Staff Picks – Week of 14/08/2019

Lois Lane #2
Greg Rucka (w), Mike Perkins (a)
DC Comics

Chief says: One of the best books on the shelves right now, Lois Lane is the one to beat in terms of consistently good art and writing. Continuing DC’s new regime of 6-12 issue mini / maxi series, rather than an ongoing commitment, this manages to weave personal trauma with professional career defining moments for the other Metropolis marvel, spelling-bee loser and Mrs Man of Steel. Rucka creates a topical story that doesn’t feel opportunistic, largely because he’s a writer that knows injustice when he sees it and imbibes his characters with that same insight.

Sure, there’s hot-button topics here: me too, the American immigrant camps and Russia’s overall incursion into the West. But Rucka balances this out in a exciting thriller that wouldn’t have been out of place in 70’s American cinema. Superheroics are kept to a minimum, as with Rucka & Brubaker’s Gotham Central (a title that went too soon, in my opinion) and the comic is all the better for it. It gives Lois more agency and grounding without having her reject her married life, although the status of her marriage is at the heart of one the central plots.

Mike Perkins’ art is a joy. revelling in shadows, underground car-parks and sheeting rain, Perkins creates a parallax view of the world (the movie, not the Green Lantern villain), that edges us toward a quiet anarchy. His pages could burst into flames, like the World around you, at any minute. What’s that saying? ‘Fear is not knowing, terror is finding out’. Well, Perkins art makes you feel like he knows both states of being all too well. There’s an atmosphere in his art and in Paul Mounts colours that recalls the best of Don Lawrence and Steve Epting. Overall, if you’re not getting this book, you’re missing out. Stick it on your pull-list today.

PTSD
Guillaume Singelin
First Second

Will says: Jun, a skilled marksman, has returned home from a war, damaged; both physically and mentally. Living alone on the streets of multi-cultural, Tokyo-esque future; she resorts to taking meds purchased (or stolen) from the gangs that take advantage of the homeless war veterans. Jun may have a rock hard exterior, but must open her heart to those around her in order to begin to repair the psychological wounds she has endured.

Jun is an incredibly strong character, but who also feels incredibly isolated. She is lonely and wants to find her place in the world, but refuses to show her vulnerability to anyone that cares, choosing instead to isolate herself further. These are all elements we can find a connection to, helping us to empathise with Jun and ultimately begin to understand more about PTSD.

PTSD is an incredibly moving tale, not only one important in tackling the titular mental condition, but also one of having compassion for others, one of having support amongst a community and of fighting to find your identity. And of course it’s a highly entertaining and explosively gripping story with absolutely gorgeous art, whose lush watercolours will melt your eyes off.