New # 1s

Writer: Dan Ab­nett, Ian Edg­in­ton, Kek-W, Pat Mills, TC Eglin­ton Artist: Colin Mac­neil, D-Is­rael, Nick Cyer, Dave Ken­dall, INJ Cul­bard Colourist: Chris Blythe Let­terer: An­nie Park­house, El­lie de Ville, Si­mon Bow­land Pub­lisher: 2000AD For­mat: On­go­ing Re­view

Comic Heroes - - Reviews - Writer: Dan Ab­nett Artist: Phil Winslade Let­terer: El­lie de Ville Pub­lisher: DC For­mat: On­go­ing Re­viewed: Vol­ume 1

Star Wars: Poe Dameron (Marvel)

Every­body’s new favourite space rogue is un­der Leia’s or­ders

The Spec­tac­u­lar SpiderMan (Marvel)

Pe­ter Parker re­turns in a new se­ries from Chip Zdarsky.

A Frac­tured Mind (Red 5 Comics)

A new de­tec­tive novel hunts for the killer.

Cross­wind (Im­age)

A Chicago hit­man and a Seat­tle house­wife switch places to deadly ef­fect.

Set in the JudgeDredd uni­verse, the first col­lec­tion of 2000 AD’s break­outs is Law less: Wel­come To Badrock headed by writer Dan Ab­nett with art from Phil Winslade – both are fa­mil­iar tal­ents to 2000AD and the world of JudgeDredd.

Set af­ter the events of Ab­nett’s In­sur­rec­tion, those who are new to the se­ries will still be able to jump on­board and treat Law­less as a stand­alone story. Mar­shal Meta Law­son finds her­self as­signed to the town of Badrock on the planet 43 Rega, still heal­ing from an in­va­sion by alien race the Zhind. Badrock is a no- good town and Law­son finds her­self try­ing to keep the peace stuck be­tween the dregs and trou­ble­mak­ers, as­sisted by Nerys Pet­tifer and hulk­ing mu­tant go­rilla Kill-A-Man Ja­roo.

Law­less is a won­der­ful Mad Max-es­que style space opera full of bizarre char­ac­ters. The sub­tle com­plex­i­ties of Badrock’s pol­i­tics and so­ci­ety are as en­joy­able a read as the mys­tery of Metta Law­son her­self. She’s a badass judge with a no bull­shit at­ti­tude when it comes to crime, but Ab­nett never strays into fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory with the trope.

Winslade’s art is stun­ning; ev­ery mu­tant, hu­man, crea­ture and ro­bot is a fas­ci­nat­ing glimpse into the cre­ator’s mind-sets – a wild west tale in space. From the vast waste­land to the strik­ing de­tail and ex­pres­sion, com­bined with su­perb sci-fi sto­ry­telling, this is a cre­ative match made in heaven. Wel­come To Badrock has ‘po­ten­tial film script’ writ­ten all over it. Claire Lim

If the his­tory of comic book art was to be taught in schools, then Jack Kirby’s work would be the first les­son. The im­pact he made on the form is some­thing we take for granted now, and he is still em­u­lated to­day. Be­fore Kirby, comics were much like news­pa­per strips fea­tur­ing still fig­ures. Kirby added mo­tion and made the pages come to life. He also helped cre­ate some of the most iconic char­ac­ters in comics.

Al­most ten years af­ter Kirby: King Of Comics was orig­i­nally pub­lished, Mark Evanier has gone through his bi­og­ra­phy of the leg­endary artist, added a new chap­ter, rewrit­ten bits and re­placed some of the art­work with pieces he has gath­ered since 2008. The 240-page book is part bi­og­ra­phy and part cof­fee-ta­ble art book – the ma­jor­ity of it is the lat­ter. This means it doesn’t go as in-depth as you would ex­pect from a typ­i­cal bi­og­ra­phy, but there are sev­eral anec­do­tal sto­ries shared by Jack and his wife Roz be­fore their passing.

There are sto­ries from Kirby on the peo­ple he worked with and the in­spi­ra­tions be­hind the ti­tles. The art­work fea­tured in­cludes pieces span­ning his en­tire ca­reer, vary­ing from orig­i­nal pen­cils to one-off sketches. It’s truly a book fit for a king. Ai­den Dalby

Rav­ina The Witch is one of the most cap­ti­vat­ing vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ences you can hope for in such a small book. Junko Mizano’s fuses shojo manga with a very Western, pop-art in­flu­enced style that re­sults in a dreamy, oth­er­worldly noir af­fair that has a unique vis­ual lan­guage and weaves nar­ra­tive and im­agery to­gether seam­lessly.

The story – fo­cus­ing on the epony­mous Rav­ina – ex­plores what it is to be nor­mal and what it is to have that nor­mal­ity chal­lenged, re­moved. Think of the book as a more modern, east­ern­ised ver­sion of Car­roll’s Alice In Won­der­land – it has that dream­like de­tach­ment from re­al­ity while some­how re­main­ing grounded and spin­ning a re­lat­able, sat­is­fy­ing tale. Hints of eroti­cism, talk­ing cab­bages and Grimm in­spi­ra­tion all come to­gether ar­ti­sanally in Rav­ina – we rec­om­mend it highly. Dom Pep­pi­att

Sons of Booth puts Dredd in fa­mil­iar and po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous ter­ri­tory. The se­ries has al­ways ex­celled when it’s ad­dressed the is­sues of its time and used Me­gaCity One as a lens to view them through. Ev­ery­thing from Egling­ton’s script to Chris Blythe’s ur­ban, washe­d­out colours excels.

With De­foe, Pat Mills’s 17th Cen­tury zombie hunter has found a per­fect home. The story is great fun, be­ing a noir-es­que setup for dirty deeds in the shadow of the post-apoc­a­lypse. El­lie De Ville’s let­ters are top notch too.

Ab­nett’s Brink is next with art by INJ Cul­bard and let­ter­ing by Si­mon Bow­land. Bridget Kur­tis, cop-turned­con­sul­tant on a space sta­tion con­struc­tion project, is a fun lead and gets to do some top-level snark­ing. Cul­bard’s art is ex­tra­or­di­nary, and Bow­land’s let­ter­ing ties it all to­gether.

Scar­let Traces, Ian Edg­in­ton and D’Is­raeli’s al­ter­nate his­tory of The War Of The Worlds, is one of the best sci-fi sto­ries of the last two decades. The new vol­ume con­tin­ues here, and sees Earth strug­gling to deal with an in­flux of Venu­sian refugees and a Mar­tian as­sault. Edg­in­ton has a keen ear for nat­u­ral­is­tic di­a­logue and a nasty sense of hu­mour.

Fi­nally, Cursed: The Fall Of Dead­world has ev­ery­thing stacked against it. It’s an­other mid-run story, a re­turn to the Dark Judge well that we visit of­ten and has fre­quently been dry. How­ever, from the first panel to the last, Kek-W’s script im­presses. Ac­tion de­fines char­ac­ter and there’s a tan­gi­ble sense of dread. It’s all pre­sented in de­tailed art from Ken­dall, and de Ville once again pro­vides let­ter­ing and helps de­liver the cru­cial im­pact needed. Alas­dair Stu­art

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