The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – May 12, 2021

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: DC Festival of Heroes the Asian Superhero Celebration

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Various

What it is: Grab your favorite boba and pull a chair up to the dim sum table as we celebrate Asian Heritage Month with all your favorite Asian DC characters, old and new! Join Cassandra Cain, Katana, Green Lantern Tai Pham, the Atom, Dana Tan (a.k.a. Batman Beyond), Red Arrow, Lady Shiva, Damian Wayne and the al Ghul clan, New Super-Man, and more as we present new tales of these characters from their thrilling history! Plus, Cheshire Cat’€™s relationship to Cheshire is revealed as Shoes asks Selina Kyle to take her under her wing as Cat Girl. And that’€™s just the start!

Why we like it: An incredibly timely book, this 100-page anthology showcases some of DC’s top Asian creative talent and also gives the spotlight to some of their lesser know heroes. Plus Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang introduce a new DC superhero, Monkey Prince, based off the Monkey King from the classic Chinese fantasy Journey to the West. And a dope Artgerm cover to cap it all off.

The Mainstream One: Rorschach #8 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Jorge Fornes

What it is: s the detective digs deeper into the mystery behind Rorschach and his sidekick, the story becomes about not what they wanted to do but why they started on their murderous path. As more witnesses emerge, the stranger Laura’s history is revealed to be. Tough times made her want to kill a presidential candidate, and she did a lot of damage herself when fighting back

Why we love it: We’re entering the last third of Tom King’s weird and fascinating miniseries set in the Watchmen universe. I love Tom King’s writing because he gives you just enough to keep you hooked on the mystery, while not giving away the entire game. I think this Rorschach series is meant to be an indictment of conspiracy theories, and the very real dangers that arise from unwavering belief in false narratives, but I’m not sure really. Although I don’t always know exactly what is going on, or how the various plot lines are tying into the larger narrative, every issue has been absolutely captivating.

The Indie One: Karmen #3 (of 5)

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Guillem March

What it is: After the prior unsettling discovery, Cata continues her journey over the city. She will have an unexpected encounter that will bring more clues about her current condition. GUILLEM MARCH continues to amaze with spectacular storytelling in the third chapter of his moving creation.

Why we like it: The artwork in this book is worth it alone, truly a feast for the eyes, but I am really impressed by Guillem March’s story telling. The pacing of the sparse dialogue, the lack of backstory, the flashback sequences sprinkled throughout, all work together with the art in creating a disorientating, dream-sense that puts the reader in the same headspace as the book’s main character.

The #1 One: X-Corp #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tini Howard
Art: Alberto Foche

What it is: KRAKOA IS FOR CLOSERS! The deals have been made. Mutantkind is safe on Krakoa. As the Reign of X continues, what are the wants of the mutants who have everything? Leading the charge is X-CORPORATION, headed by CXOs Monet St. Croix and Warren Worthington, a duo as cutthroat and ruthless in the boardroom as they are on a battlefield. But X-Corp needs more than just its figureheads. As Monet sets out to staff their team with some of the brightest and most deviant minds in mutantkind, Warren finds himself in a tense meeting with one of Krakoa’s first allies who wants to know the truth: on Angel’s wings, will X-Corp crash or soar? Rated T+

Why we like it: This is such an odd basis for a comic book, especially a superhero comic book. I mean, I read comics to take a break from thinking about work. But Tini Howard is writing this and I trust that she has some interesting angle that will make it more fun than sitting through a series of boardroom meetings.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Joker #3

Publisher: DC
Sam Johns, James Tynion IV
Mirka Andolfo, Guillem March
Cover Art: David Finch

What it is: The hunt for The Joker is under way, as Jim Gordon heads to a remote part of South America to run down a lead…and comes face-to-face with the Clown Prince of Crime himself! The mystery around A-Day deepens, but not before an attack by the blood-thirsty Sampson family! And in the Punchline backup story, Punchline has to face off against the Queen of Spades’€™ new muscle…Orca! At the same time, Bluebird’™s investigation at Punchline’™s alma mater takes a dark and horrifying turn!

Why we like it: The Joker on a playing card isn’t new or original but David Finch’s execution here is commendable.

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

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