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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween 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: Old Man Logan #50

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Ibraim Roberson

What it is: Logan came into this world the same way he’s leaving it: IN PAIN! Don’t miss the end of an era as Old Man Logan’s golden years are cut short! Parental Advisory

The Mainstream One: Avengers Halloween Special

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Gerry Duggan
Art: Juanan Ramirez

What it is: TRICK OR TREAT, TRUE BELIEVERS! PLUS! Spooky stories starring the X-Men & Doctor Doom! Epic thrills and ghastly horror awaits in these all-new twisted tales! Spanning the breadth of the Marvel Universe, through the macabre lens of a murderer’s row of writers and artists assembled here, see your favorite heroes and villains as you’ve never seen them before! Also including the Marvel Comics writing debut of Jay Baruchel (This is the End; Goon)! Rated T

The Indie One: Wytches Bad Egg Halloween Special

Publisher: Image
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: ‘BAD EGG’ Serving as both a stand-alone story in the WYTCHES world and a prequel to the highly anticipated WYTCHES, VOL. 2, ‘BAD EGG’ tells the story of Seb and Jackson-two innocent teenagers reared on opposite sides of the eternal struggle between good and evil. Sebastian’s mother is a member of ‘The Irons,’ the most ruthless Wytch hunters in history, while Jackson’s family are ‘High Horn’ Wytches. Can these two boys find friendship amidst this age-old blood feud, or are their fates already sealed? Collecting the entire IMAGE+ magazine run and, for the first time, the 13-page, pulse-pounding conclusion plus extra materials, WYTCHES: BAD EGG reunites the Eisner-award winning duo of SCOTT SNYDER and JOCK in a horror-filled romp just in time for Halloween!

The #1 One: Sex Death Revolution #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Magdalene Visaggio
Art: Becca Farrow

What it is: Life is a story. Her’s is being rewritten. Still reeling from the sudden collapse of her cover, Manhattanite sorceress Esperanza tries to rebuild. But everyone in her life is saying she’s done and said things that never happened — terrible things. Before she knows it, she’s becoming someone entirely different. Someone she used to be, once upon a time. Life is full of ch-ch-ch-changes in this urban fantasy from Eisner-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl, Kim & Kim) and artist Becca Farrow (Ladycastle).

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League Dark and Wonder Woman the Witching Hour #1

Publisher: DC
James Tynion IV
Ricardo Federici
Cover Art: Ricardo Federici

What it is: The deadly finale of ‘The Witching Hour’ arrives as Zatanna battles for Wonder Woman’s soul-and the rest of the Justice League Dark battle for their lives! Hecate is more powerful than the Greek Gods…and no matter who wins, the Earth will lose its chance of surviving the war that’s coming!


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 – November 29, 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. It’s the dreaded fifth Wednesday of the month, when the big two phone it in with annuals and minis. You know the drill by now, it’s going to be a slow week for new books. But I’ll take a slow Wednesday over no Wednesday any time. Besides, there’s still good stuff to be read if you know where to look. I’m here to help.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman Annual #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks

What it is: Travel back in time with us to see the early days of the Bat and the Cat. What was Bruce and Selina’s first date? How did this rivalry blossom into romance, and then go right back to being a rivalry again? Tom King re-teams with his BATMAN/ELMER FUDD collaborator Lee Weeks to show us a little young love with capes and cowls. And a little crime fighting, too.

Why we love it: If you’re a regular here then you might already know that I absolutely adored Tom King and Lee Week’s Batman/Elmer Fudd book. It was hands down the best of the DC/Loony Tunes crossovers, which isn’t saying much in itself but I was raving about it to anyone who would listen. Well, the band’s back together this week with a $5 oversized annual, which isn’t the typical book that makes the list, let alone the top of it, but there is a LOT of buzz about this issue. Don’t expect the first appearance of a hot new character, or a book that skyrockets in value overnight, but be ready for one of the best, single-issue stories of the year. Do NOT sleep on this one.


The Mainstream One: Old Man Logan #31

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mike Deodato

What it is: THE SCARLET SAMURAI Part 1 Old Man Logan – the man who was Wolverine – is up against a foe like no other…the Hand! Logan’s past comes back to haunt him when a former love drags him into battle with the Hand, who have bolstered their forces like never before. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, Logan encounters the mysterious Scarlet Samurai! Will Logan be able to discover who she is and take down the Hand? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Some of my favorite Wolverine stories take place in the Far East. There’s something about Logan’s sense of honor and penchant for blade violence that fits perfectly into the samurai/ninja genre. If you’ve never read an Ed Brisson comic, the best word I could use to describe them is “brutal”, which makes him the perfect writer for OML.

The Indie One: Spawn #280

Publisher: Image
Words: Darragh Savage
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: Death. Destruction. And deception. Spawn piles as much pain as he can in his attempt to protect a young girl who very shortly will be a NEW SUPERHERO much stronger than Spawn himself.

Why we like it: I don’t keep up much with Spawn these days, but I always jump back in anytime there’s a new character. There are rumors that the new superhero is Cyan, and that’s reason enough for me to give this a flip through. Oh Spawn, I wish I knew how to quit you.


The #1 One: Mystik U #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Alisa Kwitney
Art: Mike Norton

What it is: Leave the world of the mundane behind and step through the magical doors of Mystik U! After a tragic accident, a young Zatanna Zatara, under the guidance of Rose Psychic, enrolls in a mysterious university that teaches its students how to master their unique brands of magic. Will Zatanna fit in with her new classmates (Enchantress, Sargon the Sorcerer, Faust and more!) and unlock her true potential? Find out in this exciting bimonthly miniseries from novelist Alisa Kwitney (DESTINY) and Mike Norton (Revival, Runaways)!

Why we like it: Zatanna is my girl and I believe it’s only a matter of time before she gets the live-action treatment. A Harry Potter-esque tale set in the DC universe sounds a little derivative but I could see this being a fun mini. Big fan of the Julian Tedesco cover.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Vampirella #8

Publisher: Dynamite
Words: Jeremy Whitley
Art: Andy Belanger
Cover Art: Jorge Fornes

What it is: The perfect jumping on point for anyone who has been curious to try Vampirella! Join brand new creative team Jeremy Whitley (The Unstoppable Wasp, Avengers, Princeless) and Andy Belanger (Southern Cross, Swamp Thing, Black Church) as Vampi and Vicki emerge into a ruined wasteland that hates Vampirella for the unintended consequences of saving them. This Vampirella story has everything: a new adventure, new romance, and the return of a very old evil.

Why we like it: Jorge Fornes apes Jock on this stunning Vampirella cover. Not sure if this counts as a swipe, but I’m getting a strong Detective Comics 880 vibe here. Either way, totally baddass.


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 – 05/10/2017

Welcome comic book fans to another episode of the Crank File. Last Saturday was Free Comic Book Day and I hope you were able to swing by your local shop and snag some sweet freebies. As much as I love free stuff, the Wednesday after FCBD always feels like a bad hang-over, which appears to be the case again this year. There are a few indie books that I’m looking forward to, but the Big 2 seem to be mostly sitting this one out. But regardless, it is my sworn duty to inform you about what’s coming out each week, so here’s what I’m reading:



The Top of the Pile: Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Marco Chachetto

What it is: ‘THE SCREAMING CITADEL’ – PART 1 Rebel pilot and rogue archaeologist wander side by side into the darkest shadows of the galaxy as Luke Skywalker reluctantly teams up with Doctor Aphra! The Doctor makes Luke an offer he can’t afford to pass up, one that leads him to a very rare gathering at the heart of the infamous Screaming Citadel. Will Luke find what he’s looking for? Can Aphra be trusted? Or will they both wind up victims of the Citadel’s Queen?

Why we love it: Dr. Aphra exploded on the Star Wars scene from the pages of Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader series, instantly becoming a fan favorite. Now the good doctor is teaming up with Luke for a new adventure, which I’ve read is going to be partly a horror story. I wonder if Aphra will make the connection between Luke and her former employer/attempted-murderer. More importantly, I wonder if her murder-droids BT and Triple Zero will be making an appearance.


The Mainstream One: Titans #11

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Brett Booth

What it is: ‘THE LAZARUS CONTRACT’ part one! When Deathstroke discovers that Wally West’s return holds the key to bringing his son back from the dead, he’ll stop at nothing to do just that! Don’t miss the debut chapter of the epic crossover event that you’ve been waiting for! RATED T Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.

Why we like it: Deathstroke returns where it all began. 1984’s Judas Contract by comic legends Marv Wolfram and George Perez is considered by many to be the greatest Teen Titans story of our generation. Highly regarded for its mature themes and shocking plot-twists, the series was even recently made into an animated film. Clearly DC is playing up the parallels with the upcoming Titan’s “Lazarus Contract” arc, choosing a similar title as well as bringing Deathstroke back as the antagonist. I get the feeling that something big is about to go down here.



The Indie One: Solar Flare #2

Publisher: Scout
Words: James Haick III
Art: Branko Jovanovic

What it is: Where were you when the world went dark? When last we saw Jake, everything was going according to plan. He would soon see his daughter. A good friend was coming to visit him. He had friends, family, and a good job. He might not have been a great man, but he knew he was a good man-a good enough man. And he was just fine with that. He was content. He was able to sleep at night. And then the sky turned green. Awoken by the bright new hue of the midnight sky, Jake is faced with the perplexing reality of this new world before him and his thoughts now turn to reuniting with his daughter states away and how is he going to survive the journey when the world appears to have been reverted to the dark ages.

Why we like it: I picked up the first issue based on a recommendation I got from a shop owner who, like me, shares a passion for quirky, indie titles. The premise was interesting, but certainly nothing ground breaking. But what began as another post-apocalyptic adventure ended up feeling like something more. While some of the themes and characters felt like well-worn territory, what really set this book apart for me was the tone. The backwards story telling, the stark dialogue and the dark, detailed artwork in issue #1 all fed into a palpable feeling of dread and foreboding.


The #1 One: Regression #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Danny Luckert

What it is: Adrian is plagued by ghastly waking nightmares. To understand and possibly treat these awful visions, Adrian reluctantly agrees to past life regression hypnotherapy. As his consciousness is cast back through time, Adrian witnesses a scene of horrific debauchery and diabolism. Waking, he is more unsettled than before, and with good reason-something has followed him back. Adrian descends into a world of occult conspiracy, mystery, reincarnation, and insanity from which there is no escape. Presented by CULLEN BUNN (Harrow County, The Sixth Gun, The Empty Man), DANNY LUCKERT (Haunted), and MARIE ENGER (Pistolwhip, 2 Sisters), REGRESSION is a tale of supernatural terror and intrigue unlike any horror comic you’ve ever experienced.

Why we like it: Cullen Bunn writes a lot of superb superhero books, but I personally enjoy him more as a horror writer. I read a preview page on the Image website and was immediately disgusted by what I saw, so naturally I have to pick this up. This book is going to be gross and weird in all the best possible ways. Also quick heads up, the cover posted above apparently is not the regular cover, even though it was the one originally solicited. That cover will now be sold as a retailer exclusive and the regular cover looks like this:


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Old Man Logan #23 (Sienkiewicz Variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Eric Nguyen
Cover Art: Bill Sienkiewicz

What it is: PAST LIVES CONTINUES! LOGAN is still trapped in time… one minute he’s PATCH, stalking the streets of MADRIPOOR, the next, he’s reliving the glory days in the X-MEN, meanwhile, back in the present, ASMODEUS’ true plan for Logan’s trapped body is revealed! Can Logan fight his way back before the plan succeeds? Parental Advisory

Why we like it: Bill, you’ve done it again! Sienkiewicz’s covers can be hit-or-miss. This Old Man Logan cover was definitely a hit for me.


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