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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 14, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to somber episode of the Crank File. The Stan, the myth, the legend, Stan Lee passed away Monday at the age of 95. His impact on the comics industry is immeasurable and to list his accomplishments and contributions to pop culture would be a herculean task. With Stan at the helm and the help of talented artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Marvel comics redefined what makes a superhero super. We were fortunate to have Stan in our world for as long as we did, and he will be missed by all.

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: Mister Miracle #12 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: It’ll be a miracle if you can get through this mind-bending conclusion with your sanity intact! After his epic battle with Darkseid, Scott Free sees life a whole new way: he’s the new Highfather of New Genesis, and he’s madly in love with his wife and child. But what if it’s all a lie? Did Mister Miracle really escape death way back in issue #1? No one really knows but Tom King and Mitch Gerads!

Why we love it: Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s Mister Miracle has been one of the weirdest books I have read in recent years. Although I’ve enjoyed every issue thoroughly, there’s a part of me that’s still not entirely sure what this book is about. I mean, it’s about a lot of things: family, legacy, sacrifice, but there is this constant feeling of dread and uncertainty that has persisted throughout the series. Hopefully the answers to these mysteries and more will be revealed in the final issue of this amazing run.

The Mainstream One: Cosmic Ghost Rider #5 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Dylan Burnette

What it is: The dramatic conclusion to the series everyone is talking about! Featuring Punisher! Thanos! Punisher! AND Thanos! Plus a few more surprises, some terrible deaths…and maybe a little redemption? Sounds unlikely given who we’re talking about. PARENTAL ADVISORY

Why we like it: I did not expect to like the Cosmic Ghost Rider’s solo series as much as I have, and I did not expect that I would be sticking around to read the final issue. But here I am, which is just another testament to how much I enjoy reading Donny Cates.

The Indie One: Bitter Root #1

Publisher: Image
Words: David F. Walker, Chuck Brown
Art: Sanford Greene

What it is: In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing, and only the Sangerye Family can save New York-and the world-from the supernatural forces threatening to destroy humanity. But the once-great family of monster hunters has been torn apart by tragedies and conflicting moral codes. The Sangerye Family must heal the wounds of the past and move beyond their differences… or sit back and watch a force of unimaginable evil ravage the human race. DAVID F. WALKER and SANFORD GREENE, the creative team of Power Man and Iron Fist, along with indie veteran CHUCK BROWN (Trench Coats, Cigarettes and Shotguns) bring you 24 action-packed pages of monsters, mayhem, and family dysfunction in a brand-new ongoing series. BITTER ROOT Cover As by SANFORD GREENE will be connecting through the first story arc.

Why we like it: I like this creative team and the story sounds like something that hasn’t been told a hundred times before. Will check it out at the stands before making an executive decision though.

The #1 One: Uncanny X-Men #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mahmud Asrar

What it is: THE CHILDREN OF THE ATOM ARE BACK! New ongoing series kicking off with a 10-part weekly epic, the flagship X-Men series that started it all is back and better than ever! Starting with a mysterious and tragic disappearance, the X-Men are drawn into what might be…their final adventure?! X-Fan favorite writers Ed Brisson (EXTERMINATION), Matthew Rosenberg (PHOENIX RESURRECTION) and Kelly Thompson (MR. & MRS. X) and all-star artists Mahmud Asrar (X-MEN RED), R.B. Silva (X-MEN BLUE), Yildiray Cinar (WEAPON X) and Pere Pérez (ROGUE AND GAMBIT) join forces to bring you…X-MEN DISASSEMBLED?! Rated T+

Why we like it: Yes! The Uncanny X-Men is back which means the return of fan-favorite mutants like… Cannonball? Bishop? Hmmm, maybe this is just the stop-gap team for the 10-part weekly saga.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #992

Publisher: DC 
James Robinson
Carmine Giandomenico
Cover Art: Gabrielle Dell’Otto

What it is: There’s a new Dynamic Duo in Gotham City-introducing Batman and Two-Face! What the what?! The Dark Knight is forced to team with old friend and current enemy Harvey Dent to stop a Kobra-sponsored terrorist attack. Can Batman really trust his life to a coin flip? Even worse, Bats and Two-Face are of two minds over recruiting the two Fireflies for help-if Batman’s gonna work with so many villains, he may as well join the Legion of Doom.

Why we like it: Regular priced, semi-virgin, Dell’Otto Batman cover. Just shut up and take my money.


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

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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 – 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!