A Cornucopia of Great Comics! Catch It's for September 28th, 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:

Briar #1 by Christopher Cantwell, German Garcia, and Matheus Lopes, published by Boom! Studios
Christopher Cantwell has become one of my must-read comic creators over the last few years. His indie comics She Could Fly and Everything we weird, idiosyncratic, fascinating stories about deep emotions and big ideas, which is equally true for the terrific The Blue Flame, a superhero-adjacent story at Vault. He's done a few superhero stories as well (Iron Man, Doctor Doom) and it always feels like he's telling an interesting, layered story. So I'm fascinated to pick up this fantasy story about a princess who wakes up from a very long sleep, and things are not as she thought they would be. I'm not much for fantasy stories, but if someone is doing a twist on the genre, I'll definitely check it out. If seen the preview pages for this comic and it looks absolutely stunning. I'm not too familiar with German Garcia's art but what I've seen of his art in other comics looks terrific. And I'm a huge fan of colorist Mat Lopes' work, particularly in the recent Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow story where the colors were just transcendent.  

Heart Eyes #2 by Dennis Hopeless, Victor Ibanez, and Addison Duke, published by Vault Comics
I picked up the first issue of this comic on a lark, and I'm so glad that I did! Monsters have arrived an pretty much destroyed civilization. Anyone who's left lives in heavily fortified locations and in constant fear of death. Well, everyone except for Lupe. She just wanders around, a happy, free spirit. She's not afraid and she really seems completely unworried about the monsters. She's discovered by a family in hiding. The teenage son is smitten with her, but he's also incredibly curious how she ca be so unafraid of all of the terrors around them? This is a fun series with a good sense of wit and humor. Dennis Hopeless is an excellent writer and one who communicates a lot of heart and humor in his stories. And the art in this series from Victor Ibanez and color artist Addison Duke is really great. It's detailed, has a ton of personality, and really brings the world to life. 

Old Dog #1 by Declan Shalvey, with Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics

Declan Shalvey is an amazing artist, as you might know from books such as Moon Knight and Injection. Well, he's also become an excellent writer in the past few years, with stories like Bog Bodies and Time Before Time. I think he's a great writer too, but I really love his visceral, detailed, thoughtful art, so I'm excited he's going to be both writing and drawing the new series Old Dog. It's about an old agent who's given another chance to make things right, as his "last mission" had previously gone horribly wrong. I'm frankly not too worried about the plot. They had me at "Declan Shalvey" and "spy series". I can't wait to see what Shalvey does here. 

Human Target #7 / Human Target HC Book 01 by Tom King and Greg Smallwood, published by DC Comics
I absolutely loved the first arc of Human Target. It was everything I wanted and more. I knew very little about the character of the Human Target, and that wasn't a problem for me, and it won't be a problem for you either. People hire him to impersonate them if they think someone is trying to kill them. And then he catches them, in some cases by "dying". That's it. But now the Human Target actually is dying, and he has 12 days to figure out who is responsible. That's the premise, and it's a terrific one. But also, this is among the most gorgeous comics you'll read. Seriously, Greg Smallwood has outdone himself. He conjures a world that is ostensibly set in the modern day but evokes the stylish 1960's. It's bright, lively work, with incredible style and panache and skill as a storyteller. I was such a huge fan of his work in the Moon Knight series he did with Jeff Lemire and Jordie Bellaire (read me going on and on about it here). He has a clean line, and immaculate character work, and his panel payout is incredibly interesting and innovative. You should also read his work in this Marvel series of stories. That Marvel series feels like it might have been something of the inspiration for the new Human Target series. So this week is a double delight - the hardcover collection of the first 6 issues is available, as is issue 7! You're going to love it. 

Superman Space Age #2 by Mark Russell, Mike Allred and Laura Allred, published by DC Comics
It's great when you're really looking forward to something and it is even better than you had hoped. I was very excited for the first issue of Superman: Space Age and it was even more beautiful and poignant and fun than I thought it would be. Writer Mark Russell is one of my favorite writers in comics. He's written some of the smartest, funniest, and most poignant comics I've read in recent years (The Flintstones, The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Billionaire Island). Mike and Laura Allred are (similarly) one of my favorite art teams in comics. I'm such a fan of the Allred's work (Silver Surfer, FF, Bowie, and many more books); I think that they capture the spirit and pop sensibility of the 60's, and Allred is a spiritual successor to Kirby in his style and spirit. And Superman is my favorite character (when done well)! So, this amazing team combined together to create something really moving in the first issue of this comic. It felt grounded in a real-ish place in history, but also very much felt like the DC universe. It was fun and heartfelt and I can't wait for the next issue.