The first story in this issue is part 3 of Steve Niles' American Muscle, a cool, Mad Max-style, post-apocalyptic story packed with muscle cars, strange mutants, and plenty of violence. Kevin Mellon's aggressive art style fits the story perfectly. Whether he's blowing up heads or drawing fast-moving muscle cars, he always finds the right panel to convey the action and pacing for Niles' story. This series is kind of bizarre, but it totally works and left me excited to read the next issue.
Next in the anthology is an interview with comic book star Mark Waid. Jimmy Palmiotti handles the questions here and has a nice rapport with Mark. They chat about Mark's career and his recent head-first dive into the world of digital comics and the creator-owned work. Then, we get a spotlight on the artwork of Phil Noto, who talks about his influences and his incredibly unique style. This sets up the second comic story nicely.
The real star of this anthology for me is Trigger Girl 6 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with amazing art by Phil Noto. This has been such an interesting story to read. From the very first pages, it's full of mystery and intrigue, and every issue has answered those burning questions with more questions. Even better, all this is packed between scenes of intense action rendered beautifully by Mr. Noto. I'm not sure what Palmiotti and Gray have planned for Trigger Girl 6, but if this story ends in a way that there could be more, I hope they keep making it.
The anthology wraps up with an article about butt-kicking female protagonists and their continuously growing popularity, a look at comic book historian Christopher Irving's new blog, The Drawn Word, an interview with rockers Gray Matter, and a confession from Justin Gray about his thumb-damaging addiction to video games. Like I said earlier, this book is packed to the brim, and there's something for everyone to like. Make sure you pick it up at your local shop this week!