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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 6/14/2017

Hey there comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The Bat Family lost one of it’s most iconic members last week. RIP Mayor Adam West. You may be gone, but the Batsui will live on.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

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The Top of the Pile: Vision Director’s Cut

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

What it is: One of the most surprising super-hero stories ever told, now better than ever! Experience Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s masterpiece…re-presented with bonus behind-the-scenes content! Behold the Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong? Collecting VISION (2015) #1-2, plus extras — including Tom King’s original series pitch, script excerpts, character designs and sketches by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, cover sketches by Mike del Mundo and more.

Why we love it: Vision was unlike any other Marvel story told before and will serve as the high water mark for all comics to come. I’m definitely down to watch how that sausage gets made.

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The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #4

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: There is a power that can either save the world or doom it! Both Steve Rogers and the heroes arrayed against him need this power! But unfortunately for all of them, the key to possessing this power lies in the hands of the unstoppable Ultron! LIVE IN X-CITING TIMES! SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we like it: For those of you who came over to comics from the movies, there’s a story about the Ultron-borg looking fella on the cover. In Marvel comics continuity Ultron was created, not by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, but by legacy Avenger Hank Pym. Hank’s has worn a lot of titles during his career, including Ant Man, Giant Man, Goliath, Yellow Jacket and Wasp. And at one point Ultron and Hank Pym fused their biological and technological selves, body and mind, creating the monstrosity that stands here before us today. Apparently he’s in possession of a shard of the cosmic cubic. Could Ultron be the key to ending Secret Empire? More importantly, what’s up with that second Steve Rogers??

 

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The Indie One: Manifest Destiny #29 (Spawn month variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Chris Dingess 
Art: Matthew Roberts

What it is: A new kind of monster emerges from the fog as an unsavory finally makes his move against his enemy.

Why we like it: See more at: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/manifest-destiny-29#sthash.qME9ATBz.dpuf

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The #1 One: Dark Days The Forge

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder, James Tynion III
Art: Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, John Romita Jr.

What it is: DARKNESS COMES TO THE DC UNIVERSE WITH THE MYSTERY OF THE FORGE! Aquaman, The Flash and more of DC’s pantheon of heroes suspect Batman of hiding a dark secret that could threaten the very existence of the multiverse! It’s an epic that will span generations-but how does it connect to the origins of one of DC’s most legendary heroes? The great comics event of summer 2017 is about to begin courtesy of superstar writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion III and illustrated by a master class of comics artists: Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and John Romita Jr.! You do not want to miss this one! RATED T

Why we like it: This is the prelude to Batman Metal, the hugely anticipated reunion of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman. There will be two Dark Days primer books, The Forge and The Casting, and they feature some of the best talent to ever grace the pages of Batman. And John Romita Jr.

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom #151 (Mattina variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: “THE LAND BEFORE CRIME” Starts Here! Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote have been reunited at last – and their hatred of Spider-Man is greater than ever! While hunting the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, Venom comes face-to-face with none other than STEGRON THE DINOSAUR MAN! Can Venom postpone feasting on Spider-Man’s brain long enough to stop Stegron from turning everyone in New York into a bloodthirsty dinosaur?!

Why we like it: To buy, or not to buy. Is that even a question? A little Shakespearean humor there. Brill.

 

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 10/28/2015

Happy Halloween comic booOOooooOOOook fans (read in a ghost voice). Welcome to a spooktacular edition of the Crank File, written in spooOOooky script. It’s the end of October folks and monster month has been an absolute treat. The Marvels relaunch was a little shaky, as expected, but everyone I spoke to seems to be finding something to enjoy. I liked what I saw from Iron Man and Captain America. The latest Star Wars Force Awakens trailer went a long way to ease any doubts I had about the new Star Wars movies. The internet dropped a crazy Batman vs Superman theory that actually sort of makes sense and AMC’s Walking Dead stabbed it’s audience square in the gut (for the watch). Week four delivers a merciful break as we enter All Hallow’s Eve. So without further adooOOoooOOoo…

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Manifest Destiny #18 Image

 

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As the arc comes to a close, extreme measures are taken to protect Lewis & Clark’s mission.

Always finding its way up to the front of the stack, Manifest Destiny is some of the most fun I’ve had reading comics. The series continues to horrify and delight with more monsters, more terrors and more grisly deaths. Manifest Destiny really hit its stride in the third arc Chiroptera & Carnivores with a balanced mix of action and storytelling. Issue #18 will undoubtedly close out with fireworks so Westward, ho!

 

The Mainstream One: Justice League The Darkseid Wars Batman #1 DC

 

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As the Darkseid War rages on, Batman’s role in Gotham City–and the world-alters drastically as he’s forced to accept his new role as a God of Knowledge.

Batman sits atop the Mobius chair and becomes god. An unstable man with violent tendencies and a thirst for vengeance gains omnipotence. What could possibly go wrong? I wasn’t planning on picking this one up initially, but I heard that in this issue Batman confronts the man who shot his parents all those years ago, Joe Chill.

 

The Indie One: Rumble #8 Image Comics

 

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Special Halloween issue, introducing a new major character!

I read the first issue of Rumble when it came out and liked it enough to add it to my pull list. Issues 2-7 had been sitting in my pull box since then and I decided the reading load for monster week wasn’t enough, so I decided to tack six issues of Rathraq on top of it. I didn’t really need to sleep anyways. It’s hard to boil Rumble down to a blurb, but it is action, fantasy, humor, horror and heart and it’s all done incredibly well.

 

The #1 One: Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D #1 Marvel Kirby Monster Variant

 

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Hidden deep beneath AREA 13 lies the clandestine headquarters of S.T.A.K.E.–a top secret division of S.H.I.E.L.D. housing aliens, mythical beasts, and all manner of extra-normal entities. Under the command of legendary soldier DUM DUM DUGAN, these monsters step out of the shadows and defend the world against supernatural threats too dangerous for normal men.

Marvel’s answer to the Justice League Dark, S.H.I.E.L.D’s Howling Commandos are a motley crew of monsters and humans who specialize in dealing with the weird stuff that their super-strong counterparts can’t punch through. I like the premise, it allows Marvel to tell dark, supernatural stories that don’t work elsewhere but I was underwhelmed by the preview. My Newbury 50% special of the week, I’m going to try to grab the Del Mundo Kirby variant.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Paper Girls #1 Image

 

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In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure.

The Paper Girls debuted a few weeks back and it was awesome. If you’re like me and love Brian K Vaughan’s writing, then you probably already own a copy. But right now, Midtown Comics is selling copies signed by creators Brain K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Jared Fletcher and Matt Wilson for cover price plus shipping. It even comes with a COA. Be sure to snag a couple cheap comics to protect your copy of Paper Girls during shipping, Midtown does not ship their comics with backers.

 

The Speculation One: Self Storage #1 451 Media Group

 

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What if you found a zombie locked up in a self storage unit? Would you keep it? Chris Smith has eked by in life hocking the auctioned-off junk from those people who no longer pay the rent on their self storage units. He spends his days hopping from one storage facility to the next, bidding on units sight-unseen, only to sell whatever’s inside to antique dealers and pawn shops for as much money as he can squeeze. But Chris has never found anything like what’s waiting for him inside unit # 83… …Her name is Jessica.

Small, indie publishers are all the rage this year. Last week’s Sunflower #1 from 451 Media Group sold out quickly and immediately shot up to $15 in after market trading. I’m hoping for similar results with their zombie book, Self Storage. The previews looked great and should be an entertaining read regardless.

Carpe Comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 9/16/2015

Always good to have you back for another episode of the Crank File.

In case you’ve missed it, GwenPool is an actual thing now. Spider-Gwen was the surprise hit from last summer and the dopple-Gwener may have just done it again. A part of Marvel’s month of Gwen Stacy themed variants, Gwen-pool first appeared on  Chris Bachalo’s variant cover to Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #2.

 

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Then the ungodly creation began showing up in fan art,

 

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and inevitably cosplay.

 

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Last week marvel announced that Gwen-pool will be getting a backup story in Howard the Duck #1 out in November and her own holiday special in December. How did it come to this?

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

 

The top of the pile: Miracle Man #2 Marvel

 

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We’re huge fans of both Buckingham (Fables) and Gaiman (Sandman) over here at the Crank File and it’s criminal that Miracle Man #1 didn’t make this list. The acclaimed series is back after a twenty year hiatus. Created in the 1950’s, MarvelMan (originally named MarvelMan) had faded from cultural relevance before he was revived in the 1980’s by Alan Moore. Moore wrote 16 issues of MiracleMan before handing the over writing duties to a young, Neil Gaiman. Gaiman expanded the series, writing up to issue #24 before MiracleMan’s publisher Eclipse Comics went bankrupt in the 1990’s. After settling a lengthy, legal battle for the rights, Marvel is re-releasing MiracleMan with Gaiman and Buckingham back to complete the unfinished masterpiece they started decades ago.

 

 

The Mainstream One: Star Wars #9 Marvel

 

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Issue #9: Luke’s loses his lightsaber like a complete noob and has to get it back. I’m really digging Immonen’s artwork and I’m happy to see him returning for issue #9 but I’ll admit it, the story doesn’t sound inspiring. Speaking of uninspiring, so is this issue’s action figure variant. But all Star Wars comics are worth collecting, because collectors love Star Wars so I’ll be picking it up.

 

 

The Indie One: Manifest Destiny #17 Image

 

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The latest arc has revealed a lot about the nature of the monstrous beasts that have been slowly picking off the members of Lewis and Clark’s expedition crew. And now a new evil looms. What is the Vameter? I don’t know but it sounds freaking terrifying. One of my favorite Image titles, Manifest Destiny keeps on heading into the heart of darkness with issue #17.

 

 

The #1 One: Tokyo Ghost #1

 

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The Isles of Los Angeles 2089: Humanity is addicted to technology, a population of unemployed leisure seekers blissfully distracted from toxic contamination, who borrow, steal, and kill to buy their next digital fix. Getting a virtual buzz is the only thing left to live for. It’s the biggest industry, the only industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need their rule enforced? Constables Led Dent and Debbie Decay. This duo is about to be given a job that will force them out of the familiar squalor of Los Angeles to take down the last tech-less country on Earth: The Garden Nation of Tokyo. Bestselling writer Rick Remender, superstar art team Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth examine our growing addiction to technology while thirsting for a nature we continue to destroy.

 

 

The one I’m buying for the cover: Beauty #2 Image Templesmith Cover

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Issue #1 was good enough to bring me back for a second helping of Beauty. The gorgeous Templesmith cover is just gravy. Nobody blends horror and beauty like Templesmith.

 

 

The Speculation One: Guardians of Knowhere #4 Marvel

 

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The mysterious figure appeared briefly at the end of issue #3, disrupting a poignant, philosophical argument between Angela and Gamora. The character appears on the cover of issue #4 this could be a first appearance. I will also be grabbing a copy of #3 if her character ends up having an important role.

 

 

Last Week’s Leftover’s: Space Riders #1-3 Black Mask

 

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This series is absolutely bananaphones. It’s a psychedelic, retro, sci-fi comic from breakout publisher Black Mask and everything Black Mask is heating up due to their small print runs and flat-out awesome comics. Because of their tiny print runs many readers have never had the chance to read Space Riders. That all changes this week as the third print of #1 and second printings of #2 and #3 are released on Wednesday with new cover art.

 

Carpe Comics!