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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – May 30, 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 Spider-man #800

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is: Dan Slott and Stuart Immomen are joined by many of the artists who made the last 10 years of Spider-Man so Amazing! The biggest Peter Parker/Norman Osborn story of all time unfolds over one 80-page story, a scope unmatched in comics! Who lives?! Who dies?! And what scars will Spider-Man bear from here on out?!

Why we love it: Dan Slott’s swan song for ASM is sure to go out with style. Rumor has it someone dies. My money is on J Jonah Jameson. You’d figure a professional journalist would know how to keep their sources secret. But he let it slip to Red Goblin that Spider-man is actually Peter Parker and needs to make that right.

The Mainstream One: Doomsday Clock #5 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: The Comedian lives! The Mime and Marionette loose in Gotham City! Rorschach is locked in the bowels of Arkham Asylum! Secrets will be revealed as the Doomsday Clock ticks on…

Why we like it: When your book is running a year late and coming out every other month, maybe don’t use countdown imagery in your copy writing. Still a bloody good read though.

The Indie One: Barrier #5 (of 5)

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughn
Art: Marcos Martin

What it is: This massive, 50-page finale brings our multilingual epic to its shocking conclusion.

Why we like it: It’s sort of like the movie Crash with alien abductions. Barrier will not be collected in trade, so make sure to grab the individual issues.

The #1 One: Man of Steel #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Joe Prado

What it is: A new era begins for Superman as a threat from his earliest origins reemerges to destroy the Last Son of Krypton. As Superman struggles to come to grips with what has happened to his wife and son, he must also face a new threat that’s determined to burn down Metropolis!

Why we like it: Bendis makes his debut at DC and Superman gets a makeover.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman Jabberjaw Special #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Paul Pelletier
Cover Art: Josh Middleton

What it is: When the town of Amnesty Island is besieged by a series of shark attacks, authorities call Aquaman for help! What’s unusual about this case is that the shark isn’t trying to kill people-he just wants to talk to them. The very confused Jabberjaw needs to get back to Aqualand, the future undersea utopia where he came from. But that peaceful city where man and sentient sea life have been living in harmony has been turned into a dystopian nightmare created by a new Ocean Master. Now the King of Atlantis and his friendly shark ally have to team up to set things right. Also includes a Captain Caveman meets the wizard Shazam in a short story by Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins.

Why we like it:  And for the second week running, Josh Middleton wins best cover.

 

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 – May 23, 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:  Invincible Iron Man #600

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Everyone

What it is: BRIAN BENDIS ENDS HIS MARVEL TENURE WITH THIS VERY SPECIAL OVERSIZED ANNIVERSARY ISSUE! Tony Stark is back, but in what form? At least five huge surprises await new and old fans alike. Industry legend Brian Michael Bendis drops his final Marvel Comic to end an era, and he’s going out big! This super-sized anniversary extravaganza features artistic contributions from a bevy of Bendis’ collaborators from over the years, including Jim Cheung, David Marquez, Mike Deodato Jr., Mark Bagley, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuña and a few other surprises! All this and a huge new villain arises! And the futures of Tony, Riri Williams and Victor Von Doom are all revealed!

Why we love it: Bendis’ last issue before he moves on for the bluer pastures at DC. I read that Tony is going to try to bring Rhodey back from the dead. This is sure to end well.

The Mainstream One: Champions #20

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jim Zub
Art: Sean Izaaksi

What it is: What good is conquering a world if it’s already destroyed by the time you take over? The Master is determined to save Earth from itself and the Champions are going to help him do it… Plus, a new hero from an unexpected source – Who is Snowguard?

Why we like it: New character alert, Amka Aliyak aka Snowguard. She’s a teenaged Inuk whose powers seem similar to DC’s Beast Boy. She can shapeshift and take on animal traits. Champions has a smaller print run which could make this a harder to find first appearance down the road, if the character sticks around. What is up with Hulk’s face? He looks like friggin Mr. Yunioshi.

The Indie One: Black Hammer: Age of Doom #2

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dan Ormston

What it is: The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga returns! As new Black Hammer Lucy Weber fights her way out of this gritty new dimension, she finds herself caught in Hell itself and up against trickster demons, Satan, and a bizarre emo god.

Why we like it: Jeff Lemire keeps hammering out the hits. Age of Doom is delivering the same sense of mystery and dread that made the first volume of Black Hammer so enjoyable. 

The #1 One: Black Panther #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Taneshi Coates
Art: Daniel Acuna

What it is: A NEW DIRECTION FROM TA-NEHISI COATES & DANIEL ACUñA! A bold new direction for the Black Panther! For years, T’Challa has fought off invaders from his homeland, protecting Wakanda from everything from meddling governments to long-lost gods. Now, he will discover that Wakanda is much bigger than he ever dreamed… Across the vast Multiverse lies an empire founded in T’Challa’s name. Readers caught a glimpse of it in MARVEL LEGACY #1. Now find out the truth behind the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda! Ta-Nehisi Coates welcomes aboard fan-favorite artist Daniel Acuña for a Black Panther story unlike any other!

Why we like it: Black Panther in spaaaaaace! Just look at that 1:25 In-Hyuk Lee variant cover! How are we gonna top that?

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batgirl #23

Publisher: DC
Words: Hope Larson
Art: Minkyu Jung
Cover Art: Josh Middleton

What it is: ‘STRANGE LOOP’ finale! Trapped in a prison of her own mind’s making, Batgirl must act out of character in order to reenter reality. Can she put her need to survive above the needs of those she’s sworn to protect? Or is she doomed to wander the mazes of her mind for all of eternity?!

Why we like it: This is going to be a semi-virgin cover and will look drop dead gorgeous. Congrats Josh Middleton, you’ve created a classic!

 

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 – May 16, 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: Barrier #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Marcos Martin

What it is: A very special ‘silent’ issue! This is the first wordless comic ever from either BRIAN K. VAUGHAN or MARCOS MARTÍN.

Why we love it: Originally published on Brian K Vaughan’s digital platform, The Panel Syndicate, the first printed issue of Barrier was given away on Free Comic Book Day, with issues #1 and #2 going on sale this past Wednesday. I read both issues last week and was immediately captivated. The plot revolves around two characters, a Texas cattle rancher at risk of losing her land due to cartel violence and an assumed illegal immigrant crossing the Mexico/US border. Their lives unexpectedly intersect when they are both abducted by aliens. One of the recurring themes of the story is communication, or rather difficulty communicating across language barriers, and I should point out to interested readers that the first two issues had pages of dialogue entirely in Spanish, without any translation. I was able to puzzle most of it out using my 3-years of high school Spanish and Google Translate did the rest. But unless you are a Spanish speaker, expect to do some work. Thankfully issue #3 is wordless, so problem solved for now.

The Mainstream One: Batman #47

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Sandu Florea

What it is: THE TRAVELERS’ part three! As Booster Gold, Batman and Catwoman zero in on the time anomaly, what they find and their actions to correct it will have ramifications on all of the DC Universe. Tom King and Master Class artist Tony S. Daniel end their first story with a bang that will tee up the next big development in the Batman/Catwoman romance.

Why we like it: Booster’s ingenious plan really crapped the bed last issue. Just about everyone was murdered, Booster was shot and his time traveling machine is smashed to bits. I have no idea how Bats is going to detective his way out of this pickle and I love it.

The Indie One: Infidel #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Pornsak Pichetshote
Art: Aaron Campbell

What it is: Following last issue’s devastating events, the mysterious entities haunting Aisha’s home escalate their attacks. As the nightmare spreads to her friends and neighbors, the creatures expose their true natures and long-buried hatreds.

Why we like it: I picked Infidel as my #1 One when it debuted and this freaky, haunted house story with racial overtones has already been optioned by Tristar pictures to be adapted as a movie. Be on the look out for #1’s on Wednesday, covers A and B are currently trading on the Bay for $10-$15 with the virgin cover going for $25-$30. You will probably want to flip them quick, as movie options often fail to materialize.

The #1 One: Walk Through Hell #1

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Garth Ennis
Art: Goran Sudzuka

What it is: So these two FBI agents walk into a warehouse… Special Agents Shaw and McGregor handle the routine cases nowadays, which is just the way Shaw likes it. She’s pushing 40, a borderline burnout, the ghastly memories of her last investigation still clinging like shadows. McGregor is younger, more dedicated, hanging onto some measure of idealism whatever the world might throw at him. When two fellow agents go missing inside a Long Beach warehouse, Shaw and McGregor are sent to investigate. But what they find waiting is far from routine, as the local police have already discovered to their cost. Before the night is out, our heroes will encounter terror beyond their most appalling nightmares-in a place where the night may never end at all. A new kind of horror story for modern America, written by Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys, Crossed) and drawn by Goran Sudzuka (Y: The Last Man, Hellblazer)

Why we like it: I’m always down for a good horror mystery.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: True Believers X-Men #25

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Fabian Nicieza
Art: Andy Kubert
Cover Art: Andy Kubert

What it is: Reprinting X-Men (1991) #25

Why we like it: This is a reprint of one of my favorite single issues of all time. It was the first comic book that I bought myself, purchased off a spinny rack at a local convenience store, and it contains one of the most unforgettable moments in X-Men history. The image of Magneto ripping the adamantium off of Wolverine’s skeleton, watching in horror as it burst through his skin, it still haunts me to this day. I was 9 years old at the time and I still remember the panels and the words and I remember desperately thinking “I need to know what happens next!!” It was a first step into a larger world. If you never had the opportunity, here’s your chance to own it for a buck.

 

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 – May 9, 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: Scooby Apocalypse#25

Publisher: DC
Words: Keith Giffen
Art: Ron Wagner

What it is: After nearly fifty years of Scooby-Doo, the unthinkable occurs! This month death claims one of the most beloved figures in pop-culture history: Fred Jones! This stunning turn of events will have repercussions that you won’t want to miss!

Why we love it:  You gotta respect any man who rocks the same ascot for fifty years. I’m hoping that Fred’s death is meaningful and actually sticks for a while and isn’t just a ploy to sell books in the short term. Fred Jones dying may not seem like a big deal, but the Scooby universe is not a place where killing a main character only to resurrect them shortly afterwards is standard operating procedure. I’m sorry Mr. Jones, it’s time.

The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #8 of 8

Publisher: DC
Words and art: Sean Gordon Murphy

What it is: In the extra-sized finale of Sean Murphy’s top-selling miniseries, Jack Napier’s suspicious seduction of Gotham City comes to its twisted conclusion! With the city on the verge of becoming an icy tomb for the GTO, Batgirl makes a crucial assist and Gordon is forced to reevaluate his judgment of Batman to secure the greater good. As the true Joker’s return becomes imminent, Harley seeks vengeance and reckons with the bleak future that looms for her loved ones.

Why we like it: A series that introduced us to a reformed Joker, multiple Harley Quinns, and a rogue Batman, Sean Gordon’s alternate Batman universe has been a wild, wild ride. Sad to see this one end, but there are rumors that this series could be returning for a volume 2.

The Indie One: B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #6

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Art: Sebastian Fiumara

What it is: Hellboy is back on earth, and the B.P.R.D. struggles to understand his unwillingness to hunt the demon threatening to turn the earth into a literal Hell.

Why we like it: For those of you not keeping track, Hellboy has been dead for 3 years. This week he returns but he seems… different. A can’t miss moment for fans of the Mignolaverse.

 The #1 One: Venom #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Ryan Stegman

What it is: A NEW SERIES BY DONNY CATES & RYAN STEGMAN! In the wake of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s collapse, an ancient and primordial evil has been awakened beneath the streets of New York, and with it, something equally evil has awakened in that most Wicked of Webslingers – VENOM! Still a Lethal Protector of the innocents in New York, this never-before-seen threat could force Venom to relinquish everything it holds dear – including Eddie Brock! Join two of the hottest creators in comics today, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, for a VENOM adventure a thousand years in the making!

Why we like it: Donny Cates continues his rocket-like trajectory to super stardom with the launch of a new Venom series. Expect first appearances and a shake up of the status quo. I wish that Cates would be allowed to work exclusively with artist Geoff Shaw, with whom he created God Country and had a memorable run on Thanos. But I do like Ryan Stegman’s art and hope that he and Donny find a similar chemistry.

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Suicide Squad #41

Publisher: DC
Words: Rob Williams
Art: Jose Luis
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is:  ‘CONSTRICTION’ part one! Batman has broken Deadshot out of Belle Reve! Now the Dark Knight and the assassin who never misses have a new mission: rescue Deadshot’s daughter from the clutches of Kobra! But Amanda Waller’s not having it, and she’s determined to drag her prisoner back at any cost!

Why we like it: I was debating between two Mattina covers this week, the other being cover B for Flash which features a closeup head shot of Professor Zoom. This one gets the nod for the amazing smoke and lighting effects. Mattina’s recent work has been next level (Harley Quinn aside) and continues to ascend into the upper echelon of cover art.

 

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 – May 2, 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: Batman #46

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Tony S. Daniel

What it is: ‘THE TRAVELERS’ part two! Booster Gold’s wedding present has screwed up Batman’s past, and done even more damage to his present. Now, with the Caped Crusader himself refusing to cooperate, the only way for Booster to correct this runaway timeline is to get Catwoman on his side. But with her own past altered, can he make Catwoman recognize the qualities in her husband-to-be that brought them together in the first place? Plus, if Batman isn’t doing his job, Gotham City may become way more dangerous than our bumbling time-traveler might be ready for.

Why we love it: Part one of this Booster Gold story was dark, dark, dark. I mean, it was funny and  peppered with Booster’s trademark goofy banter, but the plot was just terrifying with several WTF moments. Basically Booster travels back in time and alters the timeline by preventing the murder ofMartha and Thomas Wayne, thus Bruce never becomes Batman and drastically alters the course of history. Sort of like a really messed up version of It’s a Wonderful Life. It was as an ill conceived wedding present for Batman and while Booster’s intentions were to revert the timeline back after he revealed his gift, Bruce was having none of it and chose instead to remain in wonderland.

The Mainstream One: Spider-man #240

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art:  Oscar Bazaldua, Patrick Brown

What it is: Marvel Comics proudly presents the final issue of Bendis’ epic (bio-electric) run! Over seven years and across two universes, Miles Morales has been an Ultimate, a Web-Warrior, an Avenger and a Champion. A New Yorker, a student, a son and a friend. And whenever the city needed him (and one time when all of reality needed him), he was always SPIDER-MAN. Don’t miss the chance to see comics superstar Brian Michael Bendis bid farewell to one of his most beloved creations, and to glimpse what the future may hold for Miles Morales.

Why we like it: While Miles will remain a part of the Marvel universe, Brian Michael Bendis, the man who created and wrote the character through the years, is leaving for DC marking the end of an era for Miles Morales.

The Indie One: Death of Glory #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Bengal

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE Meet Glory, raised off the grid in a convoy amid truckers-the last men and women fighting for true freedom on the American open road. Now, in order to pay for her beloved dying Father’s surgery, Glory has three days to pull off four dangerous cross-country heists with mob killers, crooked cops, and a psycho ex-husband all out to bring her in or die trying. The new ongoing series by New York Times bestselling author RICK REMENDER and legendary French superstar BENGAL brings you a high-speed chase across the American West that examines our dwindling freedoms and the price paid by those who fight for an untethered life, in this special double-sized first issue with 40 pages of story!

Why we like it: I’ll read just about anything that Rick Remender writes. Tack on superstar artist Bengal and you now have one of the most highly anticipated new Image series releasing this year. Keep an eye on this one.

The #1 One: You Are Deadpool #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Salva Espin

What it is: DID YOU EVER WANT TO BE DEADPOOL??? Now’s your chance! This weekly series is not JUST the most amazing comic book you’ve ever read…it’s also a role-playing adventure! YOU decide what choices Deadpool makes! YOU keep track of your scores issue by issue! YOU roll dice to combat various foes! Travel through Marvel history as Deadpool to meet Hulk in the swinging ’60s! To smell Man-Thing in the swampy ’70s! To be ‘seen’ by Daredevil in the hard-boiled ’80s! And avoid the many BAD ENDINGS you could fall into…or suffer the consequences!

Why we like it: It’s a choose your own adventure book done Deadpool style. What’s not to love?

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Green Arrow #40

Publisher: DC
Words: Collin Kelley
Art: Marcio Takara
Cover Art: Tyler Kirkham

What it is: ‘THE CHILDREN OF VAHKAR’ finale! Nothing and his army have left Green Arrow for dead in the desert. In order to get himself back to full strength and take out the army, Green Arrow will have to team up with a band of rebel heroes in Vahkar – but will they trust him? Or will he only find himself with more enemies to fight?

Why we like it: I really like the colors and composition of this cover.

 

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