Sunday, July 7, 2019

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

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

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

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven

The Immortal Hulk #20

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

The Green Lantern #9

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

Sea of Stars #1

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

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


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