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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/8/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of The Crank File, the only place on the net that knows Superman wears Tom Brady pajamas to bed. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.



The Top of the Pile: All-Star Batman #7

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Tula Lotay

What it is: ‘Poison Promises’! Step aside, gentlemen-Poison Ivy is about to steal the spotlight in Batman’s continuing rogues gallery road trip. Scott Snyder teams up with mega-talent Tula Lotay to reimagine the Dark Knight’s most seductive villain.

Why we love it: Batman, Poison Ivy and Tula Lotay are a comic book trifecta, making this week’s All-Star Batman my triple-A pick of the week. And yes, the A stands for Awesome.




The Mainstream One: The Totally Awesome Hulk #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: ‘BIG APPLE SHOWDOWN’ CONTINUES! Who’s behind the gathering of Asian and Asian American heroes? It’s not who you think!

Why we like it: Speaking of awesome, I’ve been seriously digging the Pak Man’s Totally Awesome Hulk, but this latest arc is taking the series next level for me. I absolutely adored the last issue. The dialogue and interactions between heroes honestly reflected many of my own experiences being Asian in America, which is true rarity in mainstream comics. And I don’t know who this Stonehouse is, but if they keep doing covers then Totally Awesome Hulk will be on my pull list.




The Indie One: Black Science #28

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Matteo Scalera

What it is: In their darkest hour of need, a new hero rises to fight alongside the Dimensionauts.

Why we like it: Remender’s Seven to Eternity is the hot, new flavor of the month but it was Black Science that first introduced me to Rick’s wonderful indie work. I have been trade waiting Black Science for the last two arcs, but in a recent interview Remender hinted that the series would be concluding around issue #40. This series is amazing and I’m back to buying the floppies on release day until this wild, sci-fi, fantasy ride rockets in for landing.




The #1 One: King Pin #1 (Sienkewicz variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Rosenberg
Art: Ben Torres

What it is: WILSON FISK BUILDS A BRAND-NEW EMPIRE! The KINGPIN has done bad things. Deplorable things. He has cheated the law. He has blackmailed rivals. He has killed. But that’s all in the past. The Kingpin is back in the city that he loves and ready to make his mark as a titan of legitimate industry, but needs to rekindle his public image. When Wilson Fisk makes disgraced journalist SARAH DEWEY an offer she can’t refuse, the spiraling saga of crime and betrayal begins anew. Don’t miss the start of Kingpin’s ongoing series, written by breakout writer MATTHEW ROSENBERG and illustrated in the heavy noir stylings of BEN TORRES, as Manhattan’s criminal mastermind returns to the Big Apple with honorable intentions, but no one in his circle remains pure on his climb back to the top.

Why we like it: Mathew Rosenberg first hit my radar with two exceptional indie books published by Black Mask, the on-going 4 Kids Walk into a Bank and the smash-hit We Can Never Go Home, the latter of which is rumored to be in development for a television series. This guys can write comics and it was only a matter of time before one of the Big Two took notice. Rosenberg is a perfect fit for a super-powered, crime series and I can’t wait to see what this incredible talent has in store for us.




The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (Hans variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Valerio Schiti
Cover Art: Stephanie Hans

What it is: GROUNDED! Angela has come a long way from the skies of Heven to find herself grounded on the Earth. Can she find a new home among the heroes?

Why we like it: Green and purple haven’t looked this good since the Hulk wore shorts. In case you haven’t noticed, Gamora’s star is on the rise. With her own ongoing solo-series and the Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 set to drop in a few months, this cover could be a ghost on Wednesday. It’s a 1:25 ratio variant and I don’t expect many shops order 25 copies of GotG. So grab it if you find it at a reasonable price.


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 8/3/2016

Greetings comic fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that is the danger that cranks on the door. Is it obvious that I’m re-watching Breaking Bad? It had been a while since I watched it in its entirety, I almost forgot how amazing the series is. Someone should make a comic book based off it.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Moon Knight #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Gregg Smallwood

What it is: PYRAMID SCHEMES! Marc Spector comes face to face with Moon Knight?! Who is under the mask? Marc’s hunt for answers becomes a Run For His Live through half-remembered histories. Will he finally confront SETH – god of storms and instigator of New Egypt’s takeover of New York?

Why we love it: Lemire’s Moon Knight is a twisting tale of forgotten history and lost identity. What is the Moon Knight? Is he a crime fighter imbued with supernatural powers, or is he the demented hallucination of a sick man? Whatever his true nature, Moon Knight has been one of the shining stars in the post Secret Wars Marvel Universe.



The Mainstream one: Batman #4

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: David Finch

What it is: ‘I Am Gotham’ part four. When Gotham City falls prey to true evil, will Batman be abandoned by the new heroes Gotham and Gotham Girl? The Dark Knight must decide who to entrust with the safety of his beloved city if he hopes for any of its citizens to survive.

Why we like it: Tom King’s Batman debut has been just ok so far. Nothing extraordinary (by Batman standards) has happened yet, but we’re only beginning to peel back the cover of this run. King’s Batman is getting a long leash from me, it took 3 issues for his Vision series to emerge as something exceptional.



The Indie One: The Walking Dead #157 (Adams connecting variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard
Cover Art: Arthur Adams

What it is: ‘THE WHISPERER WAR,’ Part One The time has come. The forces are aligning. The war has begun! Has Rick brought about the demise of everything he’s built? Or will he triumph once again? Know this, there will be a cost.

Why we like it: Holy smokes, if you caught last month’s ending to Walking Dead #156 then you know that stuff is going down in this issue. To commemorate what will surely be a memorable WD story arc, the legendary Arthur Adams is doing a set of connecting variant covers for the Whisperer War.



The #1 One: Suicide Squad Rebirth #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Rob Williamson
Art: Phillip Tan

What it is: Soldier. War hero. Traitor. Captain Rick Flag was one of America’s greatest military commanders before he was banished to a secret military prison. But after years of isolation, Flag’s life changes forever when a woman called Amanda Waller offers him redemption in exchange for taking on the single most dangerous job in the entire DC Universe: keeping the Suicide Squad alive!

Why we like it: Wednesday is going to be all about one DC character, Harley Quinn. It’s almost as if she has a movie coming out or something. Not only is her Suicide Squad title getting Rebirthed, her solo series is also out with a brand new #1 issue, both which will be incredibly popular with her legions of fans. Eat your heart out Mr. J, there’s no stopping the clown princess of crime.



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Civil War II King Pin #2 (Nguyen variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Cover art: Dustin Nguyen

What it is: Despite the heroes’ new future-seeing ally, the crime business is treating Wilson Fisk VERY well. So well, in fact, that his jealous competitors are MURDERING the Kingpin’s men. And to make matters worse, the linchpin of Fisk’s operation – an inhuman with the uncanny ability to stay incognito – is getting ill. Can the Kingpin find a way to keep his business afloat or is his time on top finally finished?

Why we like it: Matthew Rosenberg’s Marvel debut on King Pin #1 was a hell of a good read and had a great Esad Ribic variant cover. The follow up issue delivers another gorgeous variant cover by Dustin Nguyen, showing the stark images of the King Pin and the DareDevil looming large over Hell’s Kitchen. I can’t help but be reminded of the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.


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 7/6/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that cranks red, white and blue. Hope everyone had a fun 4th of July weekend, with all digits and appendages still in tact. It has been crazy busy summer here at the Crank File. Whenever I hear the term “lazy summer days”, it makes me want to scream. That phrase made so much more sense back before I graduated. Thank god for Wednesdays.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Moon Knight #4

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Greg Smallwood

What it is: Marc Spector and his fellow asylum patients – Frenchie, Gena and Marlene – finally reach street level. But Marc doesn’t see streets. He sees New York City sinking in the sands of NEO-EGYPT! How much of himself – and how many more friends – will Marc lose before he reaches his true enemy?

Why we love it: Marc Spector lives in a mental institute and Marc is having a bad day. He’s having another psychotic episode. During these episodes, he becomes the vigilante called The Moon Knight and goes around fighting crime. Only The Moon Knight isn’t real. And the bad guys that he beats up are, in reality, just the orderlies. That’s what the doctors have been telling him for years. But as Marc’s psyche descends deeper between altered states, we begin to question whether these episodes are just delusions or something super-natural. Superb writing, great art, you want to check out this book.



The Mainstream one: Amazing Spider-man #15

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli

What it is: ‘Power Play’ comes to its rousing conclusion! Regent’s master plan is working until Mary Jane Watson gets into the fray!

Why we like it: It’s Iron Jane. That’s Mary Jane Watson in the Iron Spider suit. For those who forgot, that’s the suit Tony Stark built for Peter Parker during the first Civil War event. MJ clearly wears it better. Bonus points for the stunning Alex Ross regular cover.



The Indie One: Paper Girls #7

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Cliff Chang

What it is: Trapped in a dark future, Erin and her fellow deliverers from 1988 uncover shocking truths about their own fates.

Why we like it: Because BKV. He knows how to write good comics.



The #1 One: Civil War II: Kingpin #1 (Ribic variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mathew Rosenberg
Art: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

What it is: An Inhuman with the ability to predict the future has helped the heroes of the Marvel Universe clamp down on crime before it can even happen. While this thwarts most criminals, one man has found a way to keep doing what he does best. Wilson Fisk has managed to stay one step ahead of the good guys and his crime enterprise is BOOMING. But what’s his secret?!

Why we like it: There are two reasons why I like this pick. One, that Ribic cover is an instant classic. Two, Matt Rosenberg makes his writing debut at Marvel. He wrote my favorite mini-series from last year, We Can Never Go Home, and is currently writing another book which I am loving, 4 Kids Walk into a Bank. I tend to follow good writers and Matt is one I’m watching with keen interest.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League: Rebirth #1 (Madureira variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Bryan Hitch
Art: Bryan Hitch
Cover art: Joe Madureira

What it is: A new day dawns for Earth’s greatest heroes as they welcome three new members to the team, including Superman? Who is this strange visitor from a dead world-and can he be trusted? Batman and Wonder Woman aren’t so sure.

Why we like it: Joe Mad does it again, teasing us with another gorgeous cover for DC. What I wouldn’t give for a few more issues of Battle Chasers. Come back to comics Joe, we miss you.


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