June 9, 2020

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Catch It at the Comic Shop June 10th, 2020

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:

Adventureman #1 by Matt Fraction, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson and Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics
If Matt Fraction writes a comic, I'm going to give it a read. He's got such a great sense of humor, and has an excellent ear for naturalistic dialogue. He also comes up with incredibly engaging and thought-provoking dialogue. I've loved November, and I of course adore Sex Criminals when I read it collected. And From what I've read in the first issue of Adventureman, this is another must-read story. Long ago there was a pulp character called Adventureman, but only single mom Claire and her son Tommy seem to remember him. However, there are hints that that's about to change. This is such a fun debut issue. It's also a triple-sized issue so you're definitely getting your money's worth. And it is absolutely GORGEOUS. The Dodsons do an amazing job on this book, as the colors pop, and Terry Dodson's glamorous style is perfect for both the classic 1930's setting, and the more modern portion of the story. Just reading the first issue of Adventureman will feel like a satisfying read, but I think you'll want more . 

Decorum #2 by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston, published by Image Comics
Jonathan Hickman is another one of those people where if he writes it, I'm gonna read it, no matter what. So, I was a natural audience for Decorum, and the first issue did not disappoint (really, I loved it). And having read the second issue, I can tell you that I continue to love this series even though I really have very little idea what's going on. It's about an impeccably-mannered assassin, and her new young protege. But...It's also about the galaxy and advanced artificial intelligence, and the birth of some sort of cosmic egg that might be God? I don't know. Who cares though, because it's an incredibly fun ride thanks to staggering artwork from Mike Huddleston. In my review of the first issue I said I felt like he was using at least 3 completely distinct styles of artwork, and that trend continues. Some of it is almost entirely abstract. But it's stunning. And really really weird. So, this book is definitely not an easy read, but Hickman books never are. And they're always worth the effort.

Mike's Picks:

Grafity’s Wall Expanded Edition by Ram V, Anand RK, and Aditya Bidikar, published by Dark Horse Comics 
Like many people, my introduction to Ram V’s writing came through the exceptional vampire story meets critique of colonialism, These Savage Shores. I’ve been waiting to read Grafity’s Wall for a while now. Ram is a truly gifted storyteller. He proved he can work with metaphor and allegory in These Savage Shores, and he’s brought a sort of early Veritgo revivalism to Justice League Dark. I’m excited to see how he handles a more personal, intimate story. And perhaps even more so, I’m curious to see who Ram was before he emerged as the writer he is now. Also, I’m stoked to read anything lettered by Aditya Bidikar, who is certainly one of the best letterers and designers in the biz.

Terrifics Volume 3: The God Game by Gene Luen Yang and Stephen Segovia, published by DC Comics 
I’ve long banged the drum in support of Yang’s Terrifics series. This volume collects the first Yang arc, and it inherits and fulfills the original promise of Lemire’s vision of the team. Yang explained that, in crafting this storyline, he was aiming for a reimagining of what Kirby and Lee dreamt up when they first pitted the Fantastic Four against Galactus – namely, what would it be like for superheroes to fight God. Yang envisions a new, more modern iteration as the Terrifics encounter a godly sentient technology in profoundly metaphysical adventure.


Adventureman by Matt Fraction, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, and Clayton Cowles. Published by Image Comics 
There are a few Image books worth your purchase this week – Bitter Root, Killadelphia, Undiscovered Country, and Excellence – but each is already deep into their respective storylines, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend jumping in on any of them without returning to the first issue. So, if you want to jump in on something at the ground floor, Adventureman is your book. Matt Fraction introduces a world that seems to meld Golden Age Justice Society with Silver Age X-Men, all influenced by a degree of pulp noir brought to live by the beautiful art of the Dodsons. This debut issue is a romp. It’s fun while still being thoughtful, a story that plays with the conception of superheroes without solely deconstructing it.

Artemis and the Assassin 2 by Stephanie Phillips, Francesca Fantini, Meghan Hetrick, Lauren Affe, and Troy Peteri, published by Aftershock Comics
I was intrigued by the concept of the first issue of Artemis and the Assassin, but I wasn’t sure exactly what the series would be. After reading this second issue, though, I’m in. The central conceit for the series is something along the lines of a historical take on Looper, and this second issue fleshes out the storyline more and sets up a more immediate conflict. It’s a series like Artemis and the Assassin that reminds me of why publishers like Aftershock are so vital – fresh ideas with new perspectives.