Sunday, March 3, 2019

Comics Lust 3/02/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/Carol Corp doggie Tulip. The puppy executive team and I have spent a few extra hours at the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) this past week in preparation to close this Friday. We’ll have a couple beers and some great food before seeing a certain high-profile movie we’ve been eagerly anticipating; I just need to figure out how to sneak them in somehow. We can’t wait! Anyhow, prepare yourself for the awesomeness that will be Captain Marvel, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

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

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

Comics Lust

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

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


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

Top 10

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

Rising Stars

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

Secret Weapons

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

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


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