Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another installment of the Crank File, where the crank you take is equal to the crank you make. How was your Free Comic Book Day? I hope you made it out to your local comic shop and picked up some free swag. My personal highlight from Saturday was meeting one of my favorite comic book artists, Sean Gordon Murphy. Sean was the coolest. We chatted about his independent titles, future projects with DC and he even let me get a look at some of his early concept sketches for a bad-ass new Batmobile. Picture the Nolan Dark Knight tumbler front-end with Tim Burton Batmobile rear-wheels and hot-rod exhaust pipes running along the side. Nerdgasm.
The Top of the Pile: Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Freddie Williams II
What it is: The crossover event of the year comes to its thrilling conclusion. The Turtles have one last, desperate shot at going home. But will they take it, knowing what nefarious plans Shredder has for Gotham City? It’s full-on ninja warfare as our heroes go up against the combined forces of the Foot Clan and the League of Assassins.
Why we love it: Last issue we got a glimpse at what the Shredder could do with a can of pure mutagen and the inmates of Arkham Asylum, setting up what will undoubtedly be an epic showdown. I can’t think of a crossover series that I have enjoyed more than Batman TMNT. I’m sad to see this series come to an end, but I can’t wait to see how it finishes.
The Mainstream one: Action Comics #52 (Oliver variant)
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Fernando Pasarin
What it is: ‘Super League’ continues-as two Supermen meet at last: pre-New 52 Superman meets the current Clark. A force seeking to end both Men of Steel brings them together, but divided they may fall as one Superman must choose the safety of his family before himself.
Why we like it: The ‘Super League’ story arc has been running across the various Superman titles and is providing a peak at what the post-Rebirth DC will look like. Last week’s Batman Superman #32 gave us our first look at the new Chinese Superman, Kenan Kong and quickly sold out. Rumors around the interwebs are that this week’s issue of Action Comics will reveal the fate of the New 52 Superman. Don’t miss out.
The Indie One: Southern Bastards #14
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Jason Latour
What it is: The big game is over. But the troubles have only just begun. The return of Roberta Tubb.
Why we like it: Team Jay-squared return with a brand new arc of Southern Basterdly goodness. It’s been almost five months since we witnessed Coach Boss’ humiliating loss to the Rebels’ hated rivals, the Wetumpka Warriors. There’s going to be hell to pay in Craw County, and I have the feeling that Earl Tubbs’ daughter is coming back to exact some revenge of her own.
The #1 One: All New All Different Avengers #9
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Adam Kubert
What it is: Introducing the all-new Wasp! Who is she? What is she? And what does she intend to do about Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?
Why we like it: So technically it’s not a #1 but there is a first appearance of a new character here, so I’m counting it. Ok, so technically it’s not an entirely new character either, it’s Janet Van Dyne’s step daughter taking up the Wasp mantle. Slow week for #1’s, so I’m still counting it.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Black Panther #2 (Cho variant)
Words: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art: Brian Stelfreeze
Cover art: Frank Cho
What it is: The darkest chapter of the Black Panther mythos continues as Wakanda crumbles from within. Enter: The Midnight Angels! Two mysterious women leading the citizen revolt against the current regime of Wakanda, challenging not only T’Challa’s politics but also his resolve. But will their rage provide more for the people than the royal family has thus far?
Why we like it: There’s been all sorts of Black Panther love after T’Challa made his MCU debut in Captain America 3. With a solo movie already confirmed, everything Black Panther is a hot commodity right now. I expect fans will be seeking out this rare 1:25 variant, so keep your eyes peeled for this cover when you’re making your rounds. Check out the article from Bleeding Cool where Frank Cho goes over his creative process in making this cover.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!