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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – March 20, 2019

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: Spider-man Life Story #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Mark Bagley

What it is: In 1962, in AMAZING FANTASY #15, 15-year-old Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became the Amazing Spider-Man! Fifty-seven years have passed in the real world since that event – so what would have happened if the same amount of time passed for Peter as well? A special high-end limited series that’s a part of the celebration of Marvel’s 80th anniversary, SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY combines the talents of Chip Zdarsky (SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, MARVEL 2-IN-ONE) and Mark Bagley (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN) to tell the entire history of Spider-Man from beginning to end, set against the key events of the decades through which he lived! In this first oversized issue, when Flash Thompson is drafted to serve during the Vietnam War, Spidey must weigh the question of where his responsibility truly lies! Rated T

Why we love it: Chip Zdarsky is coming off an acclaimed run on Spectacular Spider-Man and taking Spidey back in time, all the way back to the 1960’s. Don’t worry, this is not a time travel story. This is the Silver Age Spider-man, living through the Silver Age, doing something that we rarely get a chance to see super heroes do, growing up.

The Mainstream One: Naomi #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Jamal Cambell

What it is: A brand-new character in the DC Universe comes into focus as Naomi confronts the one person in her small town she is convinced knows the secret of her mysterious adoption and her obsession with Superman. The truth is going to change both her and the DC Universe forever. The secret of Naomi opens the door to an enormous reveal you will not want to miss. This exciting new mystery from the powerhouse creative team of writers Brian Michael Bendis (Jessica Jones, Spider-Man) and David F. Walker (Shaft, Cyborg) and new, amazing art talent Jamal Campbell.

Why we like it: DC and Bendis clearly have big, long term plans for Naomi. The first two issues have been teasing a mysterious connection to Superman and it sounds like we’re getting the goods this week. I’ve really been enjoying this series, it has been charming and introspective in a way that reminds me of G. Willow Wilson’s run on Ms. Marvel.

The Indie One: Invisible Kingdom #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: G. Willow Wilson
Art: Christian Ward

What it is: Set in a far-flung star system, this new epic sci-fi monthly saga tells the tale of two women–a young religious acolyte and a hard-bitten freighter pilot–who separately uncover a vast conspiracy between the leader of the system’s dominant religion and the mega-corporation that controls society. On the run from reprisals on both sides, this unlikely pair of rebels risk plunging the world into anarchy if they reveal the truth. But when your beliefs betray you, what choice is there left? By Hugo Award-winning writer G. Willow Wilson (Wonder Woman, Ms. Marvel) and Eisner Award-winning artist Christian Ward (Black BoltODY-C).

Why we like it: G. Willow Wilson is one of my favorite authors, Christian Ward’s artwork will melt your face off, and it’s being published under the Berger Book imprint, curated by legendary comics editor Karen Berger. That’s a trifecta of awesome.

The #1 One: Rise #1

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words and art: Don Aguillo

What it is: Nine-year-old royal orphan Zakaiah falls heir to the throne of the broken post-apocalyptic kingdom of Pacifica, and must endure the Trials of the House of Jasser, a series of tests designed to prepare her to occupy the seat of the kingdom. Recently orphaned and reluctant to embark on a set of trials to teach and test her on the responsibilities that now rest on her shoulders, she is guided on this tumultuous path by soldiers and strangers, plagued by their own struggles, pasts and hidden agendas. Embarking on the journey on a dark road with strangers who now answer to her and inexperienced in carrying the weight of the world, she’s left the only home she’s ever known to explore the realm she now has the responsibility to rule. Behind them, the empty throne is at the mercy of a ruling class that threatens to usurp it for their own dark agendas, and just beyond the shadows ahead, the emergence of an ancient evil threatens to halt their journey dead in its tracks.

Why we like it: I’m picking this one up on the strength of the artwork. I’ve seen a few preview pages and the interior artwork is as gorgeous as the cover.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Immortal Hulk #15

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

What it is: Dr. Leonard Samson is a gamma mutate and part-time super hero who recently came back from the dead. He’s been wanting to discuss that with an old patient of his… But he’s not here to see Bruce Banner. Take a seat on the couch, IMMORTAL HULK. It’s going to be quite a session. Rated T+

Why we like it: Alex Ross doing his Hulk thing.

 

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 – March 13, 2019

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 the Grim Knight #1 (Dell’Otto variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Eduardo Risso

What it is: Ripped from Batman’s greatest nightmares, the Grim Knight is his world’s most dangerous vigilante, unafraid to use any weapon and go to any lengths to stop those whom he deems worthy of death. Trained with the finest arsenal Wayne money can buy, learn the secret origin of the second-deadliest Batman, hand selected by the Batman Who Laughs to bring his dark plans to fruition. This one-shot has a big 28-page story!

Why we love it: We all know that “no guns” is one of Batman’s hard fast rules, but what if it wasn’t? That’s the basic hook of the Grim Knight. The Grim Knight is what could have happened if Joe Chill had dropped his gun in Crime Alley and Bruce Wayne picked it up. Undoubtedly a Batman with guns and without moral qualms about killing would be a thousand times more effective at stopping crime. He’s not the hero that we deserve, but maybe he’s the hero that we need.

The Mainstream One: Avengers No Road Home #5 (of 10)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Sean Izaakse

What it is: THE ALL-NEW WEEKLY AVENGERS EVENT CONTINUES! As the Scarlet Witch works to escape Nyx’s prison of darkness, the Hulk takes on Hypnos, Lord of Sleep, in the realm of Nightmare! LEGACY #712 Rated T+

Why we like it: Conan the Barbarian joins the Marvel universe and meets the Avengers.

The Indie One: Murder Falcon #6

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: For those about to shred, we salute you! Magnum Khaos is one step closer to enslaving our planet, and the only hope for Brooticus lies within the newest member of the band!

Why we like it: Only 3 issues left in this mini/maxi series. Every issue has rocked so far, so I’m sticking around until the curtain comes down.

The #1 One: Little Bird #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Image
Words: Darcy Van Poelgeest
Art: Ian Bertram

What it is: MINISERIES PREMIERE! Director/screenwriter DARCY VAN POELGEEST boasts a long list of awards and accolades for his storytelling prowess and brings the same writing finesse to IAN BERTRAM’s breathtakingly detailed artwork in the gorgeous, hyper-detailed miniseries LITTLE BIRD. With the same limitless scope as a new EAST OF WEST or SAGA and the drama and surrealism of Akira, LITTLE BIRD follows a young resistance fighter who battles against an oppressive American Empire and searches for her own identity in a world on fire.

Why we like it: I think it’s funny how the solicit compares the “limitless scope” of this series with seminal sci-fi epics like East of West and Saga, and then they turn around and release a 5-issue mini series. How limitless can the scope be if you can cram it all into under 100 pages? The previews look cool though: https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/JAN190099?Prevue=1

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: X-23 #10 (Inhyuk Lee variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Mariko Tamaki
Art:
Diego Olortegui
Cover Art: Inhyuk Lee

What it is: The mystery behind X-Assassin revealed! What will Laura and Gabby do when they come face-to-face with an army of genetically altered assassins? Gabby’s life will forever change after this! Rated T+

Why we like it: Inhyuk Lee is one of Marvel’s rising stars in the cover art department. This is one of his best compositions to date. Still don’t understand why this is on the cover of X-23’s book, especially when there’s a Spiderman book out this week, but I digress.

 

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 – March 6, 2019

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: Doomsday Clock #9 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: The critically acclaimed series by master storytellers Geoff Johns and Gary Frank reaches its most shocking chapter yet when the DC Universe collides with its greatest threat: Dr. Manhattan. But nothing is hidden from Manhattan, and the secrets of the past, present and future will rock the very foundation of the DC Universe.

Why we love it: We’re into endgame with Doomsday Clock. The every other month release schedule has really been killing the flow of the narrative, but every issue has been phenomenal.

The Mainstream One: Star Wars Vader Dark Visions #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Paolo Villanelli

What it is: WHO IS DARTH VADER? He has been many things: a SITH warrior, a commander, a destroyer. DARTH VADER is to many throughout the GALACTIC EMPIRE a symbol of fear and mysterious, otherworldly power. But there are some who have seen the DARK LORD in a different light. There are some corners of the galaxy so dark and desperate that even Vader can be a knight in shining armor. The first issue of a new STAR WARS limited series, writer Dennis Hopeless (CLOAK AND DAGGER, JEAN GREY) sheds new light on the many sides of the galaxy’s greatest villain. Rated T

Why we like it: Need something to fill that Empire sized hole in your life since Darth Vader ended in December? Fear not because while his ongoing series ends, Vader’s legacy expands with a brand new mini series with brand new tales from the dark side.

The Indie One: Once Our Land 2 #1

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words and Art: Peter Ricq

What it is: Giant-sized first issue! The long-awaited sequel to the post-apocalyptic break-out hit! Set in 1830’s Germany where creatures from another world have conquered our land. Six years have passed since Ingrid and Fritz have ventured out of their hometown. After their long search for other survivors, they finally make their discovery. The problem is, the survivors are worse than the monsters that roam the land. A fantasy, sci-fi, action, period piece rolled into one epic package. A tale for little and big ones.

Why we like it: The first volume of Once Our Land was a delightfully illustrated, albeit short, adventure. I’m excited for this follow up and I hear that there’s an animated film in the works as well.

The #1 One: Black Hammer ’45 #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Ray Fawkes

What it is: From the World of Black Hammer comes a truly gripping tale of war and intrigue! During the Golden Age of superheroes, an elite Air Force crew called the Black Hammer Squadron was formed to fight the Axis powers. Facing occult threats from the German side, this team must save a family of scientists from the Nazi’s. But the mysterious and dangerous Ghost Hunter is hot on their trail.

Why we like it: If you haven’t read Black Hammer yet, I would describe it as a book about super heroes that isn’t a super hero book. The characters and events in Black Hammer are so bizarre and intriuging that it elevates above the standard capes and tights tropes.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Immortal Hulk #14

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Al Ewing
Art:
Kyle Hotz
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: Betty Ross is going through a lot. She’s having a family crisis. Her employers won’t pick up the phone. And at her door is the husband she thought was dead. But Bruce Banner hasn’t come alone. He’s brought the IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we like it: Immortal Hulk has consistently been one of the best selling, best reviewed comics published in the past year. To top it of, Alex Ross is on cover art duty and he’s doing some of his finest work in years. Easy pick.

 

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