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 Fear State Alpha #1
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Riccardo Federici
What it is: The event over a year in the making begins Fear State settles upon Gotham City, and no one is safe! Overwhelmed by the dual threat of the Scarecrow and Peacekeeper-01, Batman and his allies have been one step behind since the events of Infinite Frontier #0 and with the arrival of a mysterious anti-Oracle and the return of Poison Ivy, Batman might have more than he can handle!
Why we love it: James Tynion IV is comic’s golden boy and it seems like all he does is write hit series after hit series, so I have high hopes for this event. His Batman is one of the lone bright spots in DC’s current lineup, and I’m excited to see how he concludes his run on Batman before leaving DC for the greener pastures of Substack.
The Mainstream One: Dark Ages #1 (of 6)
Words: Tom Taylor
Art: Iban Coello
What it is: This is what the Watcher has been watching for! A danger older than the Earth threatens everything. For once, the heroes who have saved the planet so many times are almost powerless in the face of it. X-Men and Avengers assemble. Spider-People and Fantastic Four come together. Heroes for Hire fight alongside Champions. None of it will be enough. The lights are about to go out. The world outside our window…is about to end. An all-new saga of the Marvel Universe as you’ve never seen it before from Tom Taylor and Iban Coello! Rated T+
Why we like it: I, like many Marvel fans, suffer from chronic event fatigue. It often feels like it’s just one world-ending catastrophe after another. But I really like this creative team and I’m digging the horror, mystery vibe, so I’ll give it an issue to see if it hooks me.
The Indie One: Beauty All Good Things
Words: Jeremy Haun and Jason Hurley
Art: Jeremy Haun, Matthew Dow Smith
What it Is: JEREMY HAUN and JASON A. HURLEY, along with artist MATTHEW DOW SMITH, return to the devastating world of THE BEAUTY for a 48-page special, showcasing the finale of the groundbreaking horror series. #BEAUTYFREE
Why we like it: A horrifying tale about the pursuit of physical perfection and the price that some are willing to pay to attain it. After a 2-year hiatus, the original creators of the hit Image series Beauty return to finish the story they set out to tell in 2015 about a sexually transmittable disease that makes you beautiful before turning you into a pile of ash.
The #1 One: Demon Days Cursed Web #1
Words and Art: Peach Momoko
What it is: SPIDERS AND WOLVES AND YOKAI OH MY! Mariko Yashida journeys deep into a dark forest to find answers about her past. Instead, she finds a magical wolf with three toes and a strange girl with a pet spider. But there are deadly creatures in these woods too – a mysterious, blue-skinned woman and a giant with super-strength and claws – and they’re after Mariko! Don’t miss this epic tale, straight from the creative mind of STORMBREAKER PEACH MOMOKO! Book THREE of FIVE of the DEMON DAYS saga! Rated T+
Why we like it: We all knew that Peach could draw the heck out of a cover, but I did not expect her to be such a talented visual story teller. I’ve enjoyed each installment of Demon Days much more than I had anticipated, and I am very much looking forward to reading more.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Spawn #321
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Carlo Barberi
Cover Art: Bjorn Barends
What it is: A small city loses its electrical power. When it’s restored, every resident of the city has disappeared! Spawn begins a hunt to find them. A twist ending awaits him…and an enemy he thought was forever gone.
Why we like it: I never heard of Bjorn Barends before he began his cover run on Spawn. Since then, he has established himself as one of, if not the best Spawn cover artist of all time. That is a list of artists that includes the likes of Todd McFarlane, Greg Capullo, Philip Tann, Ken Lashley and Francesco Mattina.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!