Saturday, August 3, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 8/2/2019

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/Furry Fiesta Fan (happy hour for dogs) Specialist Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). This is gonna be a brief intro as my puppy executive team and I need to do a walk and talk about maintaining our positioning as a Fortune 320,000 company and about possible future Donist World topics. Tulip also needs to go out and go potty, so there’s that. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water and some kale chips after you do some situps, turn on The Boys on Amazon Prime, 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

Powers of X #1

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva, inked by R.B. Silva and Adriano di Benedetto, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Remember last week, how I was completely blown away by the phenomenal House of X #1? And how after a lengthy hiatus from the regular X-titles I decided “just to see” what Hickman could do with the X-Men who I used to worship back in the Claremont and Cockrum/Byrne days? Yeah, more of the same here, and I don’t mean more of the same-ol’-same-ol’ story or anything, indeed, quite the opposite. I mean that thrill of enjoying a comic book set in the X-Men universe and having that feeling of not being able to wait to see what comes next.
Now, I’m going to spoil some aspects of what this book is and how it fits alongside House of X but don’t fear,  I have absolutely no idea (yet) as to what exactly is going on. House of X is a comic set in modern times where Professor X—or someone posing as him—is working alongside Magneto and Krakoa—the living island—as they establish a paradise for mutants, solidify themselves a substantial place in the world market with wonderous pharmaceuticals, and also set themselves up to be gods. C-R-A-Z-Y, I know, but so very cool. Here, in Powers of X, we have a handful of different timelines that we follow:
  • X0: Year One (The Dream) - This is the time that Charles Xavier formulates the idea of the X-Men.
  • X1: Year Ten (The World) - The present which coincides with the events of House of X.
  • X2: Year One Hundred (The War) - We jump to the future where things have gone dreadfully wrong and mutants are on the decline as humans and machines seek to eradicate them completely. Many new faces and some old make an appearance.
  • X3: Year One Thousand (Ascension) - The tide has turned again in the distant future as mutants have risen and humanity has been effectively…you’ll have to read to the final page to see.
This was the comic I was most curious about after seeing that amazing poster featuring a red-skinned/furred Nightcrawler (?) and the armor-skinned, sword-wielding, raven-haired woman that looked to be an amalgamation of many of my favorite heroes and Hickman and Silva straight up let you know who they are in this oversized issue while at the same time making them even more mysterious. And that’s the thing about this outstanding issue: the creators create mysteries around what we thought to be well-established truths of the past concerning a “known” character while teasing the repercussions of what we are about to witness go down in House of X.
Silva’s art is stunning to behold in both character and background designs as we are introduced to new characters who are incredibly cool to see as well as environments that are forested or post-apocalyptic or highly futuristic. Partnering the lovely art with Gracia’s lush colors ties both titles together while pushing the mood and severity of each scene to the limits. The best thing of all is that you can be a lapsed X-Men reader like me and still be able to not just follow along, but become completely enveloped by this grand, unfolding story that is already shaping up to become one of the best X-Men stories not just of 2019 but of all time.

Conan the Barbarian #8

(Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Gerardo Zaffino and Garry Brown, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham, published by Marvel Comics)
The overarching story begun in the first issue, one foretelling the death of Conan at the hands of diabolical twins set on bringing their death god into this world, is barely touched upon here. This is much the same as each of the prior issues, but that’s fine. I am wholeheartedly loving Aaron’s done-in-one stories that anyone can pick up and enjoy all while gaining small hints at the looming menace of Razazel. For old Conan readers, there’s the reintroduction of the evil wizard Thoth-Amon into the mythology as Conan ventures home to Cimmeria. Guest artist Zaffino steps in this issue with a rougher, grittier style that works well on this fantastic “zombie” tale. Whether or not you are a fan of the original Marvel Conan books, Conan the Barbarian is an intense adventure that clearly reflects Aaron’s adoration and deep knowledge of the character that both pays homage to what came before while building something totally new. As I said, you can pretty much jump in with any issue, but why do that when you can start with the recently released first trade?

Paper Girls #30

(Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, color flats by Dee Cunniffe, published by Image Comics)
Well, that does it for the Paper Girls comic. It’s been a fun-filled ride with Mac, KJ, Erin, and Tiffany as they traipsed across the past, present, and future while dealing with futuristic weirdos, angry cavemen, monsters, robots, and even different versions of themselves. It’s been a wild, ’80s nostalgia-filled adventure and this issue ties up the series quite nicely. That said, I honestly don’t fully remember how issue 29 ended to setup this issue that brings us back to where it all began, but that’s okay. I kind of think Paper Girls is best served as a binge read, one that has you moving as quickly from issue to issue as the girls jump from place to place and without the wait between issues. If you are a fan of Stranger Things, then this comic about friendship and saving the world is one you cannot miss. Just be sure to read it before the television adaptation streams from Amazon Prime sometime next year. You can read this great series—one I have given to many friends—through the six trades or through the three deluxe hardcovers, just be sure you give it a try.

That’s it for this installment, Denizens. Be sure to rush out and get copies of House of X #1 and Powers of X #1 so that you too can be driven mad with anticipation of the next exciting issue. See you next week.


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