Posted on

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!

Posted on

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!

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – October 4, 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: Batman #32 (Coipel variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ finale! This is the finale everyone will be talking about for years to come! In BATMAN #24, we gave you the question; in BATMAN #32, you get the answer. As the Riddler and The Joker desperately fight for supremacy in Gotham City, Batman reveals how far he had to go to end the war. Now, knowing Batman’s greatest sin, Catwoman must make her decision: Will she marry Batman?

Why we love it: 8 issues in the making, everyone’s waiting on edge for Selina’s answer to Bruce’s proposal. I just can’t see her saying yes.  Even if she does I don’t expect their marriage will last. These are comics that we are talking about here after all. I’m really more interested in seeing how the War of Jokes and Riddles plays out. This story arc has been fantastic and is without a doubt the pinnacle of Tom King’s run on Batman thus far.

  The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #1 

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City. He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’ but ‘white knight’? Never. Until now… Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as ‘Jack,’ sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman! Superstar writer and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS, THE WAKE) presents a seven-issue miniseries of a twisted Gotham City with a massive cast of heroes and villains that, at its heart, is a tragic story of a hero and a villain: Batman and The Joker. But which is the hero-and which the villain?

Why we like it: Yes, you read that correct, the Joker must save Gotham from the Batman. Sean Murphy is one of my favorite comic creators. He’s a unique story teller and as an artist he’s like a man among boys. I haven’t seen much from Sean G since Tokyo Ghost concluded and I expect that he’s been pouring his heart into this twisted tale.

The Indie One: Extremity #7

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: NEW STORY ARC Thea and Rollo enter the Ancient Dark, where they are hunted by things that dare not live in the light above.

Why we like it: One of my favorite Image titles returns with a new arc. If you missed out on this one, the first 6 issues have been collected in trade paper back. I really can’t recommend this sci-fi, war drama enough. It’s got amazing art, multi-dimensional characters and stories that run you through the emotional gamut. Basically everything that makes for a great comic, Extremity delivers in spades.

  The #1 One: Slots #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Dan Panosian 

What it is: NEW SERIES You can say this about the life of Stanley Dance: he did it his way. Unfortunately, his way never took getting old into account. Now, the former boxer is on his last legs, looking for redemption…but he’ll settle for going down swinging. Roll the dice with superstar artist DAN PANOSIAN as he creates a bold and breathtaking vision of Las Vegas, where everything old can become new, and superstition influences how the chips fall.

Why we like it: Dan Panosian is undeniably an incredibly talented artist. It will be interesting to see how he fares as a writer. After leaving comics for years to work in video games and advertising, Panosian returns to Image with a hard-boiled, crime story that he calls “a labor of love.”

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1 (Hughes variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Marc Andreyko, Paul Dini
Art: Laura Braga
Cover Art: Adam Hughes

What it is: Free college tuition for all Riverdale residents?! That’s the plan-after the town drains the wetlands that lie between it and Gotham City and then builds a new campus. The only snag? A certain botany-obsessed super-villain. When Poison Ivy enlists her bestie, Harley, to kidnap both Veronica Lodge, daughter of Riverdale’s most important citizen, and her friend Betty, she’s counting on some assistance-and the mayhem that ensues will probably work as well! DC Comics and Archie are proud to present the adventure of a lifetime for all these best pals. Their hijinks are brought to you by the real-life team-up of Paul Dini (HARLEY QUINN) and Marc Andreyko (WONDER WOMAN ’77), with art by Laura Braga (DC BOMBSHELLS)!

Why we like it: It’s no secret that I love me some Adam Hughes covers. It’s a regular price variant so you should be able to snag this beauty in the wild pretty easily on Wednesday. The fact that Paul Dini is co-writing this series is just icing on the cheesecake.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 27, 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: Action Comics #988

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Patrick Zircher

What it is: ‘THE OZ EFFECT’ part two! As Superman struggles with the ramifications of Mr. Oz’s identity, the mysterious figure’s origins and the long road to Superman’s doorstep finally reveal themselves.

Why we like it: If you haven’t read Action Comics #987 yet, they reveal Mr. Oz’s identity and it is bonkers. If you have read Action Comics #987 then you’re just as wtf as I me… You got some serious explaining to do Dan Jurgens. Another great looking lenticulared cover here.

 

The Mainstream One: Spider-Gwen #24

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Robbie Rodriguez
Art: Jason Latour

What it is: The aftermath of the PREDATORS storyline leaves Gwen in a VERY different place. * Matt Murdock’s plans all come home to roost, and when you plan like our good friend Murderdock does, you know that ain’t pretty. * WHAT IS THE NEXT EVOLUTIONARY STEP FOR SPIDER-GWEN?!

Why we love it: The hype’s been cooking on this one for a while. 3 years ago, Gwen Stacy came swinging back into our lives with new radioactive spider powers and it was love all over again. And this is the moment I’ve been waiting for since then. Spider-Gwen’s getting her own symbiote saga and that can only mean one thing, Gwenom.

The Indie One: Saga #47

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

What it is: Meet Ianthe, who has very big plans for The Will.

Why we like it: After an emotional arc with the heroes of our story, this issue will offer a nice change of pace catching up with one of my favorite secondary characters, the broken bounty hunter The Will. I am also very interested in meeting Mr. Crystal Face Fancy Pants over there.

 

The #1 One: Marvel Legacy one shot (Alex Ross variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Esad Ribic

What it is: EVERYTHING STARTS HERE! It begins at the dawn of the human race, and ends with a child’s prayer! In between, empires fall, mysteries brew, secrets are revealed, quests are undertaken and legends are forged! All leading up to the dramatic return you’ve been waiting for – and one you’ve been dreading! Jason Aaron (MIGHTY THOR) and Esad Ribic (SECRET WARS) usher in a new dawn – one whose rays will touch every corner of the Marvel Universe in the days to come! MARVEL LEGACY: It’s everything you’ve been longing for – and more! ONE-SHOT/Rated T+

Why we like it: Marvel is going to start phasing in legacy characters that have been missing from the Marvel continuity for a while and the come back starts here. They sort of spoil it on the cover (which is amazeballs), but I’m excited none the less. This is not an event book, it’s a one shot issue that Marvel is using to setup story lines for the coming year before they reboot the All-New All-Different universe in 2018. Ha, just kidding… hopefully.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Mighty Thor #23 (Venomized Villains variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Valerio Schiti
Cover Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: THOR AGAINST THOR! When the Ultimate Thor finally goes too far, Jane has no choice but to stop him. Can she quell the rage of the War Thor before he destroys the very realms he once hoped to save?

Why we like it: Things aren’t looking good for Jane Foster.  This venomized Hela cover however looks totally amazing. I think it’s currently a tie between Clayton Crain and Francesco Mattina for the best symbiote artist. Hela’s playing a central role in the upcoming Thor Ragnarok movie and she should be gaining some fans.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 20, 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: Black Hammer #13

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

What it is: It was the greatest superhero event of all time, a multiversal crisis. Black Hammer, Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Barbalien, Colonel Weird, and even Madame Dragonflythey united to take down Anti-God, the ultimate evil, on the streets of Spiral City. For ten years, the former heroes have been living in exile. But a new arrival from the main timeline brought new hope. And maybe, finally, its time for them to relaunch . . .

Why we love it: Black Hammer has been one of my favorite reads and it’s appearance at the top of the pile has been a long time coming. This is a story of flawed super heroes who are inexplicably transported to a seemingly idyllic rural town. Life there is simple there, and peaceful, but our heroes are unable to leave, ever. How they were trapped there and why they were sent in the first place is still unknown, but the mystery is slowly unraveling and the story keeps getting more and more intriguing as it does. The scratchy artwork may turn some people off, but fans of Jeff Lemire will already be accustomed to it. Although the illustrations aren’t lush, crisp or highly detailed, they are stark and effectively convey the emotional drama which is the core of Black Hammer’s charm. Love the Death of Superman cover swipe too.

  The Mainstream One: Batman #31 (Tim Sale variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part five! It’s tough to beat the two biggest puzzlemakers in the world at their own game, and Batman’s gambits have only pulled him deeper into the moral quagmire where the Riddler and The Joker do their dirty work. All of Gotham City hangs in the balance as Batman faces the ultimate conundrum: are brainteasers better than belly laughs?

Why we like it: If you read last issue’s “Ballad of Kite-Man part 2” then you know that this Batman run is unlike any before. Writer Tom King recently stated in an interview that he hopes to do Batman for 100 issues and I’m all for it. The War of Jokes and Riddles wages on but the really surprising thing about this issue is that I’m actually liking the Tim Sale cover B.

The Indie One: Shirtless Bear Fighter #4

Publisher: Image
Words: Jody Leheup, Sebastian Girner
Art: Mike Spicer, Nil Vendrell

What it is: With his home destroyed and his spirit broken, Shirtless must join forces with a hated enemy if he hopes to rise against Logger and his loyal army of chainsaw-wielding Lumber Louts! Don’t miss the pulse-pounding penultimate issue of SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER! 

Why we like it: The title pretty much says it all. But in case you needed more explanation for what this book is about, just take a look at that cover. Unapologetic, ridiculous fun.

  The #1 One: Dark Ark #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Juan Doe

What it is: NEW SERIES! The wickedness of mankind has moved the Creator to destroy the world by way of the flood. Noah has been tasked with building an ark to save his family and the animals of the world. But this is not Noah’s story. For darker powers have commanded the sorcerer Shrae to build his own ark and save the unnatural creatures of the world-such as the vampires, the dragons, the naga, and the manticore. But what will happen on a vessel crawling with monsters, where insidious intrigue and horrific violence are the rule of law? From writer Cullen Bunn (X-Men Blue, Deadpool, Venom) and artist Juan Doe (AMERICAN MONSTER, WORLD READER) comes a sinister tale of biblical proportions that HAD to be told at AfterShock Comics.

Why we like it: I had a hard time picking a #1 this week, so I fell back to an old staple: Cullen Bunn writing a horror title for an indie publisher. Love this premise that injects horror elements into a classic tale.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Infamous Iron Man #11 (Venomized variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Bendis
Art: Stefano Caselli
Cover Art: Adi Granov

What it is: Riri Williams accidentally causes an international incident that may throw the entire world into chaos! So, you know, no big deal. The prologue to one of the biggest Iron Man stories in modern history!

Why we like it: When he’s on, Adi Granov’s covers stand among the best of this generation. Kneel before Venom von Doom! 

 

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

Posted on

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

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The world lost one of its treasures this week. Len Wein’s influence within the world of comics is legendary. If you name your top 5 favorite Marvel/DC characters, chances are Len wrote for at least two of them. He helped create timeless characters like Swamp Thing, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus. As an editor he championed bold storytelling, like Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans, and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal Watchmen. Len was a creative force and belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Comics.

Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff that I’ll be checking out. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Action Comics #987

Publisher: DC
Words: Jurgens
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic, Nick Bradshaw

What it is: ‘THE OZ EFFECT’ part one! The agents of the mysterious Mr. Oz begin to move as the Man of Steel works to stop the chaos they unleash in Metropolis and across the globe. But when Mr. Oz steps from the shadows his identity rocks the Last Son of Krypton to his core. The story that began in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 begins to end here!

Why we love it: We’re a full year into Rebirth and while fan reception of the revamped DC Universes has been generally positive, there are still lingering questions… Like what exactly happened and who caused it? That’s a big one. While I expect most of these loose ends will be unraveled later during November’s Doomsday Clock event, it appears the identity of the enigmatic Mr. Oz will be revealed here in this week’s Action Comics. Ozymandus? Jor-El? Mon-El? Conner Kent? My money’s on Superboy Prime. This issue is also being released with a lenticular cover, if that sort of cover tickles you.

  The Mainstream One: Weapon X #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Marcelo Borstelmann

What it is: WHAT IS THE SECRET OF WEAPON H? Doctor Alba’s macabre experiments for the Weapon X program turned one of America’s Finest into a behemoth imbued with genetics gifts of the Hulk and Wolverine. Despite countless iterations, only he survived… What made him the perfect vessel for the curse? And how far will Doctor Alba go to recover her success story?

Why we like it: I’m into Batch H and this smells like an origin story here. I’m enjoying the story carried over from Weapons of Mutant Destruction and the cover art is bad as. For the first time ever, Weapon X is on my pull list. Well done, Greg Pak. There’s also a Venomized Batch H variant cover for this issue. I expect that the Venomized variant will be popular, so grab it if you see it, but personally I’m digging the regular cover.

The Indie One: Babyteeth #4

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Garry Brown

What it is: So, you know how we’ve all been really coy and playful about how this book is going to get dark and bloody and really hardcore at a certain point? This is the issue where that starts happening. Happy reading everyone! (Call your mother. She worries). From Donny Cates, the writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Redneck and the breakout hit God Country comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!

Why we like it: I don’t imagine being a single, new mother is easy. It’s probably stressful enough without finding out that your baby is the anti-christ. This series has been a fun read. It’s got horror, it’s got humor and it’s got plenty of heart. And it sounds like writer Donny Cates is about to kick it up to 11.   

 The #1 One: Runaways #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Rainbow Rowell
Art: Kris Anka

What it is: GET READY TO RUN! The ‘IT’ book of the early 2000s with the original cast is back – Nico! Karolina! Molly! Chase! Old Lace! And, could it be? GERT?! The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart!

Why we like it: If you’re unfamiliar with the Runaways, they are a group of super-powered teenagers/kids who, after discovering that their parents are secretly super villains, run away (get it?) from home. And while only one of them has a pet dinosaur named Old Lace, they are all awesome in their own way. They are a lovable band of misfits who I have a lot of affection for. I’m not super excited about the creative team on this run, but I’m hoping for the best on Wednesday.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-man #32

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Greg Smallwood
Cover Art: Alex Ross and Francesco Mattina

What it is: Norman Osborn’s goblin-free battle with Spidey didn’t go the way he had hoped? Now, Osborn needs to find an edge and get the Goblin back, and neither you nor Spidey are ready for the edge he’s going to find! Guest artist Greg Smallwood (MOON KNIGHT) joins Dan Slott for this special issue that sets off the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN event of 2018!

Why we like it: Can’t get enough Green Goblin? Amazing Spider-man #32 has you covered with not 1, but 2 ridiculously cool Goblin covers. The Alex Ross regular cover features a super-intense Harry Osborn donning the Green Goblin mask. The Francesco Mattina variant cover features a venomized Green Goblin. Grab your favorite one or grab them both. That’s a win-win. 

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 30, 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. If you are reading this article, then you are no doubt aware of Jack Kirby. A man so well respected that his contemporaries called him Jack “The King of Comics” Kirby, later shortened to Jack “King” Kirby for the whole brevity thing. This week would have been Jack’s 100th birthday. This week is also the dreaded 5th Wednesday of the month, which mean most of the publishers phoned it in. One shots, annuals, you know the drill. It’s rough but there are a few diamonds in there. Here’s what glitters.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Saga #46

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

What it is: An operation and a farewell.

Why we love it: The best comic in comicdom continues to be just that. The last page of issue #45 has been giving me nightmares since I read it and I’m no doctor, but that cover doesn’t look good.

  The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #10 (Gabrielle Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Steve McNiven

What it is: Can there be any redemption for Captain America as the SECRET EMPIRE starts to crumble? Rated T+

Why we like it: This is the end for Hydra Cap! What happens to Steve Rogers and how can he possibly be redeemed after going this far? Secret Empire has been a good event and an even better read but I’m getting worried that it all ends with Kobik ex machina. Regardless, that is one bad mutha Dell Otto cover.

The Indie One: Image Plus #1 (Wytches The Bad Egg part 1)

Publisher: Image
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: Volume two of the Diamond Gem Award-winning comics magazine IMAGE+ begins now! Fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of SCOTT SNYDER & JOCK’s smash-hit horror series WYTCHES ever since the first season ended on a brutal cliffhanger. Now, they’re back with a taste for the upcoming second season of the series by serializing what happens next in IMAGE+! How did Sailor make it to safety? What has she been doing since?

Why we like it: Free when purchasing a copy of Diamonds Preview, Image Plus #1 brings the much anticipated return of Wytches. I loved the first arc when it came out in 2014, and I’m super excited that it is coming back. I hate that it’s being printed in Image Plus magazine instead of single issue floppies.

 The #1 One: Star Wars Jedi Republic Mace Windu #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Owen
Art: Denys Cowan

What it is: For over a thousand generations, the Jedi have been the peacekeepers of the galaxy…but now, at the dawn of the Clone Wars, they find themselves in a new role: generals in the Army of the Republic. As Mace Windu, one of the Jedi’s greatest warriors, leads a small unit of Jedi into battle shortly after the war begins, the Jedi must make peace with their new role, or be lost to the violence around them! Rated T

Why we like it: Hi kids, do you like sci-fi action? With Sam Jackson, gonna grow up like Titanic with Bill Packson? Cool brother with the bald head and goatee. Isn’t he the first black guy to be in Star Wars Since Billy D? Hi, my name is, huh? my name is who? my name is chicki, chicki, Mace Windew. Jimmy Fallon may be a twit but I always liked that bit.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman #29

Publisher: DC
Words: Fonta Shea
Art: Messi David
Cover Art: Jenny Frison 

What it is: ‘HEART OF THE AMAZON’ part four! No single bounty hunter would be enough to draw blood from Wonder Woman-which is why the cabal that’s so desperate to get their hands on Amazon DNA has sent five!

Why we like it: Maybe it’s just me, but this WW cover reminds me of that famous National Geographic cover with the Afghan Girl.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics! And to everyone affected by Harvey, our thoughts go out to you. Stay safe and take care of each other!

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 6, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. So long summer of 17, we hardly knew ye. I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. 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 #30

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: THE BALLAD OF KITE MAN’ part two! In our second ‘War of Jokes and Riddles’ interlude, it’s the making of a super-villain! He’s been pushed by Batman to snitch on The Joker, and cajoled by The Joker to betray Batman-now, the flunky who would be Kite Man finally snaps. He’s lost everything, and a life of crime is the only way to go.

Why we love it: How does a comic that features D-lister Kite Man make it to the top of the pile? Tom King, that’s how. He’s an absolute master at re-interpreting and revitalizing oddball characters and Batman villains don’t get much weirder than Kite Man. Maybe Crazy Quilt.

  The Mainstream One: Venomverse: War Stories #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words and Art: Various

What it is: Sure, you know about some of the adventures All-New Wolverine, Gwenpool, Ghost Rider, Old Man Logan and Deadpool went on with their symbiotes, but what about the rest?! Featuring a star-studded lineup of creators and characters, including – a VENOMIZED PUNISHER story written and drawn by Declan Shalvey! And the awesome adventures of VENOMIZED ROCKET RACCOON by Magdalene Visaggio!

Why we like it: Can I tell you a secret? I’m not that into this Venomverse event. I’m mostly just in it for the amazing Fracesco Mattina covers. The whole thing feels like a tired, retread of 2014’s Spiderverse event. I wonder whether Marvel is trying to catch lightning in a bottle and hoping that one of these venomized, mash-ups will resonate with fans. That’s why I’m picking War Stories this week over the main Venomverse series. Venomverse War Stories is a collection of shorts that each feature a different, venomized character. If one of those characters hits, we could be looking at an Edge of Spider-verse #2 type issue.

The Indie One: Walking Dead #171

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard

What it is: FEAR THE PRINCESS: Who is she, and what does she want?

Why we like it: Walking Dead first appearances typically do well in the after market. If she ends up being a main character in the series, this issue could be sought after down the road. I stopped watching the show years ago but I keep reading the comics because it is still a really, really good read.

  The #1 One: Star Wars: Captain Phasma #1 (Mark Brooks variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Kelly Thompson
Art: Marco Chechetto

What it is: As the excitement ramps up for this December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, come back with us to the final moments of The Force Awakens and the destruction of Starkiller Base to learn the fate of Captain Phasma! Captured by the Resistance and thrown into a garbage masher, we follow the chrome-adorned warrior from the site of the First Order’s biggest defeat to the doorstep of this holiday season’s biggest blockbuster! Written by Kelly Thompson (HAWKEYE, STAR WARS ANNUAL 2016) and drawn by Marco Checchetto (STAR WARS: SHATTERED EMPIRE, STAR WARS: SCREAMING CITADEL), Captain Phasma will recondition you to love Star Wars again!

Why we like it: I wasn’t the only one who thought that Captain Phasma was grossly under-utilized in The Force Awakens. Much like Bobba Fett, Captain Phasma showed up with the coolest outfit in the galaxy, spoke a couple of unessential lines before being dumped unceremoniously down a garbage chute. She deserved better, and now she’s getting it. Marco Checchetto is doing the drawing here and he’s quickly become one of my favorite pencilers in the biz. This should give you Star Wars junkies your fix until The Last Jedi drops at the end of the year.

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Green Lantern #30 (Brandon Peterson variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Sam Humphries
Art: Carlo Barberi
Cover Art: Brandon Peterson

What it is: ‘OUT OF TIME’ part five! Jessica, Simon and the first seven bearers of green rings face Volthoom in the past as he holds the Guardians of the Universe hostage. As Lantern after Lanten falls, is there any chance of stopping the First Lantern from rewriting reality?

Why we like it: A lot of great cover art out this week but this cover B variant stood out to me. It looks like something right out of a Tool music video. I wonder if Brandon Peterson is also a fan of Alex Grey.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 23, 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: Secret Wars #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Lenil Fracis Yu

What it is: UNITED WE STAND – against the SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we love it: It’s an all out blitz on Hydra Cap. And Kobik pulls back the curtain, revealing the truth to the other Steve Rogers. Don’t you dare miss the penultimate issue of Secret Empire.

 

The Mainstream One: Weapon X #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Marcelo Borstelmann

What it is: ‘ORIGIN OF A MONSTER’ – PART ONE! The newly reformed Weapon X program took DNA from the most savage genetic anomalies in the world to create a rage-filled behemoth of epic proportions. But before they meddled with nature, they started with man… Who volunteered to be experimented on, and what made them the perfect test subject? FIND OUT HERE! Rated T+

Why we like it: It seems like people are interested in the continuing story of Batch H. Totally Awesome Hulk #22 flew off shelves which is a good start for a new character. Love the cover art, clearly a homage to McFarlane’s Hulk #340, and excited to see what Pak does with this new monster mashup.

 

The Indie One: Plastic #5

Publisher: Image
Words: Doug Wagner
Art: Daniel Hillyard

What it is: The most twisted love story ever told comes to a close. Can Edwyn and Virginia possibly live happily ever after, or does that only happen in fairytales?

Why we like it: Plastic is about a serial killer who goes straight after falling in love with a blowup doll, but when his beloved is kidnapped he goes on a murderous rampage to get her back. Dark, violent and disturbingly funny, Plastic has been the weirdest and most offbeat story I’ve read all year. I’m hoping for an ending that blows me away.

 

The #1 One: Nightwing The New Order #1 (Paul Pope variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Kyle Higgins
Art: Trevor McCarthy

What it is: NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER is the story of a future world without ‘weapons’-where superpowers have been eliminated and outlawed. The man responsible? None other than Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Nightwing, now leader of a government task force called the Crusaders who are charged with hunting the remaining Supers. But when events transpire which turn the Crusaders’ aim toward Grayson’s own family, the former Boy Wonder must turn against the very system he helped create, with help from the very people he’s been hunting for years-the last metahumans of the DC Universe. Don’t miss this bold new vision from the team behind the New York Times bestseller BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM!

Why we like it: Set in an alternate future, Nightwing has rounded up and eliminated all of DC’s super powered heroes. What made him do it? How was he able to defeat the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman or the Flash? We’ll get the answers to these questions and an introduction to Nightwing’s son in The New Order.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batman The Shadow #5 (Mattina variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Riley Rossmo
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: The Stag and The Joker have kidnapped the Shadow’s greatest allies and are preparing to enter Shamba-La. It’s Batman and the Shadow’s last stand-if they don’t stop the evil duo from entering Shamba-La, it will mean an eternity of darkness in a world ruled by crime!

Why we like it: Mattina almost made the list twice, but I honestly am just not into the Venompool in this week’s Edge of Venomverse. This cover kicks all ass and has classic written all over it.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 16, 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 looking like a monster week with so many good books out this week. While this is great news to me as a fan, it was not an easy week to make picks. This week’s list required a lot of deliberation and a lot of good books didn’t make the cut. These are the books that did:

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Totally Awesome Hulk #22

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Robert Gill

What it is: ‘WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION’ PART SIX! The Weapon X program’s twisted head scientists have finally completed their magnum opus! Now BATCH H is awake, and it’s MAD AS HELL. Rated T

Why we love it: Batch H makes its debut in the final issue to Weapons of Mutant Destruction. Reading the solicits for Weapon X, this Hulk/Wolverine/cyborg hybrid could be sticking around for a while even after WMD wraps. We get our first good look at him here with another totally awesome cover by Stonehouse.

The Mainstream One: Batman #29

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part five! Batman has done his best to keep the peace, but with neither faction backing down, he may have to choose the lesser of two evils if he wants the violence to end. Will Batman embrace the murderous anarchy of The Joker or the bloody fascism of the Riddler? If he wants to win, he’ll have to choose a side-and either way, he loses.

Why we like it: My guess is that Barman doesn’t embrace either and plays both the Riddler and Joker for chumps and wins. But that’s just my guess. Great series, another of Tom King’s slow burners that is heating up quick.

 

The Indie One: Descender #23

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: ‘RISE OF THE ROBOTS,’ Part Two The new DESCENDER event explodes as Tim-21 makes his daring escape from the clutches of the Hardwire. Meanwhile Andy, Effie, and Bandit are taken prisoner by the UGC until one of them shockingly turns traitor. And deep below the ocean planet of Mata, the final fate of Telsa is revealed.

Why we like it: Rise of the Robots started off with a blast, throwing us some major league plot twists punctuated by deep space action. I can’t wait for the Harvesters to start showing up, and it seems like we could be seeing them sooner than later.

The #1 One: Dark Knights Metal #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: The superstar BATMAN team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo reunite for a massive, universe-spanning event! DARK NIGHTS: THE FORGE and THE CASTING hinted at dark corners of reality that have never been seen till now! Now, as DARK DAYS: METAL begins, the Dark Multiverse is revealed in all its devastating danger-and the threats it contains are coming for the DC Universe! DARK DAYS: METAL is a DC event unlike any other-one that will push Batman, Superman and heroes of the Justice League beyond their limits to take on threats unlike any our world has ever seen! It will take the combined might of the World’s Greatest Heroes as you’ve never seen them before to face what’s coming their way!

Why we like it: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reunited on Batman and it feels so good. I haven’t been overly enthusiastic about this series outside of the creative team, but recent rumors have been hinting at a crossover with Vertigo’s Sandman universe at the end of issue 1. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was released through Vertigo during the late 80’s/early 90’s and is hands down my favorite book of all time, comic or otherwise, so I’m adequately pumped for Metal. There’s a special midnight release Capullo variant cover that I like better than the regular Capullo cover, so I guess it’s going to be a late night.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #27

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art and cover art: Stjepan Sejic

What it is: ‘UNDERWORLD’ part three! Aquaman lives! Threatened by the return of Atlantis’ natural-born ruler, King Rath accelerates his plan to scrub the sunken city of all its ancient magical treasures-but why is he stockpiling magic? Whatever the reason, Rath will need all the firepower he can get when Mera breaks through the barrier surrounding the city!

Why we like it: In an unexpected twist, Stjepan Sejic’s cover A for Aquaman gets the nod over the Josh Middleton cover B. One of the better Mera covers I’ve seen in a while. With her character appearing in both the upcoming Aquaman and Justice League movies, a lot of eyes will be turning to the Queen of Atlantis.

 

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