A Full Circle of Fantastic Comics! Catch It's for August 31st, 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:

Fantastic Four: Full Circle by Alex Ross, published by Abrams ComicArts

Alex Ross is justifiably well-known for his incredible comic cover art. He did every cover for the Immortal Hulk series that wrapped up not too long ago, and every single one of them was absolutely iconic. He's also done many other covers, pinups, and other illustrations involving the world's most iconic characters. His work is stunningly detailed and instantly recognizable. But all of that is to say that I think it's been a long time since he actually drew a sequential story. We should absolutely not forget that he's an incredible sequential storyteller. Kingdom Come and Marvels are both iconic books, and were among the first comics I read when I was first getting back into comics as an adult, after an absence of many years. Every page was a delight, of each of these books. So I'm thrilled that Ross has decided to return to sequential storytelling with Fantastic Four: Full Circle, where he takes on both writing and art duties. I really don't know much about the series, other than that it is based off of one of the classic Lee/Kirby stories. Honestly that's as much as I need. I think this should be a visual delight, and I'm thrilled to pick it up.  

Forever Forward #1 by Zack Kaplan and Arjuna Susini, published by Scout Comics

This is my Zack Kaplan (no relation, but I'd happily have him as a long-lost cousin!) endorsement part one. Kaplan has a terrific new sci-fi story (with fantastic artist Arjuna Susini) in Forever Forward. The big hook here is the statement "the only way back is forward". There's a group of friends and colleagues and they are accidentally sent forwards in time, each time jumping ahead 33 years. There is not yet apparently a way to go back in time. So they need to keep jumping ahead until there IS a way to go back in time. So, I love this hook (not surprisingly, Kaplan has great ideas for sci-fi stories) because I love the idea of experiencing the arc and sweep of (future) history in big time jumps. History rarely moves in a straight line, and I can only imagine that this will also be true in the future. I read issue 1 and I can tell you it's a delight. A big part of that is the terrific work of Arjuna Susini. Susini is a gantastic artist with a terrific style that's great at conveying motion and action, in a way that's both rough and very detailed. I have been a big fan of his work since I first saw it in the miniseries Made Men (great series, go read it), and I have no doubt he will bring this series to great, exciting life as well. 

Break Out #3 by Zack Kaplan, Wilton Santos, Jason Wordie, and Jim Campbell, published by Dark Horse

Zack Kaplan endorsement part two. Kaplan is on a roll these days, as I am currently enjoying a number of his different series (this book, Forever Forward, Metal Society, and Mindset). As I've said previously, he's really great at coming up with fun, accessible sci-fi premises, and then bringing those to very entertaining life. So in Break Out, these weird alien(?) cube ships have appeared above the skies of Earth and have been abducting teenagers. At first the governments seemed to care and want to do something. But eventually, they just kinda gave up, and adults are telling teenagers "welp, you might just get abducted by aliens, lol sorry." At first I was like "come on, adults wouldn't just be blase about it like that" but then I thought some more about the past few years and the callous disregard that some people seemed to have with regard to the lives and well-being of others and I realized that no, Kaplan is spot-on. This series concerns some teens who are not just willing to accept the status quo, and they are going to try to free the kidnapped teens. It's a really engaging series, and I love the artwork from Wilton Santos (with colors from the great Jason Wordie and letters from the equally great Jim Campbell). This is a really engaging series, and I'm interested to see how it wraps up. 

Superman: Warworld Apocalypse One-Shot by Phillip Kennedy Johnson , Will Conrad, and Brandon Peterson, published by DC Comics

The whole Warworld saga has been a real delight in the pages of Action Comics the past number of months. Superman has shown that even as a prisoner and even with his powers mostly gone, he is still able to lead and inspire. It's been a really fun arc, sort of like the DC equivalent of Planet Hulk. Well, it's wrapping up and this issue is the big conclusion. I am not really saying "go read the finale" but am more saying "this story is great and go read it". Johnson and Co. have ben just been telling a great Superman (and allies and friends) story, but they've been really building up the new Mongul as a threat and villain. I know Mongul has been around for a long time in DC, but I never really thought that much about him, notwithstanding the fact that he's very powerful. Well, that's not the case anymore. Mongul has really been leveled up as a villain, and Warworld has been elevated as a real place with a complex, interesting society. It's been a terrific ride. 

Ant-Man #2 by Al Ewing and Tom Reilly, published by Marvel Comics

I very much enjoyed the first issue of this miniseries. This series is telling stories about the different people who have been known as Ant-Man throughout the history of the MCU. It started in issue #1 which was a fascinating read, because it really felt like a comic from the 1950's or 60's. Tom Reilly is SUCH a talented artist, and he perfectly evokes the silver age in an issue that felt a little like Darwyn Cooke while very much being Reilly's own style through a silver-age lens. I'm excited for this next issue which involves Eric O'Grady, the irredeemable Ant-Man, a character about which I know almost nothing. But I'm excited to read it, as I'm also a huge fan of writer Al Ewing. He writes some of the smartest, most interesting comics around. There are always interesting things going on in his comics. This issue apparently takes place during the Secret Invasion era, which is exciting because I loved that series and the whole concept of Skrull infiltration. Anyway, this should be excellent, pick up this series.