Greetings 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: Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #5 (of 8)
Words: Tom King
Art: Bilquis Evely
What it is: Supergirl steps into an ancient trap, stranding her and Ruthye on a planet of nearly perpetual night. Now, the woman of steel must call on every remaining ounce of strength to combat the monsters left on this world to kill any super unlucky enough to end up on its surface.
Why we love it: Supergirl doesn’t appear too often on this list, but this week she just showed up and annihilated the rest of the pile. I recently picked up the first four issues and was blown away. How has this title flown under my radar for so long? This is essentially Tom King doing a Western. Woman of Tomorrow is at its heart a revenge story in the vein of True Grit set against an intergalactic backdrop, with a more sympathetic hired gun protecting our plucky, young protagonist. The artwork is phenomenal and the story very different from other books that King is currently writing, but still incredibly evocative.
The Mainstream One: Kang the Conqueror #4 (of 5)
Words: Collin Kelley
Art: Carlos Magno
What it is: Unstoppable force meets immovable object as Nathaniel Richards’ mission to change his timeline slams into a horrible inevitability: the tragic fate of Kang’s great love, Ravonna Renslayer. Can young Kang avert catastrophe and find his way to a better future? Or is he doomed to repeat the same cycle of tragedy and violence for all eternity? RATED T+
Why we like it: This is a cool take on a villain book. Our protagonist is a young, idealistic Kang who is determined to to break the cycle of violence that doomed his future, super-villain self, and forge his own path towards a brighter future. Unfortunately it seems that no matter how hard he tries to fight fate, tragedy will inevitably lead him to fulfill his destiny as the Conqueror.
The Indie One: Nice House on the Lake #6 (of 12)
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Alvaro Martinez Bueno
What it is: The House has an eleventh guest. Reg is hereâand that was never part of the plan. Or was it? Everything you know gets turned upside down in this issueâ¦ending on a cliffhanger that will have to hold you until the House reopens in March 2022!
Why we like it: Ok, this one is cheating a wee bit since technically it is a DC book. But Nice House on the Lake is so outside of the DC Universe (I think) that it feels more like an indie. This series probably would have been published under their Vertigo imprint if Vertigo was still a thing at DC. But I digress. This story has been spell binding. Pacing is so important in setting the right mood for a horror story, and what is really impressive to me is how James Tynion IV is slowly revealing the larger mystery surrounding the house and their potentially demonic host, but meanwhile every issue so far has been eventful and has felt satisfying reading as individual issues.
The #1 One: Fantastic Four Tribute Anniversary #1
What it is: Sixty years ago, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made history and brought about the beginning of the Marvel Age of comics with the release of FANTASTIC FOUR #1. Now a bevy of Marvel’s finest creators pay tribute to that monumental moment by reinterpreting, page by page, the story from that inaugural release as well as FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3, in which the entirety of the Marvel Universe attended the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm! Whether these are stories you’ve never read before or tales that you’re intimately familiar with, this is the perfect way to experience them anew! ONE-SHOT
Why we like it: So I’m cheating a bit on this one as well. This isn’t a new number one, but some might argue that this is THE number one. Like, I would argue that. Love the FF.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Godkiller Spiderlady
Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matteo Pizzolo
Art: Anna Muckracker
Cover Art: Nen Chang
What it is: Halfpipe and Soledad gaze into The Abyss. Things get intense. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
What it is: Not only is this cover sexy AF, but the colors and the embroidered filigree designs are just beautifully rendered.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!