Catch It at the Comic Shop November 20th, 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...

Rob's Pick:

Rai #1 by Dan Abnett, Juan Jose RVP, Andrew Dalhouse, and Dave Sharpe, published by Valiant
Man, the Valiant Future Universe sure is bleak, isn't it? The first stories in this world didn't do a lot for me, but with Abnett on board, I gave this one and shot, and I'm glad I did. This feels very much like his work for 2000AD, which I really dig. Rai and an earlier, flawed version of Rai, are out to ensure that the work Rai started reaches a conclusion. It's a hero's journey with two very flawed heroes who have great deadpan humor. Even if that weren't enough, the unbelievable pages that Juan Jose RVP and Andrew Dalhouse put together here, creating a dreary and yet innovating world of characters for Rai to fight, would be worth the price of the comic. There's a sense of vast scale and yet incredible detail you see from, say, James Stokoe, but it's not copying any one creator. I had no expectations going into Rai, but now I'm eagerly awaiting issue two.

James' Picks:

Kill or be Killed: The Deluxe Edition HC, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, published by Image Comics
If Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are collaborating, it's an event. I'm always going to check out their collaborations.  They do amazing work together, like Criminal, Fatale, Incognito, and my favorite of their collaborations, The Fade Out. Kill or be Killed is the newest one of their stories to receive the deluxe hardcover treatment, and it's an excellent series. It's a different sort of series, and I really don't want to say too much about the story and give anything away. But let me just say that there's crime, men in over their heads, weirdness, mental illness, and other twists and turns. It's a pretty great read.  And Sean Phillips' art has never looked better.  This is worth a read.

Captain Marvel #12 by Kelly Thompson and Lee Garbett, published by Marvel Comics
Kelly Thompson's Captain Marvel series has ben a real delight this year; one of my favorite books of the year. In particular, the first 2 arcs she did with wonderful artist Carmen Carnero, who I can't wait to see her next project (which is an upcoming X-Men book called X-Corp). She's leaving, but coming onto the book is the very talented artist Lee Garbett, who did a Loki series a few years ago and has recently been the artist on the fun Image series Skyward.  This new arc of the series promises a new, dark Captain Marvel. And I don't know why she's going "dark" and normally I'd be very skeptical of a "dark" turn taken by a superhero, but Kelly Thompson has very much earned my (and the readers' generally) trust. Whether in this book, or Hawkeye, or West Coast Avengers, Thompson really knows how to tell a strong, character-focused, fun, engaging superhero story. Plus, look at that costume. Seriously! So badass.

Sean's Picks:

Olympia #1 by Curt & Tony Pires, Alex Diotto, & Dee Cunniffe, published by Image Comics
Reading comics as a kid day dreaming yourself into the pages, or imagining those characters that you’ve read would somehow materialize and participate in a game of.. whatever, really. Anything that transcends this life into one involving characters of fiction seeing them combine with the non fiction. Olympia is a story of a latchkey kid, Elon, who spends his days skating through class while his nights are spent alone as his mom is at work. This first issue opens with Elon meeting Olympia, his favorite comic book character. I’ve had the pleasure of reading this debut and it was a treat to read. The art is fantastic and does very well in the two distinct styles it chooses, taking you from Elon’s reality to Olympia’s, and then back again. I look forward to how this series presents itself.

Middlewest Vol.2 by Skottie Young & Jorge Corona, published by Image Comics
Abel is a young person in search of the cure for a curse brought on him by his father. Middlewest is a story that has more depth than it gives itself credit for and this second volume captures more of the heart and mystery that the first volume left us with. If I am honest, I didn’t anticipate enjoying this as much as it turns out that I have. Growing up in spite of who you will eventually become and the adolescent desperation to avoid this is at the heart of this comic and I’m all in. Here’s a book that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a light story, but with deep message.. if you let it speak.

You Are Obsolete #3 by Mathew Klickstein, Evgeniy Bornyakov, Lauren Affe, & Simon Bowland, published by Aftershock Comics
Main character, Lyla, finally knows the truth behind why she is on the island! The premise to this comic is bonkers. It’s a wild ride and I don’t foresee myself losing interest any time soon. I’m here for it. I don’t want to give *too* much away as there hasn’t been enough fat to trim off as non spoilery show n tell moments. With that being said.. issue 1 and 2 shouldn’t be awfully difficult to track down and it’s still a young plot gaining momentum. Catch up with me cuz I’m dying to talk about this one....and that’s not simply cuz I’m almost forty.*
(*inside joke for those who have read this will share laughs with me as we enjoy a pun together.)

Canto #6 by David Booher & Drew Zucker, published by IDW
Cantu has finally reached the end to his epic quest. Those who know me have heard me talk this book up. There’s so much heart to this story and I see it as nothing short of a modern fairytale for us seeking something new and different. Growing old are the stories with the princess and the sidekick with wit for days. Cantu is a lovable robot with a clock for a heart in search of the heart to his one true special someone. Though, he must defeat The Shrouded One in order to be the victor. The art is mystical, the action is moving, and the dialogue in this comic has been an absolute treat to experience in real time. I look forward to this when it is collected and I will be sharing it with my kids, and all of my nieces and nephews.

Mike's Picks:

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage 1 by Jeff Lemire, Chris Sotomayor, Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz, published by DC Black Label What more do you need to know about this book apart from the creative team? It seems like DC Black Label, the imprint that has published one Lemire book already this month, is tailor-made for Jeff Lemire, a prolific creator with deep interest in writing superhero stories, but who seems to lack any desire to perform long-form storytelling within the genre. Indeed, Lemire has written a load of superhero books, but he doesn’t tend to stick around very long. Instead, he seems to save his longer form stories for his own creations, such as Descender, Sweet Tooth, and his own intricate superhero homage, Black Hammer. But Black Label books are perfect. They’re designed for a short form get-in-get-out tales without any continuity implications. It allows for creators like Lemire, Cow, and Sienkewicz to tell the own stories while still harnessing the greater mythology surrounding a character like Vic Sage. 

Rai 1 by Dan Abnett and Juan Jose Ryp, published by Valiant Comics
For a few years now, Valiant has been following the Marvel method of relaunching and rebooting once a major creators leaves or a major arc concludes. While it can be confusing for someone who isn’t entirely immersed, I think it’s commendable that Valiant has found a way to pace itself so as to not overload their fans or the market. We all know Abnett is adept at creating great science fiction books, and Ryp has proven through X-O Manowar that he knows the Valiant world. I don’t always get a chance to read previews before I recommend a book, and this book wasn’t even on my radar until the other Panel Patterers started talking it up. I made sure I took the time to read it, and I’m incredibly happy I did because it’s exactly the type of over the top sci-fi I crave.