Catch It at the Comic Ship September 19th, 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...

Kirk's Picks:

Dick Tracy #1 by Mike Allred, Lee Allred, Rich Tommaso, Laura Allred, and Shawn Lee, published by IDW
I’m personally so exciting to finally see this come to fruition. There were a lot of questions over the last couple of years as to who had the publishing rights to Dick Tracy. It was disheartening to watch this project get announced at other publishers with different creative teams only to be abruptly pulled more than once. This 4 issue mini-series appears to be a passion project that the entire Allred family is a part of as brothers Mike and Lee co-write and Mike’s wife, Laura is the perfect choice to handle the vibrant color world that lends itself to the Dick Tracy universe. What will set this apart from any other version of the character that you’ve seen before is Rich Tommaso’s inspired art style that always distinctly sets his work apart from his contemporaries setting the precedent that this new interpretation of a legacy pulp hero could be a game changer worth the delays.

Mister Miracle #11 by Tom King and Mitch Gerards, published by DC Comics
I have something to admit. I’ve been very critical of King’s writing in this series. But I keep coming back for Mitch’s art. I feel that it’s groundbreaking. The choices he has made in order to relate mood and concepts as well as make readers question the reality our main characters exist in has just been as vital, if not more so, to the storytelling as King’s scripts. It’s the art that has had me come back every month and as we head into the penultimate issue, I want to tell you that the art so good, that even if you haven’t been following this series, you owe it to  yourself to pick it up an issue at the shop to experience it for yourself. It doesn’t even have to be this current issue. Just grab any installment of this series and see for yourself. And yes, I’m going to hang around until the end for this story in the hopes that it sticks the landing and I eat every bit of doubt that I had.

Sean's Picks:

Burnouts #1 by Dennis Culver, Geoff, and others, published by Image
When I first read the press teasers for this comic by Dennis Culver and Marvel layout artist, Geoffo, I literally LOL’d. High school teenagers fighting off a secret alien invasion that they can only see when wasted? Yep! I’ll buy that. This comic is so silly. This comic is complete nonsense. This is exactly what a comic is supposed to be after reading all those other dense, dark indie ones. (Look for an interview with Dennis Culver soon on the site!)

Ice Cream Man 7 by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo, and others, published by Image
I recently binge read issues 1 through 6 of Ice Cream Man and I have to confess; although I did know this was a comic considered as a 2018 must-read, what I did not know was to what degree. After having read those and now with the upcoming 7 this week I can say with certainty that this will definitely become one of my more consistent favorites of the year. Stellar writing. Creepy art. This comic is intensely eerie without even seeming to try. Scripts by Prince and illustrations by Morazzo combine to illuminate each standalone story as they subtly overlap within each other. Don’t miss this one. Catch up and follow along with us.

Black Hammer: Age of Doom by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein, published by Dark Horse
I’m a sucker for all things Lemire, and more specifically all things Black Hammer. The universe that Jeff Lemire has developed over the last couple years or so with this title and the few spin-off’s has given readers something so expansive in the industry not seen since Fables. Black Hammer arguably has an opportunity to become considered nearly as important to modern era comics as Isaac Asimov’s Foundation & Robot series were to mid 20th century science fiction. Fight me.

Skyward 6 by Joe Henderson, Antonio Fabela, and others, published by Image
The first arc of Skyward ended with us finally having the confrontation between the characters we’d been following through the skies and corridors of the first 5 issues. I really enjoy this comic. The colors, the dialogue, the characters, and all the textures of the lines, everything about this story is fun. Once a couple trades come available I may even resort to utilizing this book as a recommendation for comic readers of all ages. It’s that versatile.

Batman: Damned #1 by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, published by DC Comics
Wasn’t it just Batman day? Maybe so.. but I’m not even sure I understand the meaning or desire to even think to need a day reserved for Batman. He’s the last fictional character needing a day reserved for marketing manipulation. Come to think of it.. do we even need another Batman comic? Allow me to set up my rapid response.. YES!! Reason: this Batman is written by the living legend Brian Azzarello. Do not sleep on this one! 

James' Picks:

Cold War vol. 1 by Christopher Sebela and Hayden Sherman, published by Aftershock Comics.
A fantastic read, Cold War tells the story about people who paid to have themselves cryogenically frozen, only to find themselves woken up in a future where they're immediately turned into cannon fodder in a war against an unknown enemy. This is such a good series, and the scratchy art from Hayden Sherman is perfect for this series where you'll be asking WTF is going on, in the best possible way.  

Skyward vol. 1 by Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett, published by Image Comics.
This is a fun, engaging read. Skyward tells the story about how people have adjusted to living on an Earth where gravity is only a fraction of what it once was. For some it's been a disaster, and for some, an opportunity. This is a really clever, intelligent series, and Lee Garbett provides gorgeous, dynamic art.

Mister Miracle #11 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, published by DC Comics.
This is one of the very best, most ambitious, weirdest big-two books in a while. Mister Miracle is building to a conclusion, and I can't even imagine what that's going to be. This is a spectacular book that's a remarkable exploration of depression and psychosis, along with parenting. And war. Seriously, you need to be reading this, it's an important book.

Captain America Annual #1 by Tini Howard, Chris Sprouse and Ron Lim, published by Marvel Comics.
Tini Howard is a terrific up-and-coming voice in comics (Assassinistas, Euthanauts) and I'm super excited to see what she brings to a Captain America story. Thankfully for her, she's paired with the spectacular Chris Sprouse, one of the very best artists and a perfect choice for a WWII-set book. I'm looking forward to this one.

Rob's Picks:

Cold War Vol 1 TP by Chris Sebela and Hayden Sherman, published by Aftershock
Gonna cheat death by suspending yourself until the future? Ha! Nice try, if you're within the cruel, crafty, and creative mind of Sebela and Sherman. Dropped into a war with no idea what to do, these people are pawns in a game, and Sebela's ability to make that horror come through is really spectacular. Sherman's angular style is perfect for this nightmare, providing a look and feel that's off-putting because it's always "not quite right"--even when the figures or buildings or what have you are familiar. It's great work from a publisher I'm growing increasingly fond of reading. This is science horror, and I love it. You will, too.

Olivia Twist #1 by Darin Strauss, Adam Dalva, Emma Vieceli, and Lee Loughridge, published by Dark Horse Comics
I was a little leery on this one, but I need to just trust Karen Berger. As usual, this is another standout book under her editorial guidance. There's no doubt as to the book's concept as a re-imagining of Dickens, and I like that the team leans into this, instead of trying to be coy. In this world, anyone who isn't pure enough ends up as an orphan and the work camps aren't just as teens--they're pretty much set. Even the non-orphan world is pretty bad, but with the help of some clever street urchins, Olivia might just make a difference. The art is slick, very old-school Vertigo, which I mean as a complement. and I'm curious to see where this goes. 

Dick Tracy #1 by Mike Allred, Lee Allred, Rich Tommaso, Laura Allred, and Shawn Lee, published by IDW
What happens when you care more about the law than your bosses? You get tossed from city to city. That's Dick Tracy's "problem" but he's more concerned about collaring criminals than collecting a check. When there's a city so corrupt only one man can clean it up, Dick Tracy is your man in this re-imagining that puts Tracy in a retro-modern setting, which is perfect for Tommaso and Allred's art styles. There's a few moments where the dialog lags behind the art, but we're teased some classic characters and if there's a more perfect person to color the world of Dick Tracy, I can't imagine them. Laura Allred is the star of this show. If you like the character, make sure to pick this one up.

Batman: Damned #1 by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, published by DC Comics
From Dick Tracy to Bat--well, you know.
Jokes aside, I really enjoyed Azzarello and Bermejo's non-continuity Joker story, and while I don't usually like hyper-realistic art, Bermejo's style works well for what he does. I think this is a good pair to lead off the new Black Label line, and because it's not anywhere near the main stories, I can credibly consider the idea that Bats has offed the Joker once and for all, even if that ends up not being true. Throwing John Constantine into the mix just makes it all the better. The price tag on this one makes me blanch, but for a team this good, if the comic matches up to my expectations, it's going to hit my pull list. (Also, as an aside: Props to DC for being willing to show a male character the way we often see female ones. I don't care if it's a stunt, that's long overdue.)

20th Century Boys Perfect Edition Volume 1 by Naoki Urasawa, published by Viz
Imagine what would happen if a person wanted to do a manga that had a Stephen King vibe and art that looked like John Romita, Jr. before his skills eroded and turned into bad Frank Miller. That's 20th Century Boys. Urasawa weaves between the story of kids with secrets and their adult selves who have to deal with the secrets they thought were long buried--if there's even enough time to do anything to stop what's in motion. It's a story of generations, friendship, and evil and hit every right note for me in terms of horror, art, and story. Now's your chance to pick this up in all-new editions instead of raiding used book stores, like I did.