And the Oscar Nomination goes to...Comics! Catch It at the Comic Shop January 25th, 2023

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:

Manifest Destiny TP vol. 8 by Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, and Owen Gieni, published by Image Comics
Manifest Destiny is one of the very first comics I wrote about when I first joined Panel Patter, almost 9 years ago. It's a "secret history" comic that imagines that the real reason Lewis & Clark went on their expedition in 1803 was to hunt and kill monsters living throughout the new American territory. They are joined by Sacagawea (who is invaluable for their quest) and Charbonneau (who is less so), and a group of soldiers, and they proceed to have all sorts of terrifying adventures in the undiscovered (for them) territory. The story certainly has something to say about colonialism and white American ideas of, well, manifest destiny. It's also just an incredibly entertaining story. I'm very curious to read the final arc and see how it all wraps up. 

Fragmentation HC by Marc Guggenheim and Beni Lobel, published by Dark Horse
Pieces (or "fragmentations") of other time periods appear to be showing up in our present-day world. I don't know what happens after that, but that definitely has my attention. Veteran comic and TV writer Marc Guggenheim has a new graphic novel out, and it looks like a lot of fun. Time travel, past and present time colloding, it all sounds like a lot of fun. The book is drawn by artist Beni Lobel, whose work I wasn't familiar with but after a quick search he's definitely got a fun, appealing and accessible style that makes me want to give this one a look.  

Bulls of Beacon Hill #1 by Steve Orlando and Andy MacDonald, published by AfterShock Comics
This is a crime drama set in Boston! You really don't have to do much else to get me to pick it up. But this is a strong creative team, as writer Steve Orlando has written a ton of comics I've really enjoyed, whether it's DC characters or his indie stories. And Andy MacDonald is a very skilled artist who's done excellent work on books like Wonder woman, Green Lantern and others. This should be a fun read. 

Batman: One Bad Day - Catwoman by G. Willow Wilson and Jamie McKelvie, published by DC Comics
The One Bad Day comics have been a lot of fun. From different creative teams, very different sorts of stories. My favorite so far has been the Riddler from Tom King and Mitch Gerads, but I'm very excited for this Catwoman story and this creative team. Wilson is an excellent writer (she did co-create Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel and wrote the original epic run), but I'm mostly excited to see the return of Jamie McKelvie. He may have been woring on other comics, but I haven't really read sequential stories by him since the end of The Wicked + The Divine, so I'm thrilled to pick this up. McKelvie is an exceptional visual storiyteller. He also draws stunningly beautiful people. So I'm thrilled to see him draw Catwoman, and have him draw a fun story involving Catwoman and Batman at odds, and Catwoman stealing stuff. I'm sure this will be a fun read.

Human Target #11 by Tom King and Greg Smallwood, published by DC Comics/Black Label
I'm running out of ways to keep praising Human Target. But here goes. Human Target is fun, emotional, stylish, sexy, sad, and above all unbelievably gorgeous. King and Smallwood are doing something really special with this book. It's a story that feels timeless, and that will make it hold up extremely well over time. Smallwood has a style that is incredibly stylish and sexy, but also is just an incredibly effective sequential storyteller. This is a story that would work really well even for comic readers who don't really care for superhero stories. This story is nearing its conclusion, and you don't want to miss it.

Sins of Sinister #1 by Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck, published by Marvel Comics

The ongoing story in Immortal X-Men involving Mr. Sinister has been a lot of fun. Mr. Sinister (a/k/a Nathaniel Essex) is a several centuriues-old mutant who's extremely interested in genetics, cloning, and making mutant chimeras (i.e., hybrids). It's been recently discovered that he's up to some serious shenanigans, and the X-Men thought they had the problem solved. But not so fast, it turns out that Si nister has many tricks up his sleeve. In this series/sotry, we will see the weird and terrible world created by Sinister, and it should be a blast. Sinister's an arch, droll, fun, clever villain, and that's perfect for writer Kieron Gillen who does that sort of thing better than just about anyone. His Immortal X-Men partner Lucas Werneck is there to provide fantastic art. This should be great.  

Mike's Pick:

Darkwing Duck 1 by Amanda Deibert and Carlo Lauro, published by Dynamite Entertainment
And so I emerge from my cave to herald the return of the Terror that Flaps in the Night. All praise to Dynamite Publishing, who, in their infinite wisdom, and with infinite covers, bring the Duck Knight back to print for the first time in almost seven years. When done right, Darkwing can achieve a near perfect balance between parody and authentic storytelling. There aren’t many single issues that are getting me excited anymore, but this one has been circled for a while.