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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/22/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of The Crank File, the only place on the web that doesn’t give a damn that your mother’s name is Martha. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.



The Top of the Pile: Outcast #25

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Paul Azeaeta

What it is: NEW STORY ARC! ‘LIGHT OF DAY’-A major turning point in the series! New characters are introduced! Big things are in store for Kyle Barnes as he’s faced with something he never could have prepared for-hope! Everything changes as we celebrate our 25th issue! ALSO, HOLY CRAP! THIS ISSUE IS .25 CENTS TO CELEBRATE THE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF IMAGE COMICS!

Why we love it: Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Image Comics with a 25 cent cover priced issue of Outcast #25. Kirkham is the unquestionable king of horror drama in contemporary comics and Outcast is his crown jewel, no matter what those shambling, hobo survivors over at The Walking Dead say.



The Mainstream One: Justice League America #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Steve Orlando
Art: Ivan Reis

What it is: Meet the Extremists-self-proclaimed saviors from another Earth, they thirst for peace, prosperity and total submission to the will of their leader, Lord Havok! How can the newly assembled JLA stop this group of misguided maniacs before the Extremists unleash their own unique-not to mention dangerous!-brand of law and order on our chaotic world?  

Why we like it: Spinning out of the recent Justice League vs Suicide Squad event, DC is assembling the most unconventional JLA team yet. Led by Batman, it’s is a motley crew of b-list heroes and villains that were apparently chosen by throwing darts at a board. This iteration of the Justice League America will be composed of Black Canary, Atom, Frost, Vixen, The Ray and most importantly fraggin’ Lobo. And not the effeminate New 52 Lobo. Looks like the main man is back. You won’t want to miss this ya lowdown conivin’ bastiches!



The Indie One: Divinity III Stalinverse #3

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine

What it is: Red rebellion! Across continents, the world bows to the oppressive and ruthless might of the global Russian regime. Former Russian intelligence officer Colin King, however, knows that this reality is not his own. With the truth on his side, Colin King is about to mount a resistance with aid of the world’s most feared undesirables and release the classified asset known as Abram Adams from a prison guarded by the CCCP’s greatest super powers. But when Myshka – the divinely powered enforcer of the Soviet Union – comes to crush their uprising, will the man once known as Ninjak live long enough to discover the sinister reason that the Stalinverse came to be? The truth behind Valiant’s shocking new reality will finally be revealed as New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (NINJAK) and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine (DIVINITY II) pull back the iron curtain and reveal the insidious mastermind who will stop at nothing to preserve this twisted world order!

Why we like it: Divinity continues to be my favorite new superhero to emerge in the past 5 years, and that includes anybody from the big two (with the possible exception of Ms. Marvel). In the two short years since his conception, his story has completely altered the landscape of the Valiant universe. If you haven’t checked out Divinity yet, I highly recommend picking up the trades and getting caught up. I can say without hyperbole that it is epic.


The #1 One: The Old Guard #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Leandro Fernandez

What it is: Eisner-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, BLACK MAGICK, Wonder Woman) and critically acclaimed artist LEANDRO FERNANDEZ (THE DISCIPLINE, Deadpool, Punisher: MAX) team up together to introduce THE OLD GUARD, the story of old soldiers who never die and yet cannot seem to fade away. Trapped in an immortality without explanation, Andromache of Scythia – ‘Andy’ – and her comrades ply their trade for those who can find-and afford-their services. But in the 21st century, immortality is a hard secret to keep, and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates worse than death.

Why we like it: I’m a firm believer in following creative talent wherever it goes and Greg Rucka is one of those creators who can pull off strange, high concept stories that other writers wouldn’t even touch. Image has been on a roll lately, with breakout hits Seven to Eternity and God Country. Will The Old Guard continue their winning streak?



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spiderman #24 (Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Art:  Gabrielle Dell Otto

What it is: A CLONE CONSPIRACY TIE-IN! Spider-Man has been through hell. The Jackal has taken his best shot, but Spider-Man doesn’t need to face him alone. Discover who is joining Spider-Man in his battle!

Why we like it: Clone Conspiracy was good but not great. It ended with a bang but besides bringing back some legacy characters it ended without any clear sense of purpose. I’m hoping that the post-event tie-ins, Clone Conspiracy Omega and ASM#24 will give us some closure. But if it doesn’t, at least I’ll have another beautiful Dell Otto Spiderman cover in my collection.


That’s all I got this week. Let me know what you’re checking out in the comments. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 8/24/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web that’s finger crankin good. I watched the Killing Joke animated feature and liked it a lot. I grew up watching Batman the Animated Series, so hearing Mark Hamil and Kevin Conroy reprise their iconic roles as the voices of Joker and Batman was fantastic. There was a Bat-girl/Oracle origin story that book-ended the original story, which I didn’t love, but it did give Barbara’s story some meaning besides just being the setup for the Joker’s most twisted joke. Otherwise it was a near exact retelling, complete with song and dance routine. Dark, haunting and still relevant after almost 30 years, Alan Moore and Brian Bollard’s classic is the definitive Joker story.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:



The Top of the Pile: Wonder Woman #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp

What it is: ‘The Lies’ part three! Steve Trevor finds himself trapped in the heart of Urzkartaga’s darkness, with Wonder Woman and Cheetah the only hope of rescue for him and his men. But how far can Cheetah be trusted?

Why we love it: Wonder Woman’s Rebirth has been off to an interesting start. Greg Rucka has been weaving two separate stories, one retelling Diana’s exile from Themyscira and the other set in present day where Wonder Woman has entered into an alliance with her arch nemesis Cheatah in hopes of finding a way back home. The two stories lines alternate each issue and will eventually tie together to reconcile Wonder Woman’s multiple, conflicting origin stories. It’s a monumental task and will be an amazing feat if Rucka can actually pull it off.



The Mainstream one: Detective Comics 939 (Albuquerque variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Eddy Barrows

What it is: ‘Rise of the Batmen’ part six! The full scope of the Colony’s plans, and their mysterious leader, have all been revealed, so what’s it going to take to stop them? Believe us, you are not prepared for the last scene.

Why we like it: Tynion’s run on ‘Tec has already thrown us a few good twists. Sounds like he’s got something big cooked up for us this week and I’ll be reading with great interest.


Outcast 20

The Indie One: Outcast #20
Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Paul Azteca

What it is: A POWER EXPOSED’ Allison is learning that there is in fact something very special about her daughter. But where is Kyle?

Why we like it: The reigning king of horror returns with another terrifying issue of Outcast. The current arc has been serving up heaping piles of scares and answers. And as we learn more about the nature of Kyle’s powers, the more dangerous we realize his situation is.



The #1 One: Kingsway West #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mirko Colak

What it is: After thirteen years in prison, a Chinese gunslinger named Kingsway Law just wants to find his wife. But in a fantastical American Old West crackling with magic, monsters, and racist vigilantes, trouble just won’t leave him be. And in this case, trouble is a woman with a magic sword who needs his help.

Why we like it: I’ve been excited for this series since I met Greg Pak at a convention last year. He told me about his creator owned comic about a Chinese gunslinger’s adventures through a magical American Old West and I was instantly sold. It’s pretty much the story that I would write and draw if I had the time, and talent. Thank you Pak-man!



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom Space Knight #11

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Robbie Thompson
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto
Cover Art: Gerardo Sandoval

What it is: ‘CIVIL WAR II TIE-IN! Venom versus the Amazing Spider-Man! Secrets, symbiotes and superiority! Flash and his hero have enough to fight about without the conflict that’s tearing the Marvel Universe apart!

Why we like it: Marvel eeks its way onto the list with an old, reliable gimmick, a sweet-ass Venom cover.


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 7/27/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web where all we ask is that you let us crank it your way. There’s no better way to ride out a heat wave than staying indoors with the AC turned up to 11. I’m not one who watches a lot of TV, but I spent a good amount of time last week binge watching Netflix’s Stranger Things. I’m 5 episodes in and totally hooked. The plot is like something straight out of an 80’s Stephen King movie with matching setting and musical score. Nothing is done as parody, everything about it feels real and honest. The acting, the cinematography, the costuming and stage design all feel absolutely genuine and it is awesome. It’s an homage to my childhood. The writers scored big points with me for the X-Men 134 reference (the first issue to the classic Dark Phoenix saga). If you dig 80’s style horror then you need to head over to the ‘Flix and get your fix.

That’s what I’m watching. Here’s what I’m reading this week:



The Top of the Pile: Divinity II #4

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Harsine
Cover Art: Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

What it is: DIVINITY vs. DIVINITY! Myshka’s plot to re-engineer the globe in Russia’s favor is all but complete. Will Abram Adams – the god-like being now called Divinity – stand against his former comrade?

Why we love it: Valiant’s Divinity is better than 90% of the capes and tights books from the big two. Time shifting, reality bending and some of the finest artwork in comics make Divinty one the most captivating new superheroes on the stands.



The Mainstream one: The Flash #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Cover Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: ‘LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE’ Chapter Three: In issue #3, dozens of innocent people mysteriously gain super-speed! But not all are heroic, and it’ll take everything The Flash and August have to harness the lightning before Black Hole does.

Why we like it: If you’ve been keeping up with the Flash like me, this is the issue we’ve been waiting for. The arrival of Goodspeed.



The Indie One: Outcast #19

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Paul Azaceta

What it is: Answers are given and secrets are revealed, as the start of a new story arc finds Kyle and Sidney having a conversation that will change EVERYTHING. Kyle has never been in more danger.

Why we like it: Demons, cults and exorcisms abound in Robert Kirkman’s other horror comic with a TV show, Outcast. This series has been a slow burn and things really started smoldering in the last arc with Kyle beginning to learn the true nature of his ability.



The #1 One: Titans #1 (Cover B)

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Brett Booth
Cover Art: Mike Choi

What it is: ‘REMEMBER THE TITANS’ Chapter One After an old ally returns to the team, the Titans set their sights on a dangerous enemy with the power to change reality itself! But the Titans have never faced a threat this massive before, and with so much on the line, will they be able to stand united as a team? Or will their past mistakes be their undoing?

Why we like it: Wally West and the Titans are looking like they will be key players in explaining how the DC Universe was re-birthed. And it all starts here. Well technically it started back in the DC Universe Rebirth one-shot and then in Titans’ Rebirth #1. But check out Wally West’s new costume! Cover B is the one that you want.



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #937 (Cover B)

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art and Cover Art: Alvaro Martinez

What it is: ‘RISE OF THE BATMEN’ Chapter Four: Batman’s found his way into the heart of the Colony, the mysterious new organization cutting its way through Gotham City! Unfortunately, now that he’s in he may find there’s no way out!

Why we like it: If you don’t appreciate this cover then you must either hate Batman or you hate America. We know that nobody hates Batman. You don’t hate America, do you?


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 3/23/2016

Hey there comic book fans and welcome back for another episode of the Crank File, where we hand crank our files fresh, every morning. It’s looking like a slow Wednesday for books, but all is not lost friends because the Dawn of Justice movie comes out this week. There were some early concerns when the first trailers were released to a deafening shrug, but the advance-screening reviews have been practically gushing. The buzz surrounding Batman v Superman is already reaching critical mass and I cannot wait to see it this weekend (and that’s a spoiler for you Trailer Snarks readers).

Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Batman #50



Publisher: DC

Words: Scott Snyder

Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: Batman has returned to Gotham City! In this extra-sized conclusion to Snyder and Capullo’s epic story ‘Superheavy,’ Bruce Wayne returns to the cape and cowl to battle Mr. Bloom alongside Jim Gordon for the fate of the city they both love.

Why we love it: For the past five years Batman has been the cream of the New 52 crop. Later this year the best book from the Big 2 will be getting renumbered as a new creative team takes over as part of DC’s line-wide Reboot, er, I mean Rebirth. Next month Snyder and Capullo tie a bow around their legendary run with a standalone issue #51. This week, it’s war. It’s the final battle, as issue #50 brings Superheavy to an explosive conclusion. It’s Batman and Gordon versus Mr. Bloom, his minion horde and an army of hijacked Batbots. It’s so ridiculous but it’s also so damn good.


The Mainstream One: We Are Robins #10



Publisher: DC

Words: Lee Bermejo

Art: Jorge Corona

What it is: The Jokers have taken over Middleton High! Duke and Riko are trapped inside as average students-can Dax and Izzy get to them in time? And could Dre really have joined the side of the Jokers? In a final showdown between the Robins and the Jokers, Duke and his team will be put to the ultimate test of loyalty.

Why we like it: Rumors are going around that the leader of the rag tag Robins gang is in line for a major promotion this week. Want to learn more about Duke Thompson? His first appearance in Batman #21 and We Are Robins are good places to start.


The Indie One: Outcast #17



Publisher: Image

Words: Robert Kirkman

Art: Paul Azaceta

What it is: ‘The Damage Done’ Megan has to come to grips with the horror of what she did while possessed by a demon.

Why we like it: Every few months I’ve felt like Outcast was on the verge of a breakout, only to see the story stall and sink back into a murky tangle of questions. The most recent issues have been delivering thrills and more importantly, answers. Kirkman has always insisted that he was playing the long game with this series and I smell payoff coming.


The #1 One:  Circuit Breaker #1



Publisher: Image

Words: Kevin McCarthy

Art: Kyle Baker

What it is: When the heroic robots that saved Japan during World War IV are outlawed, they turn against mankind, waging a campaign of terror across the last city on Earth. Their creator builds one more soldier-disguised as his teenaged granddaughter-and tasks her with dismantling the marauding mechanical militia. But as she begins to question her programming, will she be the last hope for humanity, or the final nail in our coffin?

Why we like it: Sounds like Astro Boy, except you know, a girl. Could be cool, could be a hack job. Either way I’ll at least give it a flip through because I like Japanese robots. But if you’re not into manga then maybe try out Hyperion #1 from Marvel. I hear he uses a tractor trailer like a bat.


Last Week’s Leftovers: Secret Wars: Guardians of Knowhere #1 (Rob Guillory variant)



Publisher: Marvel

Words: Brian Michael Bendis

Art: Mike Deodato

What it is: A single moon orbits Battleworld. But no, that’s no moon. It’s a space station. It’s Knowhere. The head of a dead Celestial, somehow saved in the universal collapse, a colony brimming with convicts and criminals. The Galaxy may be gone, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t places that still need heroes. Places that need champions. That need GUARDIANS.

Why we like it: The unexpected and immediate popularity of Spider-Gwen led to her own solo series. Set in an alternate universe, Spider-Gwen’s story is a warped reflection of 616 Peter Parker’s so it seemed inevitable that Gwenom would eventually happen and now it has been confirmed. Spider-Gwen writer and co-creator Robbie Rodriquez announced that before retiring from Marvel next year, he plans to bring the iconic black alien symbiote costume into Spider-Gwen’s world. Gwenom only appears on the variant cover of Gaurdians of Knowhere #1 and not in the actual story. This is the same deal as Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #2 Gwenpool variant which is currently fetching over $20 a copy.


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