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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week- 3/15/2018

Welcome comic fans to another episode of the Crank File. Every Tuesday I spotlight some of the new releases that I’m picking up on Wednesday. Happy daylight savings! We may have lost an hour this weekend, but what is dead may never die.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

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The Top of the Pile: God Country #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: ‘DEATH IN TEXAS’-When Emmett Quinlan returned from the brink, his son thought his prayers had been answered. They had, but not by the god he’d prayed to. Now DEATH has come to West Texas to show the Quinlan family the price of resurrection…

Why we love it: In just two issues God Country has claimed the top of the pile through its emotive artwork and superb storytelling. A story that is both intimate and fantastically bombastic. God Country is a goddam good read.

 

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The Mainstream One: Totally Awesome Hulk #17 (Stonehouse variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: ‘BIG APPLE SHOWDOWN’ CONTINUES! A tale too big for the Big Apple! Extraterrestrial action how you like it! Hulk and his new friends Ms. Marvel, Silk, Shang Chi, Jimmy Woo and Jake Oh take the fight into space!

Why we like it: The Protectors are heading to space for a cosmic adventure. And Stonehouse is still killing it on covers. Count me in!

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The Indie One: Head Lopper #5 (Sandoval variant)

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Andrew MacLean

What it is: NEW STORY ARC! ‘IN THE SHADOW OF THE TOWER’-Norgal and Agatha are back! A daring new adventure awaits, looming like the Crimson Tower, home of Ulrich the Twice Damned, sworn enemy of Zhaania Kota Ka. With old friends and new, our heroes boldly enter the bloodied pinnacle with bare steel and steady hearts. The quarterly series HEAD LOPPER has returned!

Why we like it: If his head don’t drop just pull up your socks, and then lop away. Maclean’s back. Maclean’s back. A returning Crank File favorite, Head Lopper returns with more swords and sorcery told in Andrew Maclean’s unmistakable signature style.

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The #1 One: American Gods Shadows #1 (McKean variant)

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Neil Gaiman
Art: P. Craig Russel

What it is: Shadow Moon just got out of jail, only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain as to where to go from here, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard – thrusting Shadow into a deadly world of the supernatural, where ghosts of the past come back from the dead, and a brewing war between old and new gods hits a boiling point. The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning novel and upcoming Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a comic series for the first time!

Why we like it: A delicious mix of horror, fantasy, mystery and satire, this is a great way for fans of Neil Gaiman comics who haven’t ventured into his novels to become acquainted with a modern classic.

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom #5 (Crain variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Cover Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: IN THIS CORNER: The scariest symbiotic sociopath this side of the Savage Land! You know him, you love him? The one, the only VENOM! IN THE OTHER CORNER: The wall-crawling, web-slinging wonder called THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! Step right up and place your bets – the bout of the century is about to begin!

Why we like it: Clayton Crain is arguably the most recognizable Venom cover artist, after McFarlane. So any Crain Venom variant gets my attention. But it was a tough call between this and J. G Jones’ brilliant Batwoman inventive variant. Ultimately I gave this one the nod because it has a King Kong vibe to it.

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/15/2017

Happy Valentines Day comic book lovers and welcome to an extra-romantic episode of The Crank File, the only place on the net that isn’t worried about being single on Valentines Day because we all die alone in the end. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

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The Top of the Pile: Batman #17

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I Am Bane’ part two! Barricading himself within the walls of Arkham Asylum still might not keep Batman and his allies safe from Bane’s assault. Which one of Bruce’s loved ones will be torn from him next?

Why we love it: Issue #16 kicked off the “I am Bane” arc, and started so innocently. The Bat family was gathered for a meal at a Batman themed hamburger shop and hilarity ensued, like Dick Grayson ordering a Happy Meal for Damien and Bruce eating his burger with a fork and knife. But by the final page I was left slack-jawed, gasping in horror. I can’t wait to see how last issue’s cliff hanger plays out this week. Issue #17 won’t even make it on the pile, I plan on reading it off the rack.

 

 

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The Mainstream One: Clone Conspiracy #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Jim Cheung

What it is: THE SPIDER-EVENT OF THE YEAR CONCLUDES! The Jackal takes drastic measures that Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen and Scarlet Spider could never see coming. Jackal’s coup de grace not only sets a host of resurrected villains loose on the unsuspecting streets of San Francisco, but threatens the lives of everyone on Earth! After months of waiting, heartache and incredible surprises, THIS is the issue Spider-fans around the world will be talking about for years to come!

Why we like it: Before Clone Conspiracy launched, Dan Slott publicly lobbied stores to up their orders for the series, hinting that it would be of great importance and would have long term ramifications for Spidey. The event has been pretty entertaining thus far and I’m loving the Del Otto cover art, but nothing terribly groundbreaking has happened yet. So I’m guessing we’ll see it in this issue. Will this be the return of Ben Parker to the realm of the living? I sure hope not.

 

 

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The Indie One: God Country #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: As Emmett Quinlan attempts to rebuild his family and his home after the devastating tornado that broke them, something otherworldly screams through the sky under a banner of WAR. The GODS have come to Texas– and they do not intend to leave it empty handed.

Why we like it: #1’s are introduction issues, and boy did God Country make a hell of an entrance in theirs. Dark, emotional and undeniably bad-ass, the first issue sold out almost immediately and quickly went back for a second printing. A southern fried, fantasy adventure, there’s a lot of interest in how God Country will unfold and with good reason. High expectations here for issue #2.

 

 

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The #1 One: Super Sons #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Jorge Jimenez

What it is: ‘When I grow up’ part one! The sons of Batman and Superman have graduated to their own monthly comic-but if they want to survive, they’re going to have to share it! Writer Peter J. Tomasi (BATMAN & ROBIN, SUPERMAN) teams with rising-star artist Jorge Jimenez (EARTH 2) to bring you the adventures of the World’s Smallest. This debut issue looks at the lives of Robin and Superboy and their destiny to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, while we meet a new villain whose ascension parallels the boys’ own understanding of their powers-except that he believes it’s his right to rule over every being on the planet!

Why we like it: John Kent and Damian Wayne join forces in this much anticipated on-going series. Fans, myself included, have been impatiently waiting for this title since the two sons first met in Superman Rebirth #10. Super Sons has a ton of potential and should appeal to a wide audience of readers. Mix in the first appearance of a new villain and Super Sons #1 has all the ingredients for a classic.

 

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Ultimates 2 #4 (Jusko corner box variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Travel Foreman
Cover Art: Joe Jusko

What it is: Philip Vogt knows the truth. The Ultimates have reformed — and they’re working for Galactus. That means trouble. It’s time to send in the Troubleshooters! Meanwhile, on the fringes of possibility, Galactus confronts a terrifying new entity, LOGOS!

Why we like it: I’ve been grabbing all of the corner box variants that I can find at my local shop, but I’m going out of my way to secure a copy of this one. Absolutely gorgeous.

 

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