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.


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