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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 28, 2018

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 Beyond #26

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Brett Booth, Viktor Kalvachev

What it is: The Joker’s back-and he wants to turn Batman and Robin into a punchline once and for all! The original Clown Prince of Crime returns to stalk Neo-Gotham in part two of ‘The Final Joke’! Can you guess what happens when he encounters Barbara Gordon for the first time in decades? And when Robin gets caught on a video feed for the first time, no one’s more delighted than The Joker.

Why we love it: There’s a running tragedy in the Batman mythos, where Bruce Wayne trains the members of his Bat family to fight crime alongside him, which puts them directly in harms path and inevitably leads to someone getting hurt or worse. Batman Beyond’s “The Final Joke” arc seems to be building towards a crowbar moment for Terry McGinnis and his little brother Matt, aka Robin. Love the homage cover to Batman #251.

The Mainstream One: Heroes in Crisis #3 (of 7)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: The Man of Steel versus…Booster Gold?! Superman finds out the hard way that Booster can be a formidable opponent when his back’s against the wall. Of course, being the prime suspect in a superhero massacre and exposing a secret trauma hospital for metahumans will do just that. Meanwhile, Batman and the Flash combine their detective skills to investigate what went awry at Sanctuary and uncover a serious glitch in the system-not to mention an explosive, spoiler-ific secret!

Why we like it: This series is off to a great start. The plot is as twisted as it is brilliant and the artwork is a delight. I try to not select this series as one of my picks every time an issue releases, but it’s just too damn good.


The Indie One: The Warning #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Edward Laroche

What it is: An enormous machine slowly materializes in a major West Coast city. Who sent it-and why-is a mystery, understood only by the malevolent beings gliding silently toward Earth through the inky vastness of space. In response, a multinational combat brigade called Gladiator Two-Six is deployed. Outfitted with next-generation military science and weapons, they’re tasked with stopping any extraterrestrial threat that emerges.

Why we like it: I read an interview with author and illustrator Edward Laroche and he had this to say, ““My original intent was to craft a story about war that wasn’t complicated or bogged down in questionable politics or shady motivations: a threat not of our own making. The core of the story is this exploration into conflict, and how it might be the natural state of all living things, and how our main character, Joshua, who is a super soldier, lives with that possibility.” Yup, I’m sold.

The #1 One: Dead Man Logan #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mike Henderson

What it is: DEAD MEANS DEAD. The writing’s been on the wall for months now… Logan is dying. And he ain’t getting any better. Sick from the Adamantium coating his skeleton, his search for a cure has led to nothing but dead ends. But for once he’s actually trying to leave this world with some unfinished business… Can Logan take his last breath without slaughtering the X-Men again? Not if Mysterio has anything to say about it… Superstar creative team ED BRISSON (OLD MAN LOGAN, UNCANNY X-MEN) and MIKE HENDERSON (DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN), with covers by DECLAN SHALVEY (MOON KNIGHT), is putting this old dog out of his misery with a bang! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: The writings been on the wall since, well since always. Everyone knew that OML was just a stop gap while Wolverine was “dead”, and now that regular man Logan is back in the land of the living, it’s time for this old man to ride off into the sunset, probably on a trail of blood.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Barbarella #12

Publisher: Dynamite
Mike Carrey
Kenan Yarar
Cover Art: Yuki Shimizu

What it is: ‘A Place Called Overkill’ The event horizon of a black hole is a bad spot to have your ship break down — especially if the breakdown isn’t an accident. But who wants Barbarella dead? And why have they chosen to bury her so very, very deep?

Why we like it: I think the cover speaks for itself.


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 – September 26, 2018

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: Heroes in Crisis #1 (of 7)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann

What it is: There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by C.I.A.-operative-turned-comics-writer Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD? Welcome to Sanctuary, an ultra-secret hospital for superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. But something goes inexplicably wrong when many patients wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects: Harley Quinn and Booster Gold! It’s up to the DC Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to investigate-but can they get the job done in the face of overwhelming opposition?

Why we love it: Every once and a while, a creator comes into the comics industry and challenges what the medium can achieve. Someone who pushes the dialogue forward instead of running it into the ground. Tom King broke the cycle of mediocrity at Marvel with the acclaimed Vision maxi-series and I think he’s about to drop something special on DC with Heroes in Crisis.

The Mainstream One: Doomsday Clock #7 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: The critically acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank continue the groundbreaking miniseries bringing the world of WATCHMEN to DC. In this chapter, the truth behind Dr. Manhattan’s curiosity with the DC Universe is revealed as the planet teeters on the edge of the Super-War.

Why we like it: It’s been a while since DC Rebirth’d, so in case you forgot, this is a big deal. A major tease from 2016’s Rebirth reboot event was the revelation that Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen universe had played a major role in Flashpoint, the 2011 event which led into DC’s New 52 reboot. In 2017 the first issue of Doomsday Clock was released, the series that would explain the New 52/Watchmen connection. But constant production delays kept pushing release dates back and here we are two years later, finally getting that big reveal. And I wonder whether DC dropped the ball here because it doesn’t seem like anyone remembers enough to care at this point.

The Indie One: Stranger Things #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jody Houser
Art: Stefano Martino, Keith Champagne, Lauren Affe, Kyle Lambert

What it is: The nostalgia-igniting hit Netflix original series comes to comic shelves. Follow Will Byers into a dimension of decay and destruction where he must use his wits and resolve to dodge the pursuit of the Demogorgon and escape the Upside Down.

Why we like it: I was a huge fan of the Netflix original series. So much of the show was focused on the events transpiring in the real word, Eleven and the gang, Hopper and Joyce, John and Nancy. I love that they are going to expand on Will Byer’s time in the Upside Down. 

The #1 One: Spidergeddon #0 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Christos Gage
Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: SPIDERGEDDON IS HERE! The end of all Spiders doesn’t exclude the star of the most anticipated video game of 2018! Marvel’s Spider-Man is out September 7, 2018 exclusively on PlayStation 4. He makes his Marvel Comics debut on September 26! How does he enter the Marvel Universe and what role will he play in the final chapter of SPIDER-VERSE?! Rated T+

Why we like it: Kind of cheating here since this is technically a zero issue, and let’s be honest, we all hate #0 issues. Zero’s not a number, get over it. I haven’t played the game but I know a lot of people who have and they rave about it. It’s interesting to see a character crossing over directly from a video game into main continuity. Could be worth seeing if he sticks around. Get it? Because he’s a spider, so he sticks to things.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom First Host #5 (of 5) 

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Mark Bagley
Cover Art: Javier Garron

What it is: As if things couldn’t get any worse, Tel-Kar, THE FIRST HOST, has set his sights on Earth! Though this Kree soldier may have been a war hero for his beloved homeworld, he has no such affections for Earth… and all that’s standing between him and the planet… IS VENOM! Rated T+

Why we like it: Man, and I thought Venom was scary when there was a human face under there.


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