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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 
Words:
James Robinson
Art:
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 24, 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: Detective Comics #991

Publisher: DC
Words: James Robinson
Art: Carmine Giandomenico

What it is: Batman’s newest partner…Two-Face? As Harvey Dent’s persona asserts fragile control over the villain’s psyche, the Dark Knight, Commissioner Gordon and their ally-turned-enemy-turned-ally must work together to stop Kobra’s terrorist attack against Gotham City.

Why we love it: Unlike other members in Batman’s rogues gallery, Harvey Dent was and until this day remains a friend of Bruce Wayne’s, which makes Batman/Two Face stories more dynamic. While Bats is content with battering most of his enemies into submission, he takes a different approach with Two Face, always trying to appeal to the good man trappee inside. It’s a weakness that Two Face is aware of and one that he has been able to exploit. I enjoyed writer James Robinson’s “Batman: Face to Face” and look forward to more of his takes on the Batman-Two Face relationship.

The Mainstream One: Return of Wolverine #2

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Steve McNiven

What it is: Logan is alive again – let’s see if he can stay that way! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: The first issue was intriguing but raised a lot more questions than it answered. I’m just waiting for an explanation for the heat claws. Seriously, wtf is up with those?

The Indie One: Redneck #16

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lissandro Estherrem

What it is: Let’s go to prison! What does a state penitentiary’s most famous inmate have to do with the Bowman family? And what secret is Greg hiding from his dad?

Why we like it: Donny Cates has been on a tear this year. Seems like everything he touched at Marvel turned gold, and his breakout indie series God Country was recently picked up for a media deal. I loved God Country and featured it on the Crank File multiple times, but I honestly think Redneck would be a better property for TV development. It’s a Southern-fried vampire story filled with buckets of violence and engaging characters, sort of like True Blood before it went all faeries.

The #1 One: Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #1 (Jee Hyung varaint)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Seanan McGuire
Art: Rosi Kampe

What it is: A SPIDER-GEDDON TIE IN! What? You thought we were done with Gwen Stacy after the first two landmark volumes of her series?! GET OUTTA HERE. It’s a whole new spin on Gwen and her world of Earth-65, brought to you by none other than SEANAN MCGUIRE & ROSI K?MPE! We pick up with Gwen right where we left her – fighting crime through her home reality, unaware that it sits on the precipice of interdimensional calamity! Someone’s gonna be late to band practice? Rated T+

Why we like it: This is already the 3rd Spider-Gwen #1 since her character first appeared in 2014. Last time she got a #1 was because of Marvel’s Secret Wars reboot, this time it seems just to officially designate her new code-name, Ghost Spider. This name change was a inevitable since she couldn’t call herself Spider-Gwen without someone  eventually figuring out her secret identity.  There are a bunch of variants for this #1, including a nice ArtGerm, but the Jee Hyung variant shown here is the best of the lot.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Moon Knight #200 (Sienkiewicz remastered variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Max Bemis
Art: Paul Davidson
Cover Art: Bill Sienkiewicz

What it is: DARKEST NIGHT! MARC SPECTOR comes face-to-face with his demons! Old enemies return! It’s a celebration of 200 issues of the multifaceted MOON KNIGHT with an oversized anniversary issue you’d be crazy to miss! Rated T+

Why we like it: Sienkiewicz goes back-to-back, with best cover of the week honors two weeks in a row. If you compare his Venom annual cover from last week to this week’s remastered variant (meaning this is recycled artwork from his 1981 Moon Knight run), you can really appreciate the breadth of Sienkiewicz’s artistic talent.

 

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 – August 22, 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: Venom #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Ryan Stegman

What it is: An ancient Klyntar has awakened on Earth, and with it, something has stirred in Eddie Brock’s symbiote. And while Venom would never do anything to hurt Eddie or an innocent person, the ancient symbiote has no such qualms… Rated T+

The Mainstream One: Black Panther #3

Publisher:  Marvel
Words: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art: Daniel Acuna

What it is: THE INTERGALACTIC EMPIRE OF WAKANDA CONTINUES! The rebels make their move! On the verge of liberating the Nameless, T’Challa, M’Baku and Nakia hunt for mysterious artifact that promises to turn the tide. What is the M’Kraan Shard? And will T’Challa find its acquisition worth the cost? Rated T

The Indie One: Black Hammer: Age of Doom #4

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormston

What it is: The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga returns with lots of revelations! All is revealed when Lucy makes her way back to the farm from Dreamland, confronting the mastermind of their current situation. The revelations here will alter the fate of the Black Hammer family forever!

The #1 One: Punisher #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Riccardo Buchielli

What it is: YOU CAN TAKE THE PUNISHER OUT OF THE WAR MACHINE… Punisher no longer has the War Machine armor, but he retained his newly acquired taste for big game, and he’s hungry for more. However, the paths to such perilous pursuits are fraught with dangers bigger than any Frank has faced before, and this lone wolf could use otherworldly help on his way up to the world stage. MATTHEW ROSENBERG continues pushing the boundaries of the Punisher, and now joined by acclaimed artist RICCARDO BURCHIELLI (DMZ, Northlanders), this is the book Punisher fans will be talking about for years to come! Parental Advisory

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #987 

Publisher: DC
Words: Bryan Hill
Art: Miguel Mendonca
Cover Art: Mark Brooks

What it is: Then, the pulse-pounding ‘On the Outside’ storyline hurtles toward its cataclysmic conclusion! Batman has tasked Katana, Black Lightning, the Signal and Orphan (a.k.a. Cassandra Cain) with stopping a rogue operator using alien technology that can crack into any mind on Earth! What does this case have to do with the Brainiac Files seen in JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE #1? And how does Amanda Waller factor in? Guess you’re ‘outside’ of Batman’s circle of trust… for now.

 

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 10/7/2015

Welcome back for another piece from the Crank File. It’s the first week of October and that can only mean one thing, it’s Monster Week ladies and gentlemen. So we’ll dispense with the pleasantries and get right down to business.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50 IDW

 

TMNT50

The epic conclusion to over four-years worth of storylines! The Turtles stand against Shredder for one final battle that will determine the fate of NYC, and the world, for years to come. Co-creator Kevin Eastman’s current Turtles run at IDW has reinvigorated the series and will surely go down as a classic. Turtle power!

 

 

The Mainstream One: Secret Wars #6 Marvel

 

SW6

THE FINAL WAR! Secret Wars finally arrives and I’m a little concerned about how the final 3 issues will play out. The conclusion to Secret Wars kept getting delayed month after month and Marvel couldn’t delay launching their All-New, All-Different Universe. Will the ending to Secret Wars be altered in order to coordinate with Marvel’s company-wide reboot? With how strong the first five issues have been, it would be disappointing if compromises were made with the storytelling for the sake of scheduling. Six variant covers to choose from here but why eat hamburger when you can have steak. Alex Ross is the man!

 

 

The Indie One: Space Riders #4 Black Mask

 

SR4

The most insane comic in the universe returns. This series was solicited as a four issues mini-series and there hasn’t been any news about a second series, so this could be the end. I sure hope not, Space Riders absolutely hooked me with its psychedelic art, sci-fi stylings and general badassery.  The Space Riders have fought space Vikings, survived a vortex of madness, were captured by robot armies, and bore witness to the mind melting majesty of the space gods. Now they must battle new and old enemies united against them. Buckle in for the insane conclusion of “This Vengeful Universe!”

 

 

The #1 One(s): Paper Girls, Batman and Robin Eternal, Amazing Spiderman, Contest of Champions, Doctor Strange, Invincible Iron Man, Jughead

 

PG1BR1ASM1CoCSY1DS1IM!J1

It’s not called Monster Week for nothing. And each one of those Marvel #1’s will have 10-20 variant covers. Thank you Paper Girls for having the decency to release with just one cover. With so many essential #1 issues coming out from Marvel, I wish they had released their Star Wars books, Star Wars #10 and Lando #5, last week when there wasn’t much besides Sandman and DC annuals on the racks. Oh yeah, and there’s an Avengers #0 preview out as well. Dammit Marvel, just shut up and take my money.

 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #45 Monster Variant

 

DK45

This terrifying Bat-ghoul cover brought to you by the brilliant Bill Sienkiewicz. This man’s covers are pee-your-pants scary.

 

Carpe Comics!