Happy Halloween comic booOOooooOOOook fans (read in a ghost voice). Welcome to a spooktacular edition of the Crank File, written in spooOOooky script. It’s the end of October folks and monster month has been an absolute treat. The Marvels relaunch was a little shaky, as expected, but everyone I spoke to seems to be finding something to enjoy. I liked what I saw from Iron Man and Captain America. The latest Star Wars Force Awakens trailer went a long way to ease any doubts I had about the new Star Wars movies. The internet dropped a crazy Batman vs Superman theory that actually sort of makes sense and AMC’s Walking Dead stabbed it’s audience square in the gut (for the watch). Week four delivers a merciful break as we enter All Hallow’s Eve. So without further adooOOoooOOoo…
Here’s what I’m reading this week.
The Top of the Pile: Manifest Destiny #18 Image
As the arc comes to a close, extreme measures are taken to protect Lewis & Clark’s mission.
Always finding its way up to the front of the stack, Manifest Destiny is some of the most fun I’ve had reading comics. The series continues to horrify and delight with more monsters, more terrors and more grisly deaths. Manifest Destiny really hit its stride in the third arc Chiroptera & Carnivores with a balanced mix of action and storytelling. Issue #18 will undoubtedly close out with fireworks so Westward, ho!
The Mainstream One: Justice League The Darkseid Wars Batman #1 DC
As the Darkseid War rages on, Batman’s role in Gotham City–and the world-alters drastically as he’s forced to accept his new role as a God of Knowledge.
Batman sits atop the Mobius chair and becomes god. An unstable man with violent tendencies and a thirst for vengeance gains omnipotence. What could possibly go wrong? I wasn’t planning on picking this one up initially, but I heard that in this issue Batman confronts the man who shot his parents all those years ago, Joe Chill.
The Indie One: Rumble #8 Image Comics
Special Halloween issue, introducing a new major character!
I read the first issue of Rumble when it came out and liked it enough to add it to my pull list. Issues 2-7 had been sitting in my pull box since then and I decided the reading load for monster week wasn’t enough, so I decided to tack six issues of Rathraq on top of it. I didn’t really need to sleep anyways. It’s hard to boil Rumble down to a blurb, but it is action, fantasy, humor, horror and heart and it’s all done incredibly well.
The #1 One: Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D #1 Marvel Kirby Monster Variant
Hidden deep beneath AREA 13 lies the clandestine headquarters of S.T.A.K.E.–a top secret division of S.H.I.E.L.D. housing aliens, mythical beasts, and all manner of extra-normal entities. Under the command of legendary soldier DUM DUM DUGAN, these monsters step out of the shadows and defend the world against supernatural threats too dangerous for normal men.
Marvel’s answer to the Justice League Dark, S.H.I.E.L.D’s Howling Commandos are a motley crew of monsters and humans who specialize in dealing with the weird stuff that their super-strong counterparts can’t punch through. I like the premise, it allows Marvel to tell dark, supernatural stories that don’t work elsewhere but I was underwhelmed by the preview. My Newbury 50% special of the week, I’m going to try to grab the Del Mundo Kirby variant.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Paper Girls #1 Image
In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure.
The Paper Girls debuted a few weeks back and it was awesome. If you’re like me and love Brian K Vaughan’s writing, then you probably already own a copy. But right now, Midtown Comics is selling copies signed by creators Brain K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Jared Fletcher and Matt Wilson for cover price plus shipping. It even comes with a COA. Be sure to snag a couple cheap comics to protect your copy of Paper Girls during shipping, Midtown does not ship their comics with backers.
The Speculation One: Self Storage #1 451 Media Group
What if you found a zombie locked up in a self storage unit? Would you keep it? Chris Smith has eked by in life hocking the auctioned-off junk from those people who no longer pay the rent on their self storage units. He spends his days hopping from one storage facility to the next, bidding on units sight-unseen, only to sell whatever’s inside to antique dealers and pawn shops for as much money as he can squeeze. But Chris has never found anything like what’s waiting for him inside unit # 83… …Her name is Jessica.
Small, indie publishers are all the rage this year. Last week’s Sunflower #1 from 451 Media Group sold out quickly and immediately shot up to $15 in after market trading. I’m hoping for similar results with their zombie book, Self Storage. The previews looked great and should be an entertaining read regardless.