Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Phase 2 of businesses reopening in Massachusetts has begun and new comic book Wednesdays have returned! I am very pleased to be back spotlighting the books I’ll be checking out this week. It’s a good idea for you to check out your local comic shop’s walk-in policies before visiting, as they will certainly have rules for distancing and capacity that you will need to abide by for a while. It’s an adjustment and an inconvenience for sure, but small price to pay for the smell of new comics in the morning.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Joker 80th Anniversary 100 Page Super Spectacular #1
Words: Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Paul Dini, Denny O’Neil, Scott Snyder, Tom Taylor, Jock, José Luis García-López, Mikel Janín, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo, and more.
Art: Mikel Janín, Tony S. Daniel, Jock, Riley Rossmo, Eduardo Risso, Simone Bianchi, José Luis García-López, Lee Bermejo, Raphael Albuquerque
What it is: The Clown Prince of Crime celebrates 80 years of chaos! The Joker has been the greatest villain in comics since his debut and to celebrate we have a who’s who of comics’ finest talent giving the Harlequin of Hate the birthday roast he deserves. The stories feature a range of terror and anarchy, showing how the Joker has impacted Gotham City from the police to Arkham Asylum, from the local underworld to the Dark Knight and his allies! Make sure to RSVP to this birthday bash-you wouldn’t want to wake up with a Joker Fish on your doorstep, would you?
Why we love it: The most iconic villain in Batman’s rogue gallery and possibly DC’s most iconic villain of all time, the Joker has appeared in books, TV and movies and has continued to remain relative throughout the decades. An all-star cast of creators brings us an anthology of stories spanning the character’s 80-year history. This issue is releasing with a bunch of awesome variant covers from artists like Francesco Mattina, Jim Lee, Jock and Bill Sienkievicz, but this Del’ Otto homage to Alan Moore and Brian Bollard’s landmark Killing Joke graphic novel is my fave.
The Mainstream One: Batman the Adventures Continue #1
Words: Paul Dini, Alan Burnett
Art: Ty Templeton
What it is: From the visionary producers of Batman: The Animated Series come all-new stories in this seminal animated world. In this opening chapter, Wayne Enterprises in Gotham City is attacked by a giant robot that steals an entire room from the laboratory. Who’s controlling the robot? How will Batman stop the mechanized menace? And what does it all have to do with Lex Luthor’s sudden appearance in Gotham?
Why we like it: I grew up on the Batman Animated Series cartoon and the Batman Adventures comic. They brought back one of the original creators, Paul Dini, for The Adventure Continues, so I am all-in on this one.
The Indie One: Undiscovered Country #6
Words: Charles Soule, Scott Snyder
Art: Leonardo Marcello Grassi, Giuseppo Camuncoli, Matt Wilson
What it is: END OF STORY ARC ‘DESTINY,’ Part Six It is time to leave the zone of the Destiny Man and see what other secrets the former US holds for Charlotte Graves, her brother Daniel, and the rest of the team. Not all will survive, not all will leave-but they just might learn why they’ve been brought to America, and the prize that awaits at the end of their journey through the UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY!
Why we like it: This series has been an incredibly read, which was expected considering the combined writing talents of Soule an Snyder. The fact that there are two literary geniuses writing this book makes me optomistic that a) this series will be amazeballs and b) it will be releasing on schedule, assuming no further interruptions due to global pandemics.
The #1 One: Adventureman #1
Words: Matt Fraction
Art: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! A CATACLYSMIC ADVENTURE DECADES IN THE MAKING! In this WILDLY AFFORDABLE TRIPLE-LENGTH FIRST ISSUE, revisit how the legend of the greatest pulp hero of them all, ADVENTUREMAN, ended in a heartbreaking CLIFFHANGER with our hero facing execution at the vile hand of his ultra-nemesis BARON BIZARRE on the eve of the MACABRAPOCALYPSE…or did it?!? Eighty years after his apparent demise, single mother Claire and her Adventurefan son Tommy seem to be the only two people alive that remember the thrilling ADVENTUREMAN sagas…but from that memory burns THE SPARK OF RESURRECTION! WHERE HIS STORY ENDED…HER STORY BEGINS! This sense-obliterating, earth-shaking, imagination-quaking adventure that spans generations comes to you from MATT FRACTION (SEX CRIMINALS, Hawkeye) and TERRY & RACHEL DODSON (X-Men/Fantastic Four, RED ONE)!!!
Why we like it: Another series that is just loaded with talent. I’m talking multiple Eisner Award winning talents This book has a ton of potential, and for me there’s no better way to get back into new comics than starting with a new indie series.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League Odyssey #21
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Cliff Richards
Cover Art: Skan
What it is: After failing to neutralize Epoch by stealth attack, Darkseid launches an all-out strike! Cyborg, still under Darkseid’s control, shows where his loyalty lies when Green Lantern Jessica Cruz learns about the Lord of Apokolips’s plan to not only remove the self-proclaimed Master of Time but also take control of Epoch’s technology and obliterate the universe’s biggest threats!
Why we like it: Darkseid is.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!