Catch It at the Comic Shop March 18th, 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...

Mike's Picks: 

Wicked Things #1 by John Allison, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar, and Jim Campbell published by BOOM! Box
Few comics felt as heartfelt and sincere while still providing requisite laugh out loud moments than Giant Days, and Wicked Things is a return not only to that world, but to the creative team that produced the majority of Giant Days books. Allison, who has created a sort of shared universe for his slice of life books, clearly has a fundamental connection to these characters, and we get to reap the rewards as he and the team delve into more stories set in this charming world.

X-Ray Robot #1 by Mike Allred, Laura Allred, and Nate Piekos, published by Dark Horse Comics
A fairly adamant axiom by which I lead my life is to purchase all things Allred. I’m even more orthodox in this adherence when it’s an original Allred creation. X-Ray Robot dives right into the Mike and Laura Allred wheelhouse, it’s 1950s setting lending itself perfect to the duo’s pop art visuals and pulp storytelling.

Undiscovered Country #5 by Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncolli, Daniele Orlandini, Matt Wilson, and Crank, published by Image Comics
To be fair, I don’t think jumping directly into issue 5 of this series is a smart move, so I guess you could take this pick as an endorsement for the series as a whole. But I would be remiss if I didn’t include it, because I know it’s going to be the first book I read this week. I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of Undiscovered Country after issue one, but issues 2 through 4 have been gripping and thrilling, the kind of issues that find you turning to the last page of the story only to find you audibly disturbed that you’ll have to wait another thirty days for it to continue. I often find myself reminded why I like to read serialized books. The way storytellers can use the serialized book to their advantage, harnessing more than just suspense, makes each individual issue that much more intriguing than a collected edition. The Undiscovered Country crew gradually drop the plot points of this story, one that is complex and novel, both breaking convention with your typical post-apocalyptic tale and harnessing its familiar tropes. This is a very well thought out book, and I’m on the edge of my seat wondering where it’s going next.

James' Picks:
Bang! #2 by Matt Kindt, Wilfredo Torres, Nayoung Kim and Nate Piekos, published by Dark Horse
This is such a fun series. Matt Kindt, artist Wilfredo Torres and  colorist Nayoung Kim are having a ton of fun playing with all sorts of genre tropes like spy movies, action heroes - it’s a really fun clever series that I reviewed last month. It’s also a meta-story in that it involves a writer that has shown up in various different Matt Kindt stories. This weeks issue is particularly inspired, as it follows the life of a Die Hard John Mcclane- type character. For fans of action and spy stories, fans of meta fiction, and fans of Matt Kindt, this is a must read.

Wicked Things #1 by John Allison, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar, and Jim Campbell published by BOOM! Box
This is a new series from the team that brought you Giant Days. That's it. That's all you need to know. Ok for a little more detail - Lottie Grote is a character that's appeared in a number of John Allison's prior works, including the aforementioned Giant Days. She's a teen detective, now accused of a serious crime!  I've read this first issue and I can tell you that it is charming and funny and delightful.  If you're looking for heart, good and witty humor, and fantastic art with a ton of personality, then you need to pick up Wicked Things.

X-Ray Robot #1 by Mike Allred, Laura Allred, and Nate Piekos, published by Dark Horse Comics
There are few guarantees for me in comics greater than "if Make and Laura Allred make a new comic, I'm going to buy it". So, this is an easy choice for me.  They're my favorite art team out there today. They make good stories great, and great stories transcendent.  They recently completed a Davie Bowie biography that was just wonderful, and this is a return to their Madman-universe of weird and wild characters and stories. I honestly have no idea what it's about, but I can promise that it'll be funny, heartfelt, and drop-dead gorgeous.

Spider-Woman #1 by Karla Pacheco and Pere Perez, published by Marvel Comics
So I don’t know a lot about this new series, but I do know that I absolutely adored the last Spider-Woman series, from Dennis Hallum and Javier Rodriguez. It was funny, clever, heartfelt and an incredible visual delight. It was also the comic where Jessica Drew became a parent, and had fun adventures with her baby. I’m less familiar with the creative team involved in this new series, but I’ll absolutely check out the first issue

Rob's Picks:

Bang! #2 by Matt Kindt, Wilfredo Torres, Nayoung Kim and Nate Piekos, published by Dark Horse
What if Philip K. Dick were Ian Fleming, but tapped into the same reality-bending concepts that make his writing demented but awesome? Matt Kindt, comics' PKD, is having a blast with his homage to the thriller genre but with the usual Kindt touches. It's a ton of fun, complete with text pieces. Torres isn't the usual Kindt collaborator but his style works well for an action romp on a runaway train. Bang is shaping up to be yet another masterpiece by one of the best writers in comics.

Sean's Picks:

Bad Reception #4 by Juan Doe, published by Aftershock Comics
Who is the hunter and why he is turning a couple’s wedding into a Murder mystery slasher film? Juan Doe is telling a brilliant and gory story with Bad Reception that is dripping with social satire for the modern obsession of internet celebrity status, and it’s dripping with.. blood. The stakes are high and the mystery is still largely unknown. Juan’s style of art completes a well intended graphic art package of horror and slasher-flick-esque symmetry in storytelling. I highly recommend this book. Juan is setting a high bar for those who follow him in his footsteps of illustrating one’s own writing debut.

Wicked Things #1 by John Allison, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar, and Jim Campbell published by BOOM! Box
It took me far too long to drop my stubborn urge to resist the highly acclaimed and equally as popular, Giant Days. Once I did, though, I instantly grew attached to those 3(+/-) lovable characters given unthinkable amounts of life by writer John Allison and main illustrator Max Sarin. Wicked Things begins this week as the first of many (?) [wishful thinking] spinoffs to the recently concluded saga of Esther, Susan, & Daisy. This first issue is tons of fun and I’ll admit that I didn’t immediately admit to myself that I was having fun reading it, but once I reached the end I noticed that I had a smile on my face for longer than I could recall. (I’m not crazy, I promise.. it just reads that pleasantly).

Alienated #2 by Simon Spurrier and Chris Wildgoose, published by Boom! Studios
Three Sams, all outcasts of there own teenage circumstance, stumble upon the impossible ability to hear each others thoughts. How? Why? And what will they do with this newfound.. power? Why is there a glowing egg in the park that somehow transforms into a bully disintegrating alien puppy? (I’d adopt that). There’s a lot going on in this comic while it somehow manages to avoid feeling congested. It’s a story of three accidental friends and what they manage to do when the thread of their fate cross paths and forgoes any regard to a typical high school routine.