Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 13, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The world lost one of its treasures this week. Len Wein’s influence within the world of comics is legendary. If you name your top 5 favorite Marvel/DC characters, chances are Len wrote for at least two of them. He helped create timeless characters like Swamp Thing, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus. As an editor he championed bold storytelling, like Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans, and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal Watchmen. Len was a creative force and belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Comics.

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

 

The Top of the Pile: Action Comics #987

Publisher: DC
Words: Jurgens
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic, Nick Bradshaw

What it is: ‘THE OZ EFFECT’ part one! The agents of the mysterious Mr. Oz begin to move as the Man of Steel works to stop the chaos they unleash in Metropolis and across the globe. But when Mr. Oz steps from the shadows his identity rocks the Last Son of Krypton to his core. The story that began in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 begins to end here!

Why we love it: We’re a full year into Rebirth and while fan reception of the revamped DC Universes has been generally positive, there are still lingering questions… Like what exactly happened and who caused it? That’s a big one. While I expect most of these loose ends will be unraveled later during November’s Doomsday Clock event, it appears the identity of the enigmatic Mr. Oz will be revealed here in this week’s Action Comics. Ozymandus? Jor-El? Mon-El? Conner Kent? My money’s on Superboy Prime. This issue is also being released with a lenticular cover, if that sort of cover tickles you.

  The Mainstream One: Weapon X #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Marcelo Borstelmann

What it is: WHAT IS THE SECRET OF WEAPON H? Doctor Alba’s macabre experiments for the Weapon X program turned one of America’s Finest into a behemoth imbued with genetics gifts of the Hulk and Wolverine. Despite countless iterations, only he survived… What made him the perfect vessel for the curse? And how far will Doctor Alba go to recover her success story?

Why we like it: I’m into Batch H and this smells like an origin story here. I’m enjoying the story carried over from Weapons of Mutant Destruction and the cover art is bad as. For the first time ever, Weapon X is on my pull list. Well done, Greg Pak. There’s also a Venomized Batch H variant cover for this issue. I expect that the Venomized variant will be popular, so grab it if you see it, but personally I’m digging the regular cover.

The Indie One: Babyteeth #4

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Garry Brown

What it is: So, you know how we’ve all been really coy and playful about how this book is going to get dark and bloody and really hardcore at a certain point? This is the issue where that starts happening. Happy reading everyone! (Call your mother. She worries). From Donny Cates, the writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Redneck and the breakout hit God Country comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!

Why we like it: I don’t imagine being a single, new mother is easy. It’s probably stressful enough without finding out that your baby is the anti-christ. This series has been a fun read. It’s got horror, it’s got humor and it’s got plenty of heart. And it sounds like writer Donny Cates is about to kick it up to 11.   

 The #1 One: Runaways #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Rainbow Rowell
Art: Kris Anka

What it is: GET READY TO RUN! The ‘IT’ book of the early 2000s with the original cast is back – Nico! Karolina! Molly! Chase! Old Lace! And, could it be? GERT?! The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart!

Why we like it: If you’re unfamiliar with the Runaways, they are a group of super-powered teenagers/kids who, after discovering that their parents are secretly super villains, run away (get it?) from home. And while only one of them has a pet dinosaur named Old Lace, they are all awesome in their own way. They are a lovable band of misfits who I have a lot of affection for. I’m not super excited about the creative team on this run, but I’m hoping for the best on Wednesday.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-man #32

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Greg Smallwood
Cover Art: Alex Ross and Francesco Mattina

What it is: Norman Osborn’s goblin-free battle with Spidey didn’t go the way he had hoped? Now, Osborn needs to find an edge and get the Goblin back, and neither you nor Spidey are ready for the edge he’s going to find! Guest artist Greg Smallwood (MOON KNIGHT) joins Dan Slott for this special issue that sets off the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN event of 2018!

Why we like it: Can’t get enough Green Goblin? Amazing Spider-man #32 has you covered with not 1, but 2 ridiculously cool Goblin covers. The Alex Ross regular cover features a super-intense Harry Osborn donning the Green Goblin mask. The Francesco Mattina variant cover features a venomized Green Goblin. Grab your favorite one or grab them both. That’s a win-win. 

 

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

Posted on

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:

SM24

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.

C9

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?

 

 

PG15

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?

BT1

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.

 

AQ24

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!