Catch It at the Comic Shop August 28th, 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:
Tommy-Gun Wizards #1 by Christian Ward, Sami Kivela, Dee Cunniffe and Hassan Otsmane Elhaou, published by Dark Horse Comics
I have read this debut issue and I can tell you it's a lot of fun. If you like alternate history, or "history with a twist" type stories, then you'll definitely enjoy Tommy-Gun Wizards. The premise is as you might expect, it's set in Prohibition-era Chicago, and involves Elliott Ness and Al Capone, only it's not illegal alcohol, it's magic. A engaging, high-concept idea, with great art from Sami Kivela.

Marvel Comics #1000 by various, published by Marvel Comics
It's hard to believe Marvel comics has been around for 1000 years. But seriously, I have no real idea what this book is, or how a comic where each page is written and drawn by someone else, is supposed to work. But there's a TON of fantastic creators involved in this, and it's being shepherded by Al Ewing who is writing the extraordinary Immortal Hulk, so I think this will be worth checking out.

House of X #3 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz, published by Marvel Comics
I promise not to pick this and Powers of X every week, but you can't begrudge me too much. These two books have been more exciting than just about anything else in comics this year, an have really engaged fans in a big way. I'm excited to get back to House of X since it more closely covers the "present day" events of the X-men. There are so many mysteries about what's going on here. It's really cool stuff, you should get on board.

Spider-Man: Life Story #6 by Chip Zdarsky and Mark Bagley, published by Marvel Comics
This has been a remarkable series and I am ready for a heart-wrenching conclusion. This comic traces the life of Peter Parker as if the Spider-Man who emerged in the mid-60's aged in real time. It's often a tough, really tragic read. But it's a hell of a story (in multiple ways), and I like Bagley's art more than I have in a long time. This is a must-read for any Spidey fans.

Rob's Pick:

Super Fun Sexy Times by Meredith McClaren, published by Oni Press (as Limerence Press)
A lot of times, comic books fail hard at portraying sex in relation to superheroes, making it either creepy, cringe-worthy, eye-rolling, or a combination of factors that often make us wish they'd never have brought the subject up in the first place. Meredith McClaren, on the other hand, manages the subject like a master. The characters here, ranging from fellow sidekicks to fellow heroes to a man who needs his not-in-the-game husband to center him with love. These stories are extremely explicit, but the reader doesn't feel as if they're intruding. There are some really cute moments ("Cat!") and the plotting of the sex scenes works very well, both within context of the situation each pairing is in as well and how they resolve themselves. McClaren's art style is blocky, making all the characters feel like they take up space, but have their own defined look and feel. A really solid book for those who enjoy character-driven, consensual erotica.

Neil's Pick:
Clive Barker’s Next Testament Omnibus by Clive Barker, Mark Alan Miller, Haemi Jang, Vladimir Popov and Steven Wands published by Boom Studios
Horror in comics is one genre that I actively seek out and Clive Barker is my favourite horror writer. Therefore this was a no-brainer of a recommendation. Originally picked up by myself in 3 volumes, Next Testament, is a terrifying read.  Never one to shy away from taboo subject matters, Barker, as the title suggests, is going down the path of religion….again. With a vengeful Old Testament-style God at the forefront of the story, who loves nothing more than toying with humanity, expect unimaginable horrors. Horrors that are drawn with such visceral and brutal beauty by artist Haemi Jang. Gory, shockingly sharp dialogue, this for me is Clive Barker at his best.

Mike's Picks:

The Terrifics #19 by Gene Luen Yang, Max Raynor, Stephen Downer, and Dan Mora, published by DC Comics 
Quietly and unassumingly, The Terrifics has become one of, if not the best DC publication. What began with huge fanfare as the flagship book of the now-abandoned "New Age of Heroes" line, The Terrifics was supposed to be Jeff Lemire's DC Comics version of the Fantastic Four, as most books in the line aped some sort of Marvel reference. There were rumors that the story was adapted from Lemire's aborted FF relaunch concept, and hype for the first issue that eventually sold around 50,000 copies was big. To be fair, buzz for the line as a whole was fairly palpable. But Metal both delayed and expanded, and Marvel caught up to DC's trolling quickly enough. The first issue of The Terrifics debuted before Metal concluded, and the promised series artist, Evan "Doc" Shaner, delivered only two mid-arc issues (though the artwork of Ivan Reis, Dale Eaglesham, and Joe Bennett more than sufficed). The series was hampered by what seemed to be inconsistent characterization and a confusing plot structure, things one wouldn't normally expect from Lemire. Frankly, I expected the series to disappear after his run ended, cementing the ultimate irony of the supposed artist-first New Age line - the writers were the only consistent creators. But in swooped Gene Yang and Stephen Segovia, and suddenly the series has started to fulfill it's promises as Yang fully casts the group as FF-style science adventurers confronting big ideas in a Kirby/Lee vein. This issue ties into to the Year of the Villain event, and pits The Terrifics against Bizarro and his team of The Terribles. What's not to like here?

House of X #3 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz, published by Marvel Comics 
Hickman's X-Men series hits everything that I like about comics (or anything to consume in general, to be fair), and that is to say that it hits the right nostalgia notes while still pushing ideas forward. The best comics do this - Johns' Green Lantern, Morrison's Batman, Waid's Fantastic Four - and I think it's fair to say that Hickman's X-world is already making a claim at joining a list like that. It simultaneously makes me recall all I like about X-Men comics whilst forcing me to question everything I know about X-history.

Mall #1 by Michael Moreci, Zak Hartong, and Gary Dauberman, published by Vault Comics 
Frankly, I recommend purchasing all of the offerings from Vault this week, but I'm going to go with the debut issue of Mall by Panel Patter favorite, Michael Moreci, Zak Hartong, and Gary Dauberman. If you've read Panel Patter before, you know we're all fans of Moreci's Wasted Space, and Mall hits with the same level of humor and commentary. Mall is a hilarious critique of consumerist culture told through a "Mad Max at the Mall" story. It's everything you've come to expect from Moreci - a tightly executed story that is serious, but that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Sean's Picks:

Ice Cream Man #14 by W. Maxwell Prince & Martin Morazzo, published by Image Comics
Ice Cream Man has become a consistent favorite of mine. Every month I can pick up the new issue of this comic knowing that I am going to get a solid story. Every issue seems to be mostly standalone as we venture further into the chaos that is the Ice Cream Man, but I cannot help but assume we are to have a big reveal of a cleverly hidden arc that ties things together in the end. But let’s not rush things. I’m enjoying what Maxwell has to say in these twisted tales in the vein of The Twilight Zone as illustrated by the most talented Morazzo. These issues keep getting weirder and I don’t see myself growing tired of this title for some time. There aren’t many horror genre comics readily on the stand from where I reside, but with this one holding the flagship for most recognizable - - that’ll get heads rolling in the right direction.

Resonant #2 by David Andry & Alejandro Aragon, published by Vault Comics
Speaking of horror comics, this is a new book on the stands and lookout! This already has a glowing review of its debut on our Panel Patter site (by yours truly) and I have high expectations for where
this book is going to go. Newcomer, Andry, is telling an awfully terrifying story about a dad and his 3 kids isolated in the woods. The first issue introduced us to the Waves, which are periodic tremors that consume everyone in its path causing them to become manic beyond belief. This is a story of survival and of instinct as it explores mental health in a unique way. I’m particularly excited for this one, and I hope more of you out there are also.
Spider-Man Life Story #6 by Chip Zdarsky & Mark Bagley, published by Marvel Comics
Chip and Mark are telling about as dark of a version of the life of Spidey as you could imagine. Six issues telling the life of arguably America’s most iconic superhero over six decades is no small feat and the cynic in me didn’t think it could be done in a way that was respectful to the character. I was wrong. This is a story for those who want to fill in the gaps of their own knowledge of the character’s
history, or to those who may simply want a refresher of what they had forgotten. I am genuinely curious how this is going to end being that the character has multiple paths of existence in print and currently a very strong presence in Hollywood. I have come to appreciate and trust the path of Zdarsky comics so, fear not Spidey fans, this one may not have the ending you want but it will have the ending that we deserve.

Mall #1 by Michael Moreci, Gary Dauberman & Zak Hartong, published by Vault Comics
Apocalyptic shopping spree down at the local galleria. I gotta admit...this one had me thrown for a loop when I first heard of the concept. Then I saw the art work and creative team. Ok.. I’ll give a read, because pretty sure anything with Moreci’s name on it these days is considered mandatory reading. Trust me on this, take the leap of faith and check this one out.