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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 28, 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 Beyond #26

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Brett Booth, Viktor Kalvachev

What it is: The Joker’s back-and he wants to turn Batman and Robin into a punchline once and for all! The original Clown Prince of Crime returns to stalk Neo-Gotham in part two of ‘The Final Joke’! Can you guess what happens when he encounters Barbara Gordon for the first time in decades? And when Robin gets caught on a video feed for the first time, no one’s more delighted than The Joker.

Why we love it: There’s a running tragedy in the Batman mythos, where Bruce Wayne trains the members of his Bat family to fight crime alongside him, which puts them directly in harms path and inevitably leads to someone getting hurt or worse. Batman Beyond’s “The Final Joke” arc seems to be building towards a crowbar moment for Terry McGinnis and his little brother Matt, aka Robin. Love the homage cover to Batman #251.

The Mainstream One: Heroes in Crisis #3 (of 7)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: The Man of Steel versus…Booster Gold?! Superman finds out the hard way that Booster can be a formidable opponent when his back’s against the wall. Of course, being the prime suspect in a superhero massacre and exposing a secret trauma hospital for metahumans will do just that. Meanwhile, Batman and the Flash combine their detective skills to investigate what went awry at Sanctuary and uncover a serious glitch in the system-not to mention an explosive, spoiler-ific secret!

Why we like it: This series is off to a great start. The plot is as twisted as it is brilliant and the artwork is a delight. I try to not select this series as one of my picks every time an issue releases, but it’s just too damn good.

 

The Indie One: The Warning #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Edward Laroche

What it is: An enormous machine slowly materializes in a major West Coast city. Who sent it-and why-is a mystery, understood only by the malevolent beings gliding silently toward Earth through the inky vastness of space. In response, a multinational combat brigade called Gladiator Two-Six is deployed. Outfitted with next-generation military science and weapons, they’re tasked with stopping any extraterrestrial threat that emerges.

Why we like it: I read an interview with author and illustrator Edward Laroche and he had this to say, ““My original intent was to craft a story about war that wasn’t complicated or bogged down in questionable politics or shady motivations: a threat not of our own making. The core of the story is this exploration into conflict, and how it might be the natural state of all living things, and how our main character, Joshua, who is a super soldier, lives with that possibility.” Yup, I’m sold.

The #1 One: Dead Man Logan #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mike Henderson

What it is: DEAD MEANS DEAD. The writing’s been on the wall for months now… Logan is dying. And he ain’t getting any better. Sick from the Adamantium coating his skeleton, his search for a cure has led to nothing but dead ends. But for once he’s actually trying to leave this world with some unfinished business… Can Logan take his last breath without slaughtering the X-Men again? Not if Mysterio has anything to say about it… Superstar creative team ED BRISSON (OLD MAN LOGAN, UNCANNY X-MEN) and MIKE HENDERSON (DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN), with covers by DECLAN SHALVEY (MOON KNIGHT), is putting this old dog out of his misery with a bang! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: The writings been on the wall since, well since always. Everyone knew that OML was just a stop gap while Wolverine was “dead”, and now that regular man Logan is back in the land of the living, it’s time for this old man to ride off into the sunset, probably on a trail of blood.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Barbarella #12

Publisher: Dynamite
Words:
Mike Carrey
Art:
Kenan Yarar
Cover Art: Yuki Shimizu

What it is: ‘A Place Called Overkill’ The event horizon of a black hole is a bad spot to have your ship break down — especially if the breakdown isn’t an accident. But who wants Barbarella dead? And why have they chosen to bury her so very, very deep?

Why we like it: I think the cover speaks for itself.

 

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 – November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 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: Web of Venom Carnage Born #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Denilo Beyruth

What it is: Join DONNY CATES as he continues to snake his tendrils through the VENOM mythos – this time visiting the sickening sociopath called CARNAGE! A cruel cannibal obsessed with death and murder, few mourned Cletus Kasady after he seemingly died in VENOMIZED. But now a cult devoted to the madman has gathered, hoping to resurrect their fallen idol and return his madness to the Marvel Universe… Rated T+

Why we love it: Donny Cates is almost certain to be nominated for a best writer Eisner for his run on Venom, and he’s got a legit shot at winning it too. You’d be crazy not to check out what he’s got cooked up for Carnage.

The Mainstream One: Spider-man Edge of Spider-verse #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ralph Macchio
Art: Flaviano

What it is: STEP INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE WITH A CADRE OF SPIDER-HEROES! With his ability to traverse the Multiverse, SPIDER-MAN assembles a team to track down a loose end from his past: the fate of the mighty GOG! Get ready for the upcoming film with this standalone adventure featuring some of your favorite Spider-Heroes: PETER PARKER! MILES MORALES! SPIDER-HAM! SPIDER-GWEN! SPIDER-PUNK! Also featuring a special presentation of SPIDER-MAN (2016) #1 – Miles Morales’ first adventure in the Prime Marvel Universe!

Why we like it: I’m excited to see Miles, Gwen and Ham swing their way onto the big screen. The trailer looks great and I hope the movie is a hit. And in case you were wondering, no the book was not written by THAT Ralph Macchio.

The Indie One: Black Hammer Age of Doom#7

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Rich Tommaso

What it is: As Colonial Weird tries to figure out the new world hes found himself on, the character’s hes met explain not only their origins, but potentially the origins of all things. Weird’s time is running out, and the events of this issue will change the way he sees the world forever!

Why we like it: Black Hammer was recently optioned and remains awesome. Not enough of you are reading this heartbreaking deconstruction of tights and capes superheroes.

The #1 One: Middlewest #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Skottie Young
Art: Jorge Corona

What it is: The lands between the coasts are vast, slow to change, and full of hidden magics. Mistakes have been made, and in this NEW ONGOING SERIES, an unwitting adventurer searches for answers to quell a coming storm that knows his name. From author SKOTTIE YOUNG (I HATE FAIRYLAND, Deadpool) and artist JORGE CORONA (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, Feathers, Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack) comes the tale of Abel, a young boy who must navigate an old land in order to reconcile his family’s history.

Why we like it: After a long and successful career drawing baby variants and making silly comics like I Hate Fairyland and  Bully Wars, it’s refreshing to see Skottie Young attempt something serious. He is one of the unique talents in the industry, but I’m still waiting for a masterpiece from him.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League #12  (Parillo variant)

Publisher: DC
Words:
James Tynion IV
Art:
Frazer Irving
Cover Art: Louis Parillo

What it is: ‘DROWNED EARTH’ part three! It’s Batman, in a full-body cast, versus the Legion of Doom! Get a ringside seat for the craziest fight in comics as a bedridden Batman battles The Joker, Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grodd and Sinestro! Meanwhile, Aquaman locks tridents with Poseidon and Mera discovers an ancient secret that could change the fate of Atlantis-and the entire Earth-forever!

Why we like it: Parillo put so much detail into this cover, you can see the pruney wrinkles on Aquaman’s fingers.

 

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 – November 14, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to somber episode of the Crank File. The Stan, the myth, the legend, Stan Lee passed away Monday at the age of 95. His impact on the comics industry is immeasurable and to list his accomplishments and contributions to pop culture would be a herculean task. With Stan at the helm and the help of talented artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Marvel comics redefined what makes a superhero super. We were fortunate to have Stan in our world for as long as we did, and he will be missed by all.

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: Mister Miracle #12 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: It’ll be a miracle if you can get through this mind-bending conclusion with your sanity intact! After his epic battle with Darkseid, Scott Free sees life a whole new way: he’s the new Highfather of New Genesis, and he’s madly in love with his wife and child. But what if it’s all a lie? Did Mister Miracle really escape death way back in issue #1? No one really knows but Tom King and Mitch Gerads!

Why we love it: Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s Mister Miracle has been one of the weirdest books I have read in recent years. Although I’ve enjoyed every issue thoroughly, there’s a part of me that’s still not entirely sure what this book is about. I mean, it’s about a lot of things: family, legacy, sacrifice, but there is this constant feeling of dread and uncertainty that has persisted throughout the series. Hopefully the answers to these mysteries and more will be revealed in the final issue of this amazing run.

The Mainstream One: Cosmic Ghost Rider #5 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Dylan Burnette

What it is: The dramatic conclusion to the series everyone is talking about! Featuring Punisher! Thanos! Punisher! AND Thanos! Plus a few more surprises, some terrible deaths…and maybe a little redemption? Sounds unlikely given who we’re talking about. PARENTAL ADVISORY

Why we like it: I did not expect to like the Cosmic Ghost Rider’s solo series as much as I have, and I did not expect that I would be sticking around to read the final issue. But here I am, which is just another testament to how much I enjoy reading Donny Cates.

The Indie One: Bitter Root #1

Publisher: Image
Words: David F. Walker, Chuck Brown
Art: Sanford Greene

What it is: In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing, and only the Sangerye Family can save New York-and the world-from the supernatural forces threatening to destroy humanity. But the once-great family of monster hunters has been torn apart by tragedies and conflicting moral codes. The Sangerye Family must heal the wounds of the past and move beyond their differences… or sit back and watch a force of unimaginable evil ravage the human race. DAVID F. WALKER and SANFORD GREENE, the creative team of Power Man and Iron Fist, along with indie veteran CHUCK BROWN (Trench Coats, Cigarettes and Shotguns) bring you 24 action-packed pages of monsters, mayhem, and family dysfunction in a brand-new ongoing series. BITTER ROOT Cover As by SANFORD GREENE will be connecting through the first story arc.

Why we like it: I like this creative team and the story sounds like something that hasn’t been told a hundred times before. Will check it out at the stands before making an executive decision though.

The #1 One: Uncanny X-Men #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mahmud Asrar

What it is: THE CHILDREN OF THE ATOM ARE BACK! New ongoing series kicking off with a 10-part weekly epic, the flagship X-Men series that started it all is back and better than ever! Starting with a mysterious and tragic disappearance, the X-Men are drawn into what might be…their final adventure?! X-Fan favorite writers Ed Brisson (EXTERMINATION), Matthew Rosenberg (PHOENIX RESURRECTION) and Kelly Thompson (MR. & MRS. X) and all-star artists Mahmud Asrar (X-MEN RED), R.B. Silva (X-MEN BLUE), Yildiray Cinar (WEAPON X) and Pere Pérez (ROGUE AND GAMBIT) join forces to bring you…X-MEN DISASSEMBLED?! Rated T+

Why we like it: Yes! The Uncanny X-Men is back which means the return of fan-favorite mutants like… Cannonball? Bishop? Hmmm, maybe this is just the stop-gap team for the 10-part weekly saga.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #992

Publisher: DC 
Words:
James Robinson
Art:
Carmine Giandomenico
Cover Art: Gabrielle Dell’Otto

What it is: There’s a new Dynamic Duo in Gotham City-introducing Batman and Two-Face! What the what?! The Dark Knight is forced to team with old friend and current enemy Harvey Dent to stop a Kobra-sponsored terrorist attack. Can Batman really trust his life to a coin flip? Even worse, Bats and Two-Face are of two minds over recruiting the two Fireflies for help-if Batman’s gonna work with so many villains, he may as well join the Legion of Doom.

Why we like it: Regular priced, semi-virgin, Dell’Otto Batman cover. Just shut up and take my money.

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 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: The Green Lantern #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Grant Morrison
Art: Liam Sharp

What it is: Superstar writer Grant Morrison (Batman, All-Star Superman) returns to DC alongside red-hot artist Liam Sharp (The Brave AND the Bold, Wonder Woman) to launch a new, ongoing series: THE GREEN LANTERN! In this debut issue, when Earth’s space cop, Hal Jordan, encounters an alien hiding in plain sight, it sets off a chain of events that rocks the Green Lantern Corps-and quite possibly the Multiverse at large-to its very core. There’s an inter-galactic conspiracy afoot, as well as a traitor in the GL Corps’ ranks, so strap in for more mind-bending adventures in this masterpiece in the making.

Why we love it: The man, the myth, the legend Grant Morrison makes his triumphant return to DC comics. Widely regarded as one of the most creative and influential comic writers of our generation, Morrison is known for revitalizing high profile properties like the X-Men, Batman, JLA, and Superman, and now he has his sights set on a new sprawling, cosmic Green Lantern epic that should not be missed.  

The Mainstream One: Marvel Knights 20th #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Travel Foreman

What it is: In celebration of the legendary imprint founded by Marvel’s CCO Joe Quesada, a new crop of talent stands poised to tell a groundbreaking story across the Marvel Universe! In the cemetery, the blind man does not know who he is, or why he has come to this particular grave at this moment. He doesn’t know the burly police officer with the wild story who has approached him. Or the strangely intense man who sits in the rear seat of the patrol car, his eyes flashing green. But all of that is about to change.

Why we like it: If Donny Cates is writing it then I’m going to give it a read. Marvel Knights seems like the perfect fit for him, where he can write stand-alone stories that are in continuity but don’t necessarily fit in with the current running arc in the main series.

The Indie One: Seven to Eternity #12

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: In order to save the Mud King, Adam must make a terrible choice.

Why we like it: Seems like Seven to Eternity is back on schedule, as issue #12 will be the third issue released in three months. I’m cautiously jumping back on board with this series, as it was one of my favorite reads before it started getting bogged down by release delays.

The #1 One: Outer Darkness #1

Publisher: Image
Words: John Layman
Art: Afu Chan

What it is: Sci-fi and horror collide in this new series from the co-creator of CHEW! Mankind has colonized the galaxy, but during our interstellar travels, we discovered a terrifying secret out in the Outer Darkness of space. Join Captain Joshua Rigg and the crew of the starship Charon as they encounter demonic possessions, hauntings, cosmic horror, and more! All-star writer JOHN LAYMAN (CHEW) and artist AFU CHAN (Immortal Iron Fists) are ready to let you know that outer space is terrifying.

Why we like it: I had picked up Leviathan a few months ago in anticipation of Chew writer, John Layman’s next big comic but it was admittedly a bit disappointing. Maybe it was too weird, or maybe it wasn’t weird enough, but for whatever reason it just didn’t click with me. I read the ashcan preview of Outer Darkness and liked what I saw, so I’m hopeful that this is the comic that I’ve been waiting for.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Immortal Hulk #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Al Ewing
Art:
Joe Bennett
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: Bruce Banner is dead. His corpse has been dissected, his organs catalogued, and his inner workings are being studied by the scientists of Shadow Base. Bruce Banner is no longer a threat. That just leaves the IMMORTAL HULK…

Why we like it: Ross’ covers on Immortal Hulk have been excellent on the whole, but this one really ratchets up the horror into 11th gear.

 

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