I'm back, baby! Catch It At The Comic Shop for June 5, 2024

It's been a while since I've posted anything to Panel Patter. The last thing I shared was my favorite comics of 2023. And I miss it! Life's just been really busy and stressful on a consistent basis, and there hasn't been much time to write about comics. But just like Rob our fearless leader, I'm also going to try to start getting back into the swing of things. I'll start by highlighting some comics I'm excited to read, and hopefully start writing more in-depth reviews when I have a chance. 

Anyway, here are some comics I'm excited about this week:

The Ultimates #1 by Deniz Camp and Juan Frigeri, published by Marvel Comics
The "Ultimates" title has a notable history, going back to the very early aughts, and the work of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. At that time, the Marvel Ultimate universe was this whole new thing offering readers a modern, updated, more accessible take on the Marvel universe. I wasn't reading comics at that time but even I remember hearing about it. And I loved those Ultimates books, even though they were VERY of their time and a lot of the humor has not aged that well. But the MCU that people have known and loved (maybe? still?) was very much based on that stripped-down, lean version of the Marvel U. Anyway, the Ultimate line has been dormant for a number of years, but my guy, Jonathan Hickman himself, came up with an idea to revive the Ultimate universe as a whole new thing, with a new reason for existing. I really enjoyed his intro miniseries, done with who else but Bryan Hitch. And I'm excited for this new take on heroes coming together to fight a powerful foe that's been operating from behind the shadows. Deniz Camp is a writer to watch, and 

Falling in Love on the Path to Hell #1 by Gerry Duggan, Garry Brown, Chris O'Halloran and Joe Sabino, published by Image Comics
A samurai and a gunslinger battling warriors in some sort of purgatory? Written by Gerry Duggan and drawn by Garry Brown? And it's a double-sized issue? Sign me up. My very first Gerry Duggan comic was Infinite Horizon, his and Phil Noto's take on the Odyssey. I absolutely love it, so I'm thrilled to check out Duggan returning to the realm of the mystical and the mythic. And I've always really enjoyed Garry Brown's work, going back to The Massive, and Black Road, and on a bunch of other books. So this seems like it'll be a lot of fun. 

Precious Metal #1 by Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram, and Matt Hollingsworth, published by Image Comics
Precious Metal is apparently a prequel to the truly extraordinary Little Bird, which was published a while back, in 2019 or so. It was one of my favorite comics of 2019, here's what I had to say at the time:
I only read this book recently, but it made such a strong impression that I thought it had to be on my list.  Little Bird is a dark story, but one that has some hope in it, even through some very hard times.  This is the story of a futuristic United States, that is now a total Christian theocracy and also controls Canada and Mexico, such that it is now the United Nations of America.  And it's a dark, scary, horrifying place. Any resistance is met with ultimate punishment, and many humans that have evolved or mutated live on the margins of society. There are robot/cyborg beings, but they're pretty terrifying. It's a story about the autocratic leader, and his connection to one of the rebel leaders and her daughter (the titular "Little Bird").  It's a story about holding out hope of independence in the face of oppression. And it's also a remarkably illustrated book, courtesy of the talented Ian Bertram. Bertram has a fantastic style all his own, but stylistically he is in the Geoff Darrow/Frank Quitely/Chris Burnham school of art, which is excellent company to be in. He's certainly a talented visual storyteller, but the art itself is just striking. Bertram puts a remarkable amount of painstaking detail on every page. His action is dynamic and so intense, and the book is brutal and visceral (like, literally, there are viscera all over the place sometimes). And there are some other just generally horrifying images in the story, which is not for the faint of heart. But if you're looking for a story of hope in a very dark place, I'd strongly recommend Little Bird. 

Scarlett #1 by Kelly Thompson, Marco Ferrari, and Lee Loughridge, published by Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment

I have REALLY been enjoying the Skybound Energon Universe comics so far. Transformers has been delightful, as has Void Rivals. And the G.I. Joe side of things has been pretty great as well. Duke and Cobra Commander have both been really fun reads, and I enjoy the way that each book is its own thing but it is clearly building up to something big and exciting. Anyway, I'm thrilled to see Kelly Thompson join the fun. Thompson is one of my favorite comic writers - she's got great ideas and a terrific sense of humor, and a real knack for telling big stories that don't lose sight of the humanity. You need that skill, in a world of giant robots and villains seeking world domination.  And while I'm not too familiar with artist Marco Ferrari, what I've seen of his work looks really fun and dynamic.