Manga, robots, superheroes and more! Catch It for November 16th

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:

Copra Master Collection HC Book 1 by Michel Fiffe, published by Image Comics

If cynicism about superhero comics is the disease, Copra is the (or at least one) cure. Written, illustrated and self-published by Michel Fiffe (with the help of Bergen Street Press), Copra is an homage to 80's Suicide Squad (and other) comics, but with a style and design that feels completely unique. Come for the hard-hitting action and knowing tough-guy dialogue, stay for the visually arresting art. Copra Master Collection HC Vo.. 1 collects the first 12 issues of the series. Copra is a badass team of misfits. There's combat experts, along with a teenager in robotic armor and a new guy in a power suit with light-based powers. If some of these sorts of characters sound familiar, they're meant to, and that's part of the fun of the story. The team is led by Sonia, a tough-talking but contemplative woman (and a clear analogue for pre-DC New 52 Amanda Waller). This is a great, highly entertaining comic. It works on the level of homage and nostalgia; if you're a longtime comics reader, you'll recognize and appreciate the characters that are Marvel and DC analogues. However (and more significantly), even if you're not familiar with the characters, this is still a terrific, engaging book. Fiffe does everything on this comic (script, pencils/inks, colors, letters) and the amount of detail on each page is remarkable (and appears to be hand-dawn and lettered). Fiffe is one of the most interesting creators in comics, and Copra is fantastic. Check it out. 

Asadora Vol. 6 TP by Naoki Urasawa, published by Viz Media

Asadora is a current manga from legendary mangaka Naoki Urasawa, which is really all you need to know. But let me give you a little more detail. Urasawa is the legendary creator behind Pluto, 20th Century Boys, and other amazing stories. Urasawa's art is wonderfully engaging and he's an incredible storyteller. His stories have big, epic scope, but never at the expense of character growth and development. Asadora tells the story of a remarkable girl (now teen) who survived a deadly storm that might have been a Kaiju attack, and grows up to become an ace pilot. And is just generally awesome. Right now her story is intersecting with the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. It's an incredibly engaging story, and I guarantee you'll love it.

Metal Society TP by Zack Kaplan and Guilherme Balbi, published by Image Comics

I really enjoyed Metal Society and recommend it to sci-fi fans looking for a fun read, now that the story has been collected. The concept is that humanity was wiped out and robots/AI became the dominant life form on Earth. But, ten years ago, the robots decided it would be interesting to actually start bringing back humans as a species. So they're growing humans to do the work that the robots don't want to do. All of this history and story is framed around a robot vs. human boxing/MMA match. We meet the (enhanced) human competitor and her robot opponent, and start to get a really good look at the weird new society that human have been brought back into. I wasn't really familiar with the work of artist Guilherme Balbi, but I was really impressed with his work on this series. I thought it looked great. Really nice linework and character design, and very strong storytelling. The action and dramatic moments all worked very well. Balbi was very nicely complemented by very strong, grounded color work from Marco Lesko, and Troy Peteri provided excellent lettering that was additive to the story. So if you're looking for a fun sci-fi read, I'd definitely recommend Metal Society.

Batman One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Scalera, and Dave Stewart, published by DC Comics

Thus far I've really been enjoying these Batman "One Bad Day" stories. The Two-Face one was entertaining, and the Riddler one was one of the best comics I've read all year. I'm excited for this one as well. I like Mr. Freeze just fine as a character, but the draw for me is that the issue will be drawn by Matteo Scalera! I don't know if he's drawn anything since Black Science, but I haven't really seen his work since Black Science, which was an amazing series and a perennial favorite of mine. Scalera is an amazing, dynamic, exciting artist. And he's been colored by the legend Dave Stewart whose work keeps improving any already-excellent artist he works with. So I know that at a minimum, this comic will look great. 

The Bone Orchard Mythos: Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3 by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart, published by Image Comics

Jeff Lemire is someone I really trust to create a new comic universe. He's done amazing work (with lots of other artistic/creative collaborators) on the Black Hammer universe. So when I found out he was creating a new horror universe, WITH Andrea Sorrentino, I was thrilled. And Dave Stewart was coming back to color? I was even more excited. These 3 have made terrifying, weird, highly entertaining comics magic with Gideon Falls and Primordial, and now they're back for more. I'm happy to report that the first story in this series (the graphic novella The Passageway) was excellent and was legitimately terrifying, and I am on board for whatever this team wants to do and whatever stories they want to tell. I'm even more happy to report that I have really enjoyed the first 2 issues of this series. I'm not exactly sure where it's going, but it's weird and scary and intriguing and it blurs the line between fiction and reality. I will follow this team down this creepy story, and so should you.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #9 by Mark Waid, Dan Mora, and Tamra Bonvillain, published by DC Comics

This is a really fun comic. It's a terrific fusion of classic and modern, in a number of different ways. It's a classic story in the sense that this story has a timeless quality to it. The story isn't bogged down in current continuity, which means the story will never feel dated or tied to a specific moment in time. And writer Mark Waid has a perfect handle on the voices of these classic versions of the iconic characters. That being said, the book never feels hokey or corny; Waid has the voices down, but in a very modern way. The modern feel of the book is really brought to life by the incredible art team of line artist Dan Mora and color artist Tamra Bonvillain. Dan Mora is one of the very best artists in comics. His comics have so much dynamism and life and energy to them. And his line work is complemented perfectly by the amazing, bright colors of Tamra Bonvillain. They are a must-read combo on a comic. They've been doing amazing work on Once & Future, and I'm so glad they've brought their work to DC. They have such fun, classic-yet-modern feeling versions of these iconic characters. This book is a real joy to read every issue.