Catch It at the Comic Shop April 4, 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...

James' Picks:

Isola #1 by Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Msassyk and Aditya Bidikar, published by Image Comics.
Isola is a lushly beautiful comic. I've read the first issue and I can tell you it's one of the loveliest comics I've seen in a while - you'll really want to linger on the illustration from Karl Kerschl and gorgeous, rich colors from Msassyk. This is an entertaining fantasy comic, and the premise is straightforward: a woman and a tiger (yup, a tiger) a traveling through the forest.  They need to get to a certain (possibly mythical) destination, and face danger and all sorts of obstacles along the way. After the first issue I'm not totally sure what's going on, but I'm definitely intrigued enough to want to know more.

Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #2 by Jeff Lemire, Max Fiumara, Dave Stewart and Nate Piekos, published by Dark Horse.
I understand that this book is a clear homage to DC's Starman. But I've actually never read that book, so for me it's just a highly entertaining, terrifically illustrated story about heroism and regret, that further fleshes out the Black Hammer universe. A series you ned to be reading. Lemire's really having a ton of fun playing with homages to various characters and exploring themes important to him.

Mech Cadet Yu #8 by Greg Pak, Takeshi Miyazawa and Triona Farrell, published by Boom! Studios.
Mech Cadet Yu is such a fun book. It's a legit all ages book (which some all-ages books aren't really) in that anyone looking for a fun adventure read could enjoy this. Adults are more likely to appreciate the stunning art from Miyazawa and Farrell, but the story of an outcast who gets involved in a battle and is in over his head is pretty universal.

Head Lopper Vol. 2 TP by Andrew MacLean and Jordie Bellaire, published by Image Comics.
This is a fun read - I've been reading Head Lopper since it was a self-published Kickstarter years ago and have been happy to see MacLean reach a wider audience with his fun, action-packed adventure stories. For fans of fun and dramatic fantasy stories, I recommend this one. MacLean has a great, unique art style that has elements of manga and Mignola but is very much his own.

Scott's Picks:

Black Bolt #12 by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward, published by Marvel Comics.  This has been one of Marvel's best-looking comics thanks to Ward and Ahmed has made us care about characters that Marvel has spent considerable time and energy trying to make into the next big thing.

The Wicked + The Divine #35 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson, published by Image Comics.  I'll admit, the first year or so of this series left me scratching my head a bit.  I don't think I understood the fandom around it.  But since The Imperial Phase issues, I feel like this has been one of the best super-hero comics on the strands.  Gillen, McKelvie, and Wilson's work here has been constantly building on itself as the book marches on to some major narrative fireworks that feel like they can and should begin with any issue now.

X-Men Grand Design V1 by Ed Piskor, published by Marvel Comics.  Ed Piskor took on a monumental task, creating a unified history of the X-Men.  This collection, chronicling the original X-Men team, is a sometimes-too-enamored love letter to the X-Men but Piskor's sense of storytelling and design is always worth checking out.  Following the format of the great Hip Hop Family Tree collections, the old Marvel Treasury size is one of the greatest formats of comics.  (Is it odd that my two favorite formats are either the big Treasury size or the small DC Digests from the late 1970s and 1980s?)

Xerxes Fall Of The House Of Darius And The Rise Of Alexander #1 by Frank Miller and Alex Sinclair, published by Dark Horse.  For better or worse, I think I'm a Frank Miller fanboy.  Holy Terror aside, I find Miller one of the most exciting storytellers in comics, even if his stories can be problematic.  The original 300 is an underappreciated classic, not up to Sin City or Dark Knight Returns levels of acclaim, but definitely 2nd tier Miller classic, like Elektra Returns and Martha Washington levels of storytelling. While Miller's artwork on The Dark Knight: Master Race felt a bit lesser than his other work, the preview I've seen of this issue falls somewhere between the original series and The Dark Knight Strikes Back.