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 #60
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin
What it is: Batman takes on a new partner, and it’s…the Penguin? After rejecting Bane’s crime-boss co-op, Cobblepot finds himself in the crosshairs of some very teed-off villains. The feathered felon turns to his old foe to snitch on Bane’s scheme, but has to prove his intentions to avoid a Bat-beatdown. Along the way, this Gotham odd couple begins to bond-could there be a new bird joining the Bat-Family? Not if Bane has anything to say about it…
Why we love it: Batman has been good, but not Top of the Pile worthy for a while now. The oddball Batman/Penguin team-up plot has been fine, but there’s a reveal on the last page of this week’s issue that is absolutely bonkers. You do not want to miss this one!
The Mainstream One: Doomsday #8 (of 12)
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank
What it is: The critical and commercial hit series by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continues following the shocking revelations of last issue. As the truth behind Dr. Manhattan’s actions against the DC Universe are revealed, Ozymandias turns to the only being who can stop him: Superman.
Why we like it: The puzzle pieces are falling into place and Doomsday Clock is finally beginning to reveal how Dr. Manhattan is connected to the Superman Theory and, more importantly, to DC’s 2016 Rebirth event.
The Indie One: Die #1
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Stephanie Hans
What it is: THE WICKED + THE DIVINE writer KIERON GILLEN teams up with artist supernova STEPHANIE HANS (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE 1831, Journey Into Mystery) for her first ongoing comic! DIE is a pitch-black fantasy where a group of forty-something adults have to deal with the returning unearthly horror they barely survived as teenage role-players. If Kieron’s in a rush, he describes it as ‘Goth Jumanji.’ That only captures a sliver of what you’ll find in oversized debut issue-where fantasy gets all too real.
Why we like it: With two superstar creators attached to it, Die! #1 has been one of the most highly-anticipated, new Image titles releasing this year. Especially excited to see Stephanie Hans, who up to now has been mostly known for her cover artwork, providing interior art for an ongoing series.
The #1 One: Defenders Immortal Hulk #1
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Simone Di Meo
What it is: ‘THE BEST DEFENSE’ STARTS HERE! Stephen Strange is dead. A charred skeleton in an abandoned barn on the edge of a deserted town. Bruce Banner wants to know why. And he won’t stop until he has the truth in his hands, with or without THE IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+
Why we like it: Immortal Hulk has been one of the most interesting character refreshes in recent memory, so I’m interested in anything Hulk at the moment. I love that Marvel is bringing back the OG Defenders team. Namor also has a Defenders #1 issue out this week, and I cannot wait for Defenders Silver Surfer #1 out next week.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #38
Words: Christopher Priest
Art: Fernando Pasarin
Cover Art: Francisco Mattina
What it is: Deathstroke finally meets his match: Arkham Asylum?! Now an inmate, Slade Wilson must prove his sanity so he can stop an alien invasion (what?). Before he can even attempt a breakout, he’s got to face off against angry Arkham inmates out to get him. And what’s Two-Face’s role in all this mayhem? He keeps showing up in two places at once! Meanwhile, Deathstroke’s daughter, Rose Wilson, is kidnapped! Can Jericho save his sister?
Why we like it: Mattina’s dominance on cover art shows no sign of slowing. The man is an absolute beast.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!