Catch It at the Comic Shop July 15th, 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:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Too Long a Sacrifice #1 by Scott Tipton, David Tipton, Greg Scott, and others, published by IDW.
Deep Space Nine is the best Star Trek series. Fight me. Because of that strong feeling, I'm super excited to see the Tiptons take their incredible talents as writers on one of my favorite franchises to the series I like best. Poor Odo has a mystery on his hands and because the station is never what it seems, just about anyone could be a suspect (but Odo will be happy if Quark is involved somehow). I'm not super-familiar with Gregg Scott's work, but it does a solid job of covering the likenesses without resorting to photorealism, though they're a little on the stiff side. The character work is top notch, however, and any fan of the show will be happy to get more stories in this world, which appears to be set some time during the Dominion War. Looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

Savage Dragon #250, by Erik Larsen, published by Image.
It's been years since I read this series regularly, but given the sheer scope and ambition of Larsen's work, I had to give this one a shout out. That comes with a pretty big caveat, as it appears that Erik's art has lost a step over the years and he's a bit more inclined to make his comic include adult themes. Still, there's a nice sense of time and the way he handles Covid-19 actually is likely better than the big Pubs will do. Oh, and there's a little surprise cliffhanger that I was wondering if Larsen might try. So if you're not too prudish and can handle a fair amount of blood and gore, this is just as romp-y as ever, even if it's not quite got the zip of the first decade. But who does, right?

Mike's Picks:

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics by Tom Scioli, published by Ten Speed Press
It’s fitting that Tom Scioli, who has paid beautiful tribute to Jack Kirby his entire career, would produce a Jack Kirby graphic biography. Scioli’s art is usually enough to sell me on a book, and I’m certainly excited to see how he portrays the life of his famous inspiration. There isn’t a ton new to say about Kirby, and we know he’ll never get the equal (if not superior) footing with Stan Lee that he deserves, but Scioli does the good work of bringing the conversation back to Jack, a task we should all indulge every few years, if only to remind ourselves of the myriad ways Kirby continues to shape our comic consciousness.

Ludocrats 3 by Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, Tamra Bonvillain, Clayton Cowles, and Jeff Stokely
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Ludocrats is delightfully...absurd. Hah! And you thought I was going to say “ludicrous.” There is a zaniness to this series, a tone unlike anything I’ve read from Gillen before, and it works both narratively and visually. Stokely and Bonvillain bring the story to the bonkers heights it deserves by creating a visual aesthetic that is part sugary breakfast cereal, part afterschool cartoon, and part psychedelic mushroom.

Engineward 1 by George Mann, Jose Eisma, Michael Garland, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, published by Vault Comics
Engineward is a strong debut of a science fantasy book with heavy doses of re-imagined mythology and a sash of steampunk. Issue one sets up a world with the type of structures you have to accept at face value, like when characters in Firefly alight from a startship and use horses as terrestrial transportation. There is a mix of myth and retrofuturism that would be at home with fans of Star Wars or John Carter

James' Picks:

The Old Guard: Force Multiplied #5 by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernández, Daniela Miwa, and Jodi Wynne, published by Image Comics
This is a double recommendation. First, I highly recommend going back and reading the first arc of The Old Guard, and then getting caught up on this second arc. Secondly, I really recommend you watch The Old Guard movie on Netflix. They make some changes, but it’s very true to the spirit of the story. And what a great story it is. There’s this group of immortals. Well, they’re not immortal. Not really. They just live for a really, really long time. Their leader Andromache (just call her Andy) is thousands of years old. They've fought in countless wars. But a new member Jed their ranks. And things have just gotten messy recently. This is a fun, tense, emotional, action packed story. The art from Leandro Fernandez and Daniela Miwa is just extraordinary. And it’s a great read.

Strange Adventures #3 by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Evan "Doc" Shaner, published by DC Comics/Black Label
Strange Adventures is an excellent read so far. There’s a mystery at the heart of Adam Strange, and Mister Terrific is on the case. At the request of Batman. The present day pages are brought to moody life by the fantastic work of Mitch Gerads. And the scenes set in the last are brought to life by the amazing Doc Shaner. Those pages have a very weird, stilted quality to them. There’s a lot of mysteries here, and I’m excited to figure them out.

Neil's Pick:

Transformers ‘84: Secrets and Lies #1 by Simon Furman, Guido Guidi and John-Paul Bove, published by IDW
There isn't a classic series that brings more joy to my soul than Transformers. As a kid I lapped it all up, the animated series, the toys, the UK comics (especially Andrew Wildman's art), the movie but since then nothing has grabbed me. Yes I know there's been numerous runs published by IDW but it's too many to try and catch up on. But thanks to fellow contributor Mike informing me that a new run entitled Transformers '84 begins this week it's definitely something I need to jump on. Let the nostalgia and memories of my childhood come flooding back and yes I will be reading it with the voice talents of Peter Cullen and Frank Welker in my head.