Take a bite out of comics! Catch It for April 6, 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:

West of Sundown #1 by Tim Seeley, Aaron Campbell, Jim Terry and Triona Farrell, published by Vault Comics

I've read the first issue of West of Sundown and I can tell you that it's a very fun read. If you're looking for engaging, entertaining new horror, this is a great place to start. This is set in the 19th century, but feels very accessible to me. It concerns a vampire who awakens in the midst of the Civil War, and the soldier who digs her up from where she's buried. We move to 10 years later, and this soldier is her attendant, helping her find meals where she can, based on the unjust high society of 1870's New York City (spoiler, there are plenty of bad people to dine on). But there's a threat to them as well, and they leave New York and head back to her ancestral home in the Southwest. This story (from Tim Seeley and Aaron Campbell) was very engaging (and the dialogue really worked for me) and I also very much enjoyed the art. I didn't know Jim Terry's work before but he does a good job working in a slightly exaggerated, gritty style that works well for the sometimes gruesome setting. There's violence, but this isn't a splatter comic. Terry's has a great art partner in Triona Farrell on colors. The colors feel appropriately muted for a sometimes grimy 19th century story, but absolutely do a great job accentuating any violence and bringing the story to life generally. I really enjoyed this and will be curious to read more. 

Wonder Woman: Historia by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Gene Ha, published by DC Comics/Black Label

This issue has a lot to live up to! The first issue of Wonder Woman: Historia had some of the most stunning, breathtaking art I've ever seen in a comic, courtesy of the extraordinary Phil Jimenez. However, I have a good feeling that this issue is itself going to be a very special read. Gene Ha is a fantastic artist, and I've seen a preview page or two from this issue, and it looks pretty spectacular. I can't wait to read this in the oversized format in which it is printed. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and her artistic partners are telling an epic story of the history of the Amazons and Themiscyra and of the Goddesses who brought them to life. The first issue was at the God and Goddess-level, and I believe this issue will be *slightly* more grounded. I can't wait to read it. 

X-Men Red #1 by Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli, published by Marvel Comics

New X-Men comics from Al Ewing? Art by Stefano Caselli? Sign me up, that's all I need to know. But what you need to know is that this seems to be a story about the mutants living on Mars since they terraformed the place. Storm is in charge, and there seems to be a lot going on. I trust Al Ewing to tell a tale of intrigue, and I think this will be an excellent read.

Batman: Killing Time #2 by Tom King, David Marquez, and Alejandro Sanchez, published by DC Comics

I really enjoyed the first issue of Batman: Killing Time. First off, it's a Batman story written by Tom King. That will always get my attention. Secondly, it is (I believe) the debut DC artwork from David Marquez. And third, as opposed to King's long, intricate rn on Batman proper, this is just intended to be a fast-paced action movie type crime story. And the first issue totally delivered. Marquez was great drawing Batman and various members of Batman's rogues gallery. And the action was exciting and fast-paced. So, given all of that, I'm excited to pick up the next issue in the series. I'm sure it will continue to be a great read. 

Sean's Picks:

Alice Ever After 1 by Dan Panosian, Giorgio Spalletta, Fabiano Mascolo & Jeff Eckleberry and published by BOOM!
Taken straight from the age old fairytale is this debut from BOOM! Studios as they reimagine Through the Looking Glass by giving Alice her very own sequel. As most sequels are notoriously known for a sophomore slump, this series passes that slump right over the reader and onto the series’ titular character. Alice is now all grown and an addict of pills; ones that take her cognitive self back to Wonderland. I’m very curious to see where this story will go. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of nods to the original as we follow the white rabbit down the deep, dark and twisted rabbit-hole. 

Spider-Punk 1 by Cody Ziglar, Justin Mason & Olivier Coipel and published by Marvel
After reading the spider-verse saga several years ago there was only one such spider guy or gal I wanted to read a stand-alone series from: Spider-Punk. Aside from Miles Morales there really isn’t another spider person who piques my interest more. (Or is it Spider-Person)? My only hope is that Ziglar finds a way to include how Hobie Brown says “screw the hyphen!” and insists on being referred to as Spiderpunk. Cuz we all know that a Spiderperson without the hyphen is the epitome of chaos, anarchy, and punkrock.

Lego Ninjago Garmadon 1 by Tri Vuong and published by Image
Ok. Full disclosure. This one’s for the kids. They’ve been watching those Netflix Lego shows for as long as I can remember, including the Ninjago one, and on more than one occasion I’d find myself watching along. Skybound and Lego are joining forces thanks to Image and are bringing us a comic series for (their words) “fans of new and old alike”. It’s sometimes hard to find a comic series that crosses the generational divide, and as a parent I’m certain this title will change that slump.