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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 4, 2018

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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Thanos Legacy #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Gerry Duggan

What it is: ‘THANOS WINS’…AGAIN? Rising star Donny Cates returns to the Mad Titan to bring the story bridging the gap between his best-selling ‘Thanos Wins’ and the world-shattering INFINITY WARS! How did Thanos’ journey back from the future lead to the events of INFINITY WARS PRIME? Now it can be told! Rated T+

Why we love it: Marvel has clearly found a cash cow and they are milking every last drop. Donny Cates is back to his old tricks with more stories spinning out of his acclaimed ‘Thanos Wins’ run. What dastardly deeds does he have planned for Thanos this time? And will his good buddy Cosmic Ghost Rider make an appearance?

The Mainstream One: Avengers #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Ed McGuinness

What it is: FEATURING GHOST RIDER 1,000,000 BC! If you thought you knew the beginnings of the Marvel Universe, you were wrong! Odin and his Prehistoric Avengers represent a period of Marvel history that’s never been explored. That exploration begins this issue with the origin of the very first Ghost Rider, one who rides a flaming woolly mammoth and battles a savage and familiar foe! Rated T+

Why we like it: If I read that correctly, this is a caveman possessed by the spirit of the Ghost Rider that rides a flaming woolly mammoth into battle. Sometimes you can’t tell if Marvel is even trying anymore.

The Indie One: Spawn #289

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: The countdown to the giant-sized 300th issue begins here! Spawn catches his first victim as he continues to search for the men responsible for his wife’s death.

Why we like it:  For the first time in 20 years, I’ve got Spawn  on my pull list. I started picking up this title again when Francesco Mattina began his run on covers. It’s definitely not the Spawn of the 90’s but it’s still a fun read. 

The #1 One: The Dreaming #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Simon Spurrier
Art: Bilquis Evely

What it is: From the upheaval of THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1 rises THE DREAMING-a kingdom in chaos. There is a place where stories are born. Today its walls lie slashed and bleeding. Dream has abandoned his realm, and until he is found, its residents must protect its broken borders alone. But the most senior storysmiths are tormented by invasive secrets, the warden Lucien is doubting his own mind-and beyond the gates something horrific waits with tooth and talon. Only Dora, the monstress, finds opportunity in madness, stealing dreams for the highest bidder. But she has no idea how deep the danger lies. Meanwhile, in Dream’s gallery, something new is growing…

Why we like it: The Dreaming was a bit dull and not at all what I was expecting. I mean Dream was hardly in it. And it’s looking like more of the same here. I hear Neil Gaiman is plotting the story, so I’m giving this series a long leash.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #35

Publisher: DC
Words: Christopher Priest
Art: Carlo Pagulayan
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: In this corner: Deathstroke, suffering from a traumatic brain injury at the hands of Batman! In the other corner: Batman, with Deathstroke’s knife in his gut! All of this with the feds invading Wayne Manor-and now they’re in the catacombs under the mansion, which lead to the you-know-what-cave! If they’re going to escape, Batman and Slade are going to have to work together.

Why we like it: Mattina makes his second appearance on this week’s list. Truly a master.

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 – April 25, 2018

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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Avengers #690

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Paco Medina

What it is: THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONCLUDES! ‘NO SURRENDER’ REACHES ITS FINALE! The battle is over, and those left standing in the rubble have to find a way to move forward. As an era of the Avengers comes to a close, what will rise to take its place?

Why we love it: No Surrender will be better known as the No Delays event. The story was more entertaining than expected and the weekly release schedule really helped keep my interest. It turned out to be a satisfying read with lots of twists and surprises and a few new characters added along the way. I’d totally be on board for another weekly Avengers series, under the condition that cover price for each issue holds at $2.99.

The Mainstream One: The Mighty Thor #706

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Russell Dauterman

What it is: AT THE GATES OF VALHALLA! THE DEATH OF THE MIGHTY THOR finale The battle against the Mangog is finished. And the losses have been profound. So what – if anything – remains of the story of Jane Foster, Goddess of Thunder? And where do the other gods possibly go from here?

Why we like it: I will admit to getting choked up a few times leading up to her death in issue #705 and I desperately need closure. Rest easy Jane, you were certainly worthy.

The Indie One: Savage Dragon #233

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Erik Larsen

What it is: ‘CHASING THE DRAGONS’: The reality show starring Malcolm Dragon’s ever-growing family debuts, and impending doom is just around the corner! Another outstanding achievement from award-winning writer/artist ERIK LARSEN.

Why we like it: Pretty skimpy week for indies. Saga is out this week but I promised I’d stop talking about Saga every week (promise broken). Savage Dragon gets the nod for one of the raunchiest covers I’ve seen in a long time.

The #1 One: Hunt for Wolverine #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: David Marquez

What it is: The RETURN OF WOLVERINE begins here, providing the first piece of a mystery that will leave no corner of the Marvel Universe untouched. Just as the X-Men have finally come to terms with Logan’s death, they learn a terrible secret. Old wounds will be re-opened, truths questioned, and an epic quest begun. The earliest clues to the mystery of Wolverine’s return are laid down here… who will solve it first?

Why we like it: Wolvie’s my favorite Marvel character so this series has been on my radar for a while now. Now that he’s returning my big question is, what happens to Old Man Logan?

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Star Wars Darth Vader #15

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Art: Elia Bonetti

What it is: Darth Vader continues his mission to bring Mon Cala to heel! As the Emperor grip tightens on the galaxy, no tolerance for rebellion can be afforded… especially not when being fomented by a surviving Jedi. Vader goes in for some wet work in this brutal story!

Why we like it: This cover is badass. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

 

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 – March 14, 2018

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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mister Miracle #7

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: Mister Miracle and Big Barda are in a panic. The war with Apokolips isn’t going well. And it’s Barda’s turn to have her past come crashing back into her present as the Female Furies appear on the scene with blood on their minds. Continuing the acclaimed miniseries that Entertainment Weekly called ‘by far the best comic on the stands right now.’

Why we love it: I don’t know what powers made Entertainment Weekly the authority on what is the best comic on the stands right now, but I grudgingly have to agree with their assessment. This is one of those series that pushes the limits of the comic medium and tells a visual story in a new way. King and Gerad’s Mister Miracle is real heady stuff, not a book that you will be able to just pick up and catch up on. If you haven’t been keeping up, you’ll definitely want to hunt down the first 6 issues or wait for the first trade to drop next month.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #684

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Joe Bennet

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 10 THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES IN THIS OVERSIZED ISSUE! Back from the dead! He cannot be reasoned with. He will not be stopped. Bruce Banner isn’t home right now. There is only THE IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we like it: There was never any doubt if, it was just a matter of when. And this week Bruce Banner is back. I read a synopsis of Immortal Hulk and it almost sounds like he’s going to have some kind of zombie power where he can rise from the dead? Sounds kind of silly, but I’m digging this No Surrender story line and that Mark Brooks cover is dope.

The Indie One: Infidel #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Pornsak Pichetshote
Art: Aaron Campbell

What it is: A haunted house story for the 21st century, INFIDEL follows an American Muslim woman and her multiracial neighbors who move into a building haunted by entities that feed off xenophobia. Bestselling editor PORNSAK PICHETSHOTE (Swamp Thing) makes his comics-writing debut alongside artist extraordinaire AARON CAMPBELL (The Shadow), award-winning colorist and editor JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA (Promethea) and letterer / designer JEFF POWELL (SCALES & SCOUNDRELS).

Why we like it: Very intriguing premise. I think many minorities are haunted by the specters of fear and prejudice.

 

The #1 One: Eternity Girl #1

Publisher: DC Young Animals
Words: Magdalene Visaggio
Art: Sonny Liew

What it is: Caroline Sharp has been a lot of things, including both a superhero and a super-spy. But now, with those days behind her and her powers proving unreliable, Caroline finds herself stuck in a life weighed down by her depression and an inability to change. You see, Caroline is going to live forever, and there is no escape to be had. The very act of living reminds her that, to the rest of existence, she is an anomaly. All of that could change, however, when her old foe, Madame Atom, comes to her with an intriguing offer. Madame Atom can give Caroline the power to end her life; she just has to destroy the rest of the world. This brand-new DC’s Young Animal miniseries spins out of the Milk Wars event, written by GLAAD Media Award-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio (Kim and Kim) and illustrated by Eisner-winning artist Sonny Liew (The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye).

Why we like it: Another new series with an interesting premise. Life is a gift, but only because we know that someday it ends. But what if it didn’t? Eternal life seems glamorous at first but I would be that after several hundred years of watching your loves die, it would start feeling like a curse.

The Ones I’m Buying for the Cover:

Just too much outstanding cover art this week. Here are some of my favorites and, get this, they are ALL cover price.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20

Detective Comics #976

Justice League of America #26

SuperGirl #19

Deadly Class #32

Doctor Strange #384

Darth Vader #13

 

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 – February 21, 2018

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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Amazing Spiderman #796

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Mike Hawthorne

What it is: THREAT LEVEL RED Part 3. You’ve watched for months as Norman Osborn has scoured the globe for a cure to the genetic tampering that prevents him from becoming the Green Goblin. IN THIS ISSUE…HE FINDS IT! And it spells the worst kind of trouble for your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man! Rated T

Why we love it: There’s a ton of hype for the first appearance of Red Goblin. So much that Midtown Comics and many other large comic retailers are putting a 1-copy limit per customer on this issue. Whether or not #796 actually marks the first full appearance of the Red Goblin is still in question, but at very least you get a sweet Alex Ross cover.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #681

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 7 Who is Voyager? Valerie Vector, the forgotten founding Avenger, tells all! And a fan-favorite Avenger returns to the fold as the stakes in the battle for Earth become clear! Rated T+

Why we like it: Not much more needs to be said about this series, as Avengers has made it on the list for the last 4 weeks. This week we get the origin if the mysterious new Avenger, Voyager.

The Indie One: Descender #27

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: BRAND-NEW STORYLINE-‘OLD WORLDS,’ Part One! The origins of the Harvesters are finally revealed as we jump back thousands of years to see the dawn of the robotkind and the the secrets of the Ancient Robot and how it connects to Tim-21 in the present. Secrets that have been building since issue one are finally revealed in this shocking new story arc. Each issue in this arc will feature ‘LITTLE ROBOT’ variant covers by DUSTIN NGUYEN.

Why we like it: FINALLY!!! Lemire’s back from his brief stint at Marvel and he’s lighting a fire under Descender by revealing the biggest mystery of the entire series, the secret origins of the Harvesters. I really enjoyed this series when it first launched. I love Lemire’s dialogue and was blown away by Dustin Nguyen’s beautifully rendered water colors, but I dropped Descender sometime in the late teens due to an unfocused narrative. This seems like a great point to jump back in.

 

The #1 One: Doctor Strange Damnation #1 (Javier Garron  Young Guns variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Rod Reis

What it is: The city of sin gets its biggest sinner yet. When Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during SECRET EMPIRE, he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, MEPHISTO! The devilish villain takes the city for himself and sets his sights on the rest of the world. It’s going to take heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat him, but there’s nothing simple about fighting the lord of Hell. Rated T+

Why we like it: Donny Cates might be the hottest writer working for any of the comic publishers right now. Although this title has been overshadowed by Cate’s Thanos run, I have been loving Dr. Strange. The Damnation mini series picks up right after the events of Dr. Strange #385, where Stephen Strange regains the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme from the trickster Loki, and will set the stage for Marvel’s grand plans for 2018. With a new start and a fresh outlook, Damnation is sure to continue shaking up the status quo.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League #39 

Publisher: DC
Words: Rod Reis
Art: Ian Churchill
Cover Art: J. G. Jones

What it is: ‘JUSTICE LOST’ part six! An environmental disaster unites both Justice League teams as Cyborg faces the first test of his leadership while still being overshadowed by Batman. Meanwhile, the Green Lanterns struggle with internal conflicts while being recruited by a mysterious visitor for an unspecified deep-space mission.

Why we like it: At some point J. G. Jones will start getting the recognition he deserves as one of the finest cover illustrators working in the industry. This might be the cover that pushes him into the conversation with other high-profile painters like Mattina or Ross.

 

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 – February 14, 2018

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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Avengers #680

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 6 Wonder Man and Beast team up in a desperate attempt to save Jarvis, while the Avengers reel from the crushing loss of one of their own. Rated T+

Why we love it: No Surrender, no man left behind! Asides from the Always Sunny reference, I’m really enjoying this story. Packed with action, intrigue, and potential first appearances. The weekly release schedule hasn’t burned us with delays yet, and it has really helped keep the momentum going. Do not sleep on Avengers this week.

The Mainstream One: Captain America #698

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee

What it is: OUT OF TIME Part 1 THE STORYLINE LEADING TO THE MASSIVE ISSUE #700 KICKS OFF! Steve Rogers awakens to find himself in a strange new future – and it’s his worst nightmare! Can he assemble a new band of Howling Commandos to help him battle for freedom? Rated T+

Why we like it: Caps back to his Silver Age roots with a classic man-out-of-time story. Wait a minute… That actually sounds like legacy. About gd time Marvel. I wonder if there’ll be Nazis in the future for Cap to fight. Sadly, I’d guess yes.

The Indie One: Invincible #144

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

What it is: SERIES FINALE ‘THE END OF ALL THINGS,’ Conclusion Final issue. Everything since issue one has been building to this. Nothing can prepare you.

Why we like it: I’m not actually reading this issue this week because I’m about eight trades behind, but one of the longest running Image titles comes to a conclusion this week. I feel like the end of a landmark series deserves a mention. Gratz Kirkman! Now kindly write us something interesting in Outcast already, will ya?

 

The #1 One: Death of Love #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Justin Jordan
Art: Donal Delay

What it is: Love sucks. Philo Harris is going to do something about it. After gaining the ability to see the Cupidae that make love work-after a particularly bad drunken decision-Philo ends up going to war with love itself. With a chainsaw.

Why we like it: I almost forgot Wednesday is Valentine’s Day. This pick is for me, fatty, sideburns lady, and the mutants over at table 9.

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Action Comics #997

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Will Conrad, Brett Booth
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

What it is: ‘BOOSTER SHOT’ part five! Superman and Booster Gold are stranded in time on a world ruled by not one but two Generals Zod! As Lor-Zod asserts himself as rightful heir to the military dictatorship of their adopted homeworld, Old Man Zod turns his attention to the interlopers from the past. Our heroes’ only hope of survival is to repair their craft and get home-but to do that, they’ll need to travel into the belly of beast!

Why we like it: If you don’t like this cover than you are a card carrying communist who hates freedom. You don’t… hate freedom, do you?

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 7, 2018

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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Swamp Thing Winter Special #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King after Len Wein
Art: Jason Fabok

What it is: Tom King and Jason Fabok pay tribute to the legendary creators of Swamp Thing, writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, as they join forces for an earth-shattering Swamp Thing passion project! In this new, squarebound one-shot, Swamp Thing is out of his element as he shepherds a lost boy through a blinding blizzard and other hazards of a strange, frozen tundra. In this touching and harrowing tale of survival, the pair must navigate countless threats throughout a bewildering terrain-with a bloodthirsty snow monster hot on their heels. But how long can they rely on each other? Separated from the Green and stripped of his powers in this dead world, Swamp Thing struggles to fight for their lives and deliver the boy to safety. Disoriented and decaying, Swamp Thing’s fading understanding of his surroundings forces the duo to confront their desperation and uncover the true identity of the snow monster that hunts them. In addition, this special features the final Swamp Thing story from the monster’s co-creator, Len Wein. Originally intended as the start of a new series, it is presented here both in its original script form and with art by Kelley Jones. RATED T

Why we love it: Regular readers know my hetero-love for Tom King known no bounds. I will literally read anything he writes: tweets, books, comics, graphic novels, grocery lists. Anything. But I’m especially excited for this Swamp Thing story. Tom wrote Swamp Thing into Batman #23 and it was so good that immediately after it was released, a petition started circulating to get Tom King to write the next Swamp Thing book. It’s here, it’s oversized and overpriced, but I’ll happily pay for the quality.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #679

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 5 THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES! Who is the Challenger? What is at stake in his grudge match with the Grandmaster? And when the two of them clash, can the Earth survive the destruction they unleash? Rated T+

Why we like it: This book is getting some buzz already as most covers are sold out in advance. And if you read issue #678 last week, then like me you are dying to find out what happens to the hot headed Avenger Johnny Storm. By the looks of the cover… nothing good.

The Indie One: Extremity #11

Publisher: Image
Words and art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: The beacon is lit, the final battle has started, and no matter the outcome, nothing will ever be the same for Thea of the Roto clan.

Why we like it: Apparently, this is the penultimate issue. I had no idea that this was only a 12 issue series. With a deep cast of nuanced characters and fleshed out world, I was looking forward to many more adventures in the world of Extremity. But with only 2 issues to go, my favorite, new independent title is ending too soon, but it’s going out in grand fashion.

 

The #1 One: X-Men Red #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom Taylor
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: The Hate Machine Part 1 THE FIRST SENSATIONAL ARC OF AN ALL-NEW TEAM OF X-MEN STARTS HERE! JEAN GREY is back! Returned to a world she doesn’t recognize, the First Lady of the X-MEN gathers an unlikely team – NIGHTCRAWLER, NAMOR and LAURA KINNEY (A.K.A. ALL-NEW WOLVERINE) – to face an evil that threatens to tear down XAVIER’s dream by any means necessary! Rated T+

Why we like it: If you missed out on Phoenix Resurrection, spoiler alert, Jean Grey has been resurrected but without the Phoenix. So she’s back and for now, she’s just Jean. Which is awesome because Jean doesn’t need the Phoenix force to be awesome. I like the team of misfits that she’s assembled and can’t wait to see how Jean and Laura get along.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley Quinn #37

Publisher: DC
Words: Frank Tieri
Art: Mirka Andolfo
Cover Art: Frank Cho

What it is: ‘ANGRY BIRD’ part one! Ever since he started horning in on New York City, the Penguin and Harley Quinn have been stuck in a cold war…and it’s about to heat up! Making a long-term investment in a Gotham City that’s crawling with Bats isn’t the Penguin’s style, so now he’s hell-bent on making Coney Island his new nest!

Why we like it: No surprises here. Frank The Tank Cho does it again. The colors in Harley’s petticoat are just masterful and I love the grumpy expression on her face.

 

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 – January 31, 2018

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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Dark Knight Metal #5 (of 6)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: The Justice League faces the final extinguishing of our world, invaded on all sides by unimaginable nightmares, fueled on to the edge of oblivion only by the belief that there must be a light in the endless darkness-somewhere. But…what if there’s not? FOIL-STAMPED, EMBOSSED COVER RATED T+ 

 

The Mainstream One: Avengers #678

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Pepe Larraz

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 4 NOW ON SALE WEEKLY! The Avengers are caught in a game of cosmic proportions, but they don’t know the rules – and one of them is about to pay the ultimate price! THE FIRST AVENGER FALLS! Rated T+

 

The Indie One: Spawn #282

Publisher: Spawn
Words: Daragh Savage
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: ‘DARK HORROR,’ conclusion THE EXCITING FINALE OF THE DARK HORROR STORY ARC! This issue marks the introduction of a NEW CHARACTER, soon to have its OWN Image comic book!



The #1 One: Hungry Ghosts #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose
Art: Alberto Ponticelli, Vanesa Del Rey

What it is: Kitchen Nightmares! On a dark, haunted night, a Russian oligarch dares a circle of international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles–where each storyteller spins a terrifying tale of ghosts, demons and unspeakable beings–and prays to survive the challenge. Inspired by the Japanese Edo period game of Hyakumonogatari KaidankaiHungry Ghosts reimagines the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake, all tainted with the common thread of food. First course: With bad consequence, a ramen chef refuses to help a beggar, and a band of pirates get more (and less) than they were bargaining for after their encounter with a drowning woman turns ghastly. Hungry Ghosts is cooked up by the infamous author and chef, Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential, Emmy-Award winning TV star of Parts Unknown) and acclaimed novelist Joel Rose (Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster, back again from their New York Times #1 best seller, Get Jiro!). Joining them this issue are stellar artists Alberto Ponticelli and Vanesa Del Rey, with amazing color by Jose Villarrubia, and a drop-dead cover by Paul Pope.

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Phoenix Resurrection #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Koi Pham
Cover Art: Kamome Shirahama

What it is: A light in the darkness is not always welcome. Kitty Pryde, Old Man Logan and Cyclops are leading teams of X-Men all across the globe, chasing events connected to the Phoenix. But with teammates disappearing and familiar enemies returning, the X-Men are fighting a losing battle. Beast doesn’t know how or what shape it will take, but he knows they are running out of time before the Phoenix makes its true presence known. Meanwhile, a young woman named Jean is starting to go insane in her peaceful, suburban life. Nightmares and daydreams are spilling over into the world and revealing cracks in her reality. Jean’s life and everything in it may just be a facade, but made by who? And why? Jean needs to escape. The X-Men need to stop the cycle of death the Phoenix brings. Their worlds will violently collide as Jean searches for an opening and the X-Men fight for closure. But when they are brought together, will the X-Men be reunited with their long-lost teammate – or something darker? Rated T+

 

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 – January 24, 2018

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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Avengers #677 (Julian Tedesco variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Pepe Larraz

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 3 NOW ON SALE WEEKLY! Quicksilver flamed out of the Avengers, leaving devastation in his wake. But now that it’s all hands on deck, is this his chance at redemption? Or will his hunger to prove himself be his downfall? Rated T+

Why we love it: Last week’s Avengers #676 was a surprise smash hit, who woulda thunk it? (Spoiler alert, I did). But the big question that is on everyone’s lips, who is Voyager? Seems like readers are digging this reality altering event that promises to re-write Avengers history, issue #676 sold out and is already going back for a second printing. While I don’t think #677 will sell out quickly, there seems to be a lot of interest here so make sure you secure your copy on Wednesday.

 The Mainstream One: Doomsday Clock #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: The story takes a turn in the third chapter of this 12-issue series you never thought you’d see, from writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank. RATED T+

Why we like it: At the end of Doomsday Clock issue #2, our protagonists from the Watchmen universe successfully traced Dr. Manhattan’s energy signature across the multiverse to what appears to be the main DC Universe. Worlds are literally colliding and I’m willing to bet that something special happens this week in the third issue of Doomsday Clock.

 The Indie One: Monstress #13

Publisher: Image
Words: Marjorie Liu
Art: Sana Takeda

What it is: Hugo Award-winning MONSTRESS returns with a new arc and an oversized issue! Maika has spent most of her life learning how to fight, but how will she fare when the only way to save her life…is to make friends?

Why we like it: Monstress is finally back. Liu and Takeda sure are taking their sweet time telling this story, which is just fine by me when the quality of work is this good. But it’s hard to believe that more than two years since its release, we’re only on issue #13.

 

The #1 One: Legion #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Peter Milligan
Art: David Haller

What it is: Trauma Part 1 A mind-bending X-Men tale from the brains of Peter Milligan (X-Statix, Shade the Changing Man) and Wilfredo Torres (Moon Knight, Black Panther)! David Haller, the son of Professor Charles Xavier, has always had trouble containing the multiple personalities in his mind. And with each personality, comes a wild and dangerous mutant power. But now, a terrifying new personality is threatening to absorb these powers and take over David’s mind and body. In a desperate attempt to save himself, David seeks out the help of renowned young psychotherapist Hannah Jones to delve into his fractured mind and fight back this dark personality. But unknown to Legion….Dr Jones brings her own demons with her… Rated T+

Why we like it: I honestly don’t much about Legion except that he’s the son of Professor X, he’s crazy and his FX show is getting glowing reviews. The premise sounds cool and I’ve always had a perverse fascination with mental illness, so I’m willing to give this one a flip through on Wednesday.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Marvel Two-in-one #2 (Dell’Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Jim Cheung
Cover Art: Gabrielle Dell’Otto

What it is:  THE FATE OF THE FOUR Part 2 What is THE SECRET OF REED RICHARDS? And is it deep within MONSTER ISLAND? Ben and Johnny are the only ones who can uncover it, unless DOOM beats them to it! THE FATE OF THE FOUR continues here! Rated T

Why we like it: Dell’Otto does it again and I believe that this is a cover-price variant. Love the lighting effects used for Black Knight’s photon sword.

 

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 – January 17, 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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Avengers #676

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Pepe Larraz

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 2 NOW ON SALE WEEKLY! The Black Order. The Lethal Legion. Two teams of powerful villains bent on destroying each other have arrived on Earth, and they don’t care who gets caught in the crossfire. But who’s pulling their strings? And what is the secret of the lost Avenger? Rated T+

Why we love it: At the end of Avenger’s #675, we were teased with a new character who threatens to tear apart the space-time continuum. Valerie Vector aka Voyager, appears to be a new character but for some reason everyone in the book remembers her as one of the founding Avengers. Hence the amazing, fourth wall breaking, inception-like cover by Mark Brooks which shows a comic collector going through long boxes and pigging out a copy of 1963’s Avengers #1 with Voyager on the cover. It’ a concept so bizarre that it would only work in comics. Looking forward to the reveal for this mystery.

The Mainstream One: Batman #39

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Joelle Jones

What it is: SUPERFRIENDS” part three! Batman and Wonder Woman fight together in an epic battle that will define and then redefine their relationship. What bonds these two pillars of the DCU together? What tears them apart? Find out as Batman continues on his quest for the one thing he’s never had, happiness.

Why we like it: Batman continues his quest to convince his friends that he is not crazy for getting engaged to Catwoman. Superfriends part two was a fun, double-date issue that saw Clark & Lois and Bruce & Selina going toe-to-toe at a funfair. This week, he has a much taller task with winning over Wonder Woman. Writer Tom King has really been on top of his game and the Bat/Cat romance angle has been far more interesting than I had expected.

The Indie One: Ice Cream Man #1

Publisher: Image
Words: W. Maxwell Prince
Art: Martin Morazzo, Chris O’Halloran

What it is: Chocolate, vanilla, existential horror, drug addiction, musical fantasy…there’s a flavor for everyone’s misery. ICE CREAM MAN is a genre-defying comic book series featuring disparate ‘one-shot’ tales of sorrow, wonder, and redemption. Each installment features its own cast of strange characters, dealing with their own special sundae of suffering. And on the periphery of all of them, like the twinkly music of his colorful truck, is the Ice Cream Man-a weaver of stories, a purveyor of sweet treats. Friend. Foe. God. Demon. The man who, with a snap of his fingers-lickety split!-can change the course of your life forever.

Why we like it:  Slow week for indies. This is one of those horror anthology books that sounds a bit like Tales From the Crypt, if the Cryptkeeper was a middle-aged ice cream truck driver. I really don’t know what to expect from this series but it sounds so weird that I’m willing to give it a flip through at the stands.

The #1 One: Damage #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Robert Venditti
Art: Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki

What it is: Tasked as the government’s own living, breathing, ticking time bomb, Ethan retains no control when the monster takes over. Cheaper than a nuclear warhead and twice as effective, Ethan fights to rein in the damage he unleashes when the beast inside him springs free for one hour a day. With everyone around him in danger, Ethan struggles to contain the DAMAGE he inflicts on the DC Universe. RATED T+

Why we like it: It’s the first appearance of DC’s newest anti-hero, a Hulk analog called Damage. Writer Robert Venditti did a great job re-launching X-O Manowar for Valiant and I think there’s some potential here.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #32

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Ricardo Federici
Cover Art: Joshua Middleton

What it is: ‘the crown comes down’ part two! As Aquaman’s resistance against King Rath gains momentum, a new kingpin of crime emerges from the Atlantean underworld-King Shark! But whose side is he on? He could be a powerful ally to the Undercurrent…or a dangerous new agent of evil! RATED T

Why we like it: Josh Middleton is just knocking these cover B’s out of the park. As an added bonus, the actual story inside hasn’t been half bad either. I can’t believe that I’m actually saying this, but I’m enjoying Aquaman.

 

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 – January 10, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a late 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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mister Miracle #6

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: The hit miniseries reaches the emotional conclusion of its first arc! Scott Free returns to New Genesis to face his punishment, but instead finds the whole world has been flipped upside down. Mister Miracle and Big Barda battle their way through monsters and New Gods to get to the Highfather, but once they reach Orion’s throne room, they learn that the war against Darkseid has taken a bloody turn. MATURE READERS

Why we love it: The secrets out and Mister Miracle is officially a hit. First printings of issue #1 are already selling for $30 on the secondary market. Issue #5 was a love story that ended with a crazy cliffhanger. Now it’s Scott Free and Big Barda vs all of Apokolipse.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #675

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing, Mark Waid, Jim Zub
Art: Pepe Larraz

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 1 AVENGERS goes WEEKLY for the stunning sixteen-part saga that will write the end of an era! The Earth has been STOLEN! The sky burns while mysterious cosmic objects crash down from above, wreaking havoc across the world! The Avengers are the last line of defense between Earth and the mysterious forces threatening to tear it apart. It’s time to ASSEMBLE! The teams you know and love from AVENGERS, UNCANNY AVENGERS, U.S.AVENGERS and OCCUPY AVENGERS come together to face a threat beyond any they’ve faced before in a weekly epic adventure that will define the future of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

Why we like it: There are wayyyy too many Avengers books out right now, and it seems like Marvel is getting the message. I’m hoping that this events brings us back to one or max two Avenger series.

The Indie One: Judas #2

Publisher: Boom
Words: Jeff Loveness
Art: Jakub Rebelka

What it is: Judas comes face-to-face with Satan, and the Great Adversary begins to win him over.

Why we like it: If God is omnipotent, then logically he must have known that Judas was going to betray his son. And if all happens in accordance to God’s will, then doesn’t that make God responsible for Judas’ betrayal? And if God was responsible for the betrayal, then does it mean that Judas, the most reviled character in the Christ story, was just a patsy? I was extremely surprised by how well written issue #1 was. It challenges conventional religious thought without being offensive or sacrilegious.

The #1 One: Old Man Hawkeye #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ethan Sacks
Art: Marco Checchetto

What it is: AN EYE FOR AN EYE Part 1 The super heroes have fallen. The country has been divided into territories controlled by super villains. Among the wastelands lives CLINT BARTON – one of the few Avengers to survive. But it’s been 45 years, and he’s no Avenger. Trying to eke out a living anyway he can, the former HAWKEYE is confronted with a startling discovery: the sharpshooter is going blind. With time running short, Clint realizes there’s one last thing he wants to see: revenge for his fallen comrades-in-arms. Rising-star writer ETHAN SACKS and superstar artist MARCO CHECCHETTO take you back to the Wastelands in a story set five years before the original classic OLD MAN LOGAN. Rated T+

Why we like it: I’m a big fan of the Old Man Logan universe and excited to learn more about Old Man Hawkeye. If there is one thing that I hope this series delves into, it’s Ashley Barton aka Spider-Woman.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: New Superman #19 (Chang variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Mariko Tamaki
Art: Brent Peeples
Cover Art: Bernard Chang

What it is: ‘A Day in the Life’! The New Super-Man and Justice League of China changed the metahuman landscape of China forever, and Laney Lan has reported on their heroics since day one. But there’s more to Shanghai’s ace reporter than meets the eye, and when faced with turmoil in her own family, Laney’s commitment to reporting the truth will be tested like never before. RATED T

Why we like it: Quite a few good looking covers this week, but I’m loving this cover celebrating Chinese New Year. 2018 is the year of the dog, which also just happens to be my zodiac sign.

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