November 24, 2020

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Catch It at the Comic Shop November 25th, 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...

Beth's Picks:

Justice League Dark #28, by Ram V., Amancay Nahuelpan, June Chung, Rob Leigh and Kyle Hotz, published by DC Comics
I won’t spoil it for those who aren’t caught up, but the last panel of Justice League Dark #27 was a gruesome moment of superhero horror “yikes.” It made me genuinely worried for one of the Leaguers. Yes, yes, this is still a mainstream superhero comic, so it all might be okay in the end. But it was definitely a horrifying image, and in a book like this, that’s a good thing. Ram V. has a great team dynamic going and Amancay Nahuelpan draws one supremely grotesque Upside-Down Man. The combination is one made in heaven—or perhaps more accurately in an apocalyptic hell dimension—but in a good way. 

 
Lois Lane: Enemy of the People, by Greg Rucka and Mike Perkins, published by DC Comics
Lois Lane is one of those characters I’m always surprised doesn’t continually have an ongoing series. While not superpowered, she’s arguably one of the most important and strong-willed individuals in the DC universe. Though I’m a big fan of Greg Rucka’s writing and I loved Mike Perkins visuals on this series, I have to admit that reading it monthly at times left me a tad confused. The concurrent (dueling?) stories of political corruption and parallel universes never felt like they completely connected. That said, I’m looking forward to rereading this series in one setting, where hopefully it will meld together more smoothly.
 
 James' Picks:

The Other History of the DC Universe #1 by John Ridley, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Andrea Cucchi, published by DC Comics

I'm not quite sure what to expect from The Other History of the DC Universe, but I'm incredibly intrigued by the idea. It seems like sort of a People's Hisory of the United States, but regarding the DC Universe. From screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) this is the story of DC, but told from the perspective of other voices than are typical. So, in the first issue we are getting the perspective of Jefferson Pierce, who eventually becomes Black Lightning. I'm really curious to see where this goes, and I'm thrilled to see more marginalized voices getting to be heard, both from creators and characters.

Something Is Killing The Children vol. 2 TP by James Tynion IV, Werther Dell'Edera, Miquel Muerto, and Andworld Design, published by Boom! Studios

I recently took an in-depth look into this series, and I highly recommend it for fans of smart horror stories.  Something is Killing The Children is about fear and terror and abandonment, and feeling alone and misunderstood, and it's also about the feeling that no one's in charge and there's no one to keep us safe. But it's also about giant monsters and an incredibly badass monster-hunter!  It's more specifically a story about monsters that are terrorizing a small town, and only kids can see them. But thankfully there's a monster-hunter in town who is trying to help. This is a really compelling, scary, engaging read.

The Plot #7 by Tim Daniel, Michael Moreci, Joshua Hixson, Jordan Boyd, and Jim Campbell, published by Vault Comics
Here's another great, freaky comic that I previously reviewedThe Plot gives me basically everything I want out of a horror comic. Existential fear and dread. A house that has something *seriously* wrong with it. Characters I care about, who are doing the best they can but are clearly in over their heads. A family whose dark history would make for a compelling story even without supernatural elements. A larger weird history and mythology underlining the story. Exceptional art paired with perfectly atmospheric colors, that skillfully brings the terrifying and weird story to life. I highly recommend going back and starting this one from the beginning.

Scott's Picks:

Justice League International Omnibus Volume 2 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Adam Hughes and Bart Sears, published by DC Comics
So whenever anyone thinks about the Bwah-ha-ha era of Justice League, mostly they're talking about the first twelve or so issues drawn by Kevin Maguire but there's still a ton of great stuff after that, like the return of the Grey Man, Despero, the Conglomerate and the Beef Eater.  Giffen and DeMatteis sometimes get the bad wrap of turning the Justice League into a sitcom and some of that may be true but that overlooks just some great stories that they were telling with this team.  I was able to write about some of what made these series great over at Shelfdust (here and here) and these are just some of the greatest comics to come out of the post-Crisis era at DC.

And they feature Gnort, the F*!#ing greatest Green Lantern of all time.  

Love and Rockets #9 by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez, published by Fantagraphics.
I'll admit, I think I've lost a bit of the thread of what's happening in all of these stories.  Gilbert is exploring a post Luba/post Fritz world while Jaime who so expertly gave Maggie's story a conclusion in The Love Bunglers just continues to tell Maggie's, Hopey's, Tonta's and Frogmouth's stories as if life just goes on because that's exactly what it does.  Both cartoonists remain so tied to the stories that they began 40+ years ago and yet continue to find new ways to breathe life into these characters and their families.  

X of Swords Destruction #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard and Pepe Larraz, published by Marvel Comics.
So I was there at C2E2, the last major comicon of known memory, when this was announced and honestly, I just kind of yawned at the whole X of Swords premise.  But I've got to admit that as event stories go, X of Swords has been really kind of fun, particularly the second half with all of these crazy tournament duels.  Hickman and Howard have guided a story that feels like equal parts fluff and essential pieces to their larger stories in X-Men and Excalibur so that X of Swords strikes a balance of being "important" but also of being fun, something that too many of these big events kind of gloss over. Snyder and Capullo's Death Metal is trying to capture these spirits too but ends up being just so much noise that it's kind of amazing to see what Marvel's mutant event is doing with so many different writers and artists all chipping in.
 
Mike's Picks:
Killadelphia 10 by Rodney Barnes, Jason Shawn Alexander, and Luis NCT, published by Image Comics
Barnes and company start to wrap up the latest arc of Killadelphia, a book that blends history, horror, and social justice in the same vein as Lovecraft Country. In this second arc, Barnes explores what happens to a movement when it is loses its vanguard and subsequently devolves into factionalism. Alexander has continually dialed up the terror as this second arc has been even more brutal than the first, and it doesn't look to get any easier for Jimmy Sangster moving forward.

Jupiter Jet and the Forgotten Radio by Jason Inman, Ashley Victoria Robinson, Ben Matsuya, and Jonboy Meyers, published by Action Lab Entertainment
Inman, Robinson, and Matsuya struck gold with their high-flying science fiction hero as few years ago, and she returns this week in an original graphic novel. In the first iteration, the team displayed knack for creating an all-ages superhero tale that never felt too saccharine, and they return for the sophomore set with Jacky forced to confront her first true nemesis.

The Other History of the DC Universe by John Ridley, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrea Cucchi, and Jamal Campbell, published by DC Black Label
I'm very curious to see how this one plays out. A book like this is rightfully ambitious, and it's a long time coming for DC. The overall conceit seems very well articulated, a story like Marvels, but told from a perspective we aren't often offered. John Ridley is certainly adept at bringing such stories to life, not just through his work on 12 Years a Slave, but on his two American Way series. Camuncoli has demonstrated a great capacity for world building and ensemble casts on Undiscovered Country. Together, they seem to be the appropriate team for bringing such an important book to the stands.

Justice League International Omnibus Volume 2 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Adam Hughes and Bart Sears, published by DC Comics
Inarguably my favorite superhero of all times, I owe my DC Fandom - if not my comics fandom as a whole - to this era of Justice League. Even the best older comics can feel dated at times, and what's always impressed me about the Giffen and DeMatteis run is that the books feel both rooted in a specific time, yet universal in their reach. Yes, this is the funny Justice League, but there are also big story lines and the type of character interaction that would typify team books at both Marvel and DC (and beyond).

Neil's Picks:

The Autumnal #3 by Daniel Kraus, Chris Shehan, Jason Wordie and Jim Campbell Published by Vault Comics
 I’ve said it before but horror stories work more when you feel for the main protagonists and The Autumnal does that perfectly. The relationship between Kat and her daughter Sybil may not be a unique one but it’s one that I’m totally invested in. Then there’s the mystery. A drawn-out mystery that would have usually put me off but for some reason it adds to the overall creepiness of the narrative. Nothing substantial has been given away but there is a certain amount of unease that starts to make your skin crawl. The art in this comic is fantastic and Wordie’s colour work is sensational. Use of a warm colour palette works to set the Autumn season perfectly.
 
Kaiju Score #1 by James Patrick, Rem Broo and Dave Sharpe Published by Aftershock Comics
Thanks to fellow Panel Patter reviewer Mike for pointing me in the direction of this title. Now there’s a man who knows my love of Kaiju goodness. Hunting down further info on Kaiju Score I found a quote from its writer James Patrick “The Kaiju Score is a Quentin Tarantino film taking place in some corner of a Godzilla movie”. So we’re getting what seems to be a crime drama heist set during a Kaiju attack. Having read my fair share of comics that feature giant building destroying monsters, I’ve never read one with a concept like that and I am now fascinated to see how that idea unfolds.

Sean’s Picks:

Colonel Weird #2 by Jeff Lemire and Tyler Crook, published by Dark Horse
I enjoyed the debut of title this last month more than I expected. Tyler Crook’s artistic style fits perfectly with the Colonel Weird character Lemire has created with Dean Ormston in the Black Hammer series. Some of these solo character spin-offs have been slightly less noteworthy as the flagship, but this one feels to be a bit more thought out and well executed. I’m excited to learn more.
 
I Walk With Monsters #1 by Paul Cornell, Sally Cantirino and Dearbhla Kelly, published by Vault Comics
This is a blind recommend for me. It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these but the premise for this one is more than a little captivating. Walking with our monsters, whether inner or outer.. this is the kind of read that I’m here for.

Shuri Wakanda Forever TPB by Nnedi Okorafor, Vita Ayala, Leonardo Romero, Paul Davidson and Rachael Stott, published by Marvel
This one is for my daughter. When Chadwick Boseman passed away she suggested, through tears, that Shuri should become Black Panther. Little did she know that the comics once said so, and that the eventual Black Panther sequel will probably (hopefully) follow suit. Go pick up this all ages Marvel must-read.
 
Complete Peanuts Vol.14 1977-1978 by Charles M. Schultz, published by Fantagraphics
I have a soft spot for all things Peanuts. Snoopy & the gang were cause for some daily laughter growing up as a kid. Snoopy solidified things when they immortalized their stamp in my nostalgia when I discovered the holiday TV specials (we just shared the Thanksgiving special with our kids for the first time last night). This latest volume from Fantagraphics collects the strips from 1977 and 1978. There’s a lot to take in with these volumes and they look great on the coffee table. I highly recommend any of these. And volume 14 is as good a time as any to jump in.

Wasted Space #17 by Michael Moreci, Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie and Jim Campbell, published by Vault Comics
In the last issue we learned of Legion’s origin. What will Moreci and Sherman cook up for us next? At this point, I don’t care. This space opera sit-com is like nothing I’ve ever read before. It’s smart, it’s hilarious, it’s edgy, and it’s one hell of a ride.