Catch It at the Comic Shop July 17th, 2019

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...

Sean's Picks:

Little Bird #5 by Darcy Van Poelgeest and Ian Bertram, published by Image Comics
This is it, everyone. The end is no longer near, for it has arrived. After last month’s shocking development undermined any prediction you may have had leading up to it, we are now able to witness if the new, unlikely alliance is enough to overcome the Bishop’s reign. Every issue of this comic has been a vivid trip into various recollections of the past, present and future as the foundation it survives upon comes to its final act. Will the Resistance finally manage to rise up enough to defeat the tyrannical authority of the Bishop and his dominion? Little Bird is a story as small or as large as you want to make it for yourself, and with this week’s conclusion I plan to set aside some time to read it once for face value and another for its deeply woven message. The art in this book has worked itself to be some of my favorite this year, and the story is easily one of the long-lasting messages that will outlive any tweet from 2019. Go pick up this book. I’m not a betting man by nature, but my money says you’ll finish it and then immediately want to read it again. It’s that good.

Resonant #1 by David Andry and Alejandro Aragon, published by Vault Comics
Earlier this week I put out a review on Panel Patter gathering my thoughts from the first two issues of Resonant and I couldn’t keep myself from also including it here in our weekly round-up of Catch-it’s. (Yea, yea.. I know. If anyone is paying attention you’d have me pinned as a liar since a few weeks back I set myself up for failure vowing to only recommend one comic a week here.. and like my gym membership, I only managed to commit to a few weeks.) If you want to slap your brain with a quick hit of how perfect this comic is then search back a couple posts and see for yourself, but as long as I have you here I’ll double up and repeat what was said then, again. I’m certain that this will end up on some best-of lists at the end of the year. Resonant is the type of story that makes your skin crawl as you read it. Not simply for the story itself, but it is also attributed by the precision in the jagged illustrations brought by Aragon that bring to life the haunting narrative David is telling. Aragon’s artistic style is perfect for the tone of this book and gives a life to the narrative not many could mimic with pen and paper. I’ve been talking this one up for a while. Join the corral and read along with us as we find out what happens to a father and his three young children as they battle… themselves during the Waves.

James' Picks:

Black Science #41 by Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera and Moreno Dinisio, published by Image Comics
This is a huge, epic series that's full of so many twists, turns, and big ideas. Now that it's approaching the end (this is the penultimate issue), I'm sort of bookmarking for myself that I want to go back and think about this series as a whole. I think there was definitely some parts that I felt meandered, but through it all, this book was bursting with ideas and creativity, and a very specific punk rock ethos, courtesy of Remender. But the MVP of the book is the glorious Matteo Scalera, whose stunning artwork (paired first with Dean White and then Moreno Dinisio on colors) has provided the appropriate level of both insanity and grounded moments. This book is a work of boundless visual imagination, and ridiculous ideas, and a really fun ride.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 by Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, and Nathan Fairbairn, published by DC Comics
I am SO excited for this book. Matt Fraction is a writer whose voice I miss in superhero comics. His Hawkeye series (with Aja, Hollingsworth, Wu, et al.) was a real masterpiece of humor, compassion and a slice of real life in a crazy superhero world. And Steve Lieber, well, I can't say enough great things about his work.  His work in Superior Foes of Spider-Man and The Fix is some of the best visual humor and storytelling I've seen in a comic (my review of The Fix here). So, this feels like a truly inspired pairing to me. And I've already seen a little bit of their work together in the pages of the recent Leviathan special, as they told one story about Jimmy Olsen and his visit to Gorilla City. Everything I hear about this book is that it's going to be wonderful, and with this remarkable team, I can't say I'm surprised.

Immortal Hulk #21 by Al Ewing, Ryan Bodenheim and Paul Mounts, published by Marvel Comics
I recently reread the first 20 issues of this series, and I can tell you that this book deserves every bit of praise that it is receiving. Al Ewing is writing a complex, layered, dense, thoughtful story that draws richly on past continuity, and a healthy dose of Biblical studies. And Joe Bennett has been drawing virtuoso work in conjunction with some wonderful color work. This book is consistently visually striking (and when I say striking, I mean completely bonkers and horrifying, in the best way). So it's no surprise I'd want to highlight one of the very best books being published.  But the reason I am particularly excited about this issue is that there's a guest artist, that being Ryan Bodenheim.  If you know anything about my comics fandom, you know I am a HUGE fan of Bodenheim's work.  I think he's got wonderfully detailed, gritty, powerful linework (read about my love of his work here), and he's expert at action, gritty violence, and dramatic or quieter moments (I have some original Bodenheim pages hanging up in my home and in my office, so I'm serious about my love of his work). I'm thrilled to see him drawing an issue of Immortal Hulk, particularly when paired with a fantastic colorist like Paul Mounts. This should be great.

Mike's Picks:

Outpost Zero 11 by Sean Kelley McKeever, Alexandre Tefenkgi, and Jean-Francois Beaulieu, published by Image/Skybound 
Outpost Zero is a touching coming of age wrapped in a science fiction setting that recalls 1980s storytelling techniques of vintage Spielberg and 1980s anime. Following the revelations of the previous two issues, Alea and Sam are that much closer to understanding the mystery behind the outpost's origin, all while the adults come closer to understanding the ice planet around them. But discovering the original ship that brought the first residents to the outpost only leads to a whole new set of questions for Sam and Alea. McKeever and Tefenkgi have expertly worked in both incremental developments and big reveals. Alexandre Tekenkgi and Jean-Francois Bealieu have brought McKeever's script to life this series in a way I can best describe as cinematic, allowing panels and positioning to tell as much of the story as dialogue and narration.

Little Bird 5 by Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram, and Matt Hollingsworth published by Image Comics 
No, Little Bird don't go! I'm clearly not ready for Little Bird to conclude, and I'll be perfectly honest when I say that, after four issues, I'm still not sure how this story is going to end. Little Bird has been the miniseries of 2019 for me, and that's because it has been incredibly inventive in both its concept and execution. At the conclusion of issue 4, thinks look dire for Little Bird as her hopes to escape the Vatican's clutches as doused just as the people's revolt looks to gain momentum. In issue five, will Little Bird emerge as the reverse Joan of Arc, or will the Ameri-Vatican further cement its totalitarian regime?

Resonant 1 by David Andry, Alejandro Aragon, Jason Wordie, and Deron Bennett, published by Vault Comics 
Resonant represents the best of what Vault offers, and is a bit of throwback to their original mode of genre-mashups punctuated by eye-popping artwork. Andry's concept is a grim horror/sci-fi survival epic that questions basic human motivations, and the first issue is a tension-packed, white knuckle experience. Aragon's warped style adds to the tense feel of the narrative. Showcased here, yet again, is the superb color scheme of Jason Wordie. We're most often treated to Wordie's eye-popping aesthic, but in Resonant, he works in concert with Aragon's style and Andry's script with a more natural, drab color set.