Sunday, October 20, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 10/19/2019

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/jet lag hater Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Yup. I missed a post last week. Why? Well, my two bosses and I (from the job that actually pays me) flew out to Orlando, Florida for a conference and I was gone for almost a week. The conference was tremendous (saw Jerry Seinfeld do a comedy routine, Lin-Manuel Miranda was interviewed by Soledad O'Brien, we went to Islands of Adventure and rode Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, went to an afterparty at Universal Studios Orlando with free food and drinks, and met tons of nice people. But, there was another purpose: my puppy executive team stowed away so we could set up a Donist World mini-conference of our own on the third floor of the north side of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. There Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I held sessions to discuss our plans to take Donist World from a Fortune 320,000 company to a Fortune 310,000 company and to tell of how comic books will save our future from the perils of the orange imbecile. Unfortunately, our location by the closed restroom didn’t do us any service as far as foot traffic goes. Oh well, at least we got some gourmet chocolate mint popcorn, coffee, and a bunch of various types of sliders. Despite that, the entire trip was a complete success. So, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, readjust to your time zone, grab a refreshing beer and some tacos, hit the hot tub, 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 #6

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva and Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia and David Curiel, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, designed by Tom Muller, published by Marvel Comics)
This issue continues and concludes the thrilling mystery and mindbending exploration of Moira MacTaggart’s attempts to solidify a future where mutants avoid being eradicated by humanity. We learn of the missing chapter that is her sixth life as well as the potentially last attempt at ensuring mutantdom’s survival as orchestrated by Moira, Magneto, and Charles Xavier and that the odds they are fighting against are tremendous. And with that, the event comic that succeeded in making me excited to be reading an event comic comes to a close. Was it all worth it, though? Hells yes, it was worth it. The only question remaining as to my thoughts on the hardcover collection arriving in mid-December is not one of whether or not I will be double-dipping and buying the book but rather do I want the regular cover version or the direct market version? This maxiseries is the real deal and one that all comics/X-Men fans need to read.

X-Men #1

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Leinel Francis Yu, inked by Gerry Alanguilan, colored by Sunny Gho, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, designed by Tom Muller, published by Marvel Comics)
With the end of HoX/PoX, the X-Men launch into their own new comic series, one which I intend to be reading for as long as Hickman remains on the title. In this issue: Cyclops proves to finally be the leader he was always meant to be, Storm overextends herself for the sake of Xavier and Magneto’s dream, and Magneto proves exactly why he is a force to be feared and reckoned with. But it’s not all intense fighting and the reassertion to certain humans that mutants are gods who walk the earth, Hickman and Yu show us some of the quieter moments in the Summer House—which has a very unique location—and succeed in delivering some moments that not only made me smile but laugh out loud at some of the funnier situations. The shift from R.B. Silva and Pepe Larraz’s art to that of Yu’s is a noticeable one but within a few pages, I was right back into the flow of things and becoming more of a Cyclops fan with every page. You can definitely jump into X-Men without having read HoX/PoX, but that series is so rich with content and themes that are sure to unwind in this series, as well as the many others that are going to follow, that you are doing yourself a disservice by not going back and reading that fantastic event before things really get rolling in this new series. All of that said, I am more excited to be reading a comic about Marvel’s mutants than I have been in almost two decades.

Absolute Carnage #4

(Written by Donny Cates; illustrated by Ryan Stegman; inked by JP Mayer, Jay Leisten, and Ryan Stegman; colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Venom Hulk? Miles Morales a thrall of Carnage? Eddie Brock abandoned by his Symbiote? Brock versus all the symbiotes with only a couple of superhero weapons at his disposal? I know, it’s all rather insane, but it’s this insanity that keeps the heart racing with the ever-increasing stakes as Carnage continues to accomplish his diabolical goals. The action and story are great for the second Marvel event that I am currently enjoying, and this series—as well as Venom—are well worth your time, but I will say that this five-issue miniseries might have benefited by having another one or two issues to allow the story to breath more as it all seems a bit rushed. Regardless, Absolute Carnage is a fun series and one that all Venom/Spider-Verse fans should give a shot.

Guardians of the Galaxy #10

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Cory Smith, inked by Victor Olazaba, colored by David Curial, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
Alright, I know what I’ve been saying over the past couple of issues. That I had a certain degree of…apprehension…toward Cates’s decision to bring the child version of Magus, Adam Warlock’s darker incarnation, into the Guardians of the Galaxy fold. I thought this kid would be used to introduce a degree of humor and a lack of seriousness to the book and that doing so would be a HUGE turnoff to me. But this is Cates. I should have known better. I actually love this version of the Magus. He is not cute. He is not comedic relief. He actually annihilated an entire sect of anti-Universal Church of Truth members known as The Order of Healing Truth. Magus had good reason to do what he did, The Order had tried to kill him after all, but it is interesting to see this kid skirt the lines between minding his own business and falling into the malevolence of one of his possible future selves. Oh, yeah, the Drax stuff is weird, but kind of cool at the same time. There was no need to worry about the path this story is going to take, we’re in good hands.

Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #4

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Michael Walsh, lettered by Nate Piekos, published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics)
We learn the identity of the mysterious stranger who caused the Black Hammer group and certain members of the Justice League to switch places as John Stewart, the Flash, and Colonel Weird confront the person behind their woes. In order to set things right, a simple, yet insurmountable task must be achieved. The odds don’t look good. I am still loving the series that I never thought I would ever see, but Black Hammer is one of the best comics of the past decade, and this is one you surely don’t want to miss.

Gideon Falls #17

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
I continue to not fully understand what the hell is going on in this psychological horror comic and I continue to absolutely love every page of it. Sorrentino’s art has much lighter linework in this issue than I am accustomed to seeing in his illustrations but the technique is a brilliant way to shift the tone of various scenes and serve as a cue to let you know that things will most likely be getting weird. Gideon Falls will someday soon become a television series and you should definitely get caught up with the soon to be three available trades worth of mindbending and awesome horror.

East of West #43

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Nick Dragotta, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics)
Here is another Image title wherein I don’t really know what is going on. Unlike Gideon Falls, this is not by design, but rather because the last issue of East of West came out back in April. I don’t remember how things left off. Anyhow, I still really enjoy this complex, post-apocalyptic story that will soon be concluding. Once all is said and done, I will definitely have to do a reread from the beginning and on through to the end to pick up on everything I missed the first time through. You can experience this incredible series through the trades or the hardcovers and see how it all plays out.

That’s it for this installment, Denizens, and I hope to see you here next time. Pleasant readings!


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