Catch It at the Comic Shop April 11, 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:

Prism Stalker #2 by Sloane Leong and Ariana Maher, published by Image Comics
Vep's journey into training begins and they notice that the universe is a much larger place than they imagined, leading to thoughts of bringing their people into a new world and off the refuge. But that assumes Vep can handle the mental changes of their new assignment, along with the physical dangers from fellow "classmates" as the second issue continues the amazing, bold coloring, wild, imaginative linework, and commentary on how we treat those who "need help." There's a lot of danger down these pages, and I can't wait to see what Leong does next. This book continues to amaze and impress me.

Brothers Dracul #1 by Cullen Bunn and Mirko Colak, published by Aftershock Comics
You may think you know the story of Vlad the Impaler, but in the hands of one of the best modern horror comic writers, Cullen Bunn, and what looks to be some cool atmospheric art by Colak, I'm guessing we're wrong. What made him become so bloodthirsty? I think we're about to find out. Looking forward to reading this one on Wednesday, and you should be, too. Did I mention Vlad has to fight vampires? No? There, fixed that omission. Now go give this one a shot.

Goosebumps Download and Die #2 by Jen Vaughn, Michelle Wong, Triona Tree Farrell, and Christa Miesner, published by IDW
Mitra hangs on to a mysterious phone despite the fact that things are getting really strange, leading to confrontations with her friends as it becomes clear that accepting cell phones form strangers is just as deadly as candy. Jen really has a great handle on writing realistic middle school kids, right down to the fact that Mitra wouldn't just ditch such a unique gift, even as things get weirder and weirder around her. Wong and Farrell's depictions in the emergency room are creepy in a nice, quiet fashion, all while Mitra doesn't get what's happening to her. I'm really digging the way Farrell is using an "odd" color--pink--to depict the supernatural. Yet another great IDW licensed comic.

Adventure Time Comics #22, by Various Creators, published by Boom! Studios
Adventure Time itself is a bit odd, in a good way, which means that this anthology title gets to have a lot of fun by taking the goofy characters and making them *really* weird, either in plot, illustration, or both. In this one, Jamie Coe takes them to a Planet Hulk-like situation, but Finn and Jake use the power of friendship to win. Reza Farazmand uses the visual gag of Finn's shrinking shirt to tell a ton of bad (read: good) puns, and that's just two of the stories. This is your periodic reminder to check this out if you're a fan of the show or the ongoing series.

Haunted Horror #33, by Various Creators, published by IDW
Another series I read regularly, but don't always shout out here. This issue, however, has a short piece by Joe Kubert (featuring a race against death on a ski slope), a really, really endearing story of a walking dead man and his search for a normal life (sadly, the credits on this one are lost to time), and a jury of skeletons who judge a killer who tried to get money by jumping the inheritance queue, among other tales. Sometimes these are a mixed bag, but I thought these were pretty good, partly because one involves an artist who deals with the devil to get a severed hand with creative skill. I have no idea how Yoe and co find these things, but I'm glad they do!

James' Picks:

Crude #1 by Steve Orlando, Garry Brown and Lee Loughridge, published by Image Comics.
Steve Orlando is a really interesting writer. I first remember reading his work in the terrific, underrated miniseries Undertow. Here's he's paired with the fantastic Garry Brown, to tell a story that' dark, grim and likely full of bloody revenge. A father is out to find out who killed his son. It's a strong setup for a story, and I definitely want to find out where it goes.

The Dead Hand #1 by Kyle Higgins, Stephen Mooney, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles, pubished by Image Comics.
I've already read issue #1 and I can tell you it's terrific. This is a fun, exciting, Cold-War espionage story with a bunch of fun mysteries at its center. Great story so far, and fantastic art from Stephen Mooney. If you liked books like Velvet, I highly recommend this one. 

Captain America #700 by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson, published by Marvel Comics.
At the other end of the spectrum from these issue 1's is this comic. 700 issues! Very impressive.  I've enjoyed Waid and Samnee's time on this book, though I know it's coming to a close (at least Samnee's time is coming to a close). They're a terrific partnership, and they tell great stories together. Their run has felt a little all over the place, but this is a big issue ad I'm sure they're going to bring it all together in a fun way.

Exiles #1 from Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez, published by Marvel Comics.
I'm not sure if I've ever read an Exiles comic, but I gather they're a selection of random alternate heroes from various universes throughout the multiverse who go around, having adventures. Already that seems like a great concept. And it's written by the terrific Saladn Ahmed, who just concluded a wonderful, emotional run on Black Bolt. And it's drawn by Javier Rodriguez, the massively talented artist who did some truly remarkable work on the gone-too-soon Spider-Woman comic. So, I'm all in on this book. I think it'll be great.

Mike's Picks:

Gideon Falls # 2 by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, published by Image Comics
It goes without saying that this book will end up on many pick lists this week, but Jeff Lemire is more or less “in the zone” right now. I love that he seems to have built a gallery of frequent collaborators. Is there a more prolific writer working in comics today? Outside of Stan Lee, has there been a more prolific writer, crafting work of this quality at this rate? 

Prism Stalker #2 by Sloane Leong and Ariana Maher, published by Image Comics
I was nervous about issue 1. I’ll admit it. I don’t like horror, even the cosmic kind, and I tend to get grossed out easily. Still, I was intrigued, and after I read the premiere issue, I made sure to label it a must read last month. Frankly, this book is beautiful. It has a psychedelic vibe, some sort of cross between Heavy Metal and 2000 AD filtered through the Image Sci-Fi lens. It’s beautiful, and it’s unique.

Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini by Cynthia Von Buhler, published by Titan Comics 

Speaking of beautiful books, Buhler’s stained glass noir has been one of the more original books on the stands this year. I picked up the first issue after it was dropped on my pile by Lexi at Third Eye, and I’m very happy I trusted her instincts. This book has been as twisted and weird as it has been beautiful. And, while I can lament the end of this series, I can let this killer Dean Haspiel cover soothe my pain.