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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/8/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of The Crank File, the only place on the net that knows Superman wears Tom Brady pajamas to bed. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

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The Top of the Pile: All-Star Batman #7

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Tula Lotay

What it is: ‘Poison Promises’! Step aside, gentlemen-Poison Ivy is about to steal the spotlight in Batman’s continuing rogues gallery road trip. Scott Snyder teams up with mega-talent Tula Lotay to reimagine the Dark Knight’s most seductive villain.

Why we love it: Batman, Poison Ivy and Tula Lotay are a comic book trifecta, making this week’s All-Star Batman my triple-A pick of the week. And yes, the A stands for Awesome.

 

 

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The Mainstream One: The Totally Awesome Hulk #16

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

What it is: ‘BIG APPLE SHOWDOWN’ CONTINUES! Who’s behind the gathering of Asian and Asian American heroes? It’s not who you think!

Why we like it: Speaking of awesome, I’ve been seriously digging the Pak Man’s Totally Awesome Hulk, but this latest arc is taking the series next level for me. I absolutely adored the last issue. The dialogue and interactions between heroes honestly reflected many of my own experiences being Asian in America, which is true rarity in mainstream comics. And I don’t know who this Stonehouse is, but if they keep doing covers then Totally Awesome Hulk will be on my pull list.

 

 

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The Indie One: Black Science #28

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Matteo Scalera

What it is: In their darkest hour of need, a new hero rises to fight alongside the Dimensionauts.

Why we like it: Remender’s Seven to Eternity is the hot, new flavor of the month but it was Black Science that first introduced me to Rick’s wonderful indie work. I have been trade waiting Black Science for the last two arcs, but in a recent interview Remender hinted that the series would be concluding around issue #40. This series is amazing and I’m back to buying the floppies on release day until this wild, sci-fi, fantasy ride rockets in for landing.

 

 

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The #1 One: King Pin #1 (Sienkewicz variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Rosenberg
Art: Ben Torres

What it is: WILSON FISK BUILDS A BRAND-NEW EMPIRE! The KINGPIN has done bad things. Deplorable things. He has cheated the law. He has blackmailed rivals. He has killed. But that’s all in the past. The Kingpin is back in the city that he loves and ready to make his mark as a titan of legitimate industry, but needs to rekindle his public image. When Wilson Fisk makes disgraced journalist SARAH DEWEY an offer she can’t refuse, the spiraling saga of crime and betrayal begins anew. Don’t miss the start of Kingpin’s ongoing series, written by breakout writer MATTHEW ROSENBERG and illustrated in the heavy noir stylings of BEN TORRES, as Manhattan’s criminal mastermind returns to the Big Apple with honorable intentions, but no one in his circle remains pure on his climb back to the top.

Why we like it: Mathew Rosenberg first hit my radar with two exceptional indie books published by Black Mask, the on-going 4 Kids Walk into a Bank and the smash-hit We Can Never Go Home, the latter of which is rumored to be in development for a television series. This guys can write comics and it was only a matter of time before one of the Big Two took notice. Rosenberg is a perfect fit for a super-powered, crime series and I can’t wait to see what this incredible talent has in store for us.

 

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (Hans variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Valerio Schiti
Cover Art: Stephanie Hans

What it is: GROUNDED! Angela has come a long way from the skies of Heven to find herself grounded on the Earth. Can she find a new home among the heroes?

Why we like it: Green and purple haven’t looked this good since the Hulk wore shorts. In case you haven’t noticed, Gamora’s star is on the rise. With her own ongoing solo-series and the Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 set to drop in a few months, this cover could be a ghost on Wednesday. It’s a 1:25 ratio variant and I don’t expect many shops order 25 copies of GotG. So grab it if you find it at a reasonable price.

 

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

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The All-New All-Different Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 1/11/2017

Greetings comic book boys and girls and welcome back for another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that don’t crank much, ’cause real cranksta ass readers know we got it. We are back, and damn it feels good to be a cranksta! How’s everyone doing? I hope you were able to find good stuff to read while I was away. If not, fear not, for I have returned to share with you which books I’m checking out at the stands every week. For those of you wondering where I’ve been for the last two months, I recently purchased a house and have been in full-on project mode. Between scraping layers of wallpaper, smashing bathtubs and hanging sheet rock, there just wasn’t a lot of time for comics. Now that the renovations are nearing completion, and I can finally get back to my favorite distraction. Just in time, because I desperately need a distraction. So without further adieu…

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

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The Top of the Pile: All Star Batman #6

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: ‘Cold to the Core’! Batman travels to Alaska to confront Mr. Freeze as he attempts to extract the world’s oldest ice core and bring humanity to a new Ice Age!

Why we love it: Growing up with the Batman Animated Series, Mr. Freeze was my favorite minor Batman villain. In a lot of ways he was like Batman, just a man in an elaborate suit avenging the death of someone loved. And he also carried a badass icebeam cannon. So I’m stoked to see him back in action and by the looks of the handsom ice armor Batman is sporting on the cover, Freeze will be in his element. The second All Star Batman arc is being brought to us by the creative dream team of Snyder and Jock, who have already carved out a memorable Batman run together during their Black Mirror arc (Tec issues 871-880).

 

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The Mainstream One: Spider-man #12 (Isanove Variant)

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

What it is: THIS IS IT! THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! THE KISS HEARD ROUND THE WORLD! The two most talked about heroes give us something new to talk about in this Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen crossover. How did Miles and Gwen get here?!

Why we like it: I love Miles and Gwen, but feel like Marvel just pulled this PR stunt with Lady Thor and Black Cap. You’d figure an interracial kiss wouldn’t move the needle in the 21st century, but this book’s stirring up some early of buzz. The 1:25 Isanove variant sizzles and that all black cover will make it hard to find in high grade. Grab it if you see it.

 

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The Indie One: Motor Crush #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Brendan Fletcher
Art: Babs Tarr

What it is: Domino confronts her father about the ‘machine narcotic’ Crush, and is forced to put her life on the line to save an old flame from danger.

Why we like it: Motor Crush is punk rock on motorcycles, fast, aggressive and non-stop action. Issue #1 was a great read. The art was kinetic and the layouts were exploding with detail. It definitely brought back memories of playing Road Rash in my friend’s basement after school. Speed and violence, always a crowd pleaser.

 

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The #1 One: Red Sonja #1 (Camuncoli variant)

Publisher: Dynamite
Words: Amy Chu
Art: Carlos Gomez

What it is: A new chapter for the Queen of the Hyrkanian Age. Our favorite warrior has faced the toughest of demons, foes and strange magic, but nothing has prepared this 6 ft. tall barbarian for the modern world. Emerging from a subway construction site in New York City, confronted by cops and guns, Sonja fights for her survival in a new and hostile world. Is she here by accident or by design?

Why we like it: Amy Chu caught my attention with her Poison Ivy mini-series, Cycle of Life and Death, and I’m interested to see how she handles another of my favorite female characters. Here she’s giving Red Sonja the woman-out-of-time treatment, and swords and sorcery will collide with the modern world. J.Scott Cambell fans will be all over cover B, but I’m digging the Camuncoli variant.

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Star Wars Poe Dameron #10 (Immonen variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Phil Noto
Cover Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is: Poe and Threepio’s covert mission comes to an end! Can they escape with their informant intact? Or will Terex’s past come back to haunt them?

Why we like it: I just watched Rogue One and it feels like I’m seeing this classic image with new eyes. A beautiful tribute to her worshipfulness. Force be with you, Princess. Close runner-up was Ben Oliver’s Bat-Woman cover for Detective Comics #948

 

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 9/14/2016

Greetings comic book aficionados and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the crankiest place on the net. This Saturday, September 17 is Batman Day (happy birthday Bats!) and that means there’s a good chance that your local comic shop will be giving away all sorts of free stuff. For those not in the know, Batman Day originated in 2013 as a celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary. It was such a hit with retailers and fans that DC has promoted it every year since. So get out there this weekend and grab that sweet Bat-swag.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

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The Top of the Pile: All-Star Batman #2 (Shalvey variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: John Romita Jr

What it is: ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ part 2! All aboard the train ride from hell! Batman and Two-Face continue their journey to Harvey Dent’s cure through an assassin-infested landscape. But can the Dark Knight continue his crusade across the countryside when Two Face turns one of his greatest allies against him?

Why we love it: With Batman Day coming up, it’s only fitting that he takes the top spot this week. Issue #1 was classic Snyder, throwing us headfirst into a crazy adventure in progress, quickly bringing us up to speed, only to crack a bombshell reveal over our slack-jawed heads in the closing panels. Issue #2 drops this week and surprisingly I’m passing on the Jock cover in favor of this sweet Shalvey variant.

 

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The Mainstream one: The Flash #6

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico

What it is: LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE’ part 6! You’ve seen glimpses of him. You’ve witnessed the carnage he’s unleashed on Central City. Now meet Godspeed, the super-speed serial killer who murders speedsters and steals their powers. Barry Allen is going to need help!

Why we like it: I really hope this is when we quit getting teased with half page cameos and finally witness the epic head-to-head showdown with Godspeed that we’ve all been anxiously awaiting since Rebirth. I also hope that they finally give August Heart a proper superhero moniker.

 

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The Indie One: Lady Killer #2

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Joelle Jones
Art: Joelle Jones

What it is: Josie accepts an offer to team up and discovers the partnership is a match made in hit heaven. But not everything is smooth sailing when the local hit squad discovers who her new partner is.

Why we like it: Everyone’s favorite suburban assassin-slash-homemaker is back with a new volume, packed with all the kills and thrills we’ve come to expect from Lady Killer. Come for the retro pinup covers, stay for the murder and intrigue.

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The #1 One: Doom Patrol #1

Publisher: DC (Young Animals)
Words: Gerard Way
Art: Nick Derington

What it is: The atoms are buzzing. The daydreams crowd sentient streets, and the creative team has been warned, ‘Turn back now or suffer the mighty consequence of sheer, psycho-maniacal mayhem.’ Generation-arsonists unite-this is DOOM PATROL, and the God of the Super Heroes is bleeding on the floor. A blenderized reimagining of the ultimate series of the strange, DOOM PATROL combines elements from classic runs, new directions, and things that could not be. Our entry point is Casey Brinke, a young EMT on the graveyard shift to abstract enlightenment, with a past so odd that she’s not entirely sure what is real and what is not. Along with her partner, Sam Reynolds, the pair blaze a path through the city and its denizens, finding the only quiet that exists at 3am is the chaos of the brain. When the pair answer a hit-and-run call, they find themselves face to face with a familiar figure: Cliff Steele, AKA Robotman. ‘It gets weirder from here,’ writer Gerard Way had to say about the book, with artist Nick Derington gripping tightly on the wheel of the ambulance. The pair’s only communication? Shouting out of the open windows while at high velocity. Who needs a new roommate? Who names a cat ‘Lotion’? And when do we get to see all those muscles? Find your answers inside the pages of this comic book, as we set the stage for new beginnings, as well as the re-introduction of some classic DOOM PATROL characters, including Niles Caulder, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo, and Crazy Jane. The debut title of DC’s Young Animal line kicks off with a removable sticker on its cover: Pull back the gyro to reveal its secrets, but be warned-there is no turning back.

Why we like it: Yeesh, did anyone understand what the heck that was supposed to mean? I am not familiar with Grant Morrison’s classic run on Doom Patrol and don’t know if that would help put this bizarre description into any kind of context, but there’s been major buzz surrounding DC’s Young Animals imprint and this is going to be the line’s flagship title. I have no idea what exactly to expect, but I expect it to be all sorts of weird and entertaining. Also, apparently you can peel off the gyro off the cover to reveal something hidden underneath.

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Scarlet Witch #10

Publisher: Marvel
Words: James Robinson
Art: Joelle Jones
Cover art: David Aja

What it is: The murder of a famous warlock takes the SCARLET WITCH to KYOTO, JAPAN! But little does she know, that as WANDA hunts the murderer, the murderer is also hunting her!!!

Why we like it: Aja is a master. With a palette consisting of just three colors, he has crafted gorgeous cover after gorgeous cover during this Scarlet Witch run. I will also pick up the Black Panther Udon variant if I can find it for a decent price.

 

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 8/10/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the net that quite frankly my dear, doesn’t give a crank. Boston Comic Con is this weekend and while nerds across the start get ready for the ball, the big story this week is that my home has been invaded by flies. Fruit flies mostly, and a lot of them. Like an insane amount. Fortunately in my hour of desperation, the internet, as it always does, delivered salvation. Apparently all it takes to trap a ton of fruit flies is a used lemon wedge, a paper cup, saran wrap and a rubber band. For a species so proficient at multiplying, they sure aren’t very smart.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

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The Top of the Pile: Vision #10

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

What it is: Tragedy has come to the Vision family. While those around him mourn, Vision plans for revenge, a revenge that will send him into a deadly confrontation with the heroes of the Marvel Universe. As the saga of Vision and his family draws closer to its world-shaking conclusion, don’t miss out on the series everyone is talking about!

Why we love it: If you didn’t see this pick coming then you haven’t been paying close attention. Only 3-issues left and you know that things don’t end well for the Visions. Vision has been a sensational ride so far and I really hope it sticks the landing. Tom King’s 12-issue run could go down as one of the most important comics written in this generation.

 

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The Mainstream one: New Super-man #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Gene Leun Yang
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic

What it is: ‘Made in China’ part two! The New Super-Man must face off against the Justice League of China. When Kenan Kong was imbued with the powers of Superman, he didn’t waste any time using them! Now it’s up to the New Bat-Man and New Wonder-Woman of his home country to bring our hero back down to earth-just in time to stop the attack of the deadly Sunbeam!

Why we like it: I’m really looking forward to reading this Wednesday. Issue #1 was a good setup issue even before it introduced China’s Batman and Wonder Woman. Issue #2 will mark the first full appearance of the Chinese Trinity, or as I am referring to them as, the Chrinity. But is “New” how DC is going to preface all their Chinese super-heroes? Sort of like how once-upon-a-time every black DC superhero was named “Black” something; Black Lightning, Black Racer, Black Manta, Black Canary (maybe not that last one). Chinese civilization is 4000 years old, there’s nothing new about it.

 

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The Indie One: The Black Monday Murders #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Tomm Coker

What it is: ‘MAMMON’ ALL HAIL GOD MONEY! A new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. The Black Monday Murders is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels who control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep ALL OF US in our proper place.

Why we like it: I swore to myself that I would never jump on another Hickman indie title at #1 after The Dying and the Dead was abandoned after just 3 sensational issues. I promised that I would trade wait him and make him earn my patronage. But I got half way through the synopsis and knew this was being added to my pull immediately. Damn you, Johnathan Hickman. I wish I knew how to quit you.

 

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The #1 One: All Star Bat-man #1 (Jock variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: John Romita

What it is: ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ part one! Superstar writer Scott Snyder explodes into an all-new Batman series alongside legendary artist John Romita Jr., reimagining some of the Dark Knight’s greatest villains. First up: Two-Face! Batman must take Two-Face to a destination out of Gotham City, but the duplicitous villain has a two of spades up his sleeve. Every assassin, bounty hunter and ordinary citizen with something to hide is on their tails with one goal: kill Batman! Handcuffed together on the road to hell, this is Batman and Two-Face as you’ve never seen them before!

Why we like it: The masterful Scott Snyder makes his return to Batman with a dive into the Caped Crusader’s rogue gallery. Two-Face is a classic Bat-villain who never really get much page-time during Snyder’s New 52 run. Looks like he’ll have his turn to shine on Snyder and Romita Jr’s much anticipated debut issue for All-Star Batman. While I’m not the biggest fan of JRJR’s covers, I think he will be effective with his interior artwork. Fortunately there’s an amazing Jock variant which makes this book an insta-pickup.

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Darth Vader #24 (Action figure variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Salvador Larroca
Cover art: John Tyler Christopher

What it is: Vader is lost in his inner mindscape, lost in visions of the Force! Is he truly more machine now than man? Or can he fight his way back from the brink?

Why we like it: Only two issues left in the epic Darth Vader series and it looks as though s for the end. Issue #23 gave us everyone’s favorite homicidal astrodroid, BT-1. This week brings us Bee Tee’s counterpart, the sociopathic protocol droid 0-0-0, or Triple Zero as he’s referred to affectionately by friends.

 

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