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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 21, 2018

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: Amazing Spiderman #796

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Mike Hawthorne

What it is: THREAT LEVEL RED Part 3. You’ve watched for months as Norman Osborn has scoured the globe for a cure to the genetic tampering that prevents him from becoming the Green Goblin. IN THIS ISSUE…HE FINDS IT! And it spells the worst kind of trouble for your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man! Rated T

Why we love it: There’s a ton of hype for the first appearance of Red Goblin. So much that Midtown Comics and many other large comic retailers are putting a 1-copy limit per customer on this issue. Whether or not #796 actually marks the first full appearance of the Red Goblin is still in question, but at very least you get a sweet Alex Ross cover.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #681

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 7 Who is Voyager? Valerie Vector, the forgotten founding Avenger, tells all! And a fan-favorite Avenger returns to the fold as the stakes in the battle for Earth become clear! Rated T+

Why we like it: Not much more needs to be said about this series, as Avengers has made it on the list for the last 4 weeks. This week we get the origin if the mysterious new Avenger, Voyager.

The Indie One: Descender #27

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: BRAND-NEW STORYLINE-‘OLD WORLDS,’ Part One! The origins of the Harvesters are finally revealed as we jump back thousands of years to see the dawn of the robotkind and the the secrets of the Ancient Robot and how it connects to Tim-21 in the present. Secrets that have been building since issue one are finally revealed in this shocking new story arc. Each issue in this arc will feature ‘LITTLE ROBOT’ variant covers by DUSTIN NGUYEN.

Why we like it: FINALLY!!! Lemire’s back from his brief stint at Marvel and he’s lighting a fire under Descender by revealing the biggest mystery of the entire series, the secret origins of the Harvesters. I really enjoyed this series when it first launched. I love Lemire’s dialogue and was blown away by Dustin Nguyen’s beautifully rendered water colors, but I dropped Descender sometime in the late teens due to an unfocused narrative. This seems like a great point to jump back in.

 

The #1 One: Doctor Strange Damnation #1 (Javier Garron  Young Guns variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Rod Reis

What it is: The city of sin gets its biggest sinner yet. When Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during SECRET EMPIRE, he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, MEPHISTO! The devilish villain takes the city for himself and sets his sights on the rest of the world. It’s going to take heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat him, but there’s nothing simple about fighting the lord of Hell. Rated T+

Why we like it: Donny Cates might be the hottest writer working for any of the comic publishers right now. Although this title has been overshadowed by Cate’s Thanos run, I have been loving Dr. Strange. The Damnation mini series picks up right after the events of Dr. Strange #385, where Stephen Strange regains the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme from the trickster Loki, and will set the stage for Marvel’s grand plans for 2018. With a new start and a fresh outlook, Damnation is sure to continue shaking up the status quo.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League #39 

Publisher: DC
Words: Rod Reis
Art: Ian Churchill
Cover Art: J. G. Jones

What it is: ‘JUSTICE LOST’ part six! An environmental disaster unites both Justice League teams as Cyborg faces the first test of his leadership while still being overshadowed by Batman. Meanwhile, the Green Lanterns struggle with internal conflicts while being recruited by a mysterious visitor for an unspecified deep-space mission.

Why we like it: At some point J. G. Jones will start getting the recognition he deserves as one of the finest cover illustrators working in the industry. This might be the cover that pushes him into the conversation with other high-profile painters like Mattina or Ross.

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 14, 2018

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: Avengers #680

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 6 Wonder Man and Beast team up in a desperate attempt to save Jarvis, while the Avengers reel from the crushing loss of one of their own. Rated T+

Why we love it: No Surrender, no man left behind! Asides from the Always Sunny reference, I’m really enjoying this story. Packed with action, intrigue, and potential first appearances. The weekly release schedule hasn’t burned us with delays yet, and it has really helped keep the momentum going. Do not sleep on Avengers this week.

The Mainstream One: Captain America #698

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee

What it is: OUT OF TIME Part 1 THE STORYLINE LEADING TO THE MASSIVE ISSUE #700 KICKS OFF! Steve Rogers awakens to find himself in a strange new future – and it’s his worst nightmare! Can he assemble a new band of Howling Commandos to help him battle for freedom? Rated T+

Why we like it: Caps back to his Silver Age roots with a classic man-out-of-time story. Wait a minute… That actually sounds like legacy. About gd time Marvel. I wonder if there’ll be Nazis in the future for Cap to fight. Sadly, I’d guess yes.

The Indie One: Invincible #144

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

What it is: SERIES FINALE ‘THE END OF ALL THINGS,’ Conclusion Final issue. Everything since issue one has been building to this. Nothing can prepare you.

Why we like it: I’m not actually reading this issue this week because I’m about eight trades behind, but one of the longest running Image titles comes to a conclusion this week. I feel like the end of a landmark series deserves a mention. Gratz Kirkman! Now kindly write us something interesting in Outcast already, will ya?

 

The #1 One: Death of Love #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Justin Jordan
Art: Donal Delay

What it is: Love sucks. Philo Harris is going to do something about it. After gaining the ability to see the Cupidae that make love work-after a particularly bad drunken decision-Philo ends up going to war with love itself. With a chainsaw.

Why we like it: I almost forgot Wednesday is Valentine’s Day. This pick is for me, fatty, sideburns lady, and the mutants over at table 9.

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Action Comics #997

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Will Conrad, Brett Booth
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

What it is: ‘BOOSTER SHOT’ part five! Superman and Booster Gold are stranded in time on a world ruled by not one but two Generals Zod! As Lor-Zod asserts himself as rightful heir to the military dictatorship of their adopted homeworld, Old Man Zod turns his attention to the interlopers from the past. Our heroes’ only hope of survival is to repair their craft and get home-but to do that, they’ll need to travel into the belly of beast!

Why we like it: If you don’t like this cover than you are a card carrying communist who hates freedom. You don’t… hate freedom, do you?

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 7, 2018

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: Swamp Thing Winter Special #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King after Len Wein
Art: Jason Fabok

What it is: Tom King and Jason Fabok pay tribute to the legendary creators of Swamp Thing, writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, as they join forces for an earth-shattering Swamp Thing passion project! In this new, squarebound one-shot, Swamp Thing is out of his element as he shepherds a lost boy through a blinding blizzard and other hazards of a strange, frozen tundra. In this touching and harrowing tale of survival, the pair must navigate countless threats throughout a bewildering terrain-with a bloodthirsty snow monster hot on their heels. But how long can they rely on each other? Separated from the Green and stripped of his powers in this dead world, Swamp Thing struggles to fight for their lives and deliver the boy to safety. Disoriented and decaying, Swamp Thing’s fading understanding of his surroundings forces the duo to confront their desperation and uncover the true identity of the snow monster that hunts them. In addition, this special features the final Swamp Thing story from the monster’s co-creator, Len Wein. Originally intended as the start of a new series, it is presented here both in its original script form and with art by Kelley Jones. RATED T

Why we love it: Regular readers know my hetero-love for Tom King known no bounds. I will literally read anything he writes: tweets, books, comics, graphic novels, grocery lists. Anything. But I’m especially excited for this Swamp Thing story. Tom wrote Swamp Thing into Batman #23 and it was so good that immediately after it was released, a petition started circulating to get Tom King to write the next Swamp Thing book. It’s here, it’s oversized and overpriced, but I’ll happily pay for the quality.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #679

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 5 THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES! Who is the Challenger? What is at stake in his grudge match with the Grandmaster? And when the two of them clash, can the Earth survive the destruction they unleash? Rated T+

Why we like it: This book is getting some buzz already as most covers are sold out in advance. And if you read issue #678 last week, then like me you are dying to find out what happens to the hot headed Avenger Johnny Storm. By the looks of the cover… nothing good.

The Indie One: Extremity #11

Publisher: Image
Words and art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: The beacon is lit, the final battle has started, and no matter the outcome, nothing will ever be the same for Thea of the Roto clan.

Why we like it: Apparently, this is the penultimate issue. I had no idea that this was only a 12 issue series. With a deep cast of nuanced characters and fleshed out world, I was looking forward to many more adventures in the world of Extremity. But with only 2 issues to go, my favorite, new independent title is ending too soon, but it’s going out in grand fashion.

 

The #1 One: X-Men Red #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom Taylor
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: The Hate Machine Part 1 THE FIRST SENSATIONAL ARC OF AN ALL-NEW TEAM OF X-MEN STARTS HERE! JEAN GREY is back! Returned to a world she doesn’t recognize, the First Lady of the X-MEN gathers an unlikely team – NIGHTCRAWLER, NAMOR and LAURA KINNEY (A.K.A. ALL-NEW WOLVERINE) – to face an evil that threatens to tear down XAVIER’s dream by any means necessary! Rated T+

Why we like it: If you missed out on Phoenix Resurrection, spoiler alert, Jean Grey has been resurrected but without the Phoenix. So she’s back and for now, she’s just Jean. Which is awesome because Jean doesn’t need the Phoenix force to be awesome. I like the team of misfits that she’s assembled and can’t wait to see how Jean and Laura get along.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley Quinn #37

Publisher: DC
Words: Frank Tieri
Art: Mirka Andolfo
Cover Art: Frank Cho

What it is: ‘ANGRY BIRD’ part one! Ever since he started horning in on New York City, the Penguin and Harley Quinn have been stuck in a cold war…and it’s about to heat up! Making a long-term investment in a Gotham City that’s crawling with Bats isn’t the Penguin’s style, so now he’s hell-bent on making Coney Island his new nest!

Why we like it: No surprises here. Frank The Tank Cho does it again. The colors in Harley’s petticoat are just masterful and I love the grumpy expression on her face.

 

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