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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 27, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a special Boxing Day 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. It’s the last Wednesday of 2017 and I want to thank all of you for reading this article and wish you a happy 2018.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Doomsday Clock #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: DC and Watchmen characters collide at last! The story that began in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 comes to a thrilling and unexpected crescendo in the pages of this titanic twelve-issue series by the all-star team that brought you BATMAN: EARTH ONE and SHAZAM! In this second chapter: The Dark Knight discovers another relic from the Watchmen world. Lex Luthor pays a devil’s bargain. And killer clowns trek through Gotham seeking a madman. RATED T+

Why we love it: No sugar coating, I was disappointed with issue #1. In fairness, my expectations were pretty high to start. But the first issue was a long, dense read that explained basically nothing except for introducing a few new characters. The $6 price tag didn’t do me any favors either. I’m still holding out hope for issue #2, and really hope it shines some light on where this series is going, otherwise this could be a quick jump off for me.

 The Mainstream One: Thanos #14

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 2. Thanos has journeyed to the end of time to the moment of his complete victory…and he’s not happy with what he sees! Writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw (God Country) continue the tale of the Mad Titan’s biggest glory and ultimate shame! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: The same creative team that brought us the awesome God Country brings us an awesome Thanos story. In the previous issue we were introduced to a cosmic Ghost Rider as well as a future version of Thanos that has succeeded in conquering the galaxy. It was a fantastic setup issue and I’m really excited to see what happens next.

 The Indie One: Redneck #8

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren

What it is: You never see the thing that gets you in the end. At least, that’s how the saying goes, but with the Bowmans taking on new blood, is the thing that’s going to end up killing them right in front of their very faces? And what does a weird albino boy out in the woods have to do with all this?

Why we like it: Donny Cates makes the list a second time. If that seems like a recurring theme this year, it’s because I think Cates has the potential to be a great comic book writer and Redneck shows off his talent in full view. If you can get past the scratchy artwork, you will be treated to an intelligent vampire story that relies as much on character drama, family dynamics and existential musings as traditional horror tropes.

 The #1 One: Phoenix Resurrection (Artgerm variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is:  She will return, like a Phoenix from the ashes. Years ago, Jean Grey died and the X-Men mourned her. Since then, the world has changed, her teammates have lived without her and died without her. And now, when strange events start happening all over the world, those teammates can only come to one conclusion – the one true Jean Grey is back! Rated T+

Why we like it: There are a few certainties in life: death, taxes and the resurrection of Jean Grey. You just can’t keep a good woman down. I’m super excited for the Phoenix’s most recent return and have high hopes for this creative team. There are a bunch of retailer variants being released for this issue, as well as a slew of store exclusives. I think the Artgerm covers are the best. There is a regular priced version features a red Dark Phoenix. The cover shown above where she’s wearing the classic green and gold Phoenix costume is a 1:100 ratio variant. Good luck finding one on Wednesday.

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Mace Windu #5 (40th Anniv variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Owens
Art: Denys Owen
Cover Art: Salvador Larroca

What it is: Having rooted out the rebellion in their ranks, Master Windu and his companions make their final stand against the AD-W4 and his droid army! Rated T

Why we like it: There have been some good 40th anniversary Star Wars covers, and there have been a few great ones. I think this falls under the latter. Salvador Larroca is a master and he beautifully captures one of the most iconic moments from New Hope here. There’s also a Mace Windu action figure variant for this issue, but I think the 40th anniv variant could be a sleeper.

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 30, 2017

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. If you are reading this article, then you are no doubt aware of Jack Kirby. A man so well respected that his contemporaries called him Jack “The King of Comics” Kirby, later shortened to Jack “King” Kirby for the whole brevity thing. This week would have been Jack’s 100th birthday. This week is also the dreaded 5th Wednesday of the month, which mean most of the publishers phoned it in. One shots, annuals, you know the drill. It’s rough but there are a few diamonds in there. Here’s what glitters.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Saga #46

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples

What it is: An operation and a farewell.

Why we love it: The best comic in comicdom continues to be just that. The last page of issue #45 has been giving me nightmares since I read it and I’m no doctor, but that cover doesn’t look good.

  The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #10 (Gabrielle Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Steve McNiven

What it is: Can there be any redemption for Captain America as the SECRET EMPIRE starts to crumble? Rated T+

Why we like it: This is the end for Hydra Cap! What happens to Steve Rogers and how can he possibly be redeemed after going this far? Secret Empire has been a good event and an even better read but I’m getting worried that it all ends with Kobik ex machina. Regardless, that is one bad mutha Dell Otto cover.

The Indie One: Image Plus #1 (Wytches The Bad Egg part 1)

Publisher: Image
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: Volume two of the Diamond Gem Award-winning comics magazine IMAGE+ begins now! Fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of SCOTT SNYDER & JOCK’s smash-hit horror series WYTCHES ever since the first season ended on a brutal cliffhanger. Now, they’re back with a taste for the upcoming second season of the series by serializing what happens next in IMAGE+! How did Sailor make it to safety? What has she been doing since?

Why we like it: Free when purchasing a copy of Diamonds Preview, Image Plus #1 brings the much anticipated return of Wytches. I loved the first arc when it came out in 2014, and I’m super excited that it is coming back. I hate that it’s being printed in Image Plus magazine instead of single issue floppies.

 The #1 One: Star Wars Jedi Republic Mace Windu #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Owen
Art: Denys Cowan

What it is: For over a thousand generations, the Jedi have been the peacekeepers of the galaxy…but now, at the dawn of the Clone Wars, they find themselves in a new role: generals in the Army of the Republic. As Mace Windu, one of the Jedi’s greatest warriors, leads a small unit of Jedi into battle shortly after the war begins, the Jedi must make peace with their new role, or be lost to the violence around them! Rated T

Why we like it: Hi kids, do you like sci-fi action? With Sam Jackson, gonna grow up like Titanic with Bill Packson? Cool brother with the bald head and goatee. Isn’t he the first black guy to be in Star Wars Since Billy D? Hi, my name is, huh? my name is who? my name is chicki, chicki, Mace Windew. Jimmy Fallon may be a twit but I always liked that bit.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman #29

Publisher: DC
Words: Fonta Shea
Art: Messi David
Cover Art: Jenny Frison 

What it is: ‘HEART OF THE AMAZON’ part four! No single bounty hunter would be enough to draw blood from Wonder Woman-which is why the cabal that’s so desperate to get their hands on Amazon DNA has sent five!

Why we like it: Maybe it’s just me, but this WW cover reminds me of that famous National Geographic cover with the Afghan Girl.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics! And to everyone affected by Harvey, our thoughts go out to you. Stay safe and take care of each other!