Saturday, January 12, 2019

Comics Lust 1/12/2019

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/w00t Stout sipper Tulip. Reverse Obie, Tulip, and I are going to keep this intro a bit short as we’re about to head out to get some beers at M*Special before we start our month-long Real Food Challenge on Monday. If we’re lucky, there’ll also be a food truck that has French fries or something along those lines that we can gorge on as our days (months, actually) of free eating are numbered…one and half days to be exact. 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

Otherworldly Wonders (Part 1)


After reading the latest issue of today’s first entry—we’ll get to it in a moment—I knew I had to come up with a topic that would ensure this particular title would be at the forefront of today’s post. Then I read my second new comic of the week—that follows second, of course—and I knew exactly what I wanted to share with you today: comics about other worlds. Whether people are traveling to other worlds/planes of existence or those worlds/planes are sending their inhabitants to ours, that’s what we are looking at today. So, sit back, relax, and open your mind as we open doorways to places that tend to not be all that welcoming.

Murder Falcon

(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, lettered by Rus Wooton, published originally in 2018 by Skybound Entertainment an Image Comics imprint)
I love this comic. I love this comic. I love this comic! I first became aware of this creator through his exceptionally written and illustrated Extremity series (a comic everyone MUST read) and I knew I would be following him on anything and everything he touched both prior to and after that incredible series. Then, along came Murder Falcon. In this series, Jake has all but given up on life: he’s lost the one he loves, his band, and the will to play music. To complicate matters, the world is besieged by monsters and one just showed up in Jake’s living room. Thankfully, Murder Falcon, a warrior from a realm known as “The Heavy,” has appeared and needs Jake’s help to fight the terrors seeping into our world. Yes, the premise sounds kind of ridiculous, but trust me, it’s all in the execution, which Johnson does beautifully. The story is heartfelt, heart-wrenching, and always earnest, while the art delivers monster-stomping goodness with a heavy metal vibe that can be felt deep in your bones. The dynamic use of sound effects within the art (in addition to Wooton’s lettering), and Johnson’s switch from thin or thick straight lines to jagged ones—implying ferocious speed—accentuates his masterful storytelling prowess, giving us a helluva damn fine comic. We’re halfway through this thrilling run that features not just one but two worlds besides our own, and I suspect once we reach the end we will have something that transcends to even higher planes.


Oblivion Song

(Written by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Lorenzo De Felici, colored by Annalise Leoni, lettered by Rus Wooton, published originally in 2018 by Skybound Entertainment an Image Comics imprint)
Now, this one snuck up on us out of the blue, but that was by design. Per the notes of the first issue, Kirkman and De Felici had a good number of issues in the bag before announcing this thrilling new series. In Oblivion Song, a large portion of Philadelphia swapped places with another dimension, losing over 300,000 people and replacing them with nightmarish monsters. Years have passed and the monster problem at home has been dealt with, but Nathan Cole continues to jump into the world called Oblivion to find and rescue the humans still stuck there. But are Nathan’s efforts truly altruistic or is he searching for something else? De Felici’s cartooning is quite different from what you will find in most Big Two comics, which makes it stand out as his work brings life to the characters through his excellent storytelling and grasp of drama, while Leoni’s colors bring a vibrant excitement to the dark subject matter of this thrilling comic. Oh, and the monsters…those things are otherworldly and terrifying. There is one trade currently available with the second on the way soon.


Ether

(Written by Matt Kindt, art and letters by David Rubín, originally published in 2016 by Dark Horse Books)
I’ve known of, read, and enjoyed many of Kindt’s comics, but it was Rubín’s art in a couple of guest-artist issues of the Donist World Darling Black Hammer series that had me searching out everything the man has illustrated. Thankfully, Ether soon found its way into my grubby, little paws. If the inhabitants of alternate worlds won’t come to us, then Boone Dias goes to them. Boone has used his extraordinary gift for science to burst into another dimension, but this dimension believes heavily in magic, something Boone attempts to explain away with science at every opportunity he can. But when a hero of the Ether is murdered with no logical explanation as to how it was done, the Ether’s inhabitants hire Boone to solve the case. Kindt’s story is sculpted into something truly delightful as Rubín brings to life some of the loveliest magical beings and monsters I have ever seen in a comic book and when you couple this with his bold, vibrant colors, you have a stunning work worthy of your favorite bookshelf. The first trade, Ether Volume 1: Death of the Golden Blaze, has been out for a while now, and the second trade, Ether Volume 2: Copper Golems, drops in the next month; I couldn’t be more excited! The magical world of Ether is one I will return to time and time again.


Doctor Strange: Damnation

(Written mostly by Donny Cates and Nick Spencer; mostly illustrated by Rod Reis, Szymon Kudranski, and Niko Henrichon, originally published in 2018 by Marvel Comics)
Some alternate worlds are more well known than others and who hasn’t heard of H-E-double hockey sticks? Yes, Hell, and I’m not talking about the hell that is getting caught in a conversation with your Aunt Bonnie, or facing a tower of dirty dishes, but rather the hell that begins with a capital “H.” In this fantastic mini event, Mephisto has brought Hell to Las Vegas and enslaved many of Earth’s strongest heroes while doing it, including Doctor Strange. Now, it’s up to Wong to gather a group of heroes who have transcended death to free the others and to miraculously restore a soul to Las Vegas. Cates was 100% the reason I sought out the thoroughly amazing Doctor Strange: Damnation the Complete Collection, which you simply must read, but with a warning. The book is a blast from beginning to end…provided you know the correct reading order, which Marvel confusingly attempts to give you on the indecipherable “Reading Chronology.” Why is this a problem? Well, instead of printing the issues in chronological order, Marvel instead opted to give us Damnation #1–4, then Doctor Strange #386–389, then Damnation: Johnny Blaze - Ghost Rider #1, then Iron Fist #78–80, and finally Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #15–17. Why not put them in the proper reading order so you don’t have to flip around and possibly spoil things?! No idea, but to help a Denizen out, here is the recommended reading order of things for you:

  • Damnation #1
  • Doctor Strange #386
  • Damnation #2
  • Doctor Strange # 387
  • Scarlet Spider #15
  • Damnation #3
  • Iron Fist 78
  • Scarlet Spider #16
  • Johnny Blaze - Ghost Rider #1
  • Doctor Strange #388
  • Iron Fist #79
  • Iron Fist #80
  • Scarlet Spider #17
  • Damnation #4
  • Doctor Strange #389

Don’t let the reading order stuff dissuade you from reading this exciting mini event.


The Authority

(Written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Bryan Hitch, inked by Paul Neary, colored by Laura Depuy, originally published in 1999 by Wildstorm)
The Authority is up about as high as it goes when it comes to must-read, must-own comics. Ellis’s run would definitely accompany me during any sort of prolonged stay on a deserted island. The crazy thing is that Ellis was only around for the first 12 issues—although there’s a grip of comics in his Stormwatch run, which led up to The Authority, that would certainly keep me entertained, as well—but those 12 issues are the ones that hold a special place in my heart. Jenny Sparks (master of electricity), Swift (winged aerial specialist), Apollo (solar-powered superman), The Midnighter (master combatant who sees all possible outcomes), The Engineer (nanobots in her blood that allow her to create anything she conceives), the Doctor (a man of magic), and Jack Hawksmoor (a being whose abilities escalate depending on the size of the city he inhabits) meet the most severe threats to the world head on and make sure those threats are ended quickly and with extreme prejudice. These mighty, god-like beings inhabit a living ship known as the Carrier that allows them to teleport and to travel between parallel worlds through a dividing barrier known as The Bleed. Unfortunately for both The Authority and the Earth, other worlds have the ability to navigate The Bleed which pits our heroes against an invading parallel Britain called Sliding-Albion which is ruled by a blue-skinned alien despot. More than anything, this series made me wish I was sitting aboard The Carrier as it surfs The Bleed and I witnessed its many wonders. You absolutely must check out this series whether you do so in issues, trades, or the recent hardcover.


That’ll do it for this installment. I love the idea of parallel dimensions and other worlds whether or not contacting them is in anyone’s best interests. I will definitely revisit this topic at some point in the future. Take care.



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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Comics Lust 1/5/2019

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/New Year notable Tulip. I’m going to keep this one short as I'm still physically exhausted from Thursday’s food poisoning and I definitely need a beer. Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I all want to wish you a happy New Year and one that will be much much much better than 2018. 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

Running the Maze: Ed Brubaker’s Captain America


A few entries ago, I mentioned Ed Brubaker’s fantastic Captain America run. It’s an enthralling, roller coaster of a ride spy thriller that would see the return of Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, a character thought dead for many decades. After much praise back in the day, I decided to give good ol’ Cap a try; I had not read a Captain America comic since I was a kid. It rocked my world. I was more than happy to talk about Brubaker’s run, in fact, I was quite eager to dig in and tell you all about which books to read and in what order, but I hit a few snags: namely, renumberings, one-shots, miniseries, renumberings again, new series, and stuff I had never even known about. You absolutely do not want to miss out on the intrigues and thrills of the story or any of the fantastic artists who brought Brubaker’s words to life, not to mention Cap’s ”death,” his crucial stand-in, Steve Rogers’s rebirth, the villains, the introduction of the Winter Soldier, and most importantly all-around great, must-read comics. So, today, we are going to run the maze of Brubaker’s run from issues to trades to omnibus editions and try to make some sense of this convoluted, overly-corporate mess so you know where to start and where to end. Let’s hope I can make it through this with my sanity intact.

Issues

It all started off simple enough unless you take into account that this is the “2005, Fifth Series”—meaning this is the fifth reboot/renumbering of Captain America—but with this new number one comes the official start of Brubaker’s run.
  • Captain America #1–50 (Fifth Series) (Primarily illustrated by Steve Epting, published from Jan 2005–July 2009) pretty straightforward. All good. No sweat following along. This is the start of the “Fifth Series.”
  • Captain America 65th Anniversary Special #1 (Illustrated by Eric Wight, published May 2006) And thus came unto us the first special/one-shot issue. Hey, at least it was an extra-long 48 pages.
  • Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 (Illustrated by Lee Weeks, published Feb 2007) Yes, another one-shot, but dang if this is not getting freakin’ good!
  • Captain America #600–615, 615.1, 616–619 (Some co-writing by Sean McKeever, primarily illustrated by Butch Guice, published Aug 2009–Aug 2011) Okay, here we go: renumbering to classic “First Series” numbering, with a 615.1 issue released as a jumping on point. Okay, fine. This is still part of the “Fifth Series.”
  • Captain America: Reborn #1–6 (Illustrated by Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice, published Sep 2009–Mar 2010) Let’s add some extra difficulty into the mix by offering this miniseries one month after the renumbering to issue #600 and having it run concurrent to the main series. Kind of like tie-in issues during big “Event” comic runs.
  • Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? #1 (Illustrated by Butch Guice and Luke Ross, published Mar 2010) Let me get this straight: it’s March 2010, you’re already buying the renumbered Cap book with #602 dropping this month, you’re about to finish off the Reborn mini with issue #6, and now you’re also getting WWWtS. A triple-ship month. I’m not even certain which came out when during the month, but best be certain you read them all in order!
  • Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1–4 (illustrated by Dave Eaglesham, published Sep 2010–Dec 2010) Somehow I missed this one, which is easy to do as it came out during Captain America #608–611.
  • Captain America & Bucky #620–628 (Illustrated by Chris Samnee, Francesco Francavilla, and others, published Sep 2011–May 2012) Okay, I didn’t even know this had happened and I need to get a hold of it…preferably in a nice, nifty collection, but if your grandpappy saw this on the shelf, he might be wonderin’ about the other 619 Captain America & Bucky issues that are floating around out there, which actually do not exist.
  • Captain America #1–19 (Sixth Series) (Some issues co-written by Cullen Bunn; illustrated by Steve McNiven, Patrick Zircher, Alan Davis, Scott Eaton, and others; published Sep 2011–Dec 2012) Let me try to understand this: Brubaker writes 50 issues of Cap, then the numbers switch to being in the 600s, then the title changes to Captain America & Bucky while retaining the numbering scheme in the 600s, then this new series comes along that is also titled Captain America that starts over with issue number one and also has an artist named Steve. Toss in a bunch of specials and mini-series, and any Brubaker fan should be able to follow. No sweat? No way. Best loosen up by listening to some Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon” before going down this road to madness.
  • Winter Soldier #1–14 (primarily illustrated by Butch Guice, published Apr 2012–Mar 2013) I am ashamed to say I have not read these issues...something I fully intend to remedy. That said, this one released alongside Captain America & Bucky for a few months of kinda-sorta double shipping.


Not only do you have all of this, but you have some “events” getting involved with Fear Itself #7.1: Captain America, then “House of M” touched down in 2005’s Captain America #10, followed by Civil War with Captain America #22–24,


Trades


Yeah, traversing the quagmire above seems an insurmountable task, but thankfully, there are some trades out there…provided you can find them. To start, I’m going to cut out the first eight trades and start with the “Ultimate Collections”:

Okay, now. THAT’S a bit easier to digest. But if you want to make things even easier, then pick up the…


Omnibus Editions


Denizens, if you got the coin and the means to track them down, then this is by far the easiest route to go to get the whole kit and kaboodle.


After following the breadcrumbs and retracing my steps in the snow, I was finally able to make it through this grand labyrinth of Overlook Hotel proportions. It makes me wonder…wouldn’t it all be much easier for both current (at the time), new, and future readers if Marvel had put out two series and two limited series and cut out the single issues, renumberings, and miniseries? Like, put out Captain America #1–100 (or whatever), Winter Soldier #1–19Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1–4, and Captain America and Bucky #1–9. Then you can roll Captain America: Reborn and all of the other stuff into the main series—double ship on some months, if you must—and clearly number all of the trades, labeling that they are all by Ed Brubaker. Sheesh. Anyways, I hope I don’t have to type the word “Captain America” again for a good long while, and I could sure use a drink. All work and no play makes Donist a dull boy. Until next time.



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