Staff picks – Week of 20/09/2017

Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics Vol. 3
Various creators, Curated by Rich Handley
IDW Publishing

Thomas says: Beautifully and lovingly scanned from Rich Handley’s personal collection, these volumes have been absolutely fantastic. Originally printed in various British comics in the late sixties, before the show even made it to the UK shores, this series was absolutely mad having very little similarity to what we know of as TOS but was almost uniformly gorgeously drawn. The art was stunning and far superior to most of the comic art we see on the shelves today, Star Trek or otherwise. It’s the craziness of some of these stories and out of character behaviour of Kirk et al that make these books the great read that they are.

These books and I include the newspaper strips of the Motion Picture era, which IDW have been putting out are fantastic snapshots of a different period in the life of Star Trek to what we’re all used to now. What’s also great is the sheer, unbridled imagination at play, long before the guardians of Star Trek were involved and writers had, for all intents and purpose, free reign to do whatever they wanted with the material.

Included is material that doesn’t really have a place anywhere else, comic strips from the backs of cereal boxes and 70’s toys that might never have ever seen the light of day. They would definitely have never been seen by this Trekie so I’m happy with their inclusion here. An interesting bit of trivia regarding these comics is that when Handley was putting these volumes together he approached Majel Barrett-Roddenberry who had absolutely no idea that these comics even existed and was stunned by what he showed her and so, I think, were most people who had never read these comics.

My Pretty Vampire
Katie Skelly

Will says: Clover is an immortal beast of the underworld. With a raging thirst for blood, she is locked away by her brother, but the smell of freedom has never been sweeter.

I’ve been excited to read My Pretty Vampire for a while and it has proven to be even more amazing than I had ever imagined. Mysterious, unsettling and saucy, this is a sensational book. Everything from it’s paper quality to it’s finger-licking delicious colours. You don’t deserve this.

The Legion by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Volume 1
Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (w), Olivier Coipel & friends (a)
DC Comics

Fidel says: A lot of people view the Legion of Super-Heroes as impenetrable because of their lengthy (and somewhat convoluted) history but, if you can put that aside and approach this as a fresh entry point, then you’re in for a real treat. This is what led to Abnett & Lanning getting the gig on Guardians of the Galaxy – another set of cosmic adventurers with their own convoluted history. Equally exciting is the fact this was the series that introduced Olivier Coipel to the comics world, leading to so much other work in the American comics market. In this main story, originally entitled ‘Legion of the Damned’, the Legion must take on the terrifying Blight – a race of techno-organic parasites who steal the life energies of the worlds (and people) they conquer. The only thing standing between them and Earth is the young Legion, who must pay the ultimate price to save everything. In deconstructing the Legion, Abnett & Lanning found a way to reenergise and rebuild them again for a new generation of readers. Even if this isn’t the portal you need into the world of the Legion, it still stands as an incredible storyline in its own right, and serves as one of the missing pieces in the rise of Abnett & Lanning as the respected storytellers they are today. Highly recommended.

Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror #23
Various creators
Bongo Comics

Liz says: Anything that signals that Halloween is coming up is always going to be all right by me, and this year’s “Treehouse of Horror” annual is as entertaining as ever. It kicks off with an ‘It’ parody that turns Homer & Co. into the Losers Club to face off with an evil, fear-craving Krusty the Clown as kids, who catches up to them again thirty years later. Having just been to the cinema to see ‘It’, I was duly entertained. This was followed by two more amusing, slightly twisted short stories. I don’t regularly follow the Simpsons comics, by when it comes to the Halloween annuals it’s always worth dipping in.