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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:



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.




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.




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.




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.




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!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/01/2017

Gung xi fat choi comic book fans and welcome to a special Chinese New Year edition of the Crank File, the only place on the web calling the year of the rooster, the year of the cock. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.



The Top of the Pile: Paper Girls #11

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K Vaugha
Art: Cliff Chiang

What it is: A BOLD NEW STORYLINE STARTS HERE! The Eisner and Harvey Award-winning ‘Best New Series’ from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG returns, as Erin, Mac, and Tiffany finally reunite with their long-lost friend KJ only to encounter some horrifying new threats in an unexpected era.

Why we love it: Brian K Vaughan absolutely gutted his Saga fans last week (I’m still recovering emotionally), proving once again why he’s one of the best writers on the planet. Anything this dude writes gets fast tracked to the top of the pile, and Paper Girls has been fantastic so far. The dialogue feels completely natural and effortless, but delivers tremendous emotional payoffs. Making amazing comics never looked so easy.




The Mainstream One: Batman #16

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I Am Bane’ part one! Bane is coming for Batman. Bruce must keep those he loves safe for five days in order to save Gotham Girl once and for all. But Bane will stop at nothing, and no one is safe.

Why we like it: This series keeps getting stronger and better with each arc. Last issue’s “Rooftops” was a stark-yet-beautiful glimpse into the complicated Cat/Bat relationship. This week we are back to bat-kicking business as “I Am Bane” starts a new thrilling chapter. Long live Tom King!




The Indie One: Walking Dead #163

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard


Why we like it: The Whisper Wars ended with a 2-page spread that made it very clear, the real war was just beginning. The grand-daddy of all zombie herds is headed right towards Rick’s camp and even by Walking Dead standards, things are looking pretty grim. Oh and holy crap, this is a 25 cent issue.




The #1 One: Darth Maul #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Luke Ross

What it is: Bred on hate, fear, and anger, steeped in the ways of darkness, and trained to kill. Darth Maul’s time as apprentice to Darth Sidious has long been cloaked in shadows, but at last we will reveal his tale of revenge. From writer Cullen Bunn (DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, WOLVERINE) and artist Luke Ross (STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, HERCULES) comes a tale of rage unleashed as Darth Maul prepares for his first encounter with the Jedi.

Why we like it: After being utterly wasted in that dreadful Star Wars prequel, Darth Maul proved so popular that his character was included in the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series. Now he’s getting his own solo comic written by the talented Cullen Bunn. The series will reveal the Sith apprentice’s journey leading up to that dreadful Star Wars prequel. There are a bunch of variants being released with this new #1, as Marvel is wont to do. I’m a sucker for action figure variants, but the Rod Reis regular cover is probably my favorite.




The Ones I’m Buying for the Cover: Avengers #4, Nova #3,  Deadpool #26, Champions #5 Corner Box variants

Publisher: Marvel
Cover Art: Joe Jusko

Why we like it: Do those look familiar? How about these?


Those little guys live in the top-left corner of comic book covers and were created by some of Marvel’s most revered artists. Some wizard at Marvel had the brilliant idea of having Joe Jusko recreate those thumbnail sketches as full-sized portraits with his realistic, painted style. The series of Corner Box variants, consisting of 20 covers in total, will be released throughout the month of February.


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