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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 20, 2019

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: Seven to Eternity #13

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: END OF STORY ARC The repercussions.

Why we love it: There’s something almost Walter White-ish about watching Adam Osiris slowly compromising his beliefs until he hardly resembles the man we first met in issue #1. This series is so damn good, and has been releasing on time. Seven to Eternity is back on top of the pile, where it belongs.

The Mainstream One: Return of Wolverine #5 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Steve McNiven

What it is: Now that Logan has risen…how far can he fall? Parental Advisory

Why we like it: Wolverine is back among the living. And he has heat claws. We have known all of this since issue #1 of his return, but still very few answers as to how. Maybe this issue?

The Indie One: Monstress #20

Publisher: Image
Words: Majorie Liu
Art: Sana Takeda

What it is: Five-time Eisner Award winner for 2018! As Kippa descends into the darkness, she confronts the most ancient of foes…

Why we like it: Monstress is back after taking home 5 Eisner awards last year, including Best Writer, Best Cover Artist, Best Painted/Multimedia Artist and Best Continuing Series. There hasn’t been a comic so universally lauded since Saga, which is pretty good company to keep.

The #1 One: Hulkverines #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Ario Anindto

What it is: THE CLASH YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! At last! It’s Weapon H versus his predecessors-Wolverine and the Hulk! Once, the Weapon X program sought to recreate the world’s two greatest hunters. They ended up with Weapon H, a man of Adamantium claws and gamma-juiced blood. Now, Wolverine and the Hulk are back in action – and coming after the dangerous creation made in their name! Rated T+

Why we like it: It was only a matter of time before this showdown happened. Hulk, vs Wolverine vs Hulkverine. Part of me wants this story be so ridiculously epic that it completely jumps the shark, but another part of me knows it already has.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Avengers #15 (Gerald Parel variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Jason Aaron
Art:
David Marquez
Cover Art: Gerald Parel

What it is: CIVIL WAR: VAMPIRE EDITION! Dracula forges unholy alliances from his prison cell. Ghost Rider goes berserk. The Shadow Colonel and his new Legion of the Unliving raise bloody hell all over the globe. It’s a good thing the Avengers just added a startling new member to the team. Rated T+

Why we like it: Great colors. With the upcoming Captain Marvel on the horizon, this is going to popular come Wednesday.

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 13, 2019

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 Batman Who Laughs #3 (Ricardo Fedrici variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: All the pieces are starting to fit together as the Batman Who Laughs acquires another key element in his plan-one that is linked to the founding fathers of Gotham City and to a legacy started by the Wayne family and protected by none other than Oswald Cobblepot. While the Penguin goes head-to-head with the darkest version of his mortal enemy, Batman is forced to compromise his principles and purge the serum that protects his heart from the deadly Joker Toxin! It’s a no-win situation as writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock return to the sociopath they created in ‘Black Mirror’: James Gordon Jr. RATED T+

Why we love it: Nobody writes a good Batman horror story like my man Scott Snyder. His creation, the Batman Who Laughs, is pure nightmare and quickly carving out his spot among the evilest members of Batman’s rogue gallery. And that Fedrici variant is just so sweet. Easy pick this week.

The Mainstream One: Avengers: No Road Home #1 (Mark Brooks variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Paco Medina

What it is: The team that brought you AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER REUNITES for an all-new weekly AVENGERS adventure! Night has fallen across the universe. Now seven Avengers – and one new addition – journey forth to bring back the light. But when the threat they face has destroyed even the gods will anyone make it home? LEGACY #708 Rated T+

Why we like it: The creative trio of Al Ewing, Mark Waid and Jim Zub returns for the sequel to one of my favorite runs from last year, the reality warping Avengers: No Surrender.  I really wish this wasn’t a weekly book but this creative team crushed it the last time out. They gave us the Immortal Hulk.

The Indie One: Gideon Falls #11 (Mico Suayan)

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino

What it is: END OF STORY ARC! ‘ORIGINAL SINS,’ Conclusion: In this pulse-pounding conclusion to ‘Season Two’ of the hottest supernatural horror story in comics, it’s a surreal nightmare as Father Fred and Norton finally come face-to-face.

Why we like it: An awesome black and white Suayan cover marks the end of the second chapter of this slow burn thriller.

The #1 One: Age of X-Man Nextgen #1 (In-hyuck Lee variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Marcus To

What it is: ENTER THE AGE OF X-MAN! In an age of utopia, the Summers Institute for Higher Learning is the premiere school for the mutant community across the globe. Attendance is mandatory for all mutant children, as they learn to become the next generation of marvelous X-Men. But even in a utopian society, teenagers will always find a way to rebel… Follow Glob, Armor, Anole and Rockslide as they discover what it really means to live in an age of peace and harmony! Rated T+

Why we like it: Burned out on the mainstream X-Men team, I’m welcoming to a series that focuses on some of my favorite B-teamers. I think everyone could use more Glob in their life.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: The Savage Sword of Conan #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Gerry Duggan
Art:
Ron Garney
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: THE ANCIENT CULT OF KOGA THUN. A MYSTICAL TREASURE. AND THE ONLY MAN WHO CAN SAVE THE HYBORIAN AGE! Adrift at sea. No food. No weapons. Death surely awaits him. But the lionhearted CONAN is not so easily subdued, by Crom! When Conan finds himself captured, he unleashes his might on an unsuspecting pirate crew…one whose dark secrets will plunge Conan on the trail of an ancient treasure that may prove to be his undoing! An all-new age of SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN begins with a five-part tale of swords and sorcery by Gerry Duggan (DEADPOOL, INFINITY WARS) and illustrated by legendary artist Ron Garney (DAREDEVIL, THOR: GOD OF THUNDER) with covers by the incomparable Alex Ross, and breathtaking variant covers by Garney, Rahzzah, comics legend George Perez, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman! Welcome to the deadly Hyborian Age-hope you survive the experience! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: Alex Ross is a master, no doubt. I always thought that Conan should be a bit hairier. Apparently they had mastered the art of man-scaping in ancient Cimmeria.

 

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 – January 30, 2019

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 #28

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Norm Rapmund, Chris Stevens, Brett Booth

What it is: The Joker prepares to deliver his fatal punchline: everything and the kitchen sink hits the fan for Batman and Robin, and even with Dick Grayson’s help, the Dynamic Duo of tomorrow and Bruce Wayne may not stand a chance. Will Joker turn Terry’s brother into the new Jason Todd? Is now a good time for Terry and Bruce to clash? And why are Neo-Gothamites cheering on the Clown Prince? Will anyone survive ‘The Final Joke’?

 

The Mainstream One: X-Force #2

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Dylan Burnett, Pepe Larraz

What it is: X-Force has been framed for murder! And in order to clear their names, they must reluctantly team up with the young Cable and Deathlok. But will they be able to put aside their differences long enough to stop a mutant genocide?! Parental Advisory

 

The Indie One: Rick & Morty Dungeons & Dragons #4 (of 4)

Publisher: IDW
Words: Patrick Rothfuss
Art:
 Troy Little

What it is: Dungeons & Morty & Destruction & Death & Rick & Swords & Sassery & Hashtag & Ampersand & It all ends here, people & oh, yeah-Dragons. Patrick Rothfuss, the multiple award-winning, bestselling author of The Kingkiller Chronicles series, joins Dungeons & Dragons fan-favorite author Jim Zub (Avengers, Wayward) on a tri-dimensional fantasy adventure! Rick and Morty is one of the most popular shows in Adult Swim history, with a steady fan following since it debuted in 2013. This is the first official Rick and Morty team-up story and should have deep traction in fan circles! Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition sales continue to grow each year and the Baldur’s Gate video games have sold millions of copies around the world. D&D has returned as a cultural force in bookstores and online.

 

The #1 One: Fight Club 3 #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Chuck Palahniuk
Art: Cameron Stewart

What it is:  Marla Singer is about to deliver her second child, but the daddy isn’t her husband–it’s Tyler Durden, who’s very invested in his heir, and the world he’ll inherit. Marla, her first son, and her husband–the unnamed narrator in the novel, who now goes by Balthazar–live in a rundown motel with sketchy neighbors. In the FIGHT CLUB 2 graphic novel, Tyler transformed Project Mayhem into Rize or Die–now, as a road to paradise presents itself, a new group has implemented a ruthless and deviant plan to fine-tune mankind, leading Balthazar to forge an unlikely alliance . . . with Tyler Durden.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batgirl #31

Publisher: DC
Words:
Mairghread Scott
Art:
Paul Pelletier
Cover Art: Stanley Artgerm Lau

What it is: In this issue, it’s Batgirl for Congress! Plus, masked assassins and awkward exes! Barbara Gordon volunteers to campaign for an up-and-coming reformer candidate who wants to take on the GCPD. That puts Barbara in a tough spot against her father-police commissioner James Gordon. And just when things couldn’t get any more awkward, a former flame reenters Barbara’s life. Personal angst and a masked super-villain hunting a mystery target. It’s gonna be a long day, Babs.

Why we like it: A great Artgerm. At first glance, her pose appears a bit awkward. But then you look at the reflection in the window and realize that’s she’s actually upside down, falling. Let me fix that for you.

 

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 – January 16, 2019

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 Batman Who Laughs #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: After the shocking ending of issue #1, a ticking clock sets Batman on a trail throughout the different realities of the Multiverse. He starts to see all the iterations of his life, and what could have been?but more importantly, Bruce Wayne begins to deduce that his current life is somehow wrong, and that all the mistakes he’s made are somehow connected. Meanwhile, the Batman Who Laughs raises the curtain on his second act, pulling out the big guns to break into Arkham Asylum? enter one of the most punishing Batmen of the Dark Multiverse: the Grim Knight!’


The Mainstream One: Conan the Barbarian #2

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: BEYOND THE SAVAGE BORDER! CONAN finds himself beyond the Black River, surrounded by the warlike PICTS! But the tribesmen may be the least of his worries if he cannot fight his way through the demonic beasts slithering around the forest! The epic return of the mighty Conan continues? Parental Advisory

The Indie One: Middlewest #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Skottie Young
Art: Jorge Corona

What it is: Abel and Fox learn that there may be someone who can help the boy’s worsening condition. But the road to reach her is long and unpredictable-and not everyone they run into along the way is anxious to let them pass.


The #1 One: Invaders #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Carlos Magno

What it is: THE GREATEST GENERATION OF MARVEL HEROES IS BACK – TO STOP ONE OF THEIR OWN! In commemoration of Marvel’s 80th anniversary and springing from events in the pages of AVENGERS and THE BEST DEFENSE, the Marvel Universe’s first super-team is back! CAPTAIN AMERICA. THE HUMAN TORCH. THE WINTER SOLDIER. NAMOR. They fought in WORLD WAR II together as THE INVADERS. But now NAMOR is the enemy, a global threat more powerful than ever. His deadly plans are as deep and far-reaching as the ocean and REVELATIONS about his past could THREATEN the MARVEL UNIVERSE! It’s up to his old teammates to stop him, but what chance do they have against the man who knows their every move? ‘War Ghost’ begins here! Rated T

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain America #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art: Adam Kubert
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: FUGITIVE’ BEGINS HERE! SUPERSTAR ARTIST ADAM KUBERT JOINS TA-NEHISI COATES FOR THE NEXT DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE LIFE OF MARVEL’S SOLDIER SUPREME! Captain America – wanted for murder! And the victim is a familiar face in the Marvel Universe! How? Why? You’ll have to read to find out! Rated T+

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – January 9, 2019

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. If you haven’t come by the new Great Stories location yet, what are you waiting for? Get on down here and check out our awesome new home. Every Wednesday is new comic book day, a perfect day to visit a comic shop near you, 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: Murder Falcon #4

Publisher: Image
Words and art: Daniel Warren Johnsom

What it is: The reunion tour of Brooticus gets off to a rough start as Magnum Khaos unleashes his monstrous minions on Chicago. Only the mighty musical attack of Murder Falcon and the band can turn the tide… but where is Jake when his friends need him the most?

Why we love it: It only took 3 issues for Murder Flacon to rock its way to the top of the pile. This series is so freaking metal, I love it. I’ll cop to the fact that the concept of a cyborg, falcon beast that draws its power from heavy metal music to fight fights demon monsters is sophmoric. But this book is so much fun to read and it has a ton of heart. Can’t recommend this series enough.

The Mainstream One: Thor #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Michael Del Mundo

What it is: MEET EARTH’S NEWEST DEFENDER: ROZ SOLOMON! With S.H.I.E.L.D. gone, Roz Solomon has been left adrift in a world full of homeless gods and mislaid hammers. Now this Asgardian ally is about to take on a surprising new role – and make a million new enemies. For the War of the Realms is coming…and the invasion of Earth may have already begun. Cue the Frost Giants! Rated T+

Why we like it:  Roz is a favorite minor character of mine, and I’m happy to see her getting a featured story. Originally an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. until it disbanded, Roz recently became an agent of Wakanda and she probably got her hands on some of that sweet Wakanda armor and weaponry.

The Indie One: Die #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Stephanie Hans

What it is: ‘FANTASY HEARTBREAKER,’ Part Two Remember last time, when we said ‘Goth Jumanji’? As the bleak, austere fantasy-horror ramps up, we start underlining the word ‘Goth’ in black marker until we cut a hole through the page.

Why we like it: Issue #1 was good enough to warrant a second. I was pleasantly surprised that the story was a lot more creepy and horror tinged than expected.

The #1 One: Young Justice #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Bendis
Art: Patrick Gleason

What it is: Superboy! Wonder Girl! Robin! Impulse! Amethyst! They’re all united in YOUNG JUSTICE #1, the debut issue of a brand-new series that also introduces new heroes Teen Lantern and Jinny Hex! When the nightmare dimension known as Gemworld invades Metropolis, these teen heroes reunite to deal with the situation-but they’re shocked to discover the battle may be the key to the return of Conner Kent, a.k.a. Superboy! This mix of fan favorites and new legacy heroes will be the center point for some of the biggest goings-on at DC! As if that weren’t enough, Bendis reunites with all-star artist Patrick Gleason (SUPERMAN, ACTION COMICS, GREEN LANTERN CORPS) to bring the new heroes of DC’s Wonder Comics to life!

Why we like it: DC’s newest team of teen derivatives. Normally I wouldn’t care but the new #1 from the latest volume of Young Justice has a few things going for it. It is being written by the  literary wizard Brian Michael Bendis and it introduces two new characters, Jinny Hex and Teen Lantern.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #4

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Seanan MacGuire
Art:
Rosi Campi
Cover Art: Bengal

What it is: In the aftermath of SPIDER-GEDDON, Gwen Stacy has a unique ability all her own – one that will set her apart from other Spiders for years to come. But with that unique power, there will also come a unique – and grave – responsibility. One that Gwen will have no choice but to bear alone… Rated T

Why we like it: In a week where both Alex Ross and Adam Hughes have covers for Captain Marvel #1, French artist Bengal takes home the coveted Cover of the Week award with this striking scene. I just love the colors and composition on this cover and can’t wait to get it up on my wall.

 

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 – January 2, 2019

Happy new year comic book fans and welcome to the inaugural 2019 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: Immortal Hulk #11

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett

What it is: Hulk in Hell: Part 1 – Jackie McGee is in hell. Carl Creel is in hell. Walter Langkowski is in hell. Eugene Judd is in hell. Carl Burbank is in hell. Los Diablos is in hell. Shadow Base is in hell. New Mexico is in hell. Planet Earth is in hell. We are all in hell… …and so is the IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we love it: This has been a terrifyingly good refresh of the tired, old Hulk smash routine. The dark themes in Immortal Hulk borrow heavily from the horror genre, and make Hulk out to be more monster than superhero.

The Mainstream One: Wolverine The Long Night #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ben Percy
Art: Marcio Takara

What it is: Following a string of mysterious deaths in Burns, Alaska, Special Agents Sally Pierce and Tad Marshall arrive to investigate. They soon find there’s more going on than meets the eye… Marvel’s hit scripted podcast, ‘Wolverine: The Dark Night,’ comes to life on the page! Chilling twists and turns, brought to you by the original author of the podcast, Benjamin Percy, and the art talents of Marcio Takara! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: I listened to this as a dramatic podcast on Stitcher and it was a vintage Wolverine story. Set in the remote Alaskan wilderness, a pair of FBI agents are trying to get to the bottom of a string of gruesome murders plaguing the town of Burns. There are cults, drug cartels, killers, and evil forces and a mysterious stranger named Logan who appears to be caught up in all of this. Looking forward to this comic adaptation.

The Indie One: Low #20

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: NEW STORY ARC ‘LAST EMBERS,’ Part One (of Seven) It’s mankind’s final hour, and the reckoning rests on the shoulders of the Caine family. Stel, Tajo, and Della are on a collision course that they may not all survive. RICK REMENDER and GREG TOCCHINI bring their seminal aquatic apocalypse to a harrowing boil in a world where everything comes down to a battle between desperate hope and certain oblivion.

Why we like it: Probably my favorite of all the Remenderverse books, Low is a sci-fi series that frames a message about the immense power of steadfast optimism against the grim realities of a world about to end. Not a great point to jump on, but I highly recommend going back and getting caught up because this should be an epic finale.

The #1 One: Conan The Barbarian #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: BY CROM, THE GREATEST SWORD-AND-SORCERY HERO RETURNS TO MARVEL! From an age undreamed…hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet… Robert E. Howard’s creation returns to comics, in an epic tale as only MARVEL could bring you! Conan’s travels have brought him to the far reaches of the unkown, from his birthplace in Cimmeria to the kingdom of Aquilonia and all in between. As his fighting prowess allows him to carve his way through life, so too does it attract the forces of death! The all-new ages-spanning saga begins here, by writer Jason Aaron (THE MIGHTY THOR, STAR WARS) and artist Mahmud Asrar (UNCANNY X-MEN, ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS), as Conan’s destiny is forever changed! Parental Advisory

Why we like it:  Conan is joining the Marcel universe and I can’t think of a better pick for a writer than Jason Aaron.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Flash #61

Publisher: DC
Words:
Joshua Williamson
Art: Christian Duce

Cover Art: Derrick Chew

What it is: Powerhouse looks to turn the Scarlet Speedster into a scarlet skid mark! The two Force wielders find themselves at odds when Alexa wants to overthrow the criminal government of Corto Maltese that’s crushing her people. (Remember that locale from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS?) Barry must quash their beef and convince Powerhouse to join his Force Quest if he ever hopes to learn the secrets behind these new Force powers!

Why we like it: I like this Flash cover. A fine example of a DC cover really benefiting from the semi-virgin treatment.

 

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 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!