Staff Picks – Week of 27/01/2016

Cry Havoc #1
Simon Spurrier (w), Ryan Kelly (a)
Image Comics

Ryan says: If books like Si Spencer’s Bodies showcased anything, it’s the strength in defining a story’s threads through the use of multiple artists. It has to be tackled from the right perspective but makes for a captivating read. Well it’s safe to say Cry Havoc has masterfully mirrored this concept, using three different colourists to subtly change the tone of the fantastic Ryan Kelly artwork, so that you can that much more clearly distinguish where each scene is set. The Image Comics website pitches it as a blend of Jarhead style action within a Pan’s Labyrinth inspired world of mythos, and that may well be the most apt description for it. Definitely worth picking up, and thanks to our recent launch for the title last week, almost every copy we have on our shelves is signed by writer Simon Spurrier and designer Emma Price (who worked with Ryan Kelly on the main cover art), making this not only a must read book for this week, but also kind of a collector’s item. Grab your copy quick while we still have them!

Grayson #16
Tom King, Tim Seeley (w) Mikel Janin (a)
DC Comics

Liz says: Grayson is my favourite ongoing series. I love it for a million reasons, the main one being that I have no idea what it is I’m going to love about it next. There are issues where the stakes are high and the suspense is killer. There are issues where it plays my heartstrings like the love-theme from Titanic. And there are issues, like this one, where it’s just pure, pure joy.

The past few issues have ratcheted up the ante for Dick Grayson. Having resolved to take down Spyral, Dick and his cranky partner Agent 1 are on the run and going after their fellow agents. There’s great tension as Dick’s former partner and current head of Spyral Helena Bertinelli decides how to neutralize her rogue agents, and when Dick turns to an unexpected source for help. But the real five-star moment of this issue, in what could have been a montage of rote action sequences, is when we get… a montage of action sequences, with Dick Grayson singing his own spy theme over the top of it. And it is absolutely glorious.

What I’ve loved most about Grayson is that it is constantly shifting and moving in surprising, unpredictable directions. The only thing I can ever expect from it is the unexpected, and that it’s going to be the most unforgettable thing I’ve read all week.

Dark Horse Presents: Hellboy Winter Special
Dark Horse Comics

Thomas says: I was tempted to choose Superman: Lois and Clark but as a former DC fan I have no wish to support a lumbering beast that should just hurry up and die already, although the abominable, cesspit dwelling Geoff Johns et al. are doing their best to accommodate that desire so I shouldn’t have too much longer to wait.

Hellboy is great, this is an undeniable fact like the sun is hot and I’m sure that it comes as absolutely no surprise to anybody that this one-shot is, at the very least, entertaining. A series of shorts from the standard; Wandering Souls, the ‘pointless’ but good Broken Vessels, the wonderfully endearing Mood Swings and finally the outright, deliciously insane Kung Pao Lobster.

The Winter Special is a nice holding pattern to tide us over between issues/stories/chapters in the ongoing Hell that is the Mignola-verse and reminds us of ‘pleasant’ times before the Old Ones made their return. This is a decent comic and though there doesn’t seem to be any overarching connection to the ongoing lines it is a nice, welcome diversion.

Adventure Time: The Enchiridion & Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook!!!
Martin Olson & Olivia Olson
Titan Books

Will says: Ok, so you’ve always felt like there was something missing from your bookshelf; that empty void that could never quite be filled with all your trendy Image volume ones or your infinite supply of superhero garbage. Well, that’s because you’ve never had a book with the power to tear open wormholes across the multiverse. You’ve never had your very own Enchiridion…until now! Translated from the Scrolls of Ooo by the very rocking vampire queen and her evil dad themselves, this reprint sadly doesn’t retain the magic of the original book. It does, however, still hold valuable guidance and information for any aspiring adventurer. Learn how to be a wizard, slay the many monsters of Ooo and even learn how to make a Cyclops cry! And if that wasn’t enough, you can delve deeper into Marceline and the Ice King’s past by reading their journal of their time on the world after the Great Mushroom War. Have you not globbing gone and got this already? What the Björk!? Why are you still reading this? You jingleblaster.

Monstress #3
Marjorie Liu (w), Sana Takeda (a)
Image Comics

Rosie says: This is a beautiful book. I really can’t reiterate that point enough; the design, paneling, art, lettering and colouring are truly something to behold. It also happens to be an incredibly well woven fantasy tale that uses some well-known tropes from anime and fantasy to create an original, engrossing and complex universe that has me completely hooked.

With a constant supply of beauty, death and cute furry half fox companions, it’s a very special beast, which you can’t help but take home with you and read again and again. This is a book to pore over, searching each page for details you may have missed the first, second or even third time. Buy this book and fall in love.