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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 9/21/2016

Greetings comic book enthusiasts and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. What cranks here, stays here. A couple of store exclusive variants featuring the evil spidey-symbiote made a lot of noise last week. KRS Comics commissioned a badazz cover for Deadpool Bank in Black  by Tyler Kirkham which sold out within hours. Frankie’s Comics announced a Venom variant by the hottest cover artist in the game, Gabrielle Dell’Otto, which sold out within hours without the artwork even being revealed. The variant market has seen some crazy movement in the last decade. There are duds which can be easily picked up at cover price, but the most desirable, high-ratio variants can climb into three figure territory just weeks after release. I have a feeling that these two variant covers have potential to fall into the latter category. The variant bubble will pop eventually, but there’s money to be made in the short term if you know how to place your bets.

It’s a good week for new books, with a lot of my personal favorites not even making the cut. Let’s take a look at what did make it.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

V11

The Top of the Pile: The Vision #11

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

What it is: The Avengers draw a line in the sand. They tell Vision he is not to cross this line. If he does, they will destroy him. ‘Remember,’ they say. ‘You’re an Avenger. First. Always.’ ‘Stay where you are,’ they say. ‘Don’t cross the line,’ they say. Vision nods. He tells them he understands. Then Vision crosses the line. The end is coming for the most critically acclaimed book of the year, and no one is safe. Don’t miss the issue everyone will be talking about. Also, hail Hydra.

Why we love it: Vision still has my vote for best comic series of the year. Two issues to go before this tragic tale of synth-imitating-life reaches it’s inevitably tragic conclusion. I’ve abandoned all hope of a happy ending, so I’m strapping in and bracing for the G’s. This is going to be train wreck ugly and I can’t look away.

 

T1

The Mainstream one: Trinity #1

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Francis Manapul

What it is: ‘BETTER TOGETHER’ part 1! Together again for the first time! Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The core of the World’s Greatest Heroes, but with a new Man of Steel, the bonds these three share will be tested and redefined by super-star writer/artist Francis Manapul. In this premiere issue, see the trio travel from Metropolis to Gotham City and beyond to learn what forces launched their heroic careers. But how will this journey of discovery lead them to a new threat?

Why we like it: I’m a big fan of Manapul’s artwork but not all that familiar with his writing. I’ve read some of his work on ‘Tec, so I know at least he can write a good Batman. With DC’s big three under the same roof this is a can’t miss issue. Let’s just hope that it’s more entertaining than BvS.

 

BH3

The Indie One: Black Hammer #3

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormston

What it is: Long before Spiral City’s greatest heroes were written out of their universe, the Martian champion Barbalien was already stranded far from home. Disguised as churchgoing Mark Markz in the timeless farming community where the heroes find themselves trapped, Barbalien faces a terrifying personal decision, even as he relives his painful past!

Why we like it: Black Hammer is what would happen if the Avengers crash landed on the set of the television series The Prisoner. Jeff Lemire is a master at writing non-superhero, superhero books and Black Hammer is no exception. The scratchy artwork takes some getting used to, but the characters, drama and dialogue are instantly relateable.

 

STE1

The #1 One: Seven to Eternity #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jermoe Opena

What it is: The God of Whispers has spread an omnipresent paranoia to every corner of the kingdom of Zhal; his spies hide in every hall spreading mistrust and fear. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, must choose between joining a hopeless band of magic users in their desperat e bid to free their world of the evil God, or accepting his promise to give Adam everything his heart desires. Writer Rick Remender reteams with collaborators Jermoe Opena and Matt Hollingsworth to take you on a hard road through the strange fantasy world of Zhal. All men have surrendered their freedom for fear. Now, one last free man must choose.

Why we like it: There’s a bunch of DC #1’s out this week, including the aforementioned Trinity and also New Teen Titan alums Cyborg and Raven. But I have a huge man-crush on Rick Remender and will always pick up the first issue of any series that he’s writing just to hear what one of the best voices in comics has to say. I can’t say that the description did much for me, but Remender and Opena are a creative dream team and Seven to Eternity will definitely be towards the top of Wednesday’s stack.

 

HQ4

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley Quinn #4 (Sienkiewicz variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Amanda Connor
Art: Joseph Linser
Cover art: Bill Sienkiewicz

What it is: ‘108 MILLION WAYS TO DIE!’ Even though she hates to leave Coney Island as it rebuilds after the zombie apocalypse, Harley must set out on a journey that will take her around the world-and into the clutches of a bizarre robotic enemy! Too bad her Mecha-Harley suit didn’t fit in the overhead bin?

Why we like it: Harley and Ivy, comic book fans’ favorite BFFs with benefits.

 

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 6/8/2016

Welcome back to another installment of the Crank File, the only place on the web that cranks different. Please wipe your feet and come on in.

Mainstream news picked up on two words from the last panel of Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 and created a media crap storm, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the first time DC killed off Superman. Ironically, while Marvel was stealing the spotlight with just those two words, DC’s Rebirth was quietly an across the board success. My LCS ordered heavily on all Rebirth titles and they were almost all sold out by the weekend. Even Scooby friggin Doo sold out. And the sell out was well deserved. DC’s delivering the goods early on and I’m enjoying the heck out of Rebirth. Let’s hope they can keep pushing ahead and avoid postpartum depression.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Vision #8

 

V8

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

What it is: ‘LITTLE BETTER THAN A BEAST’ STARTS NOW! The most critically acclaimed series of the year continues. The Avengers know. They know his wife killed the Reaper and the boy. They know Vision lied to protect her. They know that those lies will lead to more lies, those deaths will lead to more deaths. And they know they need to act, they need to find a way to prove that he has done what he has done so the Avengers can do what they have to do–finally and forever dismantle the Vision and his family

Why we love it: I would argue that The Vision is the best superhero comic on the stands today. Dark, strange and philosophical, The Vision is more than your typical capes and tights fare. It’s a story about family and the lengths we go to protect the ones we love, even if it means doing something bad.

 

The Mainstream one: Detective Comics #934

 

DC934

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Eddy Barrows

What it is: ‘RISE OF THE BATMEN’ chapter one An unknown predator begins outdoing Batman, taking down dangerous threats with military precision. It’s up to the Dark Knight and series costar Batwoman to rally and train the young heroes of Gotham City to end this mysterious threat! WHAT NOW: Batman and Batwoman begin training Spoiler, Red Robin and Cassandra Cain, but is the villainous Clayface ready for redemption?

Why we like it: Detective Comics is not being Reibirthed with a #1. Instead it picks back up with its original numbering and begins a new story arc written by Scott Snyder protege, James Tynion IV. Anytime that Bat signal appears, you answer the call.

 

The Indie One: Head Lopper #4

 

HL4

Publisher: Image
Words: Andrew McLean
Art: Andrew McLean

What it is: At long last, Norgal and Agatha face off against the demigod-sorcerer Barra, who proves to be much more able than his frail frame implies. Meanwhile, Lulach approaches with an entire army at his back, but does he come in support or opposition of Barra’s cause?

Why we like it: It’s a quarterly book, but it is well worth the wait. What Head Lopper lacks in proficiency it more than makes up with in quality and quantity. This high fantasy adventure shines with humor, monster slaying and a ton of charm. Issue #4 will be the last issue of this series but I hope it’s not our final adventure with Norgal and Agatha.

The #1 One: Wacky Raceland #1

 

WR1

Publisher: DC
Words: Ken Pontac
Art: Leonardo Manco

What it is: The world has ended, but the race has just begun! Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect and the rest of the Wacky Racers vie for the finish line in a contest where the winner takes all and second place is death. Today’s trial: the shattered maze of freeways known as the Uberpass, where they’re beset by giant sand beasts, mutated insects, and worst of all, Dick Dastardly’s murderously poor sportsmanship. The last thing they need after surviving the race is a brutal bar fight in a local dive, but that’s just what they get!

Why we like it: I was pretty skeptical when DC announced its plan to remake classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons with a modern bend, but Scooby Doo surprised the heck out of me. While the names and faces remained familiar, it was was a completely fresh take on Scooby Doo with less camp and more mature plot line. So I’m going to give Wacky Raceland a read because it looks more Beyond Thunderdome than Stop the Pigeon. You can check the preview and judge for yourself: http://comicbook.com/dc/2016/06/03/exclusive-dc-preview-wacky-raceland-1/1

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman Rebirth #1

WWR1

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp, Paulo Siqueira
Cover art: Stanley “Artgerm” Lau

What it is: After suffering an unimaginable loss, Wonder Woman must rebuild her mission as Earth’s ultimate protector and champion. DON’T MISS: New York Times best selling writer Greg Rucka returns to Wonder Woman with a tale that will forever alter the DC icon.

Why we like it: Because Artgerm.  Love.

 

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