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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 13, 2019

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: The Batman Who Laughs #3 (Ricardo Fedrici variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: All the pieces are starting to fit together as the Batman Who Laughs acquires another key element in his plan-one that is linked to the founding fathers of Gotham City and to a legacy started by the Wayne family and protected by none other than Oswald Cobblepot. While the Penguin goes head-to-head with the darkest version of his mortal enemy, Batman is forced to compromise his principles and purge the serum that protects his heart from the deadly Joker Toxin! It’s a no-win situation as writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock return to the sociopath they created in ‘Black Mirror’: James Gordon Jr. RATED T+

Why we love it: Nobody writes a good Batman horror story like my man Scott Snyder. His creation, the Batman Who Laughs, is pure nightmare and quickly carving out his spot among the evilest members of Batman’s rogue gallery. And that Fedrici variant is just so sweet. Easy pick this week.

The Mainstream One: Avengers: No Road Home #1 (Mark Brooks variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Paco Medina

What it is: The team that brought you AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER REUNITES for an all-new weekly AVENGERS adventure! Night has fallen across the universe. Now seven Avengers – and one new addition – journey forth to bring back the light. But when the threat they face has destroyed even the gods will anyone make it home? LEGACY #708 Rated T+

Why we like it: The creative trio of Al Ewing, Mark Waid and Jim Zub returns for the sequel to one of my favorite runs from last year, the reality warping Avengers: No Surrender.  I really wish this wasn’t a weekly book but this creative team crushed it the last time out. They gave us the Immortal Hulk.

The Indie One: Gideon Falls #11 (Mico Suayan)

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino

What it is: END OF STORY ARC! ‘ORIGINAL SINS,’ Conclusion: In this pulse-pounding conclusion to ‘Season Two’ of the hottest supernatural horror story in comics, it’s a surreal nightmare as Father Fred and Norton finally come face-to-face.

Why we like it: An awesome black and white Suayan cover marks the end of the second chapter of this slow burn thriller.

The #1 One: Age of X-Man Nextgen #1 (In-hyuck Lee variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Marcus To

What it is: ENTER THE AGE OF X-MAN! In an age of utopia, the Summers Institute for Higher Learning is the premiere school for the mutant community across the globe. Attendance is mandatory for all mutant children, as they learn to become the next generation of marvelous X-Men. But even in a utopian society, teenagers will always find a way to rebel… Follow Glob, Armor, Anole and Rockslide as they discover what it really means to live in an age of peace and harmony! Rated T+

Why we like it: Burned out on the mainstream X-Men team, I’m welcoming to a series that focuses on some of my favorite B-teamers. I think everyone could use more Glob in their life.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: The Savage Sword of Conan #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Gerry Duggan
Art:
Ron Garney
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: THE ANCIENT CULT OF KOGA THUN. A MYSTICAL TREASURE. AND THE ONLY MAN WHO CAN SAVE THE HYBORIAN AGE! Adrift at sea. No food. No weapons. Death surely awaits him. But the lionhearted CONAN is not so easily subdued, by Crom! When Conan finds himself captured, he unleashes his might on an unsuspecting pirate crew…one whose dark secrets will plunge Conan on the trail of an ancient treasure that may prove to be his undoing! An all-new age of SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN begins with a five-part tale of swords and sorcery by Gerry Duggan (DEADPOOL, INFINITY WARS) and illustrated by legendary artist Ron Garney (DAREDEVIL, THOR: GOD OF THUNDER) with covers by the incomparable Alex Ross, and breathtaking variant covers by Garney, Rahzzah, comics legend George Perez, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman! Welcome to the deadly Hyborian Age-hope you survive the experience! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: Alex Ross is a master, no doubt. I always thought that Conan should be a bit hairier. Apparently they had mastered the art of man-scaping in ancient Cimmeria.

 

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 – December 12, 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 Damned #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Azzarello
Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: As Batman’s descent into the madness of Gotham City’s decadent underbelly continues, he must try to exorcise some of his demons…and who better to help than the Demon, Etrigan himself. And where there’s demons, there’s also a Deadman, a Spectre, an Enchantress and a host of other supernatural friends and foes-it’s a veritable Grand Guignol!

Why we love it: Issue #1 sparked controversy with the now infamous Batawang panel, causing it’s price to sky rocket to $50 on the secondary market. But unless we see Harley’s cooch in issue #2, don’t expect the same explosive appreciation in value here. Regardless, this is a good Batman series and well worth your time.  

The Mainstream One: Defenders Silver Surfer #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Latour
Art: Ron Garney

What it is: ‘THE BEST DEFENSE’ PART FOUR! Shall not the Judge of All the Earths do right?
Norrin Radd is not so certain. But it falls to him who is the Silver Surfer to decide which planets will live…and which will feed the unending hunger of the world-devouring Galactus! A single honest person can tip the balance…if only the Surfer can find one in time! And the Train rolls on… Rated T+

Why we like it: The Surfer is one of my favorite Marvel characters, and now that he’s back under control of the MCU I expect a big push coming for the FF and Surfer in 2019 before inevitably they make their way back to the big screen.

The Indie One: Murder Falcon

Publisher: Image
Words: Daniel Warren Johnson
Art: Mike Spicer

What it is: Jake. Murder Falcon. Johann. Who’s next to join the band? If they’re going to defeat the Veldar, they’re going to need someone to lay down a heavy beat.

Why we like it: This book is so metal that I can’t even. If you read comics and you are a fan of metal music, I promise that you will absolutely love Murder Falcon.

The #1 One: Batman Who Laughs #1 (of 6)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: Left rattled by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Bruce Wayne must come face to face with the nightmares spawned from the Dark Multiverse. But even though evil devoured evil in the collapse of Challengers Mountain, the Dark Knight still has his doubts. He discovers that the Batman Who Laughs not only survived the fight with The Joker at the end of METAL, but now he is enacting a sinister plan across the Multiverse-something both terrifying and oddly familiar. But when Bruce Wayne realizes the only way to stop this madman is to kill him, he must consider violating the very rule Batman won’t break…the same rule that created this insatiable villain-the Batman Who Laughs!

Why we like it: DC’s recent breakout character is getting his own mini series and he’s being given the high-profile treatment, with two of DC’s most recognizable, creative talents attached. If you aren’t familiar with the character, he comes from the Earth -22 dimensions where Bruce Wayne as Batman is driven insane by the Joker, transforming him into the Batman Who Laughs.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-man #11 (Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Nick Spencer
Art:
Ryan Ottley
Cover Art: Gabriele Dell Otto

What it is: J. JONAH JAMESON has a new job as a shock jock, but is the world ready for a pro-Spider-Man JJJ? More importantly, is Spider-Man ready? His post-secret-identity relationship with Jonah was already complicated, but this very public embrace may put him over the edge! Spidey’s definitely not ready for the Enforcers to come at him harder than ever! Rated T

Why we like it: Kneel before the badassery that is Dell Otto!

 

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