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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 16, 2017

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. It’s looking like a monster week with so many good books out this week. While this is great news to me as a fan, it was not an easy week to make picks. This week’s list required a lot of deliberation and a lot of good books didn’t make the cut. These are the books that did:

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Totally Awesome Hulk #22

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Robert Gill

What it is: ‘WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION’ PART SIX! The Weapon X program’s twisted head scientists have finally completed their magnum opus! Now BATCH H is awake, and it’s MAD AS HELL. Rated T

Why we love it: Batch H makes its debut in the final issue to Weapons of Mutant Destruction. Reading the solicits for Weapon X, this Hulk/Wolverine/cyborg hybrid could be sticking around for a while even after WMD wraps. We get our first good look at him here with another totally awesome cover by Stonehouse.

The Mainstream One: Batman #29

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part five! Batman has done his best to keep the peace, but with neither faction backing down, he may have to choose the lesser of two evils if he wants the violence to end. Will Batman embrace the murderous anarchy of The Joker or the bloody fascism of the Riddler? If he wants to win, he’ll have to choose a side-and either way, he loses.

Why we like it: My guess is that Barman doesn’t embrace either and plays both the Riddler and Joker for chumps and wins. But that’s just my guess. Great series, another of Tom King’s slow burners that is heating up quick.

 

The Indie One: Descender #23

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: ‘RISE OF THE ROBOTS,’ Part Two The new DESCENDER event explodes as Tim-21 makes his daring escape from the clutches of the Hardwire. Meanwhile Andy, Effie, and Bandit are taken prisoner by the UGC until one of them shockingly turns traitor. And deep below the ocean planet of Mata, the final fate of Telsa is revealed.

Why we like it: Rise of the Robots started off with a blast, throwing us some major league plot twists punctuated by deep space action. I can’t wait for the Harvesters to start showing up, and it seems like we could be seeing them sooner than later.

The #1 One: Dark Knights Metal #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: The superstar BATMAN team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo reunite for a massive, universe-spanning event! DARK NIGHTS: THE FORGE and THE CASTING hinted at dark corners of reality that have never been seen till now! Now, as DARK DAYS: METAL begins, the Dark Multiverse is revealed in all its devastating danger-and the threats it contains are coming for the DC Universe! DARK DAYS: METAL is a DC event unlike any other-one that will push Batman, Superman and heroes of the Justice League beyond their limits to take on threats unlike any our world has ever seen! It will take the combined might of the World’s Greatest Heroes as you’ve never seen them before to face what’s coming their way!

Why we like it: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reunited on Batman and it feels so good. I haven’t been overly enthusiastic about this series outside of the creative team, but recent rumors have been hinting at a crossover with Vertigo’s Sandman universe at the end of issue 1. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was released through Vertigo during the late 80’s/early 90’s and is hands down my favorite book of all time, comic or otherwise, so I’m adequately pumped for Metal. There’s a special midnight release Capullo variant cover that I like better than the regular Capullo cover, so I guess it’s going to be a late night.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #27

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art and cover art: Stjepan Sejic

What it is: ‘UNDERWORLD’ part three! Aquaman lives! Threatened by the return of Atlantis’ natural-born ruler, King Rath accelerates his plan to scrub the sunken city of all its ancient magical treasures-but why is he stockpiling magic? Whatever the reason, Rath will need all the firepower he can get when Mera breaks through the barrier surrounding the city!

Why we like it: In an unexpected twist, Stjepan Sejic’s cover A for Aquaman gets the nod over the Josh Middleton cover B. One of the better Mera covers I’ve seen in a while. With her character appearing in both the upcoming Aquaman and Justice League movies, a lot of eyes will be turning to the Queen of Atlantis.

 

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 – 6/6/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Wonder Woman absolutely crushed it to the tune of $100 million domestic box office in its opening weekend. I can hardly wait to see it this weekend because it has been receiving almost universal praise. Could Wundy’s silver-screen success mark the turning point for the DC cinematic universe? Time will tell, but I’m already feeling much more optimistic for Justice League.

Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the cool stuff that I’m checking out. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

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The Top of the Pile: Superman #24

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Jaimie Mendoze, Doug Mahnke

What it is: ‘BLACK DAWN’ part five! The Man of Steel faces the one foe he refuses to fight-his son. An emerging new ability for Superboy proves deadly to Superman as the promise of power appears to lead Jon Kent to betray his father. RATED T

Why we love it: Maybe it was the return to a more traditional Superman persona, or the introduction of the Kent family dynamics, but this comic has succeeded in retaining an air of nostalgia while building something entirely new, making it feel both modern and classic. Before Tomasi’s run, I don’t remember the last time when Superman was relevant (maybe his death back in ’92?). Now, I eagerly await each issue as it comes out and I know I am not alone.

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The Mainstream One: Champions #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Humberto Ramos

What it is: Casting a spotlight on young synthezoid Viv Vision! After what became of her family, she willingly shut down her emotions – but does that come with a price to pay? Rated T+

Why we like it: Tom King created Viv Vision during his landmark run on Vision, which lasted only 12 issues before he left to write Batman for DC. If you read this blog at all during 2015-2016, chances are you heard me gushing about King’s run on Vision. I thought it was the best comic Marvel had put out in years and I immediately fell in love with the Visions, especially with the kids Vin and Viv. I was elated to see Viv break out on her own after the main series ended and I am so stoked to read how she’s been processing everything that has happened since. Do androids get PTSD?

 

 

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The Indie One: Paper Girls #19

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Cliff Chang

What it is: EXPLOSIVE END OF A STORY ARC! It’s the end of an era as KJ, Mac, Tiffany, and Erin must do the unthinkable to escape our prehistoric past. 24 pages of story on the best paper in comics, and still only $2.99!

Why we like it: Paper Girls picked up two Eisner awards last year, winning Best New Series and Cliff Chang taking home Best Penciller for his work on the series. This year it has three nominations for Best Continuing Series, Best Writer and Best Colorist. Experts and Cranks agree that this book is chock full of awesome. So why haven’t you added it to your pull list yet?

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The #1 One: Babyteeth #1 (Elizabeth Torque variant)

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Garry Brown

What it is: NEW SERIES! Sadie Ritter is sixteen years old, nine months pregnant, and scared out of her sweet nerdy mind. Having a baby that young is tough, but with the support of her loving family behind her, everything should be okay. OH YEAH, and also her baby is the antichrist and it’s going to break open the barriers between the earthly and demonic planes and unleash eternal suffering to all of humankind. Other than that, though…should be fine. From the writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Redneck and the break-out hit God Country comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!

Why we like it: There’s that name again. Donny Cates. I feel like a broken record here, but there’s no denying that this young man is the hottest up-and-coming writer in the biz. God Country has sold out again and again and gone back for multiple reprints of every issue (issue #1 is on its fourth printing at the time of this writing). Redneck #2, released two weeks ago, sold out and will be back for second printings. Redneck #1 is already going to a third print. The market has surely taken notice by now and Babyteeth #1 is a guaranteed sell out. Make sure you reserve a copy in advance.

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #24 (Josh Middleton variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Scot Eaton
Cover Art: Joshua Middleton

What it is: ‘CROWN OF ATLANTIS’ finale! Hopelessly at odds with the people of Atlantis, Arthur is finally stripped of his crown. In his place, and to Aquaman’s horror, the previously imprisoned Atlantean fundamentalist Corum Rath is installed as the new king! Every step of AQUAMAN REBIRTH has been building to this! RATED T

Why we like it: I’ve almost added Aquaman to my pull list for Middleton’s covers alone. Some of this cover’s impact will be diminished when the cover dressing gets added, but a stunning image regardless. Superstar artist Stjpan Sejic takes over interior art duties starting next issue, so don’t be surprised if we start seeing more Aquaman around these parts.

 

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 – 3/1/2017

Hi diddly ho comic book fanerinos and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the net that still thinks that La La Land won the Oscar for best picture. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

 

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The Top of the Pile: Batman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I AM BANE’ part three! Bane broke the bat before, but it wasn’t enough-now he’s going to break everyone else! Bane is coming, and no one is safe!

Why we love it: Tom King has really hit his stride and Batman is so frakkin good right now. After the shocking cliff hanger in issue #16, we got another pants-crappingly insane ending in issue #17. This week Bane and the Dark Knight square off, and you better pack an extra pair of underwear.

 

 

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The Mainstream One: Superman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason

What it is: ‘SUPERMAN REBORN’ part one! In DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, the enigmatic Mr. Oz told this Superman, ‘You and your family are not what you believe you are. And neither was the fallen Superman.’ Now, in the first Rebirth crossover between SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, the shocking truth behind Oz’s words is revealed. It begins with one of Oz’s prisoners escaping, and ends in a tragic moment for Lois and Superman. The covers by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray and the variant covers by Gary Frank for SUPERMAN #18-19 and ACTION COMICS #975-976 will connect to form a single vertical image.

Why we like it: DC’s been quietly hinting at the grand machinations behind Rebirth, dropping breadcrumb clues in lenticular covers and buttons with images of smiley faces. It sounds like we’ll be getting some big reveals in this week’s Superman. If you’ve been digging Rebirth, then you won’t want to miss this issue.

 

 

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The Indie One: Extremity #1

Publisher: Image
Words and art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! Thea dreams. Not of a better life, but of revenge on the clan that ruined her family. With ferocious battles between man, machines, and monsters ahead, who knows where her quest for vengeance will take her? Creator DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON (Space Mullet) and colorist MIKE SPICER present a bold new vision, where the beauty and imagination of Studio Ghibli meet the intensity of Mad Max, in this all-new Skybound Original.

Why we like it: I read a great interview with the author Daniel Johnson in which he described the creative process and ideas that make up Extremity. It included a preview too. I’m digging it. Check it out and if you like what you see, pick it up on Wednesday.

http://www.avclub.com/article/dive-emotional-exhilarating-world-extremity-exclus-251008

 

 

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The #1 One: Amerikarate #1

Publisher: Action Lab – Danger Zone
Words: Brockton McKinney
Art: Devin Roth

What it is: In the vein of the greatest ’80s action flicks of all time – such as Bloodsport, Gymkata, Rambo, Commando, and Kickboxer – comes AMERIKARATE! The story of one American’s fight to karate-fight with karate for America – and karate!

Why we like it: This was a tough call, because I originally wanted to spotlight Marvel’s Ms. America Chavez solo series “America”. But Amerkarate is just too weird and off-beat to ignore.

 

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Scot Eaton
Cover Art: Joshua Middleton

What it is: ‘WARHEAD’ finale! Aquaman’s battle with Warhead leaves him trapped in the tortured mind of the telepathic beast, where the sea king is forced to experience the lifetimes of combat that define his tragic new foe!

Why we like it: Middleton’s been putting out amazing covers for Aquaman since Rebirth, but this one stands out for perfectly depicting the duality of Arthur Curry. Above water, he’s just some lame wad who likes swimming in the ocean. Underseas, he’s an absolute force of nature who will rip you to shreds. There aren’t many iconic Aquaman covers, but I think this one deserves consideration.

 

That’s all I got this week. Let me know what you’re checking out in the comments. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 3/30/2016

Hey there comic fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, where we crank so hard it oughta be a crime. It was a crazy busy weekend and I have not seen Batman vs Superman yet. While there are a ton of negative reviews floating around the internet thrashing the movie, my friends who saw it, and whose opinion I actually respect, pretty much unanimously said that it kicked ass. That’s good enough for me, so hopefully this weekend.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

The Top of the Pile: Saga #35

 

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Words: Brian K. Vaughan

Art: Fiona Staples

What it is: Hard time.

Why we love it: My favorite line from issue #34, “anyone who thinks that one book has all the answers hasn’t read enough books”. If you aren’t reading Saga yet, you have no idea what you are missing. Hands down the best book out right now.

 

The Mainstream One: Aquaman #50

 

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Words: Dan Abnett

Art: Brett Booth

What it is: Dead Water is a killer and a monster. No matter where you go, he can reach you if there’s even one drop of water present. Pray that Aquaman finds you first! And the most famous oceanic hero on Earth is Aquaman, right? In our gala 50th issue, make way for Aquawoman!

Why we like it: Not counting a couple of multiverse appearances, this will be the first appearance of Aquawoman in DCU continuity. Could be an important first appearance, but then again the phrase “DCU continuity” sounds like an oxymoron these days.

 

The Indie One: Black Science #21

 

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Words: Rick Remender

Art: Matteo Scalera

What it is: Conclusion Grant comes to rescue his daughter but she’s not daddy’s little girl anymore. All hail the Godqueen!

Why we like it: This will probably the last single issue of Black Science that I will buy before dropping it from my pull list and trade waiting. Not for lack of quality though. Black Science has been an awesome read and ranks among my favorites of Remender’s creator owned series, but each arc is so densely packed with call-backs and symbolism that I think the story will read better as complete volumes.

The #1 One: X-Men ’92 #1

 

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Words: Chris Sims

Art: Alti Firmansyah

What it is: The X-Men of the 90s are back! Continuing from the hit Secret Wars series starring the X-Men of a more EXTREME decade. With Cassandra Nova defeated, the X-Men have taken in all the young mutants she had rounded up and are officially reopening the Xavier School for Gifted Children…but being responsible won’t stop them from having crazy adventures! Especially when Omega Red shows up with the (Formerly) Soviet Super Soldiers!

Why we like it: Jim Lee’s run on X-Men and the Fox animated cartoon series were huge influences in my young life, and both directly responsible for my current love/borderline obsession with comics. I learned how to draw in grade school by sketching epic fights between Gambit and Wolverine on my vocab homework. To me, this represents the X-Men in their prime and some of my fondest childhood memories.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain America Sam Wilson #7 (Ross variant)

 

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Words: Nick Spencer

Art: Daniel Acuna

What it is: ENORMOUS 75th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE! AN AVENGERS STANDOFF tie-in! Since World War II, Steve Rogers has wielded his red, white and blue shield against unspeakable odds. When he fell, his brother in arms, Bucky Barnes, picked it up. When it was time to rest, he handed it to his good friend, Sam Wilson. But now Steve will be asked to wield it one last time, against a foe so deadly he knows it could very well be his final stand. Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Marvel’s Sentinel of Liberty with a story of Captain Americas present and former — with this explosive, world-changing chapter in the blockbuster spring Avengers event, STANDOFF. Plus, stories celebrating the legacy and legend of Captain America throughout history, by Greg Rucka & Mike Perkins; Tim Sale; & John Cassaday

Why we like it: Although I’ve been enjoying the heck out of Sam Wilson’s Captain America, we all knew that Steve Rogers would eventually return to the role. Well that time has come because this Wednesday, O.G. Cap is back! Alex Ross does an incredible swipe of the cover to 1941’s Captain America #1 by comic legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. It’s Cap punching out Hitler, ’nuff said.

 

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