As we hurtle down the slope towards this year’s San Diego Comic Con, the Comixology sales are starting to pile up and DC have a pretty great Volume 1 Sale on right now. If you’re seeing this while it’s on, pick them up. If you’re not, then go find your nearest store and order them there.
Chris Priest is the best comic writer of the last three decades that not enough people pay attention to. A creator who for years had no manner of luck at all, his work is something I’ve come back to again and again. Xero is fantastic, as is Quantum and Woody and his runs on The Ray and Justice League Task Force. But this is the finest achievement of his modern career; taking a look inside an often one-dimensional character and exploring what it means to be Slade Wilson with tragedy, humour and his own wildly eccentric approach. The art by James Bennett, Belardino Brabo, Mark Morales, Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz is great too. A perfect place to start for Deathstroke and if you’re new to Priest’s work.
Scripted by Hope Larson with art by Rafael Albuquerque, this is the most recent iteration of Batgirl although, honestly, you should pick up the other Volume 1s in this sale too. Babs has come a very long way from being torture punctuation in The Killing Joke and all those series are great. Larson’s, which sees the former Burnside resident travel to Japan just edges the other two for me. Not just because it elegantly handles the constant need for superhumans to level up their skills but because Larson absolutely nails Babs’ hard-fought, pragmatic and occasionally bloody knuckled joy at what she does.
This is old school, which given it’s the first real exposure to the JLA I had is a bit of a shock to the system. It’s also the last time I really connected with Morrison’s work and he does an outstanding job here of finding the humanity in all these characters and creating a sense of escalating, cosmic scale hope and compassion. Still the gold standard JLA run for me especially with Oscar Jiminez and Howard Porter’s era-defining art. I wrote about why in detail over at Barnes & Noble.
If you buy nothing else from this sale, buy this. Marguerite Bennett, Laura Braga, Ming Doyle and Marguerite Sauvage absolutely knock it out of the park with this story of an alternate World War 2 that calls the women of the DCU to battle. Endlessly funny, massively kind, action packed, inventive and cheerfully subversive this is flat out brilliant from start to finish.
And a couple of other worthy purchases too.
Bermejo, Hollingsworth and Fletcher create the sort of sun-drenched, run down nightmarish LA that plays like Raymond Carver watched either too much Blade Runner or exactly the right amount. Simultaneously the story of a horrific, death-match evolution of Mixed Martial Arts and the daily struggle to survive in the city it pulls zero punches and is all the stronger for that. I talked about it in depth over here.
Conner and Palmiotti simply don’t know how to do bad work. They’re quietly, endlessly prolific and have a keen eye not just for their own work but for the voice of established characters. This series is a great example, moving a character who’s traditionally been nothing but cheesecake into a space where her compassion, femininity, honesty and strength are all given room to breathe. Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy‘s art is expressive, open and welcoming, just as the character needs. Funny, grounded, action packed and it deserved a much wider audience. Here’s my in depth review.