Go Go Godzilla!: Catch Its for June 29th, 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...

Rob's Picks:

Best of Godzilla by Bobby Curnow, Dean Haspiel, Ronda Pattison, Chris Mowry, James Stokoe, Jay Fotos, Jeff Zornow, Matt Frank, and Sean Lee, publsihed by IDW
It's really hard to get Godzilla right on the comics page. IDW's been amazing at finding ways to bring a wide variety of creators and perspectives to the Toho properties, and this one-shot is a great sampling of the work. Leading off with a story about a man who tries to treat Godzilla like he's a natural object, writer Curnow makes it clear he's anything but with Haspiel and Pattison's art showing the dichotomy well. Also included is the amazing first issue of Godzilla in Hell, one of the most ambitious licensed books IDW's ever done, and this is the publisher of the zany Transformers vs GI Joe series. Stokoe's amazing on any project, but his depiction of Godzilla raging against the various tortures thrown at him is simply astounding. The final two stories are more traditional beat-em-up monster mashes and there's nothing wrong with that. These books hew closer to the older Godzilla movie material and that's fine with me, because that's the best source material anyway. Get yourself a hard hat (and a good property insurance policy) and enjoy our finned friend doing what he does best--blasting and bashing his way to victory.

The EC Archives: Confessions Illustrated by Various Creators, published by Dark Horse (originally EC Comics)
Oh, EC Comics and their attempt to stay around after the comics code murdered them. This is another in their "picto-fiction" line, a really nifty idea that just didn't work. Especially since this one is a noir-romance mash up, too! Just not able to get any ground in a changing market, it's great of Dark Horse to get these back in the public eye. With art from Joe Orlando, Wally Wood, Johnny Craig, and Jack Kamen, with words presumably mostly by Daniel Keyes, this is a great archive to a lost idea. 

James' Picks:

Ghost Cage #3 by Nick Dragotta and Caleb Goellner, published by Image Comics
Nick Dragotta is one of the most exciting, dynamic artists in comics and Ghost Cage is a chance for him to really let loose. There are robots and monsters fighting, and propulsive action, and weird humor. Ghost Cage is a fun read, and it's a huge showcase for Dragotta's abilities as an artist. The detail and scope in his pages here is astounding. This is black & white work, and while I typically like color art, the B&W really serves to highlight the detailed, visceral nature of tyhe art and the action. This is a very fun, propulsive read.

Mindset #1 by Zack Kaplan and John Pearson, published by Vault Comics
Zack Kaplan (no relation) has been on a really hot streak with a number of terrific new series over the past few months (Break Out, Metal Society) and Mindset looks like it should be another strong debut. This is a story about technology addiction and mind control - pretty much the world we actually live in.  John Pearson is on art which is a big selling point for me (though I was already sold in this comic about mind-reading) - Pearson has an unsettling, eerie style that should work really well here (Pearson did a terrific issue of The Department of Truth). 

The Variants #1 by Gail Simone and Phil Noto, published by Marvel Comics
Gail Simone has a wonderful, funny, humane voice as a comic storyteller (in addition to being a terrific Twitter follow). I feel like I haven't read a book by her in a while, but when I heard she was writing a book with Jessica Jones, I thought that it would be a perfect fit. With the wit and blend of skepticism and hope she brings to characters, Simone is a great choice for a story about Jones, a character who's had many ups and downs. And the premise here is perfect! It's not one Jessica Jones, it's many of them, from other universes. What a great opportunity to tell a story of roads not taken. And Phil Noto on art! I have loved Noto's work for a very long time. I think he draws really beautiful, striking-looking characters (particularly women). But he's not just an artist of pretty people. He's a terrific comic storyteller, in books like Black Widow, Cable, and more. This should be a terrific read. 

Public Domain #1 by Chip Zdarsky, published by Image Comics
I've read this already and can tell you it's a terrific issue. It's the story of a comic creator who created a now very-popular character (who'd in movies, etc.), but isn't really seeing any of the benefits of his creation. Sound familiar? Anyway, there's a pretty big twist in the comic that I won't spoil. I can tell you that this is a fun, realistic, compassionate read. Zdarsky has excelled at superhero stories in recent years but this is a venture into more grounded storytelling, at which Zdarsky also excels. His art is as fun and alive as ever, and this is a great comic.

The Department of Truth #19 by James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds, and Aditya Bidikar, published by Image Comics
After a strong arc with different artists contributing, we've returned to the main story. Our protagonist Cole is bumping up against the historical rival of the Department of Truth, that being the Ministry of Lies from Russia/USSR. I have no doubt this will be another highly engaging, unsettling arc for the story, which was my favorite non-superhero comic last year. The Department of Truth is a fantastical fiction story that is definitely uncomfortably close to reality.