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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/8/2016

The Top of the Pile: Batman #49

 

BM49

Publisher: DC

Words: Scott Snyder

Art: Greg Capullo

It is time. Bruce Wayne has reclaimed his true past as Batman. Now he must descend into the cave and face what he once was. Can he truly leave behind a life free from the pain and anguish of the Bat? Can he plunge once more into the madness and purpose that once consumed him? In this special, thrilling issue, watch as the fate of Bruce Wayne, and Batman, is decided once and for all.

This week’s Batman will likely be read directly off the rack, and though it may never get there physically, it’s the undisputed top of the pile.  Snyder and Capullo’s epic Batman New 52 run will come to an end in just two months. This week’s issue #49 is the penultimate issue in the pulse pounding Super Heavy story arc. I had my doubts about the Batman series after Convergence. Bat-Gordon? A Bat-bot? A flower-man and his seedling army? These sounded more like Silver Age Batman story lines. I was worried that Snyder had run out of Bat tales (do bats have tails?) and risked spoiling what had otherwise been a phenomenal run. After the last two issues, my worries and doubts are gone. This arc has been outstanding, right up there with Court of Owls in terms of building the Batman mythology. If you’re not caught up, now’s the time. #50 next month is going to be huge.

 

The Mainstream One: Old Man Logan #2

 

OML2

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Andrea Sorrentino

For Old Man Logan, home is a wasteland in the distant future, one overridden by hillbilly Hulks who extort and torture civilians for fun. But now, mysteriously finding himself in the present, Logan is hellbent on preventing that future from coming to pass. And the best way to keep the Hulk population from surging in the future is to eliminate them altogether in the present…starting with Amadeus Cho, the Totally Awesome Hulk!

The first issue was crazy and certainly lived up to expectations. After we got past the ham fisted exposition, the rest of the issue was filled with a dark and violent story. The Old Man’s healing abilities are back and he’s got a hit list an arm’s length long. His plan: to save the future. The next name brings Logan face to face with another newly revamped Marvel character, the Totally Awesome Hulk. It’s a classic Hulk vs Wolverine fight with a new twist!

 

The Indie One: Gutter Magic #2 (of 4)

 

GM2

Publisher: IDW

Words: Rick Douek

Art: Brett Barkley

A showdown at the Goblin Market puts Cinder and Blacktooth on the path to tracking down their quarry – but the necromantic sorceress known as the Morgue wants Cinder’s head, even if she has to threaten his family to get it. Fans of Harry Potter and Sin City will love this genre-bending caper that brings magic down to the gritty streets of New York!

There are so many good books out from Image this week (Low, Black Science, Descender, Autumnlands, Spread, No Mercy) that I couldn’t pick one. So I went with a new mini-series by a different publisher, Gutter Magic from IDW. The first issue of Gutter Magic was impressive in its execution. The dialogue was crisp and the art and action uncluttered. The hook was an interesting satire of political-economics, in which magic, not money, wielded power. Gutter Magic feels like a world that reaches beyond its panels, one that I will be happy to explore for 3 more issues.

 

The #1 One: Jonesy #1

 

J1

Publisher: Boom

Words: Sam Humphries

Art: Caitlin Rose Boyle

Jonesy is a self-described ‘cool dork’ who spends her time making zines nobody reads, watching anime, and listening to riot grrrl bands and 1D simultaneously. But she has a secret nobody knows. She has the power to make people fall in love! Anyone. With anything. She’s a cupid in plaid. With a Tumblr. There’s only one catch-it doesn’t work on herself. She’s gonna have to find love the old-fashioned way, and in the meantime, figure out how to distract herself from the real emotions she inevitably has to face when her powers go wrong…

Boom studios has scored a few hits recently, gaining attention for quality girly books like Lumber Janes and Giant Days. Is Jonesy next?

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Darth Vader #16

 

DV16

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Kieron Gillen

Art: Salvador Larocca

Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

NEW STORY ARC! The planet Shu-Torin (introduced in the Darth Vader Annual) is revolting. Darth Vader is tasked with leading a military assault. Has Vader’s rise to glory begun? 

I’m trying not to buy every Star Wars comic that comes out, and just trade-wait the series, but they keep finding ways to get me. This is the most bad-ass Darth Vader cover from the series. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

 

Carpe Comics!