Staff Picks – Week of 06/03/2019

Amazing Spider-Man #16
Nick Spencer (w), Ryan Ottley & Alberto Alburquerque (a)
Marvel Comics

Ryan says: This is a totally different issue to anything we’ve had in Spencer’s run on this series so far — a Spider-Man issue with almost no Spider-Man in it! But don’t be discouraged because, in a change of pace, we are instead treated to the revival of one of Spidey’s most infamous and well-loved villains, Kraven the Hunter, now living in his own remote South African jungle manor home.

Kraven reveals that he’s capturing animal-themed rogues from Spider-Man’s vast catalogue of villainy (including the likes of Rhino, Vulture and Scorpion) to populate his own big-game hunting reserve, open only for the wealthy elite. A prelude to the upcoming “Hunted” storyline, this issue promises big spectacle and high stakes for coming weeks. Do not miss out!

The Electric State
Simon Stålenhag (w, a)
Simon & Schuster

Chief says: It’s not often I choose a good old fashioned picture-prose story as a staff pick, but this caught my eye in Previews a few months back an lodged itself in my brain. The story of Michelle, who in a post-apocalyptic, alternate 1997 America, makes a perilous journey to find her brother. Accompanied by her toy robot, Skip, whom she treats as a younger brother, Michelle must voyage across a ruined landscape filled with decaying husks: firstly of giant cartoon-faced drone robots, the remnants of the last American war and also of people, rotting away yet alive, fed a VR version of existence, connected 24 hours a day to the internet.

In a sparse, beautiful touching style, The Electric State asks you to gaze not into the end of the World, but into what comes after and then decide which is worse. It gives you an imagined days of future past that could easily be the most expensive Black Mirror episode ever made or just as easily be the World we’re forging now. The bleak, melancholic writing is backed up by sumptuously rich art, nearing a photographic reality, lit from somewhere deep in the colour palette. This is a feast for the eyes and the soul.

Astro Hustle #1
Jai Nitz (w), Tom Reilly (a), Ursula Decay (c)
Dark Horse

Mattia says: Dark Horse bring us this new pulpy space opera mini series in 4 episodes, picking from the 70’s pulp magazine sci-fi movies and comics of that period.

Astro Hustle is the story of Chen Andalou, gone for 60 years from when we start to read. His dad, Brice Andalou, was a political activist that tried to change the galaxy, always standing for the rights of the lower classes and the reason why Chen was put to sleep. Being a “criminal” is in his blood. He’s awake now and angrier than ever.

Young Justice #3
Brian Michael Benis (w), Viktor Bogdanovic & Patrick Gleason (a)
DC Comics

Scott says: I’ve made no secret of my enthusiasm for Wonder Comics since it’s debut three months ago, making it no grand surprise that my staff pick this week is Young Justice #3. YJ has been the least impressive of the new Wonder Comics titles when compared to the captivatingly frenetic teen dialogue of Naomi and the smooth, charming humour of Wonder Twins. However, with the latest issue, the title works harder at finding it’s voice, in large part due to the obvious soft-spot Bendis has for Superboy.

Gleason and Bogdanovic’ art is enjoyable without being remarkable, save for the conversation between Conner Kent and Bart Allen, which is delightful. The scripting can get ahead of itself at points but that works when the words are spoken by Speedster bart. Overall it’s a very enjoyable re-introduction to Conner and a much-needed dose of story and plot for a title that’ll only get better.