I See Your Cowl and Raise You A Chandelier: Catch It January 12h, 2022

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:

My Bad #3 by Mark Russell, Bryce Ingman, Peter Krause, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Rob Steen, Joe Orsak & Paul Little and published by Ahoy Comics
The absurdity continues as The Chandelier judges his self-worth against his social media presence, and when Rush Hour continues his enforcement of traffic law. In the vein of another Ahoy book (Wrong Earth) My Bad is a satirical reflection of the capes and cowls that have come to brood before them. This is a literal laugh-out-loud comic worth every dollar spent. As usual, these issues come loaded with back matter that’ll keep your funny senses on high alert, but with this series the back matter is entirely My Bad-centric. I mean.. The Accelerator has his own Q&A column. Sight gags and visual puns will make this series a must-read-over-again-and-again once it’s through, but don’t wait ..each of this issues will give you a breath of fresh air. New issue is out this week.

No Holds Bard #2 by Eric Gladstone, Gabrielle M. Kari, Ines Bravo & Aditya Bidikar and published by Behemoth Comics
Last time: Absurd Pomp. This time: The Deadly Wives of Windsor. As we parade through charades of iambic pentameter and Shakespeare holds Sir Bard as moniker, we gracefully dance through the story of how Bard and his Page solve each case by issue’s end: in disguise. This narrative niche is inventive as hell and I’m floored at the execution so far. The illustrative style, both lines and colors AND lettering, work perfectly for a story told to poetry. Lest doth thou forget thy latest No Holds Bard when traveling thou way to a local comic bookstore or any divine digital device. (Pulls out Shakespearean dictionary to find previous said sentence making zero sense). You get the idea. This book is fun. Track it down.

HoteLL v.2 #2 by John Lees, Dalibor Talajić, Lee Loughridge & Sal Cipriano and published by AWA/Upshot
The horror anthology is back for more. Last month was the debut of its second season and wasted no time getting back in to the hallways of the hotel and shadows of the night. This week sees another installment with issue 2 with the teaser tagline: “if these walls could scream”. Ironically enough, that is just what you will do as you flip through the pages of a horror comic done right. Every issue of HoteLL introduces us to a new cast of characters of which quickly become intimately connected to your compassion and fears. Jack Lynch is back as our host and narrator, simultaneously manning the front desk checking in visitors each issue. What will become of the patrons in issue 2? How quickly will we find ourselves in them? Who (or what) is responsible for all of this chaos and mayhem along Route 66? Come with me and stay another night at Pierrot Courts.

Daredevil Woman Without Fear #1 by Chip Zdarsky, Rafael De Latorre, Federico Blee, Clayton Cowles & Chris Bachalo and published by Marvel
I don’t normally do this. Adding to the hype for comics needing no introduction isn’t what I’m here for. I like shining a light on ones a bit outside the spotlight; existing in the shadows of those I speak of. Consider this a mulligan, or whatever the golf term is for a swing that needn’t count since all your competition is still stuck in the sand traps. All that said, Zdarsky’s Daredevil series has been about as consistently good as any mainstream comic these days. By giving Elektra the Daredevil treatment in the final issues of his run, Zdarsky now has given reigns to the Devil (who EXACTLY IS the Devil?) and Elektra is still sporting horns dressed in blood-red (no kills, though ..obv). I’m very pumped for this Daredevil miniseries alongside the other, much more hero-adjacent sibling. Come for the Bachalo cover and stay for the Elektra story we didn’t know we needed. 

Mike's Picks:

Batman: No Man’s Land Omnibus by a whole lotta people, published by DC Comics.

Oh my god. Hold on. I’ve gotta check how much is in here. Holy Smokes. This is just triumphant. Everyone should have to read No Man’s Land, not because it factors into The Dark Knight Rises or anything like that, but because everyone should have to experience the sprawling glory that is this epic, peak late-90s comic storyline. Is it a major crossover? Not exactly. Is it critically acclaimed? Define acclaim. Is it a storyline that runs through close to 90 single issues, across 11 monthly titles in addition to various one shot tie-ins? That’s a big 10-4. This is what we had for comics in the late 90s, and, really, everyone should buy one of these and create some sort of tasteful altar in their home to display it and conduct a ritual daily reading.

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr by Ram V, Filipe Andrade, and Andworld Design, published by BOOM! Studios

I haven’t enjoyed a series as much as Laila Starr in quite some time. Ram’s prose is subtle and to the point. He allows the philosophy and the mythology to emerge organically. There is a beauty in the restraint; he pulls back even more than in Blue in Green, which was itself an exercise in showing-not-telling. As a result, the book becomes more meditative and thought-provoking. That is all enhanced by Filipe Andrade’s line and color work, both evoking the trippy, ethereal nature of Ram’s script.

 James' Picks:

Many Deaths of Laila Starr TP by Ram V and Filipe Andrade, published by Boom! Studios
This is a really excellent, thoughtful, metaphysical read (one of my favorites of 2021). It's about life and death and more. In fact, the Goddess of death comes down to Earth in order to stop a person from developing a cure for death. The art from Filipe Andrade is soft and gorgeous and terrific storytelling. This is a must-read.

What's the Furthest Place From Here #3 by Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss, published by Image Comics
This is a fun, weird, poignant trip into the post collapse society where it's just kids and it's not clear what has happened to the adults. Rosenberg and Boss make absolute comics magic together, and Boss continues to get better and better as a comics storyteller. This made my year end favorites list, and I expect it to continue to be great. 

Rain #1 by Joe Hill, David M. Booher, Zoe Thorogood, and Chris O'Halloran published by Image Comics
Don't you hate when you're outside and the weather is great, and all of a sudden a big rainstorm comes in? Even worse, when the rainstorm is actually a storm of deadly nails falling from the sky. And the rain kills off untold millions and millions of people? I hate when that happens. That's the weird hook in Rain from writers Joe Hill and David M. Booher, with fantastic art from Zoe Thorogood and Chris O'Halloran. This was a terrific debut issue and I'm super excited to read more.
We Ride Titans #1 by Tres Dean and Sebastian Piriz, published by Vault Comics
I'm sensing a trend in apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and post-collapse stories. Well, no surprise given how things are going these days. But we've got another strong debut series. This one is called We Ride Titans, and it is about the families who pilot giant Titans, which keep cities safe from Kaiju. I really enjoyed this debut issue as well. It's got monster fighting action, but really it's a story about family. Should be really interesting.