Sunday, November 24, 2019

Slice of Heaven 11/24/2019

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/turkey taster Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It’s upon us. The holidays are here to stress out, depress, and inconvenience us all, but thank goodness we have plenty of comics to help us through these potentially trying days. Now, with that comment, you might be thinking Donist, are you okay? Do you need help? Don’t worry about me, I’m totally fine. I just know how difficult the holidays can be for many people. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), 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

X-Men #2

(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)
A mostly-absent father decides to become more involved in his children’s lives by taking them on a grand adventure to a remote island. I know, it sounds like a holiday special that you would find on the Hallmark Channel, but I promise you we are indeed talking about the latest issue of X-Men. Here Cyclops enlists his children—Cable (not sure why he’s now younger) and Rachel (now called “Prestige?”—to investigate an island that has appeared and which has attracted the attention of Krakoa. On the island, strange monsters roam the land but the strangest inhabitant of all is an alabaster-white, naked, mutant who can call the creatures forth to protect what is theirs. Misunderstandings occur and a fight breaks out, but the Summers family uses the voice of reason to calm the situation, but this strange “Summoner” shares a link to Apocalypse that is sure to play out in future issues. After the seriousness of the amazing House of X/Powers of X event, Hickman lightens the mood with added humor and witty banter between the Summers family members that had me laughing throughout the issue while also keeping me on edge with the high stakes. I may not have a clue of where this series is headed, but if Hickman and Yu maintain the vibe of the first two issues, then I can see myself reading this X-book for a good long while.

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)
On a whole, I really enjoyed this cross-company crossover event between the Justice League and the heroes of the Black Hammmerverse but the ending did not quite hit with the oomph I was hoping for. This is not to say that it was bad, but rather the ending seemed a shade rushed for my liking. I guess I would have preferred to have seen more of the characters adjusting to their new surroundings and interacting with the new locals with the story proceeding at more of the pace found in the main Black Hammer title. Still, the whole event has been loads of fun and if the final page is an accurate indicator, we hopefully haven’t seen the end of these two worlds colliding.

The Last God #1

(Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, illustrated by Ricardo Federici, colored by Sunny Gho with Dean White, lettered by Tom Napolitano, cartography by Jared Brando, published by DC Comics)
I missed this title on new comic day a few weeks ago, but my LCS loves me and was able to finally track down a copy. I am so glad they did. Our comic stores need way more fantasy titles on the shelves and this new Black Label title looks to fill that void. The Plague of Flowers once ravaged the world of Cain Anuun, turning the living into terrifying monstrosities until the day a group of godlike heroes stood against the God of the Void, but it was a mortal man who slew the God and who has ruled as king these past 30 years. Unfortunately, the lore surrounding the eradication of the Plague of Flowers might not necessarily be completely accurate. Gods, warriors, monsters, battles, and a rich new world brought to life by Federici’s oh-so-lovely artwork left me excited for more and reminded me of the best fantasy stories of the ’70s and ’80s. The good thing about getting ahold of this issue so late is that the next one will be available to read all the sooner. I can’t wait to see what comes next for what is one hell of a good start to a new fantasy title. This series was absolutely made for me.

Absolute Carnage #5

(Written by Donny Cates; illustrated by Ryan Stegman; inked by JP Mayer and Jay Leisten; colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
Ok. That was a quick five issues. I was definitely hesitant to jump on board with this event once it became clear that it was going to not only run alongside Venom but that it was going to spill over into a mess of one-shots and miniseries in a way similar to what drove me away from event comics in the first place so many years ago. I didn’t pick up anything other than this and Venom and, thankfully, I was able to follow along with the whole event no problem. Overall, it was fun. However, Absolute Carnage would have been better served as a 12 or 18 issue story that was allowed to breathe and one that played out only in Venom with “guest-appearances” limited to just the Peter Parker and Miles Morales Spider-Mans. Cletus Kasady is a terrifying villain and given his new, horrid makeover (is he on the Keto diet? Dang, that waistline!) it would have been so cool to have seen him lurk in the background for a while as disturbing things happened to those with a symbiote codex and Brock tried to solve the mystery of who was committing the gruesome murders. Anyhow, Carnage looks to be toast—at least for a little while—and everything appears to be relatively back to normal as if…nothing…ever…happened. Still, I’m glad I read it.

The Immortal Hulk #27

(Written by Al Ewing; illustrated by Joe Bennett; inked by—here we go—Ruy José, Belardino Brabo, Marc Deering, and Sean Parsons; colored by Paul Mounts; lettered by VC’s Cory Petit; published by Marvel Comics)
This was the last comic I read on New Comic Wednesday before going to bed. My eyes were heavy before I even picked up the book and I was passing out while reading it. By the time I got to the end, I had no idea what I read and I was shocked that I thought I didn’t like the issue. The next morning, I got up and reread the issue with new eyes. Boom! It was as amazing as ever. It just goes to show you that a fresh mind makes all the difference. This issue is three stories occurring through a six-panel layout: Roxxon corporate headquarters with the Minotaur at a board meeting, The Hulk at Shadow Base, Roxxon West Data Center where one guard tests the loyalty of another. The craziest part is when the Hulk teleports to the Data Center and two of the three stories collide with Bennett’s highly structured layout falling to chaos as the panels are broken and disjointed with the tremendous fight. Ewing’s story is compelling and Bennett’s art (with its four inkers…ay caramba!) and the tension rattling layouts is absolutely stunning in another great issue of this fantastic series; just be sure you are awake enough when you start reading The Immortal Hulk to enjoy it properly.

Family Tree #1

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Phil Hester, inked by Eric Gapstur, colored by Ryan Cody, lettered by Steve Wands, edited by Will Dennis, published by Image Comics)
How could I ever pass on a new Image book from Jeff Lemire? Family Tree follows the Hayes family: single mother Loretta, her high schooler Josh, and her young daughter Meg. Loretta works hard at her low-wage job and has to frequently deal with Josh getting in trouble at school, but life goes from difficult to startlingly strange when her daughter starts growing bark on her skin and branches start to grow off of her body. And the weirdness doesn’t stop there, as a group of creepy bald men armed with blades tries to abduct the family only to be stopped by someone Loretta has not seen for a long while. Dang, Denizens, am I glad I didn’t pass on this one. If you are a fan of Lemire and/or slow-burn horror stories, then jump on now for what is sure to be a wild ride.

That’s it for this installment as we head into a week of turkey, gawd-awful travel, and dealing with the psychological rollercoaster that is family; with any luck, Uncle Billy Bob and His “But Her EMAILS!!!” and “Climate change is a fabrication!!!” having ass decides to cancel. Best of luck, it will all be over soon…that is until Christmas rolls around. Thank goodness we have tons of great comics to read. See you next time.


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