Staff Picks – Week of 18/03/2015

Batgirl #40
Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher (w), Babs Tarr (a)
DC Comics

Oracle says: Remember me?

Adam says: Brilliant since its re-launch/re-birth/re-design, this issue marks the conclusion of the first arc of the new Batgirl and sees the creative team really carry through on their fantastic work so far. Tremendously satisfying, this is also gut-wrenching on a few levels. Now, variants aside, this book is an excellent showcase in superhero character work which can accommodate and reflect on trauma, moving narratives forwards, without the need to negate or ignore it entirely. With no room for doubt, this is how Barbara ought to have been pushed at the launch of the New 52. Fresh, trendy, exciting and with a genuine focus on new characters, new stories and new directions, this is easily best of the DC line and deserves to stand alongside the likes of Spider-Gwen, Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil.

Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle Artist’s Edition HC
IDW Publishing

Thomas says: I absolutely adore Jack Kirby’s work, the man was a genius and, of all of his many creations, Mister Miracle is my favourite. This character is perhaps one of Kirby’s most fundamentally positive characters right down to his rising above the mocking nature of his name Scott Free. Artist’s Editions have been uniformly amazing and this volume is no different. Containing reproductions of the original pages of issues 2, 3, 5 – 9 and a great deal more we have been given another great insight into Kirby’s work with this volume. It astounds me when looking at these pages just how few mistakes were made as he worked especially when you consider the fact that he was working on the entire New Gods line at the same time. The only downside is the small number of pages reproduced without the original art, a small quibble when we’ve been given more of his original art than he ever was.

Red One #1
Xavier Dorison (w), Terry and Rachel Dodson (a)
Image Comics

Will says: This oversized first issue is jam packed with delicious goodness, hitting the sweet spot round every corner. All the fun kicks off when we are introduced to our confident, kickass protagonist, Vera Yelnikov. And the excitement doesn’t stop. The first issue sets up a promising story for the rest of the series as Soviet special agent Vera is sent to 1977 Los Angeles to become America’s greatest superhero and spread Communist ideals. High praise must be given to the Dodsons for their beautiful art that jumps out of the panels and emotes every character fantastically. It’s no surprise this has been selling out fast, so if you missed it, be sure to keep your eye on this for the inevitable reprints.

Chrononauts #1
Mark Miller (w), Sean Gordon Murphy (a), Matt Hollingsworth (c)
Image Comics

Ryan says: Ok so I’ll admit right now that the main reason I picked up this comic was thanks to the Ryan Ottley variant cover (artist on Invincible, which I’m crazy about), but once I actually took a moment to open the issue and have a look, I was hooked. Sean Murphy, who you may know from his work on The Wake, has this wonderful unbridled art style that leaps out of the page and sucks you into the story. Each page is filled with sketchy yet elegant detail that you really feel yourself exploring every panel. As for the story itself, we follow renowned scientist, Dr. Corbin Quinn, as he and his team of technical wizards pioneer time travel and broadcast their results publicly in a manner reminiscent of the 1969 moon landing. When leading the first manned mission through time, Quinn is knocked off course, his connection lost, and it’s up to his showboat best friend, Dr. Danny Reilly, to jump after him and to find Quinn bring him back home. Once again, Image has hit another home run, and I’m so excited to read more of this series as it comes out. Pick it up while you still can!

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