Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that’s finger crankin good. I watched the Killing Joke animated feature and liked it a lot. I grew up watching Batman the Animated Series, so hearing Mark Hamil and Kevin Conroy reprise their iconic roles as the voices of Joker and Batman was fantastic. There was a Bat-girl/Oracle origin story that book-ended the original story, which I didn’t love, but it did give Barbara’s story some meaning besides just being the setup for the Joker’s most twisted joke. Otherwise it was a near exact retelling, complete with song and dance routine. Dark, haunting and still relevant after almost 30 years, Alan Moore and Brian Bollard’s classic is the definitive Joker story.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Wonder Woman #5
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp
What it is: ‘The Lies’ part three! Steve Trevor finds himself trapped in the heart of Urzkartaga’s darkness, with Wonder Woman and Cheetah the only hope of rescue for him and his men. But how far can Cheetah be trusted?
Why we love it: Wonder Woman’s Rebirth has been off to an interesting start. Greg Rucka has been weaving two separate stories, one retelling Diana’s exile from Themyscira and the other set in present day where Wonder Woman has entered into an alliance with her arch nemesis Cheatah in hopes of finding a way back home. The two stories lines alternate each issue and will eventually tie together to reconcile Wonder Woman’s multiple, conflicting origin stories. It’s a monumental task and will be an amazing feat if Rucka can actually pull it off.
The Mainstream one: Detective Comics 939 (Albuquerque variant)
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Eddy Barrows
What it is: ‘Rise of the Batmen’ part six! The full scope of the Colony’s plans, and their mysterious leader, have all been revealed, so what’s it going to take to stop them? Believe us, you are not prepared for the last scene.
Why we like it: Tynion’s run on ‘Tec has already thrown us a few good twists. Sounds like he’s got something big cooked up for us this week and I’ll be reading with great interest.
The Indie One: Outcast #20
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Paul Azteca
What it is: A POWER EXPOSED’ Allison is learning that there is in fact something very special about her daughter. But where is Kyle?
Why we like it: The reigning king of horror returns with another terrifying issue of Outcast. The current arc has been serving up heaping piles of scares and answers. And as we learn more about the nature of Kyle’s powers, the more dangerous we realize his situation is.
The #1 One: Kingsway West #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mirko Colak
What it is: After thirteen years in prison, a Chinese gunslinger named Kingsway Law just wants to find his wife. But in a fantastical American Old West crackling with magic, monsters, and racist vigilantes, trouble just won’t leave him be. And in this case, trouble is a woman with a magic sword who needs his help.
Why we like it: I’ve been excited for this series since I met Greg Pak at a convention last year. He told me about his creator owned comic about a Chinese gunslinger’s adventures through a magical American Old West and I was instantly sold. It’s pretty much the story that I would write and draw if I had the time, and talent. Thank you Pak-man!
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom Space Knight #11
Words: Robbie Thompson
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto
Cover Art: Gerardo Sandoval
What it is: ‘CIVIL WAR II TIE-IN! Venom versus the Amazing Spider-Man! Secrets, symbiotes and superiority! Flash and his hero have enough to fight about without the conflict that’s tearing the Marvel Universe apart!
Why we like it: Marvel eeks its way onto the list with an old, reliable gimmick, a sweet-ass Venom cover.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!