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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 – September 4, 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: Thanos Legacy #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Gerry Duggan

What it is: ‘THANOS WINS’…AGAIN? Rising star Donny Cates returns to the Mad Titan to bring the story bridging the gap between his best-selling ‘Thanos Wins’ and the world-shattering INFINITY WARS! How did Thanos’ journey back from the future lead to the events of INFINITY WARS PRIME? Now it can be told! Rated T+

Why we love it: Marvel has clearly found a cash cow and they are milking every last drop. Donny Cates is back to his old tricks with more stories spinning out of his acclaimed ‘Thanos Wins’ run. What dastardly deeds does he have planned for Thanos this time? And will his good buddy Cosmic Ghost Rider make an appearance?

The Mainstream One: Avengers #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Ed McGuinness

What it is: FEATURING GHOST RIDER 1,000,000 BC! If you thought you knew the beginnings of the Marvel Universe, you were wrong! Odin and his Prehistoric Avengers represent a period of Marvel history that’s never been explored. That exploration begins this issue with the origin of the very first Ghost Rider, one who rides a flaming woolly mammoth and battles a savage and familiar foe! Rated T+

Why we like it: If I read that correctly, this is a caveman possessed by the spirit of the Ghost Rider that rides a flaming woolly mammoth into battle. Sometimes you can’t tell if Marvel is even trying anymore.

The Indie One: Spawn #289

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: The countdown to the giant-sized 300th issue begins here! Spawn catches his first victim as he continues to search for the men responsible for his wife’s death.

Why we like it:  For the first time in 20 years, I’ve got Spawn  on my pull list. I started picking up this title again when Francesco Mattina began his run on covers. It’s definitely not the Spawn of the 90’s but it’s still a fun read. 

The #1 One: The Dreaming #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Simon Spurrier
Art: Bilquis Evely

What it is: From the upheaval of THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1 rises THE DREAMING-a kingdom in chaos. There is a place where stories are born. Today its walls lie slashed and bleeding. Dream has abandoned his realm, and until he is found, its residents must protect its broken borders alone. But the most senior storysmiths are tormented by invasive secrets, the warden Lucien is doubting his own mind-and beyond the gates something horrific waits with tooth and talon. Only Dora, the monstress, finds opportunity in madness, stealing dreams for the highest bidder. But she has no idea how deep the danger lies. Meanwhile, in Dream’s gallery, something new is growing…

Why we like it: The Dreaming was a bit dull and not at all what I was expecting. I mean Dream was hardly in it. And it’s looking like more of the same here. I hear Neil Gaiman is plotting the story, so I’m giving this series a long leash.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #35

Publisher: DC
Words: Christopher Priest
Art: Carlo Pagulayan
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: In this corner: Deathstroke, suffering from a traumatic brain injury at the hands of Batman! In the other corner: Batman, with Deathstroke’s knife in his gut! All of this with the feds invading Wayne Manor-and now they’re in the catacombs under the mansion, which lead to the you-know-what-cave! If they’re going to escape, Batman and Slade are going to have to work together.

Why we like it: Mattina makes his second appearance on this week’s list. Truly a master.

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 – April 4, 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: Amazing Spiderman #798

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is: GO DOWN SWINGING Part 2 Dan Slott’s final SPIDER-MAN story continues! The GREEN GOBLIN HAS RETURNED – and he’s exacting his ultimate revenge not only on SPIDER-MAN, but on everyone the wall-crawler loves! Norman Osborn’s offering NO QUARTER, an ultimatum that threatens to finish PETER PARKER once and for all! Rated T

Why we love it: The Red Goblin makes his first appearance in the pages of ASM #798. ‘Nuff said.

The Mainstream One: Batman #44

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘SOMETHING BLUE’! Follow Batman and Catwoman on two separate but parallel paths as their wedding planning kicks into high gear. Selina picks out her dress, and Bruce starts to make arrangements for their new life together-but this being Gotham City, and they being Batman and Catwoman, you can bet that nothing will go as expected!

Why we like it: We’re only a few months away from the much anticipated Bat/Cat wedding day. I doubt many readers actually believe that they will go through with it and I think we’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Writer Tom King excels at infusing the insanity of superhero stories with mundane slice-of-life moments and this Batman run has been his masterpiece.

The Indie One: Spawn #284

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: The re-creation of Spawn’s arch villain THE VIOLATOR…A NEW LOOK! NEW POWERS!

Why we like it: Spawn creator Todd McFarlane returns to resurrect the most well-known, possibly only-known, character from Spawn’s rogue gallery. And it looks like the Violator will be getting an upgrade. Fracesco Mattina is also back with another stunning cover that alone is worth the price of admission. 

The #1 One: Isola #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Brenden Fletcher
Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: Childhood friends BRENDEN FLETCHER (MOTOR CRUSH) and Eisner Award-winning storyteller KARL KERSCHL (Gotham Academy) reunite on the comics page with a breathtaking fantasy adventure two decades in the making! The captain of the Royal Guard has fled the capital city with the Queen of Maar, suffering under the effects of an evil spell. Captain Rook’s only hope of returning Queen Olwyn to her throne and saving the kingdom from impending war lies on an island half a world away-a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead. Featuring lush color work by MSASSYK (Gotham Academy) and letters by ADITYA BIDIKAR (MOTOR CRUSH). Recommended for fans of Studio Ghibli and the work of Hayao Miyazaki.

Why we like it: Cool concept from a stellar creative team.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deathstroke #30

Publisher: DC
Words: Christopher Priest
Art: Carlo Pagulayan
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: ‘Deathstroke vs. Batman’ part one! Beginning this month, a six-issue series-within-a-series featuring the ultimate showdown between DC’s fiercest rivals! When Batman discovers a mysterious package containing DNA test results proving that he is not Damian Wayne’s biological father, the Dark Knight sets his sights on his son’s true father-Deathstroke! But Damian Wayne can’t really be Slade Wilson’s son-can he? And who sent the package-and why? The ultimate custody battle ensues as the World’s Greatest Detective and the World’s Deadliest Assassin clash in this instant classic!

Why we like it: Francesco Mattina joins an exclusive group of creators who have made the Crank File list twice in the same week. He’s making a strong case for being the top cover artist of 2018. The colors and composition of this Deathstroke cover are killer.

 

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