Catch It at the Comic Shop December 6th, 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 three single issues and one trade for your consideration, with a little bit about why we like it. (Or you know, Rob totally cheats and goes three trades and a single issue. Well, they are the head writer...)

Rob's Picks:

Judge Dredd: Mega City Zero by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Dan McDaid, Published by IDW.
Ulises Farinas isn't afraid to make bold statements, and his work on this Dredd series was no exception. Imagine the man used to upholding The Law finding himself in a world where it doesn't seem to apply? Trying to make law and order out of a world that's not his was a brilliant take on the character, one that is worth visiting. McDaid's art makes the whole thing feel a little surreal by using a style that doesn't quite bring things into sharp focus, and his big, bulky, blocky Dredd is top notch. This is good for long-time fans or those who just know the general gist of the character, too!

Whiteout Compendium by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber, Published by Oni Press.
This is the series of books that made me a now long-time fan of Steve Lieber's art. The story itself is pretty cool, a thriller set in a remote location, where the intrigue abounds but the land itself is just as big of a threat. But the art! My God, I've never seen anyone use white a color like this. Steve's linework manipulates blank space the way others master heavy blacks. It's a tour de force, and I'm so glad to see this back in print for others to discover and enjoy the way I did.

Be Your Own Backing Band by Liz Prince, Published by Silver Sprocket.
I've been a fan of Liz Prince for longer than I can think of, going back to first spotting her in the pages of zine-style anthologies and a few minis. This is a collection of her shorts based around music, collected together by one of the best publishers going, Silver Sprocket. Liz's no-holds-barred approach to her work, willingness to spoof herself, and lines that express a ton of emotion all combine for a great collection I highly recommend.

Faith's Winter Wonderland Special #1 by Marguerite Sauvage, Francis Portella, MJ Kim, and Andrew Dalhouse, Published by Valiant Entertainment.
Since her introduction a few years ago, I've been a big fan of the character of Faith, a young woman who really wants to be a hero, in a world where there's a lot of darkness. She's got the mindset of Superman (or someone raised on good Superman comics), but not as much power. Additionally, as a character of size, Faith represents something we rarely see in comics. (The only other one I can think of easily, Amanda Waller, was de-sized by DC, in a shameful move.) This issue can only be described Like Faith's imagination used to its fullest, a great pun in the title (that I won't spoil), and some solid linework from the artists. It's a heartwarming story that might just help you if you're ready to give up on the world. Faith's positiveness is contagious.

Mike's Picks:

Batman: White Knight #3, by Sean Murphy, published by DC Comics
Last week, I mentioned that I’ve been loving DC’s renewed interest in Elseworlds’ type tales. Sean Murphy’s take on a Bat-world flipped on its head has been absolutely remarkable. His reimagined Joker, fashioned as some sort of populist hero, resonates without feeling forced. This is a thinking person’s Bat-book, even if most of those thoughts boil down to “wait, what?”

Superman # 36 by Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Doug Mahnke, published by DC Comics
When Tomasi, Gleason, and Mahnke get together, we get incredibly well-executed Superman stories. This issue is a big payoff for readers who have following this storyline since the waning days of The New 52, and it serves as another building block for a revamped New Gods mythos in the Rebirth era. This is high concept Superman with impeccable characterization courtesy of the deft writing of Tomasi and Gleason.

The Mighty Crusaders # 1 by Ian Flynn and Kelsey Shannon, published by Archie Comics/Dark Circle
Archie’s “Dark Circle” imprint has been as sporadically published as it has been consistent in tone and substance. Nonetheless, I’ll bet on this title on the strength of Ian Flynn, who penned the original revival, New Crusaders, back when the imprint was still known as “Red Circle.” This has the potential to be a very fun book, steeped in nostalgia but devoid of continuity conundrums.

The Senses by Matteo Farinella, published by Nobrow Press
Nobrow has a knack for putting out beautifully constructed books. Everything from their paper stock to their quirky publication choices help to set Nobrow apart from other indie publishers. I re-read this solicit a few times, and I’m entirely intrigued. The Senses, by cartoonist and neuroscientist, Matteo Farinella, looks to be an exquisite publication that attempts to distill the feeling of each of our senses into something that can be illustrated on a page. I’m fascinated, to say the least.

James' Picks:

Black Bolt Vol. 1 TP by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward, published by Marvel Comics.
This has been one of the great surprises of the year for me. I've always found the character of Black Bolt interesting, as the ultimate model of male repression of emotions (his voice is deadly) but other than in the work of Jonathan Hickman, I haven't been too thrilled with the stories about Black Bolt. This wonderful book from writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Christian Ward gives a great insight into the mind and character of Black Bolt by taking him out of his regular environment and surrounding him with memorable characters like Crusher Creel who comes off here as a pretty sympathetic character. Ahmed is a talented writer, and Ward's art is fantastically trippy, and this is a terrific read.

Jack Kirby Fourth World Omnibus HC by Jack Kirby, published by DC Comics.
I'm sure I don't really need to tell you about the greatness and importance of Jack Kirby. And this omnibus is $150 so I expect it'll be a while before I pick this up. But I think it's really worth a look. I remember reading the Kirby Fourth World stories maybe 10 or so years ago, when I was first getting back into comics, and they were a revelation. There's a lot of stuff going on, some of it makes sense, and some of it doesn't but these are comics that feel like pure energy. They feel like pure unfettered Kirby. As a visual stylist he is and remains unmatched. So, I'd say definitely give this a look if you're at the comic shop.

Violent Love #10 by Frank Barbiere and Victor Santos, published by Image comics.
I've enjoyed this series from writer Frank Barbiere and and artist Victor Santos, which is wrapping up with this issue #10. It's (as you can tell from the title) a crime and romance story, and I think it's successful on both counts. There's some pretty unflinching portrayal of crime and the violent consequences of crime. And the chemistry between the two main characters in the story really comes across. Barbiere is an engaging, accessible writer, and Santos really brings his A-Game with stylish, classic, gorgeous and gritty art.

Rock Candy Mountain #6 by Kyle Starks, published by Image Comics.
This book has been one of the fantastic surprises of 2017 for me. It's a little disarming of a book, in that Starks exaggerated, cartoony art style doesn't necessarily tell you that you're going to be reading a poignant and emotional comic about a character dealing with PTSD and loss, but that's what this comic is. It's also a hilarious and absurd book where the devil is a character and there is occasional absurdly horrific violence. Not only that, but this story is a pretty good education on the life of a hobo circa mid-20th century. This is a great, engaging read.