Staff Picks- Week of 24/07/2019

In Waves TPB
AJ Dungo (w),(a)

Mattia says: Presented at the latest ELCAF 2019, In Waves by AJ Dungo is one of the best graphic novels I’ve read this year so far. It is a deep, sad, intense work where the author opens himself up to the reader, sharing his sorrow with us in a way that I’ve seen from few other great artists.

Dungo twists his own story with his partner’s love of surf and her battle against cancer with those of the great heroes of that changed the sport forever. The clean bichromatic color design makes this book graphically even more appealing; no panel is wasted to tell the story in a fluid and entertaining way. I don’t want to say more than that, just read it and try to hold back tears if you can…

House of X #1
Jonathan Hickman (w), Pepe Larraz (a)
Marvel Comics

Paul says:The latest wave in Hickman’s great Marvel experiment is finally here after months of teasing (and frankly, trolling) online. Trollin in the best way possible of course, After all, Hickman still wants you to buy the book. Not being an X-men fan, I was reluctant to pick this up. I’ve dipped my toes in Mutant waters only every now and then, when Grant Morrison, Joss Whedon and Warren Ellis were writing or when there was a particularly meaty Wolverine arc, as with Mark Millar’s Enemy of the State / Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. run…

But it’s Hickman, man! So in we go. To be honest, I haven’t got a scooby what’s going on and like most of you, I’m laden with questions. Why is Jean back in her Marvel Girl costume? Why does Charles resemble The Maker? Do I really have to read all these beautifully designed text pages? Thankfully, it doesn’t matter. Hickman’s storytelling carries it all forward at a nice pace with the graphic design sections creating chapter points. Overall there’s a strange air of positivity that hangs over the book, the Mutants at home in their deserved Utopia. You know it won’t last.

Like all Hickman stories for Marvel, this will and has garnered some fan controversy as it seems to toy with established continuity. But really, who cares? Continuity is for those that need it. If you prefer to be un-anchored, drifting into space on some crazy sci-fi adventure that will re-shape your perception of humanity and mutants, Hickman’s your guy. Larraz’s pencils render Hickman’s imagination beautifully and the colours pop when they should and cloud when they need to. I feel like I got my six quid’s worth (I went with the Huddleston variant. And whilst I’m still not an X-Fan, I feel this book, like Powers of X when it arrives, will allow me to evolve at least temporarily.