Catch It at the Comic Shop January 8th, 2020

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...

Neil's Pick:

Unearth Vol 1 by Cullen Bunn, Kyle Strahm, Baldemar Rivas and Crank! Published by Image Comics
New year, new reads and in 2020 that means trade reading only for me. Thankfully the master of indie horror comics Cullen Bunn, along with Kyle Strahm has a new book on the shelves, Unearth. Bunn is at his best when it comes to indie work, and when writing horror he's on top of his game. Titles like Harrow County, The Unsound and Regression are books that seriously get under your skin and Unearth will hopefully be more of the same. Co-written with Kyle Strahm, Unearth promises flesh-warping diseases, supernatural forces and gruesome artwork from newcomer Baldemar Rivas. Bunn seems to have the knack of finding new artists that perfectly match his story. Giving them a large platform to showcase their skills. And that alone is something I wholeheartedly want to see more of 2020.

 James' Picks:
The Dollhouse Family #3 by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, published by DC Comics/Black Label
I've very much enjoyed the books from the Hill House imprint thus far. The Dollhouse Family has been a legitimately creepy and unsettling read. It's from the team of Mike Carey and Peter Gross so you know that it's going to be a smart, engaging story and that the art will look terrific. This story concerns a girl in an abusive family who has a doll house. But it's not just any old doll house. She's able to shrink down and visit with the real people who live in the doll house. But there's a door she's not supposed to go through. And it leads to some very weird places. This story is really entertaining so far, as Carey and Gross are telling a story that's weird and fun and also feels like I'm tapping into a complex mythology (no surprise from the creators of  The Unwritten). I look forward to more.  

Star #1 by Kelly Thompson and Javier Pina, published by Marvel Comics
Star is a new villain (or is she?) introduced in the last arc of Captain Marvel. She tried to siphon away Captain Marvel's powers, she was defeated and got locked up, but now somehow she's come into possession of the reality stone. It doesn't sound like a great situation, but it sounds like a terrific comic. Kelly Thompson's run on Captain Marvel was one of my favorite comics of 2019, and I'm thrilled to read more about this intriguing villain.

Marvels X #1 by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Well-Bee, published by Marvel Comics
So, I really don't know what to expect from this comic.  It's set in the Earth X universe (created by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger) which is a very complicated story but basically is a dystopian future where everyone on Earth gets super powers and all sorts of awful things happen.  It was an amazing-looking, weird series, and followed by two additional ones that I thought were even weirder. Apparently this new series, Marvels X, is a prequel series set in the Earth X universe. It sounds like Marvels X is focused on some of the ordinary people living in that universe, in the same way that AlexRoss and Kurt Busiek's classic Marvels told the story of the Marvel Universe from the eyes of an ordinary person.  I'd never heard of Well-Bee (the artist) before, but I just took a look at their art and it is absolutely stunning. So, I'm super curious about this one.

Sean's Picks:
You Are Obsolete #5 by Matthew Klickstein & Evgeny Bornyakov, published by Aftershock Comics
Matthew and Evgeny have started telling one of the more frightening stories in comics right now that you'll need to read for yourself in order to appreciate what is being told. You Are Obsolete is Matthew's comic debut and Evgeny's followup to his own debut, Descendant. It is vintage horror coupled with modern technology to create a spin-shivering read perfect for these cold winter nights. Lead character, Lyla, is tasked with a choice to make as the children of the island continue their plot to take out all of the adults at the age of forty. This is the pendulum issue after last months shocking conclusion uncovered events that left Lyla feeling more alone than she had previously thought to be. Matthew is proving to us all why he has been a master storytelling since the age of 13, and the illustrations Evgeny has created enhances the experience and solidifies this title as a solid recommend from my personal perspective. Do not skip out on this one. It is currently one of my favorite reads.

20XX #2 by Lauren Keely & Jonathan Luna, published by Image Comics
If you've ever wondered what life would be like if our current todays were to slippery slope their way into an exponentially worse tomorrow then 20XX is a likely candidate to appease that daydream. This is a story of which takes modern tragedy and pushes it forward to a time when N-95 masks are as fashionably normal as tennis shoes, and where all sickness leads to death; unless you survive said illness and are labeled a "sym". Creators, Lauren and Jonathan, take us on a wild ride as Mer settles in to her life as a sym. This next issue should be packed full of details as we quickly discover the meaning behind the many rules that dictate syms and the gangs that exist to defy them.

Clock #1 by Matt Hawkins & Colleen Doran, published by Image Comics
With a global outbreak of aggressive cancer affects hundreds of millions of people leading scientists are left devastated. This new title by creators Matt and Colleen could easily become the best read of 2020 that is the most difficult to consume. As we observe in real time our own inevitable creep toward global catastrophe this title seems to be a twist of fiction taken from a branch of reality not too far from one that is of our own non-fiction. I know nothing of this creative team, but with reading the summarized plot details within advance reviews I am willing to give this debut a shot.

Mike's Picks:

Batman 86, by James Tynion IV, Tony S. Daniel, and Danny Miki, published by DC Comics
Tom King's Batman run served to define the character for a good chunk of the Rebirth extended era, but in his stead step two names very familiar to Bat-fans, James Tynion IV and Tony Daniel. Tynion produced a solid run on Dectective Comics during the intial phase of rebirth. Tynion's previous forays into the Bat-books haven't been predominantly Bruce-focused, and I'm curious to see how Tynion will approach Batman's solo adventures. I loved his Detective Comics run, but it was fundamentally a team book, and his work on both iterations of the "Eternal" weeklies have worked with an ensemble cast of both characters and creators. Tony Daniel has been steeped in the world of Batman since the beginning of Grant Morrison's run, adding his art skills through Tom King's run, and working as writer/artist for the New 52 Detective Comics relaunch. Tynion and Daniel are tasked with providing a more thorough re-integration of Batman into the greater DC universe., but I think we’ll get some solid Bat stories along the way. 

Clock 1 by Matt Hawkins and Colleen Doran, published by Image/Top Cow
The premise of Clock, that a terrible cancer spreads like a virus likely resultant from a global conspiracy, is a concept that works for me. Matt Hawkins has been involved in Image from its launch, and has mostly worked in the Top Cow world, but he's focused on these bigger, layered conspiracy works in his creator-owned books, Think Tank and Postal. But what truly sells this book for me is Colleen Doran, who works so well to bring a painterly sensibility to her work through layering and shading.  

Gideon Falls 20 by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart, published by Image Comics
Issue 20 of Gideon Falls concludes the Pentocolus arc, and I can safely say that I don't really know where the series is going. The end of each arc has opened a new dimension (sometimes literally) of this story. It’s part horror, it’s part sci-fi, it’s part mystery. All of that adds up to levels of unmatched intrigue and suspense. I started reading GF in trade, but have since caught up and I honesty like the series even more in single issue format. The type of storytelling Lemire and Sorrentino bring to this book is a testament to the vitality, of not necessity of serialized narratives.