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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 6/29/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. I’m fighting a pretty nasty cold this week so we’ll be foregoing the usual banter.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:



The Top of the Pile: Captain America Steve Rogers #2

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Jesus Saiz

What it is: As Steve battles a resurgent Hydra more dangerous than ever before, he must confront a ghost from his past!

Why we love it: Hail Hydra?!?! I have to see where this is going.



The Mainstream One: The Uncanny Inhumans #11

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Carlos Pacheco

What it is: After what Iron Man did in CIVIL WAR II #2, Medusa must act. Inhumans vs. Stark Industries.

Why we like it: The first appearance of the anti-hero Mosaic will be in this issue. Mosaic will be getting his own solo series in October so this will likely be the hot speculation book on Wednesday.



The Indie One: 4 Kids Walk into a Bank #2

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Tyler Boss

What it is: The titular 4 Kids figure out what’s going on… and develop a plan of their own… and eat some pizza.

Why we love it: Dungeons and Dragons meets a Dog Day Afternoon. Issue #1 was funny, geeky and undeniably cool. Glad to see a Black Mask book coming out at a semi-normalish schedule.



The #1 One: Jade Street Protection Services #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Katy Rex
Art: Fabian Lelay

What it is: In this new series that mashes The Breakfast Club with Sailor Moon, Kai, Saba, Noemi, Divya, and Emma are (bad) students at Matsdotter Academy, an elite private school for magical girls. When they all meet for the first time in a totally unfair detention, these punk rock witch delinquents cut class and discover the fates Matsdotter has in store for them are even more sinister than they suspected. With JSPS, the creative team of writer Katy Rex, penciler/inker Fabian Lelay, colorist Mara Jayne Carpenter, and series cover artists Annie Wu and Kiki Jenkins channel Black Mask’s edgy, subversive sensibility into a whipsmart adventure for delinquents young and old.

Why we like it: Because it’s a Black Mask #1.



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Extraordinary X-Men #11

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Humberto Ramos
Cover art: Humberto Ramos

What it is: Trapped one thousand years in the future on a world ruled by the genocidal tyrant Apocalypse, the X-Men are literally mutantkind’s last hope! But in fighting Apocalypse’s newest horsemen, the X-Men’s future is slipping away from them, especially when one of those horsemen is a Wolverine with a Venom symbiote!

Why we like it: It’s Old Man Logan melding with the Venom alien symbiote. Nuff Said.

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 3/14/2016

Greetings and welcome to the Crank File, the only place on the internet where the file cranks you. Marvel teased us with a little Spider-man cameo at the end of the latest Civil War trailer, and it definitely made my web shooters go off. I haven’t been excited about a Spider-man movie in a long time, but that’s as close to a true-to-comics Spidey costume as you’ll get in a movie. And it looks amazing. Spider-man.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Low #12



Publisher: Image

Words: Rick Remender

Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: ‘Shore of the Dying Light’ Part 2 At last Stel Caine reaches the surface, but what she finds there isn’t what she imagined.

Why we love it:  Low is set in a world where centuries ago mankind retreated into the sea to escape the inhospitable conditions on land. But as resources and air start to run thin, humanity is faced with the choice of a slow, under water extinction or reclaiming the land from where it came. After spending eleven issues navigating the dark depths of the ocean, Stel Cain is finally emerging topside and who know’s what our heroine will find there. Greg Tocchini’s use of water-colors throughout this series has been marvelous and I can’t wait to see how it looks when we transition from ocean to land. We’re big Rick Remender fans over here at the Crank File, and Low is probably our favorite of his creator owned work.


The Mainstream One: Extraordinary X-Men #8



Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Ken Lashley

What it is: ‘APOCALYPSE WARS’ STARTS NOW! Mutantkind is an endangered species once more. But what better way to ensure your people see the future?than to skip ahead right to it? As the mutant race’s last hope is jettisoned into the time stream, the Extraordinary X-Men make a startling discovery: the fate of their kind is about to fall into the hands of one of their most formidable adversaries – the immortal APOCALYPSE. Now, the X-Men race into a perilous future, desperate to reclaim what was taken from them?and completely unaware of the horrors that await them.

Why we like it: The buzz surrounding this week’s issue is coming from a panel floating around the internet, showing a new team of horsemen consisting of Colossus, Venom, Moonknight and Deadpool. Anything Deadpool is hot these days, and this book could be in short supply on Wednesday making it a potential short term flip. But honestly, Extraordinary has been a wonderfully written X-Men book and you should be picking it up just for the story.


The Indie One: Clandestino #2


Publisher: Black Mask

Words and Art: Amancay Nahuelpan

What it is: Things heat up for Clandestino as he attacks the military prison where Leena is held before hurtling on a high-octane, action-packed chase. Meanwhile, General Kapala continues laying waste to rebels who threaten his regime. Guns shoot in all directions and no one is safe in this revolutionary thrill-ride by the artist of Young Terrorists.

Why we like it: Clandestino #2 makes the list is because it also marks the return of Black Mask. Last year Black Mask was the little label that could. The darling of indie comics scored big with some of the best titles from 2015, like We Can Never Go Home, Space Riders and Young Terrorists. However the company lost a lot of momentum as long delays in their release schedules resulted in backlash from their fan base. In a recent post, Black Mask announced that they had settled their legal issues which were causing delays and that they would be back putting out kick-ass comics in 2016. With a new series ‘4 Kids Walk into a Bank’ kicking off in April and new issues of Young Terrorists solicited for April and May, I’m hoping for a spectacular come back.


The #1 One: Roche Limit Monadic #1



Publisher: Image

Words: Michael Moreci

Art: Kyle Charles

What it is: Earth is in ruins after the Black Sun’s annihilation of the planet. Now, in the last remaining human city, its inhabitants fight for survival while a chosen few realize that their world may not be what it seems.

Why we like it: The first Roche Limit volume was an unexpected gem. It was dark and philosophical, an intelligent sci-fi comic that made its social commentary without beating you over the head with it. I had planned on trade waiting volume 2 but flipping through the first issue of Roche Limit Clandestiny, I was hooked and immediately added it to my pull list. There’s no apprehension this time around. I’m fully on board for Monadic, the final arc in Roche Limit’s brilliant run.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: International Iron Man #1 (Dell Otto variant)



Publisher: Marvel

Words: Brian Michael Bendis

Art: Alex Maleev

What it is: Who is Tony Stark, really? Since learning that he was adopted as a baby, this question has cast a shadow over Stark’s life. Now, it is time to uncover what his legacy truly is, a journey that will carry Tony into new directions as a man and as a super hero. Alongside his strange new quasi-ally Doctor Doom, Iron Man will discover new things about the Marvel Universe he didn’t know existed before! A character deconstruction from Bendis and Maleev along the lines of their award-winning DAREDEVIL run!

Why we like it: Dell Otto is probably the hottest cover artist at the moment, and while his work hasn’t quite reached the popularity of Adam Hughes or Alex Ross, it won’t be long before he will be among their ranks. I love the classical realism of Dell Otto’s painted art-style and I am happy that this kind of artwork is being recognized and gaining appreciation within the collecting community.


That’s all for this week. Like something that I missed? Leave it in the comments below. Until next time, carpe comics!

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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



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



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



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



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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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 1/25/2016

Hey there guys and dolls, and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Marvel tried to make headlines this week by announcing the return of Steve Rogers as Captain America in May and teasing the immenent resurrection of another major, deceased character.  But DC stole their thunder with a single word, “Rebirth”. After many of DC’s flagship titles reach their 52nd issue, the DC universe will reboot for the second time in 5 years. And while it’s not being officially being called a reboot, it walks like a reboot and quacks like a reboot. In other DC news, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are leaving Batman after issue #51, ending a brilliant 5-year run on the series. No news yet on what their dynamic duo will be working on afterwards, but Snyder has mentioned doing some writing on Detective Comics.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Saga #33



Publisher: Image

Words: Brian K Vaughan

Art: Fiona Staples

Upsher and Doff are back on the case.

We’re three issues into the latest arc and after months of searching, Marko and Alana are finally close to rescuing Hazel! But the situation is more dangerous than ever.Our favorite war correspondents are back this issue, which means we will be taking a peak at the wider world beyond our main protagonists. Fiona Staples delivers a breathtaking cover, definitely one of the best in the series. Is anyone getting sick of seeing Saga at the top of the pile? Me neither. Sagaaaaaa!!!


The Mainstream One: Extraordinary X-Men #6


Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Humberto Ramos

This month, it’s mutants, monsters and…RHINOSAURS?! With the doors of X-Haven thrown open wide to mutantkind, the Extraordinary X-Men continue their mission of providing relief and rescue to any mutant in need. But when they respond to a distress call originating in WEIRDWORLD, are the X-Men in over their heads…or worse, about to lose them?

It’s an X-Men/Weirdworld cross over, and that alone is enough to get me to give this issue a read. Add in the amazing creative talent of Lemire and Ramos and I’m more excited about an X-book than I have been in years. “X-Men… Kick their asses!”


The Independent One: Southern Bastards #13



Publisher: Image

Words: Jason Aaron

Art: Jason Latour

Coach Boss’s Running Rebs face off against their sworn enemy from Wetumpka in the most important game in Craw County history.

I was deliberating long and hard last week between this and Monstress #3. I had written a draft with Monstress #3 penciled in this spot. But after the Patriots loss in Denver on Sunday, the Running Rebs game has become the most important football game of the year for me. Go Rebs! and go Carolina!


The #1 One: Old Man Logan (Mike DeoDato variant)



Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Andrea Sorrentino

Fifty years from now, Logan — the man who no longer calls himself Wolverine — will have endured many atrocities: The Marvel Universe’s villains will have banded together and rid the world of its heroes. Logan’s closest friend, Hawkeye, will have been murdered in cold blood right before his eyes. And driven mad by the same radiation that gave him his superhuman strength, Bruce Banner will have fathered a family of hillbilly Hulks…that eventually went on to slaughter Logan’s wife and two children. But now, in the present, Old Man Logan wakes up to discover himself in a world before these atrocities, before the Wasteland. And he’s going to seize this opportunity and change history to ensure that his future never comes to pass.

From the same creative team that rejuvenated the Green Arrow franchise shortly after the New 52 relaunch, Old Man Logan #1 has a lot going for it. The DeoDato variant is awesome. Lemire’s writing is perfectly suited to a tragic hero like Old Man Logan. And Andrea Sorrentino’s artwork is just, well… see for yourself 


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Grayson #16 (Adult Coloring Book variant)



Publisher: DC

Words: Tim Seeley

Art: Mikel Janin

Armed with new information concerning Spyral’s connections, Dick must seek Tiger’s help to take Spyral down from within. But when Dick’s, his days as a double-agent may soon end in death!

No, that’s not a typo. It’s the actual solicit from DC. I’m pretty sure they omitted something there on purpose, and if you read the shocking ending to Robin War then you already know why. The adult coloring variant cover is a pop-art classic and has a Steranko-S.H.I.E.L.D. vibe to it.


Carpe Comics!