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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 6/29/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. I’m fighting a pretty nasty cold this week so we’ll be foregoing the usual banter.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

CASR2

The Top of the Pile: Captain America Steve Rogers #2

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Jesus Saiz

What it is: As Steve battles a resurgent Hydra more dangerous than ever before, he must confront a ghost from his past!

Why we love it: Hail Hydra?!?! I have to see where this is going.

 

UI11

The Mainstream One: The Uncanny Inhumans #11

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Carlos Pacheco

What it is: After what Iron Man did in CIVIL WAR II #2, Medusa must act. Inhumans vs. Stark Industries.

Why we like it: The first appearance of the anti-hero Mosaic will be in this issue. Mosaic will be getting his own solo series in October so this will likely be the hot speculation book on Wednesday.

 

4KWIaB

The Indie One: 4 Kids Walk into a Bank #2

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Tyler Boss

What it is: The titular 4 Kids figure out what’s going on… and develop a plan of their own… and eat some pizza.

Why we love it: Dungeons and Dragons meets a Dog Day Afternoon. Issue #1 was funny, geeky and undeniably cool. Glad to see a Black Mask book coming out at a semi-normalish schedule.

 

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The #1 One: Jade Street Protection Services #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Katy Rex
Art: Fabian Lelay

What it is: In this new series that mashes The Breakfast Club with Sailor Moon, Kai, Saba, Noemi, Divya, and Emma are (bad) students at Matsdotter Academy, an elite private school for magical girls. When they all meet for the first time in a totally unfair detention, these punk rock witch delinquents cut class and discover the fates Matsdotter has in store for them are even more sinister than they suspected. With JSPS, the creative team of writer Katy Rex, penciler/inker Fabian Lelay, colorist Mara Jayne Carpenter, and series cover artists Annie Wu and Kiki Jenkins channel Black Mask’s edgy, subversive sensibility into a whipsmart adventure for delinquents young and old.

Why we like it: Because it’s a Black Mask #1.

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Extraordinary X-Men #11

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Humberto Ramos
Cover art: Humberto Ramos

What it is: Trapped one thousand years in the future on a world ruled by the genocidal tyrant Apocalypse, the X-Men are literally mutantkind’s last hope! But in fighting Apocalypse’s newest horsemen, the X-Men’s future is slipping away from them, especially when one of those horsemen is a Wolverine with a Venom symbiote!

Why we like it: It’s Old Man Logan melding with the Venom alien symbiote. Nuff Said.

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 4/27/2016

Hey gang, and welcome back to another episode of the crank file, where we crank harder so that you don’t have to. Busy week this week so we’ll forgo the national anthem and get down to it. RIP Prince, you played a mean guitar.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Batman #51

 

BM51

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: Batman has battled everything from the Court of Owls to Mr. Bloom to the Joker, but how does he handle a quiet night in Gotham City…?

Why we love it: I’ll be looking forward to Snyder’s All-Star Batman as well as seeing rising star Tom King carry the torch after Rebirth. But before that, one last issue with Snyder and Capullo as they wrap a bow on their unforgettable run. This was the perfect creative team for Batman and we were so fortunate to have experienced this journey with them. Thanks for all the amazing stories fellas.

 

The Mainstream One: Juistice League #49

 

JL49

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Jason Fabok

What it is: In this, the penultimate chapter of the critically-acclaimed epic ‘Darkseid War,’ the fate of the Justice League and the entire universe is on the line! But can even the combined might of the Justice Gods contend with the secret machinations of Grail, the deadly daughter of Darkseid? Death, rebirth and the life of one of the members of the League changed forever!

Why we like it: Did you notice the wording in the last sentence? I don’t think it is any coincidence that Darkseid Wars is being written by the same man orchestrating DC’s line-wide reboot. I’m only speculating that this will eventually tie in with Rebirth but regardless, Darkseid Wars has been a thrilling read and reminds us just how much fun a DC comic can be.

 

The Indie One: Saga #36

 

S36

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

What it is: Freedom…?

Why we like it: Saga’s been back with this new prison break arc that has been absolutely insane. I say it every month but, best comic on the stands today. Saga only misses out on the top spot because of the milestone importance of Batman #51. If you haven’t read Saga yet, pick up volume #1 the next time you are in a bookstore. Only ten dollars to change your life.

 

The #1: 4 Kids Walk into a Bank

 

4K 1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matt Rosenberg
Art: Tyler Boss

What it is: A fun(ish) crime caper about children! Eleven-year-old Paige and her weirdo friends have a problem: a gang of ex-cons need her dad’s help on a heist… the problem is those ex-cons are morons. If Paige wants to keep her dad out of trouble, she’s going to have to pull off the heist herself. Like Wes Anderson remaking Reservoir Dogs, 4KWIAB is a very dark & moderately humorous story about friendship, growing up, D & D, puking, skinheads, grand larceny, and family.

Why we like it: You may remember seeing this book on here last week. That was because it was solicited for April 20, but the actual release date is on this Wednesday, 4/27. I heard that some shops didn’t receive copies last week. Some shops received them but opted not to put them out until this week. Fortunately for me, one of my local shops did have them out for sale and I had an absolute ball with this first issue. It’s funny and dorky and unquestionably cool. Black Mask is back! Let’s hope they stick around for a while.

 

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

 

DD6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Ron Garney
Cover Art: Bill Sienkiewicz

What it is: Hell’s Kitchen knows no fury like an assassin scorned. Though Matt Murdock has somehow managed to hide his identity from the entire world, there are parts of his past he cannot escape. Elektra Natchios, is back in the Big Apple and she’s got a score to settle with The Man Without Fear!

Why we like it: Sienkiewicz is one of the great comic books artists and he’s aging like fine wine. His style has evolved over the years but his artwork remains visually striking and instantly recognizable. Love this 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 4/20/2016

Welcome to another episode of the Crank File, where the crank is dark and full of terrors. This week the File’s eye turns westward, or whichever direction Westeros lies. Game of Thrones is back and winter is coming, but not soon enough. Season 5 ended on such a crazy cliffhanger that it hasn’t been off my mind since June. Sunday’s season premiere poses a challenge for me as Wednesday is already looking like a big day for new books. I will be reading a lot of comics this week and writing about some of them, but a part of me just wants to watch trailer breakdowns and read fan theory threads. Oh well, valar dohaeris.

Here’s my five bold predictions for season 6: Lady Sansa Stoneheart, Jon the Ghost Targaryen, Tyrion Targaryen and the red witch gets naked.

And here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Divinity II #1

 

D2

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine
Cover Art: Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

What it is: At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union – determined to win the Space Race at any cost – green lit a dangerously advanced mission. They sent three cosmonauts farther than anyone has gone before or since. Handpicked orphans with no connections to Earth, trained as devout Communists, and restricted from having families, they became lost in the stars and encountered something Unknown. Something that changed them. Long thought lost and erased from the history books, Abram Adams was the first to return. The few that have been able to reach him believe him to be a deity. They say he can bend matter, space, and even time to his will. But, even with limitless powers, he is concerned only with the secret love he hid away from his superiors and the unborn child he never met. Now, Miska, the female co-pilot of the group, has also returned to Earth, but, unlike Abram she had no secret family. Unlike Abram, she still believes in the Communist ideal. And, unlike Abram, she intends to play a very real role in the return of Soviet glory. Earth is about to meet a new god. And she’s a Communist. How long can it be before the nations of Earth bend before DIVINITY?

Why we love it: The highly-cerebral story of a lost, Russian cosmonaut returned to earth introduced the world to a super-powered being unlike any before. Beautifully rendered and deeply poignant, Divinity volume 1 was one of the best series I read in 2015. I’m almost as excited for the return of Divinity as I am about Thrones.

 

The Mainstream One: Action Comics #51

 

AC51

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Fernando Pasarin
Cover Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is:  Superman is shocked to learn that Kara has been missing for some time as part three of ‘Super League’ begins! Now, with Batman’s help, Kal-El is on his cousin’s trail-but he can’t believe where it’s leading him and who she has joined!

Why we like it: I’ve been keeping close tabs on Supes since it was announced that the New 52 Superman was going to die during this “Final Days of Superman” crossover event, and somehow his powers will be transferred to a group of people who will carry on his legacy when he is gone. I smell first appearances and origin stories.

 

The Indie One: 4 Kids Walk into a Bank

 

4K 1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Tyler Boss

What it is: A fun(ish) crime caper about children! Eleven-year-old Paige and her weirdo friends have a problem: a gang of ex-cons need her dad’s help on a heist… the problem is those ex-cons are morons. If Paige wants to keep her dad out of trouble, she’s going to have to pull off the heist herself. Like Wes Anderson remaking Reservoir Dogs, 4KWIAB is a very dark & moderately humorous story about friendship, growing up, D & D, puking, skinheads, grand larceny, and family.

Why we like it: Black Mask is back and Matt Rosenberg, writer of the outstanding We Can Never Go Home, brings us another comic about kids breaking the law and looking good doing it. If they can keep to a regular release schedule, the sky’s the limit for this indie darling.

 

The #1 One: Dept H #1

 

D1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Matt Kindt

What it is: Mia is a special investigator hired to uncover possible sabotage taking place at a deep-sea research station. What she finds is a mind-blowing crime scene filled with suspects with terrible secrets, strange deep-sea creatures, and an impending flood!

Why we like it: Matt Kindt’s artwork is an acquired taste for which I still have yet to acquire. Still, his writing and storytelling abilities are second to none.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley’s Little Black Book #3 (Lisner variant)

 

HBB3

Publisher: DC
Words: Amanda Conner
Art: Joseph Michael Linsner

What it is: The most ghost-filled mansion on Coney Island has been demolished-and unfortunately, every one of its spirits has decided that Harley’s hacienda is the hot new hangout to haunt! It sure is convenient, then, that Zatanna is currently booked at Big Tony’s cabaret show! It’s up to Harley and Zatanna to convince all of those ghosts to move on to the next world…but if you think Harley’s got problems now, just wait until you see the ectoplasmic baggage these specters are packing!

Why we like it: Two of DC’s finest gracing this cover.

 

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