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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – January 2, 2019

Happy new year comic book fans and welcome to the inaugural 2019 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: Immortal Hulk #11

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett

What it is: Hulk in Hell: Part 1 – Jackie McGee is in hell. Carl Creel is in hell. Walter Langkowski is in hell. Eugene Judd is in hell. Carl Burbank is in hell. Los Diablos is in hell. Shadow Base is in hell. New Mexico is in hell. Planet Earth is in hell. We are all in hell… …and so is the IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we love it: This has been a terrifyingly good refresh of the tired, old Hulk smash routine. The dark themes in Immortal Hulk borrow heavily from the horror genre, and make Hulk out to be more monster than superhero.

The Mainstream One: Wolverine The Long Night #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ben Percy
Art: Marcio Takara

What it is: Following a string of mysterious deaths in Burns, Alaska, Special Agents Sally Pierce and Tad Marshall arrive to investigate. They soon find there’s more going on than meets the eye… Marvel’s hit scripted podcast, ‘Wolverine: The Dark Night,’ comes to life on the page! Chilling twists and turns, brought to you by the original author of the podcast, Benjamin Percy, and the art talents of Marcio Takara! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: I listened to this as a dramatic podcast on Stitcher and it was a vintage Wolverine story. Set in the remote Alaskan wilderness, a pair of FBI agents are trying to get to the bottom of a string of gruesome murders plaguing the town of Burns. There are cults, drug cartels, killers, and evil forces and a mysterious stranger named Logan who appears to be caught up in all of this. Looking forward to this comic adaptation.

The Indie One: Low #20

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: NEW STORY ARC ‘LAST EMBERS,’ Part One (of Seven) It’s mankind’s final hour, and the reckoning rests on the shoulders of the Caine family. Stel, Tajo, and Della are on a collision course that they may not all survive. RICK REMENDER and GREG TOCCHINI bring their seminal aquatic apocalypse to a harrowing boil in a world where everything comes down to a battle between desperate hope and certain oblivion.

Why we like it: Probably my favorite of all the Remenderverse books, Low is a sci-fi series that frames a message about the immense power of steadfast optimism against the grim realities of a world about to end. Not a great point to jump on, but I highly recommend going back and getting caught up because this should be an epic finale.

The #1 One: Conan The Barbarian #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: BY CROM, THE GREATEST SWORD-AND-SORCERY HERO RETURNS TO MARVEL! From an age undreamed…hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet… Robert E. Howard’s creation returns to comics, in an epic tale as only MARVEL could bring you! Conan’s travels have brought him to the far reaches of the unkown, from his birthplace in Cimmeria to the kingdom of Aquilonia and all in between. As his fighting prowess allows him to carve his way through life, so too does it attract the forces of death! The all-new ages-spanning saga begins here, by writer Jason Aaron (THE MIGHTY THOR, STAR WARS) and artist Mahmud Asrar (UNCANNY X-MEN, ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS), as Conan’s destiny is forever changed! Parental Advisory

Why we like it:  Conan is joining the Marcel universe and I can’t think of a better pick for a writer than Jason Aaron.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Flash #61

Publisher: DC
Words:
Joshua Williamson
Art: Christian Duce

Cover Art: Derrick Chew

What it is: Powerhouse looks to turn the Scarlet Speedster into a scarlet skid mark! The two Force wielders find themselves at odds when Alexa wants to overthrow the criminal government of Corto Maltese that’s crushing her people. (Remember that locale from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS?) Barry must quash their beef and convince Powerhouse to join his Force Quest if he ever hopes to learn the secrets behind these new Force powers!

Why we like it: I like this Flash cover. A fine example of a DC cover really benefiting from the semi-virgin treatment.

 

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 – November 7, 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: The Green Lantern #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Grant Morrison
Art: Liam Sharp

What it is: Superstar writer Grant Morrison (Batman, All-Star Superman) returns to DC alongside red-hot artist Liam Sharp (The Brave AND the Bold, Wonder Woman) to launch a new, ongoing series: THE GREEN LANTERN! In this debut issue, when Earth’s space cop, Hal Jordan, encounters an alien hiding in plain sight, it sets off a chain of events that rocks the Green Lantern Corps-and quite possibly the Multiverse at large-to its very core. There’s an inter-galactic conspiracy afoot, as well as a traitor in the GL Corps’ ranks, so strap in for more mind-bending adventures in this masterpiece in the making.

Why we love it: The man, the myth, the legend Grant Morrison makes his triumphant return to DC comics. Widely regarded as one of the most creative and influential comic writers of our generation, Morrison is known for revitalizing high profile properties like the X-Men, Batman, JLA, and Superman, and now he has his sights set on a new sprawling, cosmic Green Lantern epic that should not be missed.  

The Mainstream One: Marvel Knights 20th #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Travel Foreman

What it is: In celebration of the legendary imprint founded by Marvel’s CCO Joe Quesada, a new crop of talent stands poised to tell a groundbreaking story across the Marvel Universe! In the cemetery, the blind man does not know who he is, or why he has come to this particular grave at this moment. He doesn’t know the burly police officer with the wild story who has approached him. Or the strangely intense man who sits in the rear seat of the patrol car, his eyes flashing green. But all of that is about to change.

Why we like it: If Donny Cates is writing it then I’m going to give it a read. Marvel Knights seems like the perfect fit for him, where he can write stand-alone stories that are in continuity but don’t necessarily fit in with the current running arc in the main series.

The Indie One: Seven to Eternity #12

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: In order to save the Mud King, Adam must make a terrible choice.

Why we like it: Seems like Seven to Eternity is back on schedule, as issue #12 will be the third issue released in three months. I’m cautiously jumping back on board with this series, as it was one of my favorite reads before it started getting bogged down by release delays.

The #1 One: Outer Darkness #1

Publisher: Image
Words: John Layman
Art: Afu Chan

What it is: Sci-fi and horror collide in this new series from the co-creator of CHEW! Mankind has colonized the galaxy, but during our interstellar travels, we discovered a terrifying secret out in the Outer Darkness of space. Join Captain Joshua Rigg and the crew of the starship Charon as they encounter demonic possessions, hauntings, cosmic horror, and more! All-star writer JOHN LAYMAN (CHEW) and artist AFU CHAN (Immortal Iron Fists) are ready to let you know that outer space is terrifying.

Why we like it: I had picked up Leviathan a few months ago in anticipation of Chew writer, John Layman’s next big comic but it was admittedly a bit disappointing. Maybe it was too weird, or maybe it wasn’t weird enough, but for whatever reason it just didn’t click with me. I read the ashcan preview of Outer Darkness and liked what I saw, so I’m hopeful that this is the comic that I’ve been waiting for.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Immortal Hulk #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Al Ewing
Art:
Joe Bennett
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: Bruce Banner is dead. His corpse has been dissected, his organs catalogued, and his inner workings are being studied by the scientists of Shadow Base. Bruce Banner is no longer a threat. That just leaves the IMMORTAL HULK…

Why we like it: Ross’ covers on Immortal Hulk have been excellent on the whole, but this one really ratchets up the horror into 11th gear.

 

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 – July 18, 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: Immortal Hulk #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett

What it is: What happened in the church on Mercer Avenue? What made the Lembert boy do what he did? Who is the One Below All? Reporter Jackie McGee has four eyewitnesses, with four different viewpoints, telling four different stories. But they all saw Bruce Banner…and the Immortal Hulk. Rated T+

Why we love it: This series puts a horror spin on the Hulk. Bruce Banner is battling the monster within and it is absolutely terrifying. 

The Mainstream One: Batman #51

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks

What it is: The honeymoon’s over for Bruce Wayne as Gotham City’s most prominent citizen gets selected for jury duty in a chilling court case involving Mr. Freeze! Freeze claims the charges should be dismissed because Batman used excessive force; cue the outrage and media circus. While doing his civic duty, Wayne’s forced to take a hard look at the Dark Knight’s methods. And hey…what is Dick Grayson doing running around the city dressed as Batman?

Why we like it: So the Bat/Cat wedding was a beautiful, poetic bit of nothing. I still feel writer Tom King has left the door open for the wedding to happen later in his run, but will be interesting to see the direct fallout.

The Indie One: Skyward #4

Publisher: Image
Words: Joe Henderson
Art: Lee Garbett

What it is: ‘MY LOW-G LIFE,’ Part Four-When someone close to Willa is kidnapped, she’s forced to make an impossible choice. To make matters worse, there’s a storm coming-and weather in this low-G world is much more dangerous than it used to be…

Why we like it: Earth’s gravity has been reduced to a fraction of its strength and only one man knows how to fix it. Only someone will do anything in his power to stop him.

 The #1 One: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (Artgerm variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Margaret Stohl
Art: Carlos Pacheco

What it is: THE DEFINITIVE ORIGIN OF CAPTAIN MARVEL! Carol Danvers was just a girl from the Boston suburbs who loved science and the Red Sox until a chance encounter with a Kree hero gave her incredible super-powers. Now, she’s a leader in the Avengers and the commander of Alpha Flight. But what if there were more to the story? When crippling anxiety attacks put her on the sidelines in the middle of a fight, Carol finds herself reliving memories of a life she thought was far behind her. You can’t outrun where you’re from – and sometimes, you HAVE to go home again. But there are skeletons in Captain Marvel’s closet – and what she discovers will change her entire world. Written by best-selling author Margaret Stohl and drawn by fan-favorite comics veteran Carlos Pacheco, this is the true origin of Captain Marvel. Rated T+

Why we like it: Captain Marvel is next in line to get the big screen treatment, so it’s time for Marvel to get their audience primed. That Artgerm variant is straight fire!

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Cable #159 (Anceleto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Lonnnie Nadler
Art: German Peralta
Cover Art: Jay Anceleto

What it is: ‘PAST FEARS’ PART 5: BACK TO CABLE’S CHILDHOOD WITH REDD AND SLYM! Young CABLE faces his biggest fear: his own Techno-Organic virus! Guest-starring CYCLOPS & PHOENIX! Cable’s dark secret is finally revealed! Rated T+

Why we like it: Jay Anceleto went beast mode on this Cable cover. This could be a movie poster.

 

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