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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – January 9, 2019

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. If you haven’t come by the new Great Stories location yet, what are you waiting for? Get on down here and check out our awesome new home. Every Wednesday is new comic book day, a perfect day to visit a comic shop near you, 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: Murder Falcon #4

Publisher: Image
Words and art: Daniel Warren Johnsom

What it is: The reunion tour of Brooticus gets off to a rough start as Magnum Khaos unleashes his monstrous minions on Chicago. Only the mighty musical attack of Murder Falcon and the band can turn the tide… but where is Jake when his friends need him the most?

Why we love it: It only took 3 issues for Murder Flacon to rock its way to the top of the pile. This series is so freaking metal, I love it. I’ll cop to the fact that the concept of a cyborg, falcon beast that draws its power from heavy metal music to fight fights demon monsters is sophmoric. But this book is so much fun to read and it has a ton of heart. Can’t recommend this series enough.

The Mainstream One: Thor #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Michael Del Mundo

What it is: MEET EARTH’S NEWEST DEFENDER: ROZ SOLOMON! With S.H.I.E.L.D. gone, Roz Solomon has been left adrift in a world full of homeless gods and mislaid hammers. Now this Asgardian ally is about to take on a surprising new role – and make a million new enemies. For the War of the Realms is coming…and the invasion of Earth may have already begun. Cue the Frost Giants! Rated T+

Why we like it:  Roz is a favorite minor character of mine, and I’m happy to see her getting a featured story. Originally an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. until it disbanded, Roz recently became an agent of Wakanda and she probably got her hands on some of that sweet Wakanda armor and weaponry.

The Indie One: Die #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Stephanie Hans

What it is: ‘FANTASY HEARTBREAKER,’ Part Two Remember last time, when we said ‘Goth Jumanji’? As the bleak, austere fantasy-horror ramps up, we start underlining the word ‘Goth’ in black marker until we cut a hole through the page.

Why we like it: Issue #1 was good enough to warrant a second. I was pleasantly surprised that the story was a lot more creepy and horror tinged than expected.

The #1 One: Young Justice #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Bendis
Art: Patrick Gleason

What it is: Superboy! Wonder Girl! Robin! Impulse! Amethyst! They’re all united in YOUNG JUSTICE #1, the debut issue of a brand-new series that also introduces new heroes Teen Lantern and Jinny Hex! When the nightmare dimension known as Gemworld invades Metropolis, these teen heroes reunite to deal with the situation-but they’re shocked to discover the battle may be the key to the return of Conner Kent, a.k.a. Superboy! This mix of fan favorites and new legacy heroes will be the center point for some of the biggest goings-on at DC! As if that weren’t enough, Bendis reunites with all-star artist Patrick Gleason (SUPERMAN, ACTION COMICS, GREEN LANTERN CORPS) to bring the new heroes of DC’s Wonder Comics to life!

Why we like it: DC’s newest team of teen derivatives. Normally I wouldn’t care but the new #1 from the latest volume of Young Justice has a few things going for it. It is being written by the  literary wizard Brian Michael Bendis and it introduces two new characters, Jinny Hex and Teen Lantern.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Spider-Gwen Ghost Spider #4

Publisher: Marvel
Seanan MacGuire
Rosi Campi
Cover Art: Bengal

What it is: In the aftermath of SPIDER-GEDDON, Gwen Stacy has a unique ability all her own – one that will set her apart from other Spiders for years to come. But with that unique power, there will also come a unique – and grave – responsibility. One that Gwen will have no choice but to bear alone… Rated T

Why we like it: In a week where both Alex Ross and Adam Hughes have covers for Captain Marvel #1, French artist Bengal takes home the coveted Cover of the Week award with this striking scene. I just love the colors and composition on this cover and can’t wait to get it up on my wall.


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 12, 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: Batman Damned #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Azzarello
Art: Lee Bermejo

What it is: As Batman’s descent into the madness of Gotham City’s decadent underbelly continues, he must try to exorcise some of his demons…and who better to help than the Demon, Etrigan himself. And where there’s demons, there’s also a Deadman, a Spectre, an Enchantress and a host of other supernatural friends and foes-it’s a veritable Grand Guignol!

Why we love it: Issue #1 sparked controversy with the now infamous Batawang panel, causing it’s price to sky rocket to $50 on the secondary market. But unless we see Harley’s cooch in issue #2, don’t expect the same explosive appreciation in value here. Regardless, this is a good Batman series and well worth your time.  

The Mainstream One: Defenders Silver Surfer #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Latour
Art: Ron Garney

What it is: ‘THE BEST DEFENSE’ PART FOUR! Shall not the Judge of All the Earths do right?
Norrin Radd is not so certain. But it falls to him who is the Silver Surfer to decide which planets will live…and which will feed the unending hunger of the world-devouring Galactus! A single honest person can tip the balance…if only the Surfer can find one in time! And the Train rolls on… Rated T+

Why we like it: The Surfer is one of my favorite Marvel characters, and now that he’s back under control of the MCU I expect a big push coming for the FF and Surfer in 2019 before inevitably they make their way back to the big screen.

The Indie One: Murder Falcon

Publisher: Image
Words: Daniel Warren Johnson
Art: Mike Spicer

What it is: Jake. Murder Falcon. Johann. Who’s next to join the band? If they’re going to defeat the Veldar, they’re going to need someone to lay down a heavy beat.

Why we like it: This book is so metal that I can’t even. If you read comics and you are a fan of metal music, I promise that you will absolutely love Murder Falcon.

The #1 One: Batman Who Laughs #1 (of 6)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: Left rattled by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Bruce Wayne must come face to face with the nightmares spawned from the Dark Multiverse. But even though evil devoured evil in the collapse of Challengers Mountain, the Dark Knight still has his doubts. He discovers that the Batman Who Laughs not only survived the fight with The Joker at the end of METAL, but now he is enacting a sinister plan across the Multiverse-something both terrifying and oddly familiar. But when Bruce Wayne realizes the only way to stop this madman is to kill him, he must consider violating the very rule Batman won’t break…the same rule that created this insatiable villain-the Batman Who Laughs!

Why we like it: DC’s recent breakout character is getting his own mini series and he’s being given the high-profile treatment, with two of DC’s most recognizable, creative talents attached. If you aren’t familiar with the character, he comes from the Earth -22 dimensions where Bruce Wayne as Batman is driven insane by the Joker, transforming him into the Batman Who Laughs.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-man #11 (Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Nick Spencer
Ryan Ottley
Cover Art: Gabriele Dell Otto

What it is: J. JONAH JAMESON has a new job as a shock jock, but is the world ready for a pro-Spider-Man JJJ? More importantly, is Spider-Man ready? His post-secret-identity relationship with Jonah was already complicated, but this very public embrace may put him over the edge! Spidey’s definitely not ready for the Enforcers to come at him harder than ever! Rated T

Why we like it: Kneel before the badassery that is Dell Otto!


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 – October 10, 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: Venom #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Iban Coello

What it is: ‘THE ABYSS’ STARTS HERE! Just when you thought the blockbuster story of the summer couldn’t get any more intense, Donny Cates and special guest artist and Venom veteran IBAN COELLO (VENOMVERSE, VENOMIZED) turn the story on its head AGAIN! But face front, True Believers, because it won’t be dragons and god-hosts and breakneck action this time. No, no. This time Donny and Iban are putting Eddie Brock through an emotional meat grinder the likes of which haven’t been seen in the Marvel Universe ever before! Rated T+

Why we love it: When Donny Cates writes, I listen. I’ve made my feelings about his current run on Venom very clear. I’ve featured it numerous times here on the Crank File. I’ve been singing its praises during our Comic Talk videos. I don’t know what else I can say to get you to read this book. Apparently there’s a secret variant cover for this issue that shows tongue if that does anything for you.

The Mainstream One: Wonder Woman #56

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV,
Art: Emanuela Lupacchino

What it is: ‘The Witching Hour’ part two! The Justice League Dark barely escaped their first encounter with Hecate, but they know she’ll be coming back for the power inside Wonder Woman. But what if Diana could tap into that power herself to take on Hecate directly?

Why we like it: I read part one of this story arc and it was solidly creepy. Tying into the events of Justice League Dark, this is a super natural Wonder Woman story with some horror elements, making it a great way to get in the mood for Halloween. The Yasmine Putri foil cover looks pretty dope too.

The Indie One: The Weather Man #5

Publisher: Image
Words: Jody LeHeup
Art: Nathan Fox

What it is: Nathan Bright is in the clutches of the Pearl and the clock is ticking. Agent Cross must choose between her own desire for vengeance and protecting a man who, though drenched in the blood of billions, might still be innocent.

Why we like it: I need to catch up on this series. One of the guys that I talk comics with at work won’t stop going on about how insanely cool this book is. If anyone reading this has issues #2-#3 and is willing to trade, let me know in the comments.

The #1 One: Murder Falcon #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer

What it is: From DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON, the creator of the Eisner-nominated series EXTREMITY, comes MURDER FALCON! The world is under attack by monsters, and Jake’s life is falling apart: no band, no girl, no future… until he meets Murder Falcon. He was sent from The Heavy to destroy all evil, but he can’t do it without Jake shredding up a storm. Now, with every chord Jake plays on his guitar, the power of metal fuels Murder Falcon into all-out kung fu fury on those that seek to conquer Earth. It’s time to shred!

Why we like it: I was a big fan of Extremity, which turned out to be surprisingly thoughtful story about the horrors of war and the ceaseless cycle of misery that follows a life lived for revenge. I get the feeling that Murder Falcon will be a bit more lighthearted. Daniel Warren Johnson is one of the new guys starting to make a name for himself in comics and it’s easy to see why. His artwork just pops with energy and style.

The Ones I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain America #4, Immortal Hulk #7, Catwoman #4, Suicide Squad #47, Superman #4

Cover Art: Ross, Ross, Artgerm, Mattina, Hughes

Why we like it: I think the Artgerm Catwoman is the best out of the bunch, but it is an embarrassment of riches for cover art this week.


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