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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 4/12/2017

Hey yo comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day, and on Tuesday I spotlight some of the titles that I will be checking out at my LCS. Here’s what I’m reading on a surprisingly Marvel heavy week.

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The Top of the Pile: Old Man Logan #21

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Felipe Andrade

What it is: THE EPIC ‘PAST LIVES’ SAGA BEGINS HERE! AN INSTANT CLASSIC FOR THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED SERIES! Follow LOGAN through the ages – in the 1800s as a young mutant, to his first encounter with the HULK, to his stint with the X-MEN as WOLVERINE – it’s all here! OLD MAN LOGAN is accidentally sent spiraling through his own past, forced to relive some of his most tragic and intense moments. Will he be able to free himself from these living memories? And will he ever return to the WASTELANDS and the young baby Hulk he left behind? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Jeff Lemire’s contract with Marvel is coming up and that means some of my favorite current Marvel series will be concluding or more likely relaunching after this year’s Secret Empire event. Old Man Logan may have been my favorite title that Lemire wrote for Marvel, so I’m bummed to see this one go. But thankfully we’ll get one last epic saga before the old man takes a bow and Marvel (hopefully) brings back Wolverine classic.

 

 

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The Mainstream One: Deadpool Vs Punisher #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Fred Van Lente
Art: Pere Perez

What it is: Frank Castle has an unstoppable will – a powerful drive to punish those who do wrong, rooted in the tragic killing of his family. Wade Wilson has an unstoppable mouth – an unthinking knack for annoying everyone around him, rooted in thinking he’s funny. Both men, however, are among the deadliest on the planet. When they find themselves in disagreement over the criminal known as The Bank, they’re in for one of the most brutal fights of their lives! Can Frank kill Wade over and over without ever dying once himself? Or will Wade bug him until he welcomes death?

Why we like it:  It seems like every time Deadpool teams-up with another hero, the results are hysterical. This is clearly no team-up, as denoted by the “Vs” in Deadpool Vs Punisher, but judging by the cover I’m expecting healthy doses of jokes and violence.

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The Indie One: Seven to Eternity #5 (Albuquerque variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: NEW STORY ARC! Adam Osidis and the Mosak come to a crossroads. The choices they make here will echo throughout the lands of Zhal for all eternity.

Why we like it: Seven to Eternity is one of those books that remind us why a publisher like Image is essential to the industry. It’s a story that wouldn’t and probably couldn’t be told by the capes and underwear crowd. Remender’s writing is top-form and Opena’s richly detailed art fully brings this dystopic fantasy to life.

 

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The #1 One: Rose #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Meredith Finch
Art: Ig Guara

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE A classic fantasy tale about a girl trying to restore balance to a broken world. Rose must connect with her Khat-Thorne-to become the Guardian the world needs. But things aren’t easy for Rose and Thorne, the powerful sorcerous Drucilla has many powerful and demonic allies-all of them focused on stopping one scared little girl who’s desperately trying to stay alive and do what’s right. Written by MEREDITH FINCH (Wonder Woman, Little Mermaid), and drawn by fan-favorite artist IG GUARA (Batman: Arkham Knight, Blue Beetle, The Ravagers).

Why we like it: The synopsis reminds me of the episode of Bob’s Burgers when Louis writes a Game of Thrones-esque story that centers around her Aunt Gail and her cat dragons. I like the creative team and Image has been on a roll recently, so I’ll give this one a browse at the stands.

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spiderman #26 (Cover A and/or Resurrxion variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Innomen
Cover Art: Alex Ross and Kris Anka

What it is: ‘THE OSBORN IDENTITY’ CONTINUES! Silver Sable comes back into Spider-Man’s life – but isn’t she DEAD?! Norman Osborn has worked his way into a position of power in Symkaria, and any incursion by Spider-Man will be seen as an act of war. Will Spider-Man risk international infamy to take down his most dangerous foe?

Why we like it: Not one, but two smoking-hot covers for this week’s ASM. With rumors of Silver Sable heading to the silver screen, I’m grabbing the regular Alex Ross cover for sure. And Storm’s one of my favorite X-Men of all time, so I’ll grab the Ressurrxtion variant if I can get it for 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 2/8/2016

The Top of the Pile: Batman #49

 

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Publisher: DC

Words: Scott Snyder

Art: Greg Capullo

It is time. Bruce Wayne has reclaimed his true past as Batman. Now he must descend into the cave and face what he once was. Can he truly leave behind a life free from the pain and anguish of the Bat? Can he plunge once more into the madness and purpose that once consumed him? In this special, thrilling issue, watch as the fate of Bruce Wayne, and Batman, is decided once and for all.

This week’s Batman will likely be read directly off the rack, and though it may never get there physically, it’s the undisputed top of the pile.  Snyder and Capullo’s epic Batman New 52 run will come to an end in just two months. This week’s issue #49 is the penultimate issue in the pulse pounding Super Heavy story arc. I had my doubts about the Batman series after Convergence. Bat-Gordon? A Bat-bot? A flower-man and his seedling army? These sounded more like Silver Age Batman story lines. I was worried that Snyder had run out of Bat tales (do bats have tails?) and risked spoiling what had otherwise been a phenomenal run. After the last two issues, my worries and doubts are gone. This arc has been outstanding, right up there with Court of Owls in terms of building the Batman mythology. If you’re not caught up, now’s the time. #50 next month is going to be huge.

 

The Mainstream One: Old Man Logan #2

 

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Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Andrea Sorrentino

For Old Man Logan, home is a wasteland in the distant future, one overridden by hillbilly Hulks who extort and torture civilians for fun. But now, mysteriously finding himself in the present, Logan is hellbent on preventing that future from coming to pass. And the best way to keep the Hulk population from surging in the future is to eliminate them altogether in the present…starting with Amadeus Cho, the Totally Awesome Hulk!

The first issue was crazy and certainly lived up to expectations. After we got past the ham fisted exposition, the rest of the issue was filled with a dark and violent story. The Old Man’s healing abilities are back and he’s got a hit list an arm’s length long. His plan: to save the future. The next name brings Logan face to face with another newly revamped Marvel character, the Totally Awesome Hulk. It’s a classic Hulk vs Wolverine fight with a new twist!

 

The Indie One: Gutter Magic #2 (of 4)

 

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Publisher: IDW

Words: Rick Douek

Art: Brett Barkley

A showdown at the Goblin Market puts Cinder and Blacktooth on the path to tracking down their quarry – but the necromantic sorceress known as the Morgue wants Cinder’s head, even if she has to threaten his family to get it. Fans of Harry Potter and Sin City will love this genre-bending caper that brings magic down to the gritty streets of New York!

There are so many good books out from Image this week (Low, Black Science, Descender, Autumnlands, Spread, No Mercy) that I couldn’t pick one. So I went with a new mini-series by a different publisher, Gutter Magic from IDW. The first issue of Gutter Magic was impressive in its execution. The dialogue was crisp and the art and action uncluttered. The hook was an interesting satire of political-economics, in which magic, not money, wielded power. Gutter Magic feels like a world that reaches beyond its panels, one that I will be happy to explore for 3 more issues.

 

The #1 One: Jonesy #1

 

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Publisher: Boom

Words: Sam Humphries

Art: Caitlin Rose Boyle

Jonesy is a self-described ‘cool dork’ who spends her time making zines nobody reads, watching anime, and listening to riot grrrl bands and 1D simultaneously. But she has a secret nobody knows. She has the power to make people fall in love! Anyone. With anything. She’s a cupid in plaid. With a Tumblr. There’s only one catch-it doesn’t work on herself. She’s gonna have to find love the old-fashioned way, and in the meantime, figure out how to distract herself from the real emotions she inevitably has to face when her powers go wrong…

Boom studios has scored a few hits recently, gaining attention for quality girly books like Lumber Janes and Giant Days. Is Jonesy next?

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Darth Vader #16

 

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Publisher: Marvel

Words: Kieron Gillen

Art: Salvador Larocca

Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

NEW STORY ARC! The planet Shu-Torin (introduced in the Darth Vader Annual) is revolting. Darth Vader is tasked with leading a military assault. Has Vader’s rise to glory begun? 

I’m trying not to buy every Star Wars comic that comes out, and just trade-wait the series, but they keep finding ways to get me. This is the most bad-ass Darth Vader cover from the series. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

 

Carpe Comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 1/25/2016

Hey there guys and dolls, and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Marvel tried to make headlines this week by announcing the return of Steve Rogers as Captain America in May and teasing the immenent resurrection of another major, deceased character.  But DC stole their thunder with a single word, “Rebirth”. After many of DC’s flagship titles reach their 52nd issue, the DC universe will reboot for the second time in 5 years. And while it’s not being officially being called a reboot, it walks like a reboot and quacks like a reboot. In other DC news, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are leaving Batman after issue #51, ending a brilliant 5-year run on the series. No news yet on what their dynamic duo will be working on afterwards, but Snyder has mentioned doing some writing on Detective Comics.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Saga #33

 

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Publisher: Image

Words: Brian K Vaughan

Art: Fiona Staples

Upsher and Doff are back on the case.

We’re three issues into the latest arc and after months of searching, Marko and Alana are finally close to rescuing Hazel! But the situation is more dangerous than ever.Our favorite war correspondents are back this issue, which means we will be taking a peak at the wider world beyond our main protagonists. Fiona Staples delivers a breathtaking cover, definitely one of the best in the series. Is anyone getting sick of seeing Saga at the top of the pile? Me neither. Sagaaaaaa!!!

 

The Mainstream One: Extraordinary X-Men #6

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Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Humberto Ramos

This month, it’s mutants, monsters and…RHINOSAURS?! With the doors of X-Haven thrown open wide to mutantkind, the Extraordinary X-Men continue their mission of providing relief and rescue to any mutant in need. But when they respond to a distress call originating in WEIRDWORLD, are the X-Men in over their heads…or worse, about to lose them?

It’s an X-Men/Weirdworld cross over, and that alone is enough to get me to give this issue a read. Add in the amazing creative talent of Lemire and Ramos and I’m more excited about an X-book than I have been in years. “X-Men… Kick their asses!”

 

The Independent One: Southern Bastards #13

 

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Publisher: Image

Words: Jason Aaron

Art: Jason Latour

Coach Boss’s Running Rebs face off against their sworn enemy from Wetumpka in the most important game in Craw County history.

I was deliberating long and hard last week between this and Monstress #3. I had written a draft with Monstress #3 penciled in this spot. But after the Patriots loss in Denver on Sunday, the Running Rebs game has become the most important football game of the year for me. Go Rebs! and go Carolina!

 

The #1 One: Old Man Logan (Mike DeoDato variant)

 

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Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Andrea Sorrentino

Fifty years from now, Logan — the man who no longer calls himself Wolverine — will have endured many atrocities: The Marvel Universe’s villains will have banded together and rid the world of its heroes. Logan’s closest friend, Hawkeye, will have been murdered in cold blood right before his eyes. And driven mad by the same radiation that gave him his superhuman strength, Bruce Banner will have fathered a family of hillbilly Hulks…that eventually went on to slaughter Logan’s wife and two children. But now, in the present, Old Man Logan wakes up to discover himself in a world before these atrocities, before the Wasteland. And he’s going to seize this opportunity and change history to ensure that his future never comes to pass.

From the same creative team that rejuvenated the Green Arrow franchise shortly after the New 52 relaunch, Old Man Logan #1 has a lot going for it. The DeoDato variant is awesome. Lemire’s writing is perfectly suited to a tragic hero like Old Man Logan. And Andrea Sorrentino’s artwork is just, well… see for yourself 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Grayson #16 (Adult Coloring Book variant)

 

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Publisher: DC

Words: Tim Seeley

Art: Mikel Janin

Armed with new information concerning Spyral’s connections, Dick must seek Tiger’s help to take Spyral down from within. But when Dick’s, his days as a double-agent may soon end in death!

No, that’s not a typo. It’s the actual solicit from DC. http://www.dccomics.com/comics/grayson-2014/grayson-16 I’m pretty sure they omitted something there on purpose, and if you read the shocking ending to Robin War then you already know why. The adult coloring variant cover is a pop-art classic and has a Steranko-S.H.I.E.L.D. vibe to it.

 

Carpe Comics!