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!

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 9, 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 #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: From the team behind THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON and the Hugo Award-nominated writer of Vision comes a unique new take on one of Jack Kirby’s most beloved New Gods. Scott Free is the greatest escape artist that ever lived. So great that he escaped Granny Goodness’ gruesome orphanage and the dangers of Apokolips to travel across galaxies and set up a new life on Earth with his wife, the former female fury known as Big Barda. Using the stage alter ego of Mister Miracle, he has made a career for himself showing off his acrobatic escape techniques. He even caught the attention of the Justice League, which counted him among its ranks. You might say Scott Free has everything…so why isn’t it enough? Mister Miracle has mastered every illusion, achieved every stunt, pulled off every trick-except one. He has never escaped death. Is it even possible? Our hero is going to have to kill himself if he wants to find out. Written by Tom King (BATMAN) and illustrated by Mitch Gerads (The Punisher), this is a MISTER MIRACLE unlike any you’ve read before.

Why we love it: Tom King took one of Marvel’s more oddball heroes and with artist Gabriel Walta, turned the Vision into a 12 issue post-modern masterpiece that won a freaking Eisner. Mister Miracle will be a 12 issue mini that deconstructs one of Jack The King Kirby’s strangest creations. It’s King on King action!

 

The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Daniel Acuna

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

Why we like it: Still good. Still on time. Still loving this event.

 

The Indie One: Low #19

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: END OF STORY ARC ‘OUTER ASPECTS OF INNER ATTITUDES,’ Conclusion Death comes to the drowning city as Tajo and her crew fight to inspire the citizens of Salus to not go gentle into that good night.

Why we like it: It’s the end to another glorious Low arc and as usual, things aren’t going so great for our main characters. One of the recurring themes of Low has been finding hope when things are at their darkest moment but it has been pretty grim since Stel’s story came to a grisly end in issue #15. I’m looking for something in this week’s issue to keep my spirits buoyed.

 

The #1 One: Generations Phoenix & Jean Grey #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Aaron A
Art: R. B. Silva

What it is: Teenage Jean Grey is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid the fate that befell her predecessor. But when Jean is cast through time and comes face-to-face with the newly possessed Phoenix, will she find the key to saving herself or learn that her fate is sealed? Rated T+

Why we like it: Jean Grey was one of my first crushes, so the prospect of having two Jean Greys at the same time is something of a dream come true. It looks like we’re gonna be doing some time-traveling here, so prepare for things to get convoluted. Like with Generations Hulk, there will be a beautiful Mattina second print cover, but the Stephanie Hans regular cover is just too good to pass on.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: DC Cover B’s

Publisher: DC
Cover Artists: Frank Cho, Artgerm, Renato Guedes

Why we like it: I was having a hard time choosing the best cover this week so here’s three amazing DC cover B’s. These are all spectacular and can all be had for cover price.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 2, 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: Extremity #6

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

What it is: END OF STORY ARC The Roto and Paznina clans meet on the battlefield to ensure that only one remains when all the blood is shed.

Why we love it: This has been the surprise book of the year for me. An unflinching look at the brutality of war and the collateral damage that it leaves in its wake. Amazing art and a story that plumbs the dark depths of human nature to find truth and compassion.

 

The Mainstream One: Batman #28

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part four! War is hell. Unless it’s in Gotham City, where it’s so much worse. The clash between The Joker and the Riddler continues to escalate, with the rest of the city’s villains picking sides and joining in. In the midst of the battle, Batman must try to save whoever he can while knowing he will forever be haunted by those he can’t.

Why we like it: Fans seem to be pretty divided on Tom King’s run on Batman. Some people find it lacking. While I will concede that the first arc was underwhelming, everything after the Monster Men crossover has been excellent. I am enjoying the heck out of the War of Jokes and Riddles and can’t wait to see what happens this week. 

 

The Indie One: Elsewhere #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jay Faerber
Art: Sumeyye Kesgin

What it is: COPPERHEAD WRITER JAY FAERBER TEAMS WITH RISING STAR SUMEYYE KESGIN TO UNVEIL ELSEWHERE: THE FANTASTIC STORY OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO AMELIA EARHART! Mysteriously transported to a strange new world filled with flying beasts and alien civilizations, Amelia desperately struggles to return home. Along the way, she forges alliances and makes enemies as she goes from aviator to freedom fighter in a rebellion against a merciless warlord! ‘Get lost in this other world and you’ll be in the best company.’ – KIERON GILLEN (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE)

Why we like it: Jay Faerber wrote the gritty space Western, Copperhead, which was one of my favorite reads before the series was derailed by delays. He’s back with a new fantasy series that like Copperhead promises exciting new worlds to explore with a strong, female lead.  

 

The #1 One: Generations The Strongest (Mattina 2nd print)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Matteo Buffagni

What it is: BRUCE BANNER. AMADEUS CHO. Both have carried the curse of the Hulk. Now they come face-to-face at last – but will they meet as friends or foes? Fan-favorite Hulk scribe GREG PAK is joined by red-hot artist MATTEO BUFFAGNI (X-MEN BLUE) for a time-bending tale that will finally answer the question on everyone’s minds: WHO IS THE STRONGEST ONE THERE IS? Rated T+

Why we like it: Generations will be a series of one-shots, bringing together past and present iterations of heroes that will lay the foundation for Marvel’s next phase in its comics universe, Marvel Legacy. It all kicks off with the first Generations book uniting Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho, closing the gap between modern and legacy Hulks. While I’m looking forward to seeing how they pull this off (isn’t Banner still technically dead?), I might hold out a week for the Mattina second print variant.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Robotech #1

Publisher: Titan
Words: Brian Wood
Art: Marco Turini
Cover Art: Stanly Artgerm Lau

What it is: Harmony Gold’s cult ’80s television series Robotech returns or all-new adventures! Comic written by Brian Wood (DMZ, Briggs Land, Northlanders) and illustrated by Marco turini! TV episodes now available on Crackle, Amazon Prime & Netflix! Live-action film being developed by Sony Pictures! Comic features classic characters Rick, Lisa, Minmei, Roy, Claudia, and Gloval! New comic series will delight original fans and newcomers alike! With annual conventions, over 200,000 fans on Facebook, New toys and merchandise, Robotech fans are passionate supporters of this amazing cult franchise!

Why we like it: Robotech was a bit before my time, so this isn’t tickling any nostalgia, but this series has enough going for it to warrant my attention. The Robotech relaunch has an extremely capable writer in Brian Wood and a regular cover by fan favorite Artgerm which makes this #1 selling out a certainty.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – July 26, 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 Empire #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: It was foretold by Ulysses, it’s haunted Spider-Man’s nightmares for months, and now the moment has arrived: It’s time for Miles Morales to kill Captain America! Unless Natasha? Rated T+

Why we love it: Secret Empire keeps coming out on time and it has really helped the narrative keep the momentum going as it heads into the final stretch. Will the truth behind Ulysses’ vision be revealed in this issue?

The Mainstream One: Weapon X #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Greg Land

What it is: ‘WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION’ PART FIVE! BATCH H is finally ready for a test drive. Its targets? Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Domino, Warpath and the Hulk! With a genetic cocktail of the most powerful enhanced beings on the planet coursing through its veins, how can anyone stand a chance?! Rated T+

Why we like it: It’s looking like Batch-H is going to be sticking around even after WMD ends and it could be making its first appearance towards the end of this issue. Kick ass series to boot.

 

The Indie One: Redneck #4

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren  

What it is: In an attempt to stop the chaos engulfing their family, Perry and Bartlett revisit Bartlett’s past but digging up old wounds sometimes opens new ones. What exactly is Bartlett’s big secret?

Why we like it: Donny Cates is absolutely crushing this book. I was instantly hooked. Not a huge fan of the art, but it’s serviceable.

The #1 One: Heavenly Blues #1

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words: Ben Kahn
Art: Bruno Hidalgo

What it is: People live. People die. The ‘good’ are pleasantly escorted off to Heaven; while the rest unceremoniously rots in Hell. Hell – a world where torture isn’t retribution, it’s just hazing. Isaiah Jefferson fancied himself a dashing rogue; the greatest thief of the Great Depression, but a cruel betrayal left him dead in the dirt. Erin Foley was a scared grifter desperate not to be another child fed to the violent maw of the Salem Witch Trials. When they’re given the chance to leave Hell and spit in the face of judgment, can they face their demons and become the master thieves they were meant to be? Heavenly Blues reunites the team behind Shaman to deliver a mystical heist mash-up from beyond the grave.

Why we like it: Digging the concept and the artwork. Willing to check out Scout’s latest offering on a slow week for new #1’s.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Edge of Venomverse #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Roland Boschi
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: THE SYMBIOTIC SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE! Robbie Reyes was just an average, ordinary super hero with a flaming skull? ?right up until he found himself bonded with a dangerous extraterrestrial symbiote! Don’t miss the first daring drive of the HOST RIDER! Rated T+

Why we like it: Another great character design ruined by a ridiculous name. Did they just go with the first name they could think of?

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – July 19, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. We experienced a glitch in the Matrix which is why this week’s entry is a day late. But we’re back online, just in time for new comic book day. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff that I will be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Secret Empire #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: The unworthy, the untrusted, the unstable – this is their day! BEWARE THE SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we love it: Secret Empire continues to rule the top spot. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of this series at the Crank File. Last issue was absolutely jam packed with crazy reveals and new mysteries, and the stage is set for what will be a memorable second half. Love this Thor cover too, some of Mark Brook’s finest work.

 

The Mainstream One: Batman #27

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Davide Gianfelice 

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF THE JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part three! The war has spread to every corner of Gotham City, and while Batman battles back the forces of Joker and Riddler, an unlikely criminal becomes the pivotal key to its potential resolution, but it could cost him everything.

Why we like it: Tom King is the master of taking offbeat characters and casting them in a twisted light. Last year he did it with Vision, last month it was Elmer Fudd, and this week it’s D-lister Kite Man. If you’re wondering who Kite Man is, you are not alone. The Silver Age was a weird time for Bat-villains. The same period that gave us memorable characters like Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and the modern Clayface also spawned oddities like Calendar Man, Crazy Quilt, and Kite Man. I don’t know much about Kite Man other than the Charlie Brown reference, but I can guarantee this will be the greatest Kite Man story ever told. Which isn’t saying much, but I’m also willing to bet it’s going to be a great read.

 

The Indie One: Spencer and Locke #4

Publisher: Action Lab
Words: David Pepose
Art: Jr. Santiago

What it is: The end is nigh, as Spencer and Locke square off against Locke’s crime lord father, Augustus, with a child’s life hanging in the balance! Can Locke survive against these overwhelming odds? Does he even want to? And who killed Sophie Jenkins? Find out here in this explosive finale!

Why we like it: I really wanted to like this series better. The detective noir angle was well executed and I enjoyed the Calvin and Hobbes callbacks, but the dark tone keeps this series from being a spiritual successor to my favorite childhood comic. Still, I hung on for three issues and I’m pretty much committed to reading the finale, but I won’t love it. Mr. Watterson, if you’re reading this, please let us have more Calvin and Hobbes.

 

The #1 One: Astonishing X-Men #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Jim Cheung

What it is: ONLY THE X-MEN CAN SAVE US! An ancient evil is attacking the world’s most powerful minds. It will have them by the time you finish this sentence, and a moment later, it will have us all. A band of X-MEN discovers the truth behind the threat, but there is no time left. PSYLOCKE, OLD MAN LOGAN, BISHOP, ARCHANGEL, FANTOMEX, ROGUE and GAMBIT will attempt to save a world that hates and fears them. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE THE X-MEN. From blockbuster writer CHARLES SOULE and joined by a roster of superstar artists beginning with JIM CHEUNG. ASTONISHING X-MEN. It’s the X-book you need. Rated T+

Why we like it: Love the cast of characters, love the creative team. This could be the X book I’ve been needing since Extraordinary ended. Naturally, with this being a Marvel book, Astonishing is being released with a ton of variants. There’s a couple of good looking ones, I like the Artgerm and Jim Lee covers but they are 1:100 and 1:1000 incentive variants that will set you back $100 and $1000 respectively.

  

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley Quinn #24

Publisher: DC
Words: Amanda Conner
Art: John Timms
Cover Art: Frank Cho

What it is: ‘THE PARENT TRAP’! Harley has faced every challenge even she could possibly imagine, but can she survive?a visit from her parents?! And in ‘Harley Loves Joker’ part eight, the duo’s new headquarters comes with some unforeseen complications!

Why we like it: Tough call this week. DC has two cover B’s that could have made it here. Cho gets the nod for the insane amount of detail in the line work. This cover is part one of a two-part connecting cover, with the second part revealed on the next issue. The other cover B that didn’t make the cut was a gorgeous Joshua Middleton piece for Aquaman #26. You’ll know it if you see it. And if you see it, I’d advise you to grab it as well.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – July 12, 2017

Hey there comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. I’m happy to report that Spider-man Homecoming was a terrific movie from start to finish. Minor plot missteps aside, it was the most fun I’ve had watching a super-hero movie in a long time, maybe ever. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesday I like to spotlight some of the cool stuff that I will be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

b

The Top of the Pile: Dark Days: The Casting #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jim Lee

What it is: The Joker’s surprise attack threatens to lay waste to all of Batman’s carefully laid plans. Will the Dark Knight be able to regain the trust of his closest allies, Green Lantern and Duke, and prevent the forces of darkness from consuming the DC Universe?! Will Hawkman’s warning stop our heroes from peering into the abyss?

Why we love it: The Forge came out a few weeks ago and it was a dense read. If you’re weren’t well versed in DC history and lore, you probably had more than a few head scratching moments. It was easy to miss the dots that DC appears to be connecting with their Dark Days event, but still, it was successful in building intrigue. Add to that an all-star creative team and I have enough reasons to move The Casting to the top of my read pile on a relatively light Wednesday.

 

a

The Mainstream One: Weapon X #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Greg Land

What it is: ‘WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION’ PART THREE! The mysterious new director of the reformed Weapon X program has assessed the data from their latest Adamantium cyborg attack and the results look good? They are ready for the next stage of their plan to eradicate all of mutantkind! Warpath and Domino follow leads into a remote part of the Midwest but what vicious secrets will they find hidden in a sleepy gated community? Rated T+

Why we like it: The first two installments of the Weapons of Mutant Destruction (WMD) cross-over were excellent. The WMD story is being told across 3 titles: Weapon X, Totally Awesome Hulk and Weapons of Mass Destruction, all written by the uber talented Greg Pak. I’m totally stoked to see what the Pak-man has in store for us this week. What are the two most terrifying words in the Marvel Universe? Hulk snikt!

 

c

The Indie One: Calexit #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matt Pizzolo
Art: Amancay Nahuelpan

What it is: What if a fascist, autocratic President took over the United States? And what if that President lost California, the sixth largest economy on Earth, by nearly 2-to-1…a margin of almost 3 1/2 million votes? What if the day after that President took power, the largest mass demonstration in history occurred, and the state with the largest turnout was California. And then, the following week, two of the largest international airports in the world, California’s LAX and SFO, were blockaded by protesters? What if California refused to be ruled? From the creators of YOUNG TERRORISTS, Matteo Pizzolo (GODKILLER) and Amancay Nahuelpan (CLANDESTINO), comes this tale of resisting oppression, punching Nazis, protecting each other, kicking ass, and demanding liberty for all.

Why we like it: Not much from the indies this week. Two Black Mask alums make up the creative team behind Calexit, which has a plot that straddles the fine line between reality and fiction. Pizzolo’s Young Terrorist would have made many best-of lists had it not been for unexcusably long delays between issues, and I was digging Amancay Nahuelpan (pronounced Aman-kay Na-well-pan) work on Clandestino before ending after just 6-issues. Hopefully we get more with Calexit and hopefully we get it on time.

 

d

The #1 One: Spider-men II #1 (Saiz connecting variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Sara Pichelli

What it is: THIS IS IT, TRUE BELIEVERS! The moment five years in the making is finally here! The first time Peter Parker and Miles Morales met ended with a question – WHO IS THE MILES MORALES OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE?! Now that the Miles you know and love is with Peter in the Marvel Universe, you’re finally going to get that answer to who the OTHER Miles Morales is! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli bring you the next heart-stopping adventure for both Peter Parker and Miles Morales! Rated T+

Why we like it: I didn’t even know that there was another Miles Morales in the Marvel Universe… Looking forward to this one solely based on the strength of Brian Michael Bendis and Sarah Pichelli’s current run on Spider-man. The regular cover is ugly in my opinion, but fortunately there are a few variant covers for this issue that stand out, my favorites being the Daniel Acuna variant and the Jesus Saiz connecting variant.

 e

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Flash #26

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Middleton
Art: Howard Porter
Cover Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico

What it is: ‘RUNNING SCARED’ part two! Barry Allen and Iris West witness a chilling vision of the future courtesy of the Reverse-Flash, who reveals the couple’s legendary romance will yield only darkness for the world of tomorrow. Now, Thawne forces The Flash to make a choice: spend forever alone or doom the future?

Why we like it: My favorite cover this week is another regular cover from DC. DC’s been killing it, putting out top-notch cover art without resorting to high-ratio incentive variants. DC, I thank you and my wallet thanks you.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 7/5/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a special July 4th edition of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff that I’m digging. Happy birthday ‘murca. Enjoy the day off.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

BM26 BM26a

The Top of the Pile: Batman #26

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part two! The Riddler and The Joker escalate their bloody feud, and the villains of Gotham City are forced to choose sides or be caught in the crossfire! It’s up to Batman to push himself to the limit and keep innocent citizens out of harm’s way.

Why we love it: The war of jokes and riddles rages on and the only questions on anyone’s mind is, so did she say yes, or….? Honestly, it doesn’t matter much to me because we all know comic marriages are soap opera marriages, they never stick. Despite all the manufactured attention over Batman’s proposal to Catwoman, there’s actually a pretty cool story brewing here. There’s also a smoking hot Joshua Middleton cover B featuring Poison Ivy for this issue to be on the lookout for.

DP1

The Mainstream One: Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Dalibor Talajic

What it is: Remember the time Deadpool went a little TOO crazy and killed the entire Marvel Universe? Well, this isn’t that. This is a DIFFERENT time. Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajic (A.K.A. the creators behind DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE) have reunited for ANOTHER tale of Deadpool taking out all of your faves in the most horrific ways possible! It’s gonna hurt him more than it hurts you, and you’re gonna love it! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: The first time that Deadpool killed the Marvel Universe was an unexpectedly brilliant sendup of the comic genre. It was a meta tale of revenge, soaked in ultraviolence, wit and humor, and resulted in Deadpool figuratively killing the core of the Marvel’s Universe by murdering the creative team of Bunn and Talajic. That same creative team from the original is apparently back from the dead and back for a sequel. This is a can’t miss for me.

 

SC1

The Indie One: Sacred Creatures #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Pablo Raimondi and Klaus Janson

What it is: When the supernatural forces maintaining the fragile balance of power in this world start to unravel, Josh Miller, a young college grad and expecting father, is caught in the middle of a vast conspiracy threatening to tear apart the foundations of humanity as we know it. As myth and reality collide, Josh finds himself on the frontline of a battle against an enemy dating back to the beginning of time itself. Comic legends KLAUS JANSON (Daredevil, Dark Knight Returns) and PABLO RAIMONDI (X-Factor, Book of Doom) proudly present SACRED CREATURES, their first-ever creator-owned series, with a monster-sized first issue featuring 66 pages of color art!

Why we like it: Sacred Creatures makes the list on the strength of the creative team and an advance preview, which you can check out here. The preview doesn’t offer any more clarity as to what this book is about, but it is certainly intriguing. I’m at least giving this flip through at the stands.

 UThe #1 One: Unholy Grail #1

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Mirko Colak

What it is: Arthur Pendragon was the king of all Britain. His story is legendary. Merlin. The Lady of the Lake. Excalibur. Camelot. The Knights of the Round Table. But these stories are bright lies painted over the truth. Here is presented the gospel of Arthur’s bloody rise to power and his unholy reign. The legend of King Arthur is not the stuff of legends, but the fuel of nightmares. As Arthur descends into darkness, is there any lingering hope that he still might do something good? From writer Cullen Bunn (Uncanny X-Men, Deadpool) and artist Mirko Colak (Punisher) comes a Lovecraftian take on the Arthurian legend that HAD to be told at AfterShock Comics.

Why we like it: Cullen Bunn makes his second appearance on this week’s list with a dark blend of King Arthur and Lovecraft. I’ve been digging the medieval horror books that have come out recently. The premise reminds me of another Aftershock book, Pestilence, which pit a band of Crusaders against a zombie horde. They are the knights who say braaaaaaaiins.

SM26

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Superman #26 (Jimenez variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J Tomasi
Art: Scott Godlewski
Cover Art: Jorge Jimenez

What it is: ‘ROAD TRIP’ part one! It’s been an emotional and physical rollercoaster for Superman, Lois, and Jon: the Eradicator, Dinosaur Island, Frankenstein and the Bride, Multiversity, Reborn and Black Dawn – a barrage of terror and horror! What does the family need right now? Yep, you got it… a vacation!

Why we like it: Beauty of a cover swipe. Superman #14 came out 75 years ago and the image is still striking. A bonafide classic.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, happy 4th everyone, stay safe out there and as always carpe comics!

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 6/28/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another episode of the Crank File. Did you miss me? I’ve missed you. Wednesday is new comic book day and Tuesdays I spotlight some of the stuff that I’ll be checking out. It’s looking like a strong crop of books and I had a really hard time making this week’s picks. Lots of good books couldn’t make the cut. These are the ones that did. Your results may vary.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

SE5

The Top of the Pile: Secret Empire #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: They thought they were safe! They thought they could handle anything that was thrown against them! But the united heroes of the Marvel Universe never reckoned on the dread power that Steve Rogers would unleash! THE SECRET EMPIRE WILL AMAZE YOU! Rated T+

Why we love it: I wasn’t ready for Secret Empire to be this entertaining. This dystopia has been relevant, intriguing and undeniably provocative. Evil Steve Rogers (Stevil Rogers?) has outmaneuvered earth’s superheroes at every turn. What tricks does he have up his gauntlets this time? Is that really the Hulk on the cover? Did Hawkeye somehow shoot him back to life?

 TAH20

The Mainstream One: Totally Awesome Hulk #20

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION PART 2! What is the mysterious Weapon Gamma? AND WHO IS BEHIND ITS CREATION? Rated T

Why we like it: Hulkverine. Nuff said.

S44

The Indie One: Saga #44

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

What it is: Hazel and her family search for elusive treasure: affordable healthcare.

Why we like it: The best comic in all of comicdom, Saga takes us where few comics dare or care to go.

EoV1

The #1 One: Edge of Venomverse #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Roland Boschi

What it is: EDGE of VENOM-VERSE starts here! The series that sets up the epic VENOM EVENT of 2017 STARTS HERE! Each issue introduces another major Venomized character that will feed into VENOMVERSE itself! THIS ISSUE, the young mutant clone designated X-23 collides with a cryogenic tube containing a strange alien symbiote during her frenzied escape from The Facility, . Bonding with the alien enhances her already considerable abilities, and aids in her escape, but it begins to alter her mind! On the run from the very people that made her, can X-23 hold it together or is she doomed to give in to Venom! Rated T

Why we like it: Francesco Mattina absolutely slayed this cover. I thought X-23 was plenty scary before the corrupted alien parasite costume. It seems like the entire world has caught Venom fever since the news of a Venom/Carnage movie broke. If you or someone you love is suffering from symbiote separation anxiety, talk to your local comic shop about Venomverse.

ww25

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman #25

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp
Cover Art: Jenny Frison

What it is: Writer Greg Rucka weaves together the threads of ‘The Lies,’ ‘Year One,’ ‘The Truth,’ and ‘Godwatch’-every story in WONDER WOMAN since the start of the DC Universe Rebirth era-in this extra-sized anniversary issue!

Why we like it: Jenny Frison really wants to get Jennifer Connelly cast as Wonder Woman. Frison’s entire run of WW cover Bs has been outstanding, with a few exceptional pieces. This is an exceptional one. Speaking of exceptional, the Wonder Woman movie. It wasn’t perfect, but it was close. See it. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 6/14/2017

Hey there comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The Bat Family lost one of it’s most iconic members last week. RIP Mayor Adam West. You may be gone, but the Batsui will live on.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

vdc

The Top of the Pile: Vision Director’s Cut

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

What it is: One of the most surprising super-hero stories ever told, now better than ever! Experience Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s masterpiece…re-presented with bonus behind-the-scenes content! Behold the Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong? Collecting VISION (2015) #1-2, plus extras — including Tom King’s original series pitch, script excerpts, character designs and sketches by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, cover sketches by Mike del Mundo and more.

Why we love it: Vision was unlike any other Marvel story told before and will serve as the high water mark for all comics to come. I’m definitely down to watch how that sausage gets made.

 SE4

The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #4

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: There is a power that can either save the world or doom it! Both Steve Rogers and the heroes arrayed against him need this power! But unfortunately for all of them, the key to possessing this power lies in the hands of the unstoppable Ultron! LIVE IN X-CITING TIMES! SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we like it: For those of you who came over to comics from the movies, there’s a story about the Ultron-borg looking fella on the cover. In Marvel comics continuity Ultron was created, not by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, but by legacy Avenger Hank Pym. Hank’s has worn a lot of titles during his career, including Ant Man, Giant Man, Goliath, Yellow Jacket and Wasp. And at one point Ultron and Hank Pym fused their biological and technological selves, body and mind, creating the monstrosity that stands here before us today. Apparently he’s in possession of a shard of the cosmic cubic. Could Ultron be the key to ending Secret Empire? More importantly, what’s up with that second Steve Rogers??

 

MD29

The Indie One: Manifest Destiny #29 (Spawn month variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Chris Dingess 
Art: Matthew Roberts

What it is: A new kind of monster emerges from the fog as an unsavory finally makes his move against his enemy.

Why we like it: See more at: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/manifest-destiny-29#sthash.qME9ATBz.dpuf

 DDTF1

The #1 One: Dark Days The Forge

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder, James Tynion III
Art: Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, John Romita Jr.

What it is: DARKNESS COMES TO THE DC UNIVERSE WITH THE MYSTERY OF THE FORGE! Aquaman, The Flash and more of DC’s pantheon of heroes suspect Batman of hiding a dark secret that could threaten the very existence of the multiverse! It’s an epic that will span generations-but how does it connect to the origins of one of DC’s most legendary heroes? The great comics event of summer 2017 is about to begin courtesy of superstar writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion III and illustrated by a master class of comics artists: Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and John Romita Jr.! You do not want to miss this one! RATED T

Why we like it: This is the prelude to Batman Metal, the hugely anticipated reunion of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman. There will be two Dark Days primer books, The Forge and The Casting, and they feature some of the best talent to ever grace the pages of Batman. And John Romita Jr.

 v151

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom #151 (Mattina variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: “THE LAND BEFORE CRIME” Starts Here! Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote have been reunited at last – and their hatred of Spider-Man is greater than ever! While hunting the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, Venom comes face-to-face with none other than STEGRON THE DINOSAUR MAN! Can Venom postpone feasting on Spider-Man’s brain long enough to stop Stegron from turning everyone in New York into a bloodthirsty dinosaur?!

Why we like it: To buy, or not to buy. Is that even a question? A little Shakespearean humor there. Brill.

 

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