Catch It at the Comic Shop September 5th, 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:

Cover #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack, published by DC/Jinxworld
Comic writer/Super-spy? With art from incredible artist David Mack? Sign me up.

Captain America #3 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu, published by Marvel Comics
This series has been very strong thus far. Terrific art, and it feels like Coates is building something big and interesting and topical.

Border Town #1 by Eric Esquivel, Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain, published by Vertigo Comics
I'm really excited for this. It looks like some incredibly on point storytelling with where we are in America in 2018. And Villalobos is an absolutely fantastic artist. His work on Nighthawk was amazing. 

Vampironica #3 by Greg & Megan Smallwood, published by Archie Comics
As with other Archie horror books, this is a terrific read. I loved the first 2 issues and am excited for more. Greg Smallwood follows up his Moon Knight run with some spectacular work here.

Monstress Vol. 3 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, published by Image Comics
It's been a while since I read vol. 2, so i'll need to remind myself what's going on. But this is a very interesting, dense world that Liu and Takeda are building. And Takeda's art is really just stunning, every page is a jaw-dropper.

Rob's Picks:

Prism Stalker Vol 1 by Sloane Leong, published by Image
If you missed this in single issues (shame on you, because we recommended it over and over again!), here's your chance to get this in trade. This story features amazingly designed creatures, vibrant colors, and a main character whose quest is compelling and dynamic. Scratch its surface, however, and you find that Sloane is telling a story about displacement, destruction of culture, and finding your heritage, even when a greater power wants you to forget it. The parallels to how the United States treated young First Nations children for decades couldn't be clearer. This is sci-fi as commentary at its best, and Sloane's work here is a great combination of a strong story and really cool weirdness. I hope that these aren't the final issues we see in this world.

Kim Reaper Vampire Island #1 by Sarah Grayley and Crank!, published by Oni Press
I was a huge fan of the first volume of this series, and I'm so happy to see it returning. Kim is a Grim Reaper, but only part time to help pay for her bills while she's in college. Her girlfriend, Becka, is an impulsive, obsessive woman who rushes headlong into everything, which is basically the exact opposite of Kim. When Kim lets slip that she knows where real vampires live, hijinks ensure, and we're off on another romantic romp. I love how adorable all of Grayley's characters are, with expressive eyes dominating their looks. This should be a ton of fun, and I highly recommend it.

Border Town #1 by Eric M. Esquivel, Ramon Villalobos, Tamra Bonvillain,and Deron Bennett, published by DC/Vertigo
The first of the new Vertigo line hits shops tomorrow, and I'm very curious to see how these new books stack up, especially with the Sandman universe back in play. Fair or not, Vertigo's long history means trying to live up to its history. This one features supernatural creatures from Mexican folklore, racial tensions, and cool art from Villalobos and Bonvillain, from what I've seen in the previews. I'm always up for monster stories, so I'll be checking this out on Wednesday.

Dreaming #1 by Simon Spurrier, Bilquis Evely, and Co, published by DC/Vertigo
Speaking of the Sandman Universe, I admit that Sandman Universe #1 was a surprise hit for me. I'd figured I was done with that world, but this new premise--Dream is AWOL and things are going to crap--hooked me back in. It doesn't hurt that I have a real soft spot for Cain and Abel, Matthew, and the rest of the side characters within the Dreaming, and seeing them take a central role has me ready to add this to my pull list. Spurrier's been a strong writer for me (I dug Spire, for example), and Evely's linework in the Universe special showed she understands how to make the Dreaming look strange and familiar all at the same time--just like a dream.

Valiant High TP by Daniel Kibblesmith, Derek Charm, David Baron, and Simon Bowland, published by Valiant Entertainment
Sometimes it's fun to play with popular characters and put them in different scenarios. Just like DC mashed up their Titans into a school run by Slade Wilson, Valiant--on a higher grade level--tosses their heroes into their greatest challenge yet: High school! It's a playful look at how the characters might interact if they were all about the same age and attending a school for people with powers--even if those powers aren't supposed to be used during school hours. Using the character traits we all know and love, Kibblesmith deftly weaves together a story that mixes the concepts from shojo manga with Valiant's various power dynamics, and the result is a lot of fun, though you probably have to know the characters pretty well to fully appreciate this one. Derek Charm and David Baron's art does a great job of de-aging Armstrong, Ninjak, Livewire, and the rest, giving the whole thing a very OEL Manga feel. I enjoyed this a ton, and anyone who digs Valiant really needs to grab it.

Danny's Picks:

Berlin HC by Jason Lutes, published by Drawn & Quarterly
The gorgeously drawn, masterfully written series about the fall of the Weimar Republic and the growth of fascism and extremism in its place is finally collected in one omnibus. Jason Lutes' Berlin is a masterwork filled with compassion, rich in historical detail, and every bit as vital in today's world.

Border Town #1 by Eric M. Esquivel, Ramon Villalobos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Deron Bennett, published by DC/Vertigo
The first in a new wave of DC Vertigo launches, this series promises an inventive new story that explores an intersection between Mexican mythology and current political tensions. Based on the biting wit and gorgeous art in the previews that have been shown already, I think this series will be one to watch.

Cosmic Ghost Rider #3 by Donny Cates, Dylan Burnett, Antonio Fabela, and Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel
The best part of Marvel cosmic is the way it allows writers' imaginations to run loose in the playground of such comic titans as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Jim Starlin. Donny Cates, touted by many as one of the industry's freshest and most talented voices, may very well be the next heir to the cosmic throne in very much the same vein as the DnA era. Though laced with humor and offbeat heroics, Cosmic Ghost Rider is still very much in the spirit of Cates' thematic powerhouses like God Country and badass epics like Thanos Wins.

Immortal Hulk #5 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, and Paul Mounts, published by Marvel
My unexpected favorite series of the year continues as the titanic battle between the Hulk and Sasquatch begins. Bennett's art has all of the weight and brutality a series like this one needs, and Ewing has proven himself to be a master of pacing. If you aren't reading this series you really should be.

 Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #743 by various writers and artists, published by IDW
The long-running series brings an end to its current numbering as it prepares for a relaunch as "Disney's Comics and Stories." If you're a fan of Disney, or even just good ol' cartoons, this is consistently a delight.

The Walking Dead #183 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, and Cliff Rathburn, published by Image
The "New World Order" direction has proven to be one of this series' most interesting stories ever, if only because of the sheer number of possibilities Kirkman could take advantage of. With pacing and tension as relentless as ever, this long-running horror series is somehow still getting better and better.