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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 05/10/2017

Welcome comic book fans to another episode of the Crank File. Last Saturday was Free Comic Book Day and I hope you were able to swing by your local shop and snag some sweet freebies. As much as I love free stuff, the Wednesday after FCBD always feels like a bad hang-over, which appears to be the case again this year. There are a few indie books that I’m looking forward to, but the Big 2 seem to be mostly sitting this one out. But regardless, it is my sworn duty to inform you about what’s coming out each week, so here’s what I’m reading:

 

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The Top of the Pile: Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Kieron Gillen
Art: Marco Chachetto

What it is: ‘THE SCREAMING CITADEL’ – PART 1 Rebel pilot and rogue archaeologist wander side by side into the darkest shadows of the galaxy as Luke Skywalker reluctantly teams up with Doctor Aphra! The Doctor makes Luke an offer he can’t afford to pass up, one that leads him to a very rare gathering at the heart of the infamous Screaming Citadel. Will Luke find what he’s looking for? Can Aphra be trusted? Or will they both wind up victims of the Citadel’s Queen?

Why we love it: Dr. Aphra exploded on the Star Wars scene from the pages of Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader series, instantly becoming a fan favorite. Now the good doctor is teaming up with Luke for a new adventure, which I’ve read is going to be partly a horror story. I wonder if Aphra will make the connection between Luke and her former employer/attempted-murderer. More importantly, I wonder if her murder-droids BT and Triple Zero will be making an appearance.

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The Mainstream One: Titans #11

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Brett Booth

What it is: ‘THE LAZARUS CONTRACT’ part one! When Deathstroke discovers that Wally West’s return holds the key to bringing his son back from the dead, he’ll stop at nothing to do just that! Don’t miss the debut chapter of the epic crossover event that you’ve been waiting for! RATED T Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.

Why we like it: Deathstroke returns where it all began. 1984’s Judas Contract by comic legends Marv Wolfram and George Perez is considered by many to be the greatest Teen Titans story of our generation. Highly regarded for its mature themes and shocking plot-twists, the series was even recently made into an animated film. Clearly DC is playing up the parallels with the upcoming Titan’s “Lazarus Contract” arc, choosing a similar title as well as bringing Deathstroke back as the antagonist. I get the feeling that something big is about to go down here.

 

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The Indie One: Solar Flare #2

Publisher: Scout
Words: James Haick III
Art: Branko Jovanovic

What it is: Where were you when the world went dark? When last we saw Jake, everything was going according to plan. He would soon see his daughter. A good friend was coming to visit him. He had friends, family, and a good job. He might not have been a great man, but he knew he was a good man-a good enough man. And he was just fine with that. He was content. He was able to sleep at night. And then the sky turned green. Awoken by the bright new hue of the midnight sky, Jake is faced with the perplexing reality of this new world before him and his thoughts now turn to reuniting with his daughter states away and how is he going to survive the journey when the world appears to have been reverted to the dark ages.

Why we like it: I picked up the first issue based on a recommendation I got from a shop owner who, like me, shares a passion for quirky, indie titles. The premise was interesting, but certainly nothing ground breaking. But what began as another post-apocalyptic adventure ended up feeling like something more. While some of the themes and characters felt like well-worn territory, what really set this book apart for me was the tone. The backwards story telling, the stark dialogue and the dark, detailed artwork in issue #1 all fed into a palpable feeling of dread and foreboding.

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The #1 One: Regression #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Danny Luckert

What it is: Adrian is plagued by ghastly waking nightmares. To understand and possibly treat these awful visions, Adrian reluctantly agrees to past life regression hypnotherapy. As his consciousness is cast back through time, Adrian witnesses a scene of horrific debauchery and diabolism. Waking, he is more unsettled than before, and with good reason-something has followed him back. Adrian descends into a world of occult conspiracy, mystery, reincarnation, and insanity from which there is no escape. Presented by CULLEN BUNN (Harrow County, The Sixth Gun, The Empty Man), DANNY LUCKERT (Haunted), and MARIE ENGER (Pistolwhip, 2 Sisters), REGRESSION is a tale of supernatural terror and intrigue unlike any horror comic you’ve ever experienced.

Why we like it: Cullen Bunn writes a lot of superb superhero books, but I personally enjoy him more as a horror writer. I read a preview page on the Image website and was immediately disgusted by what I saw, so naturally I have to pick this up. This book is going to be gross and weird in all the best possible ways. Also quick heads up, the cover posted above apparently is not the regular cover, even though it was the one originally solicited. That cover will now be sold as a retailer exclusive and the regular cover looks like this: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/regression-1

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Old Man Logan #23 (Sienkiewicz Variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Eric Nguyen
Cover Art: Bill Sienkiewicz

What it is: PAST LIVES CONTINUES! LOGAN is still trapped in time… one minute he’s PATCH, stalking the streets of MADRIPOOR, the next, he’s reliving the glory days in the X-MEN, meanwhile, back in the present, ASMODEUS’ true plan for Logan’s trapped body is revealed! Can Logan fight his way back before the plan succeeds? Parental Advisory

Why we like it: Bill, you’ve done it again! Sienkiewicz’s covers can be hit-or-miss. This Old Man Logan cover was definitely a hit for me.

 

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 7/27/2016

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the web where all we ask is that you let us crank it your way. There’s no better way to ride out a heat wave than staying indoors with the AC turned up to 11. I’m not one who watches a lot of TV, but I spent a good amount of time last week binge watching Netflix’s Stranger Things. I’m 5 episodes in and totally hooked. The plot is like something straight out of an 80’s Stephen King movie with matching setting and musical score. Nothing is done as parody, everything about it feels real and honest. The acting, the cinematography, the costuming and stage design all feel absolutely genuine and it is awesome. It’s an homage to my childhood. The writers scored big points with me for the X-Men 134 reference (the first issue to the classic Dark Phoenix saga). If you dig 80’s style horror then you need to head over to the ‘Flix and get your fix.

That’s what I’m watching. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

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The Top of the Pile: Divinity II #4

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Harsine
Cover Art: Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

What it is: DIVINITY vs. DIVINITY! Myshka’s plot to re-engineer the globe in Russia’s favor is all but complete. Will Abram Adams – the god-like being now called Divinity – stand against his former comrade?

Why we love it: Valiant’s Divinity is better than 90% of the capes and tights books from the big two. Time shifting, reality bending and some of the finest artwork in comics make Divinty one the most captivating new superheroes on the stands.

 

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The Mainstream one: The Flash #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Cover Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is: ‘LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE’ Chapter Three: In issue #3, dozens of innocent people mysteriously gain super-speed! But not all are heroic, and it’ll take everything The Flash and August have to harness the lightning before Black Hole does.

Why we like it: If you’ve been keeping up with the Flash like me, this is the issue we’ve been waiting for. The arrival of Goodspeed.

 

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The Indie One: Outcast #19

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Paul Azaceta

What it is: Answers are given and secrets are revealed, as the start of a new story arc finds Kyle and Sidney having a conversation that will change EVERYTHING. Kyle has never been in more danger.

Why we like it: Demons, cults and exorcisms abound in Robert Kirkman’s other horror comic with a TV show, Outcast. This series has been a slow burn and things really started smoldering in the last arc with Kyle beginning to learn the true nature of his ability.

 

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The #1 One: Titans #1 (Cover B)

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Abnett
Art: Brett Booth
Cover Art: Mike Choi

What it is: ‘REMEMBER THE TITANS’ Chapter One After an old ally returns to the team, the Titans set their sights on a dangerous enemy with the power to change reality itself! But the Titans have never faced a threat this massive before, and with so much on the line, will they be able to stand united as a team? Or will their past mistakes be their undoing?

Why we like it: Wally West and the Titans are looking like they will be key players in explaining how the DC Universe was re-birthed. And it all starts here. Well technically it started back in the DC Universe Rebirth one-shot and then in Titans’ Rebirth #1. But check out Wally West’s new costume! Cover B is the one that you want.

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #937 (Cover B)

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art and Cover Art: Alvaro Martinez

What it is: ‘RISE OF THE BATMEN’ Chapter Four: Batman’s found his way into the heart of the Colony, the mysterious new organization cutting its way through Gotham City! Unfortunately, now that he’s in he may find there’s no way out!

Why we like it: If you don’t appreciate this cover then you must either hate Batman or you hate America. We know that nobody hates Batman. You don’t hate America, do you?

 

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