Catch It at the Comic Shop December 20th, 2017

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 for the 20th of December...

Rob's Picks:

Assassinistas #1 by Tini Howard and Gilbert Hernandez, published by IDW. 
Tina Howard writes great women. Gilbert Hernandez writes and draws great women. The story features a mother who's also a bounty hunter that spent her son's college tuition on gear. Really, I shouldn't have to say a word more. Absolutely cannot wait to read this.

Made Men #4 by Paul Tobin and Arjuna Susini, published by Oni Press.
This romp that mixes Frankenstein lore with dirty cops and other noir tropes is one of my favorites of the year, and I don't expect that to change with the latest issue. If you haven't grabbed this one yet, go get the other three issues so you can catch up!

Quantum & Woody #1 by Daniel Kibblesmith and Kano, published by Valiant Entertainment.
Here we go again! This series gets restarted (again), and I can't quite tell if it's a "pick up where we left off" or "clean slate." Normally, I'd be leery of this, but I love these two characters, dysfunctional adoptive brothers who have to work together whether they like it or not. Kano's a great artist for Valiant work, and I'm sure if nothing else, it will be really slick to look at. Hopefully, the humor of the other series will remain.

James' Picks:

Black Hammer Vol. 2 TP by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, David Rubin and Dave Stewart.
Black Hammer is a book you should be reading, and now that vol. 2 is out in trade form, there's no excuse not to catch up. It's a great story about superheroes stranded in a weird town they can't leave, and an exploration of sadness and regret that Jeff Lemire does so well. Great art from Dean Ormston and David Rubin - this one is really worth a look.

Marvel Two-In-One #1 by Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung, published by Marvel Comics.
I wasn't familiar with the classic Marvel two-in-one, but this issue seems like it's the first step on the return to the real Fantastic Four. That's where I hope and assume this is going. I love the Fantastic Four so much (done well, at least), and I look forward to a return to prominence for Marvel's First Family. And this looks like a fun start to that return, from the always entertaining Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung, a talented artist for action packed superhero storytelling.

X-Men: Grand Design #1 by Ed Piskor, published by Marvel Comics.
Ed Piskor is doing something really ambitious and interesting here. He's attempting to boil down years of X-Men history into a cohesive narrative over the course of six issues. I've enjoyed his Hip Hop Family Tree, and this just seems like something special and offbeat that I wouldn't want to miss.

Ninja-K #2 by Christos Gage, Tomas Giorello and Diego Rodriguez.
I'm not a huge Valiant person necessarily, but I do pick up their books from time to time. Ninjak is a cool character, and this book is off to a fun start, as it explores that Ninjak is actually Ninja-K, and there have been a whole line of earlier Ninjas (A through J), and this looks like a book that will explore that history and legacy. The first issue was tremendous fun, so I'm excited to see more.

Mike's Picks:

Dark Nights: Metal # 4 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, published by DC Comics

Metal is the type of book that reminds you why comics remain vital as a serial publishing model. I’m sure this will read great as a trade, but there is something special about the month-to-month anticipation this type of story provides. The fact that the series is a gigantic payoff for anyone who has been reading Batman for the past ten years makes this read all that more fulfilling.

Marvel Two In One # 1 by Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung, published by Marvel Comics
Before any news of Disney’s Fox purchase, I think most of us knew Marvel would work its way back around to the Fantastic Four, the quintessential Marvel series that has endured a publishing hiatus since 2015, the first time the series remained absent from the racks for any significant period of time in 56 year. This is an “about time” moment. The fact that Marvel seems committed to the relaunch by assigning a stellar creative team softens the acrimony with FF fans that has built for the past two years ever slow slightly. 

The Wicked Righteous by Terry Mayo, Lucas Romero, and Chris Hall, published by Alterna Comics
Pairing post-apocalyptic wasteland motifs with religious satire is the most original concept, but this series from Alterna Comics pulls off the dynamic by grounding the series in a world that all-too-closely resembles our own, or what our own could become. To top it off, Mayo and crew ape the familiar feel of 80s adventure movies like Goonies and Stand by Me, as well as the equally nostalgic Stranger Things.

Night Business by Benjamin Marra
I’ve never read Ben Marra’s Night Business, the original series that put him on the proverbial industry map. However, I’ve been a big fan of his “All Time Comics” line that launched earlier this year. Marra’s art style, a hyperbolic pastiche of 70s and 80s Marvel Comics through the lens of underground comix, seems remarkably appropriate for a gritty story about 80s urban culture and decay.