Catch It at the Comic Shop September 23rd, 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..

Sean's Picks:

Batman Maxx Arkham Dreams: The Lost Year Compendium by Sam Keith, published by IDW
There is no shortage of Batman books on any given Wednesday, and as the dozens of simultaneously stories get told in a similarly grim and brooding way, they all seem to claim sole ownership as “the” Batman story of the now. All that said, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, this crossover event from the mind of Sam Keith is finally going to have its conclusion. To set up the return of the series that started in 2018 IDW is releasing a collected volume of the first three issues this week; all in preparation for the eventual release of it’s final two issues in the coming weeks. This story is very Sam Keith and it leans heavily into the mind and ridiculous satire that is The Maxx. Switching back and forth between Arkham and the Outback, Batman and The Maxx must find the Jungle Queen in order to save the realms. Sounds ridiculous, but I assure you that this is tons of fun. This is probably one of the more entertaining and unique Batman stories being told right now, and with it finally getting the conclusion to the story it deserves I look forward to digging in to this one once again.

Black Hammer Library Edition Vol.2 HC by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Emi Lenox, Rich Tommaso, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein, published by Dark Horse
The predisposition of our heroes’ destiny awaits in this final arc of the main story that has become known and referred to as the Black Hammer Universe. Revelations are revealed, doorways are explored, and the comic book storytelling medium is tested in what is probably one of my all-time favorite stories period. Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, Lucy Weber and all the rest of the gang discover what this farm really is and how they are to finally get out. But don’t underestimate Lemire’s ability to toy with plot along the way as he weaves in and out of realities. I really hate to see this title end, but with two concise Library Edition hardcovers telling it, this makes for a very fun Sunday afternoon porch-read.

Chasin’ the Bird by Dave Chisholm and Peter Markowski, published by Z2
This graphic novel, telling the untold story of a jazz pioneer during his time in California, is a literal masterpiece. Who knew Charlie Parker was such a badass? Dave Chisholm’s paneling ability in his storytelling in Chasin' the Bird is among the most uniquely untraditional I’ve seen in years. The mural-like splash pages he incorporates into the story as he uses his own deep understanding of jazz music and composition give this book an edge over all the rest. This is a stunning read. Fans of Charlie Bird, listeners of jazz music, and readers of comics will all have their own reason for enjoying this book. Chisholm’s got himself a strong contender for OGN of the year, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Rob's Picks:

Irredeemable and Incorruptible Omnibi, written by Mark Waid with Peter Krause, Jean Diaz, and many others, published by Boom! Studios
There are so many "evil superman" stories that it's easy to look at a premise, roll your eyes, and move on. But sometimes there's a gem among the many rocks. Irredeemable (and its companion book, Incorruptible) is possibly the best take on Superman loses his shit I've ever read. No surprise given Waid's experience with the DC universe and comics in general, but even veterans of the industry often have trouble finding a way to make this work. In the case of Irredeemable, it works perfectly. The key, I think is to show that the analogue isn't the *only* hero who's not so heroic. The corruption was already there, and it just boils over when the most powerful one snaps. Krause's art is phenomenal on this, and the ending is very Waid, tying things in an unexpected way. Incorruptible isn't quite as strong, but the idea of a villain trying to go straight and being in a world that's falling apart is a really good philosophical question. Diaz' art isn't as slick as Krause, but it works. All in all, these are money well spent if you haven't encountered them yet. Now's your chance,

 James' Picks:

The Immortal She-Hulk by Al Ewing and Jon Davis-Hunt, published by Marvel Comics
She-Hulk has been in sort of a weird place as a character recently, as she’s been the “savage” she-hulk for a while, I think as a result of Civil War II (the less said about it the better). But she’s an excellent character, and Al Ewing is writing the best comic out there in Immortal Hulk, so I’m excited to see what horrors he has in store for Jennifer Walters. And Jon Davis-Hunt is a spectacular artist, having relatively recently completed his run on The Wild Storm, another terrific series.

X-Men: X of Swords Creation #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia, published by Marvel Comics
I don’t really know what is is going to be, but I don’t care because I trust Jonathan Hickman when it comes to the X-books. Last years HoXPoX was amazing, and I’ve enjoyed Hickman’s x-men book a lot. So mutants, but with swords? Battling evil? Sounds great to me.

Gideon Falls #25 by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart, published by Image Comics
Gideon Falls will be ending in a few months, and I highly recommend this series from the beginning. It’s a weird, expansive, horror/sci-fi story where things keep flipping around and you don’t know where it’s going next. Great storytelling from writer Lemire and the amazing art team of Sorrentino and Stewart. This book is freaky and unsettling in the best way, I love it.

Mike's Picks:

The Autumnal 1 by Daniel Kraus, Chris Shehan, Jason Wordie and Jim Campbell, published by Vault Comics
Vault has some very cool horror books under its belt, and The Autumnal looks to continue that trend. Shehan's impressionist artwork is haunting and just distant enough to connote inherent creepiness at the start the tale. And let me say it again: Jason Wordie knows how to color a comic book. What I like about this book is that Kraus approached the first issue with a reserved pace, allowing the book to build suspense via exposition. Spooky stories need to take their time, and there is plenty to enjoy in this debut issue as it builds.

Irredeemable Omnibus by Mark Waid, Peter Krause, Diego Barreto, Andre Dalhouse, Nolan Woodward, and Ed Dukeshire, et al. published by BOOM! Studios
I loved this series. I picked it up on the recommendation of a shop employee the day issue five and the first trade hit the stands. The trade was a bargain at $9.99, issue five checked in at a mere 99 cents. Waid built an incredible world in a mere 37 issues. Playing with the idea of a rogue Superman was becoming passe around this time, but I always felt Waid added necessary depth to the concept, casting the Plutonian not as some tragically fallen hero, but as an inevitability. Though while I feel that characterization is superior, what sets Irredeemable apart for me is the way Waid handles his Justice League stand ins, breaking them from type and offering a dire picture of the the resulting power vacuum, replete with infighting over leadership, naive - if not inept - schemes, broken promises, and revealed secrets.