Staff Picks – Week of 02/03/2016

Tomboy #4
Mia Goodwin (w/a)
Action Lab: Danger Zone

Rosie says: Do you like magical girls? Do you love gore? Ever watched Sailor Moon and wished Jupiter would stomp on the head of Queen Beryl till her beautiful sailor suit was stained with blood? Ever watched a Friday The 13th movie and wished Jason was a teenage girl with really cute knee socks and a magical fairy guide? Well I have, and Tomboy makes every one of these dreams come true. This is a classic magical girl story, except this transformation creates a badass vigilante hell bent on vengeance, and boy is that vengeance bloody. This book is Batman if Bruce Wayne was a teenage girl instead of a libertarian fascist billionaire. Tomboy is the real face of vigilante justice; she’s bloody, violent and wracked with guilt. This is a world where you can’t afford to have a faux moral code; cops are corrupt, medical companies kill for cash, and heads are casually lopped off with garden shears. Tomboy is the hero this world deserves. I have no idea what we did to deserve a book this great though. Easily one of my books of last year, and that continues into 2016, original, beautiful, witty and violent. I love this book.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1
Kyle Higgins (w), Hendry Prasetya (a)
Boom! Studios

Chris says: I was old enough to know better when Power Rangers first came out, but I still found it to be a fun and cheesy distraction from life at the time. Although it faded into the background when the Mighty Morphin era came to an end, I’ve enjoyed visiting with the various incarnations since – even the recent Dino Force. So you can imagine my excitement when Boom! Studios first announced they’d acquired the rights to do new Power Rangers comics set in the classic era. The key was securing the right creative team to do it – and that’s something they’ve nailed in the form of Kyle Higgins & Hendry Prasetya. Someone at the shop compared it to the recent Archie relaunch, and I can see why. It takes everything that’s great about the series and characters, and filters them through a modern lens to create something that’s very now. This is nostalgia for today – and it works. Kyle Higgins employs his trademark recap sequence at the start of the book to bring people up to speed and prepare them for what lies ahead. Even if you’ve never watched the TV series, this is a thoroughly fun and accessible comic that works on its own merits. Add to that a fun back-up strip by Steve Orlando & Corin Howell, and you have a Mighty Morphin Power package that really delivers! You can hear more about Power Rangers (and writer Kyle Higgins) in our latest podcast interview.

Black Widow #1
Mark Waid (w), Chris Samnee (a)
Marvel Comics

Liz says: What I found refreshing about this first issue was how engaging it managed to be with almost no exposition at all. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, (previously collaborating on Daredevil), have clearly got the formula down, and it’s to both of their credit that there’s very little information needed to get the ball rolling. Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, is on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. after absconding with sensitive information. About ninety-five percent of the storytelling is done through the art, and artist Samnee does it beautifully and effectively. Not to be overlooked is Matthew Wilson’s coloring, which is tonally thrilling in bursts of fiery, tension-building reds and oranges as the Widow makes her explosive escape. If you’re after something dense and verbose, this may no be the book for you, but for a fun, whirlwind of a first issue that tells you everything you need to know with needing to spell it out, look no further than this.

The Bold Adventures of Whiskers McFadden #1
Ryan Jenkyns (W/A), Jose Expósito (C)
Self-Published

Thomas says: At last our very own Ryan “Bonesaw” Jenkyns has released the first issue of his Whiskers McFadden creation and it’s good. Inspired by the madness of Hollywood B movies Whiskers embraces the silliness and fun of those wild ideas and runs with it. As a first issue it suffers from the same problem that every first issue suffers from and that is that it’s almost entirely set-up which is not an easy problem to get past even for seasoned creators, unless writing Paul’s favourite Fascist-Man, but it doesn’t impact the story too much. The art is cartoony and drawn in nice, broad strokes enhanced by Jose Expósito’s wonderfully bright colours that give the piece an almost Technicolor brilliance. The design is deceptively simple but characters are distinct and individual from one another. A little more attention to the backgrounds in some panels would be good to give the setting it’s own voice/character but it’s far from a deal breaker for a first issue. I enjoyed it. Check it out.

Tick And Arthur Comp Works TP (New Ptg)
Sean Wang (w,a)
New England Comics

Ryan says: It still surprises me just how little is out there considering the cult following and nearly 30-year publication history of Ben Edlund’s creator-owned character, The Tick. Graphic novels are usually kept in good supply, but you may only get an issue once a year (by the way, there’s one coming out on Free Comic Book Day in May so be sure to stop by). So to see a brand new printing of Sean Wang’s run on the series was too tempting to pass up when it hit our shelves this week, and it even features some early work by comic-legend Michael Avon Oeming. The zany adventures of witless superhero The Tick and his loyal-to-a-fault sidekick Arthur is traditional parody at it’s finest! All that’s really left to say is… SPOON!!!