Welcome comic book fans to another episode of the Crank File. Last Saturday was Free Comic Book Day and I hope you were able to swing by your local shop and snag some sweet freebies. As much as I love free stuff, the Wednesday after FCBD always feels like a bad hang-over, which appears to be the case again this year. There are a few indie books that I’m looking forward to, but the Big 2 seem to be mostly sitting this one out. But regardless, it is my sworn duty to inform you about what’s coming out each week, so here’s what I’m reading:
The Top of the Pile: Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel #1
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Marco Chachetto
What it is: ‘THE SCREAMING CITADEL’ – PART 1 Rebel pilot and rogue archaeologist wander side by side into the darkest shadows of the galaxy as Luke Skywalker reluctantly teams up with Doctor Aphra! The Doctor makes Luke an offer he can’t afford to pass up, one that leads him to a very rare gathering at the heart of the infamous Screaming Citadel. Will Luke find what he’s looking for? Can Aphra be trusted? Or will they both wind up victims of the Citadel’s Queen?
Why we love it: Dr. Aphra exploded on the Star Wars scene from the pages of Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader series, instantly becoming a fan favorite. Now the good doctor is teaming up with Luke for a new adventure, which I’ve read is going to be partly a horror story. I wonder if Aphra will make the connection between Luke and her former employer/attempted-murderer. More importantly, I wonder if her murder-droids BT and Triple Zero will be making an appearance.
The Mainstream One: Titans #11
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Brett Booth
What it is: ‘THE LAZARUS CONTRACT’ part one! When Deathstroke discovers that Wally West’s return holds the key to bringing his son back from the dead, he’ll stop at nothing to do just that! Don’t miss the debut chapter of the epic crossover event that you’ve been waiting for! RATED T Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.
Why we like it: Deathstroke returns where it all began. 1984’s Judas Contract by comic legends Marv Wolfram and George Perez is considered by many to be the greatest Teen Titans story of our generation. Highly regarded for its mature themes and shocking plot-twists, the series was even recently made into an animated film. Clearly DC is playing up the parallels with the upcoming Titan’s “Lazarus Contract” arc, choosing a similar title as well as bringing Deathstroke back as the antagonist. I get the feeling that something big is about to go down here.
The Indie One: Solar Flare #2
Words: James Haick III
Art: Branko Jovanovic
What it is: Where were you when the world went dark? When last we saw Jake, everything was going according to plan. He would soon see his daughter. A good friend was coming to visit him. He had friends, family, and a good job. He might not have been a great man, but he knew he was a good man-a good enough man. And he was just fine with that. He was content. He was able to sleep at night. And then the sky turned green. Awoken by the bright new hue of the midnight sky, Jake is faced with the perplexing reality of this new world before him and his thoughts now turn to reuniting with his daughter states away and how is he going to survive the journey when the world appears to have been reverted to the dark ages.
Why we like it: I picked up the first issue based on a recommendation I got from a shop owner who, like me, shares a passion for quirky, indie titles. The premise was interesting, but certainly nothing ground breaking. But what began as another post-apocalyptic adventure ended up feeling like something more. While some of the themes and characters felt like well-worn territory, what really set this book apart for me was the tone. The backwards story telling, the stark dialogue and the dark, detailed artwork in issue #1 all fed into a palpable feeling of dread and foreboding.
The #1 One: Regression #1
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Danny Luckert
What it is: Adrian is plagued by ghastly waking nightmares. To understand and possibly treat these awful visions, Adrian reluctantly agrees to past life regression hypnotherapy. As his consciousness is cast back through time, Adrian witnesses a scene of horrific debauchery and diabolism. Waking, he is more unsettled than before, and with good reason-something has followed him back. Adrian descends into a world of occult conspiracy, mystery, reincarnation, and insanity from which there is no escape. Presented by CULLEN BUNN (Harrow County, The Sixth Gun, The Empty Man), DANNY LUCKERT (Haunted), and MARIE ENGER (Pistolwhip, 2 Sisters), REGRESSION is a tale of supernatural terror and intrigue unlike any horror comic you’ve ever experienced.
Why we like it: Cullen Bunn writes a lot of superb superhero books, but I personally enjoy him more as a horror writer. I read a preview page on the Image website and was immediately disgusted by what I saw, so naturally I have to pick this up. This book is going to be gross and weird in all the best possible ways. Also quick heads up, the cover posted above apparently is not the regular cover, even though it was the one originally solicited. That cover will now be sold as a retailer exclusive and the regular cover looks like this: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/regression-1
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Old Man Logan #23 (Sienkiewicz Variant)
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Eric Nguyen
Cover Art: Bill Sienkiewicz
What it is: PAST LIVES CONTINUES! LOGAN is still trapped in time… one minute he’s PATCH, stalking the streets of MADRIPOOR, the next, he’s reliving the glory days in the X-MEN, meanwhile, back in the present, ASMODEUS’ true plan for Logan’s trapped body is revealed! Can Logan fight his way back before the plan succeeds? Parental Advisory
Why we like it: Bill, you’ve done it again! Sienkiewicz’s covers can be hit-or-miss. This Old Man Logan cover was definitely a hit for me.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!