June 2, 2020

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Catch It at the Comic Shop June 3rd, 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...

Rob's Picks:

Paul is Dead by Paolo Baron and Ernesto Carbonetti, translated by Adrian Nathan West, published by Image Comics
Anyone who is a fan of the Beatles knows about the infamous "Paul is Dead" rumor that becomes increasingly ironic as it looks more and more like he may be the last of the group to die. But what if it wasn't a rumor? What if McCartney did die, right about the time of Sgt. Pepper? That's the story that Baron and Carbonetti are here to tell, with bright colors that fit this period of the band's music perfectly. The likenesses are easily picked up on, but they remain fluid enough to tell whatever story the creators wish, not like a set of shuffled photographs as we so often get in these kinds of stories. The mystery of Paul's death and its consequences will enthrall you, as you see just how much the creators love the iconic band that gave us all so much over the decades.

Mephisto Speak of the Devil, by Various Creators, published by Marvel Comics
Before he was used to prevent a messy divorce, Mephisto was an awesomely powerful character who really messed with the heroes of the Marvel Universe. This collection, featuring his meddling in the lives of the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Spider-Man (in a far more clever way), and of course Doctor Strange, is a great way for readers who only know him as the "One More Day" demon to see why far better writers are (were?) able to use him to great effect.

James' Picks:

Nailbiter Returns #1 by Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson, Adam Guzowski, and Ryan Hill, published by Image Comics
Nailbter was a smart, creepy, terrifying, and sometimes completely disgusting comic series that I totally loved (my review here). I also thought it ended in a very satisfying way, so I was not really expecting more story. But I'm thrilled to see it returning. To quote from my earlier review, "Nailbiter is the horror/crime/mystery/psychological thriller/buddy cop/comedy-drama that you've been waiting for. I love genre mashups, and Nailbiter is a great one. There's gore, and there are plenty of scares, but there's also a ton of human insight, genuinely funny moments, and terrific dialogue, courtesy of writer Joshua Williamson, and the art team of illustrator Mike Henderson (Henderson is a co-creator of the series) and colorist Adam Guzowski."

X-Men Vol. 1 (Dawn of X) by Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Yu and Gerry Alaguilan, published by Marvel Comics
House of X and Powers of X (or HoxPox for short) were published every week over the course of 12 weeks in 2019, and it was one of the best experiences I've had as a comics fan in years. The comics themselves were spectacular - the art from Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva and Marte Gracia was consistently great, and the stories were at turns funny, dramatic, action-packed, cerebral, tragic, elegiac and overall just really fascinating.But the experience of these weekly comics also reinvigorated my desire to engage in great discussion online with friends about comics. HoxPox led into the Dawn of X books, and those have been something of a mixed bag, but X-Men has been a consistently excellent book. Hickman has been sole writer on this one, and it's covered a rotating cast of characters, but everything feels interesting and important and like Hickman is telling cool stories while also seeding future ones.

Mike's Picks:

Far Sector #6 by N.K. Jemison and Jamal Campbell, published by DC Comics
Who knows what we did to deserve two superb Green Lantern books at the same time? Jemison has crafted a fantastic story in the vein of classic GL tropes coupled with a bigger space opera feel. She has a knack for the long form story, and the maxiseries format is the perfect stage for her story. And Jamal Campbell’s art is otherworldly. I struggle to effectively describe it – shinier and livelier than photorealism, it pops from the page with three-dimensional vigor. I was blown away by his work on Naomi, and it’s even more impressive with the entire galaxy at play. Far Sector has been a terrific read, and there is plenty of time to catch up if you’ve yet to give it a try. Reading Far Sector also provides a great opportunity to support black creators during an important time.

Psychodrama Illustrated #1 by Gilbert Hernandez, published by Fantagraphics
In this new series, Gilbert Hernandez concentrates specifically on Fritz. I’m intrigued by the chance to read Love and Rockets in a more conventional serialized mode of storytelling instead of its traditional anthology style. Since returning to the periodical format, Los Bros Hernandez have been on a roll with their Love and Rockets storytelling, and I expect Psychodrama Illustrated to continue that trend.