Catch It at the Comic Shop October 17th, 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...

Welcome to Neil Spiers, our newest contributor! He's a good friend of the site and has been chatting with us for awhile now on Twitter. You can find some of his great, longer review work at our Panel Pals, Do You Even Comic Book? Neil's got some picks for you and they're good ones!

Neil's Picks:

Evolution #11 by James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, Joshua Williamson and others, published by Image/Skybound Comics.
Four writers on one series, surely not possible? But the team behind Evolution are one cohesive bunch. Having read all 10 issues last week (including the first trade), Evolution jumped to the top of my pull list. Human evolution is taking on a massively horrific change and only a few people are taking notice.
Elements of Cronenberg horror, mixed with Invasion of the Body Snatchers makes for an incredibly intense and disturbing thrill ride of a story.

Venom Annual #1 by Donny Cates, David Michelinie, Ron Lim and others, published by Marvel Comics. 
Surprisingly, this is Venom’s first ever annual. But with everything that has come before it, especially Don Cates incredibly gripping Venom run. This could be one of the best annuals released in a long time.
Cates has taken Eddie Brock’s character, mentally and physically destroyed him and taken us along for the ride. Never have I read a Venom run that had such emotional pull. One that by the end of the first arc almost brought me to tears…. Yes, a Venom book did that!  With numerous writers, including Jeff Loveness, who’s Judas on Boom was engaging as hell, this annual could be a huge eye-opener.

Death or Glory Vol.1 by Rick Remenber and Bengal, published by Image Comics 
Rick Remender continues to pump out stunning book after stunning book and Death or Glory is no different.
The first arc of Death or Glory was a joy to read. Remender pushed the writing to 11 as it never once let up. A mix of No Country for Old Men and Mad Max see’s the main protagonist Glory pull off four daring cross-country heists within three days. All while being chased by crooked cops, mob bosses and Mexican cartel members.
Bengal’s artwork blew me away and was a feast for the eyes. Never have I seen car chases drawn with such intensity. This trade is a must for your collection.

James' Picks:

Black Hammer: Age of Doom #6 by Jeff Lemire and Rich Tommaso, published by Dark Horse Comics
Black Hammer has consistently been one of the best, most interesting comics of the past few years. Jeff Lemire is taking lots of interesting superhero tropes and mixing them together in a very cool, creative and creepy way. A reason to check out the new issue is that it's the first to be illustrated by the talented Rich Tommaso.  Tommaso is a creator who's done his own, fascinating creator owned work, and is a talented artist whose perspective I'm really curious to see brought to the world of Black Hammer. This new arc is meant to take place in a weird reality, and that's perfect for Tommaso's bright, weird, silver-age inspired pop-art.  

East of West #39 by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, Frank Martin and Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics
East of West one of my top 3 favorite comics being published now. Hickman and company have been building a complex, alternate history of America where the Civil War ended very differently, America was divided up into 7 nations, and beings of myth and religion walk around as the country moves closer to an apocalypse.  The book has consistently incredible art from the unparalleled Nick Dragotta, whose Manga-influenced style depicts aciton and motion better than just about anyone. The colors from Frank Martin are also amazing. This book is dense and complex and an incredibly rewarding read.
Black Badge #3 by Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins and Hilary Jenkins, published by Boom! Studios
If you're a fan of stories of secret agencies and government conspiracies and covert operations, and stories about Boy Scouts, well then have I got the perfect story for you. Black Badge is telling the story of a most secret branch of the Boy Scouts, that carries out clandestine missions all over the world. Who would suspect a bunch of kids, after all? It's a fantastic premise and I've really enjoyed the story so far. Tyler Jenkins has a great, dreamlike style that's nicely colored by Hilary Jenkins. And Kindt is better than just about anyone at telling stories about weird, secret things.

Shuri #1 by Nnedi Okorafor, Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire, published by Marvel Comics
After Black Panther, one of the best movies of the year, I'm very excited for more Shuri. Now grated, the Shuri of the comics is pretty different from the Shuri of the movies, but I'm really interested to see what this creative team does with this character, who is getting a bigger spotlight on her.  I wasn't familiar with Okorafor's work, but a best-selling author of Afro-Futurist stories? Telling stories about an important character in Wakanda? Sounds like something I want to read. And I am huge fan of Leonardo Romero's art - he's a great "neo-clacissist"/Toth disciple in the vein of Chris Samnee and Doc Shaner. He brings a lot of fun and personality to all of his work.

MCMLXXV #2 by Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan, published by Image Comics
She's a badass NYC taxi driver in 1975, wielding a magic tire iron that helps her defeat monsters. And she comes from a line of taxi drivers that protect the city from monsters. The first issue of MCMLXXV was so much fun. A wild, funny, exciting and sexy read.  So, I absolutely recommend picking up issue 1 and getting issue 2 as well, as this seems like it's gonna be something really fun and special.

Mike's Picks: 
[Welcome back, Mike!]

Simpsons Comics #245 by Nathan Kane, Rex Lindsey, and Jason Ho, published by Bongo Comics
This is a bit of a long time coming, I’d suppose. Bongo seemed to be sputtering to the finish line for a few years now, having canceled Futurama Comics and opting for increased digital first publications amidst a suspect digital distribution platform. Still, it’s a bit of a shock that one of the world’s biggest media entities could never seem to entirely wrap its head around the comics world. A few years ago, I began a quest to procure every issue of this series, and I’ll be especially saddened to read the final issue this Wednesday.

Exorsisters # 1 by Ian Boothby, Gisele Lagace, Pete Pantazis and Taylor Esposito, published by Image Comics
There are almost too many good releases from Image this week – so many that picking one or two is near impossible. Conventional wisdom would say that Gideon Falls, East of West, or The New World are the sure things this week. My own personal inclinations tell me to urge you toward Stellar, Skyward, or Proxima Centauri. However, if you’ve been reading any of those series, you already know they’re all strong, and you’re probably leaning towards purchasing them either in single issue or trade format. And if you haven’t . .  . well, I don’t particularly urge you to randomly pick up East of West 39 or Proxima Centauri 5 on a whim. Instead, I’ll urge you to drop your hard-earned $3.99 on Exorsisters from the creators Gisele Lagace and Ian Boothby (who, coincidentally, wrote more Simpsons comics than any other writer). Issue 1 was a romp. Boothby’s script is both goofy and wry, and Lagace and Pantazis put together crisp, bright panels that evoke and Archie-style vibe. On top of that, Esposito is one of my favorite letters working today.

What If? Ghost Rider #1 by Sebastian Girner, Caspar Wijngaard, and Aleksi Briclot, published by Marvel Comics
Maybe it’s the fourth wall shattering premise. Maybe it’s the promise of a completely awesome Heavy Metal premise. Maybe it’s the cover that evokes the best character from Mad Max: Fury Road. Whatever it is, I’m in for this What If Marvel Comics Went Metal offering. I’m by no means a metal head, but I love a good metal parody for the basic reason that metalheads fully embrace their music and lifestyle knowing exactly how absurd much of it is. We should all have that level of sincerity.

Mage: Volume 5 – Book 3: The Hero Denied by Matt and Brennan Wagner, published by Image Comics
Since I leaned towards new readers with Exorsisters, I’m going to take the opposite approach for an Image trade pick this week. While you definitely should pick up Gideon Falls, and while it’s going to be much more immediately accessible than Mage, I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight this particular collection. Mage has played an incredibly vital role in my life, and this final series has been a stellar addition to the storyline.

Sean's Picks:

Gideon Falls 7 by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, published by Image
Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino return this week with Father Fred, Sheriff Miller, and Norton in what is arguably the most anticipated return of 2018. After a brief hiatus when the first chapter came to an end in early June the creative team behind this ambitiously eerie story of obsession, faith and mental illness come back with a vengeance just in time for Halloween. Just when ghosts and goblin one-shot comics have begun saturating comic stands we will soon see horror shudder itself back down to a spine shivering WTF. If I had to decide right now, I’d most obviously name Gideon Falls as my favorite comic of 2018, and maybe even my favorite piece by Lemire ever. Time will be the judge on if the latter remains to be true. At this moment in the Gideon Falls story we have only been given a beginning. To say I am excited for what’s ahead with its middle and end would be a careless understatement. The trade comes out this week too.. so if you’re one of the few who hasn’t read this one yet.. you’ve got an easy no-excuse trip to the comic shop this Wednesday to help you catch up in one swoop.

Submerged 3 by Vita Ayala, Lisa Sterle, and others, published by Vault
Submerged is so fresh and so intense, and when I read issues one and two a few weeks ago it left me immediately imagining possible directions this story could go. And that right there, folks, is when you know something is special.. when it grabs you so intently that it has you personally invested in its plot development as you hash out the varied details of where a story might go. That is what makes comics fun. That is what we are here for. That is a good time. A good time is appreciated when you can become unintentionally motivated to invest the imagination in a story being told. Though this won’t necessarily win any awards for groundbreaking territory, it will most definitely have you roped in with the joy ride this creative team is telling. Vault is currently my favorite publisher and distributor of comics. Everything they are putting out right now is at least an eight out of ten in my opinion.

Cemetery Beach 2 by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, published by Image
This comic is everything you’d expect from something coming from Mr Ellis: high octane, fast paced, smooth talking criminals. He’s got a way with words and a knack for action. The delivery is just as impactful with Howard’s menacing and shifty illustrations that draw you in so deep that you’ll forget to turn the page. The first issue was 95% action and 5% foundation and developmental plot. I am anxious to see where the all-important sophomore release takes us. I recently reread the first issue of Cemetery Beach and I was surprised at how riveting this story is even after a re-read weeks after my own review.

Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader’s Castle 3 by Cavan Scott, Derek Cham, and Corin Howell, published by IDW 
This is a weekly release during the month of October in celebration of the impending festivities of Halloween, I am certain, and I have taken it upon myself to collect the mini series for my expanding collection of one-off’s and mini’s. The series hasn’t been anything too exciting, as it is marketed with the children’s banner of a star wars adventures spin off, but last week’s issue was exponentially better than the debut. Maybe it had something to do with it behind centered on more familiar characters to me? Who knows.. and at this point it will remain an unknown, but what I do know is that my favorite star wars characters are Han Solo and Chewbacca… and the issue coming out this week is featuring them. If you fancy yourself a conversation on how the space saga dynamic duo’s ghost story panned out… well, then find me on the twitter’s and ask me.. cause with everything else going on I’ll more than likely overlook going back to this series again. But believe me.. it’s a ghoulishly childlike good time.

Venom Annual #1 by Donny Cates, David Michelinie, Ron Lim and others, published by Marvel Comics. 
This is Venom’s first annual. Ever. And.. its written by one of comic’s hottest writers. (Rightly so, cause he is writing the character currently and that only makes sense, right?) Well.. but always. So I saw the movie over the weekend and just caught myself up with the current Cates run of Venom, and might I add.. good god damn! this series is GOOD! The movie coulda been avoided.. but the comic series: it’s nearly the best mainstream comic out there right now. There isn’t much needing to be said here by me to get sales translated over to its line in the spreadsheet come Wednesday, because it’s already smoking the competition. I try to steer clear of recommending the big 2 because, you know, they’re…Big. But Venom is that good.. and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a little scare. And may it come as no surprise to most of you, but after completing my list of 5 for this week’s Catch It at the Comic Shop I was pleasantly surprised that all 5 had at list a hint of horror to go with the theme of October.