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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 3/1/2017

Hi diddly ho comic book fanerinos and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the net that still thinks that La La Land won the Oscar for best picture. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

 

bm18

The Top of the Pile: Batman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I AM BANE’ part three! Bane broke the bat before, but it wasn’t enough-now he’s going to break everyone else! Bane is coming, and no one is safe!

Why we love it: Tom King has really hit his stride and Batman is so frakkin good right now. After the shocking cliff hanger in issue #16, we got another pants-crappingly insane ending in issue #17. This week Bane and the Dark Knight square off, and you better pack an extra pair of underwear.

 

 

sm18

The Mainstream One: Superman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason

What it is: ‘SUPERMAN REBORN’ part one! In DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, the enigmatic Mr. Oz told this Superman, ‘You and your family are not what you believe you are. And neither was the fallen Superman.’ Now, in the first Rebirth crossover between SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, the shocking truth behind Oz’s words is revealed. It begins with one of Oz’s prisoners escaping, and ends in a tragic moment for Lois and Superman. The covers by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray and the variant covers by Gary Frank for SUPERMAN #18-19 and ACTION COMICS #975-976 will connect to form a single vertical image.

Why we like it: DC’s been quietly hinting at the grand machinations behind Rebirth, dropping breadcrumb clues in lenticular covers and buttons with images of smiley faces. It sounds like we’ll be getting some big reveals in this week’s Superman. If you’ve been digging Rebirth, then you won’t want to miss this issue.

 

 

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The Indie One: Extremity #1

Publisher: Image
Words and art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! Thea dreams. Not of a better life, but of revenge on the clan that ruined her family. With ferocious battles between man, machines, and monsters ahead, who knows where her quest for vengeance will take her? Creator DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON (Space Mullet) and colorist MIKE SPICER present a bold new vision, where the beauty and imagination of Studio Ghibli meet the intensity of Mad Max, in this all-new Skybound Original.

Why we like it: I read a great interview with the author Daniel Johnson in which he described the creative process and ideas that make up Extremity. It included a preview too. I’m digging it. Check it out and if you like what you see, pick it up on Wednesday.

http://www.avclub.com/article/dive-emotional-exhilarating-world-extremity-exclus-251008

 

 

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The #1 One: Amerikarate #1

Publisher: Action Lab – Danger Zone
Words: Brockton McKinney
Art: Devin Roth

What it is: In the vein of the greatest ’80s action flicks of all time – such as Bloodsport, Gymkata, Rambo, Commando, and Kickboxer – comes AMERIKARATE! The story of one American’s fight to karate-fight with karate for America – and karate!

Why we like it: This was a tough call, because I originally wanted to spotlight Marvel’s Ms. America Chavez solo series “America”. But Amerkarate is just too weird and off-beat to ignore.

 

 

am18

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Scot Eaton
Cover Art: Joshua Middleton

What it is: ‘WARHEAD’ finale! Aquaman’s battle with Warhead leaves him trapped in the tortured mind of the telepathic beast, where the sea king is forced to experience the lifetimes of combat that define his tragic new foe!

Why we like it: Middleton’s been putting out amazing covers for Aquaman since Rebirth, but this one stands out for perfectly depicting the duality of Arthur Curry. Above water, he’s just some lame wad who likes swimming in the ocean. Underseas, he’s an absolute force of nature who will rip you to shreds. There aren’t many iconic Aquaman covers, but I think this one deserves consideration.

 

That’s all I got this week. Let me know what you’re checking out in the comments. Until next time, carpe comics!

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Trailer Snark (February 24, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Get Out (Universal) – Horror/Mystery
Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references
Tag Line: None
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams
Plot: A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.
Running time: 103 minutes

Jim: How I have come to hate horror movie trailers (as much as I love good horror movies). They’re boring, cliched, and so “Oooh, look what we’re gonna scare you with now! Isn’t this scary??” That said, the plot of this had me intrigued. A creepy movie might be lurking under this ho-hum trailer.
Chris:  I was honestly waiting for the punchline to reveal this to be some kind of spoof movie.  Pretty underwhelming.

Collide (Open Road Films) –  Action/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for violence, frenetic action, some sexuality, language, and drug material
Tag Line: How far would you go for love?
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley
Plot: An American backpacker gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers as their driver, though he winds up on the run from his employers across Cologne high-speed Autobahn.
Running Time: 99 minutes

Chris: I think Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley lost a bet to Nicholas Cage and Bruce Willis to star in this movie.
Jim: <Yawn> Looks like The Firm with cars.

Rock Dog (Summit Entertainment) – Animated/Family
Rated PG for action and language
Tag Line: A new breed of rock star.
Starring: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard
Plot: When a radio falls from the sky into the hands of a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, he leaves home to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician, setting into motion a series of completely unexpected events.
Running Time: 80 minutes

Jim: Has kind of a secondhand look to it. Second-tier animation with been-there done-that gags. Pass.
Chris:  Does this dog know how to rock and roll over?  Was that a weak pun?  Yeah.  About as weak as that trailer.

Bitter Harvest (Roadside Attractions) – Drama/Romance/War
Rated R for violence and disturbing images
Tag Line: Soviet Union. 1933. Stalin’s tyranny could destroy their country. But not their love.
Starring: Max Irons, Samantha Barks, Barry Pepper
Plot: Set in 1930s Ukraine, as Stalin advances the ambitions of communists in the Kremlin, young artist Yuri battles to save his lover Natalka from the Holodomor, the death-by-starvation program that ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Chris:  A pre-WWII era of history that has not received enough attention in film.  Historical set pieces are a favorite of mine.  Looks solid!
Jim: Reeks of a movie that’s “good for you.”

As You Are (Votiv Films) – Drama/Mystery
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amanda Stenberg
Plot: Set in the early 1990’s, “As You Are” is the telling and retelling of a relationship between three teenagers as it traces the course of their friendship through a construction of disparate memories prompted by a police investigation.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Jim: Now THIS is the way to make a trailer. Hope the movie is as good.
Chris: Definitely made me want to see what the heck happened to the characters in the story.  I agree with Jim that this is the way you cut a trailer and get some attention.  Cheers!

Punching Henry (Well Go USA) – Comedy
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Henry Phillips, J.K. Simmons, Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro
Plot: Hapless satirical songwriter Henry Phillips is lured to LA when a veteran TV producer decides to make a show about the life of a loser.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Chris: This looks like a whole lot of I don’t give a crap.
Jim: What is it about this trailer? Didn’t it seem like it was bored with itself? If it weren’t for JK Simmons, I think I would have nodded off halfway through.

Tickets Purchased:  One for As You Are (Jim) and one for Bitter Harvest (Chris)

Get Out would probably be more successful if the Wayans Brothers wrote it.
Get Out would probably be more successful if the Wayans Brothers wrote it.
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The Female Perspective: Holy Hera! Wonder Woman Figures!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s been awhile since I’ve written about the delightful Wonder Woman and I feel that it is time to mention her again, mostly because of the FIGURES!!!

Holy Hera, have you seen these!?!?!?!

First off, the fact that a major toy company is making FEMALE action figures is always a wonderfully satisfying thing, but then you look at these exquisite beauties and seriously: I WANT THEM ALL. It’s great to see that the toys are well done and that they are actually coming out with the movie. Maybe it’s a sign that companies are learning that little girls will indeed want to have toys like this to play with. Whatever the reason, it’s great to see these beauties!

Photographer Dennis DiLaura Stylist Mary Jordan
Photographer Dennis DiLaura
Stylist Mary Jordan

The dolls were revealed in a recent Entertainment Weekly ahead of the New York Toy Fair. What really shocks me is how relatively inexpensive these dolls are. They seem to range in price from $15 to $30 depending on what one you choose. I may have to pick me up one or two because gosh dang it, girl toys ROCK!

More Info: http://ew.com/movies/wonder-woman-mattel-toys/photographer-dennis-dilaurastylist-mary-jordan/
More Info: Entertainment Weekly

Also, I am very excited about the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, even with the less than stellar track record of DC Comics and Warner Brothers in the superhero genre. I  mean come on now, what the heck was happening in Suicide Squad exactly? I have enjoyed the Zack Snyder Superman movies though (she ducks to avoid people spitting water at her) and I have the hope that Gal Gadot, who did a solid job as Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman can really knock it out of the park, proving that a female-centric superhero film can make money. She certainly look like Wonder Woman, let’s hope she can act like her too. Fingers crossed.

As we await the arrival of Wonder Woman this summer, we can enjoy the trailer and soon enough, these wonderful toys which will be released around the movie’s release.

Wonder Woman Trailer!

Are you excited??? Tell me your Wonder Woman stories!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/22/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of The Crank File, the only place on the web that doesn’t give a damn that your mother’s name is Martha. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

OC25

The Top of the Pile: Outcast #25

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Paul Azeaeta

What it is: NEW STORY ARC! ‘LIGHT OF DAY’-A major turning point in the series! New characters are introduced! Big things are in store for Kyle Barnes as he’s faced with something he never could have prepared for-hope! Everything changes as we celebrate our 25th issue! ALSO, HOLY CRAP! THIS ISSUE IS .25 CENTS TO CELEBRATE THE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF IMAGE COMICS!

Why we love it: Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Image Comics with a 25 cent cover priced issue of Outcast #25. Kirkham is the unquestionable king of horror drama in contemporary comics and Outcast is his crown jewel, no matter what those shambling, hobo survivors over at The Walking Dead say.

 

JLA1

The Mainstream One: Justice League America #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Steve Orlando
Art: Ivan Reis

What it is: Meet the Extremists-self-proclaimed saviors from another Earth, they thirst for peace, prosperity and total submission to the will of their leader, Lord Havok! How can the newly assembled JLA stop this group of misguided maniacs before the Extremists unleash their own unique-not to mention dangerous!-brand of law and order on our chaotic world?  

Why we like it: Spinning out of the recent Justice League vs Suicide Squad event, DC is assembling the most unconventional JLA team yet. Led by Batman, it’s is a motley crew of b-list heroes and villains that were apparently chosen by throwing darts at a board. This iteration of the Justice League America will be composed of Black Canary, Atom, Frost, Vixen, The Ray and most importantly fraggin’ Lobo. And not the effeminate New 52 Lobo. Looks like the main man is back. You won’t want to miss this ya lowdown conivin’ bastiches!

 

D3

The Indie One: Divinity III Stalinverse #3

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine

What it is: Red rebellion! Across continents, the world bows to the oppressive and ruthless might of the global Russian regime. Former Russian intelligence officer Colin King, however, knows that this reality is not his own. With the truth on his side, Colin King is about to mount a resistance with aid of the world’s most feared undesirables and release the classified asset known as Abram Adams from a prison guarded by the CCCP’s greatest super powers. But when Myshka – the divinely powered enforcer of the Soviet Union – comes to crush their uprising, will the man once known as Ninjak live long enough to discover the sinister reason that the Stalinverse came to be? The truth behind Valiant’s shocking new reality will finally be revealed as New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (NINJAK) and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine (DIVINITY II) pull back the iron curtain and reveal the insidious mastermind who will stop at nothing to preserve this twisted world order!

Why we like it: Divinity continues to be my favorite new superhero to emerge in the past 5 years, and that includes anybody from the big two (with the possible exception of Ms. Marvel). In the two short years since his conception, his story has completely altered the landscape of the Valiant universe. If you haven’t checked out Divinity yet, I highly recommend picking up the trades and getting caught up. I can say without hyperbole that it is epic.

OG1

The #1 One: The Old Guard #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Leandro Fernandez

What it is: Eisner-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, BLACK MAGICK, Wonder Woman) and critically acclaimed artist LEANDRO FERNANDEZ (THE DISCIPLINE, Deadpool, Punisher: MAX) team up together to introduce THE OLD GUARD, the story of old soldiers who never die and yet cannot seem to fade away. Trapped in an immortality without explanation, Andromache of Scythia – ‘Andy’ – and her comrades ply their trade for those who can find-and afford-their services. But in the 21st century, immortality is a hard secret to keep, and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates worse than death.

Why we like it: I’m a firm believer in following creative talent wherever it goes and Greg Rucka is one of those creators who can pull off strange, high concept stories that other writers wouldn’t even touch. Image has been on a roll lately, with breakout hits Seven to Eternity and God Country. Will The Old Guard continue their winning streak?

 

ASM24

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spiderman #24 (Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Art:  Gabrielle Dell Otto

What it is: A CLONE CONSPIRACY TIE-IN! Spider-Man has been through hell. The Jackal has taken his best shot, but Spider-Man doesn’t need to face him alone. Discover who is joining Spider-Man in his battle!

Why we like it: Clone Conspiracy was good but not great. It ended with a bang but besides bringing back some legacy characters it ended without any clear sense of purpose. I’m hoping that the post-event tie-ins, Clone Conspiracy Omega and ASM#24 will give us some closure. But if it doesn’t, at least I’ll have another beautiful Dell Otto Spiderman cover in my collection.

 

That’s all I got this week. Let me know what you’re checking out in the comments. Until next time, carpe comics!

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Trailer Snark (February 17, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

The Great Wall (Universal) – Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy action violence
Tag Line: 1700 years to build. 5500 miles long. What were they trying to keep out?
Starring: Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe
Plot: European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Jessica: I really, for the life of me, cannot get into this movie. When he says he’s fought by Gods and kings and has never seen this I lose my mind because REALLY??? You fought with GODS and you’ve never seen this??? Give me a break. It’s a big pass on this one.
Chris: Yeah, it may look good visually, but just can’t buy into it.  Matt Damon seems way too out of place.
Jim: Yeah, as great an actor as Matt Damon is, he’s too much of a modern one for this. Question—is anyone else annoyed when trailers refer to their movie’s director as “visionary”? Two instances this week.

Fist Fight (Warner Bros) – Comedy
Rated R for language throughout, sexual content/nudity and drug material
Tag Line: After school. Parking lot. It’s on.
Starring: Charlie Day, Ice Cube
Plot: When one school teacher gets the other fired, he is challenged to an after-school fight.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Jim: Cute idea, dumb trailer.
Jessica: I got bored a minute and a half in and turned it off. I like Charlie Day but this looks awful.
Chris: Maybe on a rainy night when nothing else is on.  I am with Jess and Jim.  The movie just looks dumb, and not in the good funny way.

A Cure for Wellness (Twentieth Century Fox) – Mystery/Thriller
Rated R for disturbing violent content and images, sexual content including an assault, graphic nudity, and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs
Plot: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem.
Running Time: 146 minutes

Chris: My skin was crawling watching the trailer, and have high hopes for this one.  Kind of had a Shutter Island feel in the trailer, which is a good thing.
Jim: Creepy, creepy, creepy, rental, rental, rental.
Jessica: Oh man this looks creepy, I hope it’s as creepy as it looks! I heard all sorts of great things about that movie “Witch” and was not impressed. Here’s hoping this is scary and gross and everything a horror movie should be!

Everybody Loves Somebody (Pantelion Films) – Comedy/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Karla Souza, Ben O’Toole
Plot: A successful and single career woman asks her co-worker to pose as her boyfriend at a family wedding back home in Mexico. Her situation gets complicated when her ex shows up at the ceremony.
Running Time: 102 minutes

Jessica: Both the title and the movie look so full of boring cliche’s that I might just choke on them. Pass.
Chris: Some writers are cashing in on the growing multilingual American culture.  I really am loathe to reading my movies, even if the whole film is not subtitled, and where I make exceptions, it is not for romantic comedies.
Jim: No cliche is left unturned here, but I’m definitely interested in taking part in the World Sock Sliding Championship.

In Dubious Battle (Momentum Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for some violence and brief sexuality
Tag Line: None
Starring: Nat Wolff, James Franco, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Selena Gomez
Plot: An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Jim: Franco is overrated, but the trailer is good. Steinbeck has an admirable history as far as movie adaptations, so this could be worth seeing.
Jessica: Great cast, great story, totally into this, but probably at home.
Chris: Phenomenal cast and a solid trailer.  I’ll be striking out to see this one.  Pun very much intended.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for In Dubious Battle (Jim and Chris) and One for The Cure for Wellness (Jessica)

Where are you James Franco?  You are our only hope.
Where are you James Franco? You are our only hope.
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The Female Perspective: Why Social Media Is Stressful

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


 These days social media is a challenging place for myself and many of my friends to be. A lot of my Facebook friends have bowed out of that particular site because it’s simply too negative, too political, too, whatever other word you want to use there. A part of me agree’s.

social-media-mobile-icons-snapchat-facebook-instagram-ss-800x450-3-800x450

Before I get too far into this, I want to say two things:

  1. I am on Facebook – though my presence is less and I took the FB app off my phone so I can’t check it constantly.
  2. This is in no way a condemnation or judgement of others on social media. I love social media. It’s a great way to connect with people all over the world.

So let’s move along, shall we?

My point in writing this blog is to chat about social media and how it can have such an impact on us emotionally, which seems like a strange thing because in essence, it’s an online forum. It’s not communicating with actual people face-to-face, it’s communicating via electronic means. So why then does it upset some people, anger others, and reassure still another group of people? What is it about social media that keeps us all so engaged, so active in it? According to one survey, in 2016, 78% of the US population was using social media.

Donuts-02-1-1024x512

In 2012, Brand Dignity wrote an article asking why social media was so popular and listed some of the basic reasons why people use it, things such as social media is free to use, it’s a way for people to network and promote their businesses, it’s a way to meet new people, and social media sites are extremely user-friendly and easy to use. All these reasons are extremely valid, but leave out the cons of social media, stuff like bullying, trolling, stalking, and just people being able to say whatever they want behind the safety of a computer screen. Not to mention, it leaves the door open for a lack of social etiquette or person-to-person connection.

It’s a funny thing for those of us who grew up before social media and before computers. I thank the good Lord on a regular basis that we didn’t have smartphones or Twitter when I was a kid. No one could document my day-to-day stupidity and the bully’s couldn’t follow me home and harass me online. Kids today have it rough in a way I never did. But at the same time, are they also learning that because you’re “safe” behind a computer screen you can say whatever you want without any real consequences? Is kindness and proper grammar going out the window? Are we living in a world where you just abbreviate everything and it’s all about selfie’s and getting the most likes?

Social_media_fear

These aren’t questions that I can even possibly answer on my own. I just know that seeing the things I see recently, what with the 2016 election, everything Trump does every, single day that horrifies most people I know, and the general negativity and shaming that goes on –I mean jeez, Lady Gaga got body shamed for her Superbowl performance – really? Because just anyone can flip over on wires and dance AND sing well in front of MILLIONS, but please, by all means, let’s mock her for her body. The world of social media is a strange place and I for one am taking a small break. I still check in once or twice a day, and I still post my blog there and when my new book comes out, I’ll post stuff then, but I can’t look at the fear-mongering posts, the angry posts, or even the happy posts all the time anymore. It’s just too much and I’d rather have human-to-human contact than the coldness of a computer screen.

What about you folks? Does social media ever stress you out? Does it effect you in any way? Why or why not? And if it doesn’t, how do you manage to say unattached? Share your tips, your tricks and your thoughts below!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/15/2017

Happy Valentines Day comic book lovers and welcome to an extra-romantic episode of The Crank File, the only place on the net that isn’t worried about being single on Valentines Day because we all die alone in the end. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

bm17

The Top of the Pile: Batman #17

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I Am Bane’ part two! Barricading himself within the walls of Arkham Asylum still might not keep Batman and his allies safe from Bane’s assault. Which one of Bruce’s loved ones will be torn from him next?

Why we love it: Issue #16 kicked off the “I am Bane” arc, and started so innocently. The Bat family was gathered for a meal at a Batman themed hamburger shop and hilarity ensued, like Dick Grayson ordering a Happy Meal for Damien and Bruce eating his burger with a fork and knife. But by the final page I was left slack-jawed, gasping in horror. I can’t wait to see how last issue’s cliff hanger plays out this week. Issue #17 won’t even make it on the pile, I plan on reading it off the rack.

 

 

cc5

The Mainstream One: Clone Conspiracy #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Jim Cheung

What it is: THE SPIDER-EVENT OF THE YEAR CONCLUDES! The Jackal takes drastic measures that Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen and Scarlet Spider could never see coming. Jackal’s coup de grace not only sets a host of resurrected villains loose on the unsuspecting streets of San Francisco, but threatens the lives of everyone on Earth! After months of waiting, heartache and incredible surprises, THIS is the issue Spider-fans around the world will be talking about for years to come!

Why we like it: Before Clone Conspiracy launched, Dan Slott publicly lobbied stores to up their orders for the series, hinting that it would be of great importance and would have long term ramifications for Spidey. The event has been pretty entertaining thus far and I’m loving the Del Otto cover art, but nothing terribly groundbreaking has happened yet. So I’m guessing we’ll see it in this issue. Will this be the return of Ben Parker to the realm of the living? I sure hope not.

 

 

gc2

The Indie One: God Country #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: As Emmett Quinlan attempts to rebuild his family and his home after the devastating tornado that broke them, something otherworldly screams through the sky under a banner of WAR. The GODS have come to Texas– and they do not intend to leave it empty handed.

Why we like it: #1’s are introduction issues, and boy did God Country make a hell of an entrance in theirs. Dark, emotional and undeniably bad-ass, the first issue sold out almost immediately and quickly went back for a second printing. A southern fried, fantasy adventure, there’s a lot of interest in how God Country will unfold and with good reason. High expectations here for issue #2.

 

 

ss1

The #1 One: Super Sons #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Jorge Jimenez

What it is: ‘When I grow up’ part one! The sons of Batman and Superman have graduated to their own monthly comic-but if they want to survive, they’re going to have to share it! Writer Peter J. Tomasi (BATMAN & ROBIN, SUPERMAN) teams with rising-star artist Jorge Jimenez (EARTH 2) to bring you the adventures of the World’s Smallest. This debut issue looks at the lives of Robin and Superboy and their destiny to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, while we meet a new villain whose ascension parallels the boys’ own understanding of their powers-except that he believes it’s his right to rule over every being on the planet!

Why we like it: John Kent and Damian Wayne join forces in this much anticipated on-going series. Fans, myself included, have been impatiently waiting for this title since the two sons first met in Superman Rebirth #10. Super Sons has a ton of potential and should appeal to a wide audience of readers. Mix in the first appearance of a new villain and Super Sons #1 has all the ingredients for a classic.

 

 

u24

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Ultimates 2 #4 (Jusko corner box variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Travel Foreman
Cover Art: Joe Jusko

What it is: Philip Vogt knows the truth. The Ultimates have reformed — and they’re working for Galactus. That means trouble. It’s time to send in the Troubleshooters! Meanwhile, on the fringes of possibility, Galactus confronts a terrifying new entity, LOGOS!

Why we like it: I’ve been grabbing all of the corner box variants that I can find at my local shop, but I’m going out of my way to secure a copy of this one. Absolutely gorgeous.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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Trailer Snark (February 10, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

The Lego Batman Movie (Warner Bros) – Animated/Family
Rated PG for rude humor and some action
Tag Line: Checkin’ out these sick beats
Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes
Plot: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Jessica:  I thought the Lego Movie was hilarious so I have hopes that this one will be too. The previews crack me up!
Chris: One superhero movie I won’t be seeing in the theater.  I’d rather walk barefoot on the whole cast.

Fifty Shades Darker (Universal) – Drama/Romance
Rated R for strong erotic sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language
Tag Line: Slip into something a shade darker
Starring:  Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson
Plot: While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Chris: Probably the only thing more torturous than walking barefoot across the lego movie cast would be watching this pile of garbage.
Jessica: I detested the first book, the movie was moderately better (which is NOT saying much) and I have ZERO interest in seeing this though I suspect Frankie will trick me into it at some point. We’ll never pay movie ticket prices for this load of blah.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (Lionsgate) –  Action/Crime/Thriller
Rated R for strong violence throughout, some language and brief nudity.
Tag Line: None
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Ruby Rose, Lawrence Fishburne
Plot: After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.
Running Time: 122 minutes

Jessica: LOVED the first one! Can’t wait to catch the sequel!
Chris: I still have not seen the first movie, but this one looks like a fun night at the theater.  Perhaps a little double feature Blu-Ray showing of the original coupled with a big screen Keanu how do you do?

A United Kingdom (Fox Searchlight) – Biography/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some language including racial epithets and a scene of sensuality
Tag Line: None
Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike
Plot: Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana causes an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the late 1940s.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Chris: I have been watching The Crown on Netflix lately…similar type material, and I am a fan of Rosamund Pike.  More likely a small screen candidate though.
Jessica: Oh this is right up my alley. Love the cast and the message behind it is so very important. This looks fantastic.

Tickets purchased:  Two for John Wick: Chapter 2!

You killed his dog....prepare to die
You killed his dog….prepare to die
Posted on

The Female Perspective: The Word of the Superbowl = Inclusivity

Welcome! This is a mostly weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched the Superbowl in years. I went through a brief phase of loving football and I still like it, but I don’t sit down and watch a game anymore, too many blogs to write, cats to brush and chocolate to eat. This year though, I ended up watching it and while I didn’t care about the outcome one bit (I rooted for the Falcons, not ashamed. I love an underdog) I was surprised at the tenor of the commercials. Pleasantly surprised.

This is not a political blog in any way and I apologize if it sounds like it is kind of right now, you come here for entertainment and gosh dang it, I try to give you what you want, but I simply couldn’t walk by this one. What I noticed was that there were quite a few commercials that stressed inclusivity this year. And I loved it.

A couple of my faves were the Audi spot that stressed equal pay for women and just basically that women are awesome. How can I not love that? It was surprising and really well done. From the perspective of a father wondering what he should tell his daughter about who she should aspire to be. And the answer to that? Anything she dang well wants to be.

Check it out here: Audi Commercial – Superbowl 2017

Then there was this great one by Kia with the always wonderful Melissa McCarthy. It’s n to easy being a hero, but if anyone can do it with grace, er, well a smile on her face anyway, it’s McCarthy. Can this woman possibly do wrong? I think not!

Check it out here: Kia Commercial – Superbowl 2017

Finally, I list my two favorites of the night. They stressed inclusivity, they stressed that we are all from somewhere else and we deserve our chance to live our dreams. They said a giant, collective, F-You to anyone who thinks that America shouldn’t be the land of opportunity for everyone.

Budweiser Superbowl 2017

Lumber 84 Superbowl 2017

There are plenty of people out there that say both these spots are “liberal propaganda” and that is totally their right to believe so. I (a crazy progressive liberal) believe that both of these spots demonstrate that, once again, America should be for all people. And yes, that means I believe we deserve to be safe, but you know what? There are ways to do it that don’t shut out genuine, hardworking people that just want a chance. Let’s all practice inclusivity in our lives. Let’s all accept each other. Let’s all find peace.

Peace, love, acceptance.
Peace, love, acceptance.

Thanks for reading.

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/8/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of The Crank File, the only place on the net that knows Superman wears Tom Brady pajamas to bed. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

asbm7

The Top of the Pile: All-Star Batman #7

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Tula Lotay

What it is: ‘Poison Promises’! Step aside, gentlemen-Poison Ivy is about to steal the spotlight in Batman’s continuing rogues gallery road trip. Scott Snyder teams up with mega-talent Tula Lotay to reimagine the Dark Knight’s most seductive villain.

Why we love it: Batman, Poison Ivy and Tula Lotay are a comic book trifecta, making this week’s All-Star Batman my triple-A pick of the week. And yes, the A stands for Awesome.

 

 

tah16

The Mainstream One: The Totally Awesome Hulk #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: ‘BIG APPLE SHOWDOWN’ CONTINUES! Who’s behind the gathering of Asian and Asian American heroes? It’s not who you think!

Why we like it: Speaking of awesome, I’ve been seriously digging the Pak Man’s Totally Awesome Hulk, but this latest arc is taking the series next level for me. I absolutely adored the last issue. The dialogue and interactions between heroes honestly reflected many of my own experiences being Asian in America, which is true rarity in mainstream comics. And I don’t know who this Stonehouse is, but if they keep doing covers then Totally Awesome Hulk will be on my pull list.

 

 

bs28

The Indie One: Black Science #28

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Matteo Scalera

What it is: In their darkest hour of need, a new hero rises to fight alongside the Dimensionauts.

Why we like it: Remender’s Seven to Eternity is the hot, new flavor of the month but it was Black Science that first introduced me to Rick’s wonderful indie work. I have been trade waiting Black Science for the last two arcs, but in a recent interview Remender hinted that the series would be concluding around issue #40. This series is amazing and I’m back to buying the floppies on release day until this wild, sci-fi, fantasy ride rockets in for landing.

 

 

kp1

The #1 One: King Pin #1 (Sienkewicz variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Rosenberg
Art: Ben Torres

What it is: WILSON FISK BUILDS A BRAND-NEW EMPIRE! The KINGPIN has done bad things. Deplorable things. He has cheated the law. He has blackmailed rivals. He has killed. But that’s all in the past. The Kingpin is back in the city that he loves and ready to make his mark as a titan of legitimate industry, but needs to rekindle his public image. When Wilson Fisk makes disgraced journalist SARAH DEWEY an offer she can’t refuse, the spiraling saga of crime and betrayal begins anew. Don’t miss the start of Kingpin’s ongoing series, written by breakout writer MATTHEW ROSENBERG and illustrated in the heavy noir stylings of BEN TORRES, as Manhattan’s criminal mastermind returns to the Big Apple with honorable intentions, but no one in his circle remains pure on his climb back to the top.

Why we like it: Mathew Rosenberg first hit my radar with two exceptional indie books published by Black Mask, the on-going 4 Kids Walk into a Bank and the smash-hit We Can Never Go Home, the latter of which is rumored to be in development for a television series. This guys can write comics and it was only a matter of time before one of the Big Two took notice. Rosenberg is a perfect fit for a super-powered, crime series and I can’t wait to see what this incredible talent has in store for us.

 

 

gog17

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (Hans variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Valerio Schiti
Cover Art: Stephanie Hans

What it is: GROUNDED! Angela has come a long way from the skies of Heven to find herself grounded on the Earth. Can she find a new home among the heroes?

Why we like it: Green and purple haven’t looked this good since the Hulk wore shorts. In case you haven’t noticed, Gamora’s star is on the rise. With her own ongoing solo-series and the Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 set to drop in a few months, this cover could be a ghost on Wednesday. It’s a 1:25 ratio variant and I don’t expect many shops order 25 copies of GotG. So grab it if you find it at a reasonable price.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!