Sunday, May 5, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/3/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/Puppy of Dragons Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Alrighty, keeping the intro short this week as I need to go for a run—as prescribed by Tulip and Reverse Obie who will both be sitting on the couch and rewatching last week’s Game of Thrones episode as I wheeze and curse and struggle. So, grab a tasty beer and some pizza, run out to see Avengers: Endgame, sit back, relax, and afterward read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

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

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven

The Quantum Age

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Wilfredo Torres, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot, published by Dark Horse Books)
I remember seeing The Quantum Age #1 at my LCS the day it came out but I didn’t understand it was a Lemire book set in the Black Hammer universe. It wasn’t until the miniseries was half over that it dawned on me: I would soon be able to delve deeper into the world of one of the best comic series on the stands; I simply HAD TO HAVE this.
For those of you not familiar with the fantastic Black Hammer series (illustrated primarily by Dean Ormston), it is the story of a group of heroes who narrowly defeat a world-ending threat only to vanish without a trace. Presumed to have given up their lives to save humanity, these heroes are revered, mourned, memorialized…but they are also very much alive. Trapped on a country farm that actually succeeds in killing one of them, some of the heroes struggle to escape the quaint town as others settle comfortably into a world without supervillains and mad gods. Unfortunately, something is not quite right and the arrival of a newcomer looks to unearth a dire secret.
From the main series springs a bunch of miniseries that deepen the mystery of what happened to the heroes while effectively creating a rich and wonderful universe that looks to hopefully support additional ongoing series as well as more miniseries. To date, we have Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil (written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by David Rubín), Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows (written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Ken Fiumara), The Quantum Age, and the recently released Black Hammer ’45 #1 (written by Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes, and illustrated by Matt Kindt and Sharlene Kindt, and looks to run for four or five issues). We also have the Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual #1 (written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by various) and Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise #1 (written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Emi Lenox) one-shots to thrill and excite and grow the franchise, which will someday soon be growing tremendously via the recent movie AND television deal Lemire announced for the property. Needless to say, if you want to experience some of the best superhero comics being published, then cast your eyes past the Big Two to the Black Hammerverse.
All of that build up and you are probably wondering what the heck this The Quantum Age is all about. Well, one hundred years in the future, a new group of superheroes inspired by the great heroes who seemingly sacrificed their lives to defeat the dreaded Anti-God look to make a last-ditch attempt at ending a brutal authoritarian regime. Drawing inspiration from the greatest adventures of the Legion of Super-Heroes while standing apart on its own, The Quantum Age succeeds in expanding the Black Hammerverse and bringing to life some great new heroes as it adds tremendously to the main series. Torres delivers an exciting vision of the future with cool character designs, ever-changing and detailed backgrounds, and solid storytelling to keep you whipping through this six-issue miniseries that flys by all too quickly. The greatest negative—as of this writing—is that this chapter is over with no mentions of a plan on the horizon to return to the heroes of the Quantum League; with any luck, this will one day change.
As a public service, if you are new to the Black Hammerverse, here is a breakdown of the reading order to get the most out of Lemire’s multiple-award-winning creation:

There is also a gorgeous, very-oversized, hardcover called Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 1, that I STRONGLY suggest you pick up. It contains the first two trades and the annual and gives you the best view of Ormston’s glorious art. With any luck, we will one day start seeing Library Editions of the minis and “Age of Doom.”

Little Bird #2

(Written by Darcy Van Poelgeest, illustrated by Ian Bertram, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, designed by Ben Didier, published by Image Comics)
Okay, this is the book I alluded to a couple of weeks ago when my LCS ran out of copies and I realized I had not added it to my pull. I was completely smitten by the first lovely issue and I was desperate to get this in my grubby, little paws. Thankfully, it arrived this week and I was certain to add the title to my pull for the remainder of this five-issue miniseries. In this installment, we learn more about Little Bird’s mother and the horrors that she had been forced to endure. We also learn that there is much more to Little Bird than we ever suspected and we are briefly introduced to the Resistance, the lone but powerful group attempting to stand against the might of the fascist United Nations of America. Van Poelgeest continues to pull me in deeper on this post-apocalyptic look into what happens when religious extremists take control, and Bertram and Hollingsworth flesh out this disturbing world with a mixture of beauty and horror that is too lovely to look away from despite what you are actually seeing. Supposedly, this series is not going to be collected, but even though we are not even at the halfway point I can tell you I would gladly double dip on an oversized hardcover were one to be made available. You best scramble to find copies of this fantastic comic while you can.

Paper Girls #28

(Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, color flats by Dee Cunniffe, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, published by Image Comics)
We only have two issues left of the ever-exciting, sci-fi adventure Paper Girls and I honestly have no idea where Vaughan and Chiang could possibly take us next. The girls have been put thoroughly the wringer as they bounce from future to past to future to who-knows-where as they meet alternate versions of themselves, clones (?), monsters, weirdos, and all sorts of bizarre otherworldy creatures, but this time they’ve been separated from one another and left in the most perilous of situations. Vaughan and Chiang follow each girl as their world(s) comes crashing down around them. If you’ve been with the series since the beginning, there’s no way you’ll stop reading now as we come racing toward the ending of this immensely enjoyable series. Never fear, though, if you haven’t been following along you will soon be able to experience the whole shebang via six trades or three oversized hardcovers.

That’s it, Denizens. We’re off to meditate and make ourselves emotionally ready for the fourth episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. See you next week!


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