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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!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving comic book fans and welcome to a turktacular episode of the Crank File. Thursday is turkey day but 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: Doomsday Clock #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: DC Comics presents to you a 12-issue maxiseries from the critically acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns, artist Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson. You are not prepared for what lies ahead within these pages, good readers.

Why we love it: It’s DC Rebirth, it’s Watchmen and it’s being orchestrated by one of the most talented comic book writers of our generation. DC’s been pumping up Doomsday clock all year, so I expect this event to be hy-uge. Hyuge.

  The Mainstream One: Thanos #13

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 1 Ask the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe how they fear the universe will end, and in their most honest moment, they will answer with two words… THANOS WINS. Now… see what happens when he does. PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: Like Lemire before him, I really hope Marvel gives Donny Cates free reign on this title to do something special. Mr. Cates is already shaking up the status quo over on Doctor Strange, handing over the title of Sorcerer Supreme to Loki of all people and resigning Dr. Stephen Strange to a veterinary clinic. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what surprises he has in store for The Mad Titan.

The Indie One: Redneck #7

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lissandro Estherren

What it is: ‘THE EYES UPON YOU’ kicks off with the Bowmans lying low from the law with a new member of the family in tow. But there are rules to being a vampire…and when the rules are broken, the family will surely suffer…

Why we like it: Donny Cates makes his second appearance on the list with Redneck #7. I love the dialogue in this book and even the scratchy artwork has grown on me. The trade paper back for volume 1 came out a few weeks ago, a great way for to get caught up in this Southern Fried vampire story.

  The #1 One: Void Trip #1 (of 5)

Publisher:  Image
Words: Ryan O’Sullivan
Art: Plaid Klaus

What it is: From writer RYAN O’SULLIVAN (Turncoat, The Evil Within, Warhammer 40,000) and illustrator PLAID KLAUS (Turncoat), comes the story of Ana and Gabe, the last two humans left alive in the galaxy. They’re low on fuel, they’re low on food, and they’re low on psychedelic space froot, but they’re still determined to make it to the promised land: hippy-paradise, super-planet Euphoria. This is the story of their journey, the friends and enemies they made along the way, and how the universe responded to those who dared to live freely within it.

Why we like it: Sounds like the creators are channeling a hippie pilgrimage to Haight-Ashbury. I really enjoyed Plaid Klaus’ web series Psychonauts, a comedic web-strip that revolved around the mis-adventures of a couple of stoners. I hope that he brings the same level of humor and psychedelic art to Void Trip.

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Luke Cage #167

Publisher: Marvel
Words: David Walker
Art: Guillermo Sanna
Cover Art: Rahzzah

What it is: CAGED Part 2. Luke Cage is back in the one place he never wanted to be. With his mind mangled, Luke grasps for any foothold he can find. Which is hard, as… This is no ordinary prison… Rated T+

Why we like it: Simple, stark and effective. This reminds me of David Aja’s cover run on Scarlett Witch. If you’re into retailer exclusives, I’m also picking up a copy of Metal #5 from Bulletproof comix, with an amazing Dell Otto cover of the Batman Who Laughs. You need to check that one out here: http://www.bulletproofcomix.com/

 

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