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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – April 18, 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: Action Comics #1000

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Everyone

What it is: Celebrate 1000 issues of Action Comics with an all-star lineup of top talent as they pay tribute to the comic that started it all! From today’s explosive action to a previously unpublished tale illustrated by the legendary Curt Swan to the Man of Tomorrow’s future-this very special, oversized issue presents the best of the best in Superman stories!

Why we love it: That is a lot of zeroes. Action Comics #1 came out in 1938 and started a cultural revolution. Congrats Supes, you’ve been an inspiration to us all. May you live to see another thousand.

The Mainstream One: Amazing Spider-man #799

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is:  GO DOWN SWINGING Part 3. SPIDER-MAN will need to the help of friend and foe alike if he hopes to stop THE GREEN GOBLIN this time! The mystery of the RED GOBLIN is finally revealed, and it’s not going to be pretty for Peter Parker!

Why we like it: You may think that nothing could top last issue’s reveal of the Red Goblin’s true identity, but you would be so wrong! I was able to check out an advanced preview of issue #799 and there’s a heartbreaking reveal in here that is guaranteed to knock the webbing out of your shooters.

The Indie One: Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1

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

What it is: The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga returns! Picking up immediately where we left off–Lucy Weber has become the new Black Hammer and right as she’s about to reveal to our heroes how they got stuck on the farm and can escape she vanishes. Now our new Black Hammer finds herself trapped in a gritty world filled with punk rock detectives, emo gods, anthropomorphic humans, absurdist heroes, and many more weirdoes, in a mad world in which there is no escape!

Why we like it: Black Hammer is one of the best indie titles I’m currently reading. It’s a story about superheroes but it’s not a typical superhero story. The characters are flawed, conflicted and often impotent against the mysterious force that has them trapped in a world that no one understands. If you haven’t checked this series out already, do yourself a favor and order the volume 1 trade paper back.

The #1 One: Harley Quinn #42

Publisher: DC
Words: Frank Tieri
Art: Mauricet

What it is: Old Lady Harley”! In this far-flung future tale, Harley returns home thirty years after leaving Coney Island — or, more accurately, she’s DRAGGED home — to deal with the mess that the Gangs of Harley have made in her absence! Her disciples have all splintered into warring tribes, and they’ve torn down what’s left of ravaged, mutated New York City in the process!

Why we like it: Ok, so technically not a #1 but Old Lady Harley sounds hilarious. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the gang has aged.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Weapon X #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Roland Boschi
Cover Art: Eric Canete

What it is: ‘OLD MAN LOGAN VS. SABRETOOTH’ CONCLUSION! Savage action as Old Man Logan and Sabretooth fight alone in a containment facility filled with horrific beasts! But who will prove himself the biggest monster? Witness the true fate of Sabretooth from the Wastelands of Old Man Logan’s past! Sets up a huge status quo change for Marvel’s deadliest team of mutants!

Why we like it: I peed a little when I first saw this cover. Terrifying.

 

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 – April 11, 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: Thanos #18

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: AT LONG LAST…THANOS WINS! When there is nothing left to kill, Death comes…to the one who loves her most – KING THANOS. How will the fantastic saga of Thanos, King Thanos and the Cosmic Ghost Rider end?

Why we love it: The can’t miss conclusion to Donny Cates and Geoff Shaws’ exceptional Thanos run drops this week. It’s Thanos vs Thanos and the winner marries Death. Sounds like one of those, you win but you actually lose, type scenarios.

The Mainstream One: Captain America #700 (Alex Ross 1:50 variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee

What it is: OUT OF TIME CONCLUSION! Cap is finally ‘OUT OF TIME’! Frozen in time, awakened in a decimated future and once again a man out of his era, there is only one way for Steve Rogers to restore order and rebuild civilization-and that’s to rule it as King Captain America! No dream, no hoax, no lie, this IS Cap and this IS happening, believe it or not! PLUS: Mark Waid delivers an untold tale from Captain America’s past, featuring the classic artwork of Jack Kirby! Rated T+

Why we like it: Happy 700th Cap. To celebrate Marvel’s making you king of future world. A monarchy seems like the kind of thing that Captain America would be opposed to, so I expect his reign to be a short one.

The Indie One: Gideon Falls #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andea Sorrentino

What it is: The brand-new supernatural mystery series by the acclaimed team of JEFF LEMIRE and ANDREA SORRENTINO (Old Man Logan, Green Arrow) continues. The mysteries of the ‘Black Barn’ heighten as the reclusive Norton begins to unravel new clues just as a murder spree breaks out in the town of Gideon Falls. But how is it all connected?! The puzzle pieces begin to fall.

Why we like it: Issue 1 of Gideon Falls was a very strong premiere for the new series by creative superstars Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. Part urban horror, part rural mystery, Gideon Falls touches on themes of madness, obsession, religion and good old fashioned ghosties.

The #1 One: Immortal Men #1

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Jim Lee, Scott Williams

What it is: ‘THE END OF FOREVER’ part one! There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first? RATED T+

Why we like it: DC’s New Age of Heroes has been a bit of a mixed bag, but there have been some positive standouts. I really like the creative team on this title, and I hope Tynion and Lee stick around for a while.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Supergirl #20 (Artgerm Cover B variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Steve Orlando
Art: Robson Rocha
Cover Art: Stanley Artgerm Lai

What it is: Supergirl must fight both Mokkari and the out-of-dimension Viking Judge to save Director Bones from the fury of the Viking’s magical ax! Meanwhile, with Director Bones out of the picture, Cameron Chase and Lar-On must break into the D.E.O. to save Veritas before the clock counts down to zero and the psycho-redactor erases her memories forever!

Why we like it: Based on Michael Turner’s Supergirl costume design, issue 20 is my new favorite from the run. I believe that this is the last cover B that Stanley Artgerm Lau is doing on Supergirl, and  its an absolute beauty. But don’t fret, Artgerm will keep the cover B’s moving as it has been announced that he will be doing B covers on Joelle Jones’ Catwoman series launching in July.

 

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 – April 4, 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 #798

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is: GO DOWN SWINGING Part 2 Dan Slott’s final SPIDER-MAN story continues! The GREEN GOBLIN HAS RETURNED – and he’s exacting his ultimate revenge not only on SPIDER-MAN, but on everyone the wall-crawler loves! Norman Osborn’s offering NO QUARTER, an ultimatum that threatens to finish PETER PARKER once and for all! Rated T

Why we love it: The Red Goblin makes his first appearance in the pages of ASM #798. ‘Nuff said.

The Mainstream One: Batman #44

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘SOMETHING BLUE’! Follow Batman and Catwoman on two separate but parallel paths as their wedding planning kicks into high gear. Selina picks out her dress, and Bruce starts to make arrangements for their new life together-but this being Gotham City, and they being Batman and Catwoman, you can bet that nothing will go as expected!

Why we like it: We’re only a few months away from the much anticipated Bat/Cat wedding day. I doubt many readers actually believe that they will go through with it and I think we’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Writer Tom King excels at infusing the insanity of superhero stories with mundane slice-of-life moments and this Batman run has been his masterpiece.

The Indie One: Spawn #284

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: The re-creation of Spawn’s arch villain THE VIOLATOR…A NEW LOOK! NEW POWERS!

Why we like it: Spawn creator Todd McFarlane returns to resurrect the most well-known, possibly only-known, character from Spawn’s rogue gallery. And it looks like the Violator will be getting an upgrade. Fracesco Mattina is also back with another stunning cover that alone is worth the price of admission. 

The #1 One: Isola #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Brenden Fletcher
Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: Childhood friends BRENDEN FLETCHER (MOTOR CRUSH) and Eisner Award-winning storyteller KARL KERSCHL (Gotham Academy) reunite on the comics page with a breathtaking fantasy adventure two decades in the making! The captain of the Royal Guard has fled the capital city with the Queen of Maar, suffering under the effects of an evil spell. Captain Rook’s only hope of returning Queen Olwyn to her throne and saving the kingdom from impending war lies on an island half a world away-a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead. Featuring lush color work by MSASSYK (Gotham Academy) and letters by ADITYA BIDIKAR (MOTOR CRUSH). Recommended for fans of Studio Ghibli and the work of Hayao Miyazaki.

Why we like it: Cool concept from a stellar creative team.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #30

Publisher: DC
Words: Christopher Priest
Art: Carlo Pagulayan
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: ‘Deathstroke vs. Batman’ part one! Beginning this month, a six-issue series-within-a-series featuring the ultimate showdown between DC’s fiercest rivals! When Batman discovers a mysterious package containing DNA test results proving that he is not Damian Wayne’s biological father, the Dark Knight sets his sights on his son’s true father-Deathstroke! But Damian Wayne can’t really be Slade Wilson’s son-can he? And who sent the package-and why? The ultimate custody battle ensues as the World’s Greatest Detective and the World’s Deadliest Assassin clash in this instant classic!

Why we like it: Francesco Mattina joins an exclusive group of creators who have made the Crank File list twice in the same week. He’s making a strong case for being the top cover artist of 2018. The colors and composition of this Deathstroke cover are killer.

 

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 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: Dark Knight Metal #6

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: All roads lead…to darkness. In the devastating and epic conclusion to DC’s cataclysmic event series, heroes from across the universe make their final charge into the unknown to battle the forces of the Dark Multiverse! Space and time, dreams and nightmares, all will collide – and what is left at the end will leave the DC Universe irrevocably changed!

Why we love it: Better late than never, I suppose. DC’s lucky that Metal has been rock solid, or else I wouldn’t have bothered. But I can’t look away now, not when the end is at hand. Every issue in this series has ended on a note of hopelessness, with our heroes facing increasingly hopeless scenarios. During last issue’s finale, Batman and Superman had been disintegrated at the World Forge, Barbatos and the dark universe had succeeded in crossing over into our universe and the world had basically gone to hell. I can’t imagine how they’ll get out of this mess in one issue but here it is, the conclusion to Dark Nights Metal.

The Mainstream One: Doomsday Clock #4

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: The series you thought you’d never see reaches its fourth issue with a shocking revelation about the aftermath of Ozymandias’ actions and how they reach into even the darkest corners of the DC Universe. Don’t miss the latest chapter by the acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank!

Why we like it: The countdown to Doomsday continues, only now it’s counting down at half speed after the announcement that issues would be coming out every other month. We are almost 2 years post Rebirth and it boggles my mind that many of the mysteries seeded back then still haven’t borne fruit. What was the deal with the multiple Supermen? Where is Dr. Manhatten and what role did he play in creating the New52 universe? What was up with the 3 Jokers reveal? With so many loose plot threads still dangling, the clock’s ticking to deliver answers or else I fear fans will just stop caring.

The Indie One: Saga #50

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples

What it is: SAGA TURNS 50! To help their friends, Hazel and her parents risk everything to visit a dangerous new world. Celebrating 50 consecutive issues by the same award-winning creative team. Plus, the winners of the latest SAGA COSTUME CONTEST are revealed exclusively in ‘To Be Continued,’ the letters page showcasing the best readers in comics!

Why we like it: I know I said that I would stop highlighting Saga every week that it comes out, but this is a milestone issue for what I consider to be the most important independent comic being published right now. If you haven’t been reading Saga, now is not a good jumping on point as the last two issues have been foreshadowing some serious shit going down in this arc. And if you haven’t been reading Saga, I would highly recommend that you remedy that situation immediately.

 The #1 One: Bruce Lee Walk of the Dragon

Publisher: Darby Pop
Words: Nicole Dubuc, Shannon Lee, Jeff Kline
Art: Brandon McKinney

What it is: Philosopher/teacher/real-life superhero Bruce Lee is back. And, let’s be honest, the world needs him now more than ever. Taking a brief respite from battling an otherworldly evil, Bruce Lee attempts to navigate modern-day Southern California despite still suffering from amnesia and having been ‘out of the loop’ for over 45 years. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a simple ‘lunch run’ soon turns into a comedy of errors involving mistaken identity, a Film Festival,’ and the pokey. And despite never being one to initiate fisticuffs, Bruce continues to find it difficult to both hide his martial arts skills – and keep his shirt on.

Why we like it: I’m a huge fan of Bruce Lee, but not necessarily his comics. These Darby Pop comics are being produced under the watchful eye of Bruce’s daughter Shannon and it’s definitely aimed towards a younger audience, lacking any gratuitous violence, controversy or compelling drama. I enjoy the “man out of time” hook and watching a newly unfrozen Bruce navigate modern society is entertaining. But otherwise these are fairly vanilla stories that focus on fun, comedy and morality.

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Damnation Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Christopher Sebela
Art: Phil Noto
Cover Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: DAMNATION TIE-IN! Johnny Blaze takes the fight to a different devil than he usually faces – Mephisto! But Mephisto will show Johnny his own brand of suffering – and give Johnny PLENTY of reasons for vengeance. Rated T+

Why we like it: Hot damn, this cover is straight fire!

 

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 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:  The Mighty Thor #705 

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Russel Dauterman

What it is: THE DEATH OF THE MIGHTY THOR Part 6 The epic showdown years in the making finally explodes across the heavens. Thor battles the unstoppable Mangog, with the fate of all Asgardia hanging in the balance. Is Thor willing to pay the ultimate price in order to save the gods? The tragic and heroic story of Jane Foster finally reaches its heart-rending zenith. You knew it was coming. The Death of Thor is here at last. Rated T+

Why we love it: Seems like Jane Foster is losing her battle with cancer. Grab a box of tissues and get ready for the feels.

The Mainstream One: Doctor Strange Damnation #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Syzmon Kudranski

What it is: Wong’s makeshift Midnight Sons (Iron Fist! Blade! Moon Knight! The Scarlet Spider?!) stand against a whole platoon of Ghost Riders! Rated T+

Why we like it: Doctor Strange used his magic to raise Las Vegas up from total annihilation, but he didn’t count on Mephisto bringing a casino and the hoards of hell along with it. Oh yeah, and the Avengers have all been transformed into Ghost Riders under Mephisto’s control.

The Indie One: Descender #28

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: ‘OLD WORLDS,’ Part Two 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 Descender’ variant covers by DUSTIN NGUYEN in his ‘Little Robot’ style.

Why we like it: They teased us with the reveal last month, but apparently THIS is the issue where we finally learn the truth about the Harvesters and their connection to Tim-21.

 The #1 One: Weapon H #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Cory Smith

What it is: AWOL Part 1 The Weapon X Program has done it again! At the cost of their own destruction, they’ve completed their biggest and possibly most dangerous experiment yet… With the strength of the Hulk and the rage and claws of Wolverine comes WEAPON H! It’s been some time since Weapon H escaped and destroyed his creators. Now, our hero is on the run, as he tries to escape his mysterious past and seclude himself from the rest of society. But when a new kind of Wendigo threatens the lives of others, will Weapon H be able to shirk his responsibility? Does any of his humanity remain? Only the creative team of Greg Pak (INCREDIBLE HULK) and Cory Smith (X-MEN BLUE) can give you the answers! Rated T+

Why we like it: Marvel’s breakout character of 2017 get his own series with Weapon H #1. Part Wolverine, part Hulk, one hundred percent bad-ass.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batwoman #13

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Fernando Blanco
Cover Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: ‘The Fall of the House of Kane’ part one! After her deadly trip around the world hunting the infamous Many Arms of Death, Batwoman returns to her childhood home in Brussels, the site of her most brutal losses and memories. As the clock begins to tick on a new cycle of violence, Kate must overcome her haunted past to prevent an attack more terrible than any before!

Why we like it: Lee Bermejo gives us one of the best Batwoman covers of all time.

 

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 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: Mister Miracle #7

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: Mister Miracle and Big Barda are in a panic. The war with Apokolips isn’t going well. And it’s Barda’s turn to have her past come crashing back into her present as the Female Furies appear on the scene with blood on their minds. Continuing the acclaimed miniseries that Entertainment Weekly called ‘by far the best comic on the stands right now.’

Why we love it: I don’t know what powers made Entertainment Weekly the authority on what is the best comic on the stands right now, but I grudgingly have to agree with their assessment. This is one of those series that pushes the limits of the comic medium and tells a visual story in a new way. King and Gerad’s Mister Miracle is real heady stuff, not a book that you will be able to just pick up and catch up on. If you haven’t been keeping up, you’ll definitely want to hunt down the first 6 issues or wait for the first trade to drop next month.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #684

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Joe Bennet

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 10 THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES IN THIS OVERSIZED ISSUE! Back from the dead! He cannot be reasoned with. He will not be stopped. Bruce Banner isn’t home right now. There is only THE IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we like it: There was never any doubt if, it was just a matter of when. And this week Bruce Banner is back. I read a synopsis of Immortal Hulk and it almost sounds like he’s going to have some kind of zombie power where he can rise from the dead? Sounds kind of silly, but I’m digging this No Surrender story line and that Mark Brooks cover is dope.

The Indie One: Infidel #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Pornsak Pichetshote
Art: Aaron Campbell

What it is: A haunted house story for the 21st century, INFIDEL follows an American Muslim woman and her multiracial neighbors who move into a building haunted by entities that feed off xenophobia. Bestselling editor PORNSAK PICHETSHOTE (Swamp Thing) makes his comics-writing debut alongside artist extraordinaire AARON CAMPBELL (The Shadow), award-winning colorist and editor JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA (Promethea) and letterer / designer JEFF POWELL (SCALES & SCOUNDRELS).

Why we like it: Very intriguing premise. I think many minorities are haunted by the specters of fear and prejudice.

 

The #1 One: Eternity Girl #1

Publisher: DC Young Animals
Words: Magdalene Visaggio
Art: Sonny Liew

What it is: Caroline Sharp has been a lot of things, including both a superhero and a super-spy. But now, with those days behind her and her powers proving unreliable, Caroline finds herself stuck in a life weighed down by her depression and an inability to change. You see, Caroline is going to live forever, and there is no escape to be had. The very act of living reminds her that, to the rest of existence, she is an anomaly. All of that could change, however, when her old foe, Madame Atom, comes to her with an intriguing offer. Madame Atom can give Caroline the power to end her life; she just has to destroy the rest of the world. This brand-new DC’s Young Animal miniseries spins out of the Milk Wars event, written by GLAAD Media Award-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio (Kim and Kim) and illustrated by Eisner-winning artist Sonny Liew (The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye).

Why we like it: Another new series with an interesting premise. Life is a gift, but only because we know that someday it ends. But what if it didn’t? Eternal life seems glamorous at first but I would be that after several hundred years of watching your loves die, it would start feeling like a curse.

The Ones I’m Buying for the Cover:

Just too much outstanding cover art this week. Here are some of my favorites and, get this, they are ALL cover price.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20

Detective Comics #976

Justice League of America #26

SuperGirl #19

Deadly Class #32

Doctor Strange #384

Darth Vader #13

 

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 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: Extremity #12

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson 

What it is: SERIES FINALE In this extra-sized finale, the Paznina and Roto go to war, with Thea caught in the middle. But in war, there are no winners…

Why we love it: Extremity was such an unexpected delight that I was shocked to learn that it was ending after a scant 12 issues. There was enough world building for this to go on for 30 issues, easily. But creator Daniel Warren Johnson stated that he had a definitive end to his war story and we get to witness it all go down on Wednesday. Why does everything I love go away? Sigh… 

The Mainstream One: Amazing Spider-man #797

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dann Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is: GO DOWN SWINGING Part 1 The Green Goblin is back – and scarier than ever! Dan Slott has saved his most harrowing Spider-Man story for last as he and Stuart Immonen kick off the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN story ten years in the making. Osborn got his crazy back and has a plan that’ll make all his past plans look like child’s play. Peter Parker and the people he loves (ALL of them) are in deep trouble. And who or what is the RED GOBLIN?! The only way Spider-Man survives is to GO DOWN SWINGING! Rated T

Why we like it: Marvel has been really milking the Red Goblin reveal. And just like Dan Slott’s run on ASM, it’s gone on way too long. He’s been teased for at least the last three issues and he still hasn’t made his full appearance. I’m guessing we won’t see him in all of his glory until issue #800, but maybe we get a cameo this week.

The Indie One: Gideon Falls #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino

What it is: A brand-new ongoing series from the acclaimed bestselling creative team of Old Man Logan and Green Arrow! The lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed-up Catholic priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets, become intertwined around the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, an otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake. Rural mystery and urban horror collide in this character-driven meditation on obsession, mental illness, and faith.

Why we like it: Jeff Lemire makes his triumphant return to Image with Gideon Falls and he’s bringing along Andrea Sorrentino. Their run on Marvel’s Old Man Logan was one of the highlights of Marvel’s All-New, All-Different campaign. I like Sorrentino’s expressive and atmospheric art, but his scratchy line work and use of washed out colors can make for confusing compositions. Still, I’ll read just about anything that Lemire writes and the buzz ahead of this book is solid. Don’t miss out on this one. 

 The #1 One: Oblivion Song #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Lorenzo De Felici

What it is: A decade ago, 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion. The government made every attempt to recover them, but after many years, they gave up. Nathan Cole…won’t. He makes daily trips, risking his life to try and rescue those still living in the apocalyptic hellscape of Oblivion. But maybe…Nathan is looking for something else? Why can’t he resist the siren call of the Oblivion Song?

Why we like it: After Invincible ended it’s epic 100+ issue run, Kirkman wasted no time starting out on his next saga, Oblivion Song, which drops this week. There is a lot of excitement for this series premiere because a) it’s Kirkman and b) the advanced previews look amazing. The print run on this book is going to be massive, so don’t expect this #1 to raise to the levels of Walking Dead, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking out what looks to be a seriously cool sci-fi book.

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: She Hulk #163

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mariko Tamaki
Art: Diego Olortegui
Cover Art: Rahzzah

What it is: JEN WALTERS MUST DIE Part 5 IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN!
Jen Walters has gone through some stuff. She’s fought golems made of rage and fear, faced monsters twice her size and won tough court battles. What’s next for Jen? Well…let’s find out. Rated T+

Why we like it: Between Luke Cage and She Hulk, Rahzzah has been putting out some sweet cover art. I believe #163 is the final issue of this She Hulk run. Last issues will typically have a small print run, so don’t sleep on this one if you like it. She will be back when Avengers gets rebooted in May, but that’s a whole other discussion for another time…

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 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: Thanos #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 4. The secret origins of King Thanos’ right-hand man, the cosmic spirit of vengeance, Ghost Rider! Just who IS this madman and how did he become allies with the most evil man in the Universe? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Donny Cates has been absolutely slaying it on both of his Marvel runs. Thanos has been getting a lot more of the publicity because of a “new” character, the Cosmic Ghost Rider. We recently learned that the Cosmic Ghost Rider is none other than Frank Castle, and this Wednesday we learn what made the Punisher trade in his white go-go boots for leather and chains.

 

The Mainstream One: Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #300 (Alex Ross 1:50 variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Adam Kubert

What it is: MOST WANTED Part 4. An oversized anniversary epic, told the only way your pre-eminent pals in the Spidey-Office know how – in the Mighty Marvel Manner! For weeks, the Tinkerer has been launching a campaign against his do-gooder brother, the Mason, and Spidey’s nearly met his maker more than once trying to stop their sibling rivalry! With a little help from a tech-heavy team of Marvel heroes, Spider-Man takes the fight directly to Tinkerer! But Tinkerer’s got tech of his own and it’s out of this world! Rated T

Why we like it: Happy 300th Spectacular Spider-man! If I can find that 1:50 Alex Ross variant for under $40, I’m buying it. There’s also a Gabreille Dell Otto variant featuring the Red Goblin on the cover that is worth mentioning.

 

The Indie One: Beef #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Image
Words: Richard Starkings
Art: Shaky Kane

What it is: The creator of ELEPHANTMEN and the creator of The A-Men join forces with TYLER SHAINLINE (Liberty Justice) to bring you the story of Meat Men! Chuck is a mild-mannered meat factory worker who is a little in love with a strawberry picker named Mary Lynn. But everything changes when Mary Lynn falls victim to the Vodino Brothers….

Why we like it: Saga is back this week, but I feel like I spotlight that series every month. So I’m throwing a change up and picking this new series from the creator of the cult favorite Elephantmen. I read a preview and while I wasn’t impressed by the artwork, there was a weird and quirky sense to the dialogue that I enjoyed. From what I gathered, its a story about meat and blood and death. I’d eat that.

 

The #1 One: Terrifics #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Ivan Reis

What it is: Bound together by fate, united by the spirit of exploration and hope for tomorrow, the Terrifics are bound from the Dark Multiverse of Metal! When Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl find themselves literally bound together by a tragic accident, our team of unlikely allies must rely on one another to make their way back home. But a startling revelation on their return trip brings them face to face with a new mystery: Where in the universe is Tom Strong? RATED T+

Why we like it: Lemire’s time at Marvel was a mixed bag. I’d like to believe that his underwhelming work at the House of Ideas was due to lack of control over high-profile characters and too much direction from editors. We know that Lemire can write intriguing, nuanced superheroes, just look at the quality stuff he’s done on Dark Horse’s Black Hammer. I’m hoping that DC is giving him full reign to take this band of misfits and turn it into something special. Having a stud like Ivan Reis on art doesn’t hurt either.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Action Comics #998

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

What it is: ‘BOOSTER SHOT’ part six! Escape from Planet Zod! Superman and Booster Gold must escape to travel back to the present, where the life of the captured Sam Lane hangs in the balance!

Why we like it: Another superb, regular priced variant cover from Kaare Andrews. Can’t wait to see what he has cooked up for the #1000 mega-milestone issue.

 

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 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!