Staff Picks – Week of 28/05/2014

C.O.W.L. #1
Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel (w), Rod Reis (a)
Image Comics

Chris says: People have often played with the idea of government-sponsored or organised superheroes, but never quite like this … C.O.W.L. works on two levels – first as a period piece and secondly as a super-hero commentary – looking at what would happen if the heroes could organise and unionise themselves. Rather than being government pawns, they essentially let their services out to the city (in this case Chicago), offering protection and structure. Of course, such things never run smoothly, and you find people within the ranks have their own separate and/or competing agendas. It’s an interesting concept, which fleshes out ideas first put forward in Kyle & Alec’s short film, The League, a few years ago. What really sets this book apart, however, is the way it’s brought to life by artist Rod Reis. Reis, who is perhaps better known for his coloring work at DC, brings a retro-cinematic feel to the page – which suits the period setting, but with a very modern twist. His use of color blends beautifully with the art to create a convincing calling card, which gives some idea of what he can do when given the freedom. I look forward to seeing how this book progresses and where the team takes it over the coming months – it’s definitely one to watch! You can hear more about C.O.W.L. in my recent interview with writer Kyle Higgins.

Black Science: Vol 1 (Trade Paperback)
Rick Remender (w), Matteo Scalera & Dean White (a)
Image Comics

Ryan says: Rick Remender’s name has become synonymous with Marvel superheroes, having worked on titles like Uncanny Avengers and Captain America. But with Black Science, Remender has shown us that he can write more than just stories about the standard heroic epic. Here we follow his flawed scientist Grant McKay, as he and his team skip perilously between dimensions, under constant threat of danger with no means of escape. And I dare say the only thing better than the writing is the artwork! Matteo Scalera (who will be working on Batman when Capullo finished his run this summer; I’m stupidly excited) and Dean White collaboratively do an amazing job creating universes so alien yet beautiful, it’s hard to turn away. This book is difficult to put down once you’ve picked it up, in fact I took my copy home as soon as I could, and very much looking forward to reading more as it comes out. Get on board now, while Black Science is still in its early days!

Devil Dinosaur
Jack Kirby
Marvel Comics

Thomas says: It’s Jack Kirby doing what he does best in a tale about a Proto-Human boy and his satanic red dinosaur in a nice trade paperback collection. This was one of those rare creations from the King that wasn’t used and abused by Funky Flashman and the brilliance of it attests to that fact eschewing Flashman’s dull, moronic, mediocrity in favour of wild abandon and unhampered creativity and we are all the better for it. If you enjoy this then I highly recommend you try and hunt down Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey ‘inspired’ by the film.

Ordinary #1
Rob Williams (w), D’Israeli (a)
Titan Books

Taylor says: I knew I was missing out by not reading the Judge Dredd Megazine, but fortunately Titan Books have given me (and all of YOU) a second chance. This British-made, creator-owned comic is about the only person in New York NOT transformed on a day when everyone’s becoming giants, bears, Midases, or combustible Benjamina Buttons. D’Israeli’s New York is aglow with sunshiney comic-book luminescent energy, and manages to pack depth and detail into the many street scenes without ever looking cluttered. Williams, of whom I’m not generally a fan, writes Ordinary as a fun tale about a schlub with a good heart, making the most of D’Israeli’s storytelling chops, and although there are racy jokes and “adult” humour, the whole thing comes off as a crazy sunbeam racing through ink and paper. Easily the most enjoyable comic out this week, if this is any indicator of what Titan has planned, Image, BOOM, Oni, Dark Horse, and IDW should all beware.

Petty Theft
Pascal Girard (w / a)
Drawn & Quarterly

Camila says: I was already a Pascal Girard fan for his other books ( Reunion, Big Foot and Fanny & Romeo), and now Petty Theft has easily earned a spot in the list of books I love too. Even though the main character is also named Pascal, I can’t tell how much of the story actually happened to him, but it’s certainly packed with plenty of real-life situations, and the whole thing is told in his usual witty and humourous manner. The fact that the two main characters are complete book junkies, just make it all the better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *