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: House of X #5 (of 6)
Words: John Hickman
Art: Pepe Larraz
What it is: Xavier’s dream turns deadly for some of his students as they fight back against the humans’ plan to eliminate them. Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (FANTASTIC FOUR, AVENGERS, SECRET WARS) continues his reshaping of the X-Universe alongside Young Gun artist Pepe Larraz (EXTERMINATION, AVENGERS). The Future of the X-Men begins here! Rated T+
Why we love it: Hickman’s return to the X-Men has been a smash hit. The crossover series House of X and Powers of X combine everything that makes a great X story, with a deep cast of classic X-characters, time travel and of course mutants trying to escape being annihilated by mankind. HoX/PoX will undoubtedly be series that are remembered and discussed for years to come by comic fans.
The Mainstream One: Inferior Five #1 (of 12)
Words: Keith Giffen
Art: Michelle Delecki
What it is: The citizens of Dangerfield, Arizona, are beset by strange goings-on after the ‘Invasion’ that rocked the DC Universe, but only five misfit kids seem to notice them. Can they uncover what’s happening before some sinister force collects them all? Find out in this new miniseries! And in the backup feature with story and art by Jeff Lemire, the Peacemaker is on a top-secret mission from Checkmate and Amanda Waller to find a mysterious weapon before the Russians can.
Why we like it: I like the Stranger Things-esque premise and a Jeff Lemire backup story is the icing on the cake. I like seeing DC taking chances with more odd-ball titles and Inferior Five gives us a nice break from the usual serving of tights and capes comics.
The Indie One: Forever Maps #1
Publisher: Scout Comics
Words: Michael Legace
Art: Todor Hristov
What it is: The newest entry in the new BINGE! Imprint where Scout releases a World Premiere issue followed by the entire story a few months later in one volume. In 1794, a young man named John is given a map. Curious, he follows it, and when he arrives at the end, he finds a similar map. This leads him to another, and then another, and on and on. Determined to find something, anything, else, he continues to follow these strange maps all over the country. Decades later, he learns that as long as he follows them, he doesn’t seem to get older… and it’s not until nearly a century later that he realizes when he stops, time begins to catch up with him. Torn between family and immortality, John must continually choose between living forever and having a life worth living.
Why we like it: No idea if the writing or art will be any good, but this is far and away the most original and intriguing plot pitch that I’ve read in years. In an era where entertainment is mired in reboots, remakes and unabashed nostalgia pandering, it’s comforting to know that there still are new ideas to be mined for story.
The #1 One: Spider-Man #1 (of 5)
Words: J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams
Art: Sara Pichelli
What it is: WHO IS CADAVEROUS?! The most shocking and incredible comic of 2019 is here as J.J. ABRAMS (STAR WARS, STAR TREK, SUPER 8) and his son HENRY ABRAMS are joined by superstar artist SARA PICHELLI (MILES MORALES, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) team up for SPIDER-MAN! What do they have planned for Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson?! Who is Cadaverous?! The Modern Master of Mystery Makes His Marvel this September! Rated T
Why we like it: J.J. Abrams (yes that J.J. Abrams) is rebooting Spider-man and let’s be honest, the dude knows how to properly reboot a popular franchise. So I’m pretty interested to see what new angle he takes with a well-worn character like Spider-man. Less excited that he was able to use his clout and celebrity to land his son a job writing one of Marvel’s flagship characters with zero industry experience, but that’s a discussion for another time.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Lucifer #12
Words: Dan Waters
Art: Max Fiurama
Cover Art: Tiffany Turrill
What it is: Lucifer is in the Dreaming. Time is almost up for Sycorax, and so the devil dares travel to where gods begin and end. Meanwhile: an old god’s temple is torn down, and angel flesh proves less than palatable.
Why we like it: Most of my picks for Best Cover Art feature cool or sexy character portraits, or a fun homage/swipe. This week’s winner wins on style and horror, making it truly a standout piece.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!