Sunday, May 12, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/10/2019

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/Queen of the Heavy Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Okay, here’s the deal: the reason why I missed a couple of posts this year, after more than nine years of uninterrupted Donist World heavenliness, is because Amy the Intern (my wife), Tulip, and I are going to be moving at the end of this month. We’re not moving too far, just closer in town, which is something we meant to do 10 years ago but couldn’t at the time. In order to do this, we’ve had to jump through all sorts of hoops to find a realtor, to get our place ready for sale, to secure the sale, to find a new home, to have our offer accepted, and to prepare for the actual move. It’s all been pretty relentless and there were times Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I just could not find the time to let y’all know about what comics have been flipping our wigs. That said, I suspect we’re going to miss a few more posts in the coming weeks, but now that things are looking to be nearing completion, I wanted to keep you all in the loop as to the why. So, take a breath, repeat “every little thing gonna be alright,” grab a tasty beer and some pizza, run out to see Avengers: Endgame, sit back, relax, and afterward read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven




Murder Falcon #8

(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, lettered by Rus Wooton, edits by
Sean Mackiewicz and Arielle Basich (associate editor), published by Image Comics)
This is the moment I have been both ecstatic for and dreading since I found out the phenomenal Murder Falcon was ending with issue #8. This series finale is exciting, kick ass, scary, triumphant, and devastating all at the same time. Even just flipping through the comic today, after reading it a few days ago, I started getting choked up; I don’t even want to get into how rough it was finishing the book for the first time. Few comics, novels, or movies have affected me this way. Very few. But Murder Falcon hit me pretty hard and I freaking love it for that. It’s almost impossible to convey to someone who has not experienced this book that this comic about an ex-heavy metal guitarist who gains a magical guitar, and whose shredding riffs give great power and abilities to a beefy, falcon-headed warrior to fight monsters, will ultimately leave them sobbing upon reaching the end. The premise of the book is admittedly ridiculous, but Warren Johnson instills so much humanity, so much realism, into his characters that you fall in love with them from the moment you meet them. I cheered as each of Jake’s band members found their magical instrument and subsequent good-guy, monster champion. I was thrilled with each musician ally they met along their journey to combat the demonic forces of evil. I felt the loss when one fell all too soon. But, dang if I wasn’t cheering along through every single gorgeously rendered fight sequence. I was initially going to end with something along the lines of “This book is so much better than it has any right to be,” but that is not f_ing true. Murder Falcon is exactly as great—if not more so—than you can expect from one of my favorite comic creators; I cannot wait to see what Warren Johnson comes up with next. You can read the entire collection with the trade coming out in July, and I still hope to see this tremendous series get the oversized hardcover treatment it so rightfully deserves.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Conan the Barbarian #6

(Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Mahmud Asrar, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham, published by Marvel Comics)
When Conan is discovered as the sole survivor of a decimated party of Turanian invaders, the Turan horde reluctantly realizes that this filthy barbarian might be their only hope of surviving against the deadly Stygians who have no intention of submitting. Aaron and Asrar continue some of the best Conan comics since the barbarian’s glory days of the ’70s. This is despite seeing very little of the  Crimson Witch and her awful brood in each issue, but this is fine. Thus far, we are treated to exceptional done-in-one tales of Conan’s exploits across the world on his journey to attaining his own kingdom. That said, we do see snippets of the death god Razazel's minions as they creep ever closer to sacrificing Conan for their own evil ends. Both the focal story of each issue and the slowly unfolding grander tale have me completely sucked in. If you are not reading the great Conan the Barbarian then, by Crom, you best do something to remedy that situation. The first trade of issues 1–6 releases in July.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Deadly Class #38

(Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Briah Skelly, production by Erika Schnatz, published by Image Comics)
I have to admit to being a little confused as to how Marcus and Maria managed to make their way back into the Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts school after everything that has happened in the series thus far. But that’s cool. I have no problem with just going with the flow and seeing the protagonists of the series once again meet their enemies face to face on their old stomping grounds. Now, all we need is for Saya to return and we’ll have the band back together…or at least the few members of the original band that happen to still be alive. Craig’s art continues to be exciting and unique and his use of high/low panel-counts per page succeeds in driving the intensity of a scene every bit as much as his solid storytelling. Now, I need to finally check out the television show. You can catch up with either the two hardcover Deluxe Editions that collect issues 1–31, or through the seven trades that collect issues 1–36.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this installment, Denizes. As I mentioned in the intro, no telling what the next few weeks hold in store for me, but Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I hope to get back on schedule in the next month or two once the move is all sorted out. Thank you for reading.



Share/Bookmark

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/3/2019

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/Puppy of Dragons Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Alrighty, keeping the intro short this week as I need to go for a run—as prescribed by Tulip and Reverse Obie who will both be sitting on the couch and rewatching last week’s Game of Thrones episode as I wheeze and curse and struggle. So, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, run out to see Avengers: Endgame, sit back, relax, and afterward read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven



The Quantum Age

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Wilfredo Torres, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot, published by Dark Horse Books)
I remember seeing The Quantum Age #1 at my LCS the day it came out but I didn’t understand it was a Lemire book set in the Black Hammer universe. It wasn’t until the miniseries was half over that it dawned on me: I would soon be able to delve deeper into the world of one of the best comic series on the stands; I simply HAD TO HAVE this.
For those of you not familiar with the fantastic Black Hammer series (illustrated primarily by Dean Ormston), it is the story of a group of heroes who narrowly defeat a world-ending threat only to vanish without a trace. Presumed to have given up their lives to save humanity, these heroes are revered, mourned, memorialized…but they are also very much alive. Trapped on a country farm that actually succeeds in killing one of them, some of the heroes struggle to escape the quaint town as others settle comfortably into a world without supervillains and mad gods. Unfortunately, something is not quite right and the arrival of a newcomer looks to unearth a dire secret.
From the main series springs a bunch of miniseries that deepen the mystery of what happened to the heroes while effectively creating a rich and wonderful universe that looks to hopefully support additional ongoing series as well as more miniseries. To date, we have Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil (written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by David Rubín), Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows (written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Ken Fiumara), The Quantum Age, and the recently released Black Hammer ’45 #1 (written by Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes, and illustrated by Matt Kindt and Sharlene Kindt, and looks to run for four or five issues). We also have the Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual #1 (written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by various) and Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise #1 (written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Emi Lenox) one-shots to thrill and excite and grow the franchise, which will someday soon be growing tremendously via the recent movie AND television deal Lemire announced for the property. Needless to say, if you want to experience some of the best superhero comics being published, then cast your eyes past the Big Two to the Black Hammerverse.
All of that build up and you are probably wondering what the heck this The Quantum Age is all about. Well, one hundred years in the future, a new group of superheroes inspired by the great heroes who seemingly sacrificed their lives to defeat the dreaded Anti-God look to make a last-ditch attempt at ending a brutal authoritarian regime. Drawing inspiration from the greatest adventures of the Legion of Super-Heroes while standing apart on its own, The Quantum Age succeeds in expanding the Black Hammerverse and bringing to life some great new heroes as it adds tremendously to the main series. Torres delivers an exciting vision of the future with cool character designs, ever-changing and detailed backgrounds, and solid storytelling to keep you whipping through this six-issue miniseries that flys by all too quickly. The greatest negative—as of this writing—is that this chapter is over with no mentions of a plan on the horizon to return to the heroes of the Quantum League; with any luck, this will one day change.
As a public service, if you are new to the Black Hammerverse, here is a breakdown of the reading order to get the most out of Lemire’s multiple-award-winning creation:


There is also a gorgeous, very-oversized, hardcover called Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 1, that I STRONGLY suggest you pick up. It contains the first two trades and the annual and gives you the best view of Ormston’s glorious art. With any luck, we will one day start seeing Library Editions of the minis and “Age of Doom.”
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Little Bird #2

(Written by Darcy Van Poelgeest, illustrated by Ian Bertram, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, designed by Ben Didier, published by Image Comics)
Okay, this is the book I alluded to a couple of weeks ago when my LCS ran out of copies and I realized I had not added it to my pull. I was completely smitten by the first lovely issue and I was desperate to get this in my grubby, little paws. Thankfully, it arrived this week and I was certain to add the title to my pull for the remainder of this five-issue miniseries. In this installment, we learn more about Little Bird’s mother and the horrors that she had been forced to endure. We also learn that there is much more to Little Bird than we ever suspected and we are briefly introduced to the Resistance, the lone but powerful group attempting to stand against the might of the fascist United Nations of America. Van Poelgeest continues to pull me in deeper on this post-apocalyptic look into what happens when religious extremists take control, and Bertram and Hollingsworth flesh out this disturbing world with a mixture of beauty and horror that is too lovely to look away from despite what you are actually seeing. Supposedly, this series is not going to be collected, but even though we are not even at the halfway point I can tell you I would gladly double dip on an oversized hardcover were one to be made available. You best scramble to find copies of this fantastic comic while you can.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Paper Girls #28

(Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, color flats by Dee Cunniffe, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, published by Image Comics)
We only have two issues left of the ever-exciting, sci-fi adventure Paper Girls and I honestly have no idea where Vaughan and Chiang could possibly take us next. The girls have been put thoroughly the wringer as they bounce from future to past to future to who-knows-where as they meet alternate versions of themselves, clones (?), monsters, weirdos, and all sorts of bizarre otherworldy creatures, but this time they’ve been separated from one another and left in the most perilous of situations. Vaughan and Chiang follow each girl as their world(s) comes crashing down around them. If you’ve been with the series since the beginning, there’s no way you’ll stop reading now as we come racing toward the ending of this immensely enjoyable series. Never fear, though, if you haven’t been following along you will soon be able to experience the whole shebang via six trades or three oversized hardcovers.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it, Denizens. We’re off to meditate and make ourselves emotionally ready for the fourth episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. See you next week!

Share/Bookmark

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/26/2019

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/Yes-we-saw-it Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome back. Yup. We saw Avengers: Endgame, after a spicy chicken and bacon melt and a couple of beers at Hollister Brewing Company, of course. We loved it and that's all we're going to say about it. The crazy thing is that I make these Marvel Studios releases somewhat of a personal holiday, my own personal tradition. Here’s how it plays out: I take the Friday of release off of work, watch the previous movie in the morning, take my puppy executive team for a walk, sneak out after distracting them because dogs are not allowed in the movie theater, hit up Hollister Brewing, see the movie, and come home pretending I didn’t see the movie so Tulip and Reverse Obie don’t get their feelings hurt. After that, it’s business as usual until the next movie drops. So, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, run out to see Avengers: Endgame, sit back, relax, and afterward read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven



Ascender #1

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, edited by Will Dennis, published by Image Comics)
When I first heard that Descender was ending, I felt disbelief, then a little panicky, then I got angry, then I settled into sadness, and finally acceptance; I hit almost all of the stages. My favorite comic on the shelves was ending and I did not know what I’d do without it. So, I read and continued to be thrilled with each remaining issue as it dropped and was blown away by the ending, but was left with many questions…until I saw the solicit for Ascender. Praise be.
Where Descender was a sprawling, sci-fi space opera centered around robots and technology, Ascender switches gears with a universe now void of tech as magic rises to take its place and new—and some old—characters become the focal point of the story. Ascender is a semi-change in genre to a fantasy world where “ships” are actually living creatures (dragon-like monsters that require feeding) and the sorcerous might of the witch known as “Mother” holds the universes in her sway. Mila, the protagonist of the series, is the daughter of Andy (once a feared Scrapper) and Effie (the half human, half robotic Queen Between) and is very much bored with her father’s isolationist mentality and his refusal to make their lives easier by bending slightly to Mother’s will. But, Mila’s boredom looks to end with the mysterious arrival of one of my favorite characters from Descender.
I fell in love with the first half of this epic adventure with but a few pages of the first issue, a love that carried all the way through to Descender’s end. That same love is repeated with the second half, Ascender, as well. Lemire and Nguyen’s tale promises conflict and tragedy and glory and adventure all rolled in a new, positively gorgeous, watercolored fantasy package that I can’t wait to explore. All of that said, although you can probably dive into this issue without having read what came before, I STRONGLY encourage that you experience the wondrous Descender first, which you can do with the six readily available trades.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Venom #13

(Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Iban Coello, colored by Andres Mossa, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
I know some of you are thinking, wait, where’s Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman? Well, apparently, their working on something else for two or three issues, while this “War of the Realms” event is going on. Granted, I am not reading this event, but knowing that Bunn is involved (I LOVE his The Sixth Gun) told me that everything would be fine. And it is. There are ice giants and dark elves and fire monsters running around, and Eddie Brock is without the aid of his symbiote’s great power to even the odds. Unfortunately, Brock can’t let the forces of evil’s injustices go unpunished. Thankfully, a mystical crystal might even the odds a bit, but the same might be true for someone with a particular score to settle against Brock. Coello is a strong standin for Stegman, and Bunn’s story made what could have otherwise been your typical “Event” filler issue into something that was quite exciting indeed.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Criminal #4

(Written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Sean Phillips, colored by Jacob Phillips, published by Image Comics)
This iteration of Criminal looks to tell a complete story in every one or two issues. At times, characters we have met throughout the comic’s thirteen-year span come in and out while introducing new characters along the way. Here we join Ricky Lawless after a five-day crystal bender and planning to hit a check cashing operation when a local tough guy interrupts Ricky’s sleep-deprived hallucinations. Let’s just say…things go bad. If you’ve read any of the seven delightful noir Criminal trades, then you know you’re about to embark on one of the best crime comics of all time.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Terrifics #15

(Written by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Stephen Segovia, colored by Photobunker, lettered by Tom Napolitano, published by DC Comics)
Confession time: I had resolved to drop The Terrifics once Jeff Lemire had left the book. Fortunately, I had forgotten to inform my LCS of this decision and this issue appeared in my pull. I decided to be nice and bought it anyway; I’m glad I did. I was unaware that Yang, creator of American Born Chinese, was the writer and that The Terrifics were in good hands. This story is fun and ridiculous in the best of ways with Yang nailing the characters’ voices and personalities while Segovia and Photobunker keep the mood light and fun. So, yeah, my plans to bounce on The Terrifics are to be delayed. You can definitely use this issue as a jumping on point and will be just fine.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it, Denizens. Now, go on, scoot! Get out there and check out Avengers: Endgame before some fool spoils it for you. See you next time.



Share/Bookmark

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/19/2019

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/Endgame Enjoyer Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome back. You might have noticed that we haven’t done any “Comics Lust” installments for a month or two and have jumped back into “Friday Slice of Heaven”—even though we’ve been posting on Saturdays and Sundays. The reason is that “Comics Lust” actually takes quite a bit of planning and researching and sifting through long boxes, short boxes, stacks, and shelves, and the way things have been going lately time has been something I have had to claw, dig, scratch, and fight for lately. Tulip and Reverse Obie both agreed that returning to taking a look at what we read over the past week would be a more effective use of our time as we try to get life to return to a more normal pace. That said, there is one book in particular that I was dying to read this week and that was shorted at my LCS, but it’s on order and I will get it soon…I hope. Thankfully, there were a few things we enjoyed that you should know about. So, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, sit back, relax, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics 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***


Friday Slice of Heaven



Unnatural, Volume 2: The Hunt

(Everythinged by Mirka Andolfo, color assists by Gianluca Papi, letters and production by Fabio Amelia, published by Image Comics)
You might remember me mentioning my love of this series on the “Donist World Year-End Roundup - Part 2“ near the end of 2018, and nothing has changed aside for a deepening appreciation of this positively gorgeous comic. The first volume introduced us to a world of anthropomorphic animals where an overreaching, totalitarian government (basically like where our current trash administration wants to take us) has decreed that all cross-species relationships—and also homosexual relationships of any sort (again, trash administration)—are unnatural and a punishable offense. Enter the sexy-as-hell pig woman, Leslie. You see, Leslie has been plagued/enticed by some blush-inducing dreams about a big, bad wolf. She tried to ignore them and enter the dating pool as the law prescribed until a bizarre organization/cult tried to abduct her, acquaintances started dying, and she discovered that the blue blood coursing through her veins allowed her to bring out the wolf inside to the detriment of those seeking to harm her.
Unnatural Volume 2 includes issues 5–8 of the series and succeeds in pulling you deeper into the intrigue of Leslie’s possible possession by a wolf spirit who once loved another pig woman with blue blood many years ago. The socially relevant and compelling mystery of Andolfo’s story is enough to warrant picking up this series, but once you catch a glimpse of her line work, her stunning painted art, and her lovely character designs you will be hard pressed to put the book down. I especially loved a two-page flashback sequence where the creator used no hard lines, only flat colors, to tell the story of the wolf and his love, Bes; it has to be seen to be believed.
Damn, I love this comic.
Unnatural is a refreshing departure from the books I usually read and the third and final volume is one I eagerly anticipate getting my hands on the day it is released…whenever that might be. If you are looking for a lightly erotic, taut, supernatural thriller involving the pig girl or wolf boy of your dreams, then look no further then this fantastic series. Be sure to start with the first volume!
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Guardians of the Galaxy #4

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Geoff Shaw, colored by David Curial, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
Donny Cates can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned, which is saying something given that I am incredibly wary anytime someone other than Jim Starlin delves into anything involving Thanos, with the exception of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s take on Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, I have no idea what all happened in the event leading up to this exciting take on Marvel’s current cosmic darlings with a new line up of heroes (Star-Lord, Groot, Beta Ray Bill, Cosmic Ghost Rider, Moondragon, and Phyla-Vell) as they venture out to prevent an even more powerful group of “Guardians” from hunting down and killing Gamora who is in hiding. The art is beautiful and has great action sequences as many of my spacefaring favorites get caught up in the fight to prevent Thanos’s rebirth. Dang, all I need is for Adam Warlock to pop in for a bit and I’ll be a happy camper. So much fun.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Gideon Falls #12

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Dave Stewart, lettering and design by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
The third arc of this psychological horror thriller kicks off with a character we have never(?) met and not a mention of Father Fred or Norton to be found anywhere. I’m totally cool with this. Instead, in 1886, another priest enters the Black Barn to find its inhabitant, The Man Who Smiles in the Dark, feasting upon one of his colleagues. From there, the priest embarks upon a cerebral journey to other times and worlds that offers a partial glimpse into the Black Barn’s purpose. Criminy! To quote Homer Simpson, “Brilliant! I have absolutely no idea what’s going on.” Not completely true, but… Anyways, Sorrentino’s art is beautiful and haunting and Lemire’s story has me desperate to know what’s happening and what’s going to happen next. I’m 100% in. You can catch up with the first two trades before the television show that was announced last year arrives.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


East of West #42

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Nick Dragotta, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics)
The long hinted at split between the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is finally told in a flashback as Death faces off against War, Conquest, and Famine in a fight to the death…of sorts, given all of the players are currently walking around with quite differing appearances. We also learn of the Chosen’s involvement in Death’s downfall and why the Horseman has such hatred for…well, almost everyone. Dragotta’s fight scenes are both brutal and beautiful and Martin adds a special muting of the colors to make it clear that what you are seeing is in the past, much like looking at old, fading Polaroid Instamatic photos to a stunning degree. The end is in sight as the final 47th issue approaches and this complex epic continues to escalate to an explosive confrontation between all of the players. You can experience this incredible series through the trades or the hardcovers and see how it all plays out.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this installment, Denizens. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next time.



Share/Bookmark

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/12/2019

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/cleaning hater Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Howdy, Denizens. My puppy executive team and I have been hard at work preparing a captivating slide deck concerning our standing as a Fortune 320,000 company and…we have…uhhh…okay, we’ve totally been slacking on the business end of things as we finally completed our just-in-the-nick-of-time grand rewatching of Game of Thrones seasons 1–7! Yes, just last night we finished S7E7 while dining on the carnitas/black bean/jack cheese/salsa pizza I made from scratch and finally opening the Brewery Ommegang “King in the North” barrel-aged imperial stout we had been saving for just this occasion. Now, I need to get to the beer store for some New Holland “Dragon’s Milk” for Sunday’s premiere of the final season. I guess we’ll have to get back to business as usual come Monday morning. So, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, sit back, relax, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven



Murder Falcon #7

(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics)
It’s always bittersweet to get a new issue of the phenomenal Murder Falcon. On the “sweet” side of things, a new issue of this damn fine series is a victory in and of itself, as each issue contains all of the energy of music-powered beings beating the stuffing out of malicious monstrosities from another dimension while bringing such raw, earnest emotion that you will be brought to the brink of tears. Daniel Warren Johnson is my current favorite artist with his intricate backgrounds, stunning character and creature designs, and his ability to bring an emotional wallop with but a single close up panel of a character smiling. As much as I love Warren Johnson’s use of scraggly lines to depict speed and motion, his writing on this series is just as strong with a ridiculous story—heavy metal heroes with magical instruments that summon good monsters to fight bad monsters—that makes you love each character you meet as you cheer their victories and audibly gasp when things don’t go so well for them. I guess you can say I like this comic book a little bit. Oh, yeah…the “bitter” part of Murder Falcon? With each issue that comes out, there are fewer issues remaining in the series; issue #8 marks the end. You MUST read this book. I know there will be a done-in-one trade at some point this year, but I really want to see a double-feature, oversized hardcover of this series combined with the equally heavenly Extremity.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Little Bird #1

(Written by Darcy Van Poelgeest, illustrated by Ian Bertram, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, designed by Ben Didier, published by Image Comics)
I royally screwed up at first but got royally lucky this past new comic book day. You see, the owner of my LCS has a tendency to stick extra books in my pull and last month Little Bird was one of those books. I foolishly passed. I kept thinking I made the wrong decision and after hearing some glowing reviews for the book my suspicions were confirmed. Thankfully, a copy showed up with this week’s new releases and I am so glad it did. This beautifully plotted and narrated dystopian adventure miniseries(?) is set in a future where the United Nations of America—a United States ruled by the Vatican with a red, white, and blue flag bearing a cross instead of stars—holds near-absolute power over the populace. But when a young girl named Little Bird crawls from a hidden bunker to find her village destroyed and her mother gone, she knows what she must do: find and free a Canadian hero known as The Axe from a prison for genetically enhanced beings. The series is harsh, bloody, gruesome, and ultimately haunting, yet an unmistakable beauty emanates from Bertram’s art that is certain to draw some similarities to the works of Moebius, especially given Hollingsworth’s rich color palette. I’m definitely going to have to reread this one before the second issue comes out as there is a lot going within the story and visually as well. If you see a copy of this gem, then best snatch it up as they are probably a tad scarce. I cannot wait to see where the creators take us next, and I’m about to search out what else Van Poelgeest has written and Bertram has illustrated.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Green Lantern #6

(Written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Liam Sharp, colored by Steve Oliff, lettered by Steve Wands, published by DC Comics)
Even though at times I have difficulty following whatever the hell it is that Morrison is trying to convey, I am still loving The Green Lantern, which is a crazy thing to say given that I mostly dropped off everything Lantern-related after Blackest Night. But after seeing some of Sharp's brain-melting, oh-so-gorgeous visuals on a preview, I knew I was in for whatever this story ended up being. Good thing I did. Wow. Sharp’s art continues to evoke my fondest memories of the old Warren Magazines and the old Heavy Metal vibe in the absolute best of ways. His character designs are stunning and his character acting and storytelling solid, all of which is reason enough to buy this trippy yet fun adventure tale, but when you have a look at Sharp’s intricate and beautiful/creepy (depends on the situation) backgrounds and insane starship designs, you’ll know you are looking at one of the most visually captivating series being published by the Big Two. Not only that, his women in this series are positively lovely, including the vampiress leader of the Blackstars, Countess Belzebeth, who can be alluring in one panel and an absolute creature of your nightmares the next. If you haven’t been following along, you can snatch up the issues with little trouble given the many reprintings and variant covers floating around, or you can hold out for the nifty hardcover that releases in July. Again, the story is quite cool—the parts that make sense, that is—but doggonit, Sharp is what will keep me coming back to this title as long as he stays on the book; he is the main reason The Green Lantern comes…
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


I’m also halfway through the second trade of a series I fell in love with a few months ago, but I’ll wait until I’m finished before speaking on it. I wish you all the best of luck watching Game of Thrones on Sunday evening…I think we’re all in for a heck of a wild and emotional ride. Thank you for reading.


Share/Bookmark

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/5/2019

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/cleaning hater Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I’m guessing at this point you all are wonderin’ where the heck have you been? What the heck is going on? Yes, after nine years (holy moly, nine freakin’ years?!) of uninterrupted Donist World posts, I've now missed two posts in one month’s time. Let’s just say things have been very hectic and they might stay that way for the next month or so, but my Boston terrier executive team and I will do darndest to squeeze in the necessary time to tell you about the comics you need to be reading and maybe even some of the beer you need to be drinking…today’s beer, btw, is Backwoods Bastard by Founders Brewing and it is strong as Obie’s PowerPoint presentation skills, which means it is mighty dang strong. This post will be shorter than most, but I didn’t want the denizens to think we just up and vanished. So, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, sit back, relax, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven



The Immortal Hulk #16

(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)
This might very well be my all-time favorite run on the Hulk. Now, granted, I haven’t read the Peter David stuff (yet) or the Bruce Jones stuff (yet) but, man, if this isn’t one of the best things Marvel is putting out. Banner and Doc Samson are on the hunt for the deceased Rick Jones who might not be as deceased as everyone believes given that Banner, Samson, Betty Ross (maybe) have all come back from the dead given their exposure to gamma radiation. The problem is that Jones’s grave is empty and it looks more like it was exhumed than clawed out of. Bennett’s depictions of Banner’s transformation into the Hulk are truly the stuff of nightmares in the best of ways and the Hulk and Samson’s fight with the (no spoilers) are downright insane. I look forward to this book every damn month. There’s a reason this book won so many awards in 2018. You need to be reading this.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Conan the Barbarian #5

(Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Mahmud Asrar, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by VC’s Travis Lapham, published by Marvel Comics)
Hey, we might as well keep the kick-ace Marvel train a rollin' with the phenomenal Conan the Barbarian. Aaron and Asrar keep the creepy-ass children from the first issue as a side plot as we launch into a standalone tale of Conan on the high seas, alone, and facing off against a diabolical beast that corrupts everything it touches and which could spell the end of the world if comes into contact with any sort of life. Okay, I liked the Conan comics from the ’70s, but dang if this book doesn’t make me want to scramble to snatch up the omnibus editions that have recently been released to give me something to read in between issues of this great take on our favorite Cimmerian. Loving it.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Lazarus: Risen #1

(Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Michael Lark, colored by Santi Arcas with Tyler Boss, lettered by Simon Bowland, published by Image Comics)
Remember when the last issue of Lazarus (soon to be an Amazon Prime show) came out? Me neither. But that in no way means I forgot about this taut thriller of a story that remains ever-horrifying in the way it continues to predict the trajectory our world has taken as the world’s wealth becomes increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. Yes, Lazarus is science fiction, but aspects of it are based on actual fact and that which is on its way to becoming fact, which is scary indeed. I believe the series is now coming out quarterly, has a $7.99 price tag, better cover stock, and 64 pages of nerve-shattering intrigue. You can supposedly jump into the series with this issue, but I strongly suggest you start from the beginning with the five original series trades to become fully acquainted with Forever Carlyle—the nigh unkillable Lazarus—and the rest of the characters featured in this phenomenal and terrifying thriller.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Criminal #3

(Written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Sean Phillips, colored by Jacob Phillips, published by Image Comics)
Criminal is back! At least it did two issues ago (duh) with issue one that picked up a tale with the not-one-to-mess-with Teeg Lawson as he tries to right a wrong committed by one of his kids. Then, in issue two, the creators interrupted that story to bring us the tale of an aging comic book legend as he decides to get his “stolen” art pages back much to the chagrin of his former assistant. Issue three picks up where issue two left off as the comic creator’s rampage pulls his assistant deeper into a seedy world far from what he ever expected to encounter at a prominent comic book convention. What happened to the story in the first issue? No idea, I’m sure they’ll get back to it, but regardless of what story Brubaker and Phillips are telling in the world of Criminal, I will be there to follow them along whatever devilish path they wish to take their seedy and sordid characters down. When it comes to crime comics, nothing comes close to Criminal
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this brief installment and I hope to see you next week—or at least the week after that given how things have been going lately. Thank you for reading.



Share/Bookmark

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/22/2019

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/cleaning hater Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Okay, yes, we missed last week. We’re late this week. We just finished a 13% Bierbara barrel-aged beer from Third Window after also having a beer sampler and a whole heaping mess of French fries covered in pulled short rib meat. This after two days of intense cleaning out of the Donist World storage unit. To be honest, we’re barely holding on by a thread, but that’s cool, we got plenty of dope comics to read. So, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, sit back, relax, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven



I know, Denizens. I know. Something happened that has not happened in the eight and a half years I have been writing Donist World: I missed a weekly post. Now, my average is definitely still higher than a post a week, but still… Anyhow, I’ve been wrapped up in a bit of “spring cleaning” the past two weeks. What that means is cleaning out our storage unit over two days last weekend—which included climbing up a ladder to pull on a tarp that then dumped tons of fossilized rat poop down to what sounded like grains of rice raining onto hard wood; dear dawg, that was horrendous. This weekend was all about moving stuff to the newly cleaned storage, to Alpha Thrift, to the dumpster, to recycling, and to the dump. Let’s just say, everything in my body hurts. But I didn’t want to miss another post. Let’s just say I’m wicked-tired, but I wanted to give you all a little somethin’-somethin’, so I thought I’d do a flashbang lightning round of “Friday Slice of Heaven” of the things I’ve read the past couple of weeks. Yes, I know it’s no longer Friday, but whatever. Buckle up. Here we go…


Murder Falcon #6

(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics)
Dear gawd, I love this freaking comic. Monsters are invading Earth, but one man must sift through the wreckage of his life to take up a mystical guitar and summon Murder Falcon to help fight evil with the power of heavy metal. It might also be time to get the band back together. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful art and a story that will grab you by the feels much more than any other book on the stands. This eight-issue series is monumental and something you absolutely must read.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Doomsday Clock #9

(Written by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Rob Leigh, published by DC Comics)
I have no idea how they are going to wrap this up in only three more issues, but I will be there on new release day frantically awaiting each of those issues. The heroes of the DCU track Dr. Manhattan to Mars and the ensuing battle leads us to think something else is at play behind the scenes. I absolutely love this maxiseries and Johns and Frank are successfully pulling off what I had always thought to be impossible: providing a sequel and bringing the Watchmen universe into the DCU…I will say I need to see more Mime and Marionette.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Guardians of the Galaxy #3

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Geoff Shaw, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
When was the last time I could say I was reading more than one or two Marvel comics and being completely blown away by them? Yeah, I don’t know either, but Guardians of the Galaxy is an amazing thrill ride you cannot afford to miss. Thanos is dead after the events of some event I didn’t read and ultimately didn’t even need to read. The thing is, Cates has got you covered by setting everything up and letting you know that the cosmic “heroes” are gathered to stop the possible rebirth of the greatest threat to all of existence. Unfortunately, there are vastly differing opinions of how to do this. If you loved the fantastic Thanos Wins then this is a must-read.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Immortal Hulk #15

(Written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Joe Bennett, inked by Ruby José, colored by Paul Mounts, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
The last time I enjoyed reading the Hulk this much was when I was eight years old. This Hulk, however, is one steeped in horror and dread and mystery and all the things that keep current me on the edge of my seat. This issue has the Hulk and Doc Samson working together as Samson tries to discover why he is alive, what happened to Betty, and why a mutual friend’s grave is vacant. Props to Marvel for taking a chance on what is one of their most bizarre and intriguing comics.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Venom #12

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Joshua Cassara, colored by Rain Beredo, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Venom is one of those characters that I could definitely apply the ol’ “take it or leave it” stance to…until Cates got a hold of him. Another solid horror title, with the “hero” trying to protect Earth from the threat of his symbiote’s god while struggling to come to terms with the fact that the symbiote that gives him his abilities might have been rewriting his memories. Dude, this book is so dang good, that I will probably have to pick up Cates’s Carnage title when it comes out too.


Mage: The Hero Denied #15

(Everythinged by Matt Wagner, colored by Brennan Wagner, lettered by Dave Lanphear, edited by Diana Schutz, design and production by Steven Birch, published by Image Comics)
Yeah, I was about fourteen when I bought my first issue of Mage: The Hero Discovered and it was love at first read; the final issue arrived when I was sixteen. Then I began hounding the poor LCS workers for roughly 11 years until we finally got Mage: The Hero Defined. Eighteen years after that series wrapped—and after learning to keep my enthusiasm to myself and not harass the poor LCS employees—the final chapter of the trilogy kicked off and here we are with the end of the whole dang thing. 35 years from beginning to end. Am I going to tell you how it all goes down? Nope. You need to start this journey at the beginning and luxuriate in the fact that you can go from chapter to chapter as quickly as you like, and I suspect you will want to whip through as it is a glorious ride. It’s safe to say an epic reread of the entire Mage trilogy will probably begin this summer. For me, magic will always be green.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Alright, I need to take some aspirin and try to get these sore muscles to loosen up. I might cry a little but that doesn’t make me any less of a man, doggonit!!! See you next week.



Share/Bookmark

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Comics Lust 3/9/2019

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/Carol Corp cadet Tulip. Yeah, I’m pretty late posting and almost didn’t have time to post anything this weekend, but my puppy executive team convinced me to pull myself together and get to writing. That said, the intro this week is short and sweet, so let’s get crackin’. Anyhow, prepare yourself for the awesomeness that is Captain Marvel, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos, 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

Ladies Night (Part 1)



It’s Women’s History Month and after seeing the positively fantastic Captain Marvel just two days ago, it’s high time we did some rapid-fire hits on some of the best superhero comics where women take the lead.


Captain Marvel

(Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Dexter Soy, originally published in 2012 by Marvel Comics)
If you are as pumped by the movie as I am, then look no further than this series by DeConnick that took a character with a backstory that was convoluted (to say the least), with a fluctuating power set that was difficult to keep straight, some interesting past costume choices (I like the Binary look), and reimagined the character by giving her a functional, non-ass-hanging-out costume (I believe designed by Jamie McKelvie), a more clearly defined and impressive set of powers, a more streamlined backstory, an actual personality, and gave us a character men and women, boys and girls could all respect and admire. The decision to have Carol Danvers take up the name of a great cosmic hero after his death in the early ‘80s is the cherry on top to this new and exciting Captain Marvel. You can start it all with the first few trades.


Ms. Marvel

(Written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona, originally published in 2014 by Marvel Comics)
With the original Ms. Marvel stepping up as the new Captain Marvel, there was a vacancy for the title of Ms. Marvel, and that is where Kamala Khan comes in. When a Muslim, Pakistani teenage girl is exposed to the Terrigen Mists—It’s an “Inhumans” thing…just go with it—she is granted incredible powers and sees an opportunity to do good in the world, just like her hero Carol Danvers. This series has won numerous awards and is a fun, inspiring story of a girl trying to navigate the worlds of superheroism, high school, family, expectations, and religion. It is simply delightful. You can dive in with the soon-to-be ten readily available trades.


Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman has been around for quite a while; since 1941, to be exact. So, it’s fair to say that the Princess of Power, Diana Prince, has had her ups and downs over her years in the DC Universe, so let’s spotlight a few creators who definitely got it right.

  • Wonder Woman by George Perez (Everythinged by George Perez with other illustrators later in the series, originally published in 1987) Powerful, intelligent, beautiful, and surprisingly positive during a time when superhero comics were predominantly leaning towards the dark and gritty, Perez’s Wonder Woman is a bright and shining light with captivating story arcs and stunning art. Probably the best way to read this run is through the three Omnibus editions, with the last one containing the War of the Gods event…which I really need to read someday soon.
  • Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka (Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by many, originally published in 2003 by DC Comics) Rucka is known in the comic book world for his ability to create strong female characters, but in reality, he’s just a damn-fine writer able to tackle most any hero thrown his way…that said, this run is spectacular. Diana Prince is a diplomat from Themyscira who fights evil and inspires those around her. Your best bet is to get the two recently released collections with the first including Rucka’s OGN Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia. Heck, Rucka even returned to the character in 2016 with artist Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott as part of the “Rebirth” reboot of the entire DCU; the two deluxe editions for this later run are definitely the way to go.
  • Wonder Woman by Gail Simone (Written by Gail Simone, illustrated by many, originally published in 2008) Admittedly, this is a run I have not yet read, but I eagerly anticipate correcting that error in my judgment as I have heard it is great. It is unfortunately out of print, but you can find it digitally. Her run ran from issues #14–44 of the 2008 third series.

Speaking of Gail Simone…


Birds of Prey

(Written by Gail Simone, illustrated by many, originally published in 2003 by DC Comics)
I am exceedingly past due for a reread of Gail Simone’s epic Birds of Prey run. Oracle (formerly Batgirl), Black Canary, and Huntress are brought together to stop an evil threat and decide to continue working together despite their many differences. Throughout Simone’s run—issues #56–90, 92–108—additional characters come in and out of the series including Lady Blackhawk, Big Barda, and many others. But regardless of who was on the team, each was a force to reckoned with in their own right but together they were unstoppable. Now, the bad news…it appears that all of Simone’s trades are out of print which is kind of odd, but I don’t think you’ll have to wait long for new collected editions as a Birds of Prey movie is slated for release in 2020. Simone did return to the title in 2012 with the New 52, but even those trades are out of print, which means you’ll need to scramble for the issues or buy digitally for the time being.


That’s it for this installment. Now, get out there and see Captain Marvel, you’ll be glad you did.



Share/Bookmark

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Comics Lust 3/02/2019

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/Carol Corp doggie Tulip. The puppy executive team and I have spent a few extra hours at the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) this past week in preparation to close this Friday. We’ll have a couple beers and some great food before seeing a certain high-profile movie we’ve been eagerly anticipating; I just need to figure out how to sneak them in somehow. We can’t wait! Anyhow, prepare yourself for the awesomeness that will be Captain Marvel, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos, 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

Team Me Up, Donnie! Non-Big-Two Superhero Team Comics (Part 2)



When you say the words “Superhero Team,” people automatically think of The Avengers, The Justice League, The X-Men, and The Teen Titans. Those more fully steeped in the comic book world might mention the lesser known Legion of Super-Heroes, The New Mutants, The Doom Patrol, or others. The common factor amongst all of these superhero teams—aside from some freaking amazing runs, of course—is that they are all from the Big Two. But outside of the Marvel and DC comics world are some truly spectacular comics from smaller publishers that definitely warrant some much-deserved love.


Planetary

(Written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by John Cassaday, colored by Laura Martin, originally published in 1999 by Wildstorm Comics)
27 comics spread over 10 years…yeah, it was a brutal wait between issues but this Donist World Darling is so damn good it will forever sit firmly in my top 10 comics of all time. With this tremendous series, you get a complete story centered around three individuals who don’t look like your stereotypical superhero, but their unique abilities set them amongst the most powerful of the capes-and-tights crowd. New member Elijah Snow (very spry for a guy well over 100 years old, controls cold and ice), Jakita Wagner (nigh-invulnerable, superhuman strength, desperate to never feel bored), and The Drummer (not quite right in the ol’ brainpan, but can detect and read all forms of information whether that means electric, spiritual, or magical) are the three leading members of the group known as Planetary; there was once another member named Ambrose Chase, but Jakita and The Drummer will not talk about what happened to him…at least not yet (you’ll have to read the book to discover his fate!). Planetary sees themselves as archaeologists of the unknown and are dedicated to discovering the world’s secret history. Unfortunately, an evil group known as The Four (yup, Fantastic Four analogues) stands in direct opposition to Planetary and they seek to gather the mysteries of the world for themselves and always seem to be a few steps ahead.
Ellis brilliantly weaves in alternate versions of pop culture icons throughout the series like Godzilla, Tarzan, Captain Marvel (Shazam!), Nick Fury, Vertigo Comics characters, among others while Cassaday provides his career-defining work with beautiful colors by Martin who kept the series bright and vibrant in contrast to other popular works of the time. The best way to read this MUST READ series is through the two trade collections which include some extra one-shots, including the thrilling Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth that fans of the main series absolutely should not skip.
*note: Back in the day, I originally thought the series ended with #26, which left me with a rather unsatisfied feeling, but three years later, issue #27 arrived and completely delivered one of the most satisfying endings to a series I have ever read. I still get teary-eyed every time I get to those last few pages. Such a triumph of a comic!

Top 10

(Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Gene Ha and Zander Cannon, originally published in 1999 by America’s Best Comics)
In a world where nearly everyone has superpowers, it stands to reason that the police have superpowered individuals on the force as well. Top 10 follows the cops of Precinct 10 as they seek to bring down serial killers, deadly gangs, and even an invisible ass-grabber. Moore—yes, THAT Alan Moore—creates a rich world with an impressive roster of characters with cool/bizarre abilities brought to astonishing life by Ha. I especially like Smax (a towering, surly, indigo-skinned, silver-haired tough guy), Girl One (a superhumanly quick and agile woman whose skin boasts constantly shifting patterns and colors), and Sergeant Caesar (a highly intelligent Doberman pinscher that walks around in a bipedal, humanoid exoskeleton) are my current favorites in the series thus far. Oh, yeah, I should mention that I finally just got around to reading this series and I’m loving every page of it thus far. Your best bet is to pick up the done-in-one collection…if you can find it.


Rising Stars

(Written by J. Michael Straczynski and later Fiona Avery; illustrated by a bunch of people including Keu Cha, Stuart Immonen, Gary Frank, and others; originally published in 1999 by Top Cow Comics)
Okay, to avoid trudging through the quagmire of Rising Stars material out there, I’m going to direct you to the Rising Stars Compendium which contains the following books: Rising Stars #0, ½, 1–24, Prelude, the short story “Initiations,” Rising Stars: Bright #1–3, Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead #1–6, and Rising Stars: Untouchable #1–5. I am definitely due for a reread of this series as I don’t fully remember much about it other than loving it at the time. What I can say is that after a fireball crashed in Pederson, Illinois, 113 children were later born with incredible powers. As they grew into adults, some sought to help the world while others looked to exploit it; they would come to learn their powers came for a grander purpose. Yup, I’m eager to immerse myself back in this world and experience the thrill of this series all over again.


Secret Weapons

(Written by Eric Heisserer, illustrated by Raul Allen and Patricia Martin, originally published in 2017 by Valiant Comics)
This one took me completely by surprise when I first read and fell in love with this short but compelling-as-heck miniseries and it too is calling out for a reread. The technopath known as Livewire seeks to gather four superhumans whose powers are considered by many to be “worthless,” but where others see a bunch of nobodies, Livewire sees great potential for good. Unfortunately, she needs to act fast as a mechanized serial killer is out murdering those with minor powers. Yeah, I was blown away by Secret Weapons #1–4 and you are in for a treat if you haven’t taken a quick dip in this nerve-wracking adventure. Luckily for you, there is a readily available trade, and lucky for me there are two additional issues that are not in the trade that I just learned about: Secret Weapons #0 (a prequel) and Secret Weapons: Owen’s Story #0 (following the adventures of Owen Cho who has the ability to summon things out of thin air…only he never knows what it is he might summon!). I know precious little about the current Valiant Universe and although Livewire seems to have a rich history around her you can jump right into the thick things and get along just fine.


That’s it for this installment, Denizens, have a great weekend and I hope you can make it to the theater this coming Friday to catch some Captain Marvel glory.



Share/Bookmark

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Comics Lust 2/23/2019

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/beer Betty Tulip. Keeping this one way short as the puppy executive team and I are taking a break from working on the weekend and heading out for some Corazón Cocina tacos and a beer or two at The Garden. After that, we’ll probably come home and read some more Alien Encounters issues of old. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos, 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

Chocolate and Peanut Butter: Cross-Company Crossovers (Part 4)



Right before the great comic book implosion of the ’90s, I quit buying comics for a handful of years. I had grown tired of the gimmick covers, the trading cards, the poly bags, the eternally delayed titles, the rising prices, the events that went on and on, and the irritating focus on comics being “extreme” over delivering a solid story with great art. Yeah, I threw in the towel. Thankfully that changed.

I don’t even remember what compelled me to walk into my old LCS a few years later, but after sifting through their bargain bins I came across something that grabbed my attention: the cross-company crossover Pinhead vs. Marshal Law. That did it. I was pulled back in and I’ve been reading comics ever since.

One thing I did not realize during the ’90s was that cross-company crossovers were happening left and right. Everyone was everywhere and apparently with little concern for such things as reprinting rights…hence the difficulty in being able to readily find many of these comics outside of the back issue bins. Today, we continue our journey by looking at some more Big Two superheroes (see “Part 1” for previously covered Big Two crossovers) who jumped across legal boundaries to thrill readers and forever cause strife for the poor legal and accounting departments struggling to determine who owns what, how much all parties get paid, and who decides what gets reprinted and when. I will warn that I haven’t read a single one of these, so no accounting for quality, and I have no idea how big of a rabbit hole I’m about to go down, but let’s see what we can unearth.


Batman/Punisher: Lake of Fire

(Written by Dennis O’Neill, illustrated by Barry Kitson and James Pascoe, originally published in 1994 by DC Comics)
It’s the armored version of the Dark Knight, Azrael, versus the Punisher in a prestige format package. There will be punching and kicking and guns and cutting and all sorts of evil doings. If someone gets a boot to the head in this issue, then I would say tracking it down is worth your effort.


Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights

(Written by Chuck Dixon, illustrated by John Romita Jr and Klaus Janson, originally published in 1994 by Marvel Comics)
A few months after Batman/Punisher: Lake of Fire, Marvel released this follow up where Batman (the Bruce Wayne flavor) teams with the Punisher to stop Jigsaw and the Joker from bringing about murderous mayhem and mischief.


Green Lantern/Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances

(Written by Ron Marz, illustrated by Darryl Banks and Terry Austin, originally published in 1995 by DC/Marvel)
What?! Now, THIS has my interest sparked. Green Lantern squares off against Terrax?! The Silver Surfer fights the Cyborg Superman?! And then the two must team up to stop Thanos and Parallax from doing whatever it is they are doing?! I am sooooo onboard for this comic. It also serves as a prelude to the DC vs. Marvel miniseries I mentioned back in “Part 1.” Dammit. Now I really need to track all of these down.


Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds

(Written J.M. DeMatteis, illustrated by Mark Bagley and Scott Hanna and Mark Farmer, originally published in 1995 by Marvel/DC)
Batman and Spider-Man team up—probably after an obligatory fight scene—to stop Carnage and the Joker from some sort of diabolical nonsense. But, hey, DeMatteis wrote it, so I’m definitely interested. This was released as a squared bond comic with an embossed cover (marketing shenanigans), which probably accounted for the $5.95 cover price.


Silver Surfer/Superman

(Written by George Perez, illustrated by Ron Lim and Terry Austin, originally published in 1996 by Marvel/DC)
Again, this is the first I’m hearing of this comic and given the talent involved I definitely want to read it. The cover tells me nothing about what goes on within the 48 pages, but anytime you have Lim on the Surfer, you’ll find me smiling and eager to check the book out.


Batman and Captain America

(Everythinged by John Byrne, originally published in 1996 by DC/Marvel)
Batman and Captain America team up during World War II to punch Nazis and restore order to the free world. Sweet. I don’t know if any of their respective villains show up in this or not, but you honestly don’t need them.


Daredevil and Batman: Eye for an Eye

(Written by D.G. Chichester, illustrated by Scott McDaniel, originally published in 1997 by Marvel/DC)
Hmmmm...not finding a whole lot about this one other than the two crime fighters attempt to stop Two-Face and Mr. Hyde. What I wish we got to see was a ’80s Batman and Daredevil one-shot by Frank Miller; now that woulda been somethin’.


Batman and Spider-Man: New Age Dawning

(Written by J.M. DeMatteis, illustrated by Graham Nolan and Karl Kesel, originally published in 1997 by DC/Marvel)
Ra’s al Ghul makes the Kingpin an offer he can't refuse: if he wishes for his beloved Vanessa to survive her illness, the Kingpin must kill off most of the world’s population. It’s up to Batman and Spider-Man to stop them. A 48-page follow-up to 1995’s crossover.


The Incredible Hulk vs Superman

(Written by Roger Stern, illustrated by Steve Rude and Al Milgrom, originally published in 1999 by Marvel/DC)
Okay, the cover alone had me, but a fateful meeting of each company’s respective powerhouse as illustrated by Steve Rude?! Yeah, this one looks to be pretty fun. I wish I had caught it as it was being released.


Superman/Fantastic Four: The Infinite Destruction

(Written by Dan Jurgens, illustrated by Dan Jurgens and Art Thibert, originally published in 1999 by DC/Marvel)
Marvel’s First Family teams up with the Man of Steel to stop Galactus?! In an oversized treasury edition comic?! That makes this 10” x 13”, 64-page beauty something I would very much like to experience for myself.


Batman/Daredevil: King of New York

(Written by Alan Grant, illustrated by Eduardo Barreto, originally published in 2000 by DC/Marvel)
Batman and Daredevil must team up with none other than the Kingpin after the crime lord is double-crossed by the Scarecrow who looks to subject New York to unending fear. A 48-page one-shot, this prestige format comic is one that sparked my interest despite it being on the more difficult to find and pricey side of things.


Apologies, Denizens. If this is your first time hearing about some of these series and you got excited for some of them, I regret to inform you that tracking them down is not going to be easy or cheap, but hopefully, Marvel/DC will one day reissue the following four trades:


Hmmm...it looks like Batman/Daredevil: King of New York is left out in the cold with no collection to call home, which is a bummer because it actually sounds quite good. For me, though, I’ll be looking for the fourth volume so I can get some cosmic goodness. See you next time.



Share/Bookmark