Catch It at the Comic Shop December 12th, 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:

Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox, published by Dark Horse Comics
The books by Jeff Lemire in the Black Hammer universe have been uniformly terrific, and I don't expect this one to be any different. This is a story about a girl who's also the spawn of one of the elder dark gods. That's gotta be tough, as school can be hard enough without being a monster. Lemire's books in the Black Hammer series have turned superhero and other genre conventions on their heads, and been fun and moving and insightful. With terrific art from Emi Lenox (with whom Lemire worked on the strong Plutona, which feels like it could be a Black Hammer story), I expect this to be a terrific book.

Goddess Mode #1 by Zoe Quinn and Robbi Rodriguez, published by DC Comics/Vertigo
This sounds like a really strong concept, with a futuristic AI meeting humanity's needs, and dark secrets hidden underneath. Zoe Quinn is a remarkable person, given her strength and integrity  I'm super curious to see what kind of story she wants to tell. I know it'll look great, since the art is by the dynamic Robbi Rodriguez. 

X-23 #7 by Mariko Tamaki and Diego Olortegui, published by Marvel Comics
This book has been a real delight. The transition from Tom Taylor in All-New Wolverine to Mariko Tamaki writing this book has been pretty seamless. Laura Kinney is a spectacular character, interesting and complex. And her relationship with her clone sister Gabby has been really wonderful. This book has been a real delight to read; I don't much care about the X-men as a whole, but I love this character.

Rob's Picks:

Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox, published by Dark Horse Comics
A girl with ties to unspeakable horrors and the looks to match tries to have a normal lofe, but it fails miserably. What will she do to be like everyone else? That's the question Lemire and company pose in this one shot, that is kind of an inverse problem to that of the adult heroine stuck in a child's body in the main series. I'm not all caught up on Black Hammer yet, but with Emi on art and her ability to mesh the natural and supernatural worlds, plus a touch of Mythos, this one is not to be missed

Mystery Science Theater 3000 #3 by Joel Hodgson, Harold Buchholz, Matt McGinnis, Mary Robinson, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe, Mike Manley, and Wes Dzioba, published by Dark Horse Comics
Crow takes his role in the kinga comicsverse a bit too seriously, as this menacing cover warns of the Crowptkeeper? Cryptcrower? Eh, skip it. Anyone who loves MST3K knows no matter who mans the Crow puppet, Cryptkeeper puns are always just a bad horror scene away. Joel using that in the comics is a brilliant move. These issues aren't what I expected but they are fun and use the show premise well, alongside a long tradition of rebubbling old books. Can't wait to read this one!

Vampirella vs Reanimator by Cullen Bunn and Blacky Shepherd, published by Dynamite Entertainment

Herbert West has a new insane scheme to defeat death, but to do it, he has to wake an ancient evil. As if he cares! Only Vampirella can stop him, but her powers may not be enough to stop the wily, seemingly unkillable Dr. West. Two great cult classic figures square off, with Cullen bunn at the helm. I've been excited for this one since it was announced. 

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 

A young man has power and responsibility but no matter how hard he tries, it's not always enough. And there's another whose shadow he can't help but live in. But he's his own man, and Miles is by far the most interesting Spider person, partly because his story is still new. I'm still not sure how he got to the 616 U, but I'm happy to see a teen with troubles that aren't the same as Peter around, to allow Peter to grow up a bit. Plus, Marvel needs more legacy heroes. With Saladin Ahmad at the helm and a movie at his back, Miles is headed for a bright future. I can't wait to read this book.

Bitter Root #2 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown and Sandford Greene published by Image Comics

Monsters in Jazz Age Harlem is every bit as good as I hoped it would be. As the one family who can keep hatred from manifesting as demons struggles against greater threats, Walker skillfully adds a second plot revolving around the deadly racism of that time (and ours too, frankly). Greene's loose lines work great for creatures, as his exaggerated figures enhance their creepiness. This is one of my books of the year.

Neil's Picks:

Bitter Root #2 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown and Sandford Greene published by Image Comics
I wrote a review for Bitter Root #1 on Panel Patter last month which you can read here. So I won’t go into to much detail but I am incredibly excited to continue this story. Set during the Harlem Renaissance a family of monster hunters must stop demons/Jinoo from taking over the world. Walker, Brown and Greene have created a sublime comic, with captivating characters and striking art. And as with another comic in my picks, this to will be in my top 10 comics of 2018, after only two issues. 

Black Order #2 by Derek Landy and Philip Tan published by Marvel Comics
As much as I was personally looking forward to this release, hand on heart I did not expect it to be as good as it is. That is no offence to Derek Landy because his opening issue was outstanding. Predominantly narrated by a troubled Corvus Glaive, we saw The Black Order up to their usual antics of destruction and murder but with a nice slice of humour. Landy realises that for some readers (due to the Avengers: Infinity War) this may be their first foray into these characters and it’s a great introduction. For others like myself who’ve had a love for the “Cull Obsidian” since their first appearance in September 2013 (New Avengers #8), Landy is delivering a very brooding narrative. One that gives a totally different outlook on Corvus Glaive as a character. Tan’s art as a whole is beautiful. I may be biased because it harks back to a period where I was obsessing over comics, the 90s. But it makes this comic a fantastic addition to the Marvel Cosmic universe, even if it is a standalone. 

Fearscape #3 by Ryan O’Sullivan, Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov published by Vault Comics
It’s never too early to talk about your end of year picks, it is December after all. With that being said, Fearscape is definitely in my top 10, even when you have a lead protagonist who is such an arsehole. Henry Henry is deeply flawed, a consistent liar and one who believes he is above everyone else. You literally cannot grasp this is the guy tasked with overcoming the greatest of all fears, thereby freeing humanity from them. For better or for worse (definitely better) the comic itself is narrated by Henry. Dropping in the occasional, sarcastic “dear reader” in the thought bubbles to take away from what characters within the story are saying. Honestly the guy is terrible but O’Sullivan writes in such an intelligent way you can’t help but love him. An incredibly refreshing comic and one that you will see on a lot of top 10s for 2018, I guarantee it. 

Sean's Picks:

Fearscape #3 by Ryan O’Sullivan, Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov published by Vault Comics
The first two issues of Fearscape have been some of the better written indie stuff I’ve read this year. It will be a sad day when this limited run of Ryan O’Sullivan’s comes to an end after the fifth issue. With that being said, I will gladly pay the price tag to see what happens next to our resident plagiarist, Henry Henry. I have many thoughts about where this story may go and what exactly is attempting to be said, but I am doing my best to refrain so that the fullest experience can be had. I cannot talk highly enough about this book.. if you have an active pull list, you’ve likely overlooked this short run title from Vault. My suggestion is to jump on now and get caught back up later. It’s a brilliantly fun ride. 

Murder Falcon #3 by Daniel Warren Johnson and Mike Spicer, published by Image Comics
A comic for the shredders and the metal heads. “Took ‘em long enough!” as the employee at the local comic shop said to me last month when the second issue was released as we shrugged off some observations that Murder Falcon is equally absurd and ridiculous as it is…. completely freaking awesome! How much more badass can a comic get than is a presumed, but mistaken, washed up metal head discovers his ability to defeat monsters with the sound of him shredding on his guitar as he summons the Murder Falcon? This is pure ridiculousness to the core, but I can’t not read it. I hope this title sticks around for a while. With that being said… I do also hope that the novelty doesn’t wear off and the story becomes cliché. I’d love to see this grow into a sort of comic that defines a new genre for an aging demographic of the music obsessed comic enthusiast. 

Ice Cream Man Vol.2 by W. Maxwell Prince and Martin Morazzo, published by Image Comics
W. Maxwell Prince has made one of the best ongoing comics to be released on Image. Ice Cream Man is so solid and so independent of itself that with each issue it has become so convenient to read for the casual reader, as well as purely addictive for the obsessed. This comic is pure addiction for me.. worse so than ice cream is for my two elementary age children. Both the first and second volumes of the comic will now be available (just in time for the Christmas self-gifting), and it’s prime time to jump in to this haunting and utterly chilling comic. 

Bitter Root #2 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown and Sandford Greene published by Image Comics
Evil monsters on the streets of Harlem as the Sangerye family has to overcome themselves so that they can defeat it. Yep. Hearing the premise of the story and learning that it’s the creative team behind the exuberant run of Powerman & Ironfist from last year makes me an immediate fan. 

The Amazing Spider-Man #11 by Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley, published by Marvel Comics
There’s a ton of heavy subjected stuff in comics coming out this month. This week in particular has a view that I hadn’t mentioned here that I’m also looking forward to but the Panel requirements are that I keep this at a concise package of five. So.. I’ll end with an always safe and always fun recommend with the Amazing Spider-Man. I’m going to admit up front that there probably wouldn’t be much that I’d assume pass on with Peter Parker but Nick Spencer has captured the persona so well and so quickly after having taken it over from the man, Dan Slott.