Catch It at the Comic Shop July 8th, 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 Pick:

Bitter Root #9 by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, Chuck Brown, Sofie Dodgson, and Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics
Things go from worse to even worse as the scattered members of the Sangerye family try to stamp out an evil that goes far beyond anything even their ancient matriarch has seen before. The power of evil threatens to take advantage of the division of good as this amazing series just keeps getting better and better. It was a long wait for Bitter Root to get started, but it's been worth it. The series is really hitting its stride now in this second arc, showing the link between the hatred we are seeing every day in the United States with the hatred of our past, and using literal demons from the pen of Greene as stand-ins that go side-by-side real world issues instead of supplanting them. Walker's excellent character work in the dialogue keeps a large cast varied and Greene's linework is perfect in its exaggerated style. This is one of the best comics being printed right now.

Neil's Picks:

Money Shot #6 by Tim Seeley, Rebekah Isaacs and K Michael Russell, published by Vault Comics
Great news to see the return of Money Shot. I read the first run during a time when I was worryingly told I’d tested positive for COVID (all clear now!). Believe me, I needed the humour in my life and bloody hell did Money Shot deliver. When scientists-cum-pornstars in a not to distant future struggle to fund their projects, they become intergalactic pornstars. Hoping that the strangeness of their quests into fair flung galaxies and having inter-alien sex will make people back home subscribe to their “shows”. Seeley and Beattie have written a stupidly original and hilarious comic, which is nice to see someone daring enough to go this far. Rebekah Isaac’s art is gorgeous to look at, with some wonderfully designed alien species and relatable human characters that I fell in love with immediately. Especially Annie Leong aka Trinity Spheres, oh Annie.

Archangel 8 #3 by Michael Moreci, C.P. Smith and Snakebite Cortex, published by AWA Studios - Upshot
Michael Moreci is somewhat of a favourite when it comes to the family at Panel Patter. With his Wasted Space comic appearing in a lot of our top 10s from the past two years.  As was with Wasted Space, Moreci once again writes an engaging and mysterious story. Set within a modern-day narrative, Archangel sees the 8th assassin of God’s legion fighting under his own code. The first two issues haven’t really given too much of the story away but it does a great job of building a world that is dark and violent. The main plot is centred around Number 8, who is somewhat of a Punisher type of character. Investigating his way to his intended target and pulling out enough firepower and tactics to get the job done. C.P. Smith and Snakebite Cortez’s art and colour work build on the dark atmospherics of the story as well as giving off a sense of realism. Archangel 8 has the potential to be an overlooked gem for comics in 2020.

James' Picks:

Adventureman #2 by Matt Fraction, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, and Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics
I really enjoyed the first issue of Adventureman. This is a great, big, fun, pulp story set in the golden-age, and then it jumps to a modern story where almost no one seems to remember the stories of the hero Adventureman. Fraction's dialogue is sharp as ever, and the art from the Dodsons is just wonderful. The first issue was triple-sized, and this issue appears to be double-sized, so I'm excited to see the creators flesh out this fun world.

Empyre Fantastic Four #0 by Dan Slott and R.B. Silva, published by Marvel Comics
Thus far I've enjoyed what I've read relating to the new Empyre series. It's got the Kree and Skrulls and Avengers and FF. Last week was an Avengers-centric issue and I enjoyed that (even though I really need to look some stuff up on Wikipedia), and I'm really interested in seeing the FF-side of things. I just want to feel like the FF are reintegrated into the broader Marvel Universe again.

Mike's Picks:

Killadelphia Volume 1: Sins of the Father by Rodney Barnes, Jason Shawn Alexander, Luis MCT, and Marshall Dillon, published by Image Comics
A mash-up of history, horror, and current events unfolds in this first volume. Barnes crafts a multi-generational neo-noir horror story of conspiracy and cover ups. His narrative is deep and multi-layered, and each issue of this series offered new revelation. Jason Shawn Alexander’s art easily magnifies the impact of Barnes’s story. His richly textured painted scenes sell both the horror and procedural scenes of this book and adds an extra element of noir tone. This has been a great series, and if you’ve missed the first arc, take this opportunity to jump on.

Undiscovered Country Volume 1: Destiny by Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camunicoli, Daniel Orlandini, Matt Wilson, and CRANK!, published by Image Comics
This creepily prescient brainchild of Snyder and Soule feels like it gets better each issue. I’m not sure if that is a result of the team leaning into and understanding their own story more each go-around, if it’s some byproduct of shared writing duties, or if it’s from a deliberate expository burn that offers just the right amount of background pieces each issue. Regardless, Undiscovered Country continually grabbed me each issue to the point that by said issue’s end, I’d be keyed up for the next installment. Credit to the entire creative team for breathing new life into the relatively familiar concept of post-apocalyptic America, all the while crafting a prophetic vision for our mid 2020 world. Undiscovered Country is the perfect read for the Covid quarantine world. Maybe too perfect?

Batman: The Adventures Continue 2 by Paul Dini and Ty Templeton, published by DC ComicsIn a better world, this series would be ongoing. In the best of worlds, we’d have an entire imprint devoted to DCAU stories, a beautiful hybrid of the DCAU style with an Ultimate Marvel approach to continuity and storytelling. But alas, this is the world in which we live, and we should at least be thankful that a digital first Batman Adventures story gets a floppy edition. Anymore, I’ve decided that *this* Batman is really my Batman, and the first issue of this mini was more than enough to hook me for the whole series.