Monday, September 16, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/13/2019

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/three-day-weekend thriller Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We are a bit late, later than usual that is. Not only are we nowhere near Friday, it’s past Saturday and Sunday even. The truth is that my puppy executive team and I are taking a three-day weekend and closing the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) this Monday so a handy can come and fix three doors and do some of the much-needed maintenance that we would definitely bollocks up if we attempted to do the upkeep ourselves. We are corporate masterminds, Denizens, the idea-men (and woman). Our strengths lie not in the practicalities of real-life situations that could potentially keep us alive—like being able to actually make the damn stuck door close—we traverse in the worlds of the mind and of corporate strategy…yeah, I’m not buying that nonsense either, in a zompacalypse we would be toast. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), 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




Powers of X #4

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva, inked by R.B. Silva and Adriano di Benedetto, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, design by Tom Miller, published by Marvel Comics)
Once again, we get a non-red timeline issue in Hickman’s tremendous Powers of X and House of X mutant event run that seems pretty dang important to the X-Men’s world to me. Which means that this coming week’s House of X #5 will most likely rock our collective worlds. Here we learn that Krakoa has a sibling locked away somewhere along with a group of guardians long since thought gone; this can’t be good. We also see Xavier and Magneto’s first meeting with Mister Sinister and how they succeeded in bringing the ethically-challenged, mutant geneticist into the fold. Years later, Xavier arrives on Krakoa with Doug Ramsey, aka Cypher, so the younger man can use his powers and converse with the living island, continuing to move Moira MacTaggert’s plans for her 10th life along while hopefully saving mutantkind. As for the X3 distant future timeline, I’m going to have to read all of that again and again and again to hopefully figure out what the heck is going on there. So, yeah, I’m still thoroughly invested in what is—shockingly enough to me—an event book I am not only enjoying but one that has me counting the days to the next new comic book day. With only four issues left and the next supposed to be a doozy, I am thrilled to say I have no idea how this is all going to wrap up and that is a fantastic place to be. If you are waiting for a collected edition of this grand epic, or if you are like me and are excited to double-dip for a hardcover edition for your favorite bookshelf, then you are going to have to wait until the end of December to make it a truly Merry X-Men X-Mas.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Silver Surfer Black #4

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Tradd Moore, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
This penultimate issue of the exciting and gorgeous Silver Surfer Black has one glaring, soul-crushing problem: it is the penultimate issue. I love this book. I love this book. I love this book. Five issues will nowhere be enough to satisfy my need for more of Marvel’s experimental, groovy, mindbending, tripadelic journey through the cosmos. The Silver Surfer still needs the help of a young Ego the Living Planet in his quest to stop Knull, the God of the Symbiotes, but he will first have to extract a certain “malady” from Ego’s core else there will be no Ego to provide any form of future aid. Unfortunately, what lies at Ego’s core will torment the Surfer with one of the direst decisions of his entire existence. I would buy this book and love its weirdness on Cates’s story alone, but oh my goodness gracious this is one of the most visually magnificent comics currently hitting the stands. Moore’s art is something that has to be seen to be believed, and once you actually see it, it will send you on an optical trip, unlike anything you’ve been on before. This is also due in no small part to Stewart’s vibrant flat color schemes which are certain to amaze. Silver Surfer Black is going to be another X-Mas time beauty that will spring to life as an oversized must-have collection that will need to be displayed front and foremost on your favorite bookshelf. That said, don’t wait, buy the issues before the collection drops, you won’t be sorry you did. And, again, we need some dang Tradd Morre Silver Surfer blacklight posters, by golly.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #3

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Michael Walsh, lettered by Nate Piekos, published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics)
This is 100% the book I never knew I wanted and it is 100% the book I need. Black Hammer/Justice League is so very odd and contrary to anything I can imagine DC actually allowing to happen. But the thing is, they and Dark Horse have had some equally insane intercompany crossovers in the past and in Lemire and Walsh’s very capable hands this swapped worlds superhero tale hits on every level. I especially love the moments when Golden Gale hits on the various members of the Justice League and how uncomfortable they are with it. Equally fun are John Stewart and Colonel Weird working together to try to save a JL member at risk of making a terrible, life-threatening mistake. The ending couple of pages, however, sealed the deal by eliciting an audible gasp from me and now I nervously await the next installment of this five-issue miniseries. If you’ve never read the Donist World Darling that is Black Hammer then you best get on it, as it is one of the best series to drop in the past decade. That said, this is one oddball event you should not miss.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Venom #18

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Iban Coello, colored by Rain Beredo, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
This issue briefly dips its big toe into the pool that is the origin story of the new symbiote on the block: Sleeper. Sure, homie shows up outta nowhere from the depths of outer space to journey to Earth to meet the arrival of Knull the God of the Symbiotes and to aid in his defeat. The character is cool and expertly designed by Coello and I am not going to spoil this character’s secret identity other than to say it’s completely messed up; I would expect nothing less from yet another great Cates’s story. Anyhow, yes, this is an Absolute Carnage tie-in, but it doesn’t completely feel like it is as neither the title character nor the main adversary ever show up, not even once. But that is fine. I’m still enjoying both this comic and the event quite a bit.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this late installment of your friendly neighborhood Friday Slice post, but I will definitely see you next time. Thank you for reading. 




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Saturday, September 7, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/7/2019

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/friend of the four-day weekend Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). For a three-day workweek, this past week was pretty darn hectic, so we’re going to keep the intro short as we need to get some grub for the corporate office (aka…Mom’s basement). Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), 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


House of X #4

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, design by Tom Muller, published by Marvel Comics)
I am still immensely captivated by this 12-issue Marvel Comics “Event” series. We have moved into the second half of the story with no drop in quality, no expansion into dozens of other—and oftentimes unrelated—titles, no ever-changing artist lineups, and not a single delayed issue. Yeah, I’m as confused as you are, but why question a good thing? And what a good thing this event is. Now, at the back of each issue is a “Reading Order” page that also highlights three key issues in red: House of X #2 (and boy howdy did this one rock our socks off), House of X #5, and the final issue in the event Powers of X #6. What is shocking to me is that after reading this issue, it kind of seems like it should have been one of the red-highlighted issues, as some unexpected and brutal things happen. There’s no way I’m going to spoil it for you—it’s only the seventh issue in the event, after all—but if Hickman doesn’t count this as a major occurrence, then I’m positively terrified of what HoX #5 and PoX #6 have in store for us. Anyhow, you need to be reading this event and I can’t wait to binge read the entire series again once it concludes on October 9th. I’m really hoping the hardcover collection is oversized so I can slide it onto my favorite bookshelf come December.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Doomsday Clock #11

(Written by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Rob Leigh, published by DC Comics)
After what happened in the previous issue, I…wait a minute…what did exactly happen in issue #10? I honestly don’t really remember. Sure, I know I absolutely dug it, but the particulars completely escape me. Something happened to Superman in that issue, but for the life of me, I have no idea what that was. It was almost three months between issues and we had just moved to our new home, so it’s all a big blank. I could go back and read the issue, but I’m going to hold off on a big reread until after the final issue drops…hopefully before the end of 2019. As for the story, Ozymandias reveals quite a bit of what he has been up to, Lex Luthor is figuring out what has gone wrong, Mime and Marionette finally reappear, as does Rorschach, Black Adam arrives at the White House, and Superman and Dr. Manhattan meet. I’m still loving every bit of this series and this issue does not disappoint in either Johns’s story or Frank’s lovely art, and even with the lengthy delays between issues and my memory gaps regarding what has happened from issue to issue, the revelations, intensity of the situations, and my need to see how it all ends has me eagerly awaiting the final issue.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Absolute Carnage #2

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Mayer, colored by Frank Martin, published by Marvel Comics)
Phew! That wasn’t that long of a wait. I think my LCS was shorted most of the copies of Marvel’s other “Event” comic that I am totally enjoying—although, this one does branch out into a bunch of other series and one-shots that I am not reading. Stegman’s art is off-the-charts gorgeous especially when things get downright scary for Venom, Spider-Man, and especially for Mac Gargan the Scorpion. I love the vying for control between Carnage and Norman Osborn and this much-touted event leaves me desperate to see what happens next as Carnage continues to claim Codex after Codex.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Immortal Hulk #22

(Written by Al Ewing; illustrated by Joe Bennett, inked by Ruy José with Belardino Brabo, colored by Paul Mounts with Matt Milla, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit; published by Marvel Comics)
General Fortean has become the new, new Abomination and although it’s only him and some of his highly trained forces against the Hulk, his crew of Gamma “friends,” and some of the members of Alpha Flight, the scales are very much tipped in favor of the bad guys. The Hulk is a f_ing monster that is certain to give you nightmares—dang, that final full-page splash—and this series continues to get better and better. Plus, what the hell is the deal with this ghastly version of Rick Jones that is floating around and melting things with his gamma-irradiated hands? Even if you’ve never been a fan of the Hulk, you need to be reading this thrilling horror comic and you can do that with the soon-to-be four available trades.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Green Lantern #11

(Written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Liam Sharp, colored by Steve Oliff; lettered by Tom Orzechowski; published by Marvel Comics)
Is it just me or do other people feel like they are only getting part of the story here and they are scrambling to catch up? Morrison moves fast from scene to scene with all of these fascinating Green Lanterns from parallel universes but I, for one, could use a little decompressed storytelling to better understand just what the heck is going on. For instance, I’m still grooving on the hippy Magic Lantern from last issue and I can’t help but imagine how great it would be to have a one-shot—or better yet, a 12-issue maxiseries with each issue focusing on one of the 12 Green Lanterns—to better bring us all up to speed in some areas and embellish in others, but whatcha gonna do. Regardless, I’m still loving this comic and mostly from the must-see-to-believe, jawdropping art from Sharp who I want to be drawing ALL the sci-fi superhero books (pretty please, Thanos and Warlock on the other side of the Big Two!!!).
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Conan the Barbarian #9

(Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Mahmud Asrar, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham, published by Marvel Comics)
We creep and we crawl towards the death of Conan prophesied way back in the first issue of this glorious series. This is fine. Just so long as the kick-ace Conan stories continue to flow. Each issue has tended toward done-in-one stories of Conan’s adventures with each one having a page or two that leads him ever closer to his confrontation with the death god Razazel. Here, Conan finds himself facing enemies and monsters from his past (from back in the ’70s?) as he tries to lead a stranded group of people away from the perils of leech-men and the dreaded God Below. It’s that final panel on the final page that made me gasp. You can and should catch up with the first trade and see what all the fuss is about with the tremendously exciting Conan from Aaron and Asrar.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for the amazing new comics from this week, Denizens. Have a great weekend, stay groovy, have a burrito and a nice cool beverage, and Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I will see you next time.



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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/30/2019

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/friend of the four-day weekend Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I won’t lie, it was an insanely busy and nervewracking week this week and it’s taken me all of yesterday and half of today to finally chill. Thank goodness my puppy executive team and I have a ton of comics to help us finally begin to unwind, so we are going to keep this intro short. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), 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


Ascender #5

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, edited by Will Dennis, published by Image Comics)
I love this comic. Dang, how I love this comic. If you’ve been following Donist World for any length of time, then you know that the first half of this epic tale, Descender, was a Donist World Darling from the get-go. Now, with Ascender, and its shift from sci-fi/adventure to fantasy/adventure, I am loving it every bit as much. This month, we learn that failure to Mother mean very very bad things for those who underperform, that Telsa is now the captain of her own fleet of oceangoing ships, and, most importantly, that readers of this damn-fine series need to keep turning those solid black pages after the brutal and shocking event that I will in no way spoil. I will say that I was tempted to throw the comic across the room in anger, but that is the beauty of Lemire and Nguyen’s tremendous comic: they have made me fall completely in love with all of the characters to such a degree that I cannot abide bad things happening to them. Nguyen especially over-delivers on the lovely watercolored imagery in this first arc’s concluding issue with amazing emotional moments and the shocking red of Telsa’s much shorter hair. Heck, even the monstrously disgusting punishment that Mother inflicts upon her lackeys is lovely in its grotesqueries. So, yes, this issue continues to be a highly entertaining and rewarding tale that will keep you desperate for more. I’m not sure if the creators are taking a month or two hiatus before issue six comes out, but I promise I will be there on the day of release desperate to see what happens next. You need Descender/Ascender in your life and you can do this with the six available trades of the former before picking up the first trade of the latter come October. So damn good.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


House of X #3

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
After reading this issue, we are now at the halfway point of this fantastic Marvel Comics event. I know, I know, I can’t believe I am referring to a Big Two event as a “fantastic event” without making the “fantastic” part an adverb describing a string of derogatory words. Nope. In fact, I positively love this event. House of X is the half of the maxiseries that takes place in the present, whereas Powers of X jumps from the past to the present to the future to the distant future, and this issue sets us squarely along the path of Moira MacTaggert’s 10th life. If none of this makes a lick of sense, then you need to get out there and buy all three issues of each series (don’t forget House of X #4 this coming Wednesday!) so you can get caught up with the intense, complex, and captivating exploits of the X-Men. In this issue, the mutant island known as Krakoa is established as a sovereign nation, thus providing diplomatic immunity to all mutants who call it home…including some fairly nasty ones. While that happens, Cyclops leads a team of X-Men off world to destroy a Mothermold (a factory that spits out Mastermolds, which produce the dreaded sentinels) hidden in outer space and the issue ends with a veritable bang. I will be at my LCS as soon as I can make it there this coming Wednesday. I already have my sights on the House of X/Powers of X hardcover that drops right before Christmas.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Venom #17

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Iban Coello, colored by Rain Beredo, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Okay, now I’m mad. You see I took a chance on the first issue of Absolute Carnage and then I get to the LCS and they are sold out of the second issue; I had forgotten to put it on my pull. Now, I think the reading order is shot as that book preceded Venom #17. Still, I couldn’t resist reading Venom out of order, order be danged. Anyhow, Coello steps in as guest artist for this event and his art is the perfect fit for this horror-tinged, superhero versus symbiote slugfest. At its core, it is a spinetingling zombie flick, only instead of zombies we get creepy-as-f_ Carnage monsters swarming the city in search of anyone who has had contact with a symbiote. We also follow Eddie Brock’s son and Norman Osborn’s son who are both being watched by the Maker, who is trying to find a way to extract the symbiote codex from them before the monsters come calling…although I suspect the arrogant Maker has his own diabolical plans for the symbiote goo. And the hits keep coming when four symbiotes—who I have no idea of who they are—arrive to cause all manner of malice only to be thwarted by…Sleeper! Yeah, not a clue who Sleeper is and it looks like this character might be brand new but it doesn’t matter to me, he looks cool, promises to kick some ass, and Cates leaves me desperate to get that dang Absolute Carnage #2 in my hands ASAP!
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

That's it for this installment, Denizens. I’m off to ride the Taco Train to Beer Town. See you next week.




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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/23/2019

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/party planner/sleepwalker Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I ain't gonna front; it was a long early, early morning. You see, Tulip, Amy the intern (my wife), and I went out to Telegraph/Epic Brewing for some amazing beers to enjoy with the sandwiches we brought. Afterward, when we were moments away from heading home, Reverse Obie (and his owners) called and asked if we wanted to meet them over at Third Window Brewing. Yeah, we went there. Anyhow, a Walkabout chocolate and orange stout followed by a lovely and powerful The Next IPA and this Donist was positively floating on air. Amy the intern was the responsible one and got us home safe and sound, where we had an after-dinner Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout). That did it for us and we slept like babies…until the junkyard neighbors’ Rottweiler began barking at the top of its substantial lungs. This would have been around 4:15 am and he didn’t stop until around 5:30. I assumed no one was home until I heard a ruckus and saw an old man leave the massive Winnebago parked near the two giant boats that are all surrounded by many other vehicles and broken, mismatched junk. The dude was there the whole time!?!? ARGGH! I’m just going to go with him being deaf, heavily medicated, or both. Still, that’s total bullshit. I’m sure everyone within a four-block radius is just as sleep-deprived and upset as we are, and if they are nursing a hangover like yours truly, then I know they are indeed in bad shape. Morons. Complete and utter morons. So, before you put the light shield over your eyes and affix the noise-canceling headphones and catch those missing Zs, take a sip of calming tea, sit back, and 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


Powers of X #3

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva, inked by R.B. Silva and Adriano di Benedetto, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Discounting some pretty egregious typos and grammatical errors, this week’s Hickman X-Men offering is all sorts of kickass awesomeness that provides some clear answers to quite a few of the questions the previous issues have raised. This is also the first week that has not seen the series alternate from House of X to Powers of X and back. The book is also different in that we stick within Year 100 for the entirety of the issue. Here, we learn the identities of Apocalypse’s newest Horsemen with a 2nd Generation Chimera, two “Pureblood” Mutants, and a…well, you’ll have to read this fine issue to discover the identity of the VERY cool tree guy with the blood-red hands. The remnants of humanity are involved in all sorts of nuttery—when aren’t they?—and are challenged by most of the few remaining mutants. This is meant to draw the attention of Nimrod the Lesser away from Apocalypse’s true goal, which I absolutely did not see coming and which is beautifully played out on that shocking last page. Now, Hickman has me thinking again about timelines and a certain mutant ability while leaving me hoping for more adventures from this killer mutant lineup on this devastatingly bleak world. Hopefully, we will get to see more someday and hopefully, it will be brought to us by Silva and Gracia who give us the best-looking issue to date, especially on the scenes involving Nimrod the Lesser. However, as much as I want to see more of Apocalypse’s team, I more than anything need to see what happens next in House of X #3 this coming week. I can definitely see picking up the hardcover collection as soon as this fantastic event wraps.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Guardians of the Galaxy #8

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Cory Smith, colored by David Curiel, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
Last issue left us with a bleak look at how Rocket Racoon has been doing. It ain’t pretty. This issue lets us know how Rocket got to his current condition through a quick origin story that starts off as heartbreaking and ends as devastating. Then, the Patriarch of the Universal Church of Truth (Peter Quill’s father) reveals one (or rather many given that final page) of the methods through which he hopes to spread the Church’s evil influence. Given that the UCoT is involved, I’m hopeful to see Adam Warlock (one of my favorite Marvel characters) and/or Magus appear at some point and to hopefully play a prominent role in this great space opera. Time will tell, but I will say that I saw a solicit that looks to feature a kid version of Magus, which makes me a little nervous. I am NOT a fan of when comics make characters kids, but, again, time will tell. Cates has been rocking the Marvel books for a while now, and he continues to do so with Guardians of the Galaxy. You can and should catch up with the first trade if you aren’t already reading this fine series.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Sorry, Denizens, I gotta keep this one short and go lie down. I would have probably talked about Criminal #7 but unfortunately it didn’t make it in my pull, dagnabbit! Don’t let the dogs keep you awake and I’ll see you next time.



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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/16/2019

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/Escape Room Enthusiast Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). As you can probably guess, Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I went on a team-building exercise to a nearby escape room. The theme was a pirate's prison cell and we had to find the clues to take us from room to room until we reached the awaiting rowboat to freedom. We had roughly 45 minutes to find clues and solve puzzles to gain keys and the necessary codes to provide access to the next chamber and we completed the exercise with roughly seven minutes to spare. We had a blast despite having to make Reverse Obie give back all of the fake jewels and fake gold coins he tried to sneak out, but overall the teambuilding exercise was a howling success. So, avast ye landlubbers and pour yourself a nice frothy ale or whatever grog will cure what ails ya, 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




Powers of X #2

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva, inked by R.B. Silva and Adriano di Benedetto, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
I am still loving this Marvel event, both House of X and Powers of X. As I mentioned before, HoX focuses on the present, the what is. PoX, in turn, focuses on the what was, what barely precedes what is, what will be, and the repercussions of it all. With this second issue, in X0 Year One, Charles Xavier and Moira MacTaggert meet with Magneto to discuss a future not just where mutants survive, but one in which they thrive; this meeting changes everything. In X1 Year Ten, Xavier and Magneto meet with Cyclops to discuss one of their greatest, deadliest foes and to set a plan to confront the menace head-on, and in four short pages Hickman and Silva put “Slim” back into a position of importance and to once again, hopefully, make him a team leader worthy of respect. The identities of the blazing skull guy and the tree guy are revealed (COOL!) and we learn that Nimrod the Lesser is not one to be trifled with in the XYear 100 portion—we still don’t know who “Green Magneto” is but I’m placing my bets on the son/grandson of Magneto and Lorna Dane (Polaris). This era also fully reveals the identity of their new leader, which I believe was alluded to in the first issue text material and was also pretty much spoiled by the advance solicits for the deluge of titles that will flow after this event, but it was still awesome to see this character none the less. Finally, in XYear One Thousand, the Librarian reveals (maybe?) the endgame of his plan for the next stage of mutantdom…I think. Not much happens in this issue in regard to physical action or battles or what have you, but the impact of this fantastic story instead is derived from the implications of the interactions found in each time period and the story is all the better for it. Even without a single punch being thrown, I’m even more excited to see what happens in the weeks to come.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Silver Surfer Black #3

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Tradd Moore, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Silver Surfer Black is one of those comics that if it were to run for 12, or 20, or 60 issues (which I would love, btw), I would be at a loss for words as what to say from issue to issue. Sure, I could recap the events of every issue but in the end, every post would be “the story is weird yet freakin’ amazeballs,” “the art falls squarely in the camp of a lovely visual feast the likes of which you have never seen before,” and “I cannot wait to see what comes next.” The reviews would become repetitious in the face of just how consistently great and unlike anything else this book is. And there you have the third issue. Here, the Surfer,  who is poisoned by Knull’s darkness, finds a young Ego (the Living Planet) who aligns with the Surfer against the God of the Symbiotes. The problem is that Ego has an infection of his own that even the Surfer might not be able to prevail against. All the while, you embark on what can easily be described as the best ’70s-era acid trip of your entire existence (don’t worry, Mom, I’m only guessing this is what a good acid trip would be like. Promise). Bottom line: Silver Surfer Black is a glorious comic with an amazing story and gorgeous visuals that I honestly can’t believe Marvel allowed to even happen. My wish is for a series of blacklight posters and a greatly oversized hardcover once the five-issue run concludes. This is fire, Denizens, absolute hot potatoes with this bad boy. GET IT!
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #2

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Michael Walsh, lettered by Nate Piekos, published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics)
Speaking of experimental comics…Black Hammer/Justice League is the comic I never in a thousand years thought would see the light of day, yet here we are…and I so very much love it all. You have the Justice League dealing with Black Hammer problems and the Black Hammer crew dealing with Justice League problems, all the while a completely discombobulated Colonel Weird tries to find the best way to restore the order of things; it ain’t gonna be easy. We honestly only see the strange man who caused this switcheroo in a panel or two of flashbacks, but the main draw of this installment is seeing how each person deals with their new situation: Superman seems fine with everything except for Lois Lane not being around, Batman tries to fight crime where the most egregious infraction for him to avenge involves cow tipping, Barbalien meets Martian Manhunter, and Golden Gail gets an eyeful of the Lord of Atlantis. The moments between Colonel Weird and John Stewart are the best, however, as Walsh proves to be the perfect artist to expand upon both the Black Hammer mythos and the darker moments of the JLA. I love every page of this five-issue dream crossover and I am certain I will be double-dipping on the (please please please) oversized hardcover that is destined to come out. Seek out these amazing first two issues, but be sure to read everything you can of the Donist World Darling Black Hammer (and all of the equally-exceptional side stories) before delving into this treasure.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Gideon Falls #16

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
To quote one Homer Jay Simpson, “Brilliant. I have absolutely no idea what’s going on.” This is not a criticism, but the highest of praise. Gideon Falls is bizarre, scary, and the intrigue will keep me coming back for more. You can quickly catch up with the soon-to-be three available trades and I will prepare to do a reread from the start…which probably won’t answer too many questions and will most likely raise many more. You need to be reading this gorgeously unnerving series. The forthcoming television series cannot come soon enough.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That's it for this installment. So eat a bunch of sugar and go trip out on some amazingly mindbending Tradd Moore and Dave Stewart visuals. Until next time!



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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/9/2019

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/party planner/backup singer for the Donist World team Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Keeping this intro short as we are still talking about the amazing offerings from Marvel this week and we are going to reread them to be sure we didn’t miss anything…plus it’s lunchtime. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab some refreshing water or cave and get a burrito and beer, 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


Absolute Carnage #1

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Mayer, colored by Frank Martin, published by Marvel Comics)
Absolute Carnage is one I was on the fence about. After feeling so completely burned by far too many Big Two events over the years, I was very much intending to stick to my “No More Events” proclamation—or at least no more events until a lauded trade collection upon completion of an event was released. And I held strong for quite a while, years in fact, but then Cates and Stegman came out with their phenomenal Venom series. With Venom they took a character I only sorta liked from back in the day—right before my sick-of-’90s-comics-bullpucky, multi-year, comic book hiatus—and brought me wholeheartedly into the fold. Cates and Stegman tied Eddie Brock and the Symbiote to Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s tremendous Thor God of Thunder arc, which briefly showed a defeated dark god, and the current Venom creators made Knull, god of the symbiotes; what followed was an exhilarating roller coaster of action, adventure, and horror. I became a fan of Venom with but this single great first issue.
Now, Carnage…alrighty, I knew who the character was back in the ’90s: that he is a serial killer who somehow gained a symbiote that made him a devastating adversary. But was Carnage, aka Cletus Kasady, a part of Venom? Or did he come to be from his very own Symbiote? I honestly have no idea. I’m also not quite certain on how Kasady was originally killed and that’s fine, just roll with it and don’t sweat the details; you’ll be fine. (Just a side note that I went and skimmed the Wikipedia page for Cletus Kasady and my head is positively reeling after trying to follow the quagmire of the character’s history, so I will probably try to read it again after a Stone w00t Stout or two to see if it makes any better sense.) So, whatever the heck went down with Carnage over the past couple of decades, all I know is that he is utterly terrifying and creepy AF in this fantastic, 80-page, $7.99 (and worth every penny) first issue.
Absolute Carnage begins with Eddie Brock and his son on the run from both the law and the forces of Carnage, which leads Brock to seek the aid of one of his greatest adversaries: Spider-Man. The resurrected Kasady is once again Carnage, although he is immensely more powerful as he has used remnants of the dark god Knull’s Grendel (a symbiote dragon from the first Venom arc) to make himself an unstoppable force. Spider-Man and Venom learn that Carnage seeks to consume any trace of a symbiote that he can sink his claws and teeth into and it doesn’t matter if the host is alive or dead. A few Spider-verse guest stars appear (I’m not going to spoil) and we are left with one heck of a cliffhanger that guarantees I will be back for more more more.
Stegman’s art is something all fans of Venom and The Superior Spider-Man should already be well aware of. If not, then get ready to be wowed and give thanks to the comic gods for this heavenly comic. The dramatic scenes are great. The horror scenes are great. The storytelling is great. The backgrounds are great. The character designs are great. The action sequences are otherworldy, next level madness that will make you hesitate to turn the page as you attempt to take it all in. Put it this way: you’ll probably want to read the book straight through and immediately give it another read to focus even more on Stegman’s oh-so-gorgeous work. I’m sure the pencils alone would make this issue a must-see, but Mayer’s mix of fine and not-quite-so-fine-but-still-fine lines on characters and his use of deep shadows make every page something to behold. The whole black and white package is brought to unearthly life with Martin’s muted color palette that brings urgency with the use of red, not just in Spider-Man’s costume, but on the pages where the threat of a horrible death by Carnage escalates to a nervewracking pitch. Whew…this book is a looker.
One issue into this event and I am very hopeful for what comes next. That said, there are a BUNCH of tie-ins (19 issues to be exact) outside of this five-issue miniseries and the issues of Venom that are honestly part of the reason I abandoned events altogether in the first place. Some of those tie-ins might be great. Some might not be. I will probably get all of those in the inevitable Absolute Carnage Tie-Ins trade with the exception of the Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk #1 that will be written by Jade Jaws powerhouse Al Ewing. I have no doubt that Cates and Stegman have a monster of a story to tell and I really hope that they were given enough leash by the corporate powers that be to tell it without all of the corporate shenanigans that had made me so reluctant to try events so long ago. This issue, though, comes…
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


House of X #2

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Yes! Yes! Yes! This is what I want from a Hickman X-Men comic. As I said with the first issue, I’m a lapsed X-Men reader (not counting Ed Piskor’s outstanding X-Men Grand Design retelling of a few hundred issues of convoluted X-Men history) but this first issue pulled me back in with a sense of mystery around what the heck is going on with Charles Xavier, Magneto, Krakoa, and the move to create sanctuary Garden’s of Eden for all mutants while setting up those of “Omega” ability to be gods. Here, we jump away to focus on one character: Moira MacTaggert. Established X-Men fans should know that this woman has historically been a human with an exceptional knowledge of genetic mutation who worked closely with Professor X and the X-Men. This is not the complete story according to Hickman. In fact, MacTaggert is a mutant with an ability that completely blew my mind and that has had me running through the implications of having such an ability and what I would do were I to have her “power.” Yeah, I’m not gonna spoil it but, dang, it will get you thinking. So, after an awesome first issue, am I at least mildly put off that we aren’t seeing more of what is going on outside of Moira MacTaggert? Hells no. I’m even more invested now and I’m eager as heck to get ahold of this coming week’s Powers of X #2. Hickman warned us on his “Reading Order” infographic that HoX #2, HoX #5, and PoX #6 were going to be the issues that changed everything for the X-Men and after reading this issue, it is safe to say he is thus far 33.33% correct.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Immortal Hulk #22

(Written by Al Ewing; illustrated by Joe Bennett, inked by Ruy José and Belardino Brabo, colored by Paul Mounts, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit; published by Marvel Comics)
What. In. The. Actual. F_! Three comics completely knocked me on my rear this week and all three of them are from Marvel. A year and a half ago, if you would have told me this, I would have laughed. But, hey, I’m by no means complaining. Keep it coming. Ewing and Bennett continue their Hulk-as-a-horror-comic series as anyone with gamma powers and those who are friends with those with gamma powers waiting to come back from the dead—which is quite disturbing—look to take the hurt back to General Fortean. The problem: Fortean has bonded with the ravaged husk of the Abomination. Oh, man! The next issue cannot come soon enough as Alpha Flight (possibly including a currently dead Walter Langowski), The Hulk, Red She-Hulk (the harpy version), Doc Samson, a corpse-like Rick Jones, and a human reporter prepare to take on this horrifying new menace. This series in the hotness, Denizens. Best jump in with the trades as soon as you can.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Green Lantern #10

(Written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Liam Sharp, colored by Steve Oliff; lettered by Tom Orzechowski; published by Marvel Comics)
Much of what I said for the previous issue a few weeks back (read that post here) applies with this installment, but to summarize: I don’t really know what the heck is going on, but man, oh man, is Sharp’s art freakin’ gorgeous. Here’s what I do know:

  • 12 Parallel Worlds! 12 Green Lanterns! - Says so on the cover.
  • I LOVE the hippy freak Green Lantern named Magic Lantern who fights his enemies with Grooviness that is derived from his mystical spectacles (I think). I would buy a comic about this guy provided Sharp gives us more of the tripadelic visuals as seen on page two.
  • Green Lantern Batman of Earth-32 is pretty awesome and I would read that book, too.
  • The mostly-cybernetic, beefy guy who speaks backward is pretty damn scary. He might be the Yellow Lantern guy who the Blackstars were dissecting but I really have no idea. I just hope we see more of him.
  • A bunch of very fast scene jumps left me unsure as to what was happening and questioning existence until a scene with the zombie DC Trinity appears and a crazy looking Living Lantern leads us into the next issue.
Yup, that about sums it up. So maybe one of y’all can tell me what’s going on. Even with my confusion, I’m still loving this bonkers and gorgeously illustrated comic and you should at least check out the lovely first hardcover collection.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

That’s it for this installment, Denizens. I’m off to ponder the implications of the Moira MacTaggert revelations and to think about what I would do given her abilities. Brrrrrr...so very weird. See you next time.


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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/2/2019

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/Furry Fiesta Fan (happy hour for dogs) Specialist Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). This is gonna be a brief intro as my puppy executive team and I need to do a walk and talk about maintaining our positioning as a Fortune 320,000 company and about possible future Donist World topics. Tulip also needs to go out and go potty, so there’s that. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water and some kale chips after you do some situps, turn on The Boys on Amazon Prime, 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



Powers of X #1

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva, inked by R.B. Silva and Adriano di Benedetto, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Remember last week, how I was completely blown away by the phenomenal House of X #1? And how after a lengthy hiatus from the regular X-titles I decided “just to see” what Hickman could do with the X-Men who I used to worship back in the Claremont and Cockrum/Byrne days? Yeah, more of the same here, and I don’t mean more of the same-ol’-same-ol’ story or anything, indeed, quite the opposite. I mean that thrill of enjoying a comic book set in the X-Men universe and having that feeling of not being able to wait to see what comes next.
Now, I’m going to spoil some aspects of what this book is and how it fits alongside House of X but don’t fear,  I have absolutely no idea (yet) as to what exactly is going on. House of X is a comic set in modern times where Professor X—or someone posing as him—is working alongside Magneto and Krakoa—the living island—as they establish a paradise for mutants, solidify themselves a substantial place in the world market with wonderous pharmaceuticals, and also set themselves up to be gods. C-R-A-Z-Y, I know, but so very cool. Here, in Powers of X, we have a handful of different timelines that we follow:
  • X0: Year One (The Dream) - This is the time that Charles Xavier formulates the idea of the X-Men.
  • X1: Year Ten (The World) - The present which coincides with the events of House of X.
  • X2: Year One Hundred (The War) - We jump to the future where things have gone dreadfully wrong and mutants are on the decline as humans and machines seek to eradicate them completely. Many new faces and some old make an appearance.
  • X3: Year One Thousand (Ascension) - The tide has turned again in the distant future as mutants have risen and humanity has been effectively…you’ll have to read to the final page to see.
This was the comic I was most curious about after seeing that amazing poster featuring a red-skinned/furred Nightcrawler (?) and the armor-skinned, sword-wielding, raven-haired woman that looked to be an amalgamation of many of my favorite heroes and Hickman and Silva straight up let you know who they are in this oversized issue while at the same time making them even more mysterious. And that’s the thing about this outstanding issue: the creators create mysteries around what we thought to be well-established truths of the past concerning a “known” character while teasing the repercussions of what we are about to witness go down in House of X.
Silva’s art is stunning to behold in both character and background designs as we are introduced to new characters who are incredibly cool to see as well as environments that are forested or post-apocalyptic or highly futuristic. Partnering the lovely art with Gracia’s lush colors ties both titles together while pushing the mood and severity of each scene to the limits. The best thing of all is that you can be a lapsed X-Men reader like me and still be able to not just follow along, but become completely enveloped by this grand, unfolding story that is already shaping up to become one of the best X-Men stories not just of 2019 but of all time.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Conan the Barbarian #8

(Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Gerardo Zaffino and Garry Brown, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham, published by Marvel Comics)
The overarching story begun in the first issue, one foretelling the death of Conan at the hands of diabolical twins set on bringing their death god into this world, is barely touched upon here. This is much the same as each of the prior issues, but that’s fine. I am wholeheartedly loving Aaron’s done-in-one stories that anyone can pick up and enjoy all while gaining small hints at the looming menace of Razazel. For old Conan readers, there’s the reintroduction of the evil wizard Thoth-Amon into the mythology as Conan ventures home to Cimmeria. Guest artist Zaffino steps in this issue with a rougher, grittier style that works well on this fantastic “zombie” tale. Whether or not you are a fan of the original Marvel Conan books, Conan the Barbarian is an intense adventure that clearly reflects Aaron’s adoration and deep knowledge of the character that both pays homage to what came before while building something totally new. As I said, you can pretty much jump in with any issue, but why do that when you can start with the recently released first trade?
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Paper Girls #30

(Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, color flats by Dee Cunniffe, published by Image Comics)
Well, that does it for the Paper Girls comic. It’s been a fun-filled ride with Mac, KJ, Erin, and Tiffany as they traipsed across the past, present, and future while dealing with futuristic weirdos, angry cavemen, monsters, robots, and even different versions of themselves. It’s been a wild, ’80s nostalgia-filled adventure and this issue ties up the series quite nicely. That said, I honestly don’t fully remember how issue 29 ended to setup this issue that brings us back to where it all began, but that’s okay. I kind of think Paper Girls is best served as a binge read, one that has you moving as quickly from issue to issue as the girls jump from place to place and without the wait between issues. If you are a fan of Stranger Things, then this comic about friendship and saving the world is one you cannot miss. Just be sure to read it before the television adaptation streams from Amazon Prime sometime next year. You can read this great series—one I have given to many friends—through the six trades or through the three deluxe hardcovers, just be sure you give it a try.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

That’s it for this installment, Denizens. Be sure to rush out and get copies of House of X #1 and Powers of X #1 so that you too can be driven mad with anticipation of the next exciting issue. See you next week.



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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 7/26/2019

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/Yappy Hour (happy hour for dogs) Specialist Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Okay, I’ve gone to four happy hours this week; two of which were in one day. Unfortunately, after eating out for over a month during the move, the ol’ Donist World corporate polo shirt and jeans are fitting a right bit snugger than I would like. Dang, I got to knock that noise off and soon. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water and some kale chips after you do some situps, 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


Ascender #4

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, edited by Will Dennis, published by Image Comics)
Oh, Ascender, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1) You are a continuation of the Donist World Darling, Descender, 2) You shifted direction from a freakin’ great sci-fi epic to an equally-as-great fantasy adventure, 3) You made Bandit a badass…respect! 4) You just brought back another character we have not seen for quite a while. Besides all of that, Andy, Mila, and Bandit are being hounded by Mother’s evil forces as they make their way to the sea. We also learn that the UGC (United Galactic Council) is adapting their methods to deal with Mother accordingly. And if all of this isn't enough to lure you in…how about some gargantuan, flying turtles brought to life by Nguyen’s gorgeous, watercolored art? Ascender continues to be a thrilling adventure with characters you love, a story you never want to end, and art that will keep you lingering on every page. You don’t need to read the first six trades of Descender before jumping into this wonderful epic, but some of the key moments will be that much more powerful if you read the series that started it all first.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Guardians of the Galaxy #7

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Cory Smith, colored by David Curiel, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
The Church of Universal Truth—an organization of interplanetary, religious zealots once commanded by Adam Warlock's future/past (it’s complicated) persona, Magus—is back with a mission to resurrect their messiah. This can’t be good. Betrayals and possessions abound, and we also learn what’s going on with Rocket Racoon; it ain’t pretty. Now, I’m not sure if this “Messiah” is Magus or not, but I have been chomping at the bit to see both Adam Warlock and Magus return to prominence, but the second arc of Cates’s run is off to such a great start that I will be fine with pretty much whoever it ends up being. Smith steps in for Geoff Shaw on this arc and he keeps the action rolling with some great character and space ship designs that are brought to life by Curiel’s stunningly colored spacescapes. You should definitely pick up the first volume of Guardians of the Galaxy (because it is great!), but if you jump aboard with this issue, you should be just fine.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


House of X #1

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
The last X-Men book I bought—not counting Ed Piskor’s heavenly X-Men Grand Design—was over a decade ago. Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s brilliant Astonishing X-Men run was it for me. After that, nothing else really spoke to me or captured my attention. In fact, I watched event after event pass by and I pretty much resolved to solely reread the X-books of my childhood, you know, the Claremont and Cockrum/Byrne stuff. But then House of X and Powers of X were announced and I saw that they were going to be written by Hickman…I got a quick case of the goose pimples but even then, I did not intend to pick it up. There’d been too much nonsense from the past to trick me into buying a title that would inevitably lead me to buy 12,048 (estimated) freaking tie-ins to understand what the heck is going on. But then I saw House of X #1 and I took the plunge despite the steep $5.99 price tax.
Oh, my stars and garters, am I glad I did!
This is what it takes to get me excited about the X-Men again. The cover of this issue with Professor X (?), Magneto, Wolverine, Marvel Girl, and Cyclops stepping through a portal of vegetation is too much to resist. Larraz and Gracia gave me all I needed to take the plunge and the Hickman story of Krakoa, the living island, being not just a refuge/paradise for all mutants, but a source of commerce from the production of amazing pharmaceuticals…I was 100% hooked. I recognize most of the players in this issue after my decade-long hiatus, and Powers of X looks to have all sorts of characters I don’t believe I’ve seen before to stoke my curiosity for this coming week, but Hickman and Larraz did what I thought was impossible: they got me to buy a new X-Men book. Not only am I curious as to what the heck is going on with Professor X, but the fact that the X-Men have not only created their own world, they seek to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry and the marketplace with their miracle drugs and after Magneto’s jawdropping proclamation at a VERY deliberate location in the last panel of the last page, they look to be taking on modern notions of religion at the same time. You can’t tell, but I’m throwing up some devil horns and banging my head to an AC/DC track that is playing in my mind. Hells YES!
If you’re a lapsed X-Men reader like I was, then this is the book to pull you back in. I don’t exactly trust whatever is going on with Professor X and I have absolutely no clue as to what his deal actually is, and I am fine to just go with the Hickman flow. It is so refreshing to be so invested in a superhero book I had thought long gone but, man, does it ever feel good to be back. …I’m just going to ignore the 10,321 (estimated) new X-titles that have been announced for after this 12-issue series (six-issues each of House and Powers).
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Lazarus: Risen #2

(Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Michael Lark, colored by Santi Arcas with Tyler Boss, lettered by Simon Bowland, published by Image Comics)
Well, we are on the second issue of Rucka and Larks amazing and terrifying-in-that-much-of-what’s-in-this-dystopian-nightmare-is-currently-coming-true-in-real-life comic and even though we are now only receiving about three issues a year, make no mistake that each issue is WELL worth your time. Not only do we get to see Forever Carlyle take on two Lazari at once, we also get to see the toll the responsibility/curse of being a young Lazarus takes on “Eight” and that final page…damn, that final page…has me so excited to see what happens next as Forever sets her sights on the most horrific threat of all. I. Cannot. Wait. You can supposedly jump in with the first issue of Lazarus: Risen, but I strongly suggest whipping through the five original series trades first to become better acquainted with this grim world and the characters within it. Nervewracking, thrilling, and unfortunately all too relevant to the current state of the world Lazarus and Lazarus: Risen need to find their way into your hands.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this installment, Denizens. I’m off to watch some more episodes of the new Amazon Original Series The Boys which is way better than I ever thought it could be and to reread House of X  to find everything I missed the first time through. See you next time.



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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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