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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 1, 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: Mister Miracle #10 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: Darkseid has put an offer on the table- something that can end the war between New Genesis and Apokolips once and for all. The stakes are high, but peace is important. Mister Miracle finds himself caught having to make a decision that won’t just change the new life he’s been building, but potentially the entirety of the universe.

Why we love it: Scott Free has to decide how much he is willing to sacrifice to stop the eternal war. Will he trade away his new born son to the enemy, to be raised in Apokolips as the one true heir to Darkseid, in exchange for a few decades of true peace?

The Mainstream One: Infinity Wars #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Gerry Duggan
Art: Mike Deodato

What it is: As the Infinity Stones come to Earth, so too comes the war for control over them. But none who wield the stones know the truth about the power they contain…or what it would take to bring them to their END. The nature of the universe itself hangs in the balance as we learn the answer to the question on everyone’s lips since ‘Infinity Wars Prime’: WHO IS REQUIEM? Gerry Duggan (DEADPOOL, INFINITY COUNTDOWN) and Mike Deodato Jr. (ORIGINAL SIN, OLD MAN LOGAN) look into the Infinite and bring the truth to light! Rated T+

Why we like it: My bet’s on Gamora being Requiem. I thought the prime issue was pretty cool and Marvel’s events have become far less intrusive without the jillion of tie-ins.

The Indie One: Seven to Eternity #10

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: ‘THE SPRINGS OF ZHAL,’ Part One-Adam Osidis and the Mud King travel the wastelands to the mythical Springs of Zhal, which promise a cure to Adam’s fatal disease-and the offer of the God of Whispers fulfilled. But when you deal with the devil, how soon before he lays claim to your soul?

Why we like it: Crazy that its been 2 years since this series launched and we’re only at issue 10. Opena is back on art so I’ll be back as well. Remender’s story is quality as usual, but it’s the artwork that really makes this comic sing. This title doesn’t come out often enough but it’s consistently great when it eventually does.

The #1 One: Leviathan #1 

Publisher: Image
Words: John Layman
Art: Nick Pitarra

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! Poor Ryan DeLuca didn’t buy enough beer for his party, and while he was out on a beer run his idiot buddies busted out some mystical arcana and performed a summoning ceremony-a ceremony that summoned a giant monster from hell! Join multiple Eisner-winning writer JOHN LAYMAN (CHEW) and Eisner-nominated artist NICK PITARRA (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS), along with soon-to-be-nominated-for-best-colorist MICHAEL GARLAND (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS) for an eye-popping, face-melting, reality-defying, nonstop rush of pure adrenaline.

Why we like it: It’s also been almost two years since the hit series Chew ended and I’m pretty excited for a new John Layman story. The art looks pretty wild, it has a neo underground comix feel. And there’s a giant lizard monster. Count me in.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain America #2

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: WINTER IN AMERICA Continues! Distrusted by a nation that seems to have lost faith in him, Steve Rogers is a man out of time and out of options! Where can a now-unsanctioned Captain America turn for aid and assistance in order to stem the rise of the cabal of influence brokers known as the Power Elite? Rated T+

Why we like it: I feel like I ought to stand and remove my hat.

 

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 – March 14, 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: Mister Miracle #7

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: Mister Miracle and Big Barda are in a panic. The war with Apokolips isn’t going well. And it’s Barda’s turn to have her past come crashing back into her present as the Female Furies appear on the scene with blood on their minds. Continuing the acclaimed miniseries that Entertainment Weekly called ‘by far the best comic on the stands right now.’

Why we love it: I don’t know what powers made Entertainment Weekly the authority on what is the best comic on the stands right now, but I grudgingly have to agree with their assessment. This is one of those series that pushes the limits of the comic medium and tells a visual story in a new way. King and Gerad’s Mister Miracle is real heady stuff, not a book that you will be able to just pick up and catch up on. If you haven’t been keeping up, you’ll definitely want to hunt down the first 6 issues or wait for the first trade to drop next month.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #684

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Joe Bennet

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 10 THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES IN THIS OVERSIZED ISSUE! Back from the dead! He cannot be reasoned with. He will not be stopped. Bruce Banner isn’t home right now. There is only THE IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we like it: There was never any doubt if, it was just a matter of when. And this week Bruce Banner is back. I read a synopsis of Immortal Hulk and it almost sounds like he’s going to have some kind of zombie power where he can rise from the dead? Sounds kind of silly, but I’m digging this No Surrender story line and that Mark Brooks cover is dope.

The Indie One: Infidel #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Pornsak Pichetshote
Art: Aaron Campbell

What it is: A haunted house story for the 21st century, INFIDEL follows an American Muslim woman and her multiracial neighbors who move into a building haunted by entities that feed off xenophobia. Bestselling editor PORNSAK PICHETSHOTE (Swamp Thing) makes his comics-writing debut alongside artist extraordinaire AARON CAMPBELL (The Shadow), award-winning colorist and editor JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA (Promethea) and letterer / designer JEFF POWELL (SCALES & SCOUNDRELS).

Why we like it: Very intriguing premise. I think many minorities are haunted by the specters of fear and prejudice.

 

The #1 One: Eternity Girl #1

Publisher: DC Young Animals
Words: Magdalene Visaggio
Art: Sonny Liew

What it is: Caroline Sharp has been a lot of things, including both a superhero and a super-spy. But now, with those days behind her and her powers proving unreliable, Caroline finds herself stuck in a life weighed down by her depression and an inability to change. You see, Caroline is going to live forever, and there is no escape to be had. The very act of living reminds her that, to the rest of existence, she is an anomaly. All of that could change, however, when her old foe, Madame Atom, comes to her with an intriguing offer. Madame Atom can give Caroline the power to end her life; she just has to destroy the rest of the world. This brand-new DC’s Young Animal miniseries spins out of the Milk Wars event, written by GLAAD Media Award-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio (Kim and Kim) and illustrated by Eisner-winning artist Sonny Liew (The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye).

Why we like it: Another new series with an interesting premise. Life is a gift, but only because we know that someday it ends. But what if it didn’t? Eternal life seems glamorous at first but I would be that after several hundred years of watching your loves die, it would start feeling like a curse.

The Ones I’m Buying for the Cover:

Just too much outstanding cover art this week. Here are some of my favorites and, get this, they are ALL cover price.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20

Detective Comics #976

Justice League of America #26

SuperGirl #19

Deadly Class #32

Doctor Strange #384

Darth Vader #13

 

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 – January 10, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a late 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: Mister Miracle #6

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: The hit miniseries reaches the emotional conclusion of its first arc! Scott Free returns to New Genesis to face his punishment, but instead finds the whole world has been flipped upside down. Mister Miracle and Big Barda battle their way through monsters and New Gods to get to the Highfather, but once they reach Orion’s throne room, they learn that the war against Darkseid has taken a bloody turn. MATURE READERS

Why we love it: The secrets out and Mister Miracle is officially a hit. First printings of issue #1 are already selling for $30 on the secondary market. Issue #5 was a love story that ended with a crazy cliffhanger. Now it’s Scott Free and Big Barda vs all of Apokolipse.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #675

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing, Mark Waid, Jim Zub
Art: Pepe Larraz

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 1 AVENGERS goes WEEKLY for the stunning sixteen-part saga that will write the end of an era! The Earth has been STOLEN! The sky burns while mysterious cosmic objects crash down from above, wreaking havoc across the world! The Avengers are the last line of defense between Earth and the mysterious forces threatening to tear it apart. It’s time to ASSEMBLE! The teams you know and love from AVENGERS, UNCANNY AVENGERS, U.S.AVENGERS and OCCUPY AVENGERS come together to face a threat beyond any they’ve faced before in a weekly epic adventure that will define the future of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

Why we like it: There are wayyyy too many Avengers books out right now, and it seems like Marvel is getting the message. I’m hoping that this events brings us back to one or max two Avenger series.

The Indie One: Judas #2

Publisher: Boom
Words: Jeff Loveness
Art: Jakub Rebelka

What it is: Judas comes face-to-face with Satan, and the Great Adversary begins to win him over.

Why we like it: If God is omnipotent, then logically he must have known that Judas was going to betray his son. And if all happens in accordance to God’s will, then doesn’t that make God responsible for Judas’ betrayal? And if God was responsible for the betrayal, then does it mean that Judas, the most reviled character in the Christ story, was just a patsy? I was extremely surprised by how well written issue #1 was. It challenges conventional religious thought without being offensive or sacrilegious.

The #1 One: Old Man Hawkeye #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ethan Sacks
Art: Marco Checchetto

What it is: AN EYE FOR AN EYE Part 1 The super heroes have fallen. The country has been divided into territories controlled by super villains. Among the wastelands lives CLINT BARTON – one of the few Avengers to survive. But it’s been 45 years, and he’s no Avenger. Trying to eke out a living anyway he can, the former HAWKEYE is confronted with a startling discovery: the sharpshooter is going blind. With time running short, Clint realizes there’s one last thing he wants to see: revenge for his fallen comrades-in-arms. Rising-star writer ETHAN SACKS and superstar artist MARCO CHECCHETTO take you back to the Wastelands in a story set five years before the original classic OLD MAN LOGAN. Rated T+

Why we like it: I’m a big fan of the Old Man Logan universe and excited to learn more about Old Man Hawkeye. If there is one thing that I hope this series delves into, it’s Ashley Barton aka Spider-Woman.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: New Superman #19 (Chang variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Mariko Tamaki
Art: Brent Peeples
Cover Art: Bernard Chang

What it is: ‘A Day in the Life’! The New Super-Man and Justice League of China changed the metahuman landscape of China forever, and Laney Lan has reported on their heroics since day one. But there’s more to Shanghai’s ace reporter than meets the eye, and when faced with turmoil in her own family, Laney’s commitment to reporting the truth will be tested like never before. RATED T

Why we like it: Quite a few good looking covers this week, but I’m loving this cover celebrating Chinese New Year. 2018 is the year of the dog, which also just happens to be my zodiac sign.

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 – December 13, 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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mister Miracle #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is:  How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene-only to what end? MATURE READERS

Why we love it: Wait a minute… Mister Miracle #5 at the top of the pile two weeks in a row? So the website I use to track new releases messed up last week and a few of my picks from last week actually are out this week. Sloppy journalism, I know, always double check references. Anyways Mister Miracle #5 is actually out this week and this issue is being framed as a love story. Sounds like Scott Free and Big Barda are getting some QT together but you just know that crazy is going to hit the fan by the end of it.

The Mainstream One: Action Comics #993

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Steve Pugh

What it is: BOOSTER SHOT’ part one! As Superman struggles to cope with Mr. Oz’s true identity, the Man of Steel turns to the only ‘hero’ he knows who can prove once and for all if Oz’s story is true: Booster Gold! But a massive power doesn’t want our heroes venturing through time, and will do anything it can to sabotage their journey! RATED T

Why we like it: Hey kids look, it’s Booster Gold! One of the most notable absences throughout the New 52 and Rebirth has been DC’s super-popular time traveling hero. He’s been effectively MIA since Flashpoint but it appears he’s finally back in the DCU and hopefully here to stay. Only 7 more issues until Action Comics hits the mind-boggling 1000 issue mark, so I get the feeling this Booster story arc is leading to something big.

The Indie One: Rumble #1

Publisher: Image
Words: John Arcudi
Art: David Rubin

What it is: ‘SOUL WITHOUT PITY,’ Part One Rathraq is back! But who is he, exactly? Once an ancient warrior god, he was resurrected as a sword-wielding scarecrow. And now, Rathraq has transformed yet again-or has he? JOHN ARCUDI and new artist, superstar DAVID RUBÍN, give you the new face of Rathraq and a new direction for the series when the critically acclaimed RUMBLE returns!

Why we like it: This #1 is actually the first issue of volume 2. I really liked volume 1 and enjoyed Rumble’s mix of supernatural horror, comedy and drama. The second volume brings a new artist on board and has been on my radar for a while. I will definitely be giving this book a peak on Wednesday.

The #1 One: Giants #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words and Art: Carlos and Manuel, The Valderrama Bros.

What it is: A cataclysm of unknown origins unleashed a race of gigantic monsters whose presence has driven humanity underground. There, two orphans discover that the most dangerous monster is ambition, which unchecked, will grow until it devours you!

Why we like it: I was able to read an advance preview of this book online and I was very impressed with what I saw. You can check out a preview here and decide for yourself: https://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/3001-017/Giants-1

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ryan North
Art: Erica Henderson
Cover Art: Veronica Fish

What it is: THE FORBIDDEN PLA-NUT Part 1 What happens when we take Squirrel Girl back to her roots? Well, we shoot her into space, OBVIOUSLY. Nancy and Tippy find themselves on an alien world where all is not what it seems. Squirrel Girl needs to find a way to get to the other side of the universe to save ’em, STAT. Intergalactic transport through the cosmic realm? This sounds like a job for the Sorcerer Supreme! I’m sure Doctor Strange will be happy to he – I’m sorry, what’s that? Doctor Strange is gone and now LOKI is Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme? Oh. Well, I’m sure he’ll do his best. After all, what could possibly go wrong? Guess what, in this issue, everything possible goes wrong! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T

Why we like it: We’re big fans of local artist Veronica Fish here at the Crank File. We’re also big fans of the classic Stan Lee/Moebius collaboration, Silver Surfer: Parable, which in my opinion is one of the finest Silver Surfer stories ever told. Veronica absolute nails this cover swipe. A shame that the first printing will be ruined by a horrible, ineffective lenticular cover. I might be holding out for the non-lenticulating second print on this one.

 

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 – December 13, 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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mister Miracle #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene-only to what end? MATURE READERS

Why we love it: Still pretty fuzzy about what the heck is going on in this book but I love it. King and Garad’s Miracle Man is dark, disturbing and fearless, and must not be missed.

  The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #3 (of 7)

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: Tragedy strikes, and the Bat-family face the fight of their lives against an army of super-villains and waning public support. A new discovery reinforces Jack’s plot to jeopardize the Dark Knight’s standing in Gotham City, and Harley’s obsession with The Joker reaches a new height-and threatens to change the game for good! RATED T+

Why we like it: The rumors of Harley appearing as Neo-Joker has provided lot of heat on this book, especially this Sean Murphy cover. Regardless, this series has been great so far and is worth a pickup just for the read.

The Indie One: Extremity #9

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: As Thea and Rollo risk life and limb to revive a fallen friend, Annora proves that the beasts below aren’t the only monsters prowling the Ancient Dark.

Why we like it: Extremity is one of my favorite Image books being published right now. I originally picked this title up for the artwork but have stuck around for the surprisingly deep and nuanced, anti-war narrative.

  

The #1 One: Paradiso #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Ram V
Art: Dev Pramanik

What it is: The Midnight Event forever changed the world. Now, centuries later, Jack Kryznan arrives on the outskirts of Paradiso City, haunted by fragments of childhood memories and in possession of a mysterious device-one with the power to change the destiny of this living breathing metropolis, the people who dwell within, and the guardians who strive for and against it.

Why we like it: Pretty cool premise but I’m always up for a dystopian sci-fi story.  If you’re on the fence, you can check out a preview of issue #1 here https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/09/exclusive-image-comics-preview-paradiso-is-the-pos.html

  

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-Man #792

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Ryan Stegman
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: VENOM INC. Part 2 Spider-Man finds himself between Eddie and a mysterious new figure! And Black Cat and her gang find themselves face-to-face with an amped-up villain named Maniac that might just rip those faces right off. Rated T

Why we like it: I think that these ASM Alex Ross covers aren’t getting enough love. I think maybe the Dan Slott hate has gone too far because a lot of these are getting overlooked by collectors. Case and point, this cover one featuring Spidey, Venom and Anti-venom is an absolute beauty that is going right into my personal collection.

 

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 – August 9, 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.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mister Miracle #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: From the team behind THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON and the Hugo Award-nominated writer of Vision comes a unique new take on one of Jack Kirby’s most beloved New Gods. Scott Free is the greatest escape artist that ever lived. So great that he escaped Granny Goodness’ gruesome orphanage and the dangers of Apokolips to travel across galaxies and set up a new life on Earth with his wife, the former female fury known as Big Barda. Using the stage alter ego of Mister Miracle, he has made a career for himself showing off his acrobatic escape techniques. He even caught the attention of the Justice League, which counted him among its ranks. You might say Scott Free has everything…so why isn’t it enough? Mister Miracle has mastered every illusion, achieved every stunt, pulled off every trick-except one. He has never escaped death. Is it even possible? Our hero is going to have to kill himself if he wants to find out. Written by Tom King (BATMAN) and illustrated by Mitch Gerads (The Punisher), this is a MISTER MIRACLE unlike any you’ve read before.

Why we love it: Tom King took one of Marvel’s more oddball heroes and with artist Gabriel Walta, turned the Vision into a 12 issue post-modern masterpiece that won a freaking Eisner. Mister Miracle will be a 12 issue mini that deconstructs one of Jack The King Kirby’s strangest creations. It’s King on King action!

 

The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Daniel Acuna

What it is: UNITED WE STAND – against the SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we like it: Still good. Still on time. Still loving this event.

 

The Indie One: Low #19

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: END OF STORY ARC ‘OUTER ASPECTS OF INNER ATTITUDES,’ Conclusion Death comes to the drowning city as Tajo and her crew fight to inspire the citizens of Salus to not go gentle into that good night.

Why we like it: It’s the end to another glorious Low arc and as usual, things aren’t going so great for our main characters. One of the recurring themes of Low has been finding hope when things are at their darkest moment but it has been pretty grim since Stel’s story came to a grisly end in issue #15. I’m looking for something in this week’s issue to keep my spirits buoyed.

 

The #1 One: Generations Phoenix & Jean Grey #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Aaron A
Art: R. B. Silva

What it is: Teenage Jean Grey is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid the fate that befell her predecessor. But when Jean is cast through time and comes face-to-face with the newly possessed Phoenix, will she find the key to saving herself or learn that her fate is sealed? Rated T+

Why we like it: Jean Grey was one of my first crushes, so the prospect of having two Jean Greys at the same time is something of a dream come true. It looks like we’re gonna be doing some time-traveling here, so prepare for things to get convoluted. Like with Generations Hulk, there will be a beautiful Mattina second print cover, but the Stephanie Hans regular cover is just too good to pass on.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: DC Cover B’s

Publisher: DC
Cover Artists: Frank Cho, Artgerm, Renato Guedes

Why we like it: I was having a hard time choosing the best cover this week so here’s three amazing DC cover B’s. These are all spectacular and can all be had for cover price.

 

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