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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 9/30/2015

Happy blood moon everyone. Good to have you back for another episode of the Crank File. The last Wednesday in September is the clam before the storm. Surprisingly no Marvel books make it to the short list this week. But the first week of October is being called Monster Week and it is going to be crazy: Marvel launches it’s all-new, all-different universe with #1’s for Amazing Spider-man, Invincible Iron Man and Dr. Strange and even Secret Wars #6 is showing up late to the party. And let’s not forget Jughead #1, Paper Girls #1, Batman and Robin Eternal #1 and new issues from Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Southern Bastards and Miracle Man. But even on a slow week there are a few books that I’m super excited about. So let’s do it to it. Comics that is.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Sandman Overture #6 Vertigo

 

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It’s finally here. #6 is the final issue in the mini-series, and will lead into the events that started it all over 30 years ago in 1989’s Sandman #1. Sandman is my favorite work of fiction in any medium and is, in my opinion, the high-water mark for what story telling can achieve through sequential art. So this pick should come as a surprise to no one. Sandman: Overture has been everything that I have ever wanted from a Sandman prequel and I hope that it’s not the last we see of you Orpheus, Lord of Dreams.

 

 

The Mainstream One: Batman Annual #4 DC

 

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If you’re currently reading any of the Batman titles, you already know that things in Gotham have gotten strange. For better or worse, Bruce Wayne is not Batman. Although I have no idea how Snyder will play this out, we can all rest assured that Bruce will undoubtedly wear the cape and cowl once again. The tragedy is that Bruce geniunely seems happy not being the Batman. A kick-ass Batman cover done by the phenomenal Sean Murphy and content by the immensely talented James TynionIV to boot, Batman annual #4 examines the relationship between Gotham, Bruce Wayne and the Batman.

 

 

The Indie One: Archie #3 Archie

 

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Many of the successful females in fiction worked as duos. Lucy and Ethel, Thelma and Luise, Laverne and Shirley, Paris and Nicole. Archie #3 re-introduces Veronica Lodge the third and final vertice in the Betty / Veronica love triangle. Issue #3 will also be the final issue featuring 2015 Harvey Award’s Best Artist Fiona Staples. Writer Mark Waid will stay on, teaming up with artists Annie Wu for issue #4 and Crank File favorite Veronica Fish starting in issue #5. Loving that Jughead cover.

 

 

Last Week’s Leftovers: Grayson #12 DC

 

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This issue was a great read. The prodigal returns to Gotham as Grayson takes a break from spying for a Bat family reunion. Definitely worth a look on a light week.

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 4/15/2015

Greetings comic book enthusiasts and welcome to The Crank File issue #11. The Crank File is an open forum where I will offer speculations, reviews and ravings on all things comics.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like springtime. The piles of snow have retreated back into the deepest patches of shade. After being buried in cold grey for months, you almost forget what spring is like. The longer days and the sweet warm air. Baseball games and roadtrips. A world reborn through itself, year upon year, as it has for eons. And as the seasons turn, things inevitably change. Case and point, I have three books published by Archie comics on my list this week as opposed to my normal zero. Let’s turn and face the strain. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Convergence #2 DC

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Another great looking design variant from Convergence. Alternate realities collide in the second issue. Battles are fought and father and son are reunited. Thomas Wayne Batman from the Flashpoint universe meets Bruce Wayne Batman from our universe. These two haven’t seen each other since the 1930’s. Who cares that they just did the exact same thing in Spiderverse, reuniting Peter Parker and Spider-Ben?

The Mainstream One: Thor #7 Marvel

Thor_Vol_4_7

I’m really digging the new Thor. I think Jason Aaron’s script has been exceptional and the action sequences beautifully chreographed. A lot of Thor fans will disagree with me on this, but then I admittedly never was a big Thor fan. This new Thor intrigues me and her identity will finally be revealed in May. I’m hoping that some clues will drop in this month’s episode.

The Indie One: The Fox “The Hunt” #1 Dark Circle

The Fox

Coming from an award-winning creative team, this book is getting a lot of positive buzz. The artwork looks great and I enjoyed what I read in the preview. The first Archie book to make the list, this title from their Black Circle imprint promises to be a dark and engaging tale.

The Number One One: Archie vs Predator #1 Dark Horse

archie-vs-predator-01-cover-fernando-ruiz

So technically a Dark Horse book, but the gang from Riverdale co-star here so I’m counting it. Archie and crew travel to spring break for some fun in the sun where they encounter Predators. That’s noat a typo. It’s quite beyond comprehension. Especially the “vs.” part. How is that title not “Archie Murdered by Predator”? Will have to read this one and find out for myself.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: RunLoveKill #1 Image

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Love this cover. It’s so good that this Image #1 is being released without any variants.

The Speculation One: Betty and Veronica #275 Adam Hughes variant Archie Comics

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Adam Hughes can paint the female anatomy like no one’s business. His “good-girl” pinup art-style is instantly recognizable, oft imitated but never replicated. He is the dirty Norman Rockwell of our generation and this one is another hit.

Last Week’s Leftovers: TMNT #44 2nd Print IDW

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TMNT #44 was so popular that it was rushed to a second printing. Last week I finally got a chance to read the “death” of Donatello issue without having to shell out 5x cover price. His savage beating at the hooves of Beebop and Rocksteady was certainly a powerful moment, one that should leave an lasting mark upon Turtle history. I will refrain from further spreading the rumors of his untimely death, but I think this could be Donatello’s Killing Joke moment.