Catch It at the Comic Shop December 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...

James' Picks:

She-Hulk: The Complete Collection TP, by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido and Ron Wimberley, published by Marvel Comics
This series was a delight when it came out a few years back, and I highly recommend it. It's a book that focuses as much on Jennifer Walters' time as an attorney as her time as a superhero.  Most of the book is illustrated by the spectacular Javier Pulido. In the middle, two issues are illustrated by the also-terrific Ron Wimberley, though the difference in style is pretty jarring though. This was a fantastic series, full of humor and wit and legal knowledge. 

Black Badge #5 by Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins and Hilary Jenkins, published by Boom! Studios 
Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins make a terrific team. They've already worked together on the terrific Grass Kings about a separatist community, and now they've come together to tell the story about a ecret group of Boy Scouts that perform covert missions.  This is just the kind of story I want to see from Kindt, and Jenkins brings it all to life with gorgeous watercolors courtesy of his wife Hilary Jenkins. This is a fun book full of mystery, with a really original premise.

Freedom Fighters #1 by Robert Venditti and Eddy Barrows, published by DC Comics
So, this is based around the idea of the Freedom Fighters, a secret group of American heroes living on an Earth where America was conquered by the Nazis. It has some resonance today.  It's also based on one of the issues of The Multiversity which told a story set on this Earth.  I'm just really curious about it. Venditti is a strong writer, and Eddy Barrows is an excellent superhero artist. I think this should be fun.

The Warning #2 by Edward Laroche, published by Image Comics
The first issue of this series was the proverbial "slow burn"; this is a story about super humans being deployed on a military mission, but it has a degree of verisimilitude that you don't see in most comics.  The art also feels pretty unique to me, with illustration over what I assume are computer backgrounds. It does feel lie it's just building up now, but I'm intrigued, and I think it's a story worth watching. 

Defenders: The Best Defense #1 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett, published by Marvel Comics
Al Ewing and Joe Bennett are doing terrific work in The Immortal Hulk, and so there's no reason to think they won't tel a terrific story here to wrap up this brief miniseries.  I've read all 4 of the issues that lead into this story, and they're something of a mixed bag, but the Hulk and Doctor Strange issues were really strong. I'm curious to see these various heroes come together, and see how everything could possibly could come together and work as a story.

Mike's Picks:

Super Sons Omnibus by Peter Tomasi and Jorge Jiminez, published by DC Comics
Super Sons is still one of the best monthly superhero books on the stands. I don’t make it a habit to recommend exceedingly expensive books, but I’ll make an exception this time because a collection of this entire series, one that exudes heart and eschews pretense, exemplifies exactly what hooked me on comics in the first place some twenty five plus years ago. I do need an explanation as to why the solicit cover for this book is from a second Super Sons series not included in said omnibus.

Deep Roots 5 by Dan Watters, Val Rodrigues, Triona Farrel, and Aditya Bidikar, published by Vault Comics
Deep Roots nearly made it into my top 20 best comics of the year, and I agonized over not including it. This is a visually stunning story of two competing realities full of environmental commentary and incredible light-dark contrasts. The series hasn’t been shy about its Swamp Thing influence, but it’s hardly derivative. Like all Vault books, the visuals bound off the page, immersing the reader in a new world. 

Friendo 3 by Alex Paknadel, Martin Simmonds, Dee Cunniffe, and Taylor Esposito

No, I don’t work for Vault. MAYBE YOU WORK FOR VAULT! I’m sorry. It’s hard not to pick Vault books on a weekly basis, and all of the company’s offerings are worth your hard earned dollar this week. If you haven’t already jumped on board with Friendo, think of it as a “what if” style polemic. Though, to be fair, it’s more of a “what happens when . . .” structure. Essentially, Friendo asks the question, “what happens when something like Google Glass finally takes off?” Paknadel approaches this idea from the social media/virtual friend perspecitve, providing a nice complement if not contrast for works in the same side of the sandbox, such as Tokyo Ghost.