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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 12/16/2015

Greetings nerds and nerdettes and welcome back to another episode of the Crank File. Last weekend I had the pleasure to meet the immensely talented writer and drawer of the hit new Image series Headlopper. Andrew MacLean and his wife (Erin, I think) were at my LCS over the weekend signing books and meeting fans. Super nice couple.  The shop was raffling away a few items and I had my eyes on a signed copy of Rick and Morty #6 featuring a Ball Fondlers variant. I didn’t get the book but I did win this fine sketch of the puckish Gnym.


I’m calling it good karma for featuring both issues of Headlopper here and here.

This week is all about the Star Wars and it seems as if comic book publishers took notice. It’s a light week for new books which is too bad for me since I won’t be seeing Star Wars until Tuesday and plan on avoiding the internet and television all weekend. May the force be strong with this one. I just don’t know what I’ll do if I have to relive another Phantom Menace.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.


The Top of the Pile: Justice League #46 Looney Tunes variant


Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Francis Manapul

‘Darkseid War’ rages on! Wonder Woman and Mister Miracle must rally to find the missing Anti-Monitor, while the rest of the League deals with the consequences of their new, godlike abilities.

The Darkseid Wars has been a great read, a crossover saga for the ages. In this epic battle against Darkseid, DC has flipped the superhero dynamic, turning their flagship characters into actual gods (or in Captain Marvel’s case, different gods). I’ve been a big fan of DC’s Looney Tunes variant month and this cover may be my favorite yet.



The Mainstream One: Squadron Supreme #1


Publisher: Marvel
Words: James Robinson
Art: Leonard Kirk

They’re each the sole survivor of a lost Earth and they’ll do anything to protect this one, whether you like it or not. The Squadron Supreme — comprising Hyperion (Avengers), Nighthawk (Supreme Power), Dr. Spectrum (the Great Society), Blur (DP7) and Power Princess — are a team that doesn’t ask permission or what the rules are. To them all that matters is the safety of Earth and if you stand in the way…that’s your problem! Tell that to the Squadron’s first target — Namor, destroyer of Dr. Spectrum’s homeworld, who will have to pay for his crimes…but at what cost to the people of Atlantis?

Spoilerish alert: The Sub Mariner is getting deep sixed (or however deep Atlanteans bury their dead). Marvel is not exactly trying to keep it a secret either, the cover of Squadron Supreme #2 features Hyperion holding Prince Namor’s disembodied head. Although he’s not the most popular Marvel character, the Sub-Mariner is a Silver Age original and one of comic books’ first anti-heroes. His death will certainly be an important event which will cause repercussions. We know that deaths in comics rarely stick for long, but we may not be seeing the Sub Mariner for a while.


The Indie One: Descender #8



Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

TIM-21 and his companions are taken to the mind bending home world of the Robot resistance while a long lost figure from Tim’s past emerges but will he be friend or foe?

The last issue of Descender dropped bomb after bomb on the reader, ending with a crazy cliffhanger that let you know that noone is safe. Careful not to get too attached to any of the characters here. I’m loving Descender’s watercolored art style, and Jeff Lemire is proving to be one of the most talented writers in the industry.



The #1 One: Weirdworld #1



Publisher: Marvel
Words: Sam Humphries
Art: Mike Del Mundo

Imagine, being trapped in a world of sword and sorcery. With no sword and sorcery experience to speak of. This is the story of Becca, a girl stuck in Weirdworld, with only one mission: get home alive! Marvel’s own twisted fantasy realm comes alive before your eyes! Barbarians! Wizards! And tricked out sports cars!

Weirdworld was my favorite mini-series to spin out of Marvel’s Secret Wars. I was disappointed to see that Jason Aaron was not writing the ongoing series, but as long as Del Mundo is on artwork then I’m on board for a trip back to Weirdworld. The series will feature a new character Becca, but I’m really hoping Arkon makes an appearance.



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Superman: American Alien #2



Publisher: DC
Words: Max Landis
Art: Nick Dragotta

After Smallville experiences its first violent crime in years, teenager Clark Kent is pressured by his best friend Pete Ross to take matters into his own hands in the second issue of Superman: American Alien

A teenage Clark Kent getting his mugshot taken, sporting a black eye and bloody nose?? I need to read the story behind this cover.



Carpe Comics!

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

What’s up everyone. It was a short week down at the Crank File with a busy Labor Day weekend and my second fantasy football draft last night. And while the King Slayers are well prepared to defend their title as champions of the Black Rose Bowl, I didn’t have much time to recap last week’s headlines from the comic world. If you thought it felt warmer this weekend, you were not alone because the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s future just got a little sunnier. Click and rejoice.


Here’s what I’m reading this week.



The Top of the Pile – Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1 Marvel




The new Star Wars mini-series from Marvel bridges the gap between Star Wars’ past and future. Taking place after the Return of the Jedi and building up to December’s The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Shattered Empire is written by the amazing Greg Rucka and has a fantastic variant cover from Marco Checchetto. And it’s canonical. Chewie, we’re home!



The Main Stream One – Renew Your Vows #5 Marvel




I’ve been reading Secret Wars Renew Your Vows and I honestly don’t understand the hype surrounding issue #5. There’s a lot of chatter around the comic book forums about the upcoming issue. It will be released with a bunch of variants and apparently Marvel has been encouraging retailers to increase their orders for the final issue of Renew Your Vows, so is something big about to happen here?



The Indie One – Head Lopper #1 Image




Massachusetts’s own Andrew MacLean brings his independently published and critically acclaimed Head Lopper to Image Comics. The dark humored, quarterly adventure begins with a double-sized first issue, with eighty pages of story and a premium pin-up gallery for the regular price of just $5.99. Love the artwork in this series.



The #1 One – Faster Than Light #1 Image




Humans discover a code that unlocks FTL travel, opening up the universe to mankind. And of course there is an obligatory, horrifying secret that threatens to destroy us all. The premise is meat and potatoes sci-fi and Brian Haberlin’s art is gorgeous. But it’s the augmented reality gimmick that’s selling me on this new Image series. The app is free and the cover price is just $2.99.



The One I’m Buying for the Cover – Batman #44 DC




Batman #44 reveals the origin of the creeptastic Mr. Bloom. A striking regular cover by Jock features the stark silhouette of the classic Dark Knight on a white background. Although I’m still enjoying Bat-Gordon and his gundam suit, I hope we don’t have to wait too much longer for Bruce to come out of the light and retreat back into shadows.



The Speculation One – Action Comics #44




The Truth arc reaches its finale and Superman learns the source of the Shadow Warriors. Could be the introduction of a new villainess.

Carpe Comics!