Staff Picks – Week of 17/04/2019

Little Bird #2
Darcy Van Poelgeest (w), Ian Betram (a), Matt Hollingsworth (c)
Image Comics

Mattia says: North America has been devastated by three decades of war as the American Empire expands under an ultra-nationalist, theocratic government.

Our Little Bird, in this second issue is reunited with her mother in a weird dream where she begins to discover all of her past family secrets. Setting free The Axe, leader of the Canadian Resistance will probably be the first step towards a long and bloody revenge.

I have to say I was not familiar with Ian Bertram works and they are the best panels I’ve seen so far this year supported with the colours of the veteran Matt Hollingsworth. Good excuse to check his previous stuff.

Assassin Nation #2
Kyle Starks (w), Erica Henderson (a)
Image Comics

Joe says: Somebody is trying to murder the world’s former no. 1 killer, who better to hire as bodyguards than the top twenty ranked assassins – this is the premise of Assassin Nation. The first issue had me laughing aloud when I read it, but other than the humour and Henderson’s always fantastic artwork, I didn’t think there was a lot to it… and there didn’t need to be; it’s a funny book that made me laugh and I thoroughly enjoyed it. With issue two, however, the stakes are raised!

With the character introductions and tone-setting fully established in the previous issue, issue two gives time for character motivations – I now care a lot more about these characters and knowing that not all of them will make it to the end of the series is a scary but fun thought to have. The mystery of the Assassin Nation has started to unfold and I can’t wait to see it through to its conclusion.

Henderson’s artwork continues to be phenomenal, her pacing is superb and perfectly captures both the humour and the outlandish action scenes of the series. And yes, it’s still hilarious!

Tony Stark: Iron Man #10
Dan Slott & Jim Zub (w), Valerio Schiti (a)
Marvel Comics

Scott says: Right off the bat I want to say that I’m picking this issue because Machine Man is a fantastic character and the more you give me of him, the more I’ll like your issue. He yells at Tony Stark’s biological mother to ‘SHUT THE FUDGE UP!’ (I’m paraphrasing here) when she begins wondering why the bad guy hasn’t simply killed them. I. AM. SOLD! Now, onto the issue…

I wouldn’t ever call myself a hardcore Iron Man fan, and I’m always surprised when I meet people who are. He’s always struck me as a character everyone likes but no one loves. And yet, when Dan Slott began his run on the book last year, I decided to pick it up in large part because I’m well-versed in Slott’s penchant for world-building, call-backs and long-form story-telling (that’s FIVE HYPHENS I’VE JUST USED WHAT IS GOING ON?!) is something that has helped me get onboard with unfamiliar titles in the past. And I’m very glad I was very right. With the latest issue, we veer ever-forwards to the climax of what’s been a somewhat clunky yet constantly-improving arc. Slott’s fantastic ability to introduce us to what, for other writers, may be too many supporting characters to juggle, gives the book and future storylines so many possibilities, so many avenues to wander down. Whether it be the questions I have about the Stark Family and their lineage, the interesting dynamic between Machine Man and Jocasta, or the seeming geyser of emotion waiting to spout that is Friday being ‘downloaded’ against her will by Tony; this is a title with a lot of plates up in the air, a lot of characters doing interesting things, and a writer that knows how to control the wave he’s surfing.

Also Dan was kind enough to sign a bunch of copies when he visited us last week, so I’ve got a lovely signed copy. We have more on the shelves, so head down and snap one up while you can!

Thor #12
Jason Aaron (w), Mike Del Mundo (a)
Marvel Comics

Liz says: If you haven’t read War of the Realms #1, this issue might be a bit, erm… hard to swallow. So do yourself a favor: go read that, and then enjoy this exceptional Loki-centric issue of ‘Thor’.

In a Dickensian twist, Loki is confronted with his past, present (-ish) and future selves. Each variation has an insight to impart, but when you’re the God of Mischief, who knows what’s true and what isn’t, even in your own subconscious? As a huge Loki fan, this was a real treat to read, and exactly what I needed following the events of WOTR #1!