May 15, 2019

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Catch It at the Comic Shop May 15th, 2019

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week...

Sean's Picks:
Spider-Man: Life Story 3by Chip Zdarsky & Mark Bagley, published by Marvel Comics
Spider-Man: Life Story has been a fun ride so far. Only two issues in and I’m already completely invested in the abbreviated retelling of a classic, personal favorite. With the third issue out today I excitedly pulled out some old Amazing Spider-Man comics over this past weekend and gave my son a history lesson on the wall-crawler. This moment of joy was bookended with showing my son the Life Story series. I explained to him that this new version is literally ten years of Spider-Man stories brought together in one single comic. His sarcastic ten year old brain responded with: “Oh.. so then that literally means all of those old comics over there are a complete waste of time.” Congratulations, Chip & Mark, you have officially made a newcomer to comics state with genuine conviction that the compounded version of this story is far superior to the legendary issues of the past. (Just kidding...maybe?)

Little Bird 3 by Darcy Van Poelgeest & Ian Bertram, published by Image Comics
I have a new found ritual of re-reading the previous issues of Little Bird prior to the new issue's release and I still manage to find bits of the story that give it more depth and density. I cannot stress enough that this is not a comic to sleep on. It's a captivating read unlike any other of its kind and worth every dollar and moment spent. The art is gritty and intense. The page layouts are easy to get lost in. The narrative between characters is pieced together so that the pages turn themselves. This book is no joke and it comes unsurprisingly as a recommend from me once again with no reason to believe it will ever not be one.

Gideon Falls 13 by Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino, published by Image Comics
If you are current with most of Lemire’s books then you are in agreement with me that they have all taken a turn for the weird. Gideon Falls is one of these and it has been an absolute blast reading this story unfold in real time. This story, that started out as a grounded tale of two persons, has become a supernatural rendition of sense of self along with a journey into deep character studies. Jeff Lemire truly is flexing his storytelling muscles with this book and it is welcomed and quite apparent that he is having the time of his life creating this with Sorrentino. This new issue should answer some of the questions from last month, but I’d imagine that with them there will only become new ones to continue plotting the answers for.


Batman: White Knight Hardcover by Sean Murphy, published by DC Comics
This completes the pair of bookended recommendations of fan favorites from the Big 2. I’m a life-long Spider-Man fan and a sucker for a good Batman story. You probably recognize this recommendation from some time in the recent past as well as some Panel Patter year-end lists. I've already hit this as a Catch It before, but this time, Sean Murphy is collecting his iconic run with the cowl under DCs Black Label in hardcover format and I couldn’t be more excited. With new cover art and the visual presentation that any collector would gladly showcase, I’d be willing to assume that this will sell very well. It's a great portrayal of the Dark Knight and his role within Gotham, in terms of both Sean's art and scripting. If you didn't listen to me before, listen to me now and get this!


James' Picks:

MCMLXXV Vol. 1 by Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan, published by Image Comics
MCMLXXV is a terrifically fun action-monster-fantasy comic set in the hot New York City streets of MCMLXXV (or, you know, 1975). It's the story of Pamela Evans, tough NYC cabbie, and monster-fighting hero. She wields a magically imbued tire iron and defends the city from monsters and things that shouldn't be here. Joe Casey loves Kirby-inspired stories, and I love the idea of this great character wielding the urban 70's equivalent of Mjolnir. This trade only collects the first 3 issues, but as I recall they were oversized issues, and it's only $9.99.  Ian MacEwan has wonderfully vivid, grimy, action-packed art that really does capture the New York of a different era, while also bringing to vivid and sometimes gory life, the things that go bump in the night.  

Wonder Woman Omnibus by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, published by DC Comics
I think most comics fans would tell you that DC Comics' New 52 initiative was a mixed bag. But one of the very best comics to come out of those years was the Wonder Woman comic, written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated in large part by Cliff Chiang. This book was really where I first fell in love with Cliff Chiang's art.  Chiang has such a lovely eye for detail and such an interesting, vivid line. His art feels both classic and modern. And the story here is a fun, fascinating one, which delves heavily into Diana's connection to Greek myths. Azzarello has a great take on Diana as someone who's kind, compassionate, thoughtful and with a sense of humor. Orion of the New Gods even plays an important role! It's a fun, touching story.
  
Gideon Falls #13 by Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino, published by Image Comics
Gideon Falls continues to be one of my favorite comics. It's weird and dark and funny and sometimes terrifying. And let me emphasize the weird - I underestimates how many interesting bizarre turns this book would take. You think maybe it's just your typical religious Exorcist-style horror story but that's not at all the case. And the art from Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart on colors is really something to behold. Sorrentino's art has never looked better; Stewart has a way of bringing out Sorrentino's best work (Stewart is a master). This is one of my favorite books of the last few years, and very much worth your time.