Staff Picks – Week of 09/10/2019

Villains Giant
Mark Russell, Tom Taylor, et al. (w), Viktor Bogdanovic, Daniel Sampere, et al. (a)
DC Comics
Joe says: Mark Russell was the draw for me in this issue. I always like to check out his work because at the very least it will be interesting and in this issue he’s crafted an instant classic Joker story, one that I’m certain will be reprinted in countless “Best Of”s and “Greatest Stories Ever Told”s. The one-shot story has the feeling of a classic, ’70s era Batman comic or even a ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ vibe (possibly the greatest compliment I could bestow on any comic) but updated for modern times – the inclusion of social media as a plot device can be difficult to integrate naturally but Russell incorporates it without it being distracting. It’s by far the best modern Joker story I’ve read in some time. Bogdanovic, who intentionally or not is a clone of Capullo, is better at capturing the more grotesque elements of the story than the cynical humour but serves the narrative nonetheless.

Following that is Tom Taylor’s Deathstroke story, a fun addition with a great punchline that, paired with Russell’s, makes this $5 comic book worth the price of admission… even if you needn’t bother with the other two thirds.

Powers of X #6
Jonathan Hickman (w), Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva (a)
Marvel Comics
Liz says: This week, the glorious reign of HoX/PoX came to an end with Powers of X #6, and the payoff was well worth the wait. Three major revelations take place during this issue, all promising massive knock-on effects going into Jonathan Hickman’s upcoming X-Men run. I’ve enjoyed House of X and Powers of X immensely, more so than any main X-Men book that’s come along in at least a decade. Hickman, along with Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva and everyone else who’s worked on these books, have set an incredibly high bar for the X-Men going forward. If what comes next is even half as good as this, we’re in for an astonishing new era of the X-Men.