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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 30, 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. If you are reading this article, then you are no doubt aware of Jack Kirby. A man so well respected that his contemporaries called him Jack “The King of Comics” Kirby, later shortened to Jack “King” Kirby for the whole brevity thing. This week would have been Jack’s 100th birthday. This week is also the dreaded 5th Wednesday of the month, which mean most of the publishers phoned it in. One shots, annuals, you know the drill. It’s rough but there are a few diamonds in there. Here’s what glitters.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Saga #46

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

What it is: An operation and a farewell.

Why we love it: The best comic in comicdom continues to be just that. The last page of issue #45 has been giving me nightmares since I read it and I’m no doctor, but that cover doesn’t look good.

  The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #10 (Gabrielle Dell Otto variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Steve McNiven

What it is: Can there be any redemption for Captain America as the SECRET EMPIRE starts to crumble? Rated T+

Why we like it: This is the end for Hydra Cap! What happens to Steve Rogers and how can he possibly be redeemed after going this far? Secret Empire has been a good event and an even better read but I’m getting worried that it all ends with Kobik ex machina. Regardless, that is one bad mutha Dell Otto cover.

The Indie One: Image Plus #1 (Wytches The Bad Egg part 1)

Publisher: Image
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jock

What it is: Volume two of the Diamond Gem Award-winning comics magazine IMAGE+ begins now! Fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of SCOTT SNYDER & JOCK’s smash-hit horror series WYTCHES ever since the first season ended on a brutal cliffhanger. Now, they’re back with a taste for the upcoming second season of the series by serializing what happens next in IMAGE+! How did Sailor make it to safety? What has she been doing since?

Why we like it: Free when purchasing a copy of Diamonds Preview, Image Plus #1 brings the much anticipated return of Wytches. I loved the first arc when it came out in 2014, and I’m super excited that it is coming back. I hate that it’s being printed in Image Plus magazine instead of single issue floppies.

 The #1 One: Star Wars Jedi Republic Mace Windu #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Owen
Art: Denys Cowan

What it is: For over a thousand generations, the Jedi have been the peacekeepers of the galaxy…but now, at the dawn of the Clone Wars, they find themselves in a new role: generals in the Army of the Republic. As Mace Windu, one of the Jedi’s greatest warriors, leads a small unit of Jedi into battle shortly after the war begins, the Jedi must make peace with their new role, or be lost to the violence around them! Rated T

Why we like it: Hi kids, do you like sci-fi action? With Sam Jackson, gonna grow up like Titanic with Bill Packson? Cool brother with the bald head and goatee. Isn’t he the first black guy to be in Star Wars Since Billy D? Hi, my name is, huh? my name is who? my name is chicki, chicki, Mace Windew. Jimmy Fallon may be a twit but I always liked that bit.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman #29

Publisher: DC
Words: Fonta Shea
Art: Messi David
Cover Art: Jenny Frison 

What it is: ‘HEART OF THE AMAZON’ part four! No single bounty hunter would be enough to draw blood from Wonder Woman-which is why the cabal that’s so desperate to get their hands on Amazon DNA has sent five!

Why we like it: Maybe it’s just me, but this WW cover reminds me of that famous National Geographic cover with the Afghan Girl.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics! And to everyone affected by Harvey, our thoughts go out to you. Stay safe and take care of each other!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 6/28/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another episode of the Crank File. Did you miss me? I’ve missed you. Wednesday is new comic book day and Tuesdays I spotlight some of the stuff that I’ll be checking out. It’s looking like a strong crop of books and I had a really hard time making this week’s picks. Lots of good books couldn’t make the cut. These are the ones that did. Your results may vary.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

SE5

The Top of the Pile: Secret Empire #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: They thought they were safe! They thought they could handle anything that was thrown against them! But the united heroes of the Marvel Universe never reckoned on the dread power that Steve Rogers would unleash! THE SECRET EMPIRE WILL AMAZE YOU! Rated T+

Why we love it: I wasn’t ready for Secret Empire to be this entertaining. This dystopia has been relevant, intriguing and undeniably provocative. Evil Steve Rogers (Stevil Rogers?) has outmaneuvered earth’s superheroes at every turn. What tricks does he have up his gauntlets this time? Is that really the Hulk on the cover? Did Hawkeye somehow shoot him back to life?

 TAH20

The Mainstream One: Totally Awesome Hulk #20

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION PART 2! What is the mysterious Weapon Gamma? AND WHO IS BEHIND ITS CREATION? Rated T

Why we like it: Hulkverine. Nuff said.

S44

The Indie One: Saga #44

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

What it is: Hazel and her family search for elusive treasure: affordable healthcare.

Why we like it: The best comic in all of comicdom, Saga takes us where few comics dare or care to go.

EoV1

The #1 One: Edge of Venomverse #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Roland Boschi

What it is: EDGE of VENOM-VERSE starts here! The series that sets up the epic VENOM EVENT of 2017 STARTS HERE! Each issue introduces another major Venomized character that will feed into VENOMVERSE itself! THIS ISSUE, the young mutant clone designated X-23 collides with a cryogenic tube containing a strange alien symbiote during her frenzied escape from The Facility, . Bonding with the alien enhances her already considerable abilities, and aids in her escape, but it begins to alter her mind! On the run from the very people that made her, can X-23 hold it together or is she doomed to give in to Venom! Rated T

Why we like it: Francesco Mattina absolutely slayed this cover. I thought X-23 was plenty scary before the corrupted alien parasite costume. It seems like the entire world has caught Venom fever since the news of a Venom/Carnage movie broke. If you or someone you love is suffering from symbiote separation anxiety, talk to your local comic shop about Venomverse.

ww25

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman #25

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp
Cover Art: Jenny Frison

What it is: Writer Greg Rucka weaves together the threads of ‘The Lies,’ ‘Year One,’ ‘The Truth,’ and ‘Godwatch’-every story in WONDER WOMAN since the start of the DC Universe Rebirth era-in this extra-sized anniversary issue!

Why we like it: Jenny Frison really wants to get Jennifer Connelly cast as Wonder Woman. Frison’s entire run of WW cover Bs has been outstanding, with a few exceptional pieces. This is an exceptional one. Speaking of exceptional, the Wonder Woman movie. It wasn’t perfect, but it was close. See it. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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!

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A View From Above: Where to Spot Good Writing

As a student of writing, I’m constantly on the lookout for good quality work. Most of the time when we think of good quality writing we think of the classics like Shakespeare, Chaucer, or Milton. Similarly we also think good writing comes from novels and/or plays; forms that are generally thought of as a little highbrow and difficult to connect with. However, good writing can also come from film, television and even comic books.

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I’ve read a lot of classics from Homer’s The Iliad to Beowulf to Paradise Lost. From Edgar Allen Poe to Bram Stoker. They’re all great if you want to learn story structure and expand your vocabulary and I highly recommend you start at the beginning. On the other hand, I’ve also read and watched things that were recommended to me with the thought that I’d like them, but alas poor Yorick I did not. They just didn’t do it for me. Breaking Bad, for example, which is consistently rated as one of the best television series’ of all time. I couldn’t get through the second episode. Don’t get me wrong, it was an interesting premise, but just not my thing. Just the other day I got caught up in a twitter debate about how “great” The Expanse is. Is it? I found the characters boring, and the dialogue weak. I muddled my way through the first season and don’t plan on continuing. How it got renewed for a third season is beyond me. I simply cannot watch anything produced by the SyFy channel. Can anyone tell me why everything looks blue on that show? Ender’s Game was another recommendation. This was one experience where I rather enjoyed the movie more than the book. No. Just no.

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The theory is that I like science fiction. Everyone knows my love of Star Wars. The thing is Star Wars isn’t science fiction. I’m not a fan of any specific genre. I like what’s written well. Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Preacher (the comic not the show, please…not the show), are all very different. This is how I can tell if I really like something; I cannot physically put it down or turn it off. It’s impossible And if I can remember what I’m reading, that’s a sign. The best part of good writing for me is the dialogue. Which any writer, no matter their skill level, will tell you is the most difficult to get right. Garth Ennis, the writer for Preacher gets the dialogue down so perfectly, with speech inflection and all like nobody’s business. Yes, it may take a couple readings to get through a speech bubble, but it pays off later on when you realize it becomes part of the character and their development.

Game_of_Thrones_title_card

What I like about GoT and HoC is not only the dialogue, but the delivery of it by the actors. It’s quick, yet forceful. It’s serious but not overly dramatic. The multilayered storylines give both shows an extra level of intrigue. This made me realize my own novel is way too simple (editors note:  Eric is in the process of writing his first book).

Another show I respect, but am not completely enthralled with is Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Legend of Korra to an even lesser extent. I know it’s blasphemy to not love these shows. I really like them, and love how the story and characters develop. I think it’s because it’s animated, which doesn’t make sense at all because I love Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels.

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I had just caught up with Saga, the comic series written by award winning comic writer Brian K. Vaughan. I’ll say this; it’s definitely original, which is a big plus in my book. It’s well written, but didn’t pull me in as much as Preacher did. I’m also reading his other series, Paper Girls which is also very original. Y: The Last Man, from what I read is really good too! I’ll stay with both for now. A few more examples of good writing came from a recommended comic called Wytches by Scott Snyder. Wow! If you like creepy comics, in the vein of Stephen King, I cannot recommend this one enough. I read the entire trade in one sitting, something I never do. Lastly, Transmetroplitan and Planetary also came recommended, both written by Warren Ellis. I’m excited to dive into those!

I’m all ears for more recommendations. I can’t guarantee I’ll like it, but I’m willing to try. Movies, books, or comics!

Eric Onkenhout

@EricOnkenhout or @WritingEric

Facebook.com/eric.onkenhout

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 1/25/2017

Greetings super heroes and heroines and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the net that believes the freedom to punch a Nazi in the face is a god given right. I’m your host, Ken Lee, and here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

 

S42

The Top of the Pile: Saga #42

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

What it is: END OF STORY ARC ‘THE WAR FOR PHANG,’ The Epic Conclusion! Hell is war, as Hazel and her family learn the hardest way.

Why we love it: Still the best book on the stands, and once again the top of the pile. It’s the end of another spectacular Saga arc, which is always bitter sweet. It means that something jaw-droppingly awesome is going to happen, but it also means a couple months off before we get another issue while the creative team goes on scheduled hiatus.

 

 

tah15

The Mainstream One: Totally Awesome Hulk #15

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: ‘BIG APPLE SHOWDOWN’ STARTS HERE! Amadeus Cho is slowly learning how to become a team player, but he better learn fast when Ms. Marvel, Shang Chi, Silk and a host of other heroes come to town!

Why we like it: I didn’t realize how much I wanted this team-up until I saw the cover art. Marvel’s assembling a group of Asian super heroes, which will eventually need a catchy team name. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I’m thinking “The Persuaders”.

 

 

Diii2

The Indie One: Divinity III #2

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine

What it is: Cold world war! Welcome to the year 2017 where the Soviet Union has spent decades as the the world’s reigning superpower and the Iron Curtain now encircles a planet riddled with war, strife, and oppression. Freedom is a thing of the past in the Stalinverse. So why can’t Russian intelligence officer Colin King shake the feeling that something has gone terribly wrong? He’ll put his freedom and life on the line to uncover the truth. Even if that means finding out whatever happened to the long-missing cosmonaut Abram Adams – the one man who just might hold the key to unraveling the dystopian world of today. This is no alternate reality. This is the Valiant Universe as we know it and, soon, New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine will lead Valiant’s event-level epic to the architect behind this new world order!

Why we like it: I’ve dipped a toe into a Valiant series or two over the years, but never found any of their titles interesting enough to add to my pull list. But since Valiant unleashed the Russian cosmonaut slash demigod, Divinity, upon their universe, I’ve been hooked. Divinity is THE reason to read Valiant.

 

 

d1

The #1 One: The Dregs #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Lonnie Nadler
Art: Eric Zawadzki

What it is: A gentrified city. Its homeless population restricted to six square blocks called The Dregs. When people start disappearing, a drug-addled homeless man obsessed with detective fiction becomes addicted to solving the mystery. Equal parts Raymond Chandler and Don Quixote set in a thriving metropolis that literally cannibalizes the homeless, The Dregs is the first homeless meta noir ever made.

Why we like it: I haven’t heard much about this series, but it already wins the award for the most bizarrely intriguing synopsis. Black Mask lost some goodwill from fans due to uneven release schedules, but there’s no denying that they have published some of the best alternative comics in recent history. Definitely will check this out on Wednesday.

 

 

dp25

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deadpool #25

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Gerry Duggan
Art: Scott Koblish
Cover Art: Mark Brooks

What it is: DEADPOOL 2099 reaches its DOUBLE-SIZED CONCLUSION! Wade’s two daughters battle for his legacy! PLUS: The old man himself gets in the game! AND: IRON FIST shows just how IMMORTAL he is!

Why we like it: Nothing really jumped out at me this week for cover art, so I’m falling back on an old, reliable tactic. Everyone loves a good DP 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 10/26/2016

Happy Halloween comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The comic book world mourns the loss of Steve Dillon this week. Dillon was co-creator and artist on the seminal Vertigo series Preacher and is known for his work on Hellblazer and Punisher. His uncanny ability to capture expression and lead the reader’s eye placed Dillon among the great visual storytellers of our generation. He was one of the good guys, in a world with way too many of the bad.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

S39

The Top of the Pile: Saga #39

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

What it is: ‘THE WAR FOR PHANG,’ Part Three New allies join the battle, but so do deadly new enemies.

Why we love it: Early on in Saga, Hazel made the observation that in war there is always collateral damage. Acceptable losses. The War for Phang took one of my favorite characters last issue and this one really stung. Things had been going too well for Alana, Marko and Hazel for too long and tragedy was inevitable.

 

V12

The Mainstream one: Vision #12

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Mike Del Mundo

What it is: A while ago, a robot created a family. And all was good. For a while. Then came the murders. The lies. The betrayals. The battles fought. The battles lost. The family lost. And now, at the end, Vision stands alone. He must decide how he will go on, if he will go on, if he can go on. And that decision will shape the Marvel Universe for quite a while. The epic, stunning conclusion to the most highly praised series of the year. Simply put, this is the issue everyone will be talking about.

Why we like it: King’s macabre Vision comes to a conclusion this week and all’s that is left to do is sweep up the ashes. Vision has been devastating, haunting and most surprisingly, incredibly human. I’m sad to see it wrap after only 12 issues, but considering how radically different in tone and story Vision is from other Marvel titles I’m truly thankful that we got this series at all.

 

StE2

The Indie One: Seven to Eternity #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena

What it is: Now face to face with the God of Whispers, enslaver of worlds, all that stands between Adam Osidis and his heart’s every desire is one simple compromise, to bend the knee.

Why we like it: Looks like Remender and Opena have another hit on their hands. I had high expectations for the story since it was a Remender comic, but I was absolutely floored by Opena’s artwork. Issue #1 was awesome and all 4 covers are selling above cover price. I’m expecting lots of interest in issue #2.

 

SH1

The #1 One: Spookhouse #1

Publisher: Albatross
Words and Art: Eric Powell

What it is: Eric Powell presents the first issue of an all new anthology series of scary camp fire tales for kids!

Why we like it: Eric Powell lend’s his unique style to a collection of stories from his independent label about the things that go bump in the night. I’m expecting some good fun and a Halloween scare.

 

WW17

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wayward #17

Publisher: Image
Words: Jim Zub
Art: Steve Cummings
Cover art: Sana Takeda

What it is: Back in Japan, the aftermath of the battle and the treacherous road ahead.

Why we like it: You may recognize Sana Takeda’s art from her work on Image’s Monstress. She definitely draws inspiration from manga, but I feel like her use of colors and patterns make her style distinct. I would love to see her work on more titles.

 

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 9/28/2016

Hey there comic book fans and welcome back to the Crank File. Here at the Crank File we have the best comics reviews on the planet. Nobody has better comic reviews than us. They’re great. Trust me. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people who love them.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

S38

The Top of the Pile: Saga #38

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

What it is: ‘THE WAR FOR PHANG,’ Part Two When your babysitter’s a ghost, death is never very far away.

Why we love it: Another month, another issue of Saga at the top of the pile. May it rein for 100 issues. Yes, it’s honestly that good. At the risk of sounding like a broken records, you should really read Saga… read Saga… read Saga.

 

SMD9

The Mainstream one: Spider-man Deadpool #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Joe Kelly
Art: Ed McGuinness

What it is: Her name is Itsy-Bitsy and she’s Spider-Man and Deadpool’s worst nightmare!

Why we like it: A new villainness makes her first appearance here, and she’s half-Spidey/half-Pooley. This team-up series has been laugh-out-loud hysterical and each issue has gone back for multiple printings. Make sure to grab a copy on Wednesday in case Itsy-Bitsy turns out to be big.

 

HB3

The Indie One: Hillbilly #3

Publisher: Albatross
Words and Art: Eric Powell

What it is: The Flesh Eating Witch Child of Hoodoo Ridge crosses paths with the tear stained traveler Rondel!

Why we like it: Hillbilly is a southern-fried mix of fantasy and horror with Eric Powell’s unmistakable artwork. The first two issues were instant sell-outs. Look for issue #3 to do the same.

 

SX1

The #1 One: Surgeon X #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Sara Kenney
Art: John Watkiss

What it is: What do you get if you cross a far-right British government with an antibiotic apocalypse and a gruesome murder? The birth of Surgeon X and her renegade practice. Extreme times call for extreme medicine.

Why we like it: When Karen Berger is working on a book, you pay attention. She was instrumental in the success of DC’s Vertigo imprint, bringing us essential series like Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Hellblazer, Preacher, V for Vendetta, Y: the Last Man, Fables and 100 Bullets.

 

WW7

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman #7

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp
Cover art: Jenny Frisson

What it is: One god down-how many more to go? Diana takes another step closer to the truth, and Steve Trevor confronts his past!

Why we like it: I thought I was done with Wonder Woman after Cho was kicked off the alt covers, but this Frison cover is absolutely gorgeous.

 

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 8/31/2016

Greetings comic book friends and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the net that makes cranks for a smarter planet. It’s a slow week for comics but a crazy week for personal stuff, so let’s do it to it. Comics that is.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

S37

The Top of the Pile: Saga #37

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

What it is: NEW STORY ARC ‘THE WAR FOR PHANG,’ PART ONE Saga is back with its most epic story line yet, and to celebrate, Fiona Staples graces this issue with a gorgeous wraparound cover! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages.

Why we love it: The best comic in all of comicdom returns after a scheduled hiatus with a self-contained story arc. This is a perfect time for readers who love Saga’s bestselling trade paper back collections to join the monthly adventures of their favorite intergalactic outlaw family.

 

ASM17

The Mainstream one: Amazing Spider-man #17

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slot
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli

What it is: BEFORE ‘DEAD NO MORE’! The Prowler (and our readers) meet the new Electro! Who is this woman and what does she have to do with the Man in Red?!

Why we like it: The gender bendification of Marvel continues, this time it’s a member from Spider-man’s rogue gallery that gets the lady treatment. With a female Electro, you’d think that her name would be Electra but that’d confuse the heck out of DareDevil fans.

 

TG10

The Indie One: Tokyo Ghost #10 (Nguyen variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: MINISERIES FINALE The final confrontation for the future of mankind is here. It’s Debbie Decay, Mother Nature’s own samurai savior, vs Davey Trauma, the Living Singularity. Critically-acclaimed creators Rick Remender and Sean Gordon Murphy wrap up their tale of tech addiction, unintended consequences, and love in a world populated by the disenfranchised and isolated.

Why we like it: The brain child of two of my favorite creators, I had huge expectations for Tokyo Ghost. While I enjoyed the early issues, the series never really coalesced into the sci-fi epic I was hoping for. And when Sean Murphy announced that he would be working exclusively with DC for the next two years, it signaled an early the end to the series. I can’t criticize Murphy though. When you get the opportunity to work on Batman, you take it.

 

TMNTU1

The #1 One: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtels Universe #1

Publisher: IDW
Words: Paul Allor
Art: Damian Couceiro

What it is: Introducing a new era in TMNT! This series will explore characters and story-lines that are pivotal to the IDW TMNT universe! When a mysterious new mutant targets Baxter Stockman, it will be up to the TMNT to reluctantly save him. Little does everyone know that a larger trap is being laid by a new arch-foe! Plus a back-up story from TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman and comics legend Bill Sienkiewicz!

Why we like it: While I’m looking forward to taking a deeper look at the peripheral characters that populate the TMNT universe, I’m really interested in that Easman / Sienkiewicz backup story. Sienkiewicz’s stark, expressionist art style would be perfectly suited for a dark, noir-style Turtles story.

 

JLA9

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Justice League of America #9 (Lee variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Bryan Hitch
Art: Bryan Hitch
Cover art: Jim Lee

What it is: With Earth as collateral damage, the Kryptonian deity called Rao has the Justice League on the ropes! It would take a miracle to defeat him. Good thing the League makes miracles look easy!

Why we like it: Batman v Superman rendered by the legendary Jim Lee. This cover looks about fifty times more interesting than the movie. This is a regular price variant and should be widely available at your local shop. My pick here was originally the Uncanny Avengers #13 Hughes variant, but that one is a 1:50 and will likely be hard to find at a decent price.

 

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 4/27/2016

Hey gang, and welcome back to another episode of the crank file, where we crank harder so that you don’t have to. Busy week this week so we’ll forgo the national anthem and get down to it. RIP Prince, you played a mean guitar.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Batman #51

 

BM51

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: Batman has battled everything from the Court of Owls to Mr. Bloom to the Joker, but how does he handle a quiet night in Gotham City…?

Why we love it: I’ll be looking forward to Snyder’s All-Star Batman as well as seeing rising star Tom King carry the torch after Rebirth. But before that, one last issue with Snyder and Capullo as they wrap a bow on their unforgettable run. This was the perfect creative team for Batman and we were so fortunate to have experienced this journey with them. Thanks for all the amazing stories fellas.

 

The Mainstream One: Juistice League #49

 

JL49

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Jason Fabok

What it is: In this, the penultimate chapter of the critically-acclaimed epic ‘Darkseid War,’ the fate of the Justice League and the entire universe is on the line! But can even the combined might of the Justice Gods contend with the secret machinations of Grail, the deadly daughter of Darkseid? Death, rebirth and the life of one of the members of the League changed forever!

Why we like it: Did you notice the wording in the last sentence? I don’t think it is any coincidence that Darkseid Wars is being written by the same man orchestrating DC’s line-wide reboot. I’m only speculating that this will eventually tie in with Rebirth but regardless, Darkseid Wars has been a thrilling read and reminds us just how much fun a DC comic can be.

 

The Indie One: Saga #36

 

S36

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

What it is: Freedom…?

Why we like it: Saga’s been back with this new prison break arc that has been absolutely insane. I say it every month but, best comic on the stands today. Saga only misses out on the top spot because of the milestone importance of Batman #51. If you haven’t read Saga yet, pick up volume #1 the next time you are in a bookstore. Only ten dollars to change your life.

 

The #1: 4 Kids Walk into a Bank

 

4K 1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matt Rosenberg
Art: Tyler Boss

What it is: A fun(ish) crime caper about children! Eleven-year-old Paige and her weirdo friends have a problem: a gang of ex-cons need her dad’s help on a heist… the problem is those ex-cons are morons. If Paige wants to keep her dad out of trouble, she’s going to have to pull off the heist herself. Like Wes Anderson remaking Reservoir Dogs, 4KWIAB is a very dark & moderately humorous story about friendship, growing up, D & D, puking, skinheads, grand larceny, and family.

Why we like it: You may remember seeing this book on here last week. That was because it was solicited for April 20, but the actual release date is on this Wednesday, 4/27. I heard that some shops didn’t receive copies last week. Some shops received them but opted not to put them out until this week. Fortunately for me, one of my local shops did have them out for sale and I had an absolute ball with this first issue. It’s funny and dorky and unquestionably cool. Black Mask is back! Let’s hope they stick around for a while.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Daredevil #6

 

DD6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Charles Soule
Art: Ron Garney
Cover Art: Bill Sienkiewicz

What it is: Hell’s Kitchen knows no fury like an assassin scorned. Though Matt Murdock has somehow managed to hide his identity from the entire world, there are parts of his past he cannot escape. Elektra Natchios, is back in the Big Apple and she’s got a score to settle with The Man Without Fear!

Why we like it: Sienkiewicz is one of the great comic books artists and he’s aging like fine wine. His style has evolved over the years but his artwork remains visually striking and instantly recognizable. Love this 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 3/30/2016

Hey there comic fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, where we crank so hard it oughta be a crime. It was a crazy busy weekend and I have not seen Batman vs Superman yet. While there are a ton of negative reviews floating around the internet thrashing the movie, my friends who saw it, and whose opinion I actually respect, pretty much unanimously said that it kicked ass. That’s good enough for me, so hopefully this weekend.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

The Top of the Pile: Saga #35

 

S35

Words: Brian K. Vaughan

Art: Fiona Staples

What it is: Hard time.

Why we love it: My favorite line from issue #34, “anyone who thinks that one book has all the answers hasn’t read enough books”. If you aren’t reading Saga yet, you have no idea what you are missing. Hands down the best book out right now.

 

The Mainstream One: Aquaman #50

 

AM50

Words: Dan Abnett

Art: Brett Booth

What it is: Dead Water is a killer and a monster. No matter where you go, he can reach you if there’s even one drop of water present. Pray that Aquaman finds you first! And the most famous oceanic hero on Earth is Aquaman, right? In our gala 50th issue, make way for Aquawoman!

Why we like it: Not counting a couple of multiverse appearances, this will be the first appearance of Aquawoman in DCU continuity. Could be an important first appearance, but then again the phrase “DCU continuity” sounds like an oxymoron these days.

 

The Indie One: Black Science #21

 

BS21

Words: Rick Remender

Art: Matteo Scalera

What it is: Conclusion Grant comes to rescue his daughter but she’s not daddy’s little girl anymore. All hail the Godqueen!

Why we like it: This will probably the last single issue of Black Science that I will buy before dropping it from my pull list and trade waiting. Not for lack of quality though. Black Science has been an awesome read and ranks among my favorites of Remender’s creator owned series, but each arc is so densely packed with call-backs and symbolism that I think the story will read better as complete volumes.

The #1 One: X-Men ’92 #1

 

XM1

Words: Chris Sims

Art: Alti Firmansyah

What it is: The X-Men of the 90s are back! Continuing from the hit Secret Wars series starring the X-Men of a more EXTREME decade. With Cassandra Nova defeated, the X-Men have taken in all the young mutants she had rounded up and are officially reopening the Xavier School for Gifted Children…but being responsible won’t stop them from having crazy adventures! Especially when Omega Red shows up with the (Formerly) Soviet Super Soldiers!

Why we like it: Jim Lee’s run on X-Men and the Fox animated cartoon series were huge influences in my young life, and both directly responsible for my current love/borderline obsession with comics. I learned how to draw in grade school by sketching epic fights between Gambit and Wolverine on my vocab homework. To me, this represents the X-Men in their prime and some of my fondest childhood memories.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Captain America Sam Wilson #7 (Ross variant)

 

CA7'

Words: Nick Spencer

Art: Daniel Acuna

What it is: ENORMOUS 75th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE! AN AVENGERS STANDOFF tie-in! Since World War II, Steve Rogers has wielded his red, white and blue shield against unspeakable odds. When he fell, his brother in arms, Bucky Barnes, picked it up. When it was time to rest, he handed it to his good friend, Sam Wilson. But now Steve will be asked to wield it one last time, against a foe so deadly he knows it could very well be his final stand. Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Marvel’s Sentinel of Liberty with a story of Captain Americas present and former — with this explosive, world-changing chapter in the blockbuster spring Avengers event, STANDOFF. Plus, stories celebrating the legacy and legend of Captain America throughout history, by Greg Rucka & Mike Perkins; Tim Sale; & John Cassaday

Why we like it: Although I’ve been enjoying the heck out of Sam Wilson’s Captain America, we all knew that Steve Rogers would eventually return to the role. Well that time has come because this Wednesday, O.G. Cap is back! Alex Ross does an incredible swipe of the cover to 1941’s Captain America #1 by comic legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. It’s Cap punching out Hitler, ’nuff said.

 

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