Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – March 21, 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:  The Mighty Thor #705 

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Russel Dauterman

What it is: THE DEATH OF THE MIGHTY THOR Part 6 The epic showdown years in the making finally explodes across the heavens. Thor battles the unstoppable Mangog, with the fate of all Asgardia hanging in the balance. Is Thor willing to pay the ultimate price in order to save the gods? The tragic and heroic story of Jane Foster finally reaches its heart-rending zenith. You knew it was coming. The Death of Thor is here at last. Rated T+

Why we love it: Seems like Jane Foster is losing her battle with cancer. Grab a box of tissues and get ready for the feels.

The Mainstream One: Doctor Strange Damnation #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Syzmon Kudranski

What it is: Wong’s makeshift Midnight Sons (Iron Fist! Blade! Moon Knight! The Scarlet Spider?!) stand against a whole platoon of Ghost Riders! Rated T+

Why we like it: Doctor Strange used his magic to raise Las Vegas up from total annihilation, but he didn’t count on Mephisto bringing a casino and the hoards of hell along with it. Oh yeah, and the Avengers have all been transformed into Ghost Riders under Mephisto’s control.

The Indie One: Descender #28

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: ‘OLD WORLDS,’ Part Two The origins of the Harvesters are finally revealed as we jump back thousands of years to see the dawn of the robotkind and the the secrets of the Ancient Robot and how it connects to Tim-21 in the present. Secrets that have been building since issue one are finally revealed in this shocking new story arc. Each issue in this arc will feature ‘Little Descender’ variant covers by DUSTIN NGUYEN in his ‘Little Robot’ style.

Why we like it: They teased us with the reveal last month, but apparently THIS is the issue where we finally learn the truth about the Harvesters and their connection to Tim-21.

 The #1 One: Weapon H #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Cory Smith

What it is: AWOL Part 1 The Weapon X Program has done it again! At the cost of their own destruction, they’ve completed their biggest and possibly most dangerous experiment yet… With the strength of the Hulk and the rage and claws of Wolverine comes WEAPON H! It’s been some time since Weapon H escaped and destroyed his creators. Now, our hero is on the run, as he tries to escape his mysterious past and seclude himself from the rest of society. But when a new kind of Wendigo threatens the lives of others, will Weapon H be able to shirk his responsibility? Does any of his humanity remain? Only the creative team of Greg Pak (INCREDIBLE HULK) and Cory Smith (X-MEN BLUE) can give you the answers! Rated T+

Why we like it: Marvel’s breakout character of 2017 get his own series with Weapon H #1. Part Wolverine, part Hulk, one hundred percent bad-ass.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batwoman #13

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Fernando Blanco
Cover Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: ‘The Fall of the House of Kane’ part one! After her deadly trip around the world hunting the infamous Many Arms of Death, Batwoman returns to her childhood home in Brussels, the site of her most brutal losses and memories. As the clock begins to tick on a new cycle of violence, Kate must overcome her haunted past to prevent an attack more terrible than any before!

Why we like it: Lee Bermejo gives us one of the best Batwoman covers of all time.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 21, 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 #796

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Mike Hawthorne

What it is: THREAT LEVEL RED Part 3. You’ve watched for months as Norman Osborn has scoured the globe for a cure to the genetic tampering that prevents him from becoming the Green Goblin. IN THIS ISSUE…HE FINDS IT! And it spells the worst kind of trouble for your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man! Rated T

Why we love it: There’s a ton of hype for the first appearance of Red Goblin. So much that Midtown Comics and many other large comic retailers are putting a 1-copy limit per customer on this issue. Whether or not #796 actually marks the first full appearance of the Red Goblin is still in question, but at very least you get a sweet Alex Ross cover.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #681

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 7 Who is Voyager? Valerie Vector, the forgotten founding Avenger, tells all! And a fan-favorite Avenger returns to the fold as the stakes in the battle for Earth become clear! Rated T+

Why we like it: Not much more needs to be said about this series, as Avengers has made it on the list for the last 4 weeks. This week we get the origin if the mysterious new Avenger, Voyager.

The Indie One: Descender #27

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: BRAND-NEW STORYLINE-‘OLD WORLDS,’ Part One! The origins of the Harvesters are finally revealed as we jump back thousands of years to see the dawn of the robotkind and the the secrets of the Ancient Robot and how it connects to Tim-21 in the present. Secrets that have been building since issue one are finally revealed in this shocking new story arc. Each issue in this arc will feature ‘LITTLE ROBOT’ variant covers by DUSTIN NGUYEN.

Why we like it: FINALLY!!! Lemire’s back from his brief stint at Marvel and he’s lighting a fire under Descender by revealing the biggest mystery of the entire series, the secret origins of the Harvesters. I really enjoyed this series when it first launched. I love Lemire’s dialogue and was blown away by Dustin Nguyen’s beautifully rendered water colors, but I dropped Descender sometime in the late teens due to an unfocused narrative. This seems like a great point to jump back in.

 

The #1 One: Doctor Strange Damnation #1 (Javier Garron  Young Guns variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Rod Reis

What it is: The city of sin gets its biggest sinner yet. When Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during SECRET EMPIRE, he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, MEPHISTO! The devilish villain takes the city for himself and sets his sights on the rest of the world. It’s going to take heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat him, but there’s nothing simple about fighting the lord of Hell. Rated T+

Why we like it: Donny Cates might be the hottest writer working for any of the comic publishers right now. Although this title has been overshadowed by Cate’s Thanos run, I have been loving Dr. Strange. The Damnation mini series picks up right after the events of Dr. Strange #385, where Stephen Strange regains the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme from the trickster Loki, and will set the stage for Marvel’s grand plans for 2018. With a new start and a fresh outlook, Damnation is sure to continue shaking up the status quo.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League #39 

Publisher: DC
Words: Rod Reis
Art: Ian Churchill
Cover Art: J. G. Jones

What it is: ‘JUSTICE LOST’ part six! An environmental disaster unites both Justice League teams as Cyborg faces the first test of his leadership while still being overshadowed by Batman. Meanwhile, the Green Lanterns struggle with internal conflicts while being recruited by a mysterious visitor for an unspecified deep-space mission.

Why we like it: At some point J. G. Jones will start getting the recognition he deserves as one of the finest cover illustrators working in the industry. This might be the cover that pushes him into the conversation with other high-profile painters like Mattina or Ross.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 16, 2017

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. It’s looking like a monster week with so many good books out this week. While this is great news to me as a fan, it was not an easy week to make picks. This week’s list required a lot of deliberation and a lot of good books didn’t make the cut. These are the books that did:

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Totally Awesome Hulk #22

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Robert Gill

What it is: ‘WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION’ PART SIX! The Weapon X program’s twisted head scientists have finally completed their magnum opus! Now BATCH H is awake, and it’s MAD AS HELL. Rated T

Why we love it: Batch H makes its debut in the final issue to Weapons of Mutant Destruction. Reading the solicits for Weapon X, this Hulk/Wolverine/cyborg hybrid could be sticking around for a while even after WMD wraps. We get our first good look at him here with another totally awesome cover by Stonehouse.

The Mainstream One: Batman #29

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part five! Batman has done his best to keep the peace, but with neither faction backing down, he may have to choose the lesser of two evils if he wants the violence to end. Will Batman embrace the murderous anarchy of The Joker or the bloody fascism of the Riddler? If he wants to win, he’ll have to choose a side-and either way, he loses.

Why we like it: My guess is that Barman doesn’t embrace either and plays both the Riddler and Joker for chumps and wins. But that’s just my guess. Great series, another of Tom King’s slow burners that is heating up quick.

 

The Indie One: Descender #23

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: ‘RISE OF THE ROBOTS,’ Part Two The new DESCENDER event explodes as Tim-21 makes his daring escape from the clutches of the Hardwire. Meanwhile Andy, Effie, and Bandit are taken prisoner by the UGC until one of them shockingly turns traitor. And deep below the ocean planet of Mata, the final fate of Telsa is revealed.

Why we like it: Rise of the Robots started off with a blast, throwing us some major league plot twists punctuated by deep space action. I can’t wait for the Harvesters to start showing up, and it seems like we could be seeing them sooner than later.

The #1 One: Dark Knights Metal #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: The superstar BATMAN team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo reunite for a massive, universe-spanning event! DARK NIGHTS: THE FORGE and THE CASTING hinted at dark corners of reality that have never been seen till now! Now, as DARK DAYS: METAL begins, the Dark Multiverse is revealed in all its devastating danger-and the threats it contains are coming for the DC Universe! DARK DAYS: METAL is a DC event unlike any other-one that will push Batman, Superman and heroes of the Justice League beyond their limits to take on threats unlike any our world has ever seen! It will take the combined might of the World’s Greatest Heroes as you’ve never seen them before to face what’s coming their way!

Why we like it: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reunited on Batman and it feels so good. I haven’t been overly enthusiastic about this series outside of the creative team, but recent rumors have been hinting at a crossover with Vertigo’s Sandman universe at the end of issue 1. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was released through Vertigo during the late 80’s/early 90’s and is hands down my favorite book of all time, comic or otherwise, so I’m adequately pumped for Metal. There’s a special midnight release Capullo variant cover that I like better than the regular Capullo cover, so I guess it’s going to be a late night.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #27

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art and cover art: Stjepan Sejic

What it is: ‘UNDERWORLD’ part three! Aquaman lives! Threatened by the return of Atlantis’ natural-born ruler, King Rath accelerates his plan to scrub the sunken city of all its ancient magical treasures-but why is he stockpiling magic? Whatever the reason, Rath will need all the firepower he can get when Mera breaks through the barrier surrounding the city!

Why we like it: In an unexpected twist, Stjepan Sejic’s cover A for Aquaman gets the nod over the Josh Middleton cover B. One of the better Mera covers I’ve seen in a while. With her character appearing in both the upcoming Aquaman and Justice League movies, a lot of eyes will be turning to the Queen of Atlantis.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 1/18/2017

Hello comic book likers and welcome to another episode of The Crank File, the only place on the web that judges a comic not by the logo on its cover, but by the content of its pages.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

 

695914_batman-15

The Top of the Pile: Batman #15

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: ‘STREETS AND SWAMPS’! Swamp Thing comes to Gotham City with a mysterious request for Batman-but these longtime allies will have to make up for lost time and work together in order to confront a growing threat that only they can stop!

Why we love it: Some weeks it’s a battle for the top of the pile. This was not one of those weeks. My favorite and second favorite DC characters teaming up for an adventure scripted by my favorite up and coming writer. Too easy.

 

 

g2

The Mainstream One: Gamora #2 (Mattina variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nicole Perlman
Art: Marco Checchetto

What it is: OUT OF TIME AND OUT FOR REVENGE! The story continues as we follow GAMORA to the doomed planet that is UBLIEX. Perched on the brink of a black hole, its inhabitants count down the hours to their planet’s imminent demise as it is swallowed up by the approaching Singularity. Will Gamora find her revenge among the inhabitants of Ubliex before the black hole consumes them all? Or will the citizens of this world – including a doomsday cult, junkie bounty hunters and a young woman with a tremendous destiny – stop her first?

Why we like it: The story digs into Gamora’s past, when she was still Thanos’ daughter and consumed by revenge for the annihilation of her race. Gamora’s on the hunt for her enemy’s last remaining survivor, an innocent baby girl. While the redemption angle isn’t groundbreaking, I was impressed by Chachetto’s gorgeous interiors and Nicole Perlman’s depiction of Gamora’s internal conflict. The Mattina variant is a killer and reminds me of McFarlane’s iconic Hulk #340 cover.

 

 

d18

The Indie One: Descender #18

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: ‘ORBITAL MECHANICS,’ Part Two The cyborg cult known as The Between are hit by a Gnishian attack fleet with only Andy, Driller and Tullis standing between them. Will Andy’s love for Queen Between be enough to save them? One of Decsender’s cast members makes the ultimate sacrifice.

Why we like it: I had been trade waiting Descender for a few arcs, but I flipped through the last issue and decided this book was just too good to continue waiting on. Between his work at Marvel and his indie projects (don’t miss out on Black Hammer annual #1 either, also out this week from Dark Horse) Lemire is completely on top of his game.

 

 

cw1

The #1 One: Curse Words #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Ryan Browne

What it is: ‘THE DEVIL’S DEVIL,’ Part One. A wizard has appeared in New York City, and he’s casting wonderful spells, getting famous, getting rich-it’s great! But it’s not. This wizard has everyone fooled. He is actually an EVIL WIZARD, and EVIL THINGS are on the way. CURSE WORDS is a gonzo modern fantasy, full of darkness, light…and MAGIC.

Why we like it: I heard this one called Lord of the Rings meets Breaking bad, which probably means it’s not as good as either. Slow week for #1’s. But the synopsis sounds interesting enough, so I’ll at least give it a flip through before making an executive decision at the stand.

 

 

cc4

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Clone Conspiracy #4

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Jim Cheung
Cover Art: Gabrielle Dell’Otto

What it is: The darkest Spider-Man story ever gets EVEN DARKER! Doctor Octopus and the Lizard have both been on a tight leash, but decide it’s time to stop playing nice!

Why we like it: Damn Dell’Otto. Dell’otta be hanging in a gallery.

 

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

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 12/16/2015

Greetings nerds and nerdettes and welcome back to another episode of the Crank File. Last weekend I had the pleasure to meet the immensely talented writer and drawer of the hit new Image series Headlopper. Andrew MacLean and his wife (Erin, I think) were at my LCS over the weekend signing books and meeting fans. Super nice couple.  The shop was raffling away a few items and I had my eyes on a signed copy of Rick and Morty #6 featuring a Ball Fondlers variant. I didn’t get the book but I did win this fine sketch of the puckish Gnym.

Gnym

I’m calling it good karma for featuring both issues of Headlopper here and here.

This week is all about the Star Wars and it seems as if comic book publishers took notice. It’s a light week for new books which is too bad for me since I won’t be seeing Star Wars until Tuesday and plan on avoiding the internet and television all weekend. May the force be strong with this one. I just don’t know what I’ll do if I have to relive another Phantom Menace.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Justice League #46 Looney Tunes variant

JL46

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Francis Manapul

‘Darkseid War’ rages on! Wonder Woman and Mister Miracle must rally to find the missing Anti-Monitor, while the rest of the League deals with the consequences of their new, godlike abilities.

The Darkseid Wars has been a great read, a crossover saga for the ages. In this epic battle against Darkseid, DC has flipped the superhero dynamic, turning their flagship characters into actual gods (or in Captain Marvel’s case, different gods). I’ve been a big fan of DC’s Looney Tunes variant month and this cover may be my favorite yet.

 

 

The Mainstream One: Squadron Supreme #1

 

675361_254268492221962f55ce0ade76548343b395479e
Publisher: Marvel
Words: James Robinson
Art: Leonard Kirk

They’re each the sole survivor of a lost Earth and they’ll do anything to protect this one, whether you like it or not. The Squadron Supreme — comprising Hyperion (Avengers), Nighthawk (Supreme Power), Dr. Spectrum (the Great Society), Blur (DP7) and Power Princess — are a team that doesn’t ask permission or what the rules are. To them all that matters is the safety of Earth and if you stand in the way…that’s your problem! Tell that to the Squadron’s first target — Namor, destroyer of Dr. Spectrum’s homeworld, who will have to pay for his crimes…but at what cost to the people of Atlantis?

Spoilerish alert: The Sub Mariner is getting deep sixed (or however deep Atlanteans bury their dead). Marvel is not exactly trying to keep it a secret either, the cover of Squadron Supreme #2 features Hyperion holding Prince Namor’s disembodied head. Although he’s not the most popular Marvel character, the Sub-Mariner is a Silver Age original and one of comic books’ first anti-heroes. His death will certainly be an important event which will cause repercussions. We know that deaths in comics rarely stick for long, but we may not be seeing the Sub Mariner for a while.

 

The Indie One: Descender #8

 

D1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

TIM-21 and his companions are taken to the mind bending home world of the Robot resistance while a long lost figure from Tim’s past emerges but will he be friend or foe?

The last issue of Descender dropped bomb after bomb on the reader, ending with a crazy cliffhanger that let you know that noone is safe. Careful not to get too attached to any of the characters here. I’m loving Descender’s watercolored art style, and Jeff Lemire is proving to be one of the most talented writers in the industry.

 

 

The #1 One: Weirdworld #1

 

WW1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Sam Humphries
Art: Mike Del Mundo

Imagine, being trapped in a world of sword and sorcery. With no sword and sorcery experience to speak of. This is the story of Becca, a girl stuck in Weirdworld, with only one mission: get home alive! Marvel’s own twisted fantasy realm comes alive before your eyes! Barbarians! Wizards! And tricked out sports cars!

Weirdworld was my favorite mini-series to spin out of Marvel’s Secret Wars. I was disappointed to see that Jason Aaron was not writing the ongoing series, but as long as Del Mundo is on artwork then I’m on board for a trip back to Weirdworld. The series will feature a new character Becca, but I’m really hoping Arkon makes an appearance.

 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Superman: American Alien #2

 

SAA2

Publisher: DC
Words: Max Landis
Art: Nick Dragotta

After Smallville experiences its first violent crime in years, teenager Clark Kent is pressured by his best friend Pete Ross to take matters into his own hands in the second issue of Superman: American Alien

A teenage Clark Kent getting his mugshot taken, sporting a black eye and bloody nose?? I need to read the story behind this cover.

 

 

Carpe Comics!