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Trailer Snark (December 16, 2016 Theatrical Trailers)

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!

Rogue One (Disney) – SciFi/Action
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Tag Line: Save the rebellion. Save the dream.
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forrest Whitaker
Plot: The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.
Running Time: 134 minutes

Rob: #$%^ yeah baby!  Finally!!!  It doesn’t take a Jedi Master to recognize that The Force will be strong with this one.  I have secured two sets of tickets for sneak previews to kick off the viewings.  I am upset at the quantity of reshooting that is rumored to have taken place because the film was allegedly too dark.  We need a dark Star Wars film.  This film screams out for the Dark Side.  The Empire has the galaxy in a death grip during this particular period of time.  It’s time for the bothan bodies to hit the floor!  Fear.  Anger.  Hate.  Suffering.  And, yes….a sliver of hope, the spark of Rebellion.
Jessica: Yes. Yes. YES! Im seeing this in IMAX as a birthday gift. I cannot wait and I am super super duper stoked!
Chris:  Adventure. Excitement.  A Jedi craves not these things.  I ain’t no Jedi.  Bring it on baby!

Collateral Beauty (Warner Bros) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Tag Line: We are all connected.
Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley
Plot: Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Chris: A fantastic cast and a pull at the heartstrings won’t prevent me from staying on target.
Rob: It’s not Rogue One.
Jessica: This looks like a really lovely, heart-warming story, but it’s got nothing on Rogue One! I would watch this at home though.

A Kind of Murder (Magnolia) – Drama/Thriller
Rated R for language and some violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Haley Bennett, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson
Plot: In 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Jessica: Can’t even deal with this, it’s not Rogue One.
Chris: Meh…..maybe on Netflix.  A less thrilling thriller it would seem.
Rob: This is also not Rogue One.

Solace (Grindstone Entertainment) – Crime/Drama/Mystery
Rated R for violence and bloody images throughout, sexuality, nudity and language
Tag Line: How do you stop a killer who can read your mind?
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell
Plot: A psychic works with the FBI in order to hunt down a serial killer.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Rob: Also a movie not worthy of my attention this week because it’s not Rogue One…  But wait!  Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), Detective Velcoro (Colin Farrell), & $%^*ing Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)!?!?!? Ok, you have my attention for a couple minutes.  Looks decent I suppose.  A possible rental down the road.
Jessica: Oh Dr. Ford, love you, but not Rogue One, don’t care.
Chris: This movie has been sitting on a shelf for over a year looking for a distributor.  Not sure how this bodes for the film, especially since they are dumping it into the same release week as the new Star Wars.

Tickets Purchased: It’s unanimous, as if you thought any different!

See what we did there?
See what we did there?
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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/12/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that’s gonna crank ten thousand files, and then crank ten thousand more. I started watching Luke Cage on Netflix and sweet Christmas is it good. I’m only four episodes in and already sucked into its gritty, urban world of turf wars, political maneuvers, amazing live musical performances and good old-fashioned beat downs. Dig it!

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

DV25

The Top of the Pile: Darth Vader #25 (Christopher action figure variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Salvador Larroca

What it is: It has all built up to this! Vader’s trials against Cylo’s creations! His machinations against the Emperor! His covert missions with Doctor Aphra and her murderous droids! All comes to fruition in an oversized 40-page issue by the stellar team of Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca! You won’t want to miss this ending!

Why we love it: I love that Aphra is getting the action figure treatment for the final issue of Gillen and Larocca’s exceptional Darth Vader solo series, it is well deserved.  This series introduced a number of memorable, new characters into the Star Wars universe including the lovable murder bots BT-1 and 0-0-0. But the unquestionable star of the series has been the complex Dr. Aphra. We never hear about her character in episodes IV – VI, and I’m seriously worried that she’s not going to survive the series.

 

CC1

The Mainstream one: Clone Conspiracy #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Jim Cheung

What it is: “DEAD NO MORE”: The Jackal is back and has conquered death. The Amazing Spider-Man is outmatched by his classic enemy’s army. Does the wall-crawler stand a chance? SHOULD he stand in The Jackal’s way if he’s found the key to eternal life?

Why we like it: Long time Spider-scribe Dan Slott has been hyping this book hard, promising to make some major changes to the Peter Parker status quo. There are rumors that a major character or characters are coming back from the dead, and the series has one of the hottest artists in Gabriele Dell’Otto doing covers.

 

R1

The Indie One: Reborn #1 (Jock variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Mark Millar
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you-the good and the bad.

Why we like it: Two comic book titans joining forces to create one of the most highly anticipated Image titles of the year. This new Image #1 is being released with a bunch of variant covers done by high-profile artists John Cassaday, Jock, Frank Cho and Todd McFarlane.

M1

The #1 One: Mosaic #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Geoffrey Thorne
Art: Khary Randolph

What it is: Professional basketball player and world renowned celebrity, Morris Sackett, gains extraordinary abilities, at the grave cost of his own mortal body. Imbued with the ability to jump from person to person like a ghost, he controls the bodies and memories of those he inhabits. With his own body destroyed, the one-time superstar athlete must rely on others to survive. The saga of the newest Marvel Inhuman Mosaic begins here!

Why we like it: Marvel continues to diversify its roster with a new, black super hero. I read a preview which further explained the nature of Mosaic’s powers and I think that there is a ton of potential with this character. The guy literally has no body of his own and has to always be occupying a host body, which if you think about is both awesome and absolutely terrifying.

 

dc942

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #942

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Andy MacDonald
Cover art: Rafael Albuquerque

What it is: ‘NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN’ part six! The earth-shaking finale is here! Batman’s going one-on-one with Hugo Strange, the mastermind behind the beasts unleashed on Gotham?but the biggest and most dangerous of all the monsters was saved for last! What will the Bat-Family have to sacrifice to bring it down? And what’s the strange secret behind Hugo’s design?

Why we like it: So technically I’m buying this issue for the conclusion to the Night of the Monster Men crossover, which I have been loving, but this Albuquerque variant cover is too dynamic to not spotlight.

 

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 8/10/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the net that quite frankly my dear, doesn’t give a crank. Boston Comic Con is this weekend and while nerds across the start get ready for the ball, the big story this week is that my home has been invaded by flies. Fruit flies mostly, and a lot of them. Like an insane amount. Fortunately in my hour of desperation, the internet, as it always does, delivered salvation. Apparently all it takes to trap a ton of fruit flies is a used lemon wedge, a paper cup, saran wrap and a rubber band. For a species so proficient at multiplying, they sure aren’t very smart.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

V10

The Top of the Pile: Vision #10

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

What it is: Tragedy has come to the Vision family. While those around him mourn, Vision plans for revenge, a revenge that will send him into a deadly confrontation with the heroes of the Marvel Universe. As the saga of Vision and his family draws closer to its world-shaking conclusion, don’t miss out on the series everyone is talking about!

Why we love it: If you didn’t see this pick coming then you haven’t been paying close attention. Only 3-issues left and you know that things don’t end well for the Visions. Vision has been a sensational ride so far and I really hope it sticks the landing. Tom King’s 12-issue run could go down as one of the most important comics written in this generation.

 

NSM2

The Mainstream one: New Super-man #2

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

What it is: ‘Made in China’ part two! The New Super-Man must face off against the Justice League of China. When Kenan Kong was imbued with the powers of Superman, he didn’t waste any time using them! Now it’s up to the New Bat-Man and New Wonder-Woman of his home country to bring our hero back down to earth-just in time to stop the attack of the deadly Sunbeam!

Why we like it: I’m really looking forward to reading this Wednesday. Issue #1 was a good setup issue even before it introduced China’s Batman and Wonder Woman. Issue #2 will mark the first full appearance of the Chinese Trinity, or as I am referring to them as, the Chrinity. But is “New” how DC is going to preface all their Chinese super-heroes? Sort of like how once-upon-a-time every black DC superhero was named “Black” something; Black Lightning, Black Racer, Black Manta, Black Canary (maybe not that last one). Chinese civilization is 4000 years old, there’s nothing new about it.

 

BMM1

The Indie One: The Black Monday Murders #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Tomm Coker

What it is: ‘MAMMON’ ALL HAIL GOD MONEY! A new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. The Black Monday Murders is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels who control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep ALL OF US in our proper place.

Why we like it: I swore to myself that I would never jump on another Hickman indie title at #1 after The Dying and the Dead was abandoned after just 3 sensational issues. I promised that I would trade wait him and make him earn my patronage. But I got half way through the synopsis and knew this was being added to my pull immediately. Damn you, Johnathan Hickman. I wish I knew how to quit you.

 

ASBM1

The #1 One: All Star Bat-man #1 (Jock variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: John Romita

What it is: ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ part one! Superstar writer Scott Snyder explodes into an all-new Batman series alongside legendary artist John Romita Jr., reimagining some of the Dark Knight’s greatest villains. First up: Two-Face! Batman must take Two-Face to a destination out of Gotham City, but the duplicitous villain has a two of spades up his sleeve. Every assassin, bounty hunter and ordinary citizen with something to hide is on their tails with one goal: kill Batman! Handcuffed together on the road to hell, this is Batman and Two-Face as you’ve never seen them before!

Why we like it: The masterful Scott Snyder makes his return to Batman with a dive into the Caped Crusader’s rogue gallery. Two-Face is a classic Bat-villain who never really get much page-time during Snyder’s New 52 run. Looks like he’ll have his turn to shine on Snyder and Romita Jr’s much anticipated debut issue for All-Star Batman. While I’m not the biggest fan of JRJR’s covers, I think he will be effective with his interior artwork. Fortunately there’s an amazing Jock variant which makes this book an insta-pickup.

 

DV24

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Darth Vader #24 (Action figure variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Salvador Larroca
Cover art: John Tyler Christopher

What it is: Vader is lost in his inner mindscape, lost in visions of the Force! Is he truly more machine now than man? Or can he fight his way back from the brink?

Why we like it: Only two issues left in the epic Darth Vader series and it looks as though s for the end. Issue #23 gave us everyone’s favorite homicidal astrodroid, BT-1. This week brings us Bee Tee’s counterpart, the sociopathic protocol droid 0-0-0, or Triple Zero as he’s referred to affectionately by friends.

 

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 7/20/2016

Greetings fellow freaks and geeks and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that understands that with great crank there must also come great responsibility. Tragedy followed bloody tragedy and the seemingly endless pattern of violence and hate continued to spread last week. The world sure feels like a dangerous place right now and people are scared. Stay safe wherever you are, read something engaging and learn something new. The most effective weapon against ignorance is knowledge.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

MD21

The Top of the Pile: Manifest Destiny #21

Publisher: Image
Words: Chris Dingess
Art: Matthew Roberts

What it is: ‘SASQUATCH,’ Part Three Don’t bother shooting. Just run.

Why we love it: Manifest Destiny’s American frontier hides many horrors for our intrepid band of explorers, the likes of which have never been seen by the civilized world. This week Lewis and Clark and company come face to foot with the undisputed king of cryptozoology, Sasquatch.

 

BM3

The Mainstream One: Batman #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I AM GOTHAM’ Chapter Three: Batman and Gotham strike out together to get to the bottom of the mysterious attacks against the city. Could this novel and headstrong new hero be everything Gotham City needs…at the cost of the Dark Knight?

Why we like it: Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Snyder’s epic New 52 run, especially those early Court of Owl issues, but Tom King’s Batman has been just good, not great. Still we’re only two issues in and Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the old saying goes. I had high hopes for this relaunch and I still have hope that this series will find its footing sooner or later. Hopefully sooner, rather than later.

 

OOL1

The Indie One: Once Our Land

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words and Art: Peter Ricq

What it isAn amazing debut comic from a visionary new creator! Once Our Land is a post-apocalyptic tale set in 1830s Germany. It is the tale of two survivors, Ingrid and Fritz, as they battle each day against mysterious invaders that have surfaced and wiped out everything they once knew. A fantasy, sci-fi, period, and action story rolled into one epic package, Once Our Land is destined to be an all-ages classic!

Why we like it: The art looks gorgeous and while the book appears to be geared towards younger readers, the writer was heavily influenced by the monsters of H.P. Lovecraft. I’m really looking forward to reading this on Wednesday. 

 

SG1

The #1 One: Snot Girl #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Art: Leslie Hung

What it is: WHO IS LOTTIE PERSON? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? Enter a world of snot, blood, and tears in this new ongoing series from New York Times Best Seller Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim) and dazzling newcomer Leslie Hung!

Why we like it: I haven’t read Scott Pilgrim nor have i seen the movie. I didn’t even realize this was the same writer until just now. I read a preview for Snot Girl in ImagePlus magazine and found it oddly charming, Digging Snot Girl for the manga-inspired artwork and the sheer weirdness factor.

 

DV23SQ21

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Darth Vader #23 and Start Wars #21

Publisher: Marvel
Cover Artists: John Tyler Christopher and David Aja

Why we like them: Here’s a duo of fantastic Star Wars related covers. The Darth Vader action figure variant features our favorite kill-droid, the murderous and always hilarious BT-1. David Aja continues his recent domination of Ones I’m Buying for the Cover with a variant which needs to be on a poster or at very least a t-shirt. I couldn’t pick between the two, so you’re getting both. You are welcome.

 

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 2/8/2016

The Top of the Pile: Batman #49

 

BM49

Publisher: DC

Words: Scott Snyder

Art: Greg Capullo

It is time. Bruce Wayne has reclaimed his true past as Batman. Now he must descend into the cave and face what he once was. Can he truly leave behind a life free from the pain and anguish of the Bat? Can he plunge once more into the madness and purpose that once consumed him? In this special, thrilling issue, watch as the fate of Bruce Wayne, and Batman, is decided once and for all.

This week’s Batman will likely be read directly off the rack, and though it may never get there physically, it’s the undisputed top of the pile.  Snyder and Capullo’s epic Batman New 52 run will come to an end in just two months. This week’s issue #49 is the penultimate issue in the pulse pounding Super Heavy story arc. I had my doubts about the Batman series after Convergence. Bat-Gordon? A Bat-bot? A flower-man and his seedling army? These sounded more like Silver Age Batman story lines. I was worried that Snyder had run out of Bat tales (do bats have tails?) and risked spoiling what had otherwise been a phenomenal run. After the last two issues, my worries and doubts are gone. This arc has been outstanding, right up there with Court of Owls in terms of building the Batman mythology. If you’re not caught up, now’s the time. #50 next month is going to be huge.

 

The Mainstream One: Old Man Logan #2

 

OML2

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Andrea Sorrentino

For Old Man Logan, home is a wasteland in the distant future, one overridden by hillbilly Hulks who extort and torture civilians for fun. But now, mysteriously finding himself in the present, Logan is hellbent on preventing that future from coming to pass. And the best way to keep the Hulk population from surging in the future is to eliminate them altogether in the present…starting with Amadeus Cho, the Totally Awesome Hulk!

The first issue was crazy and certainly lived up to expectations. After we got past the ham fisted exposition, the rest of the issue was filled with a dark and violent story. The Old Man’s healing abilities are back and he’s got a hit list an arm’s length long. His plan: to save the future. The next name brings Logan face to face with another newly revamped Marvel character, the Totally Awesome Hulk. It’s a classic Hulk vs Wolverine fight with a new twist!

 

The Indie One: Gutter Magic #2 (of 4)

 

GM2

Publisher: IDW

Words: Rick Douek

Art: Brett Barkley

A showdown at the Goblin Market puts Cinder and Blacktooth on the path to tracking down their quarry – but the necromantic sorceress known as the Morgue wants Cinder’s head, even if she has to threaten his family to get it. Fans of Harry Potter and Sin City will love this genre-bending caper that brings magic down to the gritty streets of New York!

There are so many good books out from Image this week (Low, Black Science, Descender, Autumnlands, Spread, No Mercy) that I couldn’t pick one. So I went with a new mini-series by a different publisher, Gutter Magic from IDW. The first issue of Gutter Magic was impressive in its execution. The dialogue was crisp and the art and action uncluttered. The hook was an interesting satire of political-economics, in which magic, not money, wielded power. Gutter Magic feels like a world that reaches beyond its panels, one that I will be happy to explore for 3 more issues.

 

The #1 One: Jonesy #1

 

J1

Publisher: Boom

Words: Sam Humphries

Art: Caitlin Rose Boyle

Jonesy is a self-described ‘cool dork’ who spends her time making zines nobody reads, watching anime, and listening to riot grrrl bands and 1D simultaneously. But she has a secret nobody knows. She has the power to make people fall in love! Anyone. With anything. She’s a cupid in plaid. With a Tumblr. There’s only one catch-it doesn’t work on herself. She’s gonna have to find love the old-fashioned way, and in the meantime, figure out how to distract herself from the real emotions she inevitably has to face when her powers go wrong…

Boom studios has scored a few hits recently, gaining attention for quality girly books like Lumber Janes and Giant Days. Is Jonesy next?

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Darth Vader #16

 

DV16

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Kieron Gillen

Art: Salvador Larocca

Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

NEW STORY ARC! The planet Shu-Torin (introduced in the Darth Vader Annual) is revolting. Darth Vader is tasked with leading a military assault. Has Vader’s rise to glory begun? 

I’m trying not to buy every Star Wars comic that comes out, and just trade-wait the series, but they keep finding ways to get me. This is the most bad-ass Darth Vader cover from the series. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

 

Carpe Comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 1/6/2016

Salutations comic book fans, and welcome to the first episode of the Crank File for 2016. It’s the start of the new year and like many collectors, a part of my resolutions list includes comics that I will be targeting to purchase in the coming year (the top of my want list, for those of you interested, is a mid-grade copy of Avengers #4).  Having goals is an essential part of any good collection. Impulsively collecting everything that catches your fancy is a great way to accumulate a lot of stuff, but without focus and direction you’ll find a good chunk of  your money going towards random pieces and then not having funds for the key pieces or sets that would really add value, whether monetary or sentimental, to your collection.  Take a moment to assess your collection, identify a few pieces or trends that you want to get into in 2016 and then do lots and lots and lots of research. Determine a price range that you can afford and then come up with a budget to help you save up for it. Collecting should be rewarding, and there is nothing more rewarding then getting exactly what you want, for a price that you are comfortable paying. If setting collecting goals wasn’t on your resolution list in 2015, I hope that it’s there in 2016.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Star Wars #14

 

SW14

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jason Aaron

Art: Mike Deodato

VADER DOWN, PART FIVE CHEWBACCA VERSUS BLACK KRRSANTAN! What else do you need? Marvel’s first Star Wars event continues! 

 

Darth Vader #15

 

DV15

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Kieron Gillen

Art: Salvador Larroca

VADER DOWN: THE CONCLUSION! Luke Skywalker–captured by the Empire! Darth Vader–beset by enemies on all sides! The finale of the biggest Marvel Star Wars story yet!

There has indeed been an awakening in the force. Fresh off complete domination at the box office, Star Wars returns to comics with not one, but two concluding issues to the incredible cross-over miniseries, Vader Down. There’s no stopping the Star Wars empire right now and these two books will undoubtedly be among the best sellers this week.

 

The Mainstream One: Spiderman Deadpool #1 (Del Mundo variant)

 

SMD1

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Joe Kelly

Art: Ed McGuiness

BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! The Webbed Wonder and the Merc with a Mouth are teaming up for their first ongoing series EVER! It’s action, adventure and just a smattering of (b)romance in this episodic epic featuring the WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER HERO and the star of the WORLD’S GREATEST COMICS MAGAZINE. Talk about a REAL dynamic duo! 

Marvel’s two greatest wisecrackers finally get their own team-up series, and I’m guessing that it’s going to be hysterical. Marvel is bringing in the creative team that was largely responsible for Deadpool’s current popularity. In 1997, Kelly and McGuiness defined the character and what we typically now think of as Deadpool during their run on his first solo series. They’re back with more insane adventures for everybody’s favorite, smelly merc and his wall-crawling pal, Spidey. (Did you notice that the title is not “Deadpool Spiderman”? Spiderman takes second billing to no one!)

 

The Indie One: Fade Out #12

 

FO12

Publisher:  Image

Words: Ed Brubaker

Art: Sean Phillips

SERIES CONCLUSION It all ends here! The dramatic wrap-up to the mystery and to Brubaker and Phillips best-selling and most ambitious project yet!

I was not expecting to enjoy The Fade Out as much as I did. The end of its run will leave a void in my pull box that is unlikely to be filled by another title. Unlike 99% of comics, there were no supernatural forces at play here. No special powers or abilities. No rogue technology, no zombies. No secret magic and no hidden evil besides what already lies within the hearts of men. The Fade Out is all about well-developed characters and plot twists that will read like a movie in trade paperback format. Don’t attempt to jump on this one, you have to begin at the start, but definitely don’t miss it.

 

The #1 One: Swamp Thing #1

 

ST1

Publisher: DC

Words: Len Wein

Art: Kelly Jones

Swamp Thing returns in an all-new series written by his co-creator, legendary writer Len Wein! Swamp Thing has received an ominous warning, and now he finds himself under attack from the forces of dark magic. These are more than just your average monsters-and there’s something much worse looming on the horizon for Alec Holland!

Swamp Thing is on my all-time, top-5 list of comic book heroes from the big two. Plus, one of Swamp Thing’s original creators, Len Wein, is back on writing duties. This one is a no-brainer.

 

The Ones I’m Buying for the Covers: A-Force #1 (Hughes Hip Hop variant)

 

AF1

Publisher: Marvel

Words: G. Willow Wilson

Art:  Jorge Molina

A-FORCE, ASSEMBLE! From the ashes of Battleworld, Marvel’s newest hero SINGULARITY has risen and entered the Marvel Universe. But she didn’t make the journey alone. To combat the most fearsome threats from across the multiverse, Singularity will summon the world’s mightiest team of Avengers to her side: SHE-HULK. CAPTAIN MARVEL. DAZZLER. MEDUSA. NICO MINORU. Together, they are A FORCE to be reckoned with! 

This gorgeous Adam Hughes cover also features Marvel’s cleverest hip hop cover swipe yet, “Straight Outta Comics!” a play-on NWA’s breakout album “Straight Outta Compton”.

 

Detective Comics #48 (Adult coloring book variant)

 

DC48

Publisher: DC

Words: Peter J. Tomasi

Art:  Marcio Takara

In the wake of the Robin War and globe-hopping with the Justice League, Jim Gordon is looking forward to getting back to what he, and Batman, do best: taking out crime in Gotham City. But lurking in the shadows at home is a case from Jim’s past that may decide the future of Batman

The marketing department over at DC had me directly in their sights when they cooked up this “adult coloring book” variant campaign. I will be purchasing two copies of Detective Comics #48. One cover will be given a complete, psychedelic crayon treatment, while the other copy will be carefully preserved in bag with a board in pristine condition. I’m also reading just about all of the current Bat books as we approach issue #50, which I suspect will be when we see the return of Bruce Wayne as Batman.

 

Carpe Comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 12/23/2015

Happy holidays comic book fans. This time of year always get crazy hectic and a light week of new books is a welcome relief from too much yuletide spirit. Christmas came early for geek nation as the new Star Wars movie launched to almost universal acclaim. The Force Awakens death starred all previous records for opening weekend box office sales and the world breathed a communal sigh of relief. There’s no real secret recipe at work here, it’s a beloved franchise that consistently delivers high-quality product to its rabid fan base.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: The Dark Knight Returns III #2 (Jim Lee Variant)

 

 

DK32

Publisher: DC

Words: Frank Miller

Art: Andy Kubert

DKIII #1 delivered a strong premiere issue for the miniseries. The action and storytelling felt focused and the shocking ending to issue #1 promises a completely original Bat story and I’m totally in for the ride. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read DKIII #1 and you plan on reading this series at some point. Do not read the following description and avoid looking at the regular cover to issue #2 if you don’t want to ruin the surprise.

The unexpected finale to the Dark Knight saga continues as Carrie Kelly gets caught…that is, she finds herself…she gets into—well, you’re just going to have to read it yourself.

 

 

The Mainstream One:  Darth Vader #14

 

DV14

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Kieron Gillen

Art: Salvador Larocca

VADER DOWN, PART FOUR Han & Luke take on Vader’s forces…and more? Meanwhile…Leia makes a hard decision.

Unquestionably, Star Wars rules the pop-culture galaxy. Need proof? Currently, Marvel’s Star Wars comics franchise accounts for about 10% of all comics sold each month. Darth Vader is my favorite Star Wars comic series out now, and the whole gang is reunited as the Vader Down crossover approaches critical mass.

 

 

The Indie One:  Saga #32

 

s32

Publisher: Image

Words: Brain K. Vaughan

Art: Fiona Staples

Marko and Alana learn something.

No surprise to anyone, Saga is back with a new arc and back in my pull pile. This modern space opera continues to be my hands down favorite ongoing series.

 

 

The #1 One: Patsy Walker Hellcat #1 (Sophie Campbell variant)

 

HC1

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Kate Leth

Art: Brittney Williams

Patsy Walker has managed to escape her past, her enemies and Hell itself (literally), but nothing compares to job hunting in New York City! Between trying to make rent and dodging (literal) bullets, Patsy barely has time to deal with her mother’s exploitative romance comics about her childhood resurfacing, much less how they start to interfere with her work and dating life. As she goes from living a double life to a triple, what the Hell is Patsy Walker supposed to do? Raise your (literal) claws for Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat!

Actress Rachael Taylor’s depiction of Patsy Walker on the Netflix Jessica Jones show helped revitalize this classic character with an all-new, all-different kind of vibe. Digging this Campbell variant, even though it’s not by that Campbell.   

 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Superman #47 (Harley’s Little Black Book variant)

SM47

Publisher: DC

Words: Gene Luen Yang

Art: Howard Porter

Cover Art: Lee Bermejo

What would happen if the powers of all of Superman’s foes were contained in one villain? You’ll find out when you meet the Amalgam of Composite Superman Foes-and this is one nightmare a semi-powered Man of Steel may not survive! Join series writer Gene Luen Yang and guest artist Howard Porter for an unforgettable new epic! This issue features open-to-order variant covers by Lee Bermejo that will be shipped in opaque polybags.

I think the cover speaks for itself.

 

The Speculation One: New Avengers #4

NA4

Publisher: Marvel

Words: Al Ewing

Art: Gerardo Sandoval

Out beyond the nether dark lurks… Moridun, Master Magus of the Fifth Cosmos! He’s not just an evil wizard – he’s an evil Space Wizard! But when the space dust settles, who will be… the King of Space? Seriously, everything’s cooler in space. How cool will the New Avengers be in space? THEY WILL BE PRETTY COOL!

The first appearance of a new cosmic villain, Moridun, a character who looks suspiciously similar to the classic Lovecraftian nightmare, Cthulhu.

 

 

Carpe Comics!