Sunday, July 21, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 7/19/2019

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/FOMCC (fear of missing comic con) Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It’s that time of year again. That time where Wednesday creeps up and instead of focusing on the new comics that will be coming out, I am instead thinking, dang, I really wish I was at the San Diego Comic Con. Yeah, I know. It’s been over a decade since I’ve been to SDCC and I’m Jonesing to be there…but when I actually start thinking about it, I’m really not. The thought of being surrounded by throngs of people, the lack of food, the lack of deodorant, the actual comic book related programming being replaced by tv/movie/video game properties leaves me cold. Still…that pull to be there comes in waves. Tulip and Obie are even involved in SDCC madness as they have locked themselves in the corporate office (Mom’s basement) as they try to predict the outcomes of the Eisner Awards; I haven’t the heart to tell them that the winners have already been decided. Oh well. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, sit back, and afterward 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


Little Bird #5

(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)
This is it, Denizens, the eagerly awaited end is here! Or is it? I’m not completely certain, even after two read-throughs. This is the first book I read on Wednesday but after a grueling day at work, a dip in the hot tub, and some Stranger Things S3 goodness, I was barely able to start the comic and had no idea what had happened by the time I made it to the end. So, I reread this issue from start to finish, first thing the following morning, and gained a little more clarity as to the outcome of the story. But I think I need to set aside some time to read the entire five-issue run to know what exactly happened at the end. All of that said, I absolutely love this comic. Van Poelgeest’s story, although a bit confusing to my battered mind, is tremendous and compelling and Bertram’s art is nothing short of heavenly, especially when elevated by Hollingsworth’s vibrant colors that very much give this title the same vibe I felt reading the best comics of the mid-’80s. Little Bird is a dang fine book that I absolutely adore and it will be part of my annual reread schedule from here on out. You owe it to yourself to read this beautiful, violent, and complex work of art. Oh, and the reason I said “Or is it?” is because the creators announced their next project Precious Metal, which will debut in 2020; I am sooooo there.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Silver Surfer Black #2

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Tradd Moore, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
This book is totally dope! Or is it actually “tight?” I don’t really know, but whatever word(s) the cool kids use for things they really, really like, then use that word and know it means Silver Surfer Black is simply one of the raddest comics out there. This was actually the second book I read on Wednesday and I think that so-tired-I’m-starting-to-hallucinate feeling helped make this visual journey even more outstanding. Yes, I had no idea of what I had just read that night, but a quick reread the next morning and I was thrilled by Cates’s intense story of the Silver Surfer squaring off against Knull, god of the symbiotes. Even Galactus’s first herald cannot face down this wicked being and is forced to flee after becoming infected by Knull’s darkness. The ending made me go, “Whoa!” and left me wishing for a blacklight poster of that last page image of the Surfer’s potential new ally before giving me some truly intense dreams that evening. Moore’s art is off the charts weird yet it is gorgeous in how it overemphasizes body postures and expressions. Stewart’s flat and shockingly vibrant colors transform all those glorious lines into something tremendous that you won’t find in any other titles currently hitting the shelves. You need to seek these issues out, Denizens, and hope and pray that we get an oversized hardcover of this phenomenal five-issue miniseries before the end of the year. Now, excuse me while I trip out on this bitchin…gnarly…bodacious…groovy—let’s go with groovy—cosmic comic. Do you grok?
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Immortal Hulk #21

(Written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Joe Bennet, colored by Paul Mounts, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
After 21 glorious issues of this superhero-turned-horror comic, it’s starting to become increasingly difficult to say something different than what I have already said. Well, at least this month I can say that Joe Bennett gets a much-deserved break and Ryan Bodenheim steps in to give us some insight into General Fortean’s past and why he is so hellbent on destroying the Hulk. We also see what he decides to do with the decimated husk of the Abomination, it ain’t pretty, but those first and final pages sure as heck are. Bodenheim’s art is beautiful as ever, although I wish he outlined his characters a little heavier like he has done on some of his previous works. Now, what did I think of the latest issue? It’s freaking great. Great like the 20 issues that preceded it. If you haven’t been reading The Immortal Hulk, one of Marvel’s most exciting and best comics of the past year, then you need to do yourself a favor and pick up the past three trades.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Gideon Falls #15

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
Alrighty, dagnabbit, I’ve been carrying on about how great this Twin Peaks-esque horror title is for the past fourteen issues and I’m all set to preach the same on this latest issue. But, if you aren’t going to listen to me, then how about the fact that Gideon Falls is slated to be a television show after a bidding war won by Hivemind. Not enough for you? Well, buckaroo, how about the fact that Lemire and Sorrentino won the Eisner for “Best New Series”? That’s right, let that piece of information meander in your dome for a moment. Now, if you haven’t been reading this creepy-as-heck, psychological horror comic, then you can remedy that by hammering through the first two trades and then pounce on the third when it drops this October. Oh…as for this issue…Father Wilfred is back but he seems to have left his memories elsewhere and his sudden appearance in place of Norton has Dr. Xu feeling uneasy. So, yeah, things are still really weird and I would expect nothing less from this chilling series that everyone should be reading. Congratulations to the creators for the much-deserved award.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this installment, Denizens, and I promise to start thinking of some new “Comics Lust” posts for some of the slower new release weeks. Thank you for reading.



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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 7/12/2019

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/Commitment Avoider Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). You still have a full day before the Mon–Fri, 8–5 (remember when it was 9–5?) picks up again, but then that dreadful moment strikes: Uncle Billy Bob and Aunt Sally text you “Guess Who’s in town?!” Your heart races. Your blood pressure spikes. You notice your teeth clenched at the prospect of enduring even a minute or two of batshit-crazy, conservative falsehoods yet again. So you pop a CBD gummy, center yourself, and politely text them that you are out of town while reminding them that if they had only let you know they were coming when they knew they were coming months ago that you would have gladly set aside some time to visit. Then, turn off your phone, close the blinds, crack a new beer, and settle in for the next episode of Stranger Things 3. Dang, some of us have to work around here and don’t appreciate the yearly reminder from Uncle BB and Aunt S that “You look to be filling out quite nicely” or that your hair “looks greyer every time we see you” or to hear their thoughts about the “climate change conspiracy.” So, take a nice long breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, flip on some Stranger Things, sit back, and afterward 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



Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #1

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Michael Walsh, lettered by Nate Piekos, published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics)
Hey, I have to hand it to the Big Two for taking some real risks and embracing some experimental endeavors as of late. Seriously. The more oddball things they have been doing (X-Men Grand Design, the Hulk as a horror title, The Green Lantern, etc.) have really made me excited for their off-the-(WELL)beaten-path offerings. So, imagine my surprise when I held Black Hammer/Justice League in my eager mitts. Now, I have been extolling anything and everything related to Lemire’s Donist World Darling Black Hammer (do yourself a favor and immediately go big with the Library Edition) and the thrill of seeing the heroes from this tremendous series actually have a cross-company crossover is something I would have never predicted. Black Hammer is Lemire’s tribute to the Silver Age heroes he grew up loving and he masterfully pulls inspiration from both sides of the Big Two with characters such as Abraham Slam, Barbalien, Colonel Weird, and the rest. In this first issue (of five), a strange visitor appears and has the heroes of both worlds switch places: the Black Hammer heroes appear in Metropolis to face the might of Starro, as the Justice League takes their place on a strange, not-quite-right, small-town, rural farm from which they cannot escape. The story instantly hooked me and Walsh’s art serves as the perfect bridge between the indie and the mainstream and although little happens—aside from the hero swap—the character building and the wonderful pacing and dialogue left me quite happy but also worried; not that Lemire and Walsh won’t be able to pull off this ambitious crossover, I know they’ll knock it out of the park, but that five issues will not be enough after what is certain to be one hell of a ride.
*side note: This Dark Horse/DC crossover has renewed my interest in their past collaborative efforts that I talked about in “Aliens, Predators, and Terminators Meet DC” here.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!



Criminal #6

(Written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Sean Phillips, colored by Jacob Phillips, lettered by ?, published by Image Comics)
If you haven’t jumped on the Criminal train by now…well, the good news is that it is never too late. This series is one that you can pick up ANY of the many trades that preceded this current incarnation and you can rest assured that you will be reading one of the best crime comics around. As for the Criminal issues that you can find on the shelves you can almost pick up any one of them and have a complete done-in-one story that will lead you down tales of murder, mayhem, robbery, deception, desperation, or a whole bevy of subject matter fans of film noir adore. The reason I say “almost” is because some of the issues in this current run are two-parters and they all seem to feature characters from the early days in primary or secondary roles. For instance, this issue follows Teeg Lawless, a despicable man who has featured in many past tales, as he has fallen in love and for the first time in his life approaches something resembling happiness. Unfortunately, for those who wind up in the criminal’s path, happiness is usually something they will never again know. This issue is part one of two and is a great place to start and to serve as an introduction to the rich, pulpy, dark world that Brubaker and Phillips have so keenly crafted. Once you dip your toe in, I suspect you’ll be scrambling for the rest of the back catalog of this amazing crime comic.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Venom #16

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Juan Gedeon, colored by Jesus Aberton, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Cates is back on writing after a brief, but enjoyable, interlude by Cullen Bunn. This time he is joined by guest artist Gedeon, who does a commendable job of stepping into the Big Foot-sized shoes of series regular artist Ryan Stegman. This issue serves as a lead-in to the forthcoming Absolute Carnage miniseries/“event“ that will not only run through Venom but many, many, many other titles as well. This kind of makes me hesitant to try it out after being burned by the across-the-board “events” of the past. Yeah, not sure, but I will probably get the mini and continue getting Venom until the “event” ends, but we’ll see. Anyhow, this issue follows Eddie and his son as they try to live a symbiote-free life and discover just how hard that can be given Eddie’s past and that pesky thing called money. Eddie secures a job but even without his powers, he cannot help but fall back into old, violent habits. Plus, an old acquaintance who should be firmly in the grave is up and walking around and Eddie probably isn’t going to like it very much. Under Cates and Stegman’s watch, Venom has gone from a character I never really gave much thought, to one that brought me back into the Marvel fold. I very much hope Absolute Carnage is a solid smash and—who am I kidding. Despite my continued declarations of not buying “event” comics, these creators will most likely get me to check it out as the main Venom series has been positively fantastic. Do yourself a favor and check out the first two trades and see for yourself why you too might need to take a chance on Absolute Carnage next month.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this installment, Denizens. So be sure to take back some time for yourselves, kick back with something good to drink, and read some great comics. Until next week…



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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 7/5/2019

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/Sparkler Specialist Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Hello there, Denizens, and welcome back to Donist World. It’s been a great short week for my puppy executive team and I as we cut out early on Wednesday so Amy the intern (my wife) and I could head out to Bibi Ji to celebrate our 15-year wedding anniversary. Tulip and Reverse Obie even went so far as to lay out our slippers and set up a nice bottle of champagne for us upon our return. To be perfectly honest, though, I kind of think this act of kindness was also done to cover up the fact that they had gotten into the trash, but let’s just focus on the positive. Anyhow, I hope you all had a great 4th. So, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, get out there and watch the new Spider-Man movie (it’s really good!), sit back, and afterward 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 #20

(Written by Al Ewing; illustrated by Joe Bennett; inked by Ruy José, Belardino Brabo, and Marc Deering; colored by Paul Mounts; lettered by VC’s Cory Petit; published by Marvel Comics)
I’m starting to remember why I began to struggle a bit with the Friday Slice of Heaven posts on the regular comics. My main issue was coming up with something original to say about amazing series such as The Immortal Hulk. You see, this comic came out of the gate swinging with the very first issue and has consistently been great ever since. In fact, every issue has been pretty tremendous, which is what makes talking about it, without spoiling anything, so difficult. Ewing and Bennett took a decades-old character in need of something…different…and they gave us exactly that in this exciting and oftentimes unnerving horror-tinged superhero book. In this issue, if it’s gamma-powered, it’s frankly kind of terrifying. Betty, the Red She-Hulk, is now some sort of vicious, red-skinned harpy creature, but even she is nothing compared to the new Abomination, a stomach acid spewing behemoth with hands that obscure his face and ultimately conceal the identity of the person within. The writing alone offers the mysteries and intrigues and grotesqueries that make this title so dang compelling, but when coupled with Bennett’s ability to bring the drama for the talking scenes and the scares for the fight scenes, you have one of the best comics currently in Marvel’s stable. You need to be reading this Marvel experiment gone right, which you can do with the three readily-available trades and the soon to be fourth that drops around September.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Green Lantern #9

(Written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Liam Sharp, colored by Steve Oliff; lettered by Tom Orzechowski; published by Marvel Comics)
“I really have no idea what the heck is going on.” This is what I find myself saying with each new issue of The Green Lantern. The thing is, I don’t really mind. In fact, the sheer weirdness of this title is a huge draw for me, but nothing compares to having the artistic power of Sharp on this otherworldly series and especially on this issue. Here Sharp gets to draw superheroes, sci-fi craziness, and unbelievable fantasy…oh la la the fantasy. Hal Jordan dressed as an emerald-armored, sword-wielding warrior who rides out on a massive dragon to face down a familiar wizard? Yeah, it’s totally bonkers, but boy howdy is it all so very beautiful. The thing that blows me away the most about Sharp’s work is that he never just stops at the character work; he brings the backgrounds to life and even makes Hal’s stubble something to behold. Anyhow, Hal is on a fantasy world where his ring does not work quite as well as it should, and I believe he is there voluntarily as a way of relaxing, possibly his version of a vacation. Whatever floats your boat, Hal, just so long as these creators continue to bring me their special brand of madness and DC keeps allowing it to happen. Rush out to get this one in hardcover (issues 1–6) when it releases in the next week or so.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Sea of Stars #1

(Written by Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum, illustrated by Stephen Green, colored by Rico Renzi; letters and design by Jared K. Fletcher; published by Image Comics)
Gil Starx brings his son on what is supposed to be an easy-peasy transport job. He expected a little father and son bonding but instead, they found…monsters. As can be expected with an Aaron book, certain plot points (that I will not spoil) came completely unexpected and totally left me guessing as to what the implications around the boy, Kadyn, actually means once you reach the end of this issue, but regardless of how Aaron and Hallum divvy up the writing duties, I was quickly pulled into the story and I am eager to find out what happens next. The art brings to life some cool (and scary) space monsters through Green’s designs and his character acting is nothing to scoff at either. If the series was black and white Green’s line work and beautifully placed shadows would be enough to bring readers back for more, but Renzi’s rich, vibrant colors—man, those blues, purples, and greens are lovely—makes Sea of Stars something special to behold. Like I said, I’m in and if things continue like this premiere issue promises, I will be along for this ride to the end.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this installment, Denizens. On to some more anniversary celebrations and to read some more great comics. See you next time!



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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 6/28/2019

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/Day Spa Darling Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). All right. Yes, I know. We vanished for a month, we came back and proclaimed we were back, and then disappeared again. The thing is that after the turmoil of the past few months, my Boston terrier executive team and I decided to take a holiday to Carmel to regroup and recover. We fully intended to write a “Friday Slice of Heaven” entry but we got a little too into relaxation mode and it just didn’t happen. Instead, we had a couple meals and beers at Yeast of Eden—a fantastic brewpub—and spent three glorious hours at The Refuge. Now, The Refuge is located in Carmel and has a gorgeous view of trees and hills and is a spa whose rules dictate no electronic devices, no talking, and no one under 18 years of age. With that, you get to alternate between eucalyptus steam rooms, dry saunas, cold and cool pools (more like so-cold-you'll-freeze-your-junk-off and it-feels-like-there-should-be-ice-cubes-floating-around), warm and hot pools, reading by a sun-kissed fire pit (umbrellas for shade if you like), or relaxing in a gravity chair to calming chimes. It was pretty amazing. Tulip preferred the steam room as Reverse Obie sweated out the stress toxins in the Sauna. I, however, preferred the gravity chairs where I dozed off to memories or running with Tulip in between the side of the creek and the bike path as the sun shone bright with Tulip looking back to be sure I wasn’t dropping too far behind. The day did us all some good. So, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, get ready for the next Spider-Man movie, sit back, relax, and afterward 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



Ascender #3

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
Some great comics released these past two weeks but DANG if Ascender didn’t completely flip my dome. Criminy, this comic is the best. In this issue, Andy and his daughter Mila are on the run from Mother, the murderous witch who commands hordes of diabolical creatures, but there are also dire threats lurking in the woods. We learn the tragic event that befell Effy and also the value of having a good dog—even a robotic one—by your side. Nguyen’s watercolored art is even more lovely than usual, which is saying something, and the final page reveal had my heart racing and made me jump up and pump my fist in joy. The first chapter of this tale, Descender, is a must-read Donist World Darling of a series and this second act is already shaping up to be every bit its equal.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Little Bird #4

(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)
Where Ascender made me gasp and then cheer, the penultimate issue of this miniseries that thoroughly took hold of me with the first issue also made me gasp…but there was no cause for celebration with the final few pages. Only a creeping sense of dread and the admission that I have absolutely no clue as to how things will go down, which is right where I want to be with this breakout post-apocalyptic story that depicts the perils of a terrifying theocratic society that is startling in its depiction by Van Poelgeest and oh-so-beautifully brought to life by Bertram’s masterful lines and Hollingsworth’s otherworldly colors. Even though it is almost over, you don’t want to wait for the eventual hardcover. Seek out the floppies and then double dip on the collection when it drops at the end of the year.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Conan the Barbarian #7

(Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Mahmud Asrar, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham, published by Marvel Comics)
There are three or four Conan related titles currently hitting the shelves every month(ish) and although I’ve heard good things about them, I’m currently only reading the one that restarted it all: Conan the Barbarian. Every issue has been outstanding so far with pretty much standalone tales of our favorite barbarian's adventures with the exception of a couple pages here or there of a witch’s brood's attempts to kill the Cimerian. Here, Conan has “rescued” five lovely women from their lives as sex slaves after a substantial payment to their former captor. But what does Conan mean to do with his new purchases? You’ll have to read it to see in this fun, thrilling issue that combines the mystery behind the barbarian’s motives with a deeper glimpse into how he thinks and who he is. If you’ve been on the fence about reading this exciting reboot, then rest assured that it is solid proof of Aaron’s deep love and knowledge of the character and that you definitely need to purchase the soon-to-be released trade.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!



Guardians of the Galaxy #6

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Geoff Shaw, colored by David Curiel, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
Cates’s phenomenal work at Marvel is what lured me back to the House of Ideas. I loved Thanos Wins and his run with Ryan Stegman on Venom has been nothing short of heavenly, so picking up Guardians of the Galaxy was a total no brainer. In this issue, the moment the Guardians have been dreading is about to come true: the resurrection of the mad Titan, Thanos. Hela and the Black Order stand at the brink of success and a difficult decision must be made. I love this series, especially given that nearly all of my favorite cosmic heroes flow in and out of its pages, but I will say that…things…get resolved a tad too quickly for my liking. Regardless, this comic is a heck of a good time. The trade gets released in August.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


X-Men Grand Design - X-Tinction #2

(Everythinged by Ed Piskor, published by Marvel Comics)
Piskor set out on what I thought to be a nigh-impossible task for himself when he decided to take decades of crazy continuity spread across hundreds of issues and condense it all down into three, two-issue chapters (that there is six issues for those doing the maths) that would summarize all of that material into something that not only made sense, but captured the thrill and fun of reading the issues back in the day. He knocked it out of the freakin’ park. Couple this with the fact that he did EVERYTHING on this series—including the design and the selection of the aged-looking paper—and you have something special, something the likes of which we most likely won’t see for some time to come…unless, of course, it’s whatever it is the man decides to tackle next. If you haven’t been picking up these monumental issues, then the three oversized trades are definitely the way to go…unless Marvel agrees to put out an omnibus of the whole shebang, which I really hope they do. Please! Please! Please!
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!



That about does it for this installment, Denizens, but there were a few other, older things I read over the past two weeks that I think I will save for another day. Have a great 4th of July and get out there for some Spider-Man: Far from Home action! See you next time.



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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 6/14/2019

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/Still Adjusting Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Phew! Okay, Denizens, we’re back after missing a month. After a whirlwind of selling our place, buying our new place, dealing with shutting down utilities and starting up utilities, securing insurance, contracting movers, moving from one place to another, lifting heavy boxes for three days straight, getting rid of furniture no one wants (hurts my heart), cleaning old places, changing mailing addresses everywhere, restocking food, packing and unpacking, trips to the dump, trips to Alpha Thrift, and tons of paperwork, we are finally in our new home and I finally have a moment to talk about some comics. Since we’re pretty far behind, I’m going to do a rapid-fire burst of the comics my puppy executive team and I have read over the past month that we think you should know about. So, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, get ready for the next Spider-Man movie, sit back, relax, and afterward 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




Silver Surfer Black #1

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Tradd Moore, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
You know I’ve been vibing on pretty much every-gosh-darned-thing Donny Cates has been writing and written (I still need to jump on Babyteeth, though), but I somehow neglected to add this powerhouse, must-buy comic to my pull. I am so thankful I secured a copy. Holy. Cosmic. Glorificusness! This comic is not only up there with my favorite Marvel cosmic adventures by way of the story, but the art is not just amazing, it is simply out of this world. This comic is like a time jump back to the ’70s with psychedelic art that is destined to flip your dome and send you on a trip from which you never want to return. All we need is for an oversized reprint of this issue as a velvety blacklight poster…or at least the next issue in my grubby mitts ASAP. Plus, this issue includes a fantastic twist I did not see coming. C’mon, Marvel, blacklight posterize this sexy beast!!!
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Immortal Hulk #19

(Written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Joe Bennet, inked by Ruy José and Belardino Brabo, colored by Paul Mounts and Rachelle Rosenberg, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit)
The last time I really enjoyed a Hulk comic was back when I was living in Ohio as an eight-year-old. Yes, I admit that Peter David’s highly-regarded run is a blind spot I mean to fix at some point, but Ewing and Bennet’s horror take on ol’ jade jaws is one of the best things Marvel has put out in quite some time. The Abomination is exactly that, a complete and utter abomination that might just find his way into your worst nightmares and ends up being the most unnerving adversary the Hulk has had to face thus far in this phenomenal series…which is saying something. The Immortal Hulk is a scary thrill-ride that 100% warrants the rave reviews it has received since its first issue. If you aren’t reading this unique, experimental run of the Hulk, then you need to correct that through the three available trades!
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1

(Written by Donny Cates, Al Ewing, Tini Howard, and Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler; illustrated by John McCrea, Yiloirry Cinar, Ibrahim Moustafa, and Filipe Andrade; colored by Mike Spicer, Rain Beredo, and Jay David Ramos; lettered by VC’s Cory Petit; published by Marve Comics)
This somehow missed my pull a couple of weeks ago and given my decades of experience of being let down by annuals, I was okay with missing this issue; then I saw this copy sitting on my LCS’s shelf and I caved; I’m glad I picked it up. You essentially get four stories: one with the Universal Church of Truth showing they will be around to plague the Guardians in the future (more Adam Warlock?!), a great story about Nova and the mental health issues caused by war, another cool one with Adam Warlock taking on a false god, and one about Darkhawk that I don’t really get. All and all, this annual breaks the “disposable” trend of most annuals by providing a highly enjoyable preview of where Guardians of the Galaxy might be headed next.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Little Bird #3

(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)
After reading yet another heavenly issue of this fantastic comic, I am now aware of the devastating truth that we have only two issues left of this haunting, violent, impeccably-illustrated series. Yes, there will eventually be a hardcover collection, but I strongly recommend getting the issues first—if you can find them—so that you will appreciate the need to double dip once the collection drops.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Ascender #2

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
You all know that Lemire and Nguyen’s exceptionally gorgeous Descender has been my favorite series of the past five years. Now, two issues into the second half of this grand epic that has shifted from sci-fi to fantasy, Ascender looks to be my favorite series of the next five. In this issue, technology returns after ten years of its near absence as Bandit appears (I’m not spoiling a thing, he’s on the cover of the first issue for Pete’s sake) and in true Lemire fashion, the robot dog’s reunion with Andy left a couple tears streaming down my cheek. Issue three can’t come soon enough for this awesome series. I guess it’s time for a Descender reread.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Doomsday Clock #10

(Written by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Rob Leigh, published by DC Comics)
Although this title is slow in its release schedule—almost to the detriment of the flow of the story—I am still loving every page of this twelve-issue maxi-series. This issue setups up the foreshadowed confrontation between Dr. Manhattan (the man of inaction) and Superman (the man of action) as Dr. Manhattan jumps between parallel worlds and shows his connection to the DCU and how there can be so many slightly different iterations of the Man of Steel. I have no idea how it will all end with the final two issues, which is fine by me as that is exactly where I want to be. I look forward to reading the entirety of Doomsday Clock once it’s all done…whenever that might be.



X-Men Grand Design - X-Tinction #1

(Everythinged by Ed Piskor, published by Marvel Comics)
I’m as stunned as you are, Denizens, by the volume of Marvel titles that I have been picking up and loving over the past couple of months, and I guess you can say that Piskor’s intricately researched, planned, and executed retelling of decades of X-Men stories—mindbending continuity and all—is exactly the type of experimentation and risk-taking by Marvel that brought me back into the fold. The cool thing about the third, and final, two-issue chapter is that this era is exactly when I had decided enough is enough and bounced from all things involving the X-Men, so it is refreshing to get caught up on what all went down during the “X-Tinction” years as only the infinitely talented Piskor could deliver. This series is one you need to read in paper format to get the full experience of the textured paper and to experience The X-Men in the manner this creator intended.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 


Green Lantern #8

(Written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Liam Sharp, colored by Steve Oliff, lettered by Tom Orzechowski, published by DC Comics)
I somehow missed issue #7—don’t worry, a copy is on its way!—which everyone on the internet was freaking out about, but I broke my habit of refusing to read issues out of order as the promise of a Green Lantern/Green Arrow team-up to fight intergalactic drug cartels was just too much for me to resist. I have no idea what the hell “Xeen Arrow” is or where it comes from, all I know is that this issue was so delightfully weird that I loved every page of it. It also doesn’t hurt to have Sharp’s oh-so-gorgeous art to guide you on this insane trip. Oh, looky there…issue #7 just arrived; I know exactly what I’ll be reading next.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


There were a ton of other fantastic comics I read since I last checked in, but these were the ones that stood out and wowed me the most. Thank you for reading and see you next time!


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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.



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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!

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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.



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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.



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