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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 13, 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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mister Miracle #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is:  How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene-only to what end? MATURE READERS

Why we love it: Wait a minute… Mister Miracle #5 at the top of the pile two weeks in a row? So the website I use to track new releases messed up last week and a few of my picks from last week actually are out this week. Sloppy journalism, I know, always double check references. Anyways Mister Miracle #5 is actually out this week and this issue is being framed as a love story. Sounds like Scott Free and Big Barda are getting some QT together but you just know that crazy is going to hit the fan by the end of it.

The Mainstream One: Action Comics #993

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Steve Pugh

What it is: BOOSTER SHOT’ part one! As Superman struggles to cope with Mr. Oz’s true identity, the Man of Steel turns to the only ‘hero’ he knows who can prove once and for all if Oz’s story is true: Booster Gold! But a massive power doesn’t want our heroes venturing through time, and will do anything it can to sabotage their journey! RATED T

Why we like it: Hey kids look, it’s Booster Gold! One of the most notable absences throughout the New 52 and Rebirth has been DC’s super-popular time traveling hero. He’s been effectively MIA since Flashpoint but it appears he’s finally back in the DCU and hopefully here to stay. Only 7 more issues until Action Comics hits the mind-boggling 1000 issue mark, so I get the feeling this Booster story arc is leading to something big.

The Indie One: Rumble #1

Publisher: Image
Words: John Arcudi
Art: David Rubin

What it is: ‘SOUL WITHOUT PITY,’ Part One Rathraq is back! But who is he, exactly? Once an ancient warrior god, he was resurrected as a sword-wielding scarecrow. And now, Rathraq has transformed yet again-or has he? JOHN ARCUDI and new artist, superstar DAVID RUBÍN, give you the new face of Rathraq and a new direction for the series when the critically acclaimed RUMBLE returns!

Why we like it: This #1 is actually the first issue of volume 2. I really liked volume 1 and enjoyed Rumble’s mix of supernatural horror, comedy and drama. The second volume brings a new artist on board and has been on my radar for a while. I will definitely be giving this book a peak on Wednesday.

The #1 One: Giants #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words and Art: Carlos and Manuel, The Valderrama Bros.

What it is: A cataclysm of unknown origins unleashed a race of gigantic monsters whose presence has driven humanity underground. There, two orphans discover that the most dangerous monster is ambition, which unchecked, will grow until it devours you!

Why we like it: I was able to read an advance preview of this book online and I was very impressed with what I saw. You can check out a preview here and decide for yourself: https://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/3001-017/Giants-1

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ryan North
Art: Erica Henderson
Cover Art: Veronica Fish

What it is: THE FORBIDDEN PLA-NUT Part 1 What happens when we take Squirrel Girl back to her roots? Well, we shoot her into space, OBVIOUSLY. Nancy and Tippy find themselves on an alien world where all is not what it seems. Squirrel Girl needs to find a way to get to the other side of the universe to save ’em, STAT. Intergalactic transport through the cosmic realm? This sounds like a job for the Sorcerer Supreme! I’m sure Doctor Strange will be happy to he – I’m sorry, what’s that? Doctor Strange is gone and now LOKI is Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme? Oh. Well, I’m sure he’ll do his best. After all, what could possibly go wrong? Guess what, in this issue, everything possible goes wrong! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T

Why we like it: We’re big fans of local artist Veronica Fish here at the Crank File. We’re also big fans of the classic Stan Lee/Moebius collaboration, Silver Surfer: Parable, which in my opinion is one of the finest Silver Surfer stories ever told. Veronica absolute nails this cover swipe. A shame that the first printing will be ruined by a horrible, ineffective lenticular cover. I might be holding out for the non-lenticulating second print on this one.

 

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 10/28/2015

Happy Halloween comic booOOooooOOOook fans (read in a ghost voice). Welcome to a spooktacular edition of the Crank File, written in spooOOooky script. It’s the end of October folks and monster month has been an absolute treat. The Marvels relaunch was a little shaky, as expected, but everyone I spoke to seems to be finding something to enjoy. I liked what I saw from Iron Man and Captain America. The latest Star Wars Force Awakens trailer went a long way to ease any doubts I had about the new Star Wars movies. The internet dropped a crazy Batman vs Superman theory that actually sort of makes sense and AMC’s Walking Dead stabbed it’s audience square in the gut (for the watch). Week four delivers a merciful break as we enter All Hallow’s Eve. So without further adooOOoooOOoo…

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Manifest Destiny #18 Image

 

MD18

 

As the arc comes to a close, extreme measures are taken to protect Lewis & Clark’s mission.

Always finding its way up to the front of the stack, Manifest Destiny is some of the most fun I’ve had reading comics. The series continues to horrify and delight with more monsters, more terrors and more grisly deaths. Manifest Destiny really hit its stride in the third arc Chiroptera & Carnivores with a balanced mix of action and storytelling. Issue #18 will undoubtedly close out with fireworks so Westward, ho!

 

The Mainstream One: Justice League The Darkseid Wars Batman #1 DC

 

JL1

 

As the Darkseid War rages on, Batman’s role in Gotham City–and the world-alters drastically as he’s forced to accept his new role as a God of Knowledge.

Batman sits atop the Mobius chair and becomes god. An unstable man with violent tendencies and a thirst for vengeance gains omnipotence. What could possibly go wrong? I wasn’t planning on picking this one up initially, but I heard that in this issue Batman confronts the man who shot his parents all those years ago, Joe Chill.

 

The Indie One: Rumble #8 Image Comics

 

r8

 

Special Halloween issue, introducing a new major character!

I read the first issue of Rumble when it came out and liked it enough to add it to my pull list. Issues 2-7 had been sitting in my pull box since then and I decided the reading load for monster week wasn’t enough, so I decided to tack six issues of Rathraq on top of it. I didn’t really need to sleep anyways. It’s hard to boil Rumble down to a blurb, but it is action, fantasy, humor, horror and heart and it’s all done incredibly well.

 

The #1 One: Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D #1 Marvel Kirby Monster Variant

 

HCa

 

Hidden deep beneath AREA 13 lies the clandestine headquarters of S.T.A.K.E.–a top secret division of S.H.I.E.L.D. housing aliens, mythical beasts, and all manner of extra-normal entities. Under the command of legendary soldier DUM DUM DUGAN, these monsters step out of the shadows and defend the world against supernatural threats too dangerous for normal men.

Marvel’s answer to the Justice League Dark, S.H.I.E.L.D’s Howling Commandos are a motley crew of monsters and humans who specialize in dealing with the weird stuff that their super-strong counterparts can’t punch through. I like the premise, it allows Marvel to tell dark, supernatural stories that don’t work elsewhere but I was underwhelmed by the preview. My Newbury 50% special of the week, I’m going to try to grab the Del Mundo Kirby variant.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Paper Girls #1 Image

 

PG1

 

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure.

The Paper Girls debuted a few weeks back and it was awesome. If you’re like me and love Brian K Vaughan’s writing, then you probably already own a copy. But right now, Midtown Comics is selling copies signed by creators Brain K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Jared Fletcher and Matt Wilson for cover price plus shipping. It even comes with a COA. Be sure to snag a couple cheap comics to protect your copy of Paper Girls during shipping, Midtown does not ship their comics with backers.

 

The Speculation One: Self Storage #1 451 Media Group

 

SS1

 

What if you found a zombie locked up in a self storage unit? Would you keep it? Chris Smith has eked by in life hocking the auctioned-off junk from those people who no longer pay the rent on their self storage units. He spends his days hopping from one storage facility to the next, bidding on units sight-unseen, only to sell whatever’s inside to antique dealers and pawn shops for as much money as he can squeeze. But Chris has never found anything like what’s waiting for him inside unit # 83… …Her name is Jessica.

Small, indie publishers are all the rage this year. Last week’s Sunflower #1 from 451 Media Group sold out quickly and immediately shot up to $15 in after market trading. I’m hoping for similar results with their zombie book, Self Storage. The previews looked great and should be an entertaining read regardless.

Carpe Comics!