Marvel Pick Of The Week – August 19, 2015 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Howard The Human 1, by Skottie Young and Jim Mahfood

There are seventeen Secret Wars tie-ins this week. Seventeen. Several of them are middle or final chapters of miniseries, and a couple of them are anthology titles bringing new talent to Marvel. But the Pick for the week goes to a one-shot book that lets one of Marvel’s best satirists let loose in a noir story about talking animals.

The story opens with Howard, a human detective in a gritty world of anthropomorphic animals. This inverts the popular character, Howard The Duck, from a talking duck in a world of humans. He’s drinking in Curt Connors’s bar when the Vulture’s goons attempt to settle a debt he owes them. To distract them, he tells a Raymond Chandler version of his very long, bad day including bribing police dogs with a bag of bones, sparring with femme fatale Black Cat, and joining forces with Murdock, a blind mouse who fights ninjas. The threads of the long story all tie together at the end in a satisfying explosive finale.

Skottie Young has produced a line of coveted variant covers to Marvel’s output of the past couple of years, using images of the characters as babies to tell simple, insightful jokes about the comic inside. In the past few months, he has shown more of what he can do as a satirical writer with this summer’s hilarious Giant-Sized Little Marvel and eleven issues of Rocket Raccoon that threw laughs aplenty but also revealed a heart full of pain. Jim Mahfood is a legendary indie artist who hits the balance point between the sweet absurdity of a cat in a garter belt and the heavy shadows of a man drinking shots while his enemies hold guns to the back of his head.

Secret Wars has been a great ride, and I recommend picking up most of the (God, seriously?) seventeen books available to you this week. But the one that stands out gives the reader more meat than the pieces of the anthology books while dodging the connective tissue requirements of so many titles in the midst of their longer story arcs.

Honorable Mentions:

Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders 2, because this version of War Machine is going to stick in my head every time I scroll past one of those relatives on my Facebook newsfeed during election campaign season. And I have so deeply needed a funny image for that.

Secret Wars: Secret Love 1, because despite all the honest, romantic language that suffuses Jeremy Whitley’s first Marvel script, the best panel to showcase Iron Fist and Misty Knight’s love story is a good old wordless Fastball Special…

… and because when Squirrel Girl goes on a date with Thor, she names his abs. Genius. I would name his abs.

X-Men ’92 7, for breaking up an action-packed issue with this daffy scene of Rogue and Gambit planning their wedding.

Catch up on previous Picks here!

More from Bam Smack Pow