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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 5/11/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another installment of the Crank File, where the crank you take is equal to the crank you make. How was your Free Comic Book Day? I hope you made it out to your local comic shop and picked up some free swag. My personal highlight from Saturday was meeting one of my favorite comic book artists, Sean Gordon Murphy. Sean was the coolest. We chatted about his independent titles, future projects with DC and he even let me get a look at some of his early concept sketches for a bad-ass new Batmobile. Picture the Nolan Dark Knight tumbler front-end with Tim Burton Batmobile rear-wheels and hot-rod exhaust pipes running along the side. Nerdgasm.

 

The Top of the Pile: Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6

 

BMTMNT6

Publisher: DC/IDW
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Freddie Williams II

What it is: The crossover event of the year comes to its thrilling conclusion. The Turtles have one last, desperate shot at going home. But will they take it, knowing what nefarious plans Shredder has for Gotham City? It’s full-on ninja warfare as our heroes go up against the combined forces of the Foot Clan and the League of Assassins.

Why we love it: Last issue we got a glimpse at what the Shredder could do with a can of pure mutagen and the inmates of Arkham Asylum, setting up what will undoubtedly be an epic showdown. I can’t think of a crossover series that I have enjoyed more than Batman TMNT. I’m sad to see this series come to an end, but I can’t wait to see how it finishes.

 

The Mainstream one: Action Comics #52 (Oliver variant)

 

AC52

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Fernando Pasarin

What it is: ‘Super League’ continues-as two Supermen meet at last: pre-New 52 Superman meets the current Clark. A force seeking to end both Men of Steel brings them together, but divided they may fall as one Superman must choose the safety of his family before himself.

Why we like it: The ‘Super League’ story arc has been running across the various Superman titles and is providing a peak at what the post-Rebirth DC will look like. Last week’s Batman Superman #32 gave us our first look at the new Chinese Superman, Kenan Kong and quickly sold out. Rumors around the interwebs are that this week’s issue of Action Comics will reveal the fate of the New 52 Superman. Don’t miss out.

 

The Indie One: Southern Bastards #14

 

SB14

Publisher: Image
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Jason Latour

What it is: The big game is over. But the troubles have only just begun. The return of Roberta Tubb.

Why we like it: Team Jay-squared return with a brand new arc of Southern Basterdly goodness. It’s been almost five months since we witnessed Coach Boss’ humiliating loss to the Rebels’ hated rivals, the Wetumpka Warriors. There’s going to be hell to pay in Craw County, and I have the feeling that Earl Tubbs’ daughter is coming back to exact some revenge of her own.

 

The #1 One: All New All Different Avengers #9

 

ANADA9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Adam Kubert

What it is: Introducing the all-new Wasp! Who is she? What is she? And what does she intend to do about Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?

Why we like it: So technically it’s not a #1 but there is a first appearance of a new character here, so I’m counting it. Ok, so technically it’s not an entirely new character either, it’s Janet Van Dyne’s step daughter taking up the Wasp mantle. Slow week for #1’s, so I’m still counting it.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Black Panther #2 (Cho variant)

 

BP2

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art: Brian Stelfreeze
Cover art: Frank Cho

What it is: The darkest chapter of the Black Panther mythos continues as Wakanda crumbles from within. Enter: The Midnight Angels! Two mysterious women leading the citizen revolt against the current regime of Wakanda, challenging not only T’Challa’s politics but also his resolve. But will their rage provide more for the people than the royal family has thus far?

Why we like it: There’s been all sorts of Black Panther love after T’Challa made his MCU debut in Captain America 3. With a solo movie already confirmed, everything Black Panther is a hot commodity right now. I expect fans will be seeking out this rare 1:25 variant, so keep your eyes peeled for this cover when you’re making your rounds. Check out the article from Bleeding Cool where Frank Cho goes over his creative process in making this cover.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/02/24/frank-cho-explains-the-making-of-black-panther-2-cover-to-bleeding-cool/

 

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 4/13/2016

Welcome to another episode of the Crank File, where with great crank there must also come great responsibility. It’s tax week which means my refund will be funding some new comic purchases. I opted to skip the long lines at Super Megafest this weekend and hit up a local convention held at the Franklin Elks lodge. I can enjoy the carnival atmosphere of large cons but I’ve never felt comfortable digging through longboxes in a crowded convention hall. So when I’m looking for big bargains, I go small. I came home from the micro-con with a nice haul of gems found for under $60 total, including a first appearance of Misty Knight, a first appearance of Azrael, a first appearance of Huntress Helina Bertinelli, two Guardians of Knowhere #1 Gwenom variants, Locke and Key: Headgames #1-3 and Capes #1 featuring the first previews of a little Image series called The Walking Dead. I believe that qualifies as a score, at least from a technical standpoint.

That’s what I bought last week, here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

BMTMNT5

Publisher: DC, Co-published by IDW
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Freddie Williams II

What it is: While Shredder enters an uneasy alliance with a deadly new partner, Casey Jones is arrested by the GCPD. At the same time, a crisis breaks out at Arkham Asylum, which is bound to keep both Batman and the Turtles busy. Meanwhile, a certain young resident of Wayne Manor returns home to find a new, green occupant in his room.

Why we love it: We love Batman. We love Ninja Turtles. We love crossovers. And we really loved the end of issue #4 which showed Shredder heading towards Arkham Asylum with a canister full of pure mutagen. Hold on to your booty, Gotham’s about to get mutie.

 

The Mainstream One: Moon Kinght #1

MK1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Greg Smallwood

What it is: THE BOOK YOU’D BE INSANE TO MISS! Marc Spector (a.k.a. Moon Knight/Jake Lockley/Steven Grant) has been fighting criminals and keeping New York City safe for years, or has he? When he wakes up in an insane asylum with no powers and a lifetime’s worth of medical records, his whole identity (indentities) are called into question. Something is wrong, but is that something Marc Spector himself?

Why we like it: Jeff Lemire made the jump from indie to mainstream without missing a beat. Extrodinary X-Men and Old Man Logan have been two of my favorite post-Secret Wars Marvel titles and my expectations for his Moon Knight series are sky high. This is Moon Knight’s time to shine.

 

The Indie One: Monstress #5

 

M5

Publisher: Image
Words: Marjoire Liu
Art: Sana Takeda

What it is: Maika struggles with the monster inside.

Why we like it: Monstress’ first arc closes this week and we’re just starting to get a sense of the big picture. I’m really digging this book and the artwork, Takeda’s colorful, manga inspired pages are worth a look. The story feels enormous in scope, which can be difficult to wrap your head around on the first pass. A slew of factions, races, characters and mythology are introduced with little exposition, but the writing is strong enough to keep the reader invested without knowing what is going on. Be sure to snag any copies of #1 that you come across. All covers are selling well on the secondary market, especially the second and third printings.

 

The #1 One: Gwenpool #1 (Stacy Lee variant)

 

GP1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Christopher Hastings
Art: Gurihiru

What it is: Gwen Poole used to be a comic book reader just like you…until she woke up in a world where the characters she read about seemed to be real! But they can’t be, right? This must all be fake, or a dream or something, right? And you know what that means…NO CONSEQUENCES! Could Gwenpool truly be Marvel’s least responsible and least role-modely character to date? She can if she tries!

Why we like it: Somewhere along the way, the girl who died became the girl who was resurrected as everyone else. I will admit that the Gewnpool character makes zero sense, and that these Gewn Stacy derivations of other established Marvel characters is a fad. Neither of those reasons will stop me from picking this up on Wednesday because it looks like crazy, senseless fun. I’m going for the Stacy Lee variant if I find it at a good price.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batman Superman #31 (Paquette variant)

 

BSM31

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Doug Mahnke

What it is: In part two of ‘Super League,’ Superman enlists Batman’s aid in seeking out people that can help form his new super-league. A shocking discovery is made about a new super-being no one knew existed, and something is beginning to stalk Superman…

Why we like it: In Chinese mythology, the dragon and tiger represent two parts of a whole; the yin and the yang, two unstoppable forces forever locked in eternal conflict. I feel Batman fights more Dragon style and Superman fights Tiger style, but otherwise I can’t think of a better analogy for Supes and Bats.

 

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