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.

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.

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).

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.

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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