Catch It at the Comic Shop June 24th, 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...

Rob's Picks:
Bleed Them Dry #1 by Hiroshi Koizumi, Eliot Rahal, Dike Ruan, Miquel Muerto, and Andworld, published by Vault
The tagline here is right on the cover: A Ninja Vampire Tale. If that concept doesn't make you want to flip through this one, then I'm probably the worst person to take comics advice from. It's a fun concept, and set in the future to boot, where someone is murdering vampires. The Van Helsing/Buffy/Blade wanna-bes are upsetting an apple cart and that's the initial story in this really strong debut by a whole host of creators I'm unfamiliar with. The art on this, by Dike Ruan, is especially notable, doing some great work with panel construction, perspective, and other little touches that take it from solid to superior. Vault books are always worth a look, but this one feels like a keeper.

The Drifting Classroom Perfect Edition Volume 3 by Kauzo Umezz, published by Viz
Viz and other publishers have been doing a great job of getting awesome older titles in the hands of new readers. This one is a classic I used to have to hunt for in a hodgepodge of used book stores, online deals and even garage sales. (There's a thing that might be RIP, garage sales. But I digress.) Viz repackaged these in omnibus editions, and this is the third and final volume, where Sho and his friends, who've already been through the wringer, get slammed a few final times as the series wraps up. A perfect horror story about being stranded, alone, and desperate. The price is worth it on these, as you'll want to re-read this over and over. (I'm on my third run.)

Batman: The Smile Killer by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Jordie Bellaire, published by DC Comics
Joker: Killer Smile was a comic published with 3 presite-format issues last year, and I can tell you that it was scary and unsettling as f%&k. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have been a great creative team for a long time, most recently on the fantastic (and also terrifying) Gideon Falls. I'm not typically a big Joker fan, but that's fine for this series because it's primarily not from the perspective of the Joker. And Killer Smile is a look at the Joker from a psychiatrist who gets more than he bargained for. It's so good, and you really need to read it when collected. Sorrentino is a gifted artist, and his linework pairs perfectly with Bellaire's unsettling colors.  This story is the epilogue to Joker: Killer Smile, so really my recommendation is to go read the entire series when it is collected. It's freaky in the best possible way.

Fire Power vol. 1 TP by Robert Kirkman, Chris Samnee, Matt Wilson, and Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics
So the pitch on this comic is that it's a fair bit like the Iron Fist story, but without the other superheroes, and a slightly different power set.  There are some other differences, but I don't want to spoil them. I've read this prelude and I can tell you it's an entertaining story, with good character work and an engaging plot that moves right along. But the main reason I'm recommeding it is the absolutely gorgeous artwork from Chris Samnee and colorist Matt Wilson. This team has worked magic on prior books like Daredevil, Black Widow and Captain America, and this is another fantastic addition to their artistic collaborations. This is a fun comic, and I definitely think it's worth a read.