Greetings comic book aficionados and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that never lost that crankin feeling. I went to see Suicide Squad over the weekend. The characters were portrayed well, the action and CGI were all pretty awesome and the big bad was bad ass, but I walked away from the theater feeling a little empty. The major flaw I found with the movie was an almost total lack of cohesion between the team members. Still, it wasn’t a terrible movie by any stretch of the imagination and I certainly don’t believe it deserved the thrashing that it received from a certain online movie review site. If you’re a comic fan, you’ll probably find enough in the movie to have a good time. If not, well what the heck are you doing at this article?
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Black Hammer #2
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormston
What it is: The Golden Age heroes of Spiral City have been ‘erased’ from existence! Banished years ago to a timeless farming community, the team are torn between accepting their fate and finding a way home! Chapter two focuses on child hero Golden Gail, whose un-aging body most deeply feels the tragedy of their new lives.
Why we love it: I loved the first issue of Black Hammer. It’s Lemire at his best, deconstructing the superhero genre and mining human drama to build a captivating story. Looking forward to seeing how this tale unfolds.
The Mainstream one: Batman #5
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch
What it is: ‘I Am Gotham’ part five. In the final chapter of this epic, is Batman truly the hero Gotham City deserves-or does it deserve better? In this ultimate showdown, where the line between allies and enemies blurs, the question will finally be answered and the fate of Gotham will be decided.
Why we like it: This is the Batman book that I have been waiting for. After 3 mediocre issues, the ‘I Am Gotham’ arc hung a Louie at issue #4 and crashed headfirst into the abyss. Tom King stories are slow burners, but once they get going they are absolute infernoes. Strap in folks, I think we’re in for a hell of a ride.
The Indie One: Manifest Destiny #22
Words: Chris Dingess
Art: Matthew Roberts
What it is: ‘SASQUATCH,’ Part Four What does sasquatch taste like? Find out this issue!
Why we like it: Fun read month in and month out. Manifest is one of my favorite comics, blending mythology, action/adventure and the American frontier.
The #1 One: Briggs Land #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Brian Wood
Art: Mack Chater
What it is: Briggs Land, nearly a hundred square miles of rural wilderness, contains the largest antigovernment secessionist movement in the United States. When matriarch Grace Briggs wrests control of the operation from her incarcerated husband, she sparks a war within the community-and her immediate family-that threatens to bring the full power of the federal government down on their heads.
Why we like it: A rarity at the Crank File as two Dark Horse books make the list. This series is already being developed into a show at AMC, a channel that knows a thing or two about making a quality television program. Don’t sleep on this #1. You have been warned.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Suicide Squad #1
Words: Rob Williams
Art: Jim Lee
Cover art: Lee Bermejo
What it is: ‘The Black Vault’ part one! When a mysterious and definitely super-important cosmic item falls out of the heavens and into enemy hands, America has only one option: Task Force X, Amanda Waller’s strike team of incarcerated super-criminals. A one-stop-shop for plausibly deniable espionage and ultra- violence, this ‘Suicide Squad’ only handles missions they’re not expected to survive.
Why we like it: To quote the immortal Sir Mix-a-Lot, “red beans and rice didn’t miss her.”
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!