Staff Picks – Week of 13/03/2019

Detective Comics 80 Years of Batman Dlx Ed HC
Various (w/a)
DC Comics

Ryan says: March marks a monumental anniversary for DC’s Dark Knight, as the “World’s Greatest Detective” turns 80! And in celebration of this epic achievement, DC Comics has graced us with an extraordinary collection of highlights from the archives of the long-running Detective Comics series, in the form of an oversized hardcover at an incredibly affordable price.

Arguably the most famous and popular superhero of all time, Batman has attracted some of the industry’s most legendary talents over the decades. As a result this book is chock-full of comic book royalty, including Jack Kirby, Dennis O’Neil, Dick Sprang, Carmine Infantino, Neal Adams and Walter Simonson to name but a few. And this book naturally wouldn’t be complete without his first appearance in the iconic Detective Comics #27 penned by Bill Finger and Bob Kane.

Not only is this a perfect standalone Batman collection that should be on any fan’s bookshelf, but also ideal reading material to lead into the upcoming landmark 1000th issue of Detective Comics, due for release on March 27th. Pick up your copy while they are still available!

Little Bird #1
Darcy Van Poelgeest (w), Ian Bertram (a)
Image Comics

Joe says: I believe I first experienced Ian Bertram’s artwork in the New 52’s Detective Comics #27 (in a chapter frustratingly omitted from the recent 80 years celebration hardcover) and I have followed his art ever since – that is to say that I was always going to buy this book. Having said that, I am unfamiliar with the writer and sometimes even the best art can’t save a bad comic… I needn’t have worried; by page 3 I was in! The world that Van Poelgeest and Bertram have created is incredibly cinematic, fantastical elements are merely touched upon that add to this rich tapestry and I can’t wait to learn more about them.

The art is, of course, stunning! It’s also the first time that I’m aware of Bertram being coloured by Matt Hollingsworth; I’m much more familiar with his collaborations with the colouring legend, Dave Stewart, however, Hollingsworth is also a veteran and it shows. I appreciated the different approaches and Hollingsworth brings a lightness to Bertram’s work, the palette is much brighter and almost fluorescent in places (which fits the cold futuristic setting) but it also highlights the detail in Bertram’s work which can occasionally be lost in the more muted tones of Stewart’s interpretation.

All in all this was a fantastic first issue that has me in love with the world and desperate for more. According to Van Poelgeest’s closing letter, this won’t be collected in a trade paperback any time soon so I highly suggest you get on board now whilst you still can!

The Magnificent Ms Marvel #1
Saladin Ahmed (w), Minkyu Jung (a)
Marvel Comics

Will says: Ms Marvel returns in yet another issue #1! This time with the honoured tradition of adding a descriptive adjective before her name. This relaunch sees the departure of writer G. Willow Wilson and the introduction of a brand new creative team, which sees the series taking a new direction for the character. Kamala Khan has always been protector of her home town, New Jersey, in an intimate tale usually close to home. This first issue seems to hint at a story no less intimate, but perhaps grander in scale. There has been a tonal change in the art too, a style very different to the beloved prior series, but a very welcome change. It’s beautiful.

Ms Marvel has had such an important cultural impact on the world of superheroes and has always been a character I am genuinely excited about. A relatable teen superhero comic that I wish more titles would would be like. The new series is no different and I can’t wait to see where they take Kamala next. If you’ve never experienced Ms Marvel before, then Magnificent Ms Marvel is a perfect time to start.