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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/15/2016

Welcome back for another episode of the Crank File. The undisputed winner from last week was Deadpool. My girlfriend and I saw it on Valentines day and we both enjoyed the hell out of it. The world’s smelliest mercenary absolutely killed it on the big screen, grossing an estimated $150 million dollars on its opening weekend. The success of Deadpool will force studios to seriously consider the viability of producing more R-rated superhero films. How awesome would an R-rated Punisher or Spawn movie be?

There is already speculation that Cable’s appearance in the Deadpool sequel could be the setup for a darker, violenter X-Force movie.  Cable’s first appearance in New Mutants #87 is already getting out of the average collector’s price range, but it you’re looking for more affordable, alternative Cable keys, New Mutants #86 is Cable’s first cameo appearance and he also appears as a baby Nathan Summers in Uncanny X-men #201. Both issues can still be had for less than $10. Happy hunting.

 

The Top of the Pile: None 🙁

Sadly this week is looking very light and for the first time in long time, nothing jumps out at me as top-of-the-pile worthy. My wallet is happy but my heart weeps.

 

The Mainstream One: Extraordinary X-Men #7

 

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Publisher: Marvel

Words : Jeff Lemire

Art: Humberto Ramos

As one team of X-Men stages a daring rescue mission in Weirdworld, another team stages one in the psyche of their teammate! Something happened to Nightcrawler that left his mind in turmoil. Determined to bring their friend back to sanity, Storm and Jean Grey enter his mind but are they prepared for what awaits them there? Meanwhile, Old Man Logan, Colossus, Iceman and Magik discover just who it is they’re on a mission to rescue in the wilds of Weirdworld and the truth might tear the team apart!

The stakes keep getting raised in my favorite X-book to emerge post reboot. I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve seen from Lemire and Ramos’ Extraordinary X-Men so far. We’re still waiting to be filled in about exactly what Cyclops did to piss off an entire species, hopefully more clues to that mystery to that will be revealed in this issue.

 

The Indie One:  Devolution #2

 

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Publisher: Dynamite

Words: Rick Remender

Art: Jonathan Wayshak

The road to salvation is lined with Nazi hillbillies and Neanderthals. Raja finds that trusting people is a bad idea. Check out the thrilling new series that Rick Remender (Black Science, Deadly Class) describes as ‘a heavy dose of high-octane action, character drama, a world of strange reverse mutations, and social commentary – as we follow the last tribe of humans inoculated from the devolution agent as they set out on a desperate journey to try to find a way to re-evolve life on Earth.

I thought issue #1 of Devolution was a decent debut, although not so amazed that I was excited about issue #2. However I’ve found myself enjoying a lot of Remender’s independent work, so Devolution gets the benefit of the doubt for a few more issues. I’m really digging the artwork, and I think Devolution has tons of potential if Remender can find his voice on this series.

 

The #1 One: Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1

 

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Publisher: Marvel

Words: Nick Spencer

Art: Mark Bagley

The prelude to the Spring’s blockbuster AVENGERS event! Hello there and welcome, new resident. You’ve sure made the right choice in moving to Pleasant Hill– a friendly small town where burdens are lifted and the sun is always bright… so hide your eyes. Don’t let it see you looking its way. Hide if you must. Otherwise it will burn right through you. Pleasant Hill is the kind of place where folks look out for one another. Everyone knows who their neighbors are. But who are you, neighbor? 

This spring is going to be all about Steve Rogers over at Marvel. The original star-spangled superhero is celebrating his 75’th anniversary this year, but as most fans know, Sam Wilson has been standing in as Captain America for the past year. This clearly didn’t jive for the marketing folks at Marvel and the Pleasant Hill event is rumored to be the start of Roger’s journey towards resuming the mantle of Captain America.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Uncanny Inhumans #5

 

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Publisher: Marvel

Words: Charles Soule

Art: Brandon Peterson

‘THE QUIET ROOM’ STARTS NOW! Black Bolt’s new place is a fascinating curiosity that could very well put all the Marvel Universe in a tight spot. 

Brandon Peterson takes over on pencils and immediately makes his presence known with this stunning Black Bolt cover.

Carpe Comics!

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What I’m Reading This Week 1/20/2016

The Top of the Pile: Batman #48

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Publisher: DC

Words: Scott Snyder

Art: Greg Capullo

Mr. Bloom’s seeds have grown into an army that may turn all of Gotham City against its new Batman. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne meets a mysterious stranger who could start a chain of events no one can stop

The last issue of Batman ended on an insane cliffhanger. Bat Gordon was being ambushed by a group of Mr. Bloom’s horrifying monsters when we abruptly cut to an amnesiac Bruce Wayne, who is just beginning to remember a deep dark secret. As Bruce sits on a park bench, pondering the conflict raging within his heart, a man takes a seat next to him and strikes up a philosophical conversation. A man who looks and acts very much like an amnesiac Joker. Snyder and Capullo are building up to something huge as their memorable run on Batman approaches issue #50.

The Mainstream One: Star Wars #15

 

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Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jason Aaron

Art: Mike Mayhew

FROM THE JOURNALS OF OBI-WAN KENOBI Another tale of Obi-Wan’s exile on Tatooine! Owen Lars took Luke in…but he refused to let Ben be part of his life. Why? What trouble could have been stirred up by Ben protecting Luke?

I had planned on dropping my Star Wars books from my pull list after Vader Down concluded and trade waiting the rest of the series, but looks like Star Wars Jedi mind tricked me into at least one more. These tales from Obi-wan’s journal provide insight into Luke’s early life and I’ve been desperately hoping that they will also reveal how Luke receives the training that takes him from just feeling the force to using it.

 

The Indie One: Nowhere Men #7

 

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Publisher: Image

Words: Eric Stephenson

Art:  Jordie Bellaire

The Eisner-nominated series returns with the first of six all-new issues. Featuring thirty-two pages of story and no ads for $2.99, the second story arc picks up right where the volume one trade paperback left off and will ship monthly through May 2016.

Nowhere Men was a comic book series that originally came out in 2012. It centers on a fictional world where a group of four of the world’s top scientists make discoveries which have huge cultural influences on the world, creating a society where science is the new Rock-N-Roll. A smart and cool sci-fi story, Nowhere Men was an immediate hit and was nominated for 4 Eisners during it’s first run. Then artist Nate Bellegarde’s personal life hit a rough patch, and disruptions with his work caused the series to eventually be put on long term hiatus. After almost 4 years away, Nowhere Men is making its triumphant return and I couldn’t be more excited. Let’s hope the band sticks together for more than one arc this time.

 

The #1 One:  Devolution #1

 

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Publisher: Dynamite

Words: Rick Remender

Art: Jonathan Wayshak

Every living creature on Earth has been devolved – the evolutionary clock turned back, reverting all life to odd mutations and prehistoric incarnations. The cities of man are little more than bloody territories ruthlessly dominated by tribal Neanderthals ruling from the backs of mammoths, packs of saber-toothed tigers, and giant man-eating insects. Writer Rick Remender (Black Science, Fear Agent), artist Jon Wayshak (The Authority), and colorist Jordan Boyd (Ant-Man, Planet Hulk) take you on a journey with the last band of ‘Still Sapien’ humans in the hope of locating an antidote and re-evolving the human race.

I’m currently enjoying almost all of Remender’s independent series, and I love quite a few of them. Slated for a 5 issue mini-series, Devolution sounds like a solid premise to showcase his grim criticisms of modern society and meditations on the value of suffering and hope. There’s a preview available on Comic Book Resources and the artwork looks absolutely dope.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover:  Captain Marvel #1 (Adam Hughes Variant)

 

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Publisher: Marvel

Words: Tara Butters

Art: Kris Anka

Face front, true believers! The Captain has made her return and oh, how mighty it is. It’s a bold new frontier for Carol Danvers as she soars to new heights in her greatest mission yet–leader of the all-new Alpha Flight space program. Yup, Alpha Flight. As earth’s first line of defense, Carol and her team aim to protect the planet from extraterrestrial threats. But can Carol be a soldier and a diplomat? Especially when an unknown enemy emerges that Carol can’t quite punch. The superstar team behind Marvel’s Agent Carter television series, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, make their comics debut alongside the awesomely-talented Kris Anka

Personally I don’t think that it’s AH!’s best work, but it’s a 1:25 variant and Hughes #1 variants typically do well in the secondary market. If Marvel sticks to its movie development plans and actually make a Captain Marvel movie starring Carol Danvers, this cover will be highly sought after. You’re better off trying to grab one now at a reasonable price.

 

Last Week’s Leftovers: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0

 

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Publisher: Boom

Words: Kyle Higgins

Art:  Daniel Bayliss

It’s Morphin Time! The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers make their BOOM! Studios comic debut in this kick-off #0 issue that sets the stage for the rest of the series. After escaping Rita Repulsa’s mind control, Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger, joins up with the rest of the Power Rangers to combat her never-ending evil plans. Any semblance of a normal life is gone for Tommy now, but with his newfound family there lies hope for a brighter path. Includes the short story from the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics!

While everyone was busy hunting down Walking Dead and Silk variants, Power Rangers #0 came out of nowhere and ended up being the hottest book of the week. The 1:50 Green Ranger variant is selling for over $150 and the 1:100 White Ranger variant has a few completed sales of $300. While it is unlikely that you will find either of the ratio variants left on your local comic shop shelves, sets of all 5 regular covers are selling steadily for $50 and the Red Ranger cover alone is moving at $15. Probably not a good bet as a long-term hold, but there’s definitely flip potential here if you can find them at cover price.

 

Carpe Comics!