Catch It at the Comic Shop July 31st, 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...

James' Picks:

Paper Girls #30 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Jared Fletcher, published by Image Comics
There are times when you realize you're reading something special. Not just good, but memorable and important. Reading Paper Girls has been one of the real joys of my time as a comics fan these past few years, and it's been one of those special experiences for me.  I've spoken on a number of occasions about how much (and why) I love this book.  Suffice it to say it's a beautiful book full of memorable characters that I really care about, having incredible, weird, formative experiences. And I'm really going to miss it.

Powers of X #1 by Jonathan Hickman and R.B. Silva, published by Marvel Comics
It's been a while since a comic really knocked me on my ass, but House of X was just such a comic for me.  I am very much "Team Hickman" so I'm on board for his ideas, his design sensibility, and his approach to storytelling. House of X was everything I'd hoped it would be. It changed the status quo of the X-Men, and set up tons of moving pieces where raising MANY interesting questions. I spent tons of time talking with friends about this comic, and trying to figure out what's going on. So, you're telling me I get to do that again this week? Sign me up.

Batman: Last Knight on Earth by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, published by DC Comics
It's weird - I've really enjoyed a bunch of what Scott Snyder has done with Batman after he left the main book. In some cases, much more so. Why that is? I don't know. But Snyder has been telling some weird, wacky stories involving Batman, and Batman: Last Knight on Earth is one of the weirdest. The art from Greg Capullo is really wonderful - detailed and vibrant and weird and exciting. It's the story of a dark future where the heroes have long since lost. Kind of like Batman's last mission.The first issue was wild and fun and surprising, and I'm excited for more.

Mike's Picks
Five Years 3 by Terry Moore published by Abstract Studios 
Despite the fact that Terry Moore seemed to take offense to my assumption that he might be using a Mitsubishi Pencil - I later discerned it was a Faber-Castell, by the way – I'll separate art from the artist and recommend the third chapter of the Terry-verse crossover. If you haven’t jumped into this series, the basic premise is that there exists a theoretical doomsday weapon, the phi bomb, a weapon capable of incinerating all life on earth by causing a chain reaction in every hydrogen atom on the planet. The “Five Years” concept comes from the incubation development period, the time it will take to construct such a weapon, and the window that the various members of the Terry-verse have to upend the plot or come to terms with their inevitable destruction. Moore’s works are always rife with existential dread, and Five Years has ramped up that concept. If you’ve been a fan of Moore’s comics over the years, Five Years is a special kind of payoff, a creator-owned

Authority Omnibus by Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch, Frank Quitely, Trevor Scott, published by DC Comics 
I’ve never read The Authority. I was out of comics during the bulk of the original Warren Ellis golden age. And while I’ve managed to reconnect with Planetary and Transmetropolitan, but somehow still skipped The Authority for reasons I can’t quite gather. However, I do think that the aforementioned series are master works, and I’m heading into The Authority with a similar lens. I dig what Ellis does. I like his worldview, I am a sucker for his motifs, and I can wax for days about his themes and ideas. I pre-ordered this book the day it was announced, and I’ve essentially already decided I love it. Or, at least, Kirk has decided I will love it, and that’s good enough for me.

Death’s Head 1 by Tini Howard, Kei Zama, Nick Roche, published by Marvel Comics 
Death’s Head. Dude. Created by Simon Furman for the Marvel UK Transformers series. Marvel UK, right? Dude should be an Avenger. Or a Guardian of the Galaxy. Hey look, Tini Howard is writing this. I’m in. Wait, said Death’s Head is reincarnated in the middle of a punk show. Double in. I might by two copies of this issue just for the hell of it.

Powers of X 1 by Jonathan Hickman, R. B. Silva, published by Marvel Comics 
Much like Warren Ellis, Jonathan Hickman has a style that is recognizable and a worldview that kid of scratches me right where I itch. He has a knack for these long form, multilayered stories that call upon past events while redefining the status quo moving forward. His previous Marvel run that began in earnest with Fantastic Four and weaved through Avengers before ultimately concluding with Secret Wars is one of the best long runs on par with something like Morrison’s Batman run or Johns’ Green Lantern epic. The X-Men are almost a universe unto themselves, and Hickman has indicated he’s immersed in their world for the foreseeable future. Last week’s House of X re-established the status quo for the X-Men, who are now a pan-mutant sovereign nation state. This week’s Powers of X promises to “reveal the secret past, present, and future of mutantkind.” It’s gonna be weird. It’s gonna challenge things we know. It’s going to present questions that Hickman will take years to answer. And I think that’s perfect.

Queen of Bad Dreams 3 by Danny Lore, Jordi Perez, published by Vault Comics 
I love this series. It’s true that Vault is casting a wide net, but Queen of Bad Dreams is a great example of everything that Vault does well as a publisher. This story feels new and innovative, yet familiar enough to allow the reader to interact with the characters without being overwhelmed by concept. Too often that’s the burden of high concept fiction, but Lore and Perez don’t sacrifice their protagonist at the altar of conceit. Only two issues into the series, I’m rooting hard for Daher, and I’m internalizing her progression. She’s a multi-layered character, much like the story itself. Part detective, part mom, part social worker, Daher’s perspective is the reader’s window into Lore’s world. She has the right amount of duty combined with just enough self-righteousness to make for a compelling lead, and her story is only getting started.