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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 29, 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. It’s the dreaded fifth Wednesday of the month. You know the drill, annuals, one shots, quality time with the family. Horrifying. But fear not because I dug deep to find you something good to read.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Hunt for Wolverine: Dead Ends #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Shoule
Art: Ramon Rosana

What it is: THE HUNT IS OVER. The hunt for Wolverine is over… Now the time has come to put the pieces together and see what was learned. Kitty Pryde, Daredevil, Tony Stark and Sabretooth may have found what they were looking for…but it wasn’t what they expected. Where has Wolverine been? What has he been doing? And how does it lead into next month’s WOLVERINE #1? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Dead Ends #1 is actually the last issue in the five-issue ‘Hunt for Wolverine’ mini (they were ridiculously all #1’s), leading into Return of Wolverine #1 (of 5), the final chapter of writer Charles Shoule’s  Death of Wolverine trilogy. Ol’ Canucklehead’s coming home. And I hear he’s got heat claws now? Can’t wait to hear this one. Killer Marco Checchetto cover.

The Mainstream One: Web of Venom Ve Nam #1 (1-shot)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Juanan Ramirez

What it is: SPINNING OUT OF THE PAGES OF VENOM! As the United States of America struggled through the Vietnam War, Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. needed a secret weapon – and when an ancient creature was discovered at an archaeological dig site, he was sure he’d found it. In reality, the discovery was an ancestor of the Klyntar symbiotes…and would become a waking nightmare for a platoon of American soldiers! Rated T+

Why we like it: Donny Cates’ run on Venom is a glorious piece of horror and off to an excellent start. This one shot will almost certainly be a beautiful, dark nightmare as well. You probably don’t need to be all caught up with the main series to appreciate this symbiote one-off, set during the nightmare that was the Vietnam War.

The Indie One: Rick and Morty vs Dungeons & Dragons #1

Publisher: IDW
Words: Patrick Rothfuss and Jim Zub
Art: Troy Little

What it is: When Morty needs to learn how to play D&D to keep up with the cool kids, his hard-drinking, old school-gaming, mad science-making grandpa is happy to teach him how to roll the dice, but neither of them is prepared for the saving throws they’re about to fail or the true quest yet to come. Strap on a +1 longsword and grab your 10-foot pole, because this is going to be a gaming gauntlet like no other! The world’s greatest role-playing game. Reality’s most dysfunctional family. What could go wrong?

Why we like it: RnM vs DnD. Somebody at IDW was wearing their helm of intellect when they pitched this series. I expect this one will be popular with the kids. Hoping I can find the Morty character sheet variant soI can see how he rolled.

The #1 One: Venom First Host #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Mark Bagley

What it is: MIKE COSTA AND MARK BAGLEY REUNITE FOR A VENOM STORY UNLIKE ANY OTHER! Before the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN…before VENOM… There was the FIRST HOST. And that First Host has returned in need of Venom’s help – only by reuniting can the two avert cosmic ruin! Can Eddie and the symbiote trust one another long enough to save the galaxy, or will the FIRST HOST prove to be Venom’s undoing?! Rated T+

Why we like it: And yet another Venom title. It must almost be movie time. This limited series explores the history of the Klyntar symbiote prior to Secret Wars and it’s first host. That’s right, before Eddie Brock and before Peter Parker, there was another.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Joker Daffy Duck Special #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Lobdell
Art: Norm Rapmund
Cover Art: Sanford Greene

What it is: When Daffy Duck pays a call to the Acme corporate headquarters in Gotham City, he finds the company long gone and their abandoned building now occupied by The Joker. With a hit in progress, Daffy tries to sneak away, only to find himself in the clutches of the Clown Prince of Crime. But Joker decides that there’s some potential in this manic bird and forces Daffy to join his gang. Will he find a way to escape…or will he become The Joker’s new right-hand duck?

Why we like it: A joker walks into a house with a duck under his arm…

 

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 – 5/31/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The fifth Wednesday of the month is the Dominos pizza of new comic book day. Nobody’s super excited about it but everyone grabs a slice when it arrives. It looks like Marvel is trying to capitalize on the lack of DC titles out this Wednesday by releasing some of their heavy hitters this week, including the launch of a new Cable solo-series. Will it be enough to tip the month of May in their favor?

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

S43

The Top of the Pile: Sagae #43

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples

What it is: NEW STORY ARC BEGINS FOR JUST 25 CENTS!!! SAGA returns monthly with a brave new direction, and to celebrate Image’s 25th Anniversary, this full-sized issue costs just 25 cents! In a perfect jumping-on point for first-time readers, Hazel and her star-crossed parents embark on a thrilling new adventure at the westernmost edge of the universe.

Why we love it: The best comic book on the planet is back from its regularly scheduled between-arc hiatus with an old-West flavored story. What could be better than the return of one of the most critically acclaimed comics? How about being able to pick up a copy for just a quarter? Be on the lookout for the exclusive Sage prints that Image will be sending to stores that ordered enough copies of Sage #43 to qualify.

 SE3

The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Andrea Sorrentino

What it is: Under constant attack from wave after wave of invading Chitauri aliens, Captain Marvel and the deep space task force under her command is waging a war of attrition – one they may not be able to survive! And back on Earth, things aren’t looking too rosy for Hawkeye and his band of renegade heroes, either! But don’t worry -THE SECRET EMPIRE WILL AVENGE YOU! Rated T+

Why we like it: The reveal at the end of Secret Empire #2 completely took the comic community by surprise and sparked a storm of new debates and theories about the true nature of Hydra Cap. I won’t spoil it here, but if you were on the fence about Secret Empire because you couldn’t stand that Marvel turned Cap into a Nazi, grab issue #2, flip to the last page and then get excited for issue #3.

 

M12

The Indie One: Monstress #12

Publisher: Image
Words: Marjorie M. Liu
Art: Sana Takeda

What it is: END OF STORY ARC The final issue of the second arc! Will Maika return with her soul intact?

Why we like it: I started to lose interest with Monstress after its incredible opening arc. The second volume felt loaded with history and exposition that dragged down the pacing. I understand that effectively building a brand-new fantasy world requires time, but sometimes I have the need for instant gratification from my comics. I am pleased to report that after a brief lull, the last few issues have been a return to form, dishing up heaps of action, more mysteries, and even a few answers along the way. Sana Takeda’s gorgeous, manga-inspired artwork continues to shine throughout the series, giving me reason enough to check out every issue.

 LN1

The #1 One: Little Nightmares #1

Publisher: Titan
Words: Alex Paknadel
Art: Aaron Alexovich

What it is: Enter the terrifying and unpredictable comic series based on one of the most hotly-anticipated games of 2017! Comic written by Alex Paknadel (Arcadia, Assassin’s Creed) and Dan Watters (Limbo, Assassins Creed) and illustrated by Aaron Alexovich (Invader Zim, Serenity Rose) the game follows Six, a young girl in a yellow raincoat, as she explores the horrifying world of The Maw, looking for a way out!

Why we like it: In addition to being a comic book afficianado, I also keep informed about the video game scene. Occasionally an indie title will pop-up that looks so unique that it challenges my perception of what video games could be. Little Nightmares may be one of those games. Part fantasy, part horror, the visuals in this adventure game look like a 5-year old’s nightmare come to life. If Little Nightmares turns out to be a hit, you can bet that cross-media fans like myself will be hunting this #1 down the road. Titan comics traditionally doesn’t do large print runs, so you never know.

 RM26

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Rick and Morty #26

Publisher: Oni Press
Words: Kyle Starks
Art: Marc Ellerby
Cover Art: Derek Fridolfs

What it is: Rick is the only thing that stands between our world and an alien invasion. Surely he’ll do something about it! Or, sh*t, maybe Jerry will.

Why we like it: If you’re a Rick and Morty fan, you get it. If you’re not, you’re really missing out. Crude, off-the-wall comedy of the highest caliber.

 

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