Staff Picks – Week of 11/10/2017

Justice League International Omnibus Vol. 1
Keith Giffen (w), J.M. DeMatteis (w), Mike McKone (a), Bart Sears (a) and others
DC Comics

Thomas says: There isn’t much to say about this particular era of the Justice League that hasn’t already been said, coming out at a time when mainstream comics were becoming increasingly ‘grim ‘n’ gritty’ the JLI was an island of (in)sanity in an ocean of dross that was a perfect refuge for those of us who weren’t suffering from eternal teenage angst and wanted our comics to be not only enjoyable, but fun too.

Reprinting JLI, JLA and JLE this Omnibus contains the first five of the six incomplete reprints from a few years ago and has been bound with the same level of care that the rest of DC’s large format hardcovers have been to-date and I have to re-state just how great these books are falling open and flat with ease making the reading experience trouble-free provided you have the space or lectern to lay it out on.

My only gripe is that this is a direct port of the prior, previously mentioned reprints warts ‘n’ all and there are quite a few warts. The contrast on the reproductions can be quite painful to the eye, the colour is bright and sometimes blinding with some of the pages almost popping out at you and not in a good way but otherwise I’m VERY happy with this book and am definitely looking forward to the next volume and the completion of this particular run.

Added bonus for those of you unsure about whether or not to take the plunge, this edition contains the single funniest comic ever; Justice League of America Annual #4 featuring Justice League Antarctica as lead by G’Nort and his arch nemesis The Scarlet Skier. Epic baby, epic.

Kid Lobotomy #1
Peter Milligan (w), Tess Fowler (a)
Black Crown / IDW Publishing

Adam says: Okay, so this one’s actually an advance staff pick in that Kid Lobotomy #1 doesn’t hit shelves until this coming Wednesday (October 18th). But I’ve read it, and I reckon I’m doing a solid piece of public service by spotlighting this book now…

Kid Lobotomy by Milligan and Fowler is the first offering from Shelly Bond’s new IDW imprint, Black Crown and certainly makes for an excellent launch title, as well as a great establishing shot for what this creator-owned shared universe / shared high street is going to be like.

Kid Lobotomy sees Milligan return, on excellent form, to one of his most treasured familiar themes – madness. His particular brand of transcendent dialogue flows from the very first pages. What’s different here, than from Shade for example, is the family dynamic at the book’s core, the heavy punk vibe, and most crucially – the partnership with Tess Fowler. In conversation, and a forthcoming podcast interview, Bond mentioned that one of her mission statements with Black Crown has been to bring together unexpected pairings, the old & the new. It pays off instantly here.

Writer and artist work in tandem brilliantly, and Fowler’s capacity for communicating very human emotion juxtaposed with gross, slimy, ambiguous creepy crawlies is wonderful. Oozing, puckered cockroaches! The hotel in which Kid Lobotomy takes place feels at once sprawling and claustrophobic. And most impressively in this first issue, while it’s definitely possible to discern notes of, say, Steve Dillon or even Chris Burnham in her work, Fowler really doesn’t have only one way of drawing people. She draws human difference meaningfully.

A great, great start from Black Crown.

Graphic Science
Darryl Cunningham (w/a)
Myriad Editions

Camila says: A wonderful collection of short biographies of incredible, yet not very well-known scientists that discovered, invented, and changed so much of what now makes up our everyday lives.

I must admit that, other than Nikola Tesla, I wasn’t familiar with any of the great men and women Cunningham has chosen to tell us about in this book, yet, was fully captivated by every one.

While one particular scientist is the focus of each of the seven sections of the book, it introduces a lot of other amazing historical figures, and goes well beyond chronicling scientific achievements. With great historical insight and a really personal touch, Cunningham has once again gifted us with a book that is utterly enjoyable, factually fascinating, and thought-provoking. Highly Recommended!

The Demon by Jack Kirby TP
Jack Kirby (w/a)
DC Comics

Ryan says: With titles like The Mighty Thor, Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four and The Avengers (to name but a few) under his belt, it’s easy to forget about the contribution Jack Kirby made to the world of DC Comics. And with the exception of perhaps The New Gods, there’s little that screams Kirby quite like Jason Blood’s otherworldly alter-ego, Etrigan – The Demon! Bursting with action, colour, and some of the greatest monster design ever penned to paper, Kirby’s Demon is iconic, not only in artistic flare, but also in narrative, even for a Silver Age series. This shockingly fairly-priced trade paperback collects the complete 16-issue run, making it something I’d consider a cornerstone of any Kirby fan’s collection.