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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – October 4, 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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman #32 (Coipel variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ finale! This is the finale everyone will be talking about for years to come! In BATMAN #24, we gave you the question; in BATMAN #32, you get the answer. As the Riddler and The Joker desperately fight for supremacy in Gotham City, Batman reveals how far he had to go to end the war. Now, knowing Batman’s greatest sin, Catwoman must make her decision: Will she marry Batman?

Why we love it: 8 issues in the making, everyone’s waiting on edge for Selina’s answer to Bruce’s proposal. I just can’t see her saying yes.  Even if she does I don’t expect their marriage will last. These are comics that we are talking about here after all. I’m really more interested in seeing how the War of Jokes and Riddles plays out. This story arc has been fantastic and is without a doubt the pinnacle of Tom King’s run on Batman thus far.

  The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #1 

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City. He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’ but ‘white knight’? Never. Until now… Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as ‘Jack,’ sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman! Superstar writer and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS, THE WAKE) presents a seven-issue miniseries of a twisted Gotham City with a massive cast of heroes and villains that, at its heart, is a tragic story of a hero and a villain: Batman and The Joker. But which is the hero-and which the villain?

Why we like it: Yes, you read that correct, the Joker must save Gotham from the Batman. Sean Murphy is one of my favorite comic creators. He’s a unique story teller and as an artist he’s like a man among boys. I haven’t seen much from Sean G since Tokyo Ghost concluded and I expect that he’s been pouring his heart into this twisted tale.

The Indie One: Extremity #7

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: NEW STORY ARC Thea and Rollo enter the Ancient Dark, where they are hunted by things that dare not live in the light above.

Why we like it: One of my favorite Image titles returns with a new arc. If you missed out on this one, the first 6 issues have been collected in trade paper back. I really can’t recommend this sci-fi, war drama enough. It’s got amazing art, multi-dimensional characters and stories that run you through the emotional gamut. Basically everything that makes for a great comic, Extremity delivers in spades.

  The #1 One: Slots #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Dan Panosian 

What it is: NEW SERIES You can say this about the life of Stanley Dance: he did it his way. Unfortunately, his way never took getting old into account. Now, the former boxer is on his last legs, looking for redemption…but he’ll settle for going down swinging. Roll the dice with superstar artist DAN PANOSIAN as he creates a bold and breathtaking vision of Las Vegas, where everything old can become new, and superstition influences how the chips fall.

Why we like it: Dan Panosian is undeniably an incredibly talented artist. It will be interesting to see how he fares as a writer. After leaving comics for years to work in video games and advertising, Panosian returns to Image with a hard-boiled, crime story that he calls “a labor of love.”

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1 (Hughes variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Marc Andreyko, Paul Dini
Art: Laura Braga
Cover Art: Adam Hughes

What it is: Free college tuition for all Riverdale residents?! That’s the plan-after the town drains the wetlands that lie between it and Gotham City and then builds a new campus. The only snag? A certain botany-obsessed super-villain. When Poison Ivy enlists her bestie, Harley, to kidnap both Veronica Lodge, daughter of Riverdale’s most important citizen, and her friend Betty, she’s counting on some assistance-and the mayhem that ensues will probably work as well! DC Comics and Archie are proud to present the adventure of a lifetime for all these best pals. Their hijinks are brought to you by the real-life team-up of Paul Dini (HARLEY QUINN) and Marc Andreyko (WONDER WOMAN ’77), with art by Laura Braga (DC BOMBSHELLS)!

Why we like it: It’s no secret that I love me some Adam Hughes covers. It’s a regular price variant so you should be able to snag this beauty in the wild pretty easily on Wednesday. The fact that Paul Dini is co-writing this series is just icing on the cheesecake.

 

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 2, 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.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Extremity #6

Publisher: Image
Words: Daniel Warren Johnson
Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: END OF STORY ARC The Roto and Paznina clans meet on the battlefield to ensure that only one remains when all the blood is shed.

Why we love it: This has been the surprise book of the year for me. An unflinching look at the brutality of war and the collateral damage that it leaves in its wake. Amazing art and a story that plumbs the dark depths of human nature to find truth and compassion.

 

The Mainstream One: Batman #28

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES’ part four! War is hell. Unless it’s in Gotham City, where it’s so much worse. The clash between The Joker and the Riddler continues to escalate, with the rest of the city’s villains picking sides and joining in. In the midst of the battle, Batman must try to save whoever he can while knowing he will forever be haunted by those he can’t.

Why we like it: Fans seem to be pretty divided on Tom King’s run on Batman. Some people find it lacking. While I will concede that the first arc was underwhelming, everything after the Monster Men crossover has been excellent. I am enjoying the heck out of the War of Jokes and Riddles and can’t wait to see what happens this week. 

 

The Indie One: Elsewhere #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jay Faerber
Art: Sumeyye Kesgin

What it is: COPPERHEAD WRITER JAY FAERBER TEAMS WITH RISING STAR SUMEYYE KESGIN TO UNVEIL ELSEWHERE: THE FANTASTIC STORY OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO AMELIA EARHART! Mysteriously transported to a strange new world filled with flying beasts and alien civilizations, Amelia desperately struggles to return home. Along the way, she forges alliances and makes enemies as she goes from aviator to freedom fighter in a rebellion against a merciless warlord! ‘Get lost in this other world and you’ll be in the best company.’ – KIERON GILLEN (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE)

Why we like it: Jay Faerber wrote the gritty space Western, Copperhead, which was one of my favorite reads before the series was derailed by delays. He’s back with a new fantasy series that like Copperhead promises exciting new worlds to explore with a strong, female lead.  

 

The #1 One: Generations The Strongest (Mattina 2nd print)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Matteo Buffagni

What it is: BRUCE BANNER. AMADEUS CHO. Both have carried the curse of the Hulk. Now they come face-to-face at last – but will they meet as friends or foes? Fan-favorite Hulk scribe GREG PAK is joined by red-hot artist MATTEO BUFFAGNI (X-MEN BLUE) for a time-bending tale that will finally answer the question on everyone’s minds: WHO IS THE STRONGEST ONE THERE IS? Rated T+

Why we like it: Generations will be a series of one-shots, bringing together past and present iterations of heroes that will lay the foundation for Marvel’s next phase in its comics universe, Marvel Legacy. It all kicks off with the first Generations book uniting Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho, closing the gap between modern and legacy Hulks. While I’m looking forward to seeing how they pull this off (isn’t Banner still technically dead?), I might hold out a week for the Mattina second print variant.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Robotech #1

Publisher: Titan
Words: Brian Wood
Art: Marco Turini
Cover Art: Stanly Artgerm Lau

What it is: Harmony Gold’s cult ’80s television series Robotech returns or all-new adventures! Comic written by Brian Wood (DMZ, Briggs Land, Northlanders) and illustrated by Marco turini! TV episodes now available on Crackle, Amazon Prime & Netflix! Live-action film being developed by Sony Pictures! Comic features classic characters Rick, Lisa, Minmei, Roy, Claudia, and Gloval! New comic series will delight original fans and newcomers alike! With annual conventions, over 200,000 fans on Facebook, New toys and merchandise, Robotech fans are passionate supporters of this amazing cult franchise!

Why we like it: Robotech was a bit before my time, so this isn’t tickling any nostalgia, but this series has enough going for it to warrant my attention. The Robotech relaunch has an extremely capable writer in Brian Wood and a regular cover by fan favorite Artgerm which makes this #1 selling out a certainty.

 

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 – 3/1/2017

Hi diddly ho comic book fanerinos and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the net that still thinks that La La Land won the Oscar for best picture. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

 

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The Top of the Pile: Batman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I AM BANE’ part three! Bane broke the bat before, but it wasn’t enough-now he’s going to break everyone else! Bane is coming, and no one is safe!

Why we love it: Tom King has really hit his stride and Batman is so frakkin good right now. After the shocking cliff hanger in issue #16, we got another pants-crappingly insane ending in issue #17. This week Bane and the Dark Knight square off, and you better pack an extra pair of underwear.

 

 

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The Mainstream One: Superman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason

What it is: ‘SUPERMAN REBORN’ part one! In DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, the enigmatic Mr. Oz told this Superman, ‘You and your family are not what you believe you are. And neither was the fallen Superman.’ Now, in the first Rebirth crossover between SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, the shocking truth behind Oz’s words is revealed. It begins with one of Oz’s prisoners escaping, and ends in a tragic moment for Lois and Superman. The covers by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray and the variant covers by Gary Frank for SUPERMAN #18-19 and ACTION COMICS #975-976 will connect to form a single vertical image.

Why we like it: DC’s been quietly hinting at the grand machinations behind Rebirth, dropping breadcrumb clues in lenticular covers and buttons with images of smiley faces. It sounds like we’ll be getting some big reveals in this week’s Superman. If you’ve been digging Rebirth, then you won’t want to miss this issue.

 

 

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The Indie One: Extremity #1

Publisher: Image
Words and art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! Thea dreams. Not of a better life, but of revenge on the clan that ruined her family. With ferocious battles between man, machines, and monsters ahead, who knows where her quest for vengeance will take her? Creator DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON (Space Mullet) and colorist MIKE SPICER present a bold new vision, where the beauty and imagination of Studio Ghibli meet the intensity of Mad Max, in this all-new Skybound Original.

Why we like it: I read a great interview with the author Daniel Johnson in which he described the creative process and ideas that make up Extremity. It included a preview too. I’m digging it. Check it out and if you like what you see, pick it up on Wednesday.

http://www.avclub.com/article/dive-emotional-exhilarating-world-extremity-exclus-251008

 

 

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The #1 One: Amerikarate #1

Publisher: Action Lab – Danger Zone
Words: Brockton McKinney
Art: Devin Roth

What it is: In the vein of the greatest ’80s action flicks of all time – such as Bloodsport, Gymkata, Rambo, Commando, and Kickboxer – comes AMERIKARATE! The story of one American’s fight to karate-fight with karate for America – and karate!

Why we like it: This was a tough call, because I originally wanted to spotlight Marvel’s Ms. America Chavez solo series “America”. But Amerkarate is just too weird and off-beat to ignore.

 

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Aquaman #18

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Scot Eaton
Cover Art: Joshua Middleton

What it is: ‘WARHEAD’ finale! Aquaman’s battle with Warhead leaves him trapped in the tortured mind of the telepathic beast, where the sea king is forced to experience the lifetimes of combat that define his tragic new foe!

Why we like it: Middleton’s been putting out amazing covers for Aquaman since Rebirth, but this one stands out for perfectly depicting the duality of Arthur Curry. Above water, he’s just some lame wad who likes swimming in the ocean. Underseas, he’s an absolute force of nature who will rip you to shreds. There aren’t many iconic Aquaman covers, but I think this one deserves consideration.

 

That’s all I got this week. Let me know what you’re checking out in the comments. Until next time, carpe comics!