Saturday, July 28, 2018

Comics Lust 7/28/2018

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/dinnertime destiny dog Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Greetings, Denizens. Way out of time. Got a late start, so keeping this short. Anyhow, keep cool, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, 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.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Comics Lust

Everythinged…The Writer-Artist: Adventure Comics (Part 1)

The act of creating a comic is no easy feat. You have writing, pencils, inks, letters, an editor, possibly a colorist and a someone to do flats (the base colors added to black and white art upon which the colorist begins rendering), and then someone to bring it all together in production; this doesn’t even count the amount of work it takes to actually go through the printing and publication process. It’s usually a huge collaborative effort that—with the exception of pencils and inks—I have personally taken part in. I have first-hand experience in the amount of work that goes into each issue, so when I practically bow down before the might of those who do the brunt, if not all, of the work, it’s because of my deep respect and admiration for those rarest of beasts: the writer-artist. When these unicorns of the comic book world deliver an all around great comic, it is something to rejoice, it is something to celebrate. I give to you…Everythinged, those who write and draw and possibly ink, color, and letter their books as well. Behold true magic!

Mage: The Hero Discovered

(Everythinged by Matt Wagner, colored by Jeremy Cox and James Rochelle, later inked by Sam Kieth, originally published in 1984 by Comico)
By this point, you should be well aware that Matt Wagner’s Mage: The Hero Discovered is one of my all-time favorite comics. Period. If I was going to be stranded on a deserted island, this series dang-well better be there with me to help weather the storm. It is the story of a down-on-his-luck loner named Kevin Matchstick who happens upon what he believes to be a mugging, only to discover the assailant is a chalk-white, hairless humanoid with poisoned spurs on its elbows. Driven to stop the assault, Kevin exhibits powers well beyond that of normal men, but even with newfound strength and possible invulnerability, Kevin is too late: the victim dies and the monster retreats. Reeling from the experience, Kevin meets a person he assumes to be a beggar, but this beggar has fantastic magical powers and thus begins our hero’s journey that leads him to new-found friends and a threat of mythic proportions. Originally published as 15-issues, the series was followed over a decade later by Mage: The Hero Defined, and even later by the currently running conclusion to the trilogy Mage: The Hero Denied. The story and art are equal triumphs with two particular moments that still to this day—three and a half decades later—wreck havoc on my emotions and make this great series something I frequently return to. The ‘80s were a magical time for comics, and this series proves that magic is indeed green. The first and second parts of the trilogy are currently being reprinted in trade format by Image, and are waiting for you to discover the hero within.

Cursed Pirate Girl

(Everythinged by Jeremy A. Bastian, designed by Jack Absinthe, originally published in 2009 by Olympian)
The Kickstarter campaign to collect the long out-of-print and ridiculously rare three issues of Cursed Pirate Girl was the first Kickstarter I ever contributed to, and let me tell you it more than delivered: I received a signed and now rare trade, a glorious poster that unexpectedly arrived, and a bunch of other goodies. It was all quite exciting, but nowhere near as exciting as cracking open the book and reading this painstakingly detailed and marvelously illustrated tale of a young pirate girl whose swashbuckling adventures take place both above and below the sea as she encounters ruthless pirates, misshapen members of royalty, and bizarre creatures of the sea. Most every page of this beautiful book’s intricate line work is worth lingering over to avoid missing anything. Equal parts comic book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Cursed Pirate Girl is a true labor of love that has to be seen to be believed. Dang! I just saw there is a follow up Cursed Pirate Girl Annual I need to hunt down!


(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Arielle Basich (assistant) and Sean Mackiewicz, originally published in 2017 by Image Comics)
Yes, this one I have been freaking out about for months now. But when I come across a comic that truly “wows” me, I can’t help but climb to the top of the mountain—or to be real my second-floor window—and shout out how great this comic is. Imagine your favorite Studio Ghibli animated film mixed with Mad Max: Fury Road and that is the vibe you get with Extremity. Young artist Thea loved her family and clan, the Roto, and was not ready for the day rival clan the Paznina came to murder those she loved, steal her home, and take her greatest gift. Filled with anger and vengeance, Thea and what remains of the Roto seek revenge and to reclaim their floating home; if she loses her soul in the process then that is the price she feels she is willing to pay. Fantastic storytelling, stunning creatures, and incredible character acting counter the extreme violence of this wonderful journey that I never wanted to end. You MUST pick up the two available trades at once. Dang, I really hope an oversized hardcover comes out for this treasure. Rest assured, Denizens, I will be mentioning Extremity a few more times over the remainder of the year.

The Sword

(Everythinged byJoshua and Johnathan Luna...aka The Luna Brothers, originally published in 2007 by Image Comics)
Okay, I am kind of cheating with this one, but because the creators are brothers and they mix it up as to who is plotting, writing, doing layouts, illustrating, and all the rest of it, I’m going to count this as an “Everythinged” book. It has been a long while since I last read this grand 24-issue series of myth and magic and self-proclaimed gods, and to be honest, I don’t really remember how it all ends; I need to remedy this soon. The story follows Dara Brighton, a college student whose life is destroyed the day three strangers who command the powers of the elements come seeking a mystical sword. Faced with her impending death, Dara later stumbles across the sword and upon touching it finds the tool needed to finally balance the scales. Beautiful art, a heroine worth rooting for, and a creatively built world and mythology just begging to be explored. You can read the four trades, or splurge on the Complete Deluxe Edition.

Shaolin Cowboy

(Everythinged by Geoff Darrow, colored and lettered by Peter Doherty, originally published in 2004 by Burlyman Entertainment)
Shame, Denizens, on those who have never before had the opportunity to bear witness to the heavenly glory that is the art of Geoff Darrow. Oh, wait, who am I kidding? There is no shame to be had if you have not yet experienced Darrow’s incredibly detailed work. I’m honestly just jealous that you get to have your mind blown by this master artist for the first time. Fellow Darrow fans know exactly what I’m talking about. If this cat has worked on it, then it is something you need to experience. Notice how I don’t use the word “read.” You don’t just read a Darrow comic, you become part of it. My first experience with this creator was on the brilliant Hard Boiled, written by Frank Miller, and it is exactly what its name implies: an intense, frantic, nerve-wracking, visual extravaganza of action and unbridled mayhem. The same can be said of Shaolin Cowboy, which follows...well...a Shaolin cowboy and his trusty, talking burro as he fights all manner of unsavory fellows, animals, demons, monsters, and everything else imaginable. Every…single…page…is filled to the brim with highly detailed backgrounds, foregrounds, vehicles, and characters that require you to read the book once through and then dive back in to slowly appreciate and marvel at everything you are seeing. The original issues are ridiculously rare, but thankfully Darkhorse has released the following in heavenly hardcover format: Shaolin Cowboy: Start Trek, Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop the Reign?, and Shaolin Cowboy: Shemp Buffet. You definitely want to catch them all. Seeing is believing, Denizens.

That’s it for this installment, but I will definitely come back to “Everythinged…The Writer-Artist: Adventure” in the near future!

This Week’s Reading List

I had six books in my pull this week and I am still missing a couple, but I'm out of time and need to eat something. Here's what I have read thus far:

  • Descender #32
    (Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
    Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Descender comes to a gnarly conclusion that left me gasping for air and thoroughly anticipating Ascender #1 to debut in 2019. Damn, this is one of the best series on the stand.
  • Saga #54(Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, published by Image Comics)
    Holy crap! I was totally not ready for that. Saga cuts to a year hiatus—possibly longer—in a true gut-punch manner. Shit, Denizens, I’m not sure how to process the events in this issue. Still, I can’t help but say Saga is…
  • Doomsday Clock #6(Written by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Rob Leigh, published by DC Comics)
    This Watchmen follow up is still freaking great. This issue tells the origin of my new favorite villains the Marionette and the Mime. Mix in the Joker and the Comedian and a defeated Batman and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Thankfully, we are only halfway through, but I do kind of wonder how they are going to bring it all together and wrap things up in only six more issues. Whatever. I’m loving it.
  • Venom #4(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Mayer, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
    Was this the best week in comics or what?! Eddie Brock meets a truly terrifying and ancient god who holds utter control over all symbiotes. We learn the origin of this being and Cates establishes some amazing connections to another superhero comic I love from a few years ago. Don’t miss out on the book that pulled me back to Marvel
See you next week!


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Comics Lust 7/21/2018

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/belly flop specialist Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Greetings, Denizens. I am so grateful it’s the weekend and that the weather has been fairly cool thus ain’t gonna last. My puppy executive team and I are loading up on lime popsicles and we’re scrounging as much mint as we can so we can make a fuel-tanker-sized batch of iced tea to help get us through the next week...or longer...gulp. Anyhow, keep cool—the heat returns here tomorrow, ugh—be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, 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.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Comics Lust

Comics by the Poolside (Part 1)

Summer is here. Or you’re on a non-summer vacation. You finally have some time to yourself where you have no commitments and you had the foresight to turn off your phone’s ringer and you’ve taken a vow of abstinence from the horrid social media. You might have an immense swimming pool just feet from your toes, or maybe you have one of those plastic kiddie pools filled via the garden hose, or maybe you’re on the deck where no one can bother you. You have iced tea/water/beer/coffee close at hand or you’re lucky enough to have a high-falutin’, fancy-pants margarita. You aren’t being chill, you define chill. You reach down and pull out a brand-spankin’ new comic; just be sure there’s no sunblock on your hands and your swimsuit is dry enough to not get your comics wet. With your nirvana skill unlocked you can finally slip into some fantastic new worlds.

These are the poolside comics that brought me to that heavenly state…

Thanos: Thanos Wins

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Geoff Shaw, colored by Antonio Fabela, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, trade published by Marvel Comics in 2018)
I’m overly critical of any writer who tries to tackle the Mad Titan Thanos who isn’t Jim Starlin. There are a few who’ve done right by the character—Hickman, Abnett and Lanning, Lemire—but Starlin still reigns supreme. This Cates cat, though...dang...he has written the best non-Starlin Thanos I have ever read. Not only does he give us the Death-obsessed demigod and the tragedy and destruction that readers expect to see follow in Thanos’s wake, but we also get intense action, thrills, and the occasional bits of humor. We are even introduced to a new character, the Cosmic Ghost Rider—now in his own killer, five-issue miniseries!—whose origin is sure to throw you for a loop and I’m not about to spoil it for you. Thanos faces some startling adversaries and his throne…let’s just say I gulped audibly once I figured out what it was. The story is gorgeously brought to life by Shaw’s intricate art and compelling storytelling and his character design on the Cosmic Ghost Rider has to be seen to be believed. Even the coloring takes this book to the next level with a vibrant palette that contrasts nicely with the dark subject matter. This is what happens when a madman gets everything he desires. This is what happens when Thanos wins. You definitely need a dip in the pool after reading this fantastic series. You don’t need to read what came before to follow this trade, which collects issues #13–18 and Annual #1.

Space Mullet!

(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, trade published by Dark Horse Comics in 2016)
I was first introduced to Daniel Warren Johnson through the must-own, must-read, please-Image-release-an-oversized-director’s-cut hardcover collection of Extremity series, and immediately after ordered the cosmic-ass-kickin’ Space Mullet! Oh, my dawg! I love this series and I’m floored that although this is one of his earlier works, it is every bit as intricately plotted and gorgeously illustrated as that of a seasoned pro with many decades in the comics world. At its bare bones, Space Mullet! starts with the story of ex-Space Marine Jonah and his alien partner Alphius roaming the spaceways trying to scrounge up some sort of living and all too often coming up short. Jonah has a dark past that haunts and shames him, but through an ever-expanding roster of characters, he might just find a crew that gives him purpose. Part Firefly, part Akira, all space opera comic goodness, Space Mullet! satisfies everything I want in a sci-fi comic. It was originally released as a webcomic, partially collected by Dark Horse, and there’s much more to read online that has not yet been collected, I really hope to see more than just a couple more trades of this grand epic everyone needs to read. Oh, looks like my margarita needs a little refresh.

Doctor Strange: God of Magic

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta with some art by Niko Henrichon, colored by Jordie Bellaire, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, trade published by Marvel Comics in 2018)
Collecting Doctor Strange #381–385 and yet another comic that grabbed my attention because of Cates and the one-two knockout punch of Walta—who illustrated the critically acclaimed The Vision—there was no way I could pass this up. Why is Loki now the Sorcerer Supreme? What the heck is Doctor Stephen Strange doing as a veterinarian? What is this battle he supposedly lost? Thor shows up briefly and a mystery hero appears to fight a grand enemy?! Why is the Sanctum Sanctorum floating twenty feet above the street? I honestly wasn’t sure, and that’s fine. Cates does a fine job of filling in just enough gaps as to what came before to keep you immersed in his tale as well as desperate to see what happens next. I haven’t read Doctor Strange in…well…hmmm…forever, and this series had me madly hitting the “spend my money” button to get the just-released Doctor Strange: Damnation - The Complete Collection which I have at the ready for my next personal pool party. Well, looky there, Marvel’s pulled me back in with the magic of Doctor Strange. Oh, I should get in the shade for a bit.

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated and lettered and colored by David Rubín, flats by Kike J. Díaz, trade published by Dark Horse in 2018)
Lemire is the writer of my favorite book on the stands Descender among a host of other books. One such book is the phenomenal Black Hammer series which I should have been buying in floppies but did not pick up until the first trade came out; it was the best new-to-me series of 2017. Black Hammer is a love-letter to the bronze/silver age superhero comics of old with amalgams of Marvel and DC’s most famous heroes. It’s also a horror/mystery comic with heavy elements of sci-fi that everyone must read. But, Donist, why are you talking about Black Hammer, when this is about something called Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil? Simple, Denizens, Sherlock Frankenstein was once the greatest foe of Spiral City’s heroes, but since the heroes vanished after defeating Earth’s greatest threat, Sherlock Frankenstein has also vanished. The Black Hammer’s daughter, Lucy Weber, now ten years older and a journalist, believes her father and the other heroes are still alive, and if she is to find him, only the brilliant mind of a terrible villain looks to provide the answers to bringing them home. Okay, you don’t need to have read Black Hammer before reading this heavenly book, but it most certainly helps. If this story was illustrated with stick figures I would probably still recommend it, it’s that strong, but when you add Rubín on art you should probably run to your LCS to secure a copy. So very, very good and almost made me cry...dang that Jeff Lemire. I need some more poolside snacks: taquitos it is.

Ether: Death of the Golden Blaze

(Written by Matt Kindt, illustrated by David Rubin, trade published by Dark Horse in 2017)
Well whatdoyouknow, another glorious comic illustrated by the immensely talented Rubín. Hey, and check that out, written by frequent Lemire collaborator Kindt. There was no way I would not like this, I just wasn’t ready for how much I loved it. Ether is the story of obsessed scientist and explorer, Boone Dias, who discovers a doorway to a fantastical world of strange beings and mysterious magic. The only problem: Boone doesn’t believe in magic and seeks to prove anything described as such can be explained away through science. But when the denizens of this bizarre world hire Boone to solve the murder of the Blaze, protector of the Ether, his disbelief in magic is put to the test as his grasp on his own reality begins to fade away. Rubín’s art is vibrant, lovely, and the many groovy monsters, creatures, buildings, objects and everything else are so inventive and much deserving of your time and money. The story is amazing and I cannot wait to read the follow-up, Ether: The Copper Golems. You should probably think about turning over to even out that tan.

Rumble, Volume 4: Soul Without Pity

(Written by John Arcudi, illustrated by David Rubín, colored by Dave Stewart, designed and lettered by Shanna Matuszak, trade published by Image in 2018)
Anyone else notice a little theme goin’ on for these last three books? Here’s a hint: David Rubin is a dang-fine artist whose work I recently discovered and now have to acquire everything he’s ever worked on. Yeah, I’m loving how Rubín’s work can just transport you to another world and make you forget all the problems found in your own. If you’ve not read Rumble before, then this is one that kind of requires that you have read the first three volumes—which were illustrated by former Rumble artist James Harren—in order to properly follow along. Don’t worry, though, Rumble is a great series about a dead warrior-god whose soul was placed into the body of a scarecrow that now walks the streets of modern times accumulating a ragtag group of human allies. The world is steeped in a rich mythology with monsters and magic and mayhem aplenty and this fourth volume keeps the action flowing. This trade finds Rathraq, the scarecrow warrior god, at his darkest and deadliest as his friends attempt to bring him back to their side. The Rumble series is one you can buy all four volumes at once and know you made the right choice and are in good hands.

And with that...time for a poolside nap. Until next time.

This Week’s Reading List

I had eight books in my pull this week and I was even missing two, but I'm out of time and need to get back to the pool. Here's what I have read thus far:

  • The Immortal Hulk #3(Written by Al Ewing, illustrated by a bunch of different artists, published by Marvel Comics)
    Another great, creepy, horror-tinged issue.
  • Mage: The Hero Denied #10(Written and illustrated by Matt Wagner, colored by Brennan Wagner, lettered by Dave Lanphear, consulting editor Diana Schutz, design and production by Steven Birch, published by Image Comics)
    Oh, no, we are 2/3 through the concluding act of the trilogy! Still love love love it!
  • Gideon Falls #4
    (Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Dave Stewart, lettering and design by Steve Wands, edited by Will Dennis, published by Image Comics)
    Yup, a month behind and new issue #5 missed this week...go figure. Creepy as hell in the best of ways.
  • Oblivion Song #5
    (Written by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Lorenzo De Filici, colored by Annalisa Leoni, lettered by Rus Wooton, associate editor Arielle Basich, editor Sean Mackiewicz, published by Skybound an Image Comics imprint)
    Given the current state of our country, I can see where the inhabitants of Oblivion are coming from.
  • East of West #38
    (Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Nick Dragotta, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics)
    Although many delays between issues, I’m still along for the complicated and intense ride.
  • Royal City #12
    (Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
    I knew it was going to be a rough journey, and I suspect the last few issues are going to be a heart-rending affair.
  • Stellar #2
    (Written by Joseph Keatinge, illustrated by Bret Blevins, lettered by Rus Wooton, associate editor Arielle Basich, editor Sean Mackiewicz, published by Skybound an Image Comics imprint)
    They had me at space superheroes. Interested to see where this one goes!
I have one more comic to read from this week and hope to get to it later this afternoon. See you next time!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Comics Lust 7/14/2018

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/family-visit-scheduler Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Greetings, Denizens. It has been a crazy week on both a work and family front. You might remember me mentioning the loss of my uncle, Gordon, back in April, and this weekend is when my family came out from Ohio, San Francisco, and Long Beach to hold a memorial for him. It was held on a boat in the Pacific on a lovely day and was something that would have made Gordon happy. Because of this, I did not have time to write a new, full-fledged post, but I am including a revised version of an older post that was a precursor to “Comics Lust”; it should fit quite nicely. Anyhow, keep cool, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, 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.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Comics Lust

Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics (Part 1)

The idea for the topic of “Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics” came to me a year and a half ago after listening to the audiobook of The Handmaid’s Tale, which got me thinking about the scourge of the #45 presidency. So, why not compile a list of post-apocalyptic and dystopian comics where bad men have taken control, or religion has been twisted to enable individuals to seize power, or biological weapons have decimated populations, or corporations have taken over, or the wealthy tread on the poor. Basically, we’re going to look at what happens when sh_t becomes some f_ed up sh_t. So, sit down, strap in, and prepare to not be smiling by the time you get through these books, you will, however, be glad you read them.

Seven to Eternity

(Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Jerome Opeña, published by Image Comics)
This spectacular fantasy series fits all the criteria of what I’m looking for in a post-apocalyptic/dystopian world. You have a tyrannical ruler seeking to bend everyone to his will, the stripping of freedom, the demonizing of others, empty promises, and the backing of deadly forces. The difference is that there’re also giant flying squid ships, magical superpowers, as well as all sorts of cool beings inhabiting this doomed world. The only hope of freeing the populace from the control of the God of Whispers is to capture the formidable being, take him to an ancient wizard, and hope there is enough power to end the evil creature’s reign once and for all. So, yeah, there are some parallels to what’s going on in the real world. Seven to Eternity is one of the best comics being published—despite the substantial publication delays—with a captivating story, painstakingly gorgeous art, and a highly inventive, complex world built upon a foundation of magic I am desperate to see what happens next.


(Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Michael Lark, published by Image Comics)
This comic tends to scare the bejesus out of me. Why? you might ask. Well, because this comic’s dreadfully bleak world is one that I can very much see coming to pass. The world of Lazarus is not one divided by political lines, but rather it is divided up by a handful of ruling families along the lines of wealth. The creators clearly spend a substantial amount of time researching everything from eugenics, to military weaponry, to caste systems, to biological sciences, all while having the bad guys betray those inside and outside of the respective families. I won’t lie, Denizens, this series can be terrifying in its parallels to our modern world, but the strength of the characters, the storytelling, and the lovely illustrations make this a must-read book for sure. Not only that, you will want to catch up on this brilliant series before its television debut on Amazon Prime someday in the future.

The Omega Men

(Written by Tom King, illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda, published by DC Comics)
I’ve been reading comics for most of my life, and over the years, there have been plenty of series that I just could not buy at that particular time. One such comic from the ’80s is the original The Omega Men series. Thankfully, however, a revamped version came out that I did pick up, and it happened to be one of the best things I read the past couple of years. In this telling, The Omega Men are a group branded as terrorist by the all-powerful Viceroy of The Citadel. The problem is that The Omega Men have captured the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, and executed him on live television in an effort to have their message heard. The truth is that Kyle Rayner is very much alive and The Omega Men want him to join their group. Unfortunately for Kyle, things are not always black and white, and The Omega Men might just be every bit as bad as The Citadel they wish to defeat. Gorgeous art and an intricately plotted story that will challenge readers’ morals on what it takes to be on the winning side. Religion, order, safety versus freedom, and classism all clash in this powerful MUST READ space opera. I will definitely be rereading this series many times over the coming years.

Sweet Tooth

(Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint) 
You know I love Lemire’s work—especially when it comes to the Donist World Darling Descender—but one book that completely blew me away, while tearing out my heart and stomping it repeatedly on the floor, is the post-apocalyptic masterpiece Sweet Tooth. Dang, dang, dang, I need to dig this series out of the spider-ridden Closet of Doom and settle in for a week of gut-wrenching, beautifully-told tragedy. In this world, a plague known as The Affliction has decimated much of the world’s population, leaving scant humans and bizarre human-animal hybrid children to struggle for survival. The deer-antlered Gus is one such child. When a group of hunters seeks to enact their ill will upon Gus, a mountain of a man known as Jepperd rescues the boy and promises to lead him to the safety of a place known as The Preserve. <phew> Just thinking about this dark journey and the toll it takes on the many characters (and this Donist, too) is staggering. Sweet Tooth is a remarkable series and one that is so beautifully told. Is it weird that I’m looking forward to crushing my heart all over again? Definitely not.

The Micronauts

()Written by Bill Mantlo; illustrated by Michael Golden, Pat Broderick, and others, published by Marvel Comics) 
You know I love The Micronauts, right? I only mention it in every other post or so. In fact, I’m simply silly for this series. Way back in the first half of 2014, I wrote a weekly column called “Micronauts Monday” where I talked about every single issue of this great comic from the perspective of both my younger self and my current self. I had a blast writing it. The Micronauts is the story of the microscopic universe known as the Microverse, where a tyrannical madman known as Baron Karza rules over all with his gauntleted fist, giving leniency or favor to only the wealthiest and most morally compromised of individuals. Only a band of alien rebels lead by Commander Arcturus Rann have the slightest chance of freeing the Microverse from the crushing weight of Karza’s heel. I adore the characters and the story is intense with severe stakes and relentless action. There’s love, loss, victories, and the bitterest of defeats, all while having the occasional guest appearance (something which usually does not work in other books, yet mostly works here) from a Marvel hero or two, and a story that more than stands up to the test of time. Now comes the disclaimer: Reading this one is no easy task given that the rights are tied up with a Japanese toy company, so there might never be a trade released. So…get thee to the back issue bins!


(Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Dave Gibbons, published by DC Comics) 
If you have never heard of Watchmen, then I must congratulate you for finally resuscitating from your cryofreeze or for your newfound freedom from the 1980s bunker you recently escaped from. That said, given the state of the world because of #45, you might want to go back to the bunker for a spell while things get sorted out. Anyhow, the story… when a former member of an old superhero group is murdered, one lone hero begins investigating the murder and seeks the aid of his former teammates. But as secrets begin to unfold, and more people tied to The Watchmen begin to die or disappear, tensions between the US and other countries escalate and the world finds itself on the brink of a nuclear war. Scary, right? I mean, this series written in the ’80s was not just a deconstruction of superhero comics but also a terrifying commentary on the Cold War and the ever-present threat of nuclear war. Watchmen is the quintessential graphic novel to show the power and importance of the comic book medium. It’s also terrifying that the subject of nuclear war is once again surging. So, yeah, Watchmen is a book to read if you want to freak your ass out. It’s also damn good.

Bitch Planet

(Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and others, colored by Chris Peter, lettered by Clayton Cowles, logo and designs by Rian Hughes, published by Image Comics) 
As the rights of women, minorities, and LGBTQ+ Americans are increasingly under assault in today’s toxic political environment and abhorrent behavior looks to be normalized under the current administration, Bitch Planet is the perfect counter to the all-too-routine bullshit of old, corrupt, rich, white (and orange) men. This comic pays stylistic homage to the sexploitation films of the ’70s while adding a dash of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The story follows Kamau Kogo who, along with thousands of other women defined as “Non-Compliant,” has been sent off to the prison world known as Bitch Plant. “Non-Compliant” can be pretty much anything a man determines to be offensive: too old, too fat, too skinny, overly vocal, non-heterosexual, or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kamau and her fellow prisoners have decided enough is enough; it is time to resist. This series is infinitely more timely now given the horrendous changes that have occurred since the first issue’s debut. Now, if only new issues weren’t so dreadfully delayed… We remain Non-Compliant.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan

(Written by Mark Millar, illustrated by Steve McNiven and others, colored by various, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics) 
What happens when the bad guys win? Nothing good, that’s for certain. Following the death of nearly all of its heroes, the world is a wasteland tentatively divided up among the most powerful and menacing of villains. Wolverine and his friend Hawkeye are two of the few survivors of the great attack that laid waste to their country, but a tragic event sets them on a path of redemption. Wolverine: Old Man Logan is one I definitely need to reread in the next couple of weeks, given that some very not-so-super villains are seemingly attempting to create the wasteland reflected in this book; it could not be more timely. I also love love love the Logan movie, which owes much to this thrilling series about resisting the forces of oppression.

This Week’s Reading List

I haven’t even been able to make it to my LCS this past week, so...ugh. Oh well, more to read next time.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Comics Lust 7/7/2018

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/evacuation expert Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Yes, Denizens, we are later than usual, but hear us out; we have a good reason. Remember all of the natural disasters that plagued Santa Barbara this past winter? Well, Goleta saw yet another one with the Holiday Fire that sprang up on Friday night, roughly a mile from our house. Yeah. Scary. That night, we received a text around 9:30 pm from a friend asking if we had evacuated yet. We were actually going to sleep at that time—definitely not party animals—and we quickly tuned into the news. Adequately freaked out, I ran and got a couple of suitcases out of storage, packed up some clothes, grabbed all important documents, and loaded ourselves, Tulip, and Obie (we’ve been watching him while his owners are on vacation) and fled to our friends’ house in Santa Barbara. The night sky was a vibrant orange and we could see flickering flames as we drove away and we knew we had made the right choice to leave despite being just outside of the voluntary evacuation zone. When we got to our friends’ house around 10:30 pm, the temperature was 103 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind was insane with the threat of power outages looming over the entire city. Everything ended up being fine, and the fire is mostly under control, but we didn’t make it home until around the early afternoon. Hence, the tardiness… Anyhow, keep cool, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, 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

Miniseries to the Max (Part 3)

Big Two miniseries were everywhere during the ’80s and most of them were pretty great. Some managed to slip through my brother and my grasps, but we succeeded in getting most of them either as they were released or in special bundles at Andromeda Bookstore that my mom would buy to placate us during long drives to vacation destinations. Even today, three decades later, I still buy miniseries, usually in trade format, to bring along on vacations my wife and I take just so I can read them by the pool or on the deck so I can fully take in the rush I used to get as a kid. Who says you have to grow up? Anyhow, buckle up and quit messing with your little brother, Denizens, we’re taking a trip with a bunch more miniseries.

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1–6

(Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by Al Milgrom, published in 1984 by Marvel Comics)
Most miniseries in the ’80s ran four issues, but don’t let the six-issue length of Kitty Pryde and Wolverine get you down; there’s so much going on that you will be thankful for the extra issues. A little time has passed since the events of the must-read Wolverine four-issue series, and Kitty Pryde finds herself in over her head after she travels to Tokyo to try to fix her father’s problems with the Yakuza. A frantic call to the US brings Wolverine back to Japan where ninjas want him dead, the woman who he loves cannot be with him, and another woman who loves him looks to get him in all sorts of trouble; he also needs to find Kitty before she gets herself killed. It’s been a few years, but I think I just psyched myself up enough to move this to the top of the reread pile! Get the collection after you’ve read the Wolverine mini.

Batman: The Cult #1–4

(Written by Jim Starlin, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, published in 1988 by DC Comics)
Starlin and Wrightson could create a refrigerator manual and I would seek it out with the passion of a pirate seeking lost booty. Make it a book about Batman, and there’s no way I wouldn’t love this great, but lesser known, miniseries. Batman sets off to investigate the mysterious Deacon Joseph Blackfire and his religious cult whose membership is comprised of those lost to society. But when Batman is captured by the violent cult and plied with mind-altering drugs, how long can the Dark Knight resist seeing the light, their light? The trade of this one looks to be out of print, which is a shame as Batman: The Cult is a book that should grace everyone’s favorite bookshelf. Beautiful Wrightson art and a trippy and compelling story deliver on all fronts.

Fantastic Four Versus the X-Men #1–4

(Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by Jon Bogdanov and Terry Austin, published in 1987 by Marvel Comics)
Okay, let’s bring out the truth serum...I owned this once upon a time, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a dang thing about it. I definitely need to become reacquainted. Two great teams, that taste great together? I’m guessing yes. Do ya feel lucky? If so, then maybe you can find the trade.

Man of Steel #1–6

(Everythinged by John Byrne, published in 1986 by DC Comics)
With all of the recent big-goin’s-on with ol’ Supes over at DC Comics and now that Brian Michael Bendis has joined their ranks, you owe it to yourself to read the limited series that picked up the super pieces of the hit Crisis on Infinite Earths and succeeded in ushering Superman into the modern era. It’s rare to find a comic where a creator revamps a major character’s history and has it pretty much become superhero canon. I’m gearing up to reread this one, too. Thank goodness for the trades!

Ronin #1–6

(Everythinged by Frank Miller, published in 1983 by DC Comics)
Before Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and after an incredible first run on Daredevil, Miller released the excellent Ronin. Take one part Mœbius, one part Lone Wolf and Cub manga, and four parts Miller doing exactly what he wants to do, and you get a mind-bending, futuristic, samurais versus robotic demons comic that I desperately had to pick up as they came out. If you can’t find the individual 52-page issues, then the collection is where you must go.

Firestar #1–4

(Written by Tom DeFalco, illustrated by Mary Wilshire and Steve Leialoha, published in 1986 by Marvel Comics)
Huh? How the heck did I miss this one? Oh well, looks like I have yet another book to track down. Having originally appeared in the animated Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Firestar (aka Angelica Jones) first made her comics debut in The Uncanny X-Men #193 before appearing in her own miniseries and joining the ranks of the printed Marvel U. There are a regular trade and a digest that collect this miniseries, but you might have to do some hunting to find them.

Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown #1–4

(Written by Walter and Louise Simonson, Havoc art by Jon J. Muth, Wolverine art by Kent Williams, published in 1988 by Epic Comics a Marvel Comics imprint)
Ding-ding-ding! Confession time, Denizens! Although I proclaim a deep love of the painted comics of the ’80s, I have never read this series. I think I can scrounge up some issues somewhere so I will get on this one posthaste! I can’t wait. I’m going to assume this comic deals with nuclear war to some degree, which means it—sadly enough—is all too relevant today.

Longshot #1–6

(Written by Ann Nocenti, illustrated by Art Adams, published in 1985 by Marvel Comics)
I used to own this miniseries way back when, but I made the mistake of lending it to a friend many, many, many years ago…I didn’t realize I would only have the one chance to read it. Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk. At least I was able to reacquire this series in trade format so I can remember why I was so eager to lend my precious issues out in the first place.

Magik #1–4

(Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by John Buscema, published in 1983 by Marvel Comics)
If you are a fan of Claremont’s spectacular run on The Uncanny X-Men from back in the day, then there is no way you can allow yourself to miss out on the awesome Magik miniseries. That said, before you dive in you must read The Uncanny X-Men #160 first as the surprise twist at the end provides the basis for this series about Illyana Rasputin. Basically, Illyana and the X-Men are transported to the horrific, alternate dimension of the demon Belasco, where they come across either twisted versions of themselves or bear witness to their own gruesome, futuristic corpses. Still, one of this world’s heroes has survived the devastation, but not without losing much of their powers and becoming a magic user who will teach the young Illyana how to survive in Belasco’s cruel world. This series sets the stage for Magik, who will eventually become a major player in the X-Verse across many storylines and titles. Thankfully, you can get the issue and the miniseries all in one fell swoop via the collection. Get it! You know you wanna.

X-Men and Alpha Flight #1–2

(Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by Paul Smith, published in 1988 by Marvel Comics)
Some minis are more mini than others. Such is the case with the two-issue X-men and Alpha Flight series. I honestly don’t remember if I owned this one or not, but I seem to remember a comic with Loki and the X-Men in it, I just have no idea if it was this series or not. Huh? Now that I have looked and found a fantastic collection that has these two issues as well seven other comics about the times The X-Men and Alpha Flight have fought/aided one another, I have my interest peaked. Guess I gotta track it down.

This Week’s Reading List

Since we are so late, we’re going to keep this short, but just know it was a heck of a strong week! I’ve also read a BUNCH of collections that can best be described as “amazeballs!” and I will need to figure out various themes to file them into so I can gush about them in future “Comics Lust” installments. Here we go on the floppies…

  • Cosmic Ghost Rider #1(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Dylan Burnett, colored by Antonio Fabela, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
    One thing I just read and that completely blew my mind was Thanos Wins, which first introduced us to Cosmic Ghost Rider. You don’t need to read that series to understand this book, but you dang well owe it to yourself to do so! Anyhow, Burnett’s art on CGR is stunning and Fabela’s colors vibrantly gorgeous with a story that that soooooo has me on board for this five-issue miniseries. Hey...this fits in with miniseries focus, nice! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • Death of the Inhumans #1(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ariel Olivetti, colored by Jordie Bellaire, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
    With a couple exceptions, I haven’t paid much attention to the Inhumans over the past couple of decades. Sorry, that’s just how it is. But when Cates is writing the story…I’m in, and I am so glad I picked this up. Within a few pages, I care about the characters and was stunned by a few of the deaths. With this new five-issue miniseries—yay! another one—I am again 100% in to see how it all ends. That said, one death in particular better not be true! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • The Immortal Hulk #3
    (Written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Joe Bennett, inked by Ruy José, colored by Paul Mounts, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
    Three Marvel comic books in one week?!?! I know, right? Anyhow, true to the original promise, we get a cool horror comic featuring the Hulk and a creepy-as-hell bad guy. I’m still loving this bizarre take and the gorgeous art. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • Death or Glory #3
    (Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Bengal, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, produced by Erika Schnatz, published by Image Comics)
    This series keeps getting better and better as Glory and Pablo try to recover the money Glory needs to get her father a liver transplant and Pablo tries to find his sister who was seemingly abducted by human trafficking mobsters. This is kind of hard to do with a bullet hole in your side. Bengal is great at character acting and storytelling and this story about a woman “living off the grid” is downright compelling. Yet another win from Remender. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
See you next time.