Staff Picks – Week of 02/10/2019

Batman #251 (Facsimile Edition)
Denny O’Neil (w), Neal Adams (a)
DC Comics
Joe says: Maybe it’s a bit sad that the best Batman issue to be released over the last few years is a reprint of one from over four decades prior but to look at it optimistically, that just speaks to the quality of this issue (rather than the lack thereof in modern comics). From the legendary creative team of Denny O’Neil and Neil Adams comes this well paced, one-shot Joker story with Adams’ stunning artwork presented at its finest (not the terribly recoloured pages we’ve been getting in the latest reprints of his work). Peppered throughout, you’ll find plenty of iconic panels that you’ve no doubt seen recreated on countless bits of merchandise and I was amused by how oddly polite Batman was throughout the issue. This feels like a less experienced Batman, more prone to mistakes and misjudgement whilst still being a master detective – unlike the current “Bat-god” interpretation of the character. The story is a lot of fun and this facsimile edition is definitely the best way to read it whilst ensuring it still looks good.

Doomsday Clock Part 1 HC
Geoff Johns (w), Gary Frank (a)
DC Comics
Liz says: If you’re a Watchmen purist fundamentally opposed to revisiting the source material, Doomsday Clock isn’t going to be for you. However, if you’re simply craving more time with the world and the characters of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ masterwork, then Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s entry is actually very good. Doomsday Clock accomplishes the impressive feat of folding the Watchmen characters into the mainstream DCU without feeling forced or silly. It creates plausible reasons that Batman would have to interact with Rorschach, or Superman with Doctor Manhattan. It introduces new characters that feel at home in both worlds, in the Mime and the Marionette. Most importantly, it does nothing to detract from Moore and Gibbons’ story, and for DC fans it feels like the best kind of fan service.