Catch It at the Comic Shop February 7, 2018

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:

Twisted Romance #1 by Alex de Campi, Katie Skelly, Magen Cubed, and Sarah Horrocks, published by Image Comics
Just in time for Valentine's Day comes this limited series running all month long from some great names in horror with erotic themes. Alex and Katie, two of my favorite creators, team up to tell the story of a woman who wants her amorous competition eliminated--and there's an agency who can take care of it, with a secret all its own. Katie as usual draws sexy horror perfectly, showing the link of desire and blood, while Alex's dark side reigns supreme, which is when she's at her best, in my opinion. Meanwhile, Horrocks's style is a great contrast to Skelly's and her story of lovers whom death can't separate is a great closing piece. This is a nifty anthology you shouldn't sleep on!

Armstrong and the Vault of Secrets by Fred Van Lente, CAFU, Darick Robertson, Andrew Dalhouse, Diego Rodriguez, and Dave Sharpe, published by Valiant Entertainment
Few things bring greater joy to my comics-reading heart than Fred working on a new Archer and Armstrong story. This time he brings in a bunch of my other favorites (Faith, Punk Mambo, and Quantum and Woody) for a romp with a heartwarming ending, some brawls, and Armstrong being a pain in the ass of Noah (yes, *that* Noah). Join these fun characters down a trip through Armstrong's private stock of wine, drawn by CAFU and Robertson with some great mugging for the panels, playing up every one of Van Lente's awful (in a good way!) jokes. This reminds me I'm due to re-read a lot of Valiant books, which are still some of the best reading I've done in the past five years or so.

Incognegro: Renaissance #1 by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece, published by Dark Horse Comics
Ten years ago, I read the amazing Vertigo story that Johnson and Pleece put together, about a black man who can pass as white going into the South to investigate a crime no one cared about, but has a very personal connection for him. This is a new series, set before the Vertigo tale (which was reprinted by Dark Horse today as well), telling the "first" time the main character must go undercover as a white person. I'm always leery of prequels, but I loved the first comic and I trust this pair to do it justice if they've returned to the characters. I'm looking forward to picking this one up soon.

Mike's Picks:

Swamp Thing Winter Special by Tom King, Jason Fabok, and Len Wein, published by DC Comics
Tom King was in my town signing this book on Saturday, but I wasn’t able to attend. But I’m not letting that get me down. The last time King got his hands on Swamp Thing, we were treated to a subdued yet cathartic tale that showed a previously unexplored side of Alec Holland. I hope King is able to delve even deeper into the character. Also, I hope this book sells like hotcakes so we can get a Swamp Thing ongoing.
Walt Disney Showcase # 1 – Donald Duck by Rudy Salvagnini, Lara Molinari, Andrea Freccero, published by IDW Publishing
Only in the United States did Disney Comics fall into relative obscurity following the Disney Implosion. European cartoonists have been producing great Disney work for years, and IDW has done a great job bringing it to our shores. To my knowledge, this might be only the second or third time we’ll have a chance to Rudy Salvagnini’s work in the US.

Zojaqan # 3 by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, and Nathan Gooden, published by Vault Comics
If you were wondering if this is just another science fiction/fantasy genre bender with a highly original concept (think reincarnation multiverse style) featuring a diverse main character and crafted with a cinematic feel all the while featuring remarkable color work and gorgeous paper stock . . . well . . . you’d be right. This is yet another great series from Vault. Gooden does a good job pacing what could be a sprawling story. He makes clever decisions on the page. And it’s colored by Vittorio Astone.  

Batman: White Knight by Sean Murphy, published by DC Comics
I know I pick this every week. I’m obsessed with this story. Murphy’s restraint is remarkable. It would be remarkable for a seasoned writer. Murphy is still new to the writing side of things, but he doesn’t let himself fall into traps other writers would. We’re five issues in and there are still a large amount of questions to be answered. I love it – serial storytelling at its best.