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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week: 5/25/2016

Welcome back to another installment of the Crank File, where the cranks are made up but the problems are real.

Short post this week as I’m preparing for a business trip that will take me halfway across the world for the next week. So I just have two words for you: hold door.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.


The Top of the Pile: DC Universe Rebirth #1



Publisher: DC

What it is: It all begins here. Do not skip to the last page. Do not let a friend or message board ruin this comic for you. The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! THEY SAID IT: ‘Rebirth is about focusing in on the core of the character and their respective universe,’ says writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. ‘It brings back what has been lost, the legacy of the characters, the love and the hope of the DCU!’

Why we love it: It’s DC Rebirth week and the internet is already swirling with rumors and leaks. Who will die? Who will make their first appearance? What secrets will be revealed? Fortunately many of us won’t have to wait until Wednesday to find out the answers, as some local comic shops are holding midnight release parties on Tuesday to mark the occasion.


The Mainstream one: Justice League #50 / Superman #52



Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns / Peter Tomasi
Art: Jason Fabok / Mikel Janin

What it is: The epic conclusion to the Darkseid War saga, and the final issue of the New 52 Superman.

Why we like it: It’s all DC this week and I couldn’t choose between these two because both issues will reveal major events in the DC universe. Potential spoilers ahead. It has been hinted that Superman #52 will be the death of the New 52 Superman and Justice League #50 will reveal the Joker’s true identity.


The Indie One: Squarriors: Summertime #1



Publisher: Devil’s Due
Words: Ash Maczko
Art: Ashley Witter

What it is: Next from the break-out hit series Squarriors: The saga of warring rodents in a post-human world continues with Squarriors: Summer. There’s little time to nurse wounds as the Tin Kin’s struggle against the Maw and Amoni intensifies. The conflict of woodland creatures boils under the scorching Summer Sun. And the tribes find themselves on the brink of war and the edge of annihilation.

Why we like it: Squarriors volume 1 was a fantastic read and I’ve been looking forward to volume two of this epic fantasy tale. The elevator pitch for this series is Wind in the Willows meets Game of Thrones. Ashley Witter’s gorgeous painted artwork is worth the price of admission alone.


The #1 One: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas #1



Publisher: IDW
Words: Troy Little
Art: Troy Little

What it is: Troy Little’s gonzo adaptation of Hunter Thompson’s Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas is now available in an all-new format. This comic book version is presented in black-and-white and at a slightly larger size than the full-color hardcover edition. Each issue also includes pages from Little’s sketchbook and other behind-the-scenes information. ‘[Little’s] talents make him perfectly comfortable with the elastic expressions required to recreate the exploits of Thompson and his companion, Dr. Gonzo, as they slingshot between mania, paranoia, rage, and despair… the graphic-novel aspect adds layers to Thompson’s prose.’

Why we like it: The Terry Gilliam movie was something of a revelation for me. While I was originally drawn to it for the promise of zany, drug-fueled misadventures, what actually resonated with me deeply was the retrospective of the 60’s generation and its lasting effects on American culture.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Mockingbird #3


MB 3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chelsea Cain
Art: Kate Niemczyk
Cover art: Joelle Jones

What it is: Bobbi suits up as Mockingbird to save an adolescent girl driven bonkers by her new powers. Later, a rakish Englishman asks Bobbi to dogsit.

Why we like it: Joelle Jones is an immensely talented artist and has already done a couple of fantastic covers for Mockingbird. This one’s on a whole different level though.


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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 9/23/2015

Hey there comic book fans. So good to have you back for another installment of the Crank File. In totally non-comic related news, the 2015 NFL season is only two weeks old and Tom Brady has over 750 yards passing, 7 touch downs and the New England Patriots are two n oh. Suck it Goodell.


Ok back to the books. We’re more than halfway through September and Secret Wars #6 is not on shelves this week. Secret Wars is such an enormous, unwieldy event that it was bound to stumble along the way. Marvel only has a few weeks left before they launch their “All-new, all-different” Marvel Universe, will they wrap up Secret Wars in time? Stay tuned true believers.


Here’s What I’m Reading This Week:


Top of the Pile: Squarriors #4 Devil’s Due




Issue #4 will be the final issue of the first Squarriors miniseries. This title has been a surprise gem. Ashley Witten’s artwork is gorgeous. But don’t be fooled by the cute and cuddly looking animals, Squarriors is absolutely brutal. Game of Thrones level brutal and just as enjoyable. Squarriors has already been given the green-light for a second series, so I anticipate an action packed finale capped off with a wicked cliffhanger to keep us coming back.



The Mainstream One: Weirdworld #4 Marvel




Weirdworld #3 did something that few comics have ever done, which is make me laugh out loud. Holy crap, I nearly fell off my chair when we finally got a look at Warbow’s map of Weirdwold. Hands down my favorite Secret Wars tie-in/spin-off/whatever, Weirdworld is phenomenal. It’s a mashup of fantasy, action and humor splashed with absolutely insane visuals that hide strange new surprises at every turn. This week, Man-thing. Let’s get weird with it.



The Indie One: Fight Club 2 #5 Dark Horse




Fight Club 2 has been a weird, meta experience that loves reminding you how unconventional it is. And it works. In issue #5 we’ll be seeing ladies getting involved with Project Mayhem. “No girls allowed” was never one of the rules of Fight Club. Chuck Palanhuik is one of the unique voices of our generation. He’s not afraid to experiment with weird ideas or to say things that could offend and comic book seem to be the perfect medium for his eccentric sensibilities. Issue 5, Fight!



The #1 One: Wild’s End Enemy Within #1 Boom




The first Wild’s End miniseries kept us in constant suspense with its unlikely mash-up of War of the Worlds and The Wind in the Willows. As Clive, Susan, Fawkes, and the other survivors of the alien invasion of Lower Crowchurch try to cope with what just happened to their small town, the military arrives in an attempt to cover up the ‘incident.’ Town residents are immediately detained, questioned, and treated with suspicion. Clive and the rest will need to escape imprisonment if they’re to get the word out and warn the rest of the world in case the aliens return.



The One I’m Buying for the Cover: 1872 #3 Marvel




A steampunk Iron Man suit. Nuff said.



The Speculation One: Scooby-Doo Team-up #12 DC




No, you didn’t eat too many scoobie snacks. A Scooby-doo book is making the spec list and it’s all due to the incorrigible Harley Quinn. Terry Hoknes over at pointed this out earlier: Harley Quinn fans buy any book with Harley in it. A typical print run for a Scooby-doo comic is roughly 10K. A typical Harley Quinn print run is around 60K. 50,000 Harley fans will be left wanting on Wednesday. Already pre-selling for $20 – $25 on eBay. Crazy.


Did you know Harley Quinn was inspired by a daytime soap opera character? Days of Our Lives actress Arleen Sorkin played a clown during a dream sequence and you can see the heavy influence in Harley’s costume design.




Sorkin would later go on to voice Harley Quinn in the quintessential 90’s cartoon, the Batman: The Animated Series. She has been the voice of Harley in numerous animated series and video games.


Carpe Comics!