Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – April 11, 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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Thanos #18

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: AT LONG LAST…THANOS WINS! When there is nothing left to kill, Death comes…to the one who loves her most – KING THANOS. How will the fantastic saga of Thanos, King Thanos and the Cosmic Ghost Rider end?

Why we love it: The can’t miss conclusion to Donny Cates and Geoff Shaws’ exceptional Thanos run drops this week. It’s Thanos vs Thanos and the winner marries Death. Sounds like one of those, you win but you actually lose, type scenarios.

The Mainstream One: Captain America #700 (Alex Ross 1:50 variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee

What it is: OUT OF TIME CONCLUSION! Cap is finally ‘OUT OF TIME’! Frozen in time, awakened in a decimated future and once again a man out of his era, there is only one way for Steve Rogers to restore order and rebuild civilization-and that’s to rule it as King Captain America! No dream, no hoax, no lie, this IS Cap and this IS happening, believe it or not! PLUS: Mark Waid delivers an untold tale from Captain America’s past, featuring the classic artwork of Jack Kirby! Rated T+

Why we like it: Happy 700th Cap. To celebrate Marvel’s making you king of future world. A monarchy seems like the kind of thing that Captain America would be opposed to, so I expect his reign to be a short one.

The Indie One: Gideon Falls #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andea Sorrentino

What it is: The brand-new supernatural mystery series by the acclaimed team of JEFF LEMIRE and ANDREA SORRENTINO (Old Man Logan, Green Arrow) continues. The mysteries of the ‘Black Barn’ heighten as the reclusive Norton begins to unravel new clues just as a murder spree breaks out in the town of Gideon Falls. But how is it all connected?! The puzzle pieces begin to fall.

Why we like it: Issue 1 of Gideon Falls was a very strong premiere for the new series by creative superstars Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. Part urban horror, part rural mystery, Gideon Falls touches on themes of madness, obsession, religion and good old fashioned ghosties.

The #1 One: Immortal Men #1

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Jim Lee, Scott Williams

What it is: ‘THE END OF FOREVER’ part one! There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first? RATED T+

Why we like it: DC’s New Age of Heroes has been a bit of a mixed bag, but there have been some positive standouts. I really like the creative team on this title, and I hope Tynion and Lee stick around for a while.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Supergirl #20 (Artgerm Cover B variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Steve Orlando
Art: Robson Rocha
Cover Art: Stanley Artgerm Lai

What it is: Supergirl must fight both Mokkari and the out-of-dimension Viking Judge to save Director Bones from the fury of the Viking’s magical ax! Meanwhile, with Director Bones out of the picture, Cameron Chase and Lar-On must break into the D.E.O. to save Veritas before the clock counts down to zero and the psycho-redactor erases her memories forever!

Why we like it: Based on Michael Turner’s Supergirl costume design, issue 20 is my new favorite from the run. I believe that this is the last cover B that Stanley Artgerm Lau is doing on Supergirl, and  its an absolute beauty. But don’t fret, Artgerm will keep the cover B’s moving as it has been announced that he will be doing B covers on Joelle Jones’ Catwoman series launching in July.

 

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

Posted on

Comic Shop Talk Video Blog 3/16/18

Our first video blog from the new shop location. Thanks for your patience in our absence!

(0:00-42:25) Our Marvel topics include Infinity Countdown, Amazing Spider-Man’s Red Goblin character, Thanos, Moon Knight, the prospector fascination with Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #28, Star Wars Thrawn and DJ, and we finish up with some talk about the upcoming reboot of the Marvel Universe!

(42:26-52:54) Our DC talk delves into Brian Bendis entrance into DC’s Superman Universe, Doomsday Clock delays, Dark Knights Metal, and Raven Daughter of Darkness!

(52:55-1:01:54) Indie talk includes the new Kirkman book Oblivion Song, Gideon Falls, and a little bit of news on an upcoming Sandman Universe!

 

Have a great weekend!

The Great Stories Team

Posted on

The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 28, 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.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Thanos #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 4. The secret origins of King Thanos’ right-hand man, the cosmic spirit of vengeance, Ghost Rider! Just who IS this madman and how did he become allies with the most evil man in the Universe? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Donny Cates has been absolutely slaying it on both of his Marvel runs. Thanos has been getting a lot more of the publicity because of a “new” character, the Cosmic Ghost Rider. We recently learned that the Cosmic Ghost Rider is none other than Frank Castle, and this Wednesday we learn what made the Punisher trade in his white go-go boots for leather and chains.

 

The Mainstream One: Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #300 (Alex Ross 1:50 variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Adam Kubert

What it is: MOST WANTED Part 4. An oversized anniversary epic, told the only way your pre-eminent pals in the Spidey-Office know how – in the Mighty Marvel Manner! For weeks, the Tinkerer has been launching a campaign against his do-gooder brother, the Mason, and Spidey’s nearly met his maker more than once trying to stop their sibling rivalry! With a little help from a tech-heavy team of Marvel heroes, Spider-Man takes the fight directly to Tinkerer! But Tinkerer’s got tech of his own and it’s out of this world! Rated T

Why we like it: Happy 300th Spectacular Spider-man! If I can find that 1:50 Alex Ross variant for under $40, I’m buying it. There’s also a Gabreille Dell Otto variant featuring the Red Goblin on the cover that is worth mentioning.

 

The Indie One: Beef #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Image
Words: Richard Starkings
Art: Shaky Kane

What it is: The creator of ELEPHANTMEN and the creator of The A-Men join forces with TYLER SHAINLINE (Liberty Justice) to bring you the story of Meat Men! Chuck is a mild-mannered meat factory worker who is a little in love with a strawberry picker named Mary Lynn. But everything changes when Mary Lynn falls victim to the Vodino Brothers….

Why we like it: Saga is back this week, but I feel like I spotlight that series every month. So I’m throwing a change up and picking this new series from the creator of the cult favorite Elephantmen. I read a preview and while I wasn’t impressed by the artwork, there was a weird and quirky sense to the dialogue that I enjoyed. From what I gathered, its a story about meat and blood and death. I’d eat that.

 

The #1 One: Terrifics #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Ivan Reis

What it is: Bound together by fate, united by the spirit of exploration and hope for tomorrow, the Terrifics are bound from the Dark Multiverse of Metal! When Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl find themselves literally bound together by a tragic accident, our team of unlikely allies must rely on one another to make their way back home. But a startling revelation on their return trip brings them face to face with a new mystery: Where in the universe is Tom Strong? RATED T+

Why we like it: Lemire’s time at Marvel was a mixed bag. I’d like to believe that his underwhelming work at the House of Ideas was due to lack of control over high-profile characters and too much direction from editors. We know that Lemire can write intriguing, nuanced superheroes, just look at the quality stuff he’s done on Dark Horse’s Black Hammer. I’m hoping that DC is giving him full reign to take this band of misfits and turn it into something special. Having a stud like Ivan Reis on art doesn’t hurt either.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Action Comics #998

Publisher: DC
Words:  Dan Jurgens
Art: Brett Booth
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

What it is: ‘BOOSTER SHOT’ part six! Escape from Planet Zod! Superman and Booster Gold must escape to travel back to the present, where the life of the captured Sam Lane hangs in the balance!

Why we like it: Another superb, regular priced variant cover from Kaare Andrews. Can’t wait to see what he has cooked up for the #1000 mega-milestone issue.

 

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

Posted on

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!

Posted on

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!