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’ll be checking out.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: The Batman Who Laughs #3 (Ricardo Fedrici variant)
Words: Scott Snyder
What it is: All the pieces are starting to fit together as the Batman Who Laughs acquires another key element in his plan-one that is linked to the founding fathers of Gotham City and to a legacy started by the Wayne family and protected by none other than Oswald Cobblepot. While the Penguin goes head-to-head with the darkest version of his mortal enemy, Batman is forced to compromise his principles and purge the serum that protects his heart from the deadly Joker Toxin! It’s a no-win situation as writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock return to the sociopath they created in ‘Black Mirror’: James Gordon Jr. RATED T+
Why we love it: Nobody writes a good Batman horror story like my man Scott Snyder. His creation, the Batman Who Laughs, is pure nightmare and quickly carving out his spot among the evilest members of Batman’s rogue gallery. And that Fedrici variant is just so sweet. Easy pick this week.
The Mainstream One: Avengers: No Road Home #1 (Mark Brooks variant)
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Paco Medina
What it is: The team that brought you AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER REUNITES for an all-new weekly AVENGERS adventure! Night has fallen across the universe. Now seven Avengers – and one new addition – journey forth to bring back the light. But when the threat they face has destroyed even the gods will anyone make it home? LEGACY #708 Rated T+
Why we like it: The creative trio of Al Ewing, Mark Waid and Jim Zub returns for the sequel to one of my favorite runs from last year, the reality warping Avengers: No Surrender. I really wish this wasn’t a weekly book but this creative team crushed it the last time out. They gave us the Immortal Hulk.
The Indie One: Gideon Falls #11 (Mico Suayan)
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino
What it is: END OF STORY ARC! ‘ORIGINAL SINS,’ Conclusion: In this pulse-pounding conclusion to ‘Season Two’ of the hottest supernatural horror story in comics, it’s a surreal nightmare as Father Fred and Norton finally come face-to-face.
Why we like it: An awesome black and white Suayan cover marks the end of the second chapter of this slow burn thriller.
The #1 One: Age of X-Man Nextgen #1 (In-hyuck Lee variant)
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Marcus To
What it is: ENTER THE AGE OF X-MAN! In an age of utopia, the Summers Institute for Higher Learning is the premiere school for the mutant community across the globe. Attendance is mandatory for all mutant children, as they learn to become the next generation of marvelous X-Men. But even in a utopian society, teenagers will always find a way to rebel… Follow Glob, Armor, Anole and Rockslide as they discover what it really means to live in an age of peace and harmony! Rated T+
Why we like it: Burned out on the mainstream X-Men team, I’m welcoming to a series that focuses on some of my favorite B-teamers. I think everyone could use more Glob in their life.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: The Savage Sword of Conan #1
Words: Gerry Duggan
Art: Ron Garney
Cover Art: Alex Ross
What it is: THE ANCIENT CULT OF KOGA THUN. A MYSTICAL TREASURE. AND THE ONLY MAN WHO CAN SAVE THE HYBORIAN AGE! Adrift at sea. No food. No weapons. Death surely awaits him. But the lionhearted CONAN is not so easily subdued, by Crom! When Conan finds himself captured, he unleashes his might on an unsuspecting pirate crew…one whose dark secrets will plunge Conan on the trail of an ancient treasure that may prove to be his undoing! An all-new age of SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN begins with a five-part tale of swords and sorcery by Gerry Duggan (DEADPOOL, INFINITY WARS) and illustrated by legendary artist Ron Garney (DAREDEVIL, THOR: GOD OF THUNDER) with covers by the incomparable Alex Ross, and breathtaking variant covers by Garney, Rahzzah, comics legend George Perez, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman! Welcome to the deadly Hyborian Age-hope you survive the experience! Parental Advisory
Why we like it: Alex Ross is a master, no doubt. I always thought that Conan should be a bit hairier. Apparently they had mastered the art of man-scaping in ancient Cimmeria.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!