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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 1, 2017

Happy Halloween comic book fans! And welcome to an extra spooky episode of the Crank File. Actually I lied, there’s nothing the least bit horrifying out this week. They released it all last week. The only scary thing this week was the number of candy bars I ate while binge watching Stranger Things 2. 3 Musketeers 4 life. 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 #34

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Joelle Jones

What it is: ‘Dream of Me’ part two! Batman is on a quest in the desert, far from his Gotham City home. His friends and allies think he’s gone crazy, and his mission puts him far outside the law. Waiting for him at the center of the chaos is an old enemy… and plenty of old demons.

Why we love it: Ok, so here’s what’s actually happening. A man is taking his fiance to meet his baby’s mama. Absurd, I know, but once you learn who the players are it sort of works. Joelle Jones’ artwork was brilliant last issue, can’t wait to see how she follows it up.

  

The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #2

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: Public support for Batman dwindles and Gotham City’s 99 percent rally around ex-Joker Jack Napier’s crusade to expose decades of corruption within the GCPD. A proposition inspires new revelations about Harley and The Joker’s past; and as Jack transforms into a hero of the middle class and takes extreme measures to mobilize a revolutionary army of super-villains, Bruce struggles to stay focused on engineering a technological breakthrough to save Alfred.

Why we like it: Back to back bat books (say that 5 times fast). This is the second issue in a seven issue miniseries and here’s what’s actually happening here. Batman’s gone crazy and Joker’s gone sane and it’s game on. Murphy’s artwork is excellent as expected, his style is perfect for drawing the gritty streets of Gotham. Looking forward to this #2.

The Indie One: Paper Girls #17

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K Vaughan
Art: Cliff Chiang

What it is: At last, the Paper Girls learn what the hell is going on. By Eisner Award-winning writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and artist CLIFF CHIANG, with colors by 2017 Eisner Award-winning colorist MATT WILSON.

Why we like it: So here’s what’s actually going on here… I actually have no idea what’s going on here either. I love that synopsis. What the hell is going on? It’s pure sci-fi bananas and I love it. Did you see that all the creators have won Eisners?? They all won Eisners for their work on this book. So yeah, it’s pretty good.

 

The #1 One: No. 1 With a Bullet #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jacob Semahn
Art: Jorge Corona

What it is: ‘A sublime piece of futurism that is both entertaining in its absurdity and terrifying in its predictions.’–Clive Barker Her social media, strong. Her variety show segments, a hit. Nash Huang is at the top of her game. But when the iRis Shutter contact lens hits the market, Nash’s life is personally invaded. The latest leap forward in ‘technological progress,’ these contacts not only play video or augment reality…but also record footage. Fighting to keep her life together after a leaked sex tape goes viral, a clingy super-fan is the last thing on Nash’s mind…but that’s exactly when the bodies pile up and the terror begins. From the bestselling team that brought you GONERS, comes NO. 1 WITH A BULLET!

Why we like it: The #1 One is No. 1 With a Bullet #1. It’s actually not, it’s Grave Diggers Union #1 but that “number one” bit was just too good to not use.

  

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain America #695
(Ross lenticular variant)

Publisher: Marvel 
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: HOME OF THE BRAVE Part 1 HOME OF THE BRAVE begins – and Steve Rogers is back in action in the red-white-and-blue! Steve begins a journey across America to restore his tarnished reputation – and the dangers he encounters along the way are unlike any he’s faced before! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T+

Why we like it: I love the cover art but I have not been impressed at all by Marvel’s lenticular covers.  I really wish they would offer a standard, non-lenticulating version of these Legacy covers because some of the swipes have been outstanding. Alex Ross here with an excellent swipe of Tales of Suspense #39.

 

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 – October 4, 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: Batman #32 (Coipel variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ finale! This is the finale everyone will be talking about for years to come! In BATMAN #24, we gave you the question; in BATMAN #32, you get the answer. As the Riddler and The Joker desperately fight for supremacy in Gotham City, Batman reveals how far he had to go to end the war. Now, knowing Batman’s greatest sin, Catwoman must make her decision: Will she marry Batman?

Why we love it: 8 issues in the making, everyone’s waiting on edge for Selina’s answer to Bruce’s proposal. I just can’t see her saying yes.  Even if she does I don’t expect their marriage will last. These are comics that we are talking about here after all. I’m really more interested in seeing how the War of Jokes and Riddles plays out. This story arc has been fantastic and is without a doubt the pinnacle of Tom King’s run on Batman thus far.

  The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #1 

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City. He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’ but ‘white knight’? Never. Until now… Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as ‘Jack,’ sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman! Superstar writer and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS, THE WAKE) presents a seven-issue miniseries of a twisted Gotham City with a massive cast of heroes and villains that, at its heart, is a tragic story of a hero and a villain: Batman and The Joker. But which is the hero-and which the villain?

Why we like it: Yes, you read that correct, the Joker must save Gotham from the Batman. Sean Murphy is one of my favorite comic creators. He’s a unique story teller and as an artist he’s like a man among boys. I haven’t seen much from Sean G since Tokyo Ghost concluded and I expect that he’s been pouring his heart into this twisted tale.

The Indie One: Extremity #7

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: NEW STORY ARC Thea and Rollo enter the Ancient Dark, where they are hunted by things that dare not live in the light above.

Why we like it: One of my favorite Image titles returns with a new arc. If you missed out on this one, the first 6 issues have been collected in trade paper back. I really can’t recommend this sci-fi, war drama enough. It’s got amazing art, multi-dimensional characters and stories that run you through the emotional gamut. Basically everything that makes for a great comic, Extremity delivers in spades.

  The #1 One: Slots #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Dan Panosian 

What it is: NEW SERIES You can say this about the life of Stanley Dance: he did it his way. Unfortunately, his way never took getting old into account. Now, the former boxer is on his last legs, looking for redemption…but he’ll settle for going down swinging. Roll the dice with superstar artist DAN PANOSIAN as he creates a bold and breathtaking vision of Las Vegas, where everything old can become new, and superstition influences how the chips fall.

Why we like it: Dan Panosian is undeniably an incredibly talented artist. It will be interesting to see how he fares as a writer. After leaving comics for years to work in video games and advertising, Panosian returns to Image with a hard-boiled, crime story that he calls “a labor of love.”

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1 (Hughes variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Marc Andreyko, Paul Dini
Art: Laura Braga
Cover Art: Adam Hughes

What it is: Free college tuition for all Riverdale residents?! That’s the plan-after the town drains the wetlands that lie between it and Gotham City and then builds a new campus. The only snag? A certain botany-obsessed super-villain. When Poison Ivy enlists her bestie, Harley, to kidnap both Veronica Lodge, daughter of Riverdale’s most important citizen, and her friend Betty, she’s counting on some assistance-and the mayhem that ensues will probably work as well! DC Comics and Archie are proud to present the adventure of a lifetime for all these best pals. Their hijinks are brought to you by the real-life team-up of Paul Dini (HARLEY QUINN) and Marc Andreyko (WONDER WOMAN ’77), with art by Laura Braga (DC BOMBSHELLS)!

Why we like it: It’s no secret that I love me some Adam Hughes covers. It’s a regular price variant so you should be able to snag this beauty in the wild pretty easily on Wednesday. The fact that Paul Dini is co-writing this series is just icing on the cheesecake.

 

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