June 12, 2019

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Catch It at the Comic Shop June 12th, 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...

James' Picks:

Silver Surfer: Black #1 by Donn Cates and Tradd Moore, published by Marvel Comics
The last Silver Surfer comic I read from Marvel was the conclusion of the Slott/Allred run on the book. And that book was one of my favorite comics of the last 10 or so years. So any new Silver Surfer book has a high bar to clear. Particularly with regard to art. Mike and Laura Allred created some of the craziest, most beautiful art I've seen in a comic. Thankfully, there's a very strong team on the book, that being writer (and rising comics star) Donny Cates and artist Tradd Moore. I mean, I can basically stop right there. That's a heck of a creative team. Cates has shown his chops on recent Marvel books like Thanos and Guardians of the Galaxy, and he very successfully balanced cosmic action and intimate drama in God Country, one of the best miniseries of the last few years (my review here). And Tradd Moore? Well, he draws some of the coolest art you'll ever see in your life. His sense of action and motion is peerless, his imagination is boundless, and I feel like he keeps getting better and better (my review of The New World here). Anyway, suffice it to say, I'm looking forward to this one.

Event Leviathan #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, published by DC Comics
They've been building up to this event for a while now, in the pages of Action Comics.  The secret organization Leviathan has been eliminating all of the other secret organizations in the DC universe (Argus, the DEO, etc.) and Leviathan's usual boss (Talia Al Ghul) has been kicked out of the organization and left for dead, so the question is, who is Leviathan now? What do they want? Who's the secret masked leader? There's a lot to learn, and I'm excited to get going on this series. Bendis and Maleev are a fantastic team and have been for years. Most recently I was a HUGE fan of The Infamous Iron Man where, for a time, Doctor Doom took on the "Iron Man" moniker. Really great story that I highly recommend. Anyway, this series should be fun.

Immortal Hulk #19 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett, published by Marvel Comics
If you're still not reading Immortal Hulk, you're really missing out. This is a book that's unlike any other superhero comics that I'm reading. That's because it's not really a superhero comic. It is, at its heart, a horror comic about a monster. Ewing and Bennett have been really building out an amazing, terrifying look at the Hulk and the people and monsters that come in and out of his life. Each issue feels like a very satisfying read, but is also part of a much larger story. There's a lot to get here and a lot that is implicitly or explicitly religious or metaphysical. I think this is a book that will reward multiple re-readings. Bennett's art is incredible and sometimes horrifying. Seriously, there is some legit terrifying body horror in this book. It's not for the squeamish. I think Al Ewing is one of the best writers Marvel has right now (along with Kelly Thompson and Jason Aaron, and Jonathan Hickman when he comes back) and I'm excited to see him flex his muscles in a different direction than he has previously at Marvel.

Neil's Picks:

Life and Death of Toyo Harada #4 by Joshua Dysart, Cafu, Doug Braithwaite and Adam Pollina published by Valiant Comics 
Another week, another Valiant title, that's me in a nutshell. Voraciously picking up all the new Valiant books and loving every single one of them. As with my pick last week (Fallen World), The Life and Death of Toyo Harada is another great introduction to a character from the Valiant Universe. Within the first three issues, the earlier "life" and origin of Harada is handled exceptionally well. Selectively dropping in flashback panels and pages, whilst never greatly taking away from the main story. Having seen humanity cause nothing but destruction to itself, Harada believes his psionic powers and influence are the only chance it has to survive. Writer Joshua Dysart crafts a story in which you side with the villain Harada, giving him a simple, yet intelligent master plan. Think Thanos in the MCU. Life and Death also does something that never usually appeals to me and that is switching up on artists. Throughout this run we've had Cafu, Adam Pollina, Doug Braithwaite and more. But due to the flashbacks I mentioned earlier, this works incredibly well. Giving each artist a chance to shine with their own personal style. Be it a tragic WW2 experience, a trippy near death experience or the main story, the art flows from page to page.

Sean's Picks:

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #3 by Christopher Cantwell, Martin Morazzo, & Miroslav Mrva, published by Dark Horse
I have a new agreement with myself to not oversaturate the good I see simply to overcompensate for all of the bad that I happen to feel. Gone are the weeks where I bury you with a long list of recommendations which may only serve purpose to overwhelm the comic reader of any type. Starting this week I will mention a single comic that I find a must-read: this week it is Cantwell, Morazzo and Mrva's latest issue of the second chapter in their She Could Fly miniseries. This second act has been a dense and troubling read, taking characters like Luna and Bill from the first chapter and bringing them to much darker places than we had previously known existed. This story reads as a nightmare come to life dressed-up and costumed as an afterschool special teen drama. (Remember those?). Luna's mental illness is front-and-center here and Bill is at a major breaking point in his character development. On another note, if Cantwell did NOT have Morazzo on illustrations I'm not entirely convinced that this book would have as much impact. He simply has a style all his own that makes the pages crawl and the characters breath with an agitated anxiety unlike any I've seen in modern comics. Not gonna lie, I'm pretty sure this book won't end uplifting in any sense of the word.. but the subject matter that it tackles rarely would anyway and for that it's worth grounding yourself in a slice of believable fiction. Check it out and enjoy!

Mike's Picks:

Robotech 21 by Simon Furman, Brenden Fletcher, Hendry Prasetya, Sarah Stone, and Jeff Spokes, published by Titan Comics
Titan has handled both its creator-owned and licensed properties very well, but none better than Robotech. Fans of the 80s amalgamation have been treated to a streamlined continuity that merges the three disparate adapted sources into a coherent mythos. Issue 21 features the addition of Brandon Fletcher and Sarah Stone to the creative team as the series enters its first “event” that promises to shake that newly established foundation of continuity. Since Furman jumped on board, Robotech has been a must read for me. The man gets giant robots. He just does. The addition of Brenden Fletcher and Sarah Stone has me intrigued for what kind of dualistic story the team has prepared.

Silver Surfer Black 1 by Donny Cates, Tradd Moore, and Dave Stewart, published by Marvel Comics
I’m the kind of person who would buy any Silver Surfer comic, but I’m especially intrigued by this series because of Tradd Moore. There’s something about his style, some sort of avant-garde approach to a Todd McFarlane or Rob Liefield larger than life style replete with thick, sinewy lines and heavy inks. It looks like this book will feature more of a middle ground between his cartoon style of The New World and all out Venom lunacy. Dave Stewart looks to help tap the requisite Kirby color palate, and his colors will likely provide the contrasting light/dark motif Cates wants to mine for this book.
 
Bronze Age Boogie 3 by Stuart Moore, Alberto Ponticelli, and Giulia Brusco 
The best parodies work to spoof things their authors hold dear in one way or another, and Bronze Age Boogie is that type of simultaneous blast of satire and celebration. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series even outside of its clever premise. Ponticelli’s art is expansive with a touch of animation style, a good fit for what has turned out to be a rather sprawling comic.

Kirk's Picks:

The Ride: Burning Desire #1 by Doug Wagner, Daniel Hillyard and Adam Hughes, published by Image Comics
Sexy, provocative, and over the top. I enjoy when my noir gets exploitative under the right circumstances and that concept lets this creative team push the boundaries in this book. A former Atlanta detective finishes her 15 year plea bargain prison sentence for murder, finds herself out on parole working at an exotic dance club as a bouncer and suddenly in possession of her dead partner’s hot rod. Included is a back-up story by Adam Hughes showcasing his trademark cheesecake slamming up against Pulp Fiction levels of mega-violence. The Ride has a long history of showcasing a rotating cast of creators as they try their hand at this book’s concept. As it celebrates it’s 15th anniversary, readers just discovering this for the first time will go searching for the readily available original trades. A mature and warped read done right.

Silver Surfer: Black #1 by Donny Cates and Tradd Moore, published by Marvel Comics
I’m already a massive fan of Cates and thoroughly enjoying how he’s writing the Cosmic side of Marvel. He’s keeping it fresh but honoring what made some of those stories feel so classic to long time readers. It’s probably why he’s being branded with the “superstar writer” status at the moment. Letting him take up Silver Surfer seems like an interesting move to me after Slott and Allred’s iconic run on the character. So I’m not sure what kind of Surfer to expect from this series. But all of that takes a back seat to Tradd Moore as the artist on this title. Tradd is arguably the best artist working in comics today with an ability to explore new territories and get experimental with his style with every new project. With lines like Moebius and an imagination like Kirby, there is an opportunity here to elevate the Cosmic side of Marvel to a place no one could have predicted.