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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!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 9/30/2015

Happy blood moon everyone. Good to have you back for another episode of the Crank File. The last Wednesday in September is the clam before the storm. Surprisingly no Marvel books make it to the short list this week. But the first week of October is being called Monster Week and it is going to be crazy: Marvel launches it’s all-new, all-different universe with #1’s for Amazing Spider-man, Invincible Iron Man and Dr. Strange and even Secret Wars #6 is showing up late to the party. And let’s not forget Jughead #1, Paper Girls #1, Batman and Robin Eternal #1 and new issues from Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Southern Bastards and Miracle Man. But even on a slow week there are a few books that I’m super excited about. So let’s do it to it. Comics that is.


Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Sandman Overture #6 Vertigo




It’s finally here. #6 is the final issue in the mini-series, and will lead into the events that started it all over 30 years ago in 1989’s Sandman #1. Sandman is my favorite work of fiction in any medium and is, in my opinion, the high-water mark for what story telling can achieve through sequential art. So this pick should come as a surprise to no one. Sandman: Overture has been everything that I have ever wanted from a Sandman prequel and I hope that it’s not the last we see of you Orpheus, Lord of Dreams.



The Mainstream One: Batman Annual #4 DC




If you’re currently reading any of the Batman titles, you already know that things in Gotham have gotten strange. For better or worse, Bruce Wayne is not Batman. Although I have no idea how Snyder will play this out, we can all rest assured that Bruce will undoubtedly wear the cape and cowl once again. The tragedy is that Bruce geniunely seems happy not being the Batman. A kick-ass Batman cover done by the phenomenal Sean Murphy and content by the immensely talented James TynionIV to boot, Batman annual #4 examines the relationship between Gotham, Bruce Wayne and the Batman.



The Indie One: Archie #3 Archie




Many of the successful females in fiction worked as duos. Lucy and Ethel, Thelma and Luise, Laverne and Shirley, Paris and Nicole. Archie #3 re-introduces Veronica Lodge the third and final vertice in the Betty / Veronica love triangle. Issue #3 will also be the final issue featuring 2015 Harvey Award’s Best Artist Fiona Staples. Writer Mark Waid will stay on, teaming up with artists Annie Wu for issue #4 and Crank File favorite Veronica Fish starting in issue #5. Loving that Jughead cover.



Last Week’s Leftovers: Grayson #12 DC




This issue was a great read. The prodigal returns to Gotham as Grayson takes a break from spying for a Bat family reunion. Definitely worth a look on a light week.


Carpe Comics!