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’m looking forward to. It’s kind of a light week, but there’s still some good stuff to nerd out to. Here’s what I’m reading this week.
The Top of the Pile: Flash #21
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Howard Porter
What it is: “THE BUTTON” part two! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party-and it’s not who anyone suspects! It’s a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!
Why we love it: The premiere issue of The Button story line began in Batman #21 and while it was chock full of Batman getting his Batt-butt womped all over the cave, it came up short in the answers/clues department. All signs are still pointing at Dr. Manhattan as the architect, but he has yet to grace us with his giant, electric-blue, um, visage. Maybe this issue?
The Mainstream One: X-Men Gold #1 (Granov variant)
Words: Marc Guggenheim
Art: Ardian Syaf
What it is: BACK TO BASICS! An all-new BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL MUTANTS is rampaging through New York City! And there are some surprising familiar faces in their ranks… Can the X-MEN subdue their foes and former friends?
Why we like it: X-Men Gold #1 received a lot of press when it came out, but unfortunately it was for some cryptic religious messages hidden in the background and not for being an engaging relaunch for the Uncanny X-Men team. I’m digging the Gold team and will be back for issue #2. Really hoping to score the sweet Adi Granov incentive variant but I think that cover will be long gone by the time I make my post-work LCS run.
The Indie One: There’s Nothing There #1
Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Patrick Kindlon
Art: Maria Llovet
What it is: Celebrity-socialite Reno Selleti doesn’t believe in very much beyond Instagram comments, hipster drugs, and the flash of paparazzi cameras, so when a friend invites her to an EYES WIDE SHUT-type party she goes along mostly for the lulz. But the joke doesn’t feel as funny when she realizes it’s an actual occult ritual, and suddenly she’s seeing things… Horrifying apparitions trying to warn her. ‘RUN.’ Like Darren Aronofsky remaking DRAG ME TO HELL, There’s Nothing There is a stylish & hallucinatory thriller about losing yourself in the bright lights and finding yourself at rock bottom.
Why we like it: Patrick Kindlon co-created Black Mask’s breakthrough hit series, We Can Never Go Home, which was my favorite mini from 2016. Although I’m not completely sold by the synopsis, I am interested to see what Kindlon can do with occult’s high society.
The #1 One: Ben Reilly Scarlet Spider #1
Words: Peter David
Art: Mark Bagley
What it is: One of the most controversial characters in comics has returned – and the controversy has only BEGUN! In the aftermath of THE CLONE CONSPIRACY, Ben has a new take on life and he’s not the same Scarlet Spider he was before. Come witness what will be the most talked about comic of the year!
Why we like it: Spider-Gwen called. She wants her hoodie back.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Suicide Squad #16
Words: Rob Williams
Art: Tony Daniel
Cover Art: Lee Bermejo
What it is: ‘EARTHLINGS ON FIRE’ part one! Amanda Waller is used to getting what she wants-but this time, what Waller wants is something only Lex Luthor has. Striking a deal won’t be easy-or cheap! It’s a war on two fronts as Waller leads a smoldering charm offensive in Luthor’s penthouse while her Suicide Squad tries to open the most heavily guarded safe in all of Lexcorp.
Why we like it: Amazing swipe of the iconic Alex Ross cover to 1999’s Batman: Harley Quinn. This is a 1:1 regular price variant, but some of the Rebirth Cover B’s have been under-ordered, and this one could be hard to spot out in the wild. Definitely grab it if you see it, as I can see this cover being sought after by Harley fans.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!