Retelling two daring, violent and captivating arctic expeditions, How to Survive in the North, also deftly blends a narrative of middle age angst (and mistake) into an adventure story of true beauty. Robert Bartlett's fierce determination and skill, Ada Blackjack's resourcefulness, and Vilhjalmur Stefansson's wild, blundering, optimistic naiveté make excellent reading. The story is made more moving by the lightness of Healy's linework, and the steady plodding of his narrative grids. An excellent visual and narrative package.
A Noir-esque mystery set in Baghdad, Sheriff of Babylon is a dark and intense look at the American occupation in Iraq and what humanity means in a world where it feels like there is very little left. Our protagonist, an American policeman training military recruits in Iraq, is drawn into a world of political manipulation by an American-Iraqi politician and Iraqi detective he becomes involved with. Beautiful moments of human intimacy intersperse within the bleakness of military and extremist violence. At once a detective story and a suspenseful thriller, Sheriff of Babylon is a deeply thoughtful story that gets inside your head and keeps you on the edge.
Uncanny Valley to the extreme, Tom King's Vision is a surreal and eerie look into the American dream. The Vision has created himself the perfect nuclear family - except for the fact that none of his created family is actually human. He, his wife, and their two children live in American suburbia just like their human counterparts. But as they soon find, it's harder than it looks to be 'human', and not everybody agrees with their idea of humanity. Here, the Vision's role as an Avenger actually takes a backseat to his role as a father; this is unlike any superhero comic you've read before.