Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Batman Beyond #26
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Brett Booth, Viktor Kalvachev
What it is: The Joker’s back-and he wants to turn Batman and Robin into a punchline once and for all! The original Clown Prince of Crime returns to stalk Neo-Gotham in part two of ‘The Final Joke’! Can you guess what happens when he encounters Barbara Gordon for the first time in decades? And when Robin gets caught on a video feed for the first time, no one’s more delighted than The Joker.
Why we love it: There’s a running tragedy in the Batman mythos, where Bruce Wayne trains the members of his Bat family to fight crime alongside him, which puts them directly in harms path and inevitably leads to someone getting hurt or worse. Batman Beyond’s “The Final Joke” arc seems to be building towards a crowbar moment for Terry McGinnis and his little brother Matt, aka Robin. Love the homage cover to Batman #251.
The Mainstream One: Heroes in Crisis #3 (of 7)
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann
What it is: The Man of Steel versus…Booster Gold?! Superman finds out the hard way that Booster can be a formidable opponent when his back’s against the wall. Of course, being the prime suspect in a superhero massacre and exposing a secret trauma hospital for metahumans will do just that. Meanwhile, Batman and the Flash combine their detective skills to investigate what went awry at Sanctuary and uncover a serious glitch in the system-not to mention an explosive, spoiler-ific secret!
Why we like it: This series is off to a great start. The plot is as twisted as it is brilliant and the artwork is a delight. I try to not select this series as one of my picks every time an issue releases, but it’s just too damn good.
The Indie One: The Warning #1
Words and Art: Edward Laroche
What it is: An enormous machine slowly materializes in a major West Coast city. Who sent it-and why-is a mystery, understood only by the malevolent beings gliding silently toward Earth through the inky vastness of space. In response, a multinational combat brigade called Gladiator Two-Six is deployed. Outfitted with next-generation military science and weapons, they’re tasked with stopping any extraterrestrial threat that emerges.
Why we like it: I read an interview with author and illustrator Edward Laroche and he had this to say, ““My original intent was to craft a story about war that wasn’t complicated or bogged down in questionable politics or shady motivations: a threat not of our own making. The core of the story is this exploration into conflict, and how it might be the natural state of all living things, and how our main character, Joshua, who is a super soldier, lives with that possibility.” Yup, I’m sold.
The #1 One: Dead Man Logan #1
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mike Henderson
What it is: DEAD MEANS DEAD. The writing’s been on the wall for months now… Logan is dying. And he ain’t getting any better. Sick from the Adamantium coating his skeleton, his search for a cure has led to nothing but dead ends. But for once he’s actually trying to leave this world with some unfinished business… Can Logan take his last breath without slaughtering the X-Men again? Not if Mysterio has anything to say about it… Superstar creative team ED BRISSON (OLD MAN LOGAN, UNCANNY X-MEN) and MIKE HENDERSON (DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN), with covers by DECLAN SHALVEY (MOON KNIGHT), is putting this old dog out of his misery with a bang! Parental Advisory
Why we like it: The writings been on the wall since, well since always. Everyone knew that OML was just a stop gap while Wolverine was “dead”, and now that regular man Logan is back in the land of the living, it’s time for this old man to ride off into the sunset, probably on a trail of blood.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Barbarella #12
Words: Mike Carrey
Art: Kenan Yarar
Cover Art: Yuki Shimizu
What it is: ‘A Place Called Overkill’ The event horizon of a black hole is a bad spot to have your ship break down — especially if the breakdown isn’t an accident. But who wants Barbarella dead? And why have they chosen to bury her so very, very deep?
Why we like it: I think the cover speaks for itself.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!