Super Comics about Super Women with "S" names...and other topics! Catch It January 19th, 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...

James' Picks:

Silk #1 by Emily Kim and Takeshi Miyazawa, published by Marvel Comics
Do you know Silk? She's a terrific character that was created maybe 6 or 7 years ago. And she's an absolute delight. The conceit of her character is that she was bitten by the same spider that bit Peter Parker years ago. But, for comic book reasons, she was hidden away in a bunker for ten years to protect her and her family. But she comes out and has tried to adjust to being in the world again. She has had a series of shorter series and miniseries, and she's a terific character, so I'm happy to check out any Silk comics. I'm not familiar with Emily Kim, but I can tell you that Takeshi Miyazawa is an absolute master. I've loved anything I've ever read illustrated by Miyazawa. Miyazawa is a terrific sequential storyteller, and has an incredibly appealing, manga-esque style. This should be a lot of fun.

She-Hulk #1 Rainbow Rowell and Roge Antonia, covers by Jen Bartel, published by Marvel Comics
I'm excited to check out this new She-Hulk series. She-Hulk is an excellent, fun character who's had some really entertaining series over the years. I loved both the Dan Slott series and the Charles Soule/Javier Pulido series, and definitely recommend both. In recent years, the character went through a lot as she died (but got better) but came back with lots of rage and angst, and then turned into the Savage She-Hulk for a number of years. That character was fine, but I more enjoy the fun, stylish, hilarious She-Hulk that I'm used to, so I'm excited for that. I've enjoyed various comics written by Rainbow Rowell, and from the preview, the art from Roge Antonia looks really great. I'm excited for this one.

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #7 by Tom King, Biolquis Evely, and Mat Lopes, published by DC Comics
This was my favorite superhero comic of 2021. It's a truly special book, and takes the reader on an incredible physical and emotional journey with Supergirl, and Ruthye (your new favorite character). The art from Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes (on colors) is just astounding. Evely's detail and emotion on every page is just remarkable, and Lopes does some of the most beautiful, breathtaking colors you'll ever see. My recommendation is not "start at issue 7", it's "go back and read this amazing story from the beginning".

Primordial #5 by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart, published by Image Comics
This is your classic story of animals in space, aliens, the space race and the Cold War. The scenes set on Earth have been very grounded, Cold War espionage. And the scenes set in space have been weird, trippy stuff. This is a great series, full of wonderful emotion and character from the animals who venture off into space. Think "We3" (but hopefully it'll have a less sad ending). The art from Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart on colors is just magic. It's so weird, and psychedelic, and yet grounded as well. It's wonderful work.

Rob's Picks:

Arrowsmith Behind Enemy Lines #1 by Kurrt Busiek, Carlos Pacheco, Jose Rafael Fonteriz, Jose Villarrubia, and Comicraft, published by Image Comics
Holy Shit, Arrowsmith is back! I wasn't expecting this at all, and while I'm sure it's been out there in the comicsphere, this is my first hearing of it! I read the original series seemingly a lifetime ago, and enjoyed it quite a lot. It was very much a Kurt-style book, with a lot of dialogue, a premise that lends itself to his fantasy worldbuilding strengths, and of course, Pacheco's amazingly lush linework. We're in the midst of World War I with dragons and magic and it's totally awesome. The creators haven't missed a step despite the long layoff between arcs, either. Pacheco's lines are a joy to look at, with great inking from Fonteriz and I can't tell you how much the colors are improved under Villarrubia, who gives things a much more distinctive feel in my opinion than they were in the original. (In fairness, technology is a lot better now, too.) It'll take a bit of catching up for me to recall the world, but I can't wait to dive back in and see what the have up their sleeves this time. 

Edgar Alan Poe's Snifter of Death #4 by Rick Geary, Ryan Kelly, Lee Loughridge, Norm Fields, Joel Ojeda, Juan Castro, Rob Steen, Bryce Ingman, Andy Troy, and others, published by Ahoy Comics
It's a turn for the political in this latest issue, with my long-time favorites Rick Geary and Ryan Kelly take on current events (sort of!) in the main stories of the horror anthology that's a joy to read, month in and month out. Geary, with awesome colorist Loughridge, leads off with a story of two men who do everything they can to avoid the current pandemic, only to find that some things are so monstrous they'll follow you wherever you go. Kelly illustrates, with bloody satirical glee, a theory that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer an honest to God werewolf, who uses the political climate to get whatever meal he wants. Bryce Igman isn't subtle in the scripting, either, which is bound to either make you howl in horror or glee, depending on your political perspective. Combined with a short about Poe and the usual text stories, the Snifter of Death has plenty more to share with readers old and new.

Cursed Pirate Girl Devil's Cave #1 by Jeremy Bastian, published by Archaia (Boom! Studios)
One of the most intricately illustrated comics I've ever encountered, Cursed Pirate Girl has the look and feel of an early 20th Century newspaper comic, with a level of detailing that I can hardly believe is possible. It's an amazing creative feat by Bastian. Many do similar work, but nothing like this. I honestly didn't expect to see any more of the story, but Bastian is back, along with his protagonist. She's got a chance to bring her father back, but the costs are high in this swashbuckling story. Even if you're not big on the pirate/sailing premise, this book is worth it just to spend quality time with the art and the amazing ability of Bastian to evoke an era without feeling like a copycat or parody.

Complete Works of Fante Bukowski by Noah Van Sciver, published by Fantagraphics
No one is better at writing stories of self-important assholes these days than Noah Van Sciver, whether it's in his one-man anthologies or this trio of tales of an author who thinks entirely too much of himself, leading to awkward comedy and a fascinating case study of character. This is a deluxe edition that puts the story into one place, provides "real" material from Fante himself, and of course an all-star selection of artists like Ed Piskor and Simon Hanselmann providing tributes as well. Noah has taken all the lessons of those who created before him and distilled them into something uniquely his. I'm so happy for him and happy to see this get a really snazzy edition in paperback. 

Sean’s Picks:

Cloaked #2 Dark Horse by Mike Richardson, Jordi Armengol & Nate Piekos and published by Dark Horse
Twenty-Five years after the mysterious and masked vigilante known as The Reaper or The Sentinel (depending on one’s relationship with the law) disappeared we begin our story now. Cloaked debuted last month with a detective paid handsomely to investigate the disappearance and ultimately the identity of this masked hero. After things turned sideways following the events of last issue, more things begin to unravel as the caped noir story pays dues to crime noir’s from before. If you enjoy classic crime noir and objective vigilantism then I’d recommend you give this miniseries a shot.

Righteous Thirst #4 by Rick Remender, André Araújo, Chris O’Halloran & Rus Wooton and published by Image
Story has barely begun with Sonny and the world that surrounds him. Last issue we were left with him in the driver’s seat faced with a difficult choice between his life ..or the life of a child of a stranger he did not know. The story is still relatively vague at this stage in the series, but the pacing is anything but a drag. Remender chose well with his illustrator on the series; André Araújo brings the characters to life and absolves reader into the pages as we travel this uncertain story alongside them. André’s minimalist stylings (where one could sometimes compare to the master of modern minimalism in Martin Morazzo’s linework) let’s the pages breath and the story organically shift from one emotion to the other. I’m very much on board for this series, and with a creator as strong as Remender at the wheel it’s safe to assume that this series may well be on its way to being the eventual flagship for its publisher. Get on this one early.

Complete Works of Fante Bukowski TP by Noah Van Sciver and published by Fantagraphics
I really don’t need to say anything about this one. It’s a Van Sciver book and it’s Fante Bukowski! I really needn’t say anything more. The softcover expanded edition of the critically acclaimed 2020 hardcover is available this week wherever you get your reading material. And remember: a Van Sciver on your shelf is always a level up from a shelf with no Van Sciver.