The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 30, 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: Batman Three Jokers #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson

What it is: As Batman and Batgirl follow an unexpected thread linking the three Jokers with someone from the Dark Knight’s past, Red Hood dives headfirst into trouble and finds himself struggling to stay afloat without the aid of his allies. Batman: Three Jokers continues its trajectory as the ultimate examination of The Joker and his never-ending conflict with Batman. Prepare yourselves for the second chapter of one of the most terrifying and personal mysteries Batman has ever faced!

Why we love it: The first issue of Three Jokers was sooo good. There were no answers or major reveals, but there were many incredible moments that ratcheted up the tension and deepened the mystery behind the nature of the three Jokers. Jason Fabok’s artwork continues to impress, making this one of the best books that I’m currently reading.  

The Mainstream One: Immortal Hulk Threshing Place #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Mike Del Mundo

What it is: TWO OF COMICS’ MOST IMAGINATIVE TALENTS UNITE FOR A HULK TALE LIKE NONE OTHER! There’s a monster raging in America’s heartland – and it’s not the Hulk. When a young girl goes missing on a Kansas farm, Bruce Banner gets the itch – the one that tells him gamma is on the loose. But this town doesn’t take kindly to strangers – especially the big, green, violent kind. Can the Hulk save a child before it’s too late, or is he about to take the blame for another massacre? Rated T+

Why we like it: Marvel must be eavesdropping on my brain, because Jeff Lemire and Mike Del Mundo is my dream writer/artist team up. I don’t really know anything about the story or how it ties into Immortal Hulk, but I am so stoked for this.

The Indie One: Stranger Things: Science Camp #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jody Houser
Art: Edgar Salazar, Keith Champagne, Marissa Louise, Nate Piekos

What it is: Terror at Camp Know Where! Dustin arrives at Camp Know Where to navigate the new social hierarchy without the support of his Hawkins adventuring party. While also faced with nerdy bullies, a new menace haunts the young scientists and camp counselors. A mysterious figure with sinister intent arrives to disrupt the serene woodland scene. The solution won’t take rocket science, but Dustin will have to get on the same wavelength as the other campers before tensions reach a boiling point. * Comic book tie-in for Netflixs hit show, Stranger Things!

Why we like it: If you watched Stranger Things season 3, you would likely agree that the subplot with the best payoff was Dustin’s mystery “girlfriend from science camp”. Throughout the entire season, most of the gang doubted Suzie’s existence, with others straight out calling Dustin a liar. But in the closing moments of the season, not only do we find out that Suzie is real, we are treated to one of the most surprising and heartwarming moments of Stranger Things’ entire run. This is Dustin and Suzie’s (never ending) story.

The #1 One: Shang-Chi #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Gene Luen Yang
Art: Dike Ruan, Jim Cheung, Philip Tan

What it is: THE MASTER RETURNS! An ancient and evil secret society has stayed in hiding since the death of their leader, Zheng Zhu. But now his successor has been chosen to shift the balance of power in the world… Zheng Zhu’s son, Shang-Chi! Witness the Marvel Universe’s greatest fighter return to a world of death and destruction he thought he left behind long ago…and discover the secrets to Shang-Chi’s past that will change his world forever. Don’t miss out on this epic tale of family, betrayal and justice as the incredible team of Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese), Dike Ruan (SPIDER-VERSE, BLACK CAT) and Philip Tan (UNCANNY X-MEN) launch a new chapter in the legend of Shang-Chi!

Why we like it: Another book making the list based on the strength of the creators. Props to Marvel assembling an all Asian team to re-launch Shang-Chi.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover:Spawn #310

Publisher: Image
Todd Macfarlane
Jim Muniz
Cover Art: Bjorn Barends

What it is: ‘CONSEQUENCE OF SIN,’ Part Two-New Heroes! New Villains! New Costume! The MYSTERIOUS and DANGEROUS army of Spawns continues to grow. First She-Spawn and Reaper! Then Medieval Spawn! Now Gunslinger Spawn has made his presence known. But who is a hero and who is a villain? And is Al Simmons strong enough to control them all? Maybe his new armor will help!

Why we like it: I typically don’t go for over-the-top gorey art, but this cover is just so intense that I just couldn’t leave it off the list. I think most people will be going for cover A featuring the popular Gunslinger Spawn, so this one might be flying under the radar.

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

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