Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that cranks great, even late. It’s Super Mega Fest week and I’m actually super mega disappointed. I guess it’s technically a comic con, but asides from Jim Steranko and Joe St. Pierre, the guests I’m looking forward to seeing are actors or professional “wrestlers”. Come say hi if you’re going. I’ll be there on Saturday likely standing in Steranko’s line for most of the day.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Black Hammer #4
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormston
What it is: In the forties, Abraham Slam faced such menaces as the psychedelic Florist and the eldritch Cthu-Lou without breaking a sweat. But keeping the heroes of Black Hammer Farm from each other’s throats when his girlfriend comes to dinner proves far more perilous! Meanwhile, the Black Hammer’s daughter uncovers new clues to the exiled heroes’ disappearance!
Why we love it: Lemire’s doing some fine super-hero work over at Marvel, but he really shines when he’s writing indies where he’s allowed to be a bit more weird, a bit more intimate with his characters. The writing is near perfect and I think Ormston is purposely emulating Lemire’s art style, which you will either love or hate. I personally dig it and this series has my attention.
The Mainstream One: Dark Knight III: Master Race #6
Words: Frank Miller
Art: Adam Kubert
What it is: Is Gotham City ready for a new Batgirl?!
Why we like it: Honestly it’s been so long since issue #5 that I’ve forgotten why I like this. I think Superman showed up and some stuff happened. Slow week from the Big 2. But there are a couple of amazing variant covers by Jim Lee and Greg Tocchini.
The Indie One: Manifest Destiny #24
Words: Chris Dingess
Art: Mathew Roberts
What it is: ‘SASQUATCH,’ Conclusion Lewis & Clark make a deal in order for their crew to survive, as their encounter with the mighty Sasquatch has far-reaching consequences.
Why we like it: On a slow week for indies, Manifest Destiny steps up and delivers the conclusion to the Sasquatch arc. Last issue was probably the most horrifying issue of MD since #1 and I hope that whatever these consequences are, they set this series back on track. The main story line got slowed down pretty hard with the extensive flashback sequences, so this Squatch excursion better have a good payoff.
The #1 One: Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye (Sienkiewicz variant)
Publisher: Young Animals
Words: Gerard Way
Art: Michael Avon Oeming
What it is: Cave Carson has done it all: survived countless adventures below the Earth’s surface, met the love of his life, and gotten a cybernetic eye…somehow. After he and his wife, Eileen, sent their only daughter Chloe off to college, Cave was ready to become just another mundane member of the surface world. That is, until Eileen got sick. Newly widowed, Cave tries to piece his life back together when a knock on the door of his secret underground lab pulls him back into a past that he and Eileen thought they had left buried deep within the Earth. Adding to his troubles, Cave must determine if his recent hallucinations and visions are the work of his mind or his mysterious cybernetic eye. (Spoiler: It’s the eye.) Written by Gerard Way (DOOM PATROL, Umbrella Academy) and Jon Rivera (Heartbreak), and illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming (Powers), this is an absurdist action-adventure story unlike any other!
Why we like it: DC’s Young Animals imprint promised some really off beat comics with high end production, and so far it has delivered the goods. Doom Patrol and Shade the Changing Girl were both beautiful and completely off the wall and Cave Carson sounds equally as insane. If you’ve been looking for something to spice up your Wednesday night, check out these Young Animals.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Doctor Strange #13
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Chris: Bachalo
Cover art: Chris Bachalo
What it is: “BLOOD IN THE AETHER” STARTS NOW! Doctor Strange is on the brink of death, his magic nearly depleted. Sensing the Sorcerer Supreme at his weakest, his greatest foes will return from the shadows, ready to strike. Behold the return Doctor Strange’s classic rogues gallery starting with…BARON MORDO!
Why we like it: There was a lot of competition for the cover spot this week, but the more I look at this Dr. Strange cover the more terrifying it becomes. Amazing composition.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!