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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 19, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a very merry 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: Captain America #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ta-nehisi Coates
Art: Leinel Francis Yu

What it is: “WINTER IN AMERICA” CONCLUDES… with a shocking turn of events that will send the Star-Spangled Avenger’s life into a sudden dramatic tailspin you won’t see coming! Rated T+

Why we love it: The Red Skull once used the power of the Cosmic Cube to transfer his mind into the body of Soviet KGB operative Aleksander Lukin, just moments before being assassinated. The Skull and Lukin, two bitter rivals, shared the same body for a while and have been missing since doing some body swapping and being shot to death a few years back. It seems like they are both back in action and it’s sure to spell trouble for Cap and friends. Love the Alex Ross cover!

The Mainstream One: Darth Vader #25

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Elia Bonnetti

What it is: FORTRESS VADER: FINALE!
• The FORTRESS is complete. The door will be opened.
• VADER finds everything he has ever desired.
• THE DARK LORD gets everything he deserves.
Rated T

Why we like it: Come see where Vader goes to getaway from the stresses of ruling a galaxy. And where else would a lord like Vader build his vacation home other than on a volcano planet located directly on top of a Sith cave? Cozy.

The Indie One: Spawn #292

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Szymon Kudranski

What it is: Spawn gets a new power.

Why we like it: Spawn gets a new power and I want to see what it is. Hopefully it isn’t something lame, like the ability to communicate with fish.

The #1 One: Hardcore #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Andy Diggle
Art: Alessandro Vitti

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! Imagine being able to take over the body of anyone on Earth. Sound crazy? Not for Agent Drake and the Hardcore Program. They can turn any person into a human drone to get to targets that normal soldiers can’t. Drake is the best soldier Hardcore has to offer. But when he gets stranded in a body with only 72 hours to discover who’s hijacked the Program, he’ll have to pull out all the stops against an enemy who could be literally anyone.

From the creative minds of ROBERT KIRKMAN and MARC SILVESTRI, and presented by ANDY DIGGLE (THIEF OF THIEVES, Losers) and ALESSANDRO VITTI (Secret Warriors), comes a new Skybound Original that shows you how to save the world without getting your hands dirty.

Why we like it: I read a preview for Hardcore in a copy of Image’s Pilot Season back in 2012 and thought the premise was cool. That was right around the peak of Walking Dead hysteria, so I’m assuming Kirkman was just too busy at the time to develop it properly. Nice to see another creative team getting a crack at it.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Catwoman #6

Publisher: DC
Words and Art:
Joelle Jones
Cover Art: Stanley Artgerm Lau

What it is: Selina’s forced into a seriously sinister Sopranos-style sit-down! While the cops continue to hunt her for a murder she didn’t commit, Catwoman’s forced to take a meeting with secretive crime boss Mrs. Creel. Here’s the pitch: work for us or die! Selina counters with some blackmail of her own, but the offer fails to blow away Creel and her meta-crew. That leads to a breakneck chase that drives Catwoman right into the crosshairs of the local authorities.

Why we like it: Artgerm continues his amazing run on Catwoman with this naughty 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 – December 12, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman Damned #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Azzarello
Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: As Batman’s descent into the madness of Gotham City’s decadent underbelly continues, he must try to exorcise some of his demons…and who better to help than the Demon, Etrigan himself. And where there’s demons, there’s also a Deadman, a Spectre, an Enchantress and a host of other supernatural friends and foes-it’s a veritable Grand Guignol!

Why we love it: Issue #1 sparked controversy with the now infamous Batawang panel, causing it’s price to sky rocket to $50 on the secondary market. But unless we see Harley’s cooch in issue #2, don’t expect the same explosive appreciation in value here. Regardless, this is a good Batman series and well worth your time.  

The Mainstream One: Defenders Silver Surfer #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Latour
Art: Ron Garney

What it is: ‘THE BEST DEFENSE’ PART FOUR! Shall not the Judge of All the Earths do right?
Norrin Radd is not so certain. But it falls to him who is the Silver Surfer to decide which planets will live…and which will feed the unending hunger of the world-devouring Galactus! A single honest person can tip the balance…if only the Surfer can find one in time! And the Train rolls on… Rated T+

Why we like it: The Surfer is one of my favorite Marvel characters, and now that he’s back under control of the MCU I expect a big push coming for the FF and Surfer in 2019 before inevitably they make their way back to the big screen.

The Indie One: Murder Falcon

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

What it is: Jake. Murder Falcon. Johann. Who’s next to join the band? If they’re going to defeat the Veldar, they’re going to need someone to lay down a heavy beat.

Why we like it: This book is so metal that I can’t even. If you read comics and you are a fan of metal music, I promise that you will absolutely love Murder Falcon.

The #1 One: Batman Who Laughs #1 (of 6)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: Left rattled by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Bruce Wayne must come face to face with the nightmares spawned from the Dark Multiverse. But even though evil devoured evil in the collapse of Challengers Mountain, the Dark Knight still has his doubts. He discovers that the Batman Who Laughs not only survived the fight with The Joker at the end of METAL, but now he is enacting a sinister plan across the Multiverse-something both terrifying and oddly familiar. But when Bruce Wayne realizes the only way to stop this madman is to kill him, he must consider violating the very rule Batman won’t break…the same rule that created this insatiable villain-the Batman Who Laughs!

Why we like it: DC’s recent breakout character is getting his own mini series and he’s being given the high-profile treatment, with two of DC’s most recognizable, creative talents attached. If you aren’t familiar with the character, he comes from the Earth -22 dimensions where Bruce Wayne as Batman is driven insane by the Joker, transforming him into the Batman Who Laughs.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-man #11 (Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Nick Spencer
Art:
Ryan Ottley
Cover Art: Gabriele Dell Otto

What it is: J. JONAH JAMESON has a new job as a shock jock, but is the world ready for a pro-Spider-Man JJJ? More importantly, is Spider-Man ready? His post-secret-identity relationship with Jonah was already complicated, but this very public embrace may put him over the edge! Spidey’s definitely not ready for the Enforcers to come at him harder than ever! Rated T

Why we like it: Kneel before the badassery that is Dell Otto!

 

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 5, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman #60

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: Batman takes on a new partner, and it’s…the Penguin? After rejecting Bane’s crime-boss co-op, Cobblepot finds himself in the crosshairs of some very teed-off villains. The feathered felon turns to his old foe to snitch on Bane’s scheme, but has to prove his intentions to avoid a Bat-beatdown. Along the way, this Gotham odd couple begins to bond-could there be a new bird joining the Bat-Family? Not if Bane has anything to say about it…

Why we love it: Batman has been good, but not Top of the Pile worthy for a while now. The oddball Batman/Penguin team-up plot has been fine, but there’s a reveal on the last page of this week’s issue that is absolutely bonkers. You do not want to miss this one!

The Mainstream One: Doomsday #8 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: The critical and commercial hit series by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continues following the shocking revelations of last issue. As the truth behind Dr. Manhattan’s actions against the DC Universe are revealed, Ozymandias turns to the only being who can stop him: Superman.

Why we like it: The puzzle pieces are falling into place and Doomsday Clock is finally beginning to reveal how Dr. Manhattan is connected to the Superman Theory and, more importantly, to DC’s 2016 Rebirth event.

The Indie One: Die #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Stephanie Hans

What it is: THE WICKED + THE DIVINE writer KIERON GILLEN teams up with artist supernova STEPHANIE HANS (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE 1831, Journey Into Mystery) for her first ongoing comic! DIE is a pitch-black fantasy where a group of forty-something adults have to deal with the returning unearthly horror they barely survived as teenage role-players. If Kieron’s in a rush, he describes it as ‘Goth Jumanji.’ That only captures a sliver of what you’ll find in oversized debut issue-where fantasy gets all too real.

Why we like it: With two superstar creators attached to it, Die! #1 has been one of the most highly-anticipated, new Image titles releasing this year. Especially excited to see Stephanie Hans, who up to now has been mostly known for her cover artwork, providing interior art for an ongoing series.

The #1 One: Defenders Immortal Hulk #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Simone Di Meo

What it is: ‘THE BEST DEFENSE’ STARTS HERE! Stephen Strange is dead. A charred skeleton in an abandoned barn on the edge of a deserted town. Bruce Banner wants to know why. And he won’t stop until he has the truth in his hands, with or without THE IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we like it: Immortal Hulk has been one of the most interesting character refreshes in recent memory, so I’m interested in anything Hulk at the moment. I love that Marvel is bringing back the OG Defenders team. Namor also has a Defenders #1 issue out this week, and I cannot wait for Defenders Silver Surfer #1 out next week.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #38

Publisher: DC
Words:
Christopher Priest
Art:
Fernando Pasarin
Cover Art: Francisco Mattina

What it is: Deathstroke finally meets his match: Arkham Asylum?! Now an inmate, Slade Wilson must prove his sanity so he can stop an alien invasion (what?). Before he can even attempt a breakout, he’s got to face off against angry Arkham inmates out to get him. And what’s Two-Face’s role in all this mayhem? He keeps showing up in two places at once! Meanwhile, Deathstroke’s daughter, Rose Wilson, is kidnapped! Can Jericho save his sister?

Why we like it: Mattina’s dominance on cover art shows no sign of slowing. The man is an absolute beast.

 

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 28, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman Beyond #26

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Brett Booth, Viktor Kalvachev

What it is: The Joker’s back-and he wants to turn Batman and Robin into a punchline once and for all! The original Clown Prince of Crime returns to stalk Neo-Gotham in part two of ‘The Final Joke’! Can you guess what happens when he encounters Barbara Gordon for the first time in decades? And when Robin gets caught on a video feed for the first time, no one’s more delighted than The Joker.

Why we love it: There’s a running tragedy in the Batman mythos, where Bruce Wayne trains the members of his Bat family to fight crime alongside him, which puts them directly in harms path and inevitably leads to someone getting hurt or worse. Batman Beyond’s “The Final Joke” arc seems to be building towards a crowbar moment for Terry McGinnis and his little brother Matt, aka Robin. Love the homage cover to Batman #251.

The Mainstream One: Heroes in Crisis #3 (of 7)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: The Man of Steel versus…Booster Gold?! Superman finds out the hard way that Booster can be a formidable opponent when his back’s against the wall. Of course, being the prime suspect in a superhero massacre and exposing a secret trauma hospital for metahumans will do just that. Meanwhile, Batman and the Flash combine their detective skills to investigate what went awry at Sanctuary and uncover a serious glitch in the system-not to mention an explosive, spoiler-ific secret!

Why we like it: This series is off to a great start. The plot is as twisted as it is brilliant and the artwork is a delight. I try to not select this series as one of my picks every time an issue releases, but it’s just too damn good.

 

The Indie One: The Warning #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Edward Laroche

What it is: An enormous machine slowly materializes in a major West Coast city. Who sent it-and why-is a mystery, understood only by the malevolent beings gliding silently toward Earth through the inky vastness of space. In response, a multinational combat brigade called Gladiator Two-Six is deployed. Outfitted with next-generation military science and weapons, they’re tasked with stopping any extraterrestrial threat that emerges.

Why we like it: I read an interview with author and illustrator Edward Laroche and he had this to say, ““My original intent was to craft a story about war that wasn’t complicated or bogged down in questionable politics or shady motivations: a threat not of our own making. The core of the story is this exploration into conflict, and how it might be the natural state of all living things, and how our main character, Joshua, who is a super soldier, lives with that possibility.” Yup, I’m sold.

The #1 One: Dead Man Logan #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mike Henderson

What it is: DEAD MEANS DEAD. The writing’s been on the wall for months now… Logan is dying. And he ain’t getting any better. Sick from the Adamantium coating his skeleton, his search for a cure has led to nothing but dead ends. But for once he’s actually trying to leave this world with some unfinished business… Can Logan take his last breath without slaughtering the X-Men again? Not if Mysterio has anything to say about it… Superstar creative team ED BRISSON (OLD MAN LOGAN, UNCANNY X-MEN) and MIKE HENDERSON (DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN), with covers by DECLAN SHALVEY (MOON KNIGHT), is putting this old dog out of his misery with a bang! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: The writings been on the wall since, well since always. Everyone knew that OML was just a stop gap while Wolverine was “dead”, and now that regular man Logan is back in the land of the living, it’s time for this old man to ride off into the sunset, probably on a trail of blood.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Barbarella #12

Publisher: Dynamite
Words:
Mike Carrey
Art:
Kenan Yarar
Cover Art: Yuki Shimizu

What it is: ‘A Place Called Overkill’ The event horizon of a black hole is a bad spot to have your ship break down — especially if the breakdown isn’t an accident. But who wants Barbarella dead? And why have they chosen to bury her so very, very deep?

Why we like it: I think the cover speaks for itself.

 

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 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 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: Web of Venom Carnage Born #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Denilo Beyruth

What it is: Join DONNY CATES as he continues to snake his tendrils through the VENOM mythos – this time visiting the sickening sociopath called CARNAGE! A cruel cannibal obsessed with death and murder, few mourned Cletus Kasady after he seemingly died in VENOMIZED. But now a cult devoted to the madman has gathered, hoping to resurrect their fallen idol and return his madness to the Marvel Universe… Rated T+

Why we love it: Donny Cates is almost certain to be nominated for a best writer Eisner for his run on Venom, and he’s got a legit shot at winning it too. You’d be crazy not to check out what he’s got cooked up for Carnage.

The Mainstream One: Spider-man Edge of Spider-verse #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ralph Macchio
Art: Flaviano

What it is: STEP INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE WITH A CADRE OF SPIDER-HEROES! With his ability to traverse the Multiverse, SPIDER-MAN assembles a team to track down a loose end from his past: the fate of the mighty GOG! Get ready for the upcoming film with this standalone adventure featuring some of your favorite Spider-Heroes: PETER PARKER! MILES MORALES! SPIDER-HAM! SPIDER-GWEN! SPIDER-PUNK! Also featuring a special presentation of SPIDER-MAN (2016) #1 – Miles Morales’ first adventure in the Prime Marvel Universe!

Why we like it: I’m excited to see Miles, Gwen and Ham swing their way onto the big screen. The trailer looks great and I hope the movie is a hit. And in case you were wondering, no the book was not written by THAT Ralph Macchio.

The Indie One: Black Hammer Age of Doom#7

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Rich Tommaso

What it is: As Colonial Weird tries to figure out the new world hes found himself on, the character’s hes met explain not only their origins, but potentially the origins of all things. Weird’s time is running out, and the events of this issue will change the way he sees the world forever!

Why we like it: Black Hammer was recently optioned and remains awesome. Not enough of you are reading this heartbreaking deconstruction of tights and capes superheroes.

The #1 One: Middlewest #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Skottie Young
Art: Jorge Corona

What it is: The lands between the coasts are vast, slow to change, and full of hidden magics. Mistakes have been made, and in this NEW ONGOING SERIES, an unwitting adventurer searches for answers to quell a coming storm that knows his name. From author SKOTTIE YOUNG (I HATE FAIRYLAND, Deadpool) and artist JORGE CORONA (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, Feathers, Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack) comes the tale of Abel, a young boy who must navigate an old land in order to reconcile his family’s history.

Why we like it: After a long and successful career drawing baby variants and making silly comics like I Hate Fairyland and  Bully Wars, it’s refreshing to see Skottie Young attempt something serious. He is one of the unique talents in the industry, but I’m still waiting for a masterpiece from him.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League #12  (Parillo variant)

Publisher: DC
Words:
James Tynion IV
Art:
Frazer Irving
Cover Art: Louis Parillo

What it is: ‘DROWNED EARTH’ part three! It’s Batman, in a full-body cast, versus the Legion of Doom! Get a ringside seat for the craziest fight in comics as a bedridden Batman battles The Joker, Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grodd and Sinestro! Meanwhile, Aquaman locks tridents with Poseidon and Mera discovers an ancient secret that could change the fate of Atlantis-and the entire Earth-forever!

Why we like it: Parillo put so much detail into this cover, you can see the pruney wrinkles on Aquaman’s fingers.

 

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 14, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to somber episode of the Crank File. The Stan, the myth, the legend, Stan Lee passed away Monday at the age of 95. His impact on the comics industry is immeasurable and to list his accomplishments and contributions to pop culture would be a herculean task. With Stan at the helm and the help of talented artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Marvel comics redefined what makes a superhero super. We were fortunate to have Stan in our world for as long as we did, and he will be missed by all.

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 #12 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: It’ll be a miracle if you can get through this mind-bending conclusion with your sanity intact! After his epic battle with Darkseid, Scott Free sees life a whole new way: he’s the new Highfather of New Genesis, and he’s madly in love with his wife and child. But what if it’s all a lie? Did Mister Miracle really escape death way back in issue #1? No one really knows but Tom King and Mitch Gerads!

Why we love it: Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s Mister Miracle has been one of the weirdest books I have read in recent years. Although I’ve enjoyed every issue thoroughly, there’s a part of me that’s still not entirely sure what this book is about. I mean, it’s about a lot of things: family, legacy, sacrifice, but there is this constant feeling of dread and uncertainty that has persisted throughout the series. Hopefully the answers to these mysteries and more will be revealed in the final issue of this amazing run.

The Mainstream One: Cosmic Ghost Rider #5 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Dylan Burnette

What it is: The dramatic conclusion to the series everyone is talking about! Featuring Punisher! Thanos! Punisher! AND Thanos! Plus a few more surprises, some terrible deaths…and maybe a little redemption? Sounds unlikely given who we’re talking about. PARENTAL ADVISORY

Why we like it: I did not expect to like the Cosmic Ghost Rider’s solo series as much as I have, and I did not expect that I would be sticking around to read the final issue. But here I am, which is just another testament to how much I enjoy reading Donny Cates.

The Indie One: Bitter Root #1

Publisher: Image
Words: David F. Walker, Chuck Brown
Art: Sanford Greene

What it is: In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing, and only the Sangerye Family can save New York-and the world-from the supernatural forces threatening to destroy humanity. But the once-great family of monster hunters has been torn apart by tragedies and conflicting moral codes. The Sangerye Family must heal the wounds of the past and move beyond their differences… or sit back and watch a force of unimaginable evil ravage the human race. DAVID F. WALKER and SANFORD GREENE, the creative team of Power Man and Iron Fist, along with indie veteran CHUCK BROWN (Trench Coats, Cigarettes and Shotguns) bring you 24 action-packed pages of monsters, mayhem, and family dysfunction in a brand-new ongoing series. BITTER ROOT Cover As by SANFORD GREENE will be connecting through the first story arc.

Why we like it: I like this creative team and the story sounds like something that hasn’t been told a hundred times before. Will check it out at the stands before making an executive decision though.

The #1 One: Uncanny X-Men #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mahmud Asrar

What it is: THE CHILDREN OF THE ATOM ARE BACK! New ongoing series kicking off with a 10-part weekly epic, the flagship X-Men series that started it all is back and better than ever! Starting with a mysterious and tragic disappearance, the X-Men are drawn into what might be…their final adventure?! X-Fan favorite writers Ed Brisson (EXTERMINATION), Matthew Rosenberg (PHOENIX RESURRECTION) and Kelly Thompson (MR. & MRS. X) and all-star artists Mahmud Asrar (X-MEN RED), R.B. Silva (X-MEN BLUE), Yildiray Cinar (WEAPON X) and Pere Pérez (ROGUE AND GAMBIT) join forces to bring you…X-MEN DISASSEMBLED?! Rated T+

Why we like it: Yes! The Uncanny X-Men is back which means the return of fan-favorite mutants like… Cannonball? Bishop? Hmmm, maybe this is just the stop-gap team for the 10-part weekly saga.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #992

Publisher: DC 
Words:
James Robinson
Art:
Carmine Giandomenico
Cover Art: Gabrielle Dell’Otto

What it is: There’s a new Dynamic Duo in Gotham City-introducing Batman and Two-Face! What the what?! The Dark Knight is forced to team with old friend and current enemy Harvey Dent to stop a Kobra-sponsored terrorist attack. Can Batman really trust his life to a coin flip? Even worse, Bats and Two-Face are of two minds over recruiting the two Fireflies for help-if Batman’s gonna work with so many villains, he may as well join the Legion of Doom.

Why we like it: Regular priced, semi-virgin, Dell’Otto Batman cover. Just shut up and take my money.

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 7, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: The Green Lantern #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Grant Morrison
Art: Liam Sharp

What it is: Superstar writer Grant Morrison (Batman, All-Star Superman) returns to DC alongside red-hot artist Liam Sharp (The Brave AND the Bold, Wonder Woman) to launch a new, ongoing series: THE GREEN LANTERN! In this debut issue, when Earth’s space cop, Hal Jordan, encounters an alien hiding in plain sight, it sets off a chain of events that rocks the Green Lantern Corps-and quite possibly the Multiverse at large-to its very core. There’s an inter-galactic conspiracy afoot, as well as a traitor in the GL Corps’ ranks, so strap in for more mind-bending adventures in this masterpiece in the making.

Why we love it: The man, the myth, the legend Grant Morrison makes his triumphant return to DC comics. Widely regarded as one of the most creative and influential comic writers of our generation, Morrison is known for revitalizing high profile properties like the X-Men, Batman, JLA, and Superman, and now he has his sights set on a new sprawling, cosmic Green Lantern epic that should not be missed.  

The Mainstream One: Marvel Knights 20th #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Travel Foreman

What it is: In celebration of the legendary imprint founded by Marvel’s CCO Joe Quesada, a new crop of talent stands poised to tell a groundbreaking story across the Marvel Universe! In the cemetery, the blind man does not know who he is, or why he has come to this particular grave at this moment. He doesn’t know the burly police officer with the wild story who has approached him. Or the strangely intense man who sits in the rear seat of the patrol car, his eyes flashing green. But all of that is about to change.

Why we like it: If Donny Cates is writing it then I’m going to give it a read. Marvel Knights seems like the perfect fit for him, where he can write stand-alone stories that are in continuity but don’t necessarily fit in with the current running arc in the main series.

The Indie One: Seven to Eternity #12

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: In order to save the Mud King, Adam must make a terrible choice.

Why we like it: Seems like Seven to Eternity is back on schedule, as issue #12 will be the third issue released in three months. I’m cautiously jumping back on board with this series, as it was one of my favorite reads before it started getting bogged down by release delays.

The #1 One: Outer Darkness #1

Publisher: Image
Words: John Layman
Art: Afu Chan

What it is: Sci-fi and horror collide in this new series from the co-creator of CHEW! Mankind has colonized the galaxy, but during our interstellar travels, we discovered a terrifying secret out in the Outer Darkness of space. Join Captain Joshua Rigg and the crew of the starship Charon as they encounter demonic possessions, hauntings, cosmic horror, and more! All-star writer JOHN LAYMAN (CHEW) and artist AFU CHAN (Immortal Iron Fists) are ready to let you know that outer space is terrifying.

Why we like it: I had picked up Leviathan a few months ago in anticipation of Chew writer, John Layman’s next big comic but it was admittedly a bit disappointing. Maybe it was too weird, or maybe it wasn’t weird enough, but for whatever reason it just didn’t click with me. I read the ashcan preview of Outer Darkness and liked what I saw, so I’m hopeful that this is the comic that I’ve been waiting for.

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

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

What it is: Bruce Banner is dead. His corpse has been dissected, his organs catalogued, and his inner workings are being studied by the scientists of Shadow Base. Bruce Banner is no longer a threat. That just leaves the IMMORTAL HULK…

Why we like it: Ross’ covers on Immortal Hulk have been excellent on the whole, but this one really ratchets up the horror into 11th gear.

 

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 31, 2018

Happy Halloween 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: Old Man Logan #50

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Ibraim Roberson

What it is: Logan came into this world the same way he’s leaving it: IN PAIN! Don’t miss the end of an era as Old Man Logan’s golden years are cut short! Parental Advisory

The Mainstream One: Avengers Halloween Special

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Gerry Duggan
Art: Juanan Ramirez

What it is: TRICK OR TREAT, TRUE BELIEVERS! PLUS! Spooky stories starring the X-Men & Doctor Doom! Epic thrills and ghastly horror awaits in these all-new twisted tales! Spanning the breadth of the Marvel Universe, through the macabre lens of a murderer’s row of writers and artists assembled here, see your favorite heroes and villains as you’ve never seen them before! Also including the Marvel Comics writing debut of Jay Baruchel (This is the End; Goon)! Rated T

The Indie One: Wytches Bad Egg Halloween Special

Publisher: Image
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: ‘BAD EGG’ Serving as both a stand-alone story in the WYTCHES world and a prequel to the highly anticipated WYTCHES, VOL. 2, ‘BAD EGG’ tells the story of Seb and Jackson-two innocent teenagers reared on opposite sides of the eternal struggle between good and evil. Sebastian’s mother is a member of ‘The Irons,’ the most ruthless Wytch hunters in history, while Jackson’s family are ‘High Horn’ Wytches. Can these two boys find friendship amidst this age-old blood feud, or are their fates already sealed? Collecting the entire IMAGE+ magazine run and, for the first time, the 13-page, pulse-pounding conclusion plus extra materials, WYTCHES: BAD EGG reunites the Eisner-award winning duo of SCOTT SNYDER and JOCK in a horror-filled romp just in time for Halloween!

The #1 One: Sex Death Revolution #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Magdalene Visaggio
Art: Becca Farrow

What it is: Life is a story. Her’s is being rewritten. Still reeling from the sudden collapse of her cover, Manhattanite sorceress Esperanza tries to rebuild. But everyone in her life is saying she’s done and said things that never happened — terrible things. Before she knows it, she’s becoming someone entirely different. Someone she used to be, once upon a time. Life is full of ch-ch-ch-changes in this urban fantasy from Eisner-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl, Kim & Kim) and artist Becca Farrow (Ladycastle).

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League Dark and Wonder Woman the Witching Hour #1

Publisher: DC
Words:
James Tynion IV
Art:
Ricardo Federici
Cover Art: Ricardo Federici

What it is: The deadly finale of ‘The Witching Hour’ arrives as Zatanna battles for Wonder Woman’s soul-and the rest of the Justice League Dark battle for their lives! Hecate is more powerful than the Greek Gods…and no matter who wins, the Earth will lose its chance of surviving the war that’s coming!

 

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 24, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Detective Comics #991

Publisher: DC
Words: James Robinson
Art: Carmine Giandomenico

What it is: Batman’s newest partner…Two-Face? As Harvey Dent’s persona asserts fragile control over the villain’s psyche, the Dark Knight, Commissioner Gordon and their ally-turned-enemy-turned-ally must work together to stop Kobra’s terrorist attack against Gotham City.

Why we love it: Unlike other members in Batman’s rogues gallery, Harvey Dent was and until this day remains a friend of Bruce Wayne’s, which makes Batman/Two Face stories more dynamic. While Bats is content with battering most of his enemies into submission, he takes a different approach with Two Face, always trying to appeal to the good man trappee inside. It’s a weakness that Two Face is aware of and one that he has been able to exploit. I enjoyed writer James Robinson’s “Batman: Face to Face” and look forward to more of his takes on the Batman-Two Face relationship.

The Mainstream One: Return of Wolverine #2

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Steve McNiven

What it is: Logan is alive again – let’s see if he can stay that way! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: The first issue was intriguing but raised a lot more questions than it answered. I’m just waiting for an explanation for the heat claws. Seriously, wtf is up with those?

The Indie One: Redneck #16

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lissandro Estherrem

What it is: Let’s go to prison! What does a state penitentiary’s most famous inmate have to do with the Bowman family? And what secret is Greg hiding from his dad?

Why we like it: Donny Cates has been on a tear this year. Seems like everything he touched at Marvel turned gold, and his breakout indie series God Country was recently picked up for a media deal. I loved God Country and featured it on the Crank File multiple times, but I honestly think Redneck would be a better property for TV development. It’s a Southern-fried vampire story filled with buckets of violence and engaging characters, sort of like True Blood before it went all faeries.

The #1 One: Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #1 (Jee Hyung varaint)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Seanan McGuire
Art: Rosi Kampe

What it is: A SPIDER-GEDDON TIE IN! What? You thought we were done with Gwen Stacy after the first two landmark volumes of her series?! GET OUTTA HERE. It’s a whole new spin on Gwen and her world of Earth-65, brought to you by none other than SEANAN MCGUIRE & ROSI K?MPE! We pick up with Gwen right where we left her – fighting crime through her home reality, unaware that it sits on the precipice of interdimensional calamity! Someone’s gonna be late to band practice? Rated T+

Why we like it: This is already the 3rd Spider-Gwen #1 since her character first appeared in 2014. Last time she got a #1 was because of Marvel’s Secret Wars reboot, this time it seems just to officially designate her new code-name, Ghost Spider. This name change was a inevitable since she couldn’t call herself Spider-Gwen without someone  eventually figuring out her secret identity.  There are a bunch of variants for this #1, including a nice ArtGerm, but the Jee Hyung variant shown here is the best of the lot.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Moon Knight #200 (Sienkiewicz remastered variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Max Bemis
Art: Paul Davidson
Cover Art: Bill Sienkiewicz

What it is: DARKEST NIGHT! MARC SPECTOR comes face-to-face with his demons! Old enemies return! It’s a celebration of 200 issues of the multifaceted MOON KNIGHT with an oversized anniversary issue you’d be crazy to miss! Rated T+

Why we like it: Sienkiewicz goes back-to-back, with best cover of the week honors two weeks in a row. If you compare his Venom annual cover from last week to this week’s remastered variant (meaning this is recycled artwork from his 1981 Moon Knight run), you can really appreciate the breadth of Sienkiewicz’s artistic talent.

 

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 17, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Giddeon Falls #7

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino

What it is: NEW STORY ARC ‘ORIGINAL SINS,’ Part One After the mind-blowing events of the first arc, Norton digs deeper into the mystery of the Black Barn, and secrets of his past begin to come to light. Meanwhile, Father Fred does some digging of his own and learns the hard way that some secrets should just stay buried.

Why we love it: Lemire and Sorrentino continue the mysterious tale of the Black Barn in this week’s issue of Giddeon Falls. The book reads like a suspense-thriller with horror themes, perfect reading for the Halloween season. The first arc was incredibly creepy and I can’t wait to see what terrifying places the second arc takes us.

The Mainstream One: Marvel Zombie #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: W. Maxwell Prince
Art: Stefano Raffaele

What it is: NEW FROM THE HOUSE OF IDEAS! MARVEL ZOMBIES IS BACK…WITH A TWIST! Years after an incurable zombie virus ravaged the world, a small colony of survivors is protected by the Marvel U’s few remaining heroes, including Spider-Man, Daredevil and the Falcon. But when their last chance at salvation arrives, will they be willing to sacrifice their own humanity in the process? From the twisted minds of ICE CREAM MAN writer W. Maxwell Prince and Stefano Raffaele (Generations: Hawkeye) comes the next macabre obsession for fans of The Walking Dead and The Road! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: More spooky stories to get you in the Halloween mood. Writer W. Maxwell Prince is the creator behind the hit Image horror series Ice Cream Man, so I’m expecting a disturbingly fun tale of terror here.

The Indie One: Skyward #7

Publisher: Image
Words: Joe Henderson
Art: Lee Garbett

What it is: ‘HERE THERE BE DRAGONFLIES,’ Part Two Willa’s alone in the middle of the forest, surrounded by giant insects that want to make her dinner. But here to the rescue comes a badass group of sword-wielding… farmers?

Why we like it: This book has been a fun read and it has already been optioned for television (for whatever that is worth). The plot centers around the mystery of why the earth’s gravity has weakened and the story continues to surprise and delight at every turn.

The #1 One: Shuri #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nnedi Okorafor
Art: Leonardo Romero

What it is: FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BLACK PANTHER! The world fell in love with her in the movie. Now, the Black Panther’s techno-genius sister launches her own adventures – written by best-selling Afrofuturist author Nnedi Okorafor and drawn by Eisner-nominated artist Leonardo Romero! The Black Panther has disappeared, lost on a mission in space. And in his absence, everyone’s looking at the next in line for the throne. But Shuri is happiest in a lab, surrounded by gadgets of her own creation. She’d rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them. But a nation without a leader is a vulnerable one – and Shuri may have to choose between Wakanda’s welfare and her own. Rated T

Why we like it: Shuri was one of many bright spots that shined in the Black Panther movie. She has taken up the mantle of the Black Panther in the past, but it looks like Marvel is trying a different approach with her this time and leaning into her STEM background. I would love to see Shuri join the Champions team sometime in the near future.

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

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Tigh Walker
Cover Art: Bill Sinekiewicz

What it is: For the first time in Marvel history, the Wicked Webslinger called VENOM gets his very own Annual! This one features a few walks down memory lane from some of the best creators in comics today — and even a few surprise guests from Venom’s past! Serving as a great jumping on point for readers new and old, this is one issue of VENOM you can’t afford to miss! Rated T

Why we like it: Sinekiewicz is constantly experimenting with his style which is why his art is seldom boring, though it can be inconsistent. This time he absolutely crushed it. This is up there with my all-time favorite Venom covers, which is saying a lot.

 

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