Comics) are certain types of cargo you don’t hand over to UPS or a normal freight carrier. Some merchandise is too rare, too dangerous, or too secretive to trust to just anyone; you call the Ghost Fleet. Trace and Ward are highly-skilled, deadly, and reliable truckers who have been close friends for quite some time, but that friendship is destroyed when their rig is forced off the road by those seeking the mysterious cargo under their care. What follows is an action-packed tale of revenge and proof that no one messes with the Ghost Fleet. Oh, Denizens, how I love this series, which went through quite a journey before being published in this must-read collection. Ghost Fleet started at Dark Horse and was supposed to be a 12-issue series, but poor sales saw only four issues making it to print, issues five and six being released online, and issues seven through twelve being condensed into issues seven and eight, which were also only released digitally. The fact that it was canceled is a devastating error on the part of comic book fans everywhere—myself included—but it is one everyone can remedy by picking up this treasure. Other than feeling a tad rushed towards the end—and one plot element that upset me surrounding an animal, but whatevs—you get a solid, early Cates story and some amazing Johnson artwork as well. The sad thing is that with both creators growing in popularity for their current works, had Ghost Fleet been released today, they would definitely have had the readership they needed to have the story run its anticipated course. Oh well, if our only consolation is having this great collection, then that totally works for me. Speaking of Johnson…

Extremity Vol. 1 and 2

(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, published by Image Comics)
The good thing about coming to a series late is that you can binge read a good chunk of it in one fell swoop. Which is what I did with this Donist World Darling of a comic. Originally a twelve-issue series that began in 2017 and ended in 2018, I bought the first trade earlier this year and completely fell in love with this beautiful-yet-harsh comic book. The absolute worst part of finishing this trade was the painful two-month wait for the final volume to drop. If you take a pinch of Mad Max: Fury Road and a pinch of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and mix it with the brilliance of Johnson’s pacing, characterization, storytelling, character acting, and monster design, you have one of the best damn comics I have read so far this year. Extremity follows Thea of the Roto after her clan is viciously attacked by the Paznina who kill Thea’s mother and brutally destroy Thea’s reason for living; they also steal the Roto’s floating home, leaving what’s left of the tribe to wander for survival. There are monsters, robots, intense battle scenes, and perfectly timed flashbacks that eventually fill all the gaps intentionally placed within this captivating tale. The first trade left me thrilled and desperate to see how it all ends, the second volume did not disappoint in the least. Kinship, survival, horror, tragedy, revenge, and the oppressive weight of escaping a never-ending cycle, Extremity is one the best things I have ever read and is one that will forever be on my annual reread list.

V for Vendetta

(Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by David Lloyd, published by Vertigo Comics, an imprint of DC Comics)
When you hear Alan Moore’s name, the comic that first comes to mind is usually the industry-defining Watchmen, but fans of the influential author will be quick to point out that you should quickly follow that great work with V for Vendetta…and Saga of the Swamp Thing…and Miracleman…and a whole mess of other books as well. In V for Vendetta, Britain’s citizenry is under the constant watchful eye of the ruling, fascist regime, but when all hope seems lost, a stranger in a Guy Fawkes mask blows up Parliament and starts to bring about the change Britain so desperately needs. Moore’s thorough storytelling and intense mood coupled with Lloyd’s haunting illustrations made this a terrifying cautionary tale back when I first read it in the ‘80s. This is Moore’s version of the novel 1984 and is—sadly—all too relevant today given what is currently happening in our own country. You absolutely need to read this masterwork, but I’m going to warn you: you won’t be smiling for much of it.

Punk Rock Jesus

(Everythinged by Sean Murphy, published by Vertigo Comics, an imprint of DC Comics)
I’m sure this one has ticked off some of the more…sensitive…types. Heck, the name of the book alone is enough to have some calling for a ban, if not a full-fledged book burning. But they should read the work first, before...uhhhh...before...actually, that will tick them off even more. Screw ‘em, they need a hobby. Money talks when an insanely rich television network, Ophis, strikes a deal with the Catholic Church to obtain DNA from Jesus Christ so they can clone him and air a reality show called J2. J2 star Chris and his bodyguard, ex-IRA member Thomas McKael, as well as Chris's ever-troubled mother, are all in the public eye, and J2 is, in fact, the most-watched show of all time, although it is not without its detractors. Once Chris catches a glimpse of the real world—poverty, war, consumerism, fanaticism—the world Ophis wishes to keep hidden from him, he discovers his true purpose and the best way to deliver his message: punk rock music. A great, powerful, black and white story that is certain to entertain as well as make you think about where our world might be headed.

Midnight Nation

(Written by J. Micheal Straczynski, illustrated by Gary Frank, published by Top Cow)
To be honest...I don’t really remember what this one is about as it has been over ten years since I last read it, which means it’s about time for a reread. What I do know is that I absolutely loved it at the time. I remember there is a police detective who investigates a murder and he stumbles across some evil, creepy-as-hell, vampire-looking creatures, but unfortunately, that’s about all I remember. This one has fast-forwarded up my “to read” pile, especially after I was reminded that Frank is the one providing the art. I’m excited to see if it stands up to the test of time, but considering my love of Straczynski and Frank’s Supreme Power, I’m pretty sure it will.

This Week’s Reading List

We’re plum tuckered out, Denizens, so the puppies and I are calling it quits for the day and are planning to take a much-needed, team-building nap. I will say, that of the five new comics I picked up this week, The Immortal Hulk #1 (written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Joe Bennett, published by Marvel Comics) was pretty different…different, but cool. Until next week!


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