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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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Trailer Snark (Captain America: Civil War Edition)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Editor’s Note: We are foregoing the usual format of this week’s blog, because by and large most movie studios have wisely cleared their release calendar for what could very well be the year’s biggest film. Captain America:  Civil War, the third installment in the Steve Rogers series, and really what amounts to Avengers 3 in terms of the ensemble cast showcases the characters we have come to know and love, under the expert tutelage of the Russo Brothers, who take the reins from Joss Whedon.  The team gives their thoughts below, along with their pledge of allegiance to either Team Cap or Team Iron Man.  Enjoy!

Captain America:  Civil War (Disney) – Action/Adventure
PG-13 for violence and thematic situations
Tag Line:  Whose side are you on?
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Paul Rudd, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, and more.
Plot: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.
Running Time:  146 minutes

Thoughts on the trailer…..
Jessica: I am SUPER EXCITED about “Captain America: Civil War”, I think the trailer looks like yet another hit for Marvel and I do really enjoy the Captain’s story as he finds his place in the “new world” after being asleep so long
Chris: The only thing that exceeds the trepidation of watching to of Marvel’s most famous icons draw the battle lines is to see how they can pull it off effectively and leave fans of both sides satisfied.  And from all accounts, this is one for the ages!

Whose Side are They On?
Ken: Team Rogers, no question.  I agree with Chris that these are beings of unimaginable power, capable of massive destruction and as such should be be held accountable. However, I don’t believe the responsibility of policing the gods should be left in the hands of a few, un-elected individuals. Who died and made Iron Man the sheriff of the MCU?  It’s a question of personal freedom vs conformity. Cap is the ultimate soldier, and like a good soldier he fights to protect his country and the government it represents, but he also fights for the guy next to him in the foxhole. He’s fighting for his brother when he believes that his brother is being treated unjustly. Is there a more noble cause? Like Jess, I sincerely doubt that Tony’s motivations for heading up the superhero registration act are entirely altruistic. What eccentric, billionaire wouldn’t want a position of power with near-unlimited resources at his disposal?
Jim: I don’t know what side I’m on. I just want to be entertained.  I just hope that this isn’t the slog that Age of Ultron was and the squalid excuse for a movie that Batman vs. Superman was. If Hollywood’s going to spend truckloads of money on superhero movies, they can at least make them fun and well-made. Here’s hoping.
Jessica: I am completely torn as to what side I want to be on. I see both sides of it but in the end, I think Tony Stark’s militaristic approach is a bit too much and would have to side with the Captain in the end. His heart is in the right place and I think he has the moral compass to do the right thing, whereas Tony Stark’s moral compass is nonexistent and I simply don’t trust him to make a decision that benefits mankind if it gets in the way of his own ambition and brain powers. I think Stark’s biggest fault is thinking he’s always the smartest man in the room. Whether he is or not, he never takes into account the emotional toll his decisions take and that is a big problem in the long run. So yeah, I’m Team Captain America!
Chris: I love Captain America, and I love the idea of Captain America.  In an ideal world, I would be in his camp, and beating my libertarian drum to the max, but the simple fact is that this is an unreal fantasy world where individuals hold more power than one can imagine.  That power unchecked is a threat to all.  As for who they should answer to is a whole other question, but I find myself aligning with Tony Stark on this one.  This is the movies folks and real world politics do not apply.  Team Iron Man

Added to the Ranks of Team Cap:  Ken and Jessica
Added to the Ranks of Team Iron Man:  Chris
Jumping in on the Winning Side at the Last Possible Moment?  Jim

The debate rages on!
The debate rages on!
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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 4/6/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to the Crank File, the crankiest place on earth. It’s shaping up to be a big week for new comics so let’s dive right in, Louganis style.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Vision #6

V6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

What it is: The book everyone is talking about. The first arc of this acclaimed series comes to its frightening climax. The bodies will not stay buried. The truth will not remain hidden. And The Vision will never be the same.

Why we love it:  The Vision builds himself a wife and two kids and tries to assimilate them into a quiet suburban town, just like a normal human family, but he can’t escape his violent past or the neighborhood’s fear of his family. Dark, intelligent and idiosyncratic, the Vision is like no other superhero story you’ve seen before.

The Mainstream One: Spider-man #3

SM3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Bendis
Art: Sarah Pichelli

What it is: Miles finds himself face-to-face with his toughest villain yet- HIS GRANDMOTHER!!! And an Avengers-study session (date?) with Ms. Marvel goes horribly wrong!

Why we like it: Miles Morales allows Marvel to tell contemporary, teen-aged Spider-man stories without having Peter Parker in an alternate universe or making deals with devil. This week Miles teams up with fellow All-New, All-Different Avenger Ms. Marvel to tackle his most frightening foe, homework.

 

The Indie One: Bruce Lee Dragon Rises #1 (Cho variant)

BL1

Publisher: Darby Pop
Words: Jeff Kline
Art: Brandon McKinney

What it is: Bruce Lee never died. And he hasn’t aged. But, Bruce has no idea who he is or why so many ‘thugs’ want a piece of him. Co-written by Bruce’s daughter, Shannon Lee, and ‘Jackie Chan Adventures’ EP Jeff Kline.

Why we like it: Martial artist, philosopher and all-around bad-ass, Bruce Lee has been my hero since grade school. I’ve never cos-played as a superhero but I’ve dressed up as Bruce on three separate Halloweens. He’s as close to a super human as I’ve seen in real life. A double sized issue for only $3.99 and a Frank Cho cover makes this one an easy pick.

 

The #1 One: Black Panther #1 (Ross variant)

BP1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art: Brian Stelfreeze

What it is: A new era for the Black Panther starts here! Written by MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner TA-NEHISI COATES (Between the World and Me) and illustrated by living legend BRIAN STELFREEZE, ‘A Nation Under Our Feet’ is a story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther’s struggle to do right by his people as their ruler. The indomitable will of Wakanda — the famed African nation known for its vast wealth, advanced technology and warrior traditions — has long been reflected in the will of its monarchs, the Black Panthers. But now the current Black Panther, T’Challa, finds that will tested by a superhuman terrorist group called The People that has sparked a violent uprising among the citizens of Wakanda. T’Challa knows the country must change to survive — the question is, will the Black Panther survive the change?

Why we like it: Black Panther’s popularity has been on the upswing since he began appearing in the Captain America 3: Civil War trailers. Marvel capitalizes on his meteoric rise by giving him his own series with an all-star creative team. A classic Alex Ross cover makes this #1 a must pull.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Scarlet Witch #5

SW5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: James Robinson
Art: Marguerite Sauvage

What it is: Wanda’s journey takes her to Spain! There she finds an old vineyard converted from a haunted church where witches used to be burned at the stake. But to unravel the mystery of the hauntings, she must first fight off the ghosts of the SPANISH INQUISITION!

Why we like it: Cover artist David Aja has been doing amazing, minimalist artwork for the current Scarlet Witch run. This week’s cover is especially dramatic with silhouettes of witches burning at the stake forming Wanda’s cloak. A stunning reminder that sometimes less is actually more.

 

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