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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – January 31, 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: Dark Knight Metal #5 (of 6)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: The Justice League faces the final extinguishing of our world, invaded on all sides by unimaginable nightmares, fueled on to the edge of oblivion only by the belief that there must be a light in the endless darkness-somewhere. But…what if there’s not? FOIL-STAMPED, EMBOSSED COVER RATED T+ 


The Mainstream One: Avengers #678

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Pepe Larraz

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 4 NOW ON SALE WEEKLY! The Avengers are caught in a game of cosmic proportions, but they don’t know the rules – and one of them is about to pay the ultimate price! THE FIRST AVENGER FALLS! Rated T+


The Indie One: Spawn #282

Publisher: Spawn
Words: Daragh Savage
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: ‘DARK HORROR,’ conclusion THE EXCITING FINALE OF THE DARK HORROR STORY ARC! This issue marks the introduction of a NEW CHARACTER, soon to have its OWN Image comic book!

The #1 One: Hungry Ghosts #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose
Art: Alberto Ponticelli, Vanesa Del Rey

What it is: Kitchen Nightmares! On a dark, haunted night, a Russian oligarch dares a circle of international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles–where each storyteller spins a terrifying tale of ghosts, demons and unspeakable beings–and prays to survive the challenge. Inspired by the Japanese Edo period game of Hyakumonogatari KaidankaiHungry Ghosts reimagines the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake, all tainted with the common thread of food. First course: With bad consequence, a ramen chef refuses to help a beggar, and a band of pirates get more (and less) than they were bargaining for after their encounter with a drowning woman turns ghastly. Hungry Ghosts is cooked up by the infamous author and chef, Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential, Emmy-Award winning TV star of Parts Unknown) and acclaimed novelist Joel Rose (Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster, back again from their New York Times #1 best seller, Get Jiro!). Joining them this issue are stellar artists Alberto Ponticelli and Vanesa Del Rey, with amazing color by Jose Villarrubia, and a drop-dead cover by Paul Pope.

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Phoenix Resurrection #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Koi Pham
Cover Art: Kamome Shirahama

What it is: A light in the darkness is not always welcome. Kitty Pryde, Old Man Logan and Cyclops are leading teams of X-Men all across the globe, chasing events connected to the Phoenix. But with teammates disappearing and familiar enemies returning, the X-Men are fighting a losing battle. Beast doesn’t know how or what shape it will take, but he knows they are running out of time before the Phoenix makes its true presence known. Meanwhile, a young woman named Jean is starting to go insane in her peaceful, suburban life. Nightmares and daydreams are spilling over into the world and revealing cracks in her reality. Jean’s life and everything in it may just be a facade, but made by who? And why? Jean needs to escape. The X-Men need to stop the cycle of death the Phoenix brings. Their worlds will violently collide as Jean searches for an opening and the X-Men fight for closure. But when they are brought together, will the X-Men be reunited with their long-lost teammate – or something darker? Rated T+


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 27, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a special Boxing Day 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 last Wednesday of 2017 and I want to thank all of you for reading this article and wish you a happy 2018.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Doomsday Clock #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: DC and Watchmen characters collide at last! The story that began in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 comes to a thrilling and unexpected crescendo in the pages of this titanic twelve-issue series by the all-star team that brought you BATMAN: EARTH ONE and SHAZAM! In this second chapter: The Dark Knight discovers another relic from the Watchmen world. Lex Luthor pays a devil’s bargain. And killer clowns trek through Gotham seeking a madman. RATED T+

Why we love it: No sugar coating, I was disappointed with issue #1. In fairness, my expectations were pretty high to start. But the first issue was a long, dense read that explained basically nothing except for introducing a few new characters. The $6 price tag didn’t do me any favors either. I’m still holding out hope for issue #2, and really hope it shines some light on where this series is going, otherwise this could be a quick jump off for me.

 The Mainstream One: Thanos #14

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 2. Thanos has journeyed to the end of time to the moment of his complete victory…and he’s not happy with what he sees! Writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw (God Country) continue the tale of the Mad Titan’s biggest glory and ultimate shame! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: The same creative team that brought us the awesome God Country brings us an awesome Thanos story. In the previous issue we were introduced to a cosmic Ghost Rider as well as a future version of Thanos that has succeeded in conquering the galaxy. It was a fantastic setup issue and I’m really excited to see what happens next.

 The Indie One: Redneck #8

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren

What it is: You never see the thing that gets you in the end. At least, that’s how the saying goes, but with the Bowmans taking on new blood, is the thing that’s going to end up killing them right in front of their very faces? And what does a weird albino boy out in the woods have to do with all this?

Why we like it: Donny Cates makes the list a second time. If that seems like a recurring theme this year, it’s because I think Cates has the potential to be a great comic book writer and Redneck shows off his talent in full view. If you can get past the scratchy artwork, you will be treated to an intelligent vampire story that relies as much on character drama, family dynamics and existential musings as traditional horror tropes.

 The #1 One: Phoenix Resurrection (Artgerm variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is:  She will return, like a Phoenix from the ashes. Years ago, Jean Grey died and the X-Men mourned her. Since then, the world has changed, her teammates have lived without her and died without her. And now, when strange events start happening all over the world, those teammates can only come to one conclusion – the one true Jean Grey is back! Rated T+

Why we like it: There are a few certainties in life: death, taxes and the resurrection of Jean Grey. You just can’t keep a good woman down. I’m super excited for the Phoenix’s most recent return and have high hopes for this creative team. There are a bunch of retailer variants being released for this issue, as well as a slew of store exclusives. I think the Artgerm covers are the best. There is a regular priced version features a red Dark Phoenix. The cover shown above where she’s wearing the classic green and gold Phoenix costume is a 1:100 ratio variant. Good luck finding one on Wednesday.

 The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Mace Windu #5 (40th Anniv variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Owens
Art: Denys Owen
Cover Art: Salvador Larroca

What it is: Having rooted out the rebellion in their ranks, Master Windu and his companions make their final stand against the AD-W4 and his droid army! Rated T

Why we like it: There have been some good 40th anniversary Star Wars covers, and there have been a few great ones. I think this falls under the latter. Salvador Larroca is a master and he beautifully captures one of the most iconic moments from New Hope here. There’s also a Mace Windu action figure variant for this issue, but I think the 40th anniv variant could be a sleeper.


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