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.


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