Saturday, February 9, 2019

Comics Lust 2/9/2019

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/reluctant rain runner Tulip. Thank goodness the rain let up for a few hours so my puppy executive team and I could go for a UCSB walk and discuss our plans for maintaining our standing as a Fortune 325,000 company as well as future topics of “Comics Lust” and for finally releasing the second volume of Tulip the Superpowered Boston Terrier. Exciting times.  Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos (which we can't eat except for the meat and veggies), keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

Under the Sea: Adventures Below the Waves (Part 1)

With all of the rain we have received over the past few months and after seeing the turbulent waves of the Pacific Ocean while taking Tulip for a walk, I got to thinking about comic books that focus primarily on what occurs below the water’s surface. Of course, I could go the route of Aquaman or Namor the Submariner, but you could easily go multiple entries on each of those characters alone. Today, I want to focus on less widely known comics which showcase underwater worlds that can be as spectacular as they are nightmarish.


(Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, originally published in 2014 by Image Comics)
After the Earth’s surface was irradiated to the point of being uninhabitable, humanity retreats to the depths of the ocean after sending countless probes out into the universe to find new hospitable worlds. Now, many millennia later, a probe has returned and crashed upon the land and it is up to Stel Caine to brave pirates and monsters to find it before the once oxygen-rich waters also turn toxic.
Despite many delays over the past four and a half years, the tremendous Low is slowly approaching the end of the series. Focusing primarily on Stel Caine and her daughters, it is a story of the struggle to remain optimistic when tragedy after tragedy attempts to drag everyone down. Beautifully illustrated by Tocchini with what looks to be painted colors by McCaig, the pair gives us a lovely yet terrifying submerged world with unique character and creature designs that are certain to captivate new readers and old—I especially like the designs of the immensely powerful Helm Suits, and of the oh-so-lovely leading women. No matter how long it takes for this series to play out, I will be there with the hope that the Caine family can finally persevere their countless obstacles to finally succeed; I can’t wait to see how it all eventually ends. Thankfully, you can catch up on the—as of this writing—20 issues via the four trades (Issues 1–19) or the first hardcover (issues 1–15). No need to dip your toe, just dive in!

The Wake

(Written by Scott Snyder, illustrated by Sean Murphy, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, originally published in 2013 by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint)
My main problem with this series is that it is only 10 issues long. This was a bummer to me as I fell in love with the world Snyder and Murphy had created in the second half of the series. But what about the first half of the series?, you ask. That’s the thing about The Wake, each five issue chunk is practically its own tale. The first half sees marine biologist Lee Archer being transported to the Arctic Circle and down to an underwater oil rig which houses a captured creature that looks to turn the oil rig into the researchers' watery tomb. The second half switches gears by jumping two hundred years into the future to a predominantly flooded Earth with new character Leeward as she faces threats from both land and sea as the genre shifts from mostly horror to mostly science fiction. This second half is where I wanted to see more: more of the characters, more of what occurred in between the jumps in time, and more of Murphy’s stunning character work and cityscapes. If you want a quick read that will give you shivers while making you hesitant to get in the bathtub, then this is the real deal! You can read the done-in-one hardcover or the done-in-one trade if tracking down the individual issues is not your scene.

Atlantis Chronicles

(Written by Peter David, illustrated by Estaban Moroto, originally published in 1990 by DC Comics)
It has been a while since I read this epic, seven-issue series about the history of Atlantis. Yes, this is the same Atlantis where Aquaman currently resides, but I am sticking true to not talking about that green and orange costumed superhero. In fact, Arthur Curry is barely mentioned throughout the entirety of this remarkable series. Atlantis Chronicles has much to offer for fans of Game of Thrones and fictional history buffs as it begins 50,000 years in the past to follow the rulers of Atlantis both before the fabled city’s descent beneath the waves and up to the point of Aquaman’s beginnings—at least his beginnings according to the ’90s. Each issue is extra long with tons of material both historical and action-packed as politics and intrigue bring about the rise and fall and rise again of this great empire. Atlantis Chronicles is a damn fine read that you can do in issue form or through the recently released deluxe hardcover


(Written Steve Orlando, illustrated by Artyom Trakhanov, originally published in 2014 by Image Comics)
Usually, stories focus on humans initially delving into the depths of the opaque blackness of the ocean but in Undertow, it is a society of fish-men who take exploratory missions to the surface world where Neanderthals roam the lands. Traveling via watertight exploratory vessels and wearing battle suits filled with water, Ukinnu and the commander Anshargal set out with a rapidly dwindling crew to find the mythical “Amphibian” a once water dweller who has someone adapted to breathing air and who is said to rule early man as a cannibalistic god. This short, six-issue series is a trippy joy to read especially given Trakhanov’s Warren Magazine-esque style of art that keeps things good and creepy. You can also find Undertow in trade form.

Sea Devils

(Originally written by Robert Kanigher, originally illustrated by Russ Heath, originally published in 1960 by DC Comics)
I know very little about this series other than I really want to read it—I might be on the older side of things, but I’m not THAT old. What I do know is that Sea Devils originally appeared in Showcase Presents #27–29 in 1960, before graduating to their own series Sea Devils #1–35 from 1961–1967. The books follow a team of underwater adventurers as they face off against monsters and sea spirits and all sorts of undersea mysteries. There is an out-of-print Showcase Presents: Sea Devils phonebook-style collection, but that is black and white and only has about half of the series. Here’s hoping we someday get a Silver Age collection of the whole enchilada because individual issues are REALLY expensive and hard to come by.

That’s it for this installment, keep dry and stay away from any sea serpents that might be lurking in your nearest body of water. See you next week.


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