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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 19, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a very merry 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: Captain America #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ta-nehisi Coates
Art: Leinel Francis Yu

What it is: “WINTER IN AMERICA” CONCLUDES… with a shocking turn of events that will send the Star-Spangled Avenger’s life into a sudden dramatic tailspin you won’t see coming! Rated T+

Why we love it: The Red Skull once used the power of the Cosmic Cube to transfer his mind into the body of Soviet KGB operative Aleksander Lukin, just moments before being assassinated. The Skull and Lukin, two bitter rivals, shared the same body for a while and have been missing since doing some body swapping and being shot to death a few years back. It seems like they are both back in action and it’s sure to spell trouble for Cap and friends. Love the Alex Ross cover!

The Mainstream One: Darth Vader #25

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Elia Bonnetti

• The FORTRESS is complete. The door will be opened.
• VADER finds everything he has ever desired.
• THE DARK LORD gets everything he deserves.
Rated T

Why we like it: Come see where Vader goes to getaway from the stresses of ruling a galaxy. And where else would a lord like Vader build his vacation home other than on a volcano planet located directly on top of a Sith cave? Cozy.

The Indie One: Spawn #292

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Szymon Kudranski

What it is: Spawn gets a new power.

Why we like it: Spawn gets a new power and I want to see what it is. Hopefully it isn’t something lame, like the ability to communicate with fish.

The #1 One: Hardcore #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Andy Diggle
Art: Alessandro Vitti

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! Imagine being able to take over the body of anyone on Earth. Sound crazy? Not for Agent Drake and the Hardcore Program. They can turn any person into a human drone to get to targets that normal soldiers can’t. Drake is the best soldier Hardcore has to offer. But when he gets stranded in a body with only 72 hours to discover who’s hijacked the Program, he’ll have to pull out all the stops against an enemy who could be literally anyone.

From the creative minds of ROBERT KIRKMAN and MARC SILVESTRI, and presented by ANDY DIGGLE (THIEF OF THIEVES, Losers) and ALESSANDRO VITTI (Secret Warriors), comes a new Skybound Original that shows you how to save the world without getting your hands dirty.

Why we like it: I read a preview for Hardcore in a copy of Image’s Pilot Season back in 2012 and thought the premise was cool. That was right around the peak of Walking Dead hysteria, so I’m assuming Kirkman was just too busy at the time to develop it properly. Nice to see another creative team getting a crack at it.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Catwoman #6

Publisher: DC
Words and Art:
Joelle Jones
Cover Art: Stanley Artgerm Lau

What it is: Selina’s forced into a seriously sinister Sopranos-style sit-down! While the cops continue to hunt her for a murder she didn’t commit, Catwoman’s forced to take a meeting with secretive crime boss Mrs. Creel. Here’s the pitch: work for us or die! Selina counters with some blackmail of her own, but the offer fails to blow away Creel and her meta-crew. That leads to a breakneck chase that drives Catwoman right into the crosshairs of the local authorities.

Why we like it: Artgerm continues his amazing run on Catwoman with this naughty 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 – December 12, 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 Damned #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Azzarello
Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: As Batman’s descent into the madness of Gotham City’s decadent underbelly continues, he must try to exorcise some of his demons…and who better to help than the Demon, Etrigan himself. And where there’s demons, there’s also a Deadman, a Spectre, an Enchantress and a host of other supernatural friends and foes-it’s a veritable Grand Guignol!

Why we love it: Issue #1 sparked controversy with the now infamous Batawang panel, causing it’s price to sky rocket to $50 on the secondary market. But unless we see Harley’s cooch in issue #2, don’t expect the same explosive appreciation in value here. Regardless, this is a good Batman series and well worth your time.  

The Mainstream One: Defenders Silver Surfer #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Latour
Art: Ron Garney

What it is: ‘THE BEST DEFENSE’ PART FOUR! Shall not the Judge of All the Earths do right?
Norrin Radd is not so certain. But it falls to him who is the Silver Surfer to decide which planets will live…and which will feed the unending hunger of the world-devouring Galactus! A single honest person can tip the balance…if only the Surfer can find one in time! And the Train rolls on… Rated T+

Why we like it: The Surfer is one of my favorite Marvel characters, and now that he’s back under control of the MCU I expect a big push coming for the FF and Surfer in 2019 before inevitably they make their way back to the big screen.

The Indie One: Murder Falcon

Publisher: Image
Words: Daniel Warren Johnson
Art: Mike Spicer

What it is: Jake. Murder Falcon. Johann. Who’s next to join the band? If they’re going to defeat the Veldar, they’re going to need someone to lay down a heavy beat.

Why we like it: This book is so metal that I can’t even. If you read comics and you are a fan of metal music, I promise that you will absolutely love Murder Falcon.

The #1 One: Batman Who Laughs #1 (of 6)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: Left rattled by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Bruce Wayne must come face to face with the nightmares spawned from the Dark Multiverse. But even though evil devoured evil in the collapse of Challengers Mountain, the Dark Knight still has his doubts. He discovers that the Batman Who Laughs not only survived the fight with The Joker at the end of METAL, but now he is enacting a sinister plan across the Multiverse-something both terrifying and oddly familiar. But when Bruce Wayne realizes the only way to stop this madman is to kill him, he must consider violating the very rule Batman won’t break…the same rule that created this insatiable villain-the Batman Who Laughs!

Why we like it: DC’s recent breakout character is getting his own mini series and he’s being given the high-profile treatment, with two of DC’s most recognizable, creative talents attached. If you aren’t familiar with the character, he comes from the Earth -22 dimensions where Bruce Wayne as Batman is driven insane by the Joker, transforming him into the Batman Who Laughs.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-man #11 (Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Nick Spencer
Ryan Ottley
Cover Art: Gabriele Dell Otto

What it is: J. JONAH JAMESON has a new job as a shock jock, but is the world ready for a pro-Spider-Man JJJ? More importantly, is Spider-Man ready? His post-secret-identity relationship with Jonah was already complicated, but this very public embrace may put him over the edge! Spidey’s definitely not ready for the Enforcers to come at him harder than ever! Rated T

Why we like it: Kneel before the badassery that is Dell Otto!


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 – December 5, 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 #60

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: Batman takes on a new partner, and it’s…the Penguin? After rejecting Bane’s crime-boss co-op, Cobblepot finds himself in the crosshairs of some very teed-off villains. The feathered felon turns to his old foe to snitch on Bane’s scheme, but has to prove his intentions to avoid a Bat-beatdown. Along the way, this Gotham odd couple begins to bond-could there be a new bird joining the Bat-Family? Not if Bane has anything to say about it…

Why we love it: Batman has been good, but not Top of the Pile worthy for a while now. The oddball Batman/Penguin team-up plot has been fine, but there’s a reveal on the last page of this week’s issue that is absolutely bonkers. You do not want to miss this one!

The Mainstream One: Doomsday #8 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: The critical and commercial hit series by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continues following the shocking revelations of last issue. As the truth behind Dr. Manhattan’s actions against the DC Universe are revealed, Ozymandias turns to the only being who can stop him: Superman.

Why we like it: The puzzle pieces are falling into place and Doomsday Clock is finally beginning to reveal how Dr. Manhattan is connected to the Superman Theory and, more importantly, to DC’s 2016 Rebirth event.

The Indie One: Die #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Stephanie Hans

What it is: THE WICKED + THE DIVINE writer KIERON GILLEN teams up with artist supernova STEPHANIE HANS (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE 1831, Journey Into Mystery) for her first ongoing comic! DIE is a pitch-black fantasy where a group of forty-something adults have to deal with the returning unearthly horror they barely survived as teenage role-players. If Kieron’s in a rush, he describes it as ‘Goth Jumanji.’ That only captures a sliver of what you’ll find in oversized debut issue-where fantasy gets all too real.

Why we like it: With two superstar creators attached to it, Die! #1 has been one of the most highly-anticipated, new Image titles releasing this year. Especially excited to see Stephanie Hans, who up to now has been mostly known for her cover artwork, providing interior art for an ongoing series.

The #1 One: Defenders Immortal Hulk #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Simone Di Meo

What it is: ‘THE BEST DEFENSE’ STARTS HERE! Stephen Strange is dead. A charred skeleton in an abandoned barn on the edge of a deserted town. Bruce Banner wants to know why. And he won’t stop until he has the truth in his hands, with or without THE IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we like it: Immortal Hulk has been one of the most interesting character refreshes in recent memory, so I’m interested in anything Hulk at the moment. I love that Marvel is bringing back the OG Defenders team. Namor also has a Defenders #1 issue out this week, and I cannot wait for Defenders Silver Surfer #1 out next week.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #38

Publisher: DC
Christopher Priest
Fernando Pasarin
Cover Art: Francisco Mattina

What it is: Deathstroke finally meets his match: Arkham Asylum?! Now an inmate, Slade Wilson must prove his sanity so he can stop an alien invasion (what?). Before he can even attempt a breakout, he’s got to face off against angry Arkham inmates out to get him. And what’s Two-Face’s role in all this mayhem? He keeps showing up in two places at once! Meanwhile, Deathstroke’s daughter, Rose Wilson, is kidnapped! Can Jericho save his sister?

Why we like it: Mattina’s dominance on cover art shows no sign of slowing. The man is an absolute beast.


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