The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – January 22, 2020

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: Wonder Woman #750

Publisher: DC
Words and Art:  Various

What it is: An all-star 96-page celebration of the Amazon Princess by longtime favorites and acclaimed new voices! In the lead story, Wonder Woman’s epic ‘Year of the Villain’ battle comes to a close, leading the way to new challenges ahead. Additionally, this oversized gem tells tales from Diana’s past, present and future by some of the greatest storytellers in the business- including Colleen Doran, Mariko Tamaki, the Teen Titans: Raven team of writer Kami Garcia and artist Gabriel Picolo, and legendary Wonder Woman creators returning to the character, including Gail Simone and Greg Rucka!

Why we love it: Happy 750th issue Wonder Woman! Also features a backup story called “A Brave New World” which could be our first peak into the new 5G DC timeline that Dan Didio teased at New York Comic Con.

The Mainstream One: Beyond Batman #40

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Sean Chen

What it is: Batwoman is doing her best to find Blight, but time is running out. The evil villain is looking to take Terry’s body for good, which would give him a whole new lease on his criminal life. And rather than wait for Batwoman to come to him, Blight takes the fight to her! Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is surprised to find a blast from his past has returned.

Why we like it: After four issues of build-up, the new Batwoman Beyond’s identity is finally revealed in this issue and it’s sure to be an important moment for speculators who have been making bets. I hope you have got copies of Batman Beyond #25 stock-piled and ready to list.

The Indie One: Basketful of Heads #4 (of 7)

Publisher: DC Hill House Books
Words: Joe Hill
Art: Reiko Mirukami

What it is: Is June Branch a woman fighting for her life-or a deranged axe murderer with a basketful of paranoid fantasies? In the long hours of the night she makes a desperate run for the Brody Island Police Department, unsure whether she’s a victim who needs protection-or a killer who must be stopped!

Why we like it: I know it’s a DC published book, but it’s such a slow week for indies that I’m letting this Hill House imprint book slide. The first 3 issues of this series have been really fun; just a weird, creepy read. Totally off-kilter, Basketful of Heads consistently finds ways to surprise me. I have no idea where the story’s going next and I absolutely love it.

The #1 One: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Juan Cabal

What it is: Once, they were a team of misfits. Now they’re a family, and they’ve earned their peace. But the universe is not a peaceful place — and it’s only getting worse. The Great Empires are in turmoil. The rule of law is dead. And amidst the chaos, the Gods of Olympus have returned — harbingers of a new age of war, reborn to burn their mark on the stars themselves. Someone has to guard the galaxy – but who will accept the mission? And will they survive it? Al Ewing (IMMORTAL HULK) and Juann Cabal (FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN) bring you in on the ground floor of a whole Marvel Universe of action and suspense!

Why we like it: Al Ewing’s star has been on the rise since he began his critically acclaimed run on Immortal Hulk. Donny Cates took the Gaurdians series in a bizarre direction with his brief, 12-issue cosmic run through hell which also introduced the Dark Guardians. How’s Ewing planning on topping that? With his own kooky assemble of misfit characters, naturally.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #1019

Publisher: DC
Peter J. Tomasi
Scott Godlewski
Cover Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: The Dark Knight is on the trail of the figure behind a brutal series of murders across Gotham City-and what he finds will send a cold shiver up his spine! A public attack on Bruce Wayne has brought the possible perpetrator of these murders to light…so what is an axe-wielding cult leader from the 1600s doing in present-day Gotham? Find out for yourself in the conclusion to Batman’s ‘Silent Knight.’

Why we like it: Bermejo’s Batman is like a grittier version of Alex Ross’, which is about as high of praise that I can give a comic artist.

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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