Greetings comic book aficionados and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the crankiest place on the net. This Saturday, September 17 is Batman Day (happy birthday Bats!) and that means there’s a good chance that your local comic shop will be giving away all sorts of free stuff. For those not in the know, Batman Day originated in 2013 as a celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary. It was such a hit with retailers and fans that DC has promoted it every year since. So get out there this weekend and grab that sweet Bat-swag.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: All-Star Batman #2 (Shalvey variant)
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: John Romita Jr
What it is: ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ part 2! All aboard the train ride from hell! Batman and Two-Face continue their journey to Harvey Dent’s cure through an assassin-infested landscape. But can the Dark Knight continue his crusade across the countryside when Two Face turns one of his greatest allies against him?
Why we love it: With Batman Day coming up, it’s only fitting that he takes the top spot this week. Issue #1 was classic Snyder, throwing us headfirst into a crazy adventure in progress, quickly bringing us up to speed, only to crack a bombshell reveal over our slack-jawed heads in the closing panels. Issue #2 drops this week and surprisingly I’m passing on the Jock cover in favor of this sweet Shalvey variant.
The Mainstream one: The Flash #6
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
What it is: LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE’ part 6! You’ve seen glimpses of him. You’ve witnessed the carnage he’s unleashed on Central City. Now meet Godspeed, the super-speed serial killer who murders speedsters and steals their powers. Barry Allen is going to need help!
Why we like it: I really hope this is when we quit getting teased with half page cameos and finally witness the epic head-to-head showdown with Godspeed that we’ve all been anxiously awaiting since Rebirth. I also hope that they finally give August Heart a proper superhero moniker.
The Indie One: Lady Killer #2
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Joelle Jones
Art: Joelle Jones
What it is: Josie accepts an offer to team up and discovers the partnership is a match made in hit heaven. But not everything is smooth sailing when the local hit squad discovers who her new partner is.
Why we like it: Everyone’s favorite suburban assassin-slash-homemaker is back with a new volume, packed with all the kills and thrills we’ve come to expect from Lady Killer. Come for the retro pinup covers, stay for the murder and intrigue.
The #1 One: Doom Patrol #1
Publisher: DC (Young Animals)
Words: Gerard Way
Art: Nick Derington
What it is: The atoms are buzzing. The daydreams crowd sentient streets, and the creative team has been warned, ‘Turn back now or suffer the mighty consequence of sheer, psycho-maniacal mayhem.’ Generation-arsonists unite-this is DOOM PATROL, and the God of the Super Heroes is bleeding on the floor. A blenderized reimagining of the ultimate series of the strange, DOOM PATROL combines elements from classic runs, new directions, and things that could not be. Our entry point is Casey Brinke, a young EMT on the graveyard shift to abstract enlightenment, with a past so odd that she’s not entirely sure what is real and what is not. Along with her partner, Sam Reynolds, the pair blaze a path through the city and its denizens, finding the only quiet that exists at 3am is the chaos of the brain. When the pair answer a hit-and-run call, they find themselves face to face with a familiar figure: Cliff Steele, AKA Robotman. ‘It gets weirder from here,’ writer Gerard Way had to say about the book, with artist Nick Derington gripping tightly on the wheel of the ambulance. The pair’s only communication? Shouting out of the open windows while at high velocity. Who needs a new roommate? Who names a cat ‘Lotion’? And when do we get to see all those muscles? Find your answers inside the pages of this comic book, as we set the stage for new beginnings, as well as the re-introduction of some classic DOOM PATROL characters, including Niles Caulder, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo, and Crazy Jane. The debut title of DC’s Young Animal line kicks off with a removable sticker on its cover: Pull back the gyro to reveal its secrets, but be warned-there is no turning back.
Why we like it: Yeesh, did anyone understand what the heck that was supposed to mean? I am not familiar with Grant Morrison’s classic run on Doom Patrol and don’t know if that would help put this bizarre description into any kind of context, but there’s been major buzz surrounding DC’s Young Animals imprint and this is going to be the line’s flagship title. I have no idea what exactly to expect, but I expect it to be all sorts of weird and entertaining. Also, apparently you can peel off the gyro off the cover to reveal something hidden underneath.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Scarlet Witch #10
Words: James Robinson
Art: Joelle Jones
Cover art: David Aja
What it is: The murder of a famous warlock takes the SCARLET WITCH to KYOTO, JAPAN! But little does she know, that as WANDA hunts the murderer, the murderer is also hunting her!!!
Why we like it: Aja is a master. With a palette consisting of just three colors, he has crafted gorgeous cover after gorgeous cover during this Scarlet Witch run. I will also pick up the Black Panther Udon variant if I can find it for a decent price.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!