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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 13, 2017

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 #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is:  How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene-only to what end? MATURE READERS

Why we love it: Wait a minute… Mister Miracle #5 at the top of the pile two weeks in a row? So the website I use to track new releases messed up last week and a few of my picks from last week actually are out this week. Sloppy journalism, I know, always double check references. Anyways Mister Miracle #5 is actually out this week and this issue is being framed as a love story. Sounds like Scott Free and Big Barda are getting some QT together but you just know that crazy is going to hit the fan by the end of it.

The Mainstream One: Action Comics #993

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Steve Pugh

What it is: BOOSTER SHOT’ part one! As Superman struggles to cope with Mr. Oz’s true identity, the Man of Steel turns to the only ‘hero’ he knows who can prove once and for all if Oz’s story is true: Booster Gold! But a massive power doesn’t want our heroes venturing through time, and will do anything it can to sabotage their journey! RATED T

Why we like it: Hey kids look, it’s Booster Gold! One of the most notable absences throughout the New 52 and Rebirth has been DC’s super-popular time traveling hero. He’s been effectively MIA since Flashpoint but it appears he’s finally back in the DCU and hopefully here to stay. Only 7 more issues until Action Comics hits the mind-boggling 1000 issue mark, so I get the feeling this Booster story arc is leading to something big.

The Indie One: Rumble #1

Publisher: Image
Words: John Arcudi
Art: David Rubin

What it is: ‘SOUL WITHOUT PITY,’ Part One Rathraq is back! But who is he, exactly? Once an ancient warrior god, he was resurrected as a sword-wielding scarecrow. And now, Rathraq has transformed yet again-or has he? JOHN ARCUDI and new artist, superstar DAVID RUBÍN, give you the new face of Rathraq and a new direction for the series when the critically acclaimed RUMBLE returns!

Why we like it: This #1 is actually the first issue of volume 2. I really liked volume 1 and enjoyed Rumble’s mix of supernatural horror, comedy and drama. The second volume brings a new artist on board and has been on my radar for a while. I will definitely be giving this book a peak on Wednesday.

The #1 One: Giants #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words and Art: Carlos and Manuel, The Valderrama Bros.

What it is: A cataclysm of unknown origins unleashed a race of gigantic monsters whose presence has driven humanity underground. There, two orphans discover that the most dangerous monster is ambition, which unchecked, will grow until it devours you!

Why we like it: I was able to read an advance preview of this book online and I was very impressed with what I saw. You can check out a preview here and decide for yourself: https://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/3001-017/Giants-1

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ryan North
Art: Erica Henderson
Cover Art: Veronica Fish

What it is: THE FORBIDDEN PLA-NUT Part 1 What happens when we take Squirrel Girl back to her roots? Well, we shoot her into space, OBVIOUSLY. Nancy and Tippy find themselves on an alien world where all is not what it seems. Squirrel Girl needs to find a way to get to the other side of the universe to save ’em, STAT. Intergalactic transport through the cosmic realm? This sounds like a job for the Sorcerer Supreme! I’m sure Doctor Strange will be happy to he – I’m sorry, what’s that? Doctor Strange is gone and now LOKI is Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme? Oh. Well, I’m sure he’ll do his best. After all, what could possibly go wrong? Guess what, in this issue, everything possible goes wrong! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T

Why we like it: We’re big fans of local artist Veronica Fish here at the Crank File. We’re also big fans of the classic Stan Lee/Moebius collaboration, Silver Surfer: Parable, which in my opinion is one of the finest Silver Surfer stories ever told. Veronica absolute nails this cover swipe. A shame that the first printing will be ruined by a horrible, ineffective lenticular cover. I might be holding out for the non-lenticulating second print on this one.

 

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 13, 2017

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 #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene-only to what end? MATURE READERS

Why we love it: Still pretty fuzzy about what the heck is going on in this book but I love it. King and Garad’s Miracle Man is dark, disturbing and fearless, and must not be missed.

  The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #3 (of 7)

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: Tragedy strikes, and the Bat-family face the fight of their lives against an army of super-villains and waning public support. A new discovery reinforces Jack’s plot to jeopardize the Dark Knight’s standing in Gotham City, and Harley’s obsession with The Joker reaches a new height-and threatens to change the game for good! RATED T+

Why we like it: The rumors of Harley appearing as Neo-Joker has provided lot of heat on this book, especially this Sean Murphy cover. Regardless, this series has been great so far and is worth a pickup just for the read.

The Indie One: Extremity #9

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: As Thea and Rollo risk life and limb to revive a fallen friend, Annora proves that the beasts below aren’t the only monsters prowling the Ancient Dark.

Why we like it: Extremity is one of my favorite Image books being published right now. I originally picked this title up for the artwork but have stuck around for the surprisingly deep and nuanced, anti-war narrative.

  

The #1 One: Paradiso #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Ram V
Art: Dev Pramanik

What it is: The Midnight Event forever changed the world. Now, centuries later, Jack Kryznan arrives on the outskirts of Paradiso City, haunted by fragments of childhood memories and in possession of a mysterious device-one with the power to change the destiny of this living breathing metropolis, the people who dwell within, and the guardians who strive for and against it.

Why we like it: Pretty cool premise but I’m always up for a dystopian sci-fi story.  If you’re on the fence, you can check out a preview of issue #1 here https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/09/exclusive-image-comics-preview-paradiso-is-the-pos.html

  

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-Man #792

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Ryan Stegman
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: VENOM INC. Part 2 Spider-Man finds himself between Eddie and a mysterious new figure! And Black Cat and her gang find themselves face-to-face with an amped-up villain named Maniac that might just rip those faces right off. Rated T

Why we like it: I think that these ASM Alex Ross covers aren’t getting enough love. I think maybe the Dan Slott hate has gone too far because a lot of these are getting overlooked by collectors. Case and point, this cover one featuring Spidey, Venom and Anti-venom is an absolute beauty that is going right into my personal collection.

 

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 29, 2017

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. It’s the dreaded fifth Wednesday of the month, when the big two phone it in with annuals and minis. You know the drill by now, it’s going to be a slow week for new books. But I’ll take a slow Wednesday over no Wednesday any time. Besides, there’s still good stuff to be read if you know where to look. I’m here to help.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman Annual #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks

What it is: Travel back in time with us to see the early days of the Bat and the Cat. What was Bruce and Selina’s first date? How did this rivalry blossom into romance, and then go right back to being a rivalry again? Tom King re-teams with his BATMAN/ELMER FUDD collaborator Lee Weeks to show us a little young love with capes and cowls. And a little crime fighting, too.

Why we love it: If you’re a regular here then you might already know that I absolutely adored Tom King and Lee Week’s Batman/Elmer Fudd book. It was hands down the best of the DC/Loony Tunes crossovers, which isn’t saying much in itself but I was raving about it to anyone who would listen. Well, the band’s back together this week with a $5 oversized annual, which isn’t the typical book that makes the list, let alone the top of it, but there is a LOT of buzz about this issue. Don’t expect the first appearance of a hot new character, or a book that skyrockets in value overnight, but be ready for one of the best, single-issue stories of the year. Do NOT sleep on this one.

 

The Mainstream One: Old Man Logan #31

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mike Deodato

What it is: THE SCARLET SAMURAI Part 1 Old Man Logan – the man who was Wolverine – is up against a foe like no other…the Hand! Logan’s past comes back to haunt him when a former love drags him into battle with the Hand, who have bolstered their forces like never before. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, Logan encounters the mysterious Scarlet Samurai! Will Logan be able to discover who she is and take down the Hand? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Some of my favorite Wolverine stories take place in the Far East. There’s something about Logan’s sense of honor and penchant for blade violence that fits perfectly into the samurai/ninja genre. If you’ve never read an Ed Brisson comic, the best word I could use to describe them is “brutal”, which makes him the perfect writer for OML.

The Indie One: Spawn #280

Publisher: Image
Words: Darragh Savage
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: Death. Destruction. And deception. Spawn piles as much pain as he can in his attempt to protect a young girl who very shortly will be a NEW SUPERHERO much stronger than Spawn himself.

Why we like it: I don’t keep up much with Spawn these days, but I always jump back in anytime there’s a new character. There are rumors that the new superhero is Cyan, and that’s reason enough for me to give this a flip through. Oh Spawn, I wish I knew how to quit you.

 

The #1 One: Mystik U #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Alisa Kwitney
Art: Mike Norton

What it is: Leave the world of the mundane behind and step through the magical doors of Mystik U! After a tragic accident, a young Zatanna Zatara, under the guidance of Rose Psychic, enrolls in a mysterious university that teaches its students how to master their unique brands of magic. Will Zatanna fit in with her new classmates (Enchantress, Sargon the Sorcerer, Faust and more!) and unlock her true potential? Find out in this exciting bimonthly miniseries from novelist Alisa Kwitney (DESTINY) and Mike Norton (Revival, Runaways)!

Why we like it: Zatanna is my girl and I believe it’s only a matter of time before she gets the live-action treatment. A Harry Potter-esque tale set in the DC universe sounds a little derivative but I could see this being a fun mini. Big fan of the Julian Tedesco cover.

 

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

Publisher: Dynamite
Words: Jeremy Whitley
Art: Andy Belanger
Cover Art: Jorge Fornes

What it is: The perfect jumping on point for anyone who has been curious to try Vampirella! Join brand new creative team Jeremy Whitley (The Unstoppable Wasp, Avengers, Princeless) and Andy Belanger (Southern Cross, Swamp Thing, Black Church) as Vampi and Vicki emerge into a ruined wasteland that hates Vampirella for the unintended consequences of saving them. This Vampirella story has everything: a new adventure, new romance, and the return of a very old evil.

Why we like it: Jorge Fornes apes Jock on this stunning Vampirella cover. Not sure if this counts as a swipe, but I’m getting a strong Detective Comics 880 vibe here. Either way, totally baddass.

 

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 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving comic book fans and welcome to a turktacular episode of the Crank File. Thursday is turkey day but 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 #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: DC Comics presents to you a 12-issue maxiseries from the critically acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns, artist Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson. You are not prepared for what lies ahead within these pages, good readers.

Why we love it: It’s DC Rebirth, it’s Watchmen and it’s being orchestrated by one of the most talented comic book writers of our generation. DC’s been pumping up Doomsday clock all year, so I expect this event to be hy-uge. Hyuge.

  The Mainstream One: Thanos #13

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 1 Ask the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe how they fear the universe will end, and in their most honest moment, they will answer with two words… THANOS WINS. Now… see what happens when he does. PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: Like Lemire before him, I really hope Marvel gives Donny Cates free reign on this title to do something special. Mr. Cates is already shaking up the status quo over on Doctor Strange, handing over the title of Sorcerer Supreme to Loki of all people and resigning Dr. Stephen Strange to a veterinary clinic. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what surprises he has in store for The Mad Titan.

The Indie One: Redneck #7

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lissandro Estherren

What it is: ‘THE EYES UPON YOU’ kicks off with the Bowmans lying low from the law with a new member of the family in tow. But there are rules to being a vampire…and when the rules are broken, the family will surely suffer…

Why we like it: Donny Cates makes his second appearance on the list with Redneck #7. I love the dialogue in this book and even the scratchy artwork has grown on me. The trade paper back for volume 1 came out a few weeks ago, a great way for to get caught up in this Southern Fried vampire story.

  The #1 One: Void Trip #1 (of 5)

Publisher:  Image
Words: Ryan O’Sullivan
Art: Plaid Klaus

What it is: From writer RYAN O’SULLIVAN (Turncoat, The Evil Within, Warhammer 40,000) and illustrator PLAID KLAUS (Turncoat), comes the story of Ana and Gabe, the last two humans left alive in the galaxy. They’re low on fuel, they’re low on food, and they’re low on psychedelic space froot, but they’re still determined to make it to the promised land: hippy-paradise, super-planet Euphoria. This is the story of their journey, the friends and enemies they made along the way, and how the universe responded to those who dared to live freely within it.

Why we like it: Sounds like the creators are channeling a hippie pilgrimage to Haight-Ashbury. I really enjoyed Plaid Klaus’ web series Psychonauts, a comedic web-strip that revolved around the mis-adventures of a couple of stoners. I hope that he brings the same level of humor and psychedelic art to Void Trip.

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Luke Cage #167

Publisher: Marvel
Words: David Walker
Art: Guillermo Sanna
Cover Art: Rahzzah

What it is: CAGED Part 2. Luke Cage is back in the one place he never wanted to be. With his mind mangled, Luke grasps for any foothold he can find. Which is hard, as… This is no ordinary prison… Rated T+

Why we like it: Simple, stark and effective. This reminds me of David Aja’s cover run on Scarlett Witch. If you’re into retailer exclusives, I’m also picking up a copy of Metal #5 from Bulletproof comix, with an amazing Dell Otto cover of the Batman Who Laughs. You need to check that one out here: http://www.bulletproofcomix.com/

 

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 15, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a tardy 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. Just in case you were wondering why there’s no commentary in this week’s list, well I just got back from a wedding in Vegas and Vegas is a crazy town.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mighty Thor #701

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: James Harren

What it is: DEATH OF THE MIGHTY THOR Part 2 The Mangog comes to Asgard! But is one Thor enough to take down the Ultimate Judgment? Guest artist James Harren brings his talents to the Mighty Thor! It all leads to the most dramatic return in the Marvel Universe! Rated T+

 The Mainstream One: Doctor Strange #381

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

What it is: LOKI: SORCERER SUPREME Part 1 Evil is everywhere and the world needs the Sorcerer Supreme more than ever. But is the world ready for LOKI: SORCERER SUPREME? He has the cloak, the spells – he’s even got Zelma Stanton as his assistant (and possibly more?) – but is this the chance he needed to become a hero, or is the god of lies dangerously close to unlimited power? And what happened to STEPHEN STRANGE?

The Indie One: Evolution #1

Publisher: Image
Words: James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, Joshua Williamson
Art: Joe Infurnari, Jordan Boyd

What it is: Human evolution has taken millions of years to get to this stage. But next week, we become something new. Around the world, humanity is undergoing rapid and unpredictable changes, and only three individuals seem to notice that their world is being reborn. But what can they do about it? Skybound unites writers JAMES ASMUS, JOSEPH KEATINGE, CHRISTOPHER SEBELA & JOSHUA WILLIAMSON and artists JOE INFURNARI & JORDAN BOYD to create a new global phenomenon in this oversized debut issue.

The #1 One: Batman Who Laughs #1

Publisher: DC
Words:  James Tynion IV
Art: Riley Rossmo

What it is: As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful nightmare versions of familiar figures? Find out in these special tie-in issues! RATED T+

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Punisher #218

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Guiu Vilanova
Cover Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: FRANK CASTLE: WAR MACHINE Part 1 For years, Frank Castle has been fighting a one-man war against criminals who endanger the innocent, but when a certain one-eyed operative offers him the tools to take his fight global…how could he say no? Find out how Frank found his way into the WAR MACHINE Armor! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T+

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 8, 2017

November 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 #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: It’s the trial of Mister Miracle! Orion and Lightray are convinced that Scott has become infected with Anti-Life and is working against them to bring down New Genesis. Scott must succumb to their interrogation and physical challenges to prove he’s not what they say he is…but how do you speak truth to people who don’t want to believe?

Why we love it: Not sure if this series is really good or just very weird. Though for me, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I can’t stop reading this intoxicating mix of weird good.

The Mainstream One: Master of Kung Fu #126

Publisher: Marvel
Words: CM Punk
Art: Dalibor Talajic

What it is: Shang-Chi’s Day Off Part 1 (OF 1) The Marvel Universe is full of fighters: brawlers, scrappers, weapons experts, mystical kung fu virtuosi. But there’s only one martial artist skilled enough to be called the greatest. SHANG-CHI has been a pinch hitter for a long time, stepping in for Avengers missions when no one else would do, but when no one can match your speed or skill, sometimes it’s best to work alone. To see what you’ve been missing if you don’t know Shang-Chi, don’t miss MASTER OF KUNG FU!

Why we like it: Marvel continues to defy logic for its Legacy renumbering with Master of Kung Fu #126, which absolutely shouldn’t be the #126th issue of MoKF because Marvel counted 14 issues of Marvel Special Edition in which Shang Chi didn’t even appear in. And it’s is a one shot?? It’s like nursery school. I am still psyched for a new Shang Chi book. CM Punk might be more well known as a wrestler than a comic writer, but the man knows martial arts and I’m looking forward to seeing his fight sequences.

The Indie One: Port of Earth #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Zack Kaplan
Art: Andrea Mutti

What it is: Imagine if aliens came to Earth not in war or peace, but with a business deal: open up a spaceport here on Earth in exchange for advanced technology. But when our alien visitors break Port restrictions and wreak havoc in our cities, it falls to the newly formed Earth Security Agents to hunt down and safely deport the dangerous rogue aliens back to the Port of Earth. A gritty sci-fi action thriller from new comic book writer ZACK KAPLAN (ECLIPSE) and ANDREA MUTTI (Rebels, Star Wars, Batman Eternal, Prometheus).

Why we like it: Of all the alien invasion premises I’ve ever read, this one seems the most plausible. We would totally agree to sell out Earth for access to alien tech. Feels like this book is drawing parallels with current immigration issues, and I hope the rogue aliens aren’t all broad stroked as dangerous criminals.

The #1 One: Kong On Planet of Apes #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios
Words: Ryan Ferrier
Art: Carlos Magno

What it is: The damn dirty crossover event you demanded! Following the events of the first Planet of the Apes film (1968), Dr. Zaius and General Ursus lead a small group of soldiers to the Forbidden Zone to destroy any remaining evidence of Taylor’s time among them. To their surprise, they discover… A KONG! Now they must venture to Skull Island with Cornelius and Zira to discover the truth, but they may not survive the deadliest journey of their lives!

Why we like it: Monkey fight! A crossover so obvious that it’s shocking that it hasn’t been done before.

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

Publisher: DC
Words: Steve Orlando
Art: Robson Rocha
Cover Art: Stanley Lau

What it is: ‘PLAIN SIGHT part one!’ This public service announcement is brought to you by the Department of Extranormal Operations! You saw how Supergirl hid a murderer underneath National City right before our eyes. What other dangerous secrets is she hiding? She is not human, and therefore, she cannot be trusted. D.E.O. agents will be stationed at every school to ensure their safety! Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Why we like it: Artgerm has had a nice run on Supergirl cover B’s with some solid art. This one is straight fire. So good that I’m grabbing multiple copies.

 

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 1, 2017

Happy Halloween comic book fans! And welcome to an extra spooky episode of the Crank File. Actually I lied, there’s nothing the least bit horrifying out this week. They released it all last week. The only scary thing this week was the number of candy bars I ate while binge watching Stranger Things 2. 3 Musketeers 4 life. 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 #34

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Joelle Jones

What it is: ‘Dream of Me’ part two! Batman is on a quest in the desert, far from his Gotham City home. His friends and allies think he’s gone crazy, and his mission puts him far outside the law. Waiting for him at the center of the chaos is an old enemy… and plenty of old demons.

Why we love it: Ok, so here’s what’s actually happening. A man is taking his fiance to meet his baby’s mama. Absurd, I know, but once you learn who the players are it sort of works. Joelle Jones’ artwork was brilliant last issue, can’t wait to see how she follows it up.

  

The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #2

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: Public support for Batman dwindles and Gotham City’s 99 percent rally around ex-Joker Jack Napier’s crusade to expose decades of corruption within the GCPD. A proposition inspires new revelations about Harley and The Joker’s past; and as Jack transforms into a hero of the middle class and takes extreme measures to mobilize a revolutionary army of super-villains, Bruce struggles to stay focused on engineering a technological breakthrough to save Alfred.

Why we like it: Back to back bat books (say that 5 times fast). This is the second issue in a seven issue miniseries and here’s what’s actually happening here. Batman’s gone crazy and Joker’s gone sane and it’s game on. Murphy’s artwork is excellent as expected, his style is perfect for drawing the gritty streets of Gotham. Looking forward to this #2.

The Indie One: Paper Girls #17

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K Vaughan
Art: Cliff Chiang

What it is: At last, the Paper Girls learn what the hell is going on. By Eisner Award-winning writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and artist CLIFF CHIANG, with colors by 2017 Eisner Award-winning colorist MATT WILSON.

Why we like it: So here’s what’s actually going on here… I actually have no idea what’s going on here either. I love that synopsis. What the hell is going on? It’s pure sci-fi bananas and I love it. Did you see that all the creators have won Eisners?? They all won Eisners for their work on this book. So yeah, it’s pretty good.

 

The #1 One: No. 1 With a Bullet #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jacob Semahn
Art: Jorge Corona

What it is: ‘A sublime piece of futurism that is both entertaining in its absurdity and terrifying in its predictions.’–Clive Barker Her social media, strong. Her variety show segments, a hit. Nash Huang is at the top of her game. But when the iRis Shutter contact lens hits the market, Nash’s life is personally invaded. The latest leap forward in ‘technological progress,’ these contacts not only play video or augment reality…but also record footage. Fighting to keep her life together after a leaked sex tape goes viral, a clingy super-fan is the last thing on Nash’s mind…but that’s exactly when the bodies pile up and the terror begins. From the bestselling team that brought you GONERS, comes NO. 1 WITH A BULLET!

Why we like it: The #1 One is No. 1 With a Bullet #1. It’s actually not, it’s Grave Diggers Union #1 but that “number one” bit was just too good to not use.

  

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain America #695
(Ross lenticular variant)

Publisher: Marvel 
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: HOME OF THE BRAVE Part 1 HOME OF THE BRAVE begins – and Steve Rogers is back in action in the red-white-and-blue! Steve begins a journey across America to restore his tarnished reputation – and the dangers he encounters along the way are unlike any he’s faced before! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T+

Why we like it: I love the cover art but I have not been impressed at all by Marvel’s lenticular covers.  I really wish they would offer a standard, non-lenticulating version of these Legacy covers because some of the swipes have been outstanding. Alex Ross here with an excellent swipe of Tales of Suspense #39.

 

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 – October 25, 2017

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: Saga #48

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

What it is: END OF STORY ARC Ghüs and Squire have an adventure.

Why we love it: Saga’s going to keep being on the top of the pile until Chris tells me that every last one of his subscribers has Saga in their pull box. I cannot stress this enough, Saga is the best comic book out by any publisher and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. 

  The Mainstream One: Wonder Woman #33 (Frisson variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: James Robinson
Art: Carlo Pagulayan

What it is: ‘TIMES PAST’ part one! Grail, the daughter of Darkseid, has been on a quest to restore her father to his full power and glory after the events of Darkseid War! She must challenge children of the gods to steal their energy for the almighty Darkseid. Will any hero of myth be able to withstand her onslaught?! RATED T

Why we like it: I will probably be passing on most of the big 2. DC only has a few Metal tie-ins out this week and Marvel Legacy has been pretty underwhelming (is anyone else seeing large stacks of unsold Marvel lenticular covers sitting on their LCS’ shelves?). Wonder Woman #33 gets the nod here because it features Darkseid’s daughter Grail, Wonder Woman’s long-lost twin brother Jason and a gorgeous Jenny Frisson cover.

The Indie One: Jughead the Hunger #1

Publisher: Archie
Words: Frank Tieri
Art: Pat Kennedy

What it is: Brand New Series! Jughead Jones is a werewolf, and Reggie Mantle has fallen victim to Jughead’s monstrous ways. Now Betty Cooper: Werewolf Hunter along with Archie Andrews are hot on the trail of Jughead. For TEEN+ readers.

Why we like it: Just in time for Halloween. Jughead the Hunger is a sort-of spinoff of the surprise hit Afterlife with Archie, which first incorporated elements of horror into Riverdale’s otherwise idyllic, suburban setting. First it was Archie and zombies, and this time we get Jughead and werewolves. Just in time for the holidays.

  The #1 One: Eternity #1 

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine

What it is: A VISIONARY NEW SERIES! From the minds of New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (X-O MANOWAR, Mind MGMT) and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine (DIVINITY, X-Men: Deadly Genesis) comes an expedition into the Unknown. Beyond time… Beyond space… Beyond reality itself… ETERNITY awaits! This October, Valiant unveils a new plane of existence beyond our own and unleashes a universe of new worlds, new beings, and new myths…

Why we like it: Same creative team from Valiant that brought us Divinity, which my dedicated readers will remember as being one of my favorite reads of 2015 (probably second only to Vision). Part super-hero, part sci-fi, completely bad-ass, Divinity and its sequels were flat out awesome reads. Eternity sounds a bit close to Divinity, but I’m excited to see what mind-bending stuff Matt Kindt has planned for us.

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Star Wars Jedi Republic Mace Windu (Tedesco variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Owens
Art: Denys Cowan
Cover Art: Julian Tedesco

What it is: Mace and his squad’s first mission of the newly begun Clone Wars continues! What do the Separatists want with the planet of Hissrich? Can Mace overcome mercenary droid AD-W4 to stop them? Rated T

Why we like it: And you will know his name is Mace Windu, when he lays his wrath upon thee. Love the colors on this 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 – October 18, 2017

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: Mighty Thor #700

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Russell Dauterman

What it is: DEATH OF THE MIGHTY THOR Part 1 The final judgement comes as the Mangog arrives! The War Thor will meet the beast head on. But even the bloodthirst of this Ultimate Thor may pale in comparison to the might of the Mangog! The battle rages as Jane’s cancer takes a turn for the worse, and she might not have to wait for the final judgment at all. The clock is ticking, and no hammer can save her this time. It’s the beginning of the end that will lead to the most dramatic return in the Marvel Universe!! Rated T+

Why we love it: A milestone issue. Jane Foster, the Mighty Thor, will be passing the hammer back to the Odinson. I was personally a big fan of Lady Thor and will be sad to see her go. I hope they give her a hero’s sendoff that is worthy of her.

 The Mainstream One: Incredible Hulk #709

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Greg Land

What it is: RETURN TO PLANET HULK Part 1 When Amadeus Cho picks up a distress signal from a distant planet he’s shocked to find out it’s from SAKAAR. As the Totally Awesome Hulk, he’s been trying to avert the curse of anger that haunted Bruce Banner. But SAKAAR is a place for warriors and gladiators…a place where the Hulk fought brutally in the Imperial Arena…who is calling Cho for help? Rated T

Why we like it: Greg Pak brings the green skinned one back to Skaar for another round on Planet Hulk. The last time the Hulk came to Skaar, Banner Hulk liberated it (through smashing of course) and brought peace to the war torn world. That’s a tough act to follow but I’m sure Amadeus is up to the challenge. I am a little disappointed that they didn’t bring back the art team from the original planet Hulk. Laaaand!

The Indie One: Realm #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Seth Peck
Art: Jeremy Haun

What it is: Molly and company hit the road, Ben kills stuff, and Johnny Eldritch has a conference call with the Destroyer of Worlds.

Why we like it: Issue #1 was interesting enough to give the #2 a spin. End of the world story with a dungeons and dragons feel.

  The #1 One: Maestros #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Steve Skroce

What it is:  The Maestro and his entire royal family have been murdered. Now, his banished son from Earth will inherit the Wizard King’s throne along with a spell that turns its user into GOD. With enemies everywhere, will this Orlando-born millennial be able to keep his new magic kingdom? From STEVE SKROCE, the storyboard artist of The Matrix trilogy, the artist and co-creator of WE STAND ON GUARD and Doc Frankenstein, the writer / artist of Wolverine, and the artist of Amazing Spider-Man and ALAN MOORE’s YOUNGBLOOD.

Why we like it: Light week for #1’s. Steve Skroce drew amazing artwork for We Stand on Guard, so interested to see what he does with this solo project.

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

Publisher: DC
Cover Art: Frank Cho

What it is: ‘Vote Harley’ part four! Harley actually might win this thing…which means Mayor DePerto’s backed in a corner-and there’s nothing more dangerous than that! RATED T+

Why we like it: Happy Harleyween!

 

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 – October 11, 2017

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 Nights Metal #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: Superman is pulled into the mystery of the Dark Multiverse while the Justice League follows the trail to a weapon that could keep the forces of the Dark Multiverse at bay!

Why we love it: I had thought that Snyder had lost some of his bat-mojo after a lackluster ending to his New 52 run and a pedestrian All-Star Batman series. Guess he was just channeling it all into Metal because this series has been balls-to-the-wall awesome. Even the tie-ins have been fun reads. Damn event books, I wish I knew how to quit you.

The Mainstream One: Weapon X #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Marc Borstel

What it is: ‘THE SEARCH FOR WEAPON H’ CONTINUES! Old Man Logan and the gang are still one step behind Weapon X in finding this new Hulk/Wolverine-like creature. The only person who can point them in the right direction? Reverend Stryker! Rated T+

Why we like it: Looks like Weapon H is officially here to stay. During a panel at New York Comic Con, Marvel editor Nick Lowe seemed to confirm that the company’s latest mashup sensation is getting his own solo series in the near future. Until then, fans of the Hulk/Wolvie hybrid will have to check out Weapon X to get their Weapon H fix.

The Indie One: Mech Cadet Yu #3

Publisher: Boom!
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Takeshi Miyazawa

What it is: The cadets are undergoing their most intense training yet, when Park’s mech starts to malfunction with dangerous consequences.

Why we like it: Part Gundam, part Iron Giant, Mech Cadet Yu takes the bombast of the mecha genre and gives it a heart. Yes, Mech Cadet Yu is about giant, fighting robots but it’s mostly about the people piloting them and writer Greg Pak has created some great characters to root for. Miyazawa’s artwork is fantastic as well, a beautiful East meets West style that shows its manga roots while feeling fresh and modern.

 

The #1 One: Ragman #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Ray Fawkes
Art: Inaki Miranda

What it is: After a failed mission to raid a tomb in the Israeli Desert, war veteran Rory Harper is plagued by the death of his partners. As Rory battles his guilt back in Gotham City, he discovers that what was in that tomb has followed him home, and it’s about to change his life. But as Rory begins his journey, an evil is invading Gotham City, and it wants what he’s discovered. A hero is born in this visionary reimagining of the Ragman mythos by writer Ray Fawkes and artist Inaki Miranda! RATED T

Why we like it: Ragman was the creation of Joe Kubert and Robert Kanhigher in the late 70’s. The character never gained too much popularity despite having a cool moniker and costume design. Part of it was due to a convoluted origin story and bizarre powers which were constantly being reimagined. Still, the concept of a Ragman is undeniably interesting and I’m hoping that DC can finally utilize him successfully as a super-natural, mystic warrior in the vein of Moon Knight.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: X-Men Blue #13

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Jorge Molina
Cover Art: Art Adams

What it is: MOJO WORLDWIDE Part 2 The X-Men may have bitten off more than they can chew when the Mojoverse continues its bizarre invasion of MANHATTAN! JEAN GREY and her team fight side by side with KITTY PRYDE and her team but can MOJO be defeated when he’s got the X-Men’s greatest hits weaponized against them? Or will an unlikely alley come to the rescue? PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Story by Robbie Thompson and art by Mark Bagley! Rated T+

Why we like it: This Art Adams cover featuring the Dark Phoenix is a must buy for me.

 

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