Staff Picks: We break open the champagne and bid 'Lady Killer 2' a fond farewell

Staff Picks: We break open the champagne and bid ‘Lady Killer 2’ a fond farewell

By Arpad Okay and Jarrod Jones. Comics that challenge us, slay us, beguile us — the comics we simply can’t wait to devour. That’s DoomRocket’s Staff Picks. Here’s what has set our hearts ablaze this week.

Lady Killer 2 #5Lady Killer 2 #5

Dark Horse Comics/$3.99

Written by Joëlle Jones.

Art by Joëlle Jones.

Colors by Michelle Madsen.

Letters by Crank!

JJ: Since its introduction a mere two years ago, Lady Killer has become one of Dark Horse Comics’ most iconic properties. That’s because Killer, like the character Josie Schuller herself, has always been adaptable, unique, vicious, and smart. Scan the racks at your LCS and try to find a book like Lady Killer. You can’t.

It’s a family drama. It’s an assassin’s tale. Pair those two qualities together, and you’ll discover there’s more to Lady Killer than what meets the eye. There’s melancholy in there, underneath its crimson bursts of fury. Lady Killer is also hilarious.

Beyond the sum of its parts, every issue is also a work of art. Joëlle Jones is out for blood. Michelle Madsen gives it its sheen. The book has more detail on a single page than you’ll find in the entirety of most mainstream books. There’s character here, not just on the face of Schuller, but on the faces of her family and her enemies, histories that lie underneath a smirk or a mid-distance stare that betray the wealth of story Lady Killer visibly has in abundance.

And it’s coming to an end this week. Celebrate the finale of a stupendous series today. Chill another bottle for the debut of the next.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #22Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #22

Marvel Comics/$3.99

Written by Brandon Montclare.

Art by Natacha Bustos.

Colors by Tamra Bonvillain.

Letters by Travis Lanham.

AOK: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is far and away Marvel’s prettiest comic. The colors in this book are a Willy Wonka Gobstopper of endless delicious. A glowing Lisa Frank wonderland painted on indie art inks. The colors are jewel tones, vibrant, each piece a chip, a facet, perfectly cut and seamlessly fit together. Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain take my breath away.

This is the penultimate chapter of the series. It’s genius genius writing. Lunella is the smartest girl in the world? Pit that against the endless cosmos. At the same time, make it a voyage of self-exploration. Have a child deal with family problems. If her intelligence is a sure thing, challenge her wisdom.

This whole arc has been about holding a mirror up to Lunella. Getting away from the commercial aspects of Marvel and diving deep into the character herself. Expect something big (and worthwhile) from its climax.

Space Riders: Galaxy of Brutality #3Space Riders: Galaxy of Brutality #3

Black Mask Studios/$3.99

Written by Fabian Rangel, Jr.

Art by Alexis Ziritt.

Letters by Ryan Ferrier.

JJ: Jack Kirby would have been 100 years old this week, so it’s fitting that Black Mask dropped another issue of Space Riders: Galaxy of Brutality now, as opposed to, say, next week. Hell, they probably did it on purpose, and good for them for having that kind of foresight.

Because I believe that, were The King still with us, he’d be a huge fan of Space Riders. This book looks and feels like it’d be right up his alley. Look at the krackle in Alexis Ziritt’s cosmos. Check out the punch Ryan Ferrier gives Fabian Rangel, Jr.’s exclamations. Even the pages are given a faded artifice, a heartfelt nod to the lurid four-color rags of yesteryear, before Kirby issues were treated like tomes, like collector items.

Space Riders is a book that yearns for the days when comics got kids in trouble. This is a galactic opera of the highest order, Lovecraftian in its ambitions and punk as fuck in its style. Let it shock your brain until your skull is a thunderdome. Let the age of abyss begin.

What books are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below.

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