Greetings and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day, and on Tuesdays I get to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Wasterlanders Wolverine #1
Words: Steven S. DeKnight
Art: Ibrahim Moustafa
What it is: STEVEN S. DEKNIGHT LEADS THE RETURN TO THE WASTELANDS OF OLD MAN LOGAN! The super villains united and took out most of the world’s super heroes decades ago, and while the man known as LOGAN attempted to live a life of peace, he had to pop the claws once again to do what he does best! But saving the day looks different with the Baby Hulk under his care. Is Logan doing the right thing by protecting the progeny of the HULK or dooming what’s left of the war-torn world? Logan may not have long to ponder if he is crushed by the ADAMANTIUM ARMOR of his newfound enemy DOWNFALL! Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil Season 1 showrunner, WOLVERINE: BLACK, WHITE & BLOOD) teams with fan-favorite artist Ibrahim Moustafa to tell an all-new story of WOLVERINE in the days after the conclusion of the original OLD MAN LOGAN, as he fights once again to save the people of the Wastelands who have been crushed under the heel of the RED SKULL and BRUCE BANNER!
Why we love it: Old Man Logan could be my favorite iteration of the Wolverine character. I loved the time he spent in the main Marvel universe after 2015’s Secret War, but his home has always been the Wastelands. And it may not feel good exactly, but it feels right to be home.
The Mainstream One: Hulk #2
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Ryan Ottley
What it is: Bruce Banner finally has total control with the Hulk locked away. But with a tight grip on his plans, Bruce forgot one thing…variables can happen at any time…and this one? Even Bruce couldn’t have imagined. The craziness continues, as the Hulk hurdles farther into space, but he is not alone out there!
Why we like it: I was a little concerned for anyone trying to follow in the wake if Al Ewing’s legendary Immortal Hulk run. Say what you will about Donny Cates, but he is not afraid to take huge swings and Hulk continues to deliver one of the most consistently crazy and surprisingly good reads on the stands.
The Indie One: Primordial #4 (of 6)
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino
What it is: Laika, Able, and Baker continue their incredible journey home, but can the three animals successfully pilot their mysterious ship? Back on Earth, Yelena and Dr. Pembrook race through East Berlin to transmit a message before the K.G.B. can stop them.
Why we like it: I’m not 100% sure what is happening in this story, and that probably has a lot to do with the minimal use of words throughout this comic. Like, there are no words. No dialogue, no monologues, just long stretches of silence. Fortunately, Andrea Sorrentino’s artwork is spectacular and we are able to glean some sense of what is going on through the mind-bending visuals.
The #1 One: Batgirls #1
Words: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art: Jorge Carona
What it is: Um, hello—you didn’t actually think we’d keep you waiting this entire year without giving you the Batgirls series we’ve all been wanting for forever, right? No way, we love you too much—just like Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, who are only able to navigate the dark, gritty and oftentimes scary city of Gotham by leaning on the bright light that is their best-friendship.
Mentored by Oracle, the Batgirls move to the other side of town where Barbara Gordon can keep a better eye on them while the hacker Seer is still invading their lives. Steph may be too rash sometimes, and Cass doesn’t speak much—but what they lack in similarities, they make up for with their mutual respect and love for each other…and what makes them stronger together as Batgirls! And they may be good at kicking ass, but they are just trying their best to be normal teenagers—who’ll borrow the keys to a muscle car that belonged to a bad guy and perhaps give it a joyride around town without a driver’s license, then race to get back home to Oracle by curfew!
Splashing the pages with bright colors against a dark backdrop of Gotham, Batgirls is the pizza slumber party of the year you don’t want to miss!
Why we like it: This book sounds like it just wants to have fun.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Demon Days Rising Storm #1
Words: Peach Momoko, Zack Davisson
Art: Peach Momoko
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews
What it is: THERE’S NO CALM BEFORE THIS STORM! Mariko Yashida’s journey through the mysterious forest of Kirisaki Mountain has brought her face-to-face with strange and terrible creatures. But she’s about to be tested like never before when she crosses paths with literal gods! You won’t want to miss this electrifying showdown in part FOUR of FIVE of the DEMON DAYS SAGA by STORMBREAKER PEACH MOMOKO!
Why we like it: Kaare takes the Best Cover two weeks in a row! This dude’s style is undeniable. I’m getting an early 2000’s Street Fighter vibe from this cover.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!