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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 7/13/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another installment of the Crank File, the only place on the net that is extremely late to pick up their father from the airport. Sorry, no time for love Dr. Jones.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:



The top of the Pile: Vision #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Cover Art: Mike Del Mundo

What it is: Every family has its share of secrets – skeletons in the closet, kept hidden from the world at large. For the Visions, those secrets are real, actual skeletons. The thing about secrets is they always have a cost, and one of the Visions is going to pay with their life.

Why we love it: You look at that cover and can’t help but think, “well, that can’t be good…” We know that the story will not end well for Vision and his synthezoid family, but the real tragedy is that it ends with issue 12. It’s too bad Tom King is doing an exclusive with DC, because I could have read his Vision run for volumes and volumes. We’re only half-way through the year but I’m calling it, Vision is the best comic of 2016.



The Mainstream One: The Flash #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Cover Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: In issue #2, The Flash trains novice speedster August Heart to help protect the people of Central City from the Black Hole, a new breed of rogue with a deadly agenda for the Fastest Men Alive.

Why we like it: There’s a new Flash in Central City and he’s buds with the old Flash. I think Flash has been the best book to come out of DC Rebirth so far.



The Indie One: Horizon #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Brandon Thomas
Art: Juan Gedeon
Cover Art: Jason Howard

What it is: Zhia Malen thought she’d fought her very last war, until she learned her planet was targeted for occupation by a desperate world called Earth. The people of Earth will be told that her arrival on their planet means invasion; these are lies, this is retaliation. Skybound’s newest original series by BRANDON THOMAS (The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury), JUAN GEDEON (Ghost Racers), and FRANK MARTIN (EAST OF WEST) will show you that survival isn’t just a human instinct.

Why we like it: Because the preview pages look awesome.



The #1 One: New Super-man #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Gene Luen Yang
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic

What it is: An impulsive act of heroism thrusts an arrogant young man into the limelight of Shanghai as China begins to form its own Justice League of powerful heroes. Rising from the ashes of The Final Days of Superman, award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and on-the-rise art star Victor Bogdanovic introduce readers to Kong Kenan-the New Super-Man! When the world needed a new hero, China made him!

Why we like it: I know some people are sour at the recent trend in comics of publishers re-racing their beloved, white characters.  Being of Chinese descent myself, let me say thank you DC. Thank you for bringing another Asian superhero into the DC universe, Cassandra Cain was getting lonely. And cheers for choosing an Asian American to write him.  Jiayou!



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Civil War II #3

Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: David Marquez
Cover Art: Phil Noto

What it is: Classified!

Why we like it: A potentially huge death is being teased for issue #3. We don’t know who eats the big enchilada, but based on this gorgeous cover by the always amazing Phil Noto, we can deduce that the killer was Hawkeye, in the face, with an arrow.


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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 5.18.2016

Welcome to another installment of the Crank File, the only place on the web that cranks without first looking both ways.

I headed out to Poughkeepsie New York over the weekend with the girlfriend. Whenever I’m traveling to a new place, I like visiting a local comic shop in the area. This trip brought us to Alterniverse in Hyde Park. It was a small shop, with only a dozen or so longboxes apart from the current books lining the wall racks. The store owner Anthony greeted us warmly and explained how the store was organized and we got to digging. Asides from an occasional regular popping in and inquiring about a Magic tournament, we were the only customers in the store. We’re getting to the end of the row of boxes when an older gentleman, probably in his 60’s, walks into the shop. He quickly browsed through a couple of short boxes before heading over to the new release rack, where he picks out a copy of ElfQuest: Final Quest. He brings it up to the counter and says to Anthony, “Thank you for carrying my book and for having it displayed prominently on the shelf.” It was Richard freaking Pini, co-creator of Elfquest. For those of you unfamiliar, Elfquest is one of the longest running and most successful independent comics ever published, a high-fantasy tale written and drawn exclusively by husband/wife duo Richard and Wendy Pini since 1978. Richard was super cool and what began as a random visit to a local shop turned into hanging out with a legend; just four nerds in a small shop talking comics and elfs.

Rest in peace Mr. Cooke. Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Civil War II #0 (Noto variant)



Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Olivier Coipel

What it is: From the creative team that brought you House of M and Siege comes a blistering first chapter in Marvel’s new explosive event. Watch as the players are introduced and the table is set for a storyline that fans will be talking about for years.

Why we love it: I usually am wary of these line-wide events, but I enjoyed with the first Civil War series and felt validated that a comic book was willing to explore larger social issues. After seeing the Civil War movie this weekend, I feel that the underlying argument of security vs freedom is as relevant today as it was ten years ago.


The Mainstream one: Spider-man #4



Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Sara Pichelli

What it is: Miles is just finding his feet in the all new marvel universe; the media is growing obsessed with his skin color and now he has to share his own book with a hot new mutant who goes by the name of… wait for it… All this and the Queenpin of New York, the Black Cat, has set her sights on this new Spider-Man. She has put out a hit on his head and now no one is safe!

Why we like it: Bendis makes two appearances on this week’s list and there’s no denying that Marvel’s goldenboy is at the top of his game here, writing a contemporary Spider-man story that feels miles more relateable than Slott’s Old Man Parker. If you enjoyed Tom Holland’s take as an adolescent Peter Parker then you know how much fun a young Spider-man can be.


The Indie One: Manifest Destiny #19 (James Harren variant)



Publisher: Image
Words: Chris Dingess
Art: Matthew Roberts

What it is: Lewis & Clark didn’t lead the first expedition west? nor were they the first to encounter the biggest mammal in all the land: Sasquatch!

Why we like it: So happy that Manifest Destiny is back. I don’t know if MD is my favorite Image title, but I can’t think of a book that I have more fun reading.

The #1 One: Tank Girl: Two Girls One Tank #1



Publisher: Titan
Words: Alan Martin
Art: Brett Parsons

What it is: Fresh off the back of their latest calamitous chapter comes this shiny new Tank Girl tale from series creator Alan Martin and artist extraordinaire, Brett Parson! Expect a healthy dose of delirium and plenty of ball-crunching action in this high-octane crosscountry skirmish that asks the question: is this world really big enough for two Tank Girls? Strap yourself in, folks; It’s gonna be one helluva ride!

Why we like it: Probably not actually picking this one up, but wanted to point out the best/worst title I’ve heard in a while.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Superman American Alien #7 (Jock variant)



Publisher: DC
Words: Max Landis
Art: Jock
Cover art: Jock

What it is: After a massive explosion rocks downtown Metropolis, Clark finds himself face-to-face with a white-skinned alien riding a flying motorcycle-and the eyes of the world are all on this so-called Superman! But when Clark’s attempt at reason fails and the bounty hunter reveals some unpleasant truths about Clark’s own alien origin, a brutal showdown begins! Superstar artist Jock reteams with Max Landis for the epic series finale to SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN!

Why we like it: Jock created an iconic Batman cover with his chilling joker portrait on the final issue of Detective Comics #880. He may have just done it again with the final issue of Superman American Alien #7. An instant classic.


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