Pick up some Sweet Comics! Catch It for March 9th, 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...

Rachel's Pick:

Sweet Paprika #8 by Mirka Andolfo, Simon Tessuto, and Fabio Amelia, published by Image Comics
In every romance novel there comes a point when the main couple has a reckoning about their relationship. Sometimes they break up, sometimes infidelity is suspected, and sometimes one of them gets a once-in-a-life opportunity to work in the Galapagos Islands (I still miss Schitt's Creek, all the more so because they showed that love and attraction aren't enough to make a relationship work). Clearly Paprika and Dill's "arrangement" as it had been set up was never going to make it. Previously, Paprika wasn't treating Dill with respect or considering his needs. In this issue, we see some of the fallout from the breakup. We see Paprika take responsibility for her behavior toward Dill, who may be a himbo but who still deserves compassion just like anyone else. What I've enjoyed about Sweet Paprika from the very start is that unlike a lot of Hollywood romantic comedies, there is realistic growth in the characters. Throughout the series we've seen the effects that characters' relationships with their parents have on their dating lives, and this issue offers up even more of this. Mirka Andolfo's art continues to be wonderful and joyful. She does a great job with representing many different types of bodies. She's also skilled at including humorous, wordless panels. And as always, Bean the dog is incredibly cute.

James' Picks:

Action Comics vol.1: Warworld Rising TP by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Daniel Sampere, published by DC Comics

I've really been enjoying the current Action Comics story. Superman has lost most of his power, but he's decided that the mission he needs to take on is to go to Warworld (ruled by the very evil Mongul) and attempt to overthrow Mongul and liberate the people of Warworld before they do any more damage throughout the universe. He's prisoner there now, along with his team that he brought there (The Authority). I also recommend Superman and the Authority, an excellent miniseries and prequel to this story. This story is just really compelling. Superman is a prisoner and forced to fight, like all other prisoners. He's trying to lead and inspiure through hope and his example. It's a great read.

Captain Carter #1 of 5 by Jamie McKelvie and Marika Cresta, published by Marvel Comics

I'm excited to get more from Captain Carter. She was my favorite thing about the What If series last year. Agent Carter was a fantastic enough character, and then give her super strength? She's an even more effective super soldier than Captain America. Anyway, at the end of that story, she ends up going through a portal and ending up (presumably) in the present day. I'm curious to see how she reacts to being a woman out of time. I don't really know Marika Cresta's work (but what I've seen so far looks terrific and very fun), but I do know that Jamie McKelvie is a great creator whether he's writing or drawing. So I trust this will be a lot of fun.

Deadly Class HC vol. 3 by Rick Remender, Wes Craig, and Jordan Boyd, published by Image Comics
Deadly Class is so many things, all of them great. It's a period piece (mostly) set in late 1980s San Francisco, about teenage punks, rebels, criminals and misfits (all the most awesome people). It's a story about a teenager without hope getting a second chance (at a tremendous cost), as he's taken into a secret high school for training assassins (like Breakfast Club meets Fight Club). It's also one of the most honest, brutal explorations of depression, loneliness, and the anxieties and fears of being a teenager that I've read in a long time. Plus the art from Wes Craig (with colors by Lee Loughridge, and then Jordan Boyd) is staggeringly good. The layout, design, sequential storytelling, all of what Craig and Loughridge/Boyd do in this book will blow your mind (and not just the issues where the main character is high on acid). This is a punk rock book, done at a virtuoso level. There's a new hardcover collection out this week, the third one. And they are re-releasing the first 2 collections. These hardcovers are gorgeous books and a terrific way to appreciate the series.

The Unbelievable Unteens: From the World of Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire and Tyler Crook, published by Dark Horse

I'm loving all of the various comics in the interconnected Black Hammer universe these days. Unbelievable Unteens is no exception. It's the story of an artist living in Spiral City who draws a teen superhero comic, only it turns out that the stories she is drawing are in fact real, and are based on the adventures that she and her fellow "Unteens" had years before (they're very melodramatic X-Men type stories). But the truth is coming out, and everything is going haywire. This series is a lot of fun, and artist Tyler Crook is (unsurprisingly) doing amazing work. His painted style really brings to life the dramatic, exciting story. I highly recommend you pick up this trade paperback collection.

Moon Knight TP by Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, James Stokoe, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, and Jordie Bellaire, published by Marvel Comics
The above creative team worked together on an extraordinary run on Moon Knight, 4 or 5 years ago.  This is a fantastic story that follows the journey of Marc Spector (a.k.a Moon Knight) through supernatural realms, and maybe just through his own mind? It's an amazing exploration, and this book is a comic art master class, led by the amazing Greg Smallwood, who does incredible work here. Jordie Bellaire does an amazing job coloring him, but also Stokoe, Torres, and Francavilla, all of whom illustrate different personas of Moon Knight. It's an incredibly cool read, I highly recommend it. My full review is here.