Greetings boils and ghouls and welcome to another horrifying 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. This week we get a whole bunch of monster books and other spooky stuff just in time to get you in the Halloween spirit.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: DC vs Vampires #1 (of 12)
Words: James Tynion IV, Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Otto Schmidt
What it is: The Justice League has long protected Earth from all manner of foreign and alien invaders over the years, always keeping a vigilant eye to the skies for the next threat. But what if the threat was already walking the Earth, hiding in plain sight, watching, waiting for their moment to strike! In the tradition of DCeased comes a terrifying new series from the twisted minds of James Tynion IV (Nice House on the Lake; Something is Killing the Children), Matthew Rosenberg (The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox; 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank; Hawkeye), and Otto Schmidt that will tear the Justice League apart in their war with the undead!
Why we love it: Tom Taylor’s DCeased proved that super heroes and the undead go together like blood and gore, paving the way for two of the best writers working in comics to launch a DC universe set in a world where vampires stalk the land.
The Mainstream One: Task Force Z #1
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Eddy Barrows
What it is: In life, they’ve terrorized the people of Gotham. Now, they are Gotham’s last hope. Task Force X saw villains working their way to freedom. Task Force Z will see dead villains working for a new chance at life! On A-DAY, the attack on Arkham Asylum left hundreds of Gotham’s most cunning and deranged criminals dead, now, a mysterious benefactor has activated the government’s TASK FORCE clause to bring them back as the ultimate army of the night! To lead this team of the undead, only a person who knows exactly what it feels like to be brutally murdered and brought back to life can handle the job, enter: RED HOOD. But when Jason Todd unravels the mystery surrounding Task Force Z’s creation, will he try to destroy it, or embrace it? BANE. MAN-BAT. THE ARKHAM KNIGHT. SUNDOWNER. MR. BLOOM. RED HOOD. THEY ARE TASK FORCE Z, AND DEATH WAS JUST THE BEGINNING…!
Why we like it: This feels like it would be a job for Justice League Dark, but this motley crew of monsters tracking monsters is just weird enough to work. Matthew Rosenberg is writing this one too, and I wonder whether this comic will cross over with DC vs Vampires #1.
The Indie One: House of Slaughter #1
Words: James Tynion IV, Tate Brombal
Art: Chris Shehan, Werther Dell’Edera
What it is: Discover the inner workings of the House of Slaughter in this new horror series exploring the secret history of the Order that forged Erica Slaughter into the monster hunter she is today. You know Aaron Slaughter as Erica’s handler and rival. But before he donned the black mask, Aaron was a teenager training within the House of Slaughter. Surviving within the school is tough enough, but it gets even more complicated when Aaron falls for a mysterious boy destined to be his competition. Dive deeper into the world of Something is Killing the Children in this first story arc by co-creator James Tynion IV (The Department of Truth, The Nice House on the Lake) and co-writer Tate Brombal (Barbalien), with art by rising star Chris Shehan (The Autumnal) and co-creator Werther Dell’Edera (Razorblades).
Why we like it: Has there been a more spooky and atmospheric indie comic published in the past 5 years than Something is Killing the Children? This series has rightfully gained a rabid fan base, and this series continues building out the SIKTC universe as we delve into the history of another member of the House of Slaughter.
The #1 One: Batman the Long Halloween Special #1
Words: Jeff Loeb
Art: Tim Sale
What it is: Twenty-five years ago, you thought you knew the whole story of Batman: The Long Halloween. Now, legendary creators Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale return to Gotham City to reveal that no secret remains buried forever! Join us for the return of the Batman Halloween specials and a mystery that could destroy Batman, Commissioner Gordon, Two-Face, and, well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
Why we like it: Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale’s The Long Halloween was a landmark Batman story, and we get the opportunity to return to their ground breaking series in this one-shot special.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wolverine #17
Words: Ben Percy
Art: Lan Medina
Cover Art: Patrick Gleason
What it is: WHO CAN YOU TRUST? MAVERICK returns to team up with WOLVERINE! Meanwhile, C.I.A. Agent Jeff Bannister has just uncovered a secret surveillance device aimed at Krakoa. Now someone wants their bug back and Bannister out of the picture. Nowhere on or off Krakoa is safe. PARENTAL ADVISORY
Why we like it: Gleason creates an insta-classic cover, using negative space and a limited palette with terrifying results.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!