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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – October 3, 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: Batman #56

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Tony Daniel

What it is: The Dark Knight’s looking to drop both the hammer and sickle on the KGBeast, whose rampage across Gotham City takes a toll on Nightwing when he’s injured in the fray. Blaming himself for his ward’s fate, Batman gets grimmer than usual-and vows to take the Russian assassin down like the Berlin Wall. Is even Gotham City ready for that much violence? The streets will run red like borscht if the Dark Knight gets his way against this Soviet scourge.

Why we love it: Last issue ended with a bang, literally, and with Nightwing getting shot in the freakin head. Batman’s got some revenging to do. And just look at that Mattina cover.

The Mainstream One: Deathstroke #36

Publisher: DC
Words: Christopher Priest
Art: Ed Benes

What it is: ‘Deathstroke: Arkham’ starts here! After being declared criminally insane, Deathstroke is committed to the infamous Arkham Asylum! It isn’t long before the hunter becomes the hunted as Slade, powerless and weaponless, is targeted by some of Gotham City’s most wanted. But after initially mocking and contravening the system meant to help him, Deathstroke learns that his only hope for survival may be to confront his own inner demons.

Why we like it: It’s Slade versus Batman’s rogues gallery. And another killer Mattina cover makes the list.

The Indie One: Spawn #290

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Jason ShawnnAlexander

What it is: PRELUDE Part 2… leading to GIANT-SIZED SPAWN #300 Spawn has to decide if he is going to let one of his enemies live until he can get the answers he wants… but if he does let him live, thousands of innocents will die instead. What will our dark hero choose?

Why we like it: This could be the first time that anyone, artist or writer, has appeared three times on the list in the same week. All hail Mattina! Although I started buying these for the covers, this Spawn arc has been surprisingly fun. They’ve brought back a bunch of classic 90’s villains like Overtkill, The Cursed and Cygor which tickles my nostalgia bone.

The #1 One: X-Men Black Magneto #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chris Claremony
Art: Dalibor Talajic

What it is: MAGNETO IS BACK! …and so is Chris Claremont! For years, Magneto has done everything he can to achieve his goals for mutant domination. But now Magneto has declared that enough is enough. So what revolutionary plan does Magneto have that will change the face of mutantkind? And will anyone be able to stop him? Will anyone want to? PLUS: Includes Part 1 of X-MEN BLACK: APOCALYPSE the back up story by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, and Geraldo Borge! Rated T+

Why we like it: It’s only a matter of time before the House of Mouse reclaims the X-Men’s movie rights, which means it’s reboot time! They even brought back the writer who turned the X-Men from a rag tag team of misfit teens into Marvel’s premiere super hero group, hall of fame writer Chris Claremont. Digging the J Scott Campbell regular covers.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Cosmic Ghost Rider #4 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Dylan Burnett
Cover Art: Maxx Lim

What it is: The Rider is determined to save the universe by ridding it of the greatest threat that ever existed…and that’s why he’s kidnapped Thanos to raise him right! How’s that gonna work out? He’s about to learn. Rated T+

Why we like it: Anytime there’s a good Ghost Rider cover out, chances are I’ll pick it up. It’s got skulls. It’s got fire. It’s got chains and motorcycles and leather and spikes. If a heavy metal album and a comic book had a baby, it would be the Ghost Rider.

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 – September 19, 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: Return of Wolverine #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Steve McNiven

What it is: HE’S BACK, BUB. Parental Advisory

Why we love it: We all secretly suspected it all along, but now it’s official. Logan’s not actually dead! But where has he been? What has he been up to? And what’s up with those hot claws? The answers to these questions and many more will be answered, well probably not in this issue, but soon! Welcome back to the Marvel Universe Wolvie, hope you survive the experience! 

The Mainstream One: Venom First Host #4

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Mark Bagley

What it is: Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote have been SEPARATED, but Brock isn’t giving up without a fight! With a pair of unlikely allies, Brock takes the fight to his symbiote’s home turf…outer space! Rated T+

Why we like it: In a bizzarre twist in the previous issue, Eddie bonded with his symbiote’s baby blob. Although still weak and underdeveloped, the symbiote spawn has given Eddie a completely different powerset, which so far we know includes the ability to release aerosol pheromones that allow him to manipulate people’s thoughts and emotions. Plus he looks like a can of Monster energy drink.

The Indie One: Black Hammer: Age of Doom #5

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormstron

What it is: The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga returns with lots of revelations! Our heroes’ journey from Spiral City to the farm is finally revealed and will change them forever!

Why we like it: Finally, the issue I’ve been waiting for. We finally learn how the heroes of Spiral City became trapped in their rural prison. This series has been a great read. Love this cover too, not quite similar enough to be a Dark Knight Returns swipe but I’m definitely feeling that vibe to it.

The #1 One: Batman Damned #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Azerrello
Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: DC BLACK LABEL, the highly anticipated new imprint from DC Comics, starts here! The Joker is dead. There is no doubt about that. But whether Batman finally snapped his scrawny neck or some other sinister force in Gotham City did the deed is still a mystery. Problem is, Batman can’t remember… and the more he digs into this labyrinthine case, the more his mind starts to doubt everything he’s uncovering. So who better to set him straight than… John Constantine? Problem with that is as much as John loves a good mystery, he loves messing with people’s heads even more. So with John’s ‘help,’ the pair will delve into the sordid underbelly of Gotham as they race toward the mind-blowing truth of who murdered The Joker. BATMAN: DAMNED is a bimonthly super-natural horror story told by two of comics’ greatest modern creators-a visceral thrill-ride that proudly puts the ‘black’ in BLACK LABEL.

Why we like it: DC’s Black Label imprint is where DC is letting their top creative talent tell ground breaking stories that exist outside of the main DC continuity. Being out of continuity allows the writer to play with themes that just don’t work in the classic, long form comic book tradition. Themes like death (see Top of the Pile). It bothers me that these books will come in an oddly sized, prestige format, which will make them annoying to bag, board and store. That $7 price tag isn’t doing any favors either.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batman #55

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: The KGBeast lives! The Russian super-assassin is back-but under whose orders? Does he have a specific mission, or is this simply some leftover Cold War mayhem? Nyet, comrade-it has to do with Bruce Wayne’s recent court case involving Mr. Freeze. Something is rotten in Gotham, and you can still smell it, even if it’s on ice!

Why we like it: Another week, another next-level cover by Francesco Mattina. Mattina has to be the current king of cover art and what’s especially impressive is that he’s doing it without the cheesecake.

 

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 – August 15, 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: Extermination #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Pepe Larraz

What it is: Cyclops. Iceman. Angel. Beast. Marvel Girl. The original team of teen mutants brought together by Professor Charles Xavier many years ago have been shunted through time to find a world they barely recognize but were determined to help. Now, finding themselves targeted for death, the future of mutantkind lies squarely in the hands of its past. Writer Ed Brisson (OLD MAN LOGAN, CABLE) and artist Pepe Larraz (UNCANNY AVENGERS, AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER) answer the biggest question of all: can the fate of the X-Men be changed? Rated T+

The Mainstream One: Batman #53

Publisher:  DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks

What it is: ‘Cold Days’ continues! The jury in the Mr. Freeze trial is hopelessly deadlocked because one man won’t vote guilty-and that man is Bruce Wayne. Freeze’s defense is that Batman used excessive force, making his arrest illegal, and Bruce is the one man who actually knows for sure what went down between Batman and his ice-cold nemesis. And if Bruce is right, that means everything he’s devoted himself to as the Caped Crusader is a lie; he is hurting more than helping. With Dick Grayson putting the Batsuit back on to keep Gotham City safe while Bruce is sequestered, could this be the out Bruce needs to discard the cape and cowl forever? The Eisner Award-nominated team of Tom King and Lee Weeks reexamine the relationship between hero and foe, as Batman relives not just that one violent night when he took down the King of Cold, but every time the two have come to blows.

The Indie One: Gideon Falls #6

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino

What it is: ‘THE BLACK BARN’: Conclusion-Father Fred enters The Black Barn on a daring rescue attempt but nothing can prepare him for the horrors within. Meanwhile Norton and Angie delve deeper into Norton’s past and zero in on the secrets of the Barn. A 2018 Eisner Award nominee for Best Writer, JEFF LEMIRE!

The #1 One: Pearl #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Michael Gaydos

What it is: From the Peabody Award-winning creators of Jessica Jones comes a brand-new creation. PEARL is the story of an exceptional tattoo artist and accidental assassin for one of the modern-day San Francisco Yakuza. She was born into one life, but another is calling to her. When Pearl accidentally meets one of her peers, her doppelgänger from another clan, she starts to dream of a better life. But Pearl has a very special ability that keeps pulling her back into the violent world she is desperate to escape. PEARL is a major series launch from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos that features their first brand-new original character since Jessica Jones. Fans of the Jessica Jones comic and TV show will be thrilled and delighted by this bold new direction the creative team has taken.

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

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Vicente Cifuentes
Cover Art: Joshua Middleton

What it is: Guest-starring Task Force X, and continuing from SUICIDE SQUAD #45, also on sale this month! After Atlantis rises to the surface once more, Aquaman finds himself outnumbered and outgunned when Amanda Waller sends in the worst of the worst-the Suicide Squad-to send the Lost City straight to Hell in ‘Sink Atlantis!’ part two!

 

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 – July 18, 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: Immortal Hulk #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett

What it is: What happened in the church on Mercer Avenue? What made the Lembert boy do what he did? Who is the One Below All? Reporter Jackie McGee has four eyewitnesses, with four different viewpoints, telling four different stories. But they all saw Bruce Banner…and the Immortal Hulk. Rated T+

Why we love it: This series puts a horror spin on the Hulk. Bruce Banner is battling the monster within and it is absolutely terrifying. 

The Mainstream One: Batman #51

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks

What it is: The honeymoon’s over for Bruce Wayne as Gotham City’s most prominent citizen gets selected for jury duty in a chilling court case involving Mr. Freeze! Freeze claims the charges should be dismissed because Batman used excessive force; cue the outrage and media circus. While doing his civic duty, Wayne’s forced to take a hard look at the Dark Knight’s methods. And hey…what is Dick Grayson doing running around the city dressed as Batman?

Why we like it: So the Bat/Cat wedding was a beautiful, poetic bit of nothing. I still feel writer Tom King has left the door open for the wedding to happen later in his run, but will be interesting to see the direct fallout.

The Indie One: Skyward #4

Publisher: Image
Words: Joe Henderson
Art: Lee Garbett

What it is: ‘MY LOW-G LIFE,’ Part Four-When someone close to Willa is kidnapped, she’s forced to make an impossible choice. To make matters worse, there’s a storm coming-and weather in this low-G world is much more dangerous than it used to be…

Why we like it: Earth’s gravity has been reduced to a fraction of its strength and only one man knows how to fix it. Only someone will do anything in his power to stop him.

 The #1 One: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (Artgerm variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Margaret Stohl
Art: Carlos Pacheco

What it is: THE DEFINITIVE ORIGIN OF CAPTAIN MARVEL! Carol Danvers was just a girl from the Boston suburbs who loved science and the Red Sox until a chance encounter with a Kree hero gave her incredible super-powers. Now, she’s a leader in the Avengers and the commander of Alpha Flight. But what if there were more to the story? When crippling anxiety attacks put her on the sidelines in the middle of a fight, Carol finds herself reliving memories of a life she thought was far behind her. You can’t outrun where you’re from – and sometimes, you HAVE to go home again. But there are skeletons in Captain Marvel’s closet – and what she discovers will change her entire world. Written by best-selling author Margaret Stohl and drawn by fan-favorite comics veteran Carlos Pacheco, this is the true origin of Captain Marvel. Rated T+

Why we like it: Captain Marvel is next in line to get the big screen treatment, so it’s time for Marvel to get their audience primed. That Artgerm variant is straight fire!

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Cable #159 (Anceleto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Lonnnie Nadler
Art: German Peralta
Cover Art: Jay Anceleto

What it is: ‘PAST FEARS’ PART 5: BACK TO CABLE’S CHILDHOOD WITH REDD AND SLYM! Young CABLE faces his biggest fear: his own Techno-Organic virus! Guest-starring CYCLOPS & PHOENIX! Cable’s dark secret is finally revealed! Rated T+

Why we like it: Jay Anceleto went beast mode on this Cable cover. This could be a movie poster.

 

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 – July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day fellow 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. Retailers were given the go ahead by most publishers to release books at midnight, so make sure to check if your LCS is open late and get an early jump on your week’s reading.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman #50

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see! The Batrimony is real as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are set to tie the knot in a can’t-miss, extra-length milestone issue that will reshape Gotham City. All their friends (and a few enemies?) will be party to a comic book coupling for the ages. Superstar scribe Tom King officiates the sure-to-be-offbeat nuptials, joined by an all-star lineup of guest classic Bat-artists doffing their hats to the lucky couple in a series of pre-wedding flashback scenes sure to set the romantic mood.

Why we love it: It’s the wedding of the year and Catwoman also has a new solo series starting this week. That does not bode well for Batman. Kitty Pride left Colossus at the alter in X-Men last week, will this kitty be a copy cat?

The Mainstream One: Captain America #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ta-nehisi Coates
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: IT IS WINTER IN AMERICA. For over 70 years, he has stood in stalwart defense of our country and its people. But in the aftermath of Hydra’s takeover of the nation, Captain America is a figure of controversy, carrying a tarnished shield…and a new enemy is rising! Who are the Power Elite? And how do they intend to co-opt and corrupt the symbol that is Captain America? Rated T+

Why we like it: Love the creative team and that Alex Ross cover is some of his best work in years. What better way to celebrate the birth of our nation than grabbing the #1 of a new chapter for Captain America?

The Indie One: Death of Glory #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Bengal

What it is: Glory has found a way to save her father’s life, but getting there means barreling into the heart of her ex’s criminal empire-and the horrors he committed there.

Why we like it: Diggin that Bullitt homage cover. Has been a fun read so far with excellent art. Highly recommended.

The #1 One: Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Sylan Burnett

What it is: EXPLODING FROM THE PAGES OF THANOS! Frank Castle was the Punisher. A deal with the devil made him Ghost Rider. A deal with Galactus made him cosmic. A deal with Thanos made him…DEAD?!? Not to worry, he’s coming back, and he’s got a plan to make the universe a better place that’s going to lead him into an even CRAZIER adventure than he’s ever been in! Join hot new comic (and cosmic?) writer Donny Cates (THANOS, DOCTOR STRANGE) as he pushes his wildest creation past the breaking point! Rated T+

Why we like it: The cosmically powered Frank Castle Ghost Rider was one of the most insane and funnest parts of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw’s critically acclaimed Thanos run. He’s back from the dead and as weird as ever. I have a feeling that this series is going to be straight bonkers.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Star Wars #50 (JTC Action Figure variant)

Publisher: Marcel
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Salvador Larocca
Cover Art: John Tyler Christopher

What it is: IN THIS ISSUE…HOPE DIES. The REBEL FLEET is completed. It’s magnificent. It’s beautiful. It’s secret. But no secret is kept for long from DARTH VADER. The most epic story yet done in a STAR WARS comic begins here. Prepare to witness the Empire TRULY strike back. Rated T

Why we like it: You want this… don’t you?

 

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 – June 6, 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: Batman #48

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: 

What it is: ‘THE BEST MAN’ part one! Batman and Catwoman decide it might be better to elope rather than go through some big, stodgy wedding ceremony, but no sooner do they put their marriage on the fast track than The Joker appears! And when The Joker kidnaps the Caped Crusader, will he give his old foe a piece of his mind or bash in his brains?

The Mainstream One: Doctor Strange #1(Bachalo variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mar Waid
Art: Jesus Saiz

What it is: NEW SPELLS, ALLIES & ENEMIES IN THIS NEW SERIES FROM MARK WAID & JESUS SAIZ! SORCERER SUPREME…OF THE GALAXY! The Eye of Agamotto is closed! Doctor Stephen Strange has lost his connection to the Earth’s arcane power, and he can’t wait to recover while nightmares press against the seams of our reality. Tony Stark offers a 21st-century solution: When astral travel fails, try astronautical travel. Enter Doctor Strange: Space-Explorer Supreme! New spells, allies and enemies – new and old – await Strange beyond the stars, along with corners and secrets of the Marvel Universe seen here for the first time! Space is endless, but time is short. After years of threats, Stephen’s bill for magic use is coming due – who will come to collect?!

The Indie One: Death of Glory #2 (Totino variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Bengal

What it is: Hot off the heels of a heist run on her ex’s criminal empire, Glory realizes just what it is she stole… and how much trouble she’s in now.

The #1 One: Justice League #1 (Lee variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jim Cheung

What it is: ‘THE TOTALITY’ part one! A brand-new era begins here! Comics legends Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung launch the Justice League into a cosmos-shaking mystery that will draw out their most terrible foes…in ways our heroes couldn’t possibly imagine! In this debut issue, Martian Manhunter struggles to protect the team from an incoming threat that will shatter the world as they know it, while a familiar face strikes out on a dark path…

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley Quinn #43

Publisher: DC
Words: Christopher Sebela
Art: Mirka Andolfo
Cover Art: Frank Cho

What it is: When Harley Quinn finds herself hammer-deep in a paranoid spiral, the last thing she needs is for someone to blow up her favorite bodega! Worse, the only clue she finds seems to indicate Harley herself was the actual target of the attack! What’s a girl to do when she’s pushed all her friends away just as someone decides to kill her?

 

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 – May 16, 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: Barrier #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Marcos Martin

What it is: A very special ‘silent’ issue! This is the first wordless comic ever from either BRIAN K. VAUGHAN or MARCOS MARTÍN.

Why we love it: Originally published on Brian K Vaughan’s digital platform, The Panel Syndicate, the first printed issue of Barrier was given away on Free Comic Book Day, with issues #1 and #2 going on sale this past Wednesday. I read both issues last week and was immediately captivated. The plot revolves around two characters, a Texas cattle rancher at risk of losing her land due to cartel violence and an assumed illegal immigrant crossing the Mexico/US border. Their lives unexpectedly intersect when they are both abducted by aliens. One of the recurring themes of the story is communication, or rather difficulty communicating across language barriers, and I should point out to interested readers that the first two issues had pages of dialogue entirely in Spanish, without any translation. I was able to puzzle most of it out using my 3-years of high school Spanish and Google Translate did the rest. But unless you are a Spanish speaker, expect to do some work. Thankfully issue #3 is wordless, so problem solved for now.

The Mainstream One: Batman #47

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Sandu Florea

What it is: THE TRAVELERS’ part three! As Booster Gold, Batman and Catwoman zero in on the time anomaly, what they find and their actions to correct it will have ramifications on all of the DC Universe. Tom King and Master Class artist Tony S. Daniel end their first story with a bang that will tee up the next big development in the Batman/Catwoman romance.

Why we like it: Booster’s ingenious plan really crapped the bed last issue. Just about everyone was murdered, Booster was shot and his time traveling machine is smashed to bits. I have no idea how Bats is going to detective his way out of this pickle and I love it.

The Indie One: Infidel #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Pornsak Pichetshote
Art: Aaron Campbell

What it is: Following last issue’s devastating events, the mysterious entities haunting Aisha’s home escalate their attacks. As the nightmare spreads to her friends and neighbors, the creatures expose their true natures and long-buried hatreds.

Why we like it: I picked Infidel as my #1 One when it debuted and this freaky, haunted house story with racial overtones has already been optioned by Tristar pictures to be adapted as a movie. Be on the look out for #1’s on Wednesday, covers A and B are currently trading on the Bay for $10-$15 with the virgin cover going for $25-$30. You will probably want to flip them quick, as movie options often fail to materialize.

The #1 One: Walk Through Hell #1

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Garth Ennis
Art: Goran Sudzuka

What it is: So these two FBI agents walk into a warehouse… Special Agents Shaw and McGregor handle the routine cases nowadays, which is just the way Shaw likes it. She’s pushing 40, a borderline burnout, the ghastly memories of her last investigation still clinging like shadows. McGregor is younger, more dedicated, hanging onto some measure of idealism whatever the world might throw at him. When two fellow agents go missing inside a Long Beach warehouse, Shaw and McGregor are sent to investigate. But what they find waiting is far from routine, as the local police have already discovered to their cost. Before the night is out, our heroes will encounter terror beyond their most appalling nightmares-in a place where the night may never end at all. A new kind of horror story for modern America, written by Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys, Crossed) and drawn by Goran Sudzuka (Y: The Last Man, Hellblazer)

Why we like it: I’m always down for a good horror mystery.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: True Believers X-Men #25

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Fabian Nicieza
Art: Andy Kubert
Cover Art: Andy Kubert

What it is: Reprinting X-Men (1991) #25

Why we like it: This is a reprint of one of my favorite single issues of all time. It was the first comic book that I bought myself, purchased off a spinny rack at a local convenience store, and it contains one of the most unforgettable moments in X-Men history. The image of Magneto ripping the adamantium off of Wolverine’s skeleton, watching in horror as it burst through his skin, it still haunts me to this day. I was 9 years old at the time and I still remember the panels and the words and I remember desperately thinking “I need to know what happens next!!” It was a first step into a larger world. If you never had the opportunity, here’s your chance to own it for a buck.

 

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 – May 2, 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: Batman #46

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Tony S. Daniel

What it is: ‘THE TRAVELERS’ part two! Booster Gold’s wedding present has screwed up Batman’s past, and done even more damage to his present. Now, with the Caped Crusader himself refusing to cooperate, the only way for Booster to correct this runaway timeline is to get Catwoman on his side. But with her own past altered, can he make Catwoman recognize the qualities in her husband-to-be that brought them together in the first place? Plus, if Batman isn’t doing his job, Gotham City may become way more dangerous than our bumbling time-traveler might be ready for.

Why we love it: Part one of this Booster Gold story was dark, dark, dark. I mean, it was funny and  peppered with Booster’s trademark goofy banter, but the plot was just terrifying with several WTF moments. Basically Booster travels back in time and alters the timeline by preventing the murder ofMartha and Thomas Wayne, thus Bruce never becomes Batman and drastically alters the course of history. Sort of like a really messed up version of It’s a Wonderful Life. It was as an ill conceived wedding present for Batman and while Booster’s intentions were to revert the timeline back after he revealed his gift, Bruce was having none of it and chose instead to remain in wonderland.

The Mainstream One: Spider-man #240

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art:  Oscar Bazaldua, Patrick Brown

What it is: Marvel Comics proudly presents the final issue of Bendis’ epic (bio-electric) run! Over seven years and across two universes, Miles Morales has been an Ultimate, a Web-Warrior, an Avenger and a Champion. A New Yorker, a student, a son and a friend. And whenever the city needed him (and one time when all of reality needed him), he was always SPIDER-MAN. Don’t miss the chance to see comics superstar Brian Michael Bendis bid farewell to one of his most beloved creations, and to glimpse what the future may hold for Miles Morales.

Why we like it: While Miles will remain a part of the Marvel universe, Brian Michael Bendis, the man who created and wrote the character through the years, is leaving for DC marking the end of an era for Miles Morales.

The Indie One: Death of Glory #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Bengal

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE Meet Glory, raised off the grid in a convoy amid truckers-the last men and women fighting for true freedom on the American open road. Now, in order to pay for her beloved dying Father’s surgery, Glory has three days to pull off four dangerous cross-country heists with mob killers, crooked cops, and a psycho ex-husband all out to bring her in or die trying. The new ongoing series by New York Times bestselling author RICK REMENDER and legendary French superstar BENGAL brings you a high-speed chase across the American West that examines our dwindling freedoms and the price paid by those who fight for an untethered life, in this special double-sized first issue with 40 pages of story!

Why we like it: I’ll read just about anything that Rick Remender writes. Tack on superstar artist Bengal and you now have one of the most highly anticipated new Image series releasing this year. Keep an eye on this one.

The #1 One: You Are Deadpool #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Salva Espin

What it is: DID YOU EVER WANT TO BE DEADPOOL??? Now’s your chance! This weekly series is not JUST the most amazing comic book you’ve ever read…it’s also a role-playing adventure! YOU decide what choices Deadpool makes! YOU keep track of your scores issue by issue! YOU roll dice to combat various foes! Travel through Marvel history as Deadpool to meet Hulk in the swinging ’60s! To smell Man-Thing in the swampy ’70s! To be ‘seen’ by Daredevil in the hard-boiled ’80s! And avoid the many BAD ENDINGS you could fall into…or suffer the consequences!

Why we like it: It’s a choose your own adventure book done Deadpool style. What’s not to love?

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Green Arrow #40

Publisher: DC
Words: Collin Kelley
Art: Marcio Takara
Cover Art: Tyler Kirkham

What it is: ‘THE CHILDREN OF VAHKAR’ finale! Nothing and his army have left Green Arrow for dead in the desert. In order to get himself back to full strength and take out the army, Green Arrow will have to team up with a band of rebel heroes in Vahkar – but will they trust him? Or will he only find himself with more enemies to fight?

Why we like it: I really like the colors and composition of this cover.

 

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 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: Amazing Spiderman #798

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is: GO DOWN SWINGING Part 2 Dan Slott’s final SPIDER-MAN story continues! The GREEN GOBLIN HAS RETURNED – and he’s exacting his ultimate revenge not only on SPIDER-MAN, but on everyone the wall-crawler loves! Norman Osborn’s offering NO QUARTER, an ultimatum that threatens to finish PETER PARKER once and for all! Rated T

Why we love it: The Red Goblin makes his first appearance in the pages of ASM #798. ‘Nuff said.

The Mainstream One: Batman #44

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘SOMETHING BLUE’! Follow Batman and Catwoman on two separate but parallel paths as their wedding planning kicks into high gear. Selina picks out her dress, and Bruce starts to make arrangements for their new life together-but this being Gotham City, and they being Batman and Catwoman, you can bet that nothing will go as expected!

Why we like it: We’re only a few months away from the much anticipated Bat/Cat wedding day. I doubt many readers actually believe that they will go through with it and I think we’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Writer Tom King excels at infusing the insanity of superhero stories with mundane slice-of-life moments and this Batman run has been his masterpiece.

The Indie One: Spawn #284

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

What it is: The re-creation of Spawn’s arch villain THE VIOLATOR…A NEW LOOK! NEW POWERS!

Why we like it: Spawn creator Todd McFarlane returns to resurrect the most well-known, possibly only-known, character from Spawn’s rogue gallery. And it looks like the Violator will be getting an upgrade. Fracesco Mattina is also back with another stunning cover that alone is worth the price of admission. 

The #1 One: Isola #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Brenden Fletcher
Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: Childhood friends BRENDEN FLETCHER (MOTOR CRUSH) and Eisner Award-winning storyteller KARL KERSCHL (Gotham Academy) reunite on the comics page with a breathtaking fantasy adventure two decades in the making! The captain of the Royal Guard has fled the capital city with the Queen of Maar, suffering under the effects of an evil spell. Captain Rook’s only hope of returning Queen Olwyn to her throne and saving the kingdom from impending war lies on an island half a world away-a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead. Featuring lush color work by MSASSYK (Gotham Academy) and letters by ADITYA BIDIKAR (MOTOR CRUSH). Recommended for fans of Studio Ghibli and the work of Hayao Miyazaki.

Why we like it: Cool concept from a stellar creative team.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #30

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

What it is: ‘Deathstroke vs. Batman’ part one! Beginning this month, a six-issue series-within-a-series featuring the ultimate showdown between DC’s fiercest rivals! When Batman discovers a mysterious package containing DNA test results proving that he is not Damian Wayne’s biological father, the Dark Knight sets his sights on his son’s true father-Deathstroke! But Damian Wayne can’t really be Slade Wilson’s son-can he? And who sent the package-and why? The ultimate custody battle ensues as the World’s Greatest Detective and the World’s Deadliest Assassin clash in this instant classic!

Why we like it: Francesco Mattina joins an exclusive group of creators who have made the Crank File list twice in the same week. He’s making a strong case for being the top cover artist of 2018. The colors and composition of this Deathstroke cover are killer.

 

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!