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. Three #1’s and a zero issue make this week’s list, but there’s nothing actually new.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Defenders #1 (of 5)
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Javier Rodriguez
What it is: SUPERSTARS AL EWING & JAVIER RODRÍGUEZ REUNITE FOR A COSMOS-COLLIDING JOURNEY! When existence itself faces extraordinary threats, it needs an extraordinary defense! That’s when you call…THE DEFENDERS! DOCTOR STRANGE and the MASKED RAIDER take a non-team of Marvel’s weirdest, wildest heroes on a mission that will uncover the hidden architecture of reality itself! This cosmos was not the first to exist…but if the DEFENDERS can’t track Marvel’s oldest villain through the deepest trenches of time – it might be the last! Rated T+
Why we love it: This will surely be a departure from Al Ewing’s last work, the body-horror masterpiece Immortal Hulk, but I see Silver Surfer in the mix so I’m down.
The Mainstream One: I Am Batman #0
Words: John Ridley
Art: Travel Foreman
What it is: Future State gave readers a preview of things to come with Jace Fox as the new Batman…but his debut in the core line arrives with a bang! Picking up immediately from the events of The Next Batman: Second Son, Jace thrusts himself into action when the Magistrate’s crackdown on Alleytown begins, using armor he’s found in the abandoned Hibernaculum. The age of a new Dark Knight starts now!
Why we like it: DC’s Future State gave us a glimpse into some compelling stories, and Next Batman was one of the event’s better books. We’ve seen Jace as Batman and now we learn why he put on the cowl.
The Indie One: The Unbelievable Unteens: From the World of Black Hammer #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Tyler Crook
What it Is: Jeff Lemire! Tyler Crook! From the world of the Eisner Award-winning Black Hammer series comes this meta team superhero saga taking place between two different worlds.
After signing at a comic book convention, Unbelievable Unteens artist Jane Ito finds herself visited by one of the characters from her own creation–but was it her own creation? Were the Unteens an actual school of teenaged misfit superheroes who battled supervillains under the lead of the mysterious Dr. Miles Moniker? And if so, who wiped their memories and why? As Jane’s world is turned upside down and she learns the true nature of her identity she discovers a sinister plot leading her to assemble a team she had suspected was purely fictional.
Why we like it: Love the Black Hammer universe and this sounds very good and very weird. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Black Hammer universe set to Tyler Crook’s art. This probably would have been at the top of the pile, but it would have broken this column’s self imposed format.
The #1 One: Pennyworth #1 (of 7)
Words: Scott Bryan Wilson
Art: Juan Gedeon
What it is: Spanning the years between the hit TV show and today, Pennyworth tells the continuing adventures of Alfred Pennyworth as an MI6 counterintelligence agent, this time in Cold War-era Soviet Russia. When Alfred and his partner receive intelligence that nuclear weapons are being manufactured near the Arctic Circle, they’re off to infiltrate the remote military base to learn more. But things don’t go exactly as planned, and the ramifications of this mission may be more far-reaching than anyone could have guessed, as our present-day butler gets dragged back into his past…
Why we like it: Alfred being Bond sounds cool. I don’t watch the show but I assume this is set in an alternate universe, because how does one go from MI6 secret agent to being someone’s butler?
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain Marvel #31
Words: Kelly Thompson
Art: Jacopo Camagni
Cover Art: InHyuk Lee
What it is: VACATION, ALL I NEVER WANTED! Carol and Rhodey have rekindled their relationship (and their vacation plans!) just in time to get a distress call from Carol’s half sister – Lauri-ell, the Kree Accuser – that sends the couple on a detour into space, where they find themselves in need of far more than swimsuits. There is a gathering darkness in the galaxy and it has Captain Marvel’s name all over it. Don’t miss the kickoff to another exhilarating fight fest for the Multiverse’s baddest boss of space! Rated T+
Why we like it: InHyuk’s covers are usually hit or miss for me. This one is a home run.
Until next time, carpe comics!