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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 9/23/2015

Hey there comic book fans. So good to have you back for another installment of the Crank File. In totally non-comic related news, the 2015 NFL season is only two weeks old and Tom Brady has over 750 yards passing, 7 touch downs and the New England Patriots are two n oh. Suck it Goodell.


Ok back to the books. We’re more than halfway through September and Secret Wars #6 is not on shelves this week. Secret Wars is such an enormous, unwieldy event that it was bound to stumble along the way. Marvel only has a few weeks left before they launch their “All-new, all-different” Marvel Universe, will they wrap up Secret Wars in time? Stay tuned true believers.


Here’s What I’m Reading This Week:


Top of the Pile: Squarriors #4 Devil’s Due




Issue #4 will be the final issue of the first Squarriors miniseries. This title has been a surprise gem. Ashley Witten’s artwork is gorgeous. But don’t be fooled by the cute and cuddly looking animals, Squarriors is absolutely brutal. Game of Thrones level brutal and just as enjoyable. Squarriors has already been given the green-light for a second series, so I anticipate an action packed finale capped off with a wicked cliffhanger to keep us coming back.



The Mainstream One: Weirdworld #4 Marvel




Weirdworld #3 did something that few comics have ever done, which is make me laugh out loud. Holy crap, I nearly fell off my chair when we finally got a look at Warbow’s map of Weirdwold. Hands down my favorite Secret Wars tie-in/spin-off/whatever, Weirdworld is phenomenal. It’s a mashup of fantasy, action and humor splashed with absolutely insane visuals that hide strange new surprises at every turn. This week, Man-thing. Let’s get weird with it.



The Indie One: Fight Club 2 #5 Dark Horse




Fight Club 2 has been a weird, meta experience that loves reminding you how unconventional it is. And it works. In issue #5 we’ll be seeing ladies getting involved with Project Mayhem. “No girls allowed” was never one of the rules of Fight Club. Chuck Palanhuik is one of the unique voices of our generation. He’s not afraid to experiment with weird ideas or to say things that could offend and comic book seem to be the perfect medium for his eccentric sensibilities. Issue 5, Fight!



The #1 One: Wild’s End Enemy Within #1 Boom




The first Wild’s End miniseries kept us in constant suspense with its unlikely mash-up of War of the Worlds and The Wind in the Willows. As Clive, Susan, Fawkes, and the other survivors of the alien invasion of Lower Crowchurch try to cope with what just happened to their small town, the military arrives in an attempt to cover up the ‘incident.’ Town residents are immediately detained, questioned, and treated with suspicion. Clive and the rest will need to escape imprisonment if they’re to get the word out and warn the rest of the world in case the aliens return.



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: 1872 #3 Marvel




A steampunk Iron Man suit. Nuff said.



The Speculation One: Scooby-Doo Team-up #12 DC




No, you didn’t eat too many scoobie snacks. A Scooby-doo book is making the spec list and it’s all due to the incorrigible Harley Quinn. Terry Hoknes over at pointed this out earlier: Harley Quinn fans buy any book with Harley in it. A typical print run for a Scooby-doo comic is roughly 10K. A typical Harley Quinn print run is around 60K. 50,000 Harley fans will be left wanting on Wednesday. Already pre-selling for $20 – $25 on eBay. Crazy.


Did you know Harley Quinn was inspired by a daytime soap opera character? Days of Our Lives actress Arleen Sorkin played a clown during a dream sequence and you can see the heavy influence in Harley’s costume design.




Sorkin would later go on to voice Harley Quinn in the quintessential 90’s cartoon, the Batman: The Animated Series. She has been the voice of Harley in numerous animated series and video games.


Carpe Comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 7/8/2015

Hey comic book fans. Crazy fourth of July weekend down at the Crank File. Booze and fireworks are always a dangerous mix. Some people just don’t know how to handle their freedom responsibly. Tons of buzz as we prepare for the San Diego Comic Con, but before we get a peak into the future of the comics industry we have an impressive crop of books out on Wednesday.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman #42 DC


I think we were all just a little anxious about how Snyder would follow up the bombshell events that went down in issue #40. The Divergence previews and leaked identify of the new Batman caused some trepidition about the direction of the new Batman. Issue #41 cast aside any any doubts that I had about the direction the series was headed in. This is amazing story telling. Unconventional, surprising and undeniably entertaining, Batman #42 will be read in store and probably won’t ever reach the pile. Includes the introduction of a new villain, Mr. Bloom. Do NOT miss it.

The Mainstream One: 1872 #1 Marvel


Sort of a slow week for Marvel’s Secret Wars event and I’m not a Lando fan. Civil War will probably get a lot of looks because of the upcoming Captain America movie, but I’m looking forward to exploring BattleWorld’s cowboy universe. Returning to Marvel’s classic Wild West frontier, I’m hoping that 1872 is more Magnificent Seven than Two-Gun Kid.

The Indie One: Big Man Plans #4


Saga #30 is also out this week but my regular readers are probably bored of hearing me gush about how great Saga is. So I’m going to spotlight the fourth and final issue of Eric Powell’s revenge story Big Man Plans. Brutal is really the only way to describe this series. The tone, like the action is raw and rubs right against the nerve. The humor is grim and sardonic (hang in there!). Even the heartfelt moments feel as tragic as they do inspiring. And it’s bloody captivating. This violent road of redemption is coming to an end and issue four promises to finally reveal the dark motives driving this little big man’s plans. Don’t overlook this one.

The #1 One: Archie #1 Archie Comics


Strange Fruit #1 from Boom is more interesting to me, but I can’t ignore what Archie has meant to American pop culture. After 666 issues, it’s hard to believe that Archie comics is rebooting Riverdale for the first time. Archie volume 2 promises a new Riverdale reinvented for a new generation. One with characters and stories that feel fresh and relateable to today’s youth. One that also happens to be created by two of the best in the biz, Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. Archie comics won me over with their Dark Circle imprint so I’ll give new Archie a chance. It will be released with more than 20 variant covers by a group of superstar artists. Grab the one that you like best. Personally, I’m digging the Ramon K. Perez cover.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Spider-Verse #3 Phil Noto Variant Marvel


Phil Noto’s covers are elegant and beautifully understated. Another gorgeous variant from Noto without the Hughes price tag. HA!

The Speculation One: The Walking Dead 144 Image


Walking Dead continues to shamble on, and issue 144 marks an important moment in the zombapocalypse. Here’s the statement released in this week’s preview, “Walking Dead #144 is the final chapter in volume 24 of the walking dead and the last issue compendium 3 and, as such, involves some key moments in the series”. Yeah, this issue is going to be huge and their is a rabid fan base. Might want to think about picking up a few.

Carpe Comics!