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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week- 3/15/2018

Welcome comic fans to another episode of the Crank File. Every Tuesday I spotlight some of the new releases that I’m picking up on Wednesday. Happy daylight savings! We may have lost an hour this weekend, but what is dead may never die.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

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The Top of the Pile: God Country #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: ‘DEATH IN TEXAS’-When Emmett Quinlan returned from the brink, his son thought his prayers had been answered. They had, but not by the god he’d prayed to. Now DEATH has come to West Texas to show the Quinlan family the price of resurrection…

Why we love it: In just two issues God Country has claimed the top of the pile through its emotive artwork and superb storytelling. A story that is both intimate and fantastically bombastic. God Country is a goddam good read.

 

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The Mainstream One: Totally Awesome Hulk #17 (Stonehouse variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: ‘BIG APPLE SHOWDOWN’ CONTINUES! A tale too big for the Big Apple! Extraterrestrial action how you like it! Hulk and his new friends Ms. Marvel, Silk, Shang Chi, Jimmy Woo and Jake Oh take the fight into space!

Why we like it: The Protectors are heading to space for a cosmic adventure. And Stonehouse is still killing it on covers. Count me in!

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The Indie One: Head Lopper #5 (Sandoval variant)

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Andrew MacLean

What it is: NEW STORY ARC! ‘IN THE SHADOW OF THE TOWER’-Norgal and Agatha are back! A daring new adventure awaits, looming like the Crimson Tower, home of Ulrich the Twice Damned, sworn enemy of Zhaania Kota Ka. With old friends and new, our heroes boldly enter the bloodied pinnacle with bare steel and steady hearts. The quarterly series HEAD LOPPER has returned!

Why we like it: If his head don’t drop just pull up your socks, and then lop away. Maclean’s back. Maclean’s back. A returning Crank File favorite, Head Lopper returns with more swords and sorcery told in Andrew Maclean’s unmistakable signature style.

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The #1 One: American Gods Shadows #1 (McKean variant)

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Neil Gaiman
Art: P. Craig Russel

What it is: Shadow Moon just got out of jail, only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain as to where to go from here, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard – thrusting Shadow into a deadly world of the supernatural, where ghosts of the past come back from the dead, and a brewing war between old and new gods hits a boiling point. The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning novel and upcoming Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a comic series for the first time!

Why we like it: A delicious mix of horror, fantasy, mystery and satire, this is a great way for fans of Neil Gaiman comics who haven’t ventured into his novels to become acquainted with a modern classic.

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom #5 (Crain variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Cover Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: IN THIS CORNER: The scariest symbiotic sociopath this side of the Savage Land! You know him, you love him? The one, the only VENOM! IN THE OTHER CORNER: The wall-crawling, web-slinging wonder called THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! Step right up and place your bets – the bout of the century is about to begin!

Why we like it: Clayton Crain is arguably the most recognizable Venom cover artist, after McFarlane. So any Crain Venom variant gets my attention. But it was a tough call between this and J. G Jones’ brilliant Batwoman inventive variant. Ultimately I gave this one the nod because it has a King Kong vibe to it.

 

That’s all I got this week. Let me know what you’re picking up in the comments. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 2/8/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of The Crank File, the only place on the net that knows Superman wears Tom Brady pajamas to bed. I’m your host Ken Lee and here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

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The Top of the Pile: All-Star Batman #7

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Tula Lotay

What it is: ‘Poison Promises’! Step aside, gentlemen-Poison Ivy is about to steal the spotlight in Batman’s continuing rogues gallery road trip. Scott Snyder teams up with mega-talent Tula Lotay to reimagine the Dark Knight’s most seductive villain.

Why we love it: Batman, Poison Ivy and Tula Lotay are a comic book trifecta, making this week’s All-Star Batman my triple-A pick of the week. And yes, the A stands for Awesome.

 

 

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The Mainstream One: The Totally Awesome Hulk #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: ‘BIG APPLE SHOWDOWN’ CONTINUES! Who’s behind the gathering of Asian and Asian American heroes? It’s not who you think!

Why we like it: Speaking of awesome, I’ve been seriously digging the Pak Man’s Totally Awesome Hulk, but this latest arc is taking the series next level for me. I absolutely adored the last issue. The dialogue and interactions between heroes honestly reflected many of my own experiences being Asian in America, which is true rarity in mainstream comics. And I don’t know who this Stonehouse is, but if they keep doing covers then Totally Awesome Hulk will be on my pull list.

 

 

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The Indie One: Black Science #28

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Matteo Scalera

What it is: In their darkest hour of need, a new hero rises to fight alongside the Dimensionauts.

Why we like it: Remender’s Seven to Eternity is the hot, new flavor of the month but it was Black Science that first introduced me to Rick’s wonderful indie work. I have been trade waiting Black Science for the last two arcs, but in a recent interview Remender hinted that the series would be concluding around issue #40. This series is amazing and I’m back to buying the floppies on release day until this wild, sci-fi, fantasy ride rockets in for landing.

 

 

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The #1 One: King Pin #1 (Sienkewicz variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matt Rosenberg
Art: Ben Torres

What it is: WILSON FISK BUILDS A BRAND-NEW EMPIRE! The KINGPIN has done bad things. Deplorable things. He has cheated the law. He has blackmailed rivals. He has killed. But that’s all in the past. The Kingpin is back in the city that he loves and ready to make his mark as a titan of legitimate industry, but needs to rekindle his public image. When Wilson Fisk makes disgraced journalist SARAH DEWEY an offer she can’t refuse, the spiraling saga of crime and betrayal begins anew. Don’t miss the start of Kingpin’s ongoing series, written by breakout writer MATTHEW ROSENBERG and illustrated in the heavy noir stylings of BEN TORRES, as Manhattan’s criminal mastermind returns to the Big Apple with honorable intentions, but no one in his circle remains pure on his climb back to the top.

Why we like it: Mathew Rosenberg first hit my radar with two exceptional indie books published by Black Mask, the on-going 4 Kids Walk into a Bank and the smash-hit We Can Never Go Home, the latter of which is rumored to be in development for a television series. This guys can write comics and it was only a matter of time before one of the Big Two took notice. Rosenberg is a perfect fit for a super-powered, crime series and I can’t wait to see what this incredible talent has in store for us.

 

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (Hans variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Valerio Schiti
Cover Art: Stephanie Hans

What it is: GROUNDED! Angela has come a long way from the skies of Heven to find herself grounded on the Earth. Can she find a new home among the heroes?

Why we like it: Green and purple haven’t looked this good since the Hulk wore shorts. In case you haven’t noticed, Gamora’s star is on the rise. With her own ongoing solo-series and the Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 set to drop in a few months, this cover could be a ghost on Wednesday. It’s a 1:25 ratio variant and I don’t expect many shops order 25 copies of GotG. So grab it if you find it at a reasonable price.

 

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 1/25/2017

Greetings super heroes and heroines and welcome to another episode of the Crank File, the only place on the net that believes the freedom to punch a Nazi in the face is a god given right. I’m your host, Ken Lee, and here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

 

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The Top of the Pile: Saga #42

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples

What it is: END OF STORY ARC ‘THE WAR FOR PHANG,’ The Epic Conclusion! Hell is war, as Hazel and her family learn the hardest way.

Why we love it: Still the best book on the stands, and once again the top of the pile. It’s the end of another spectacular Saga arc, which is always bitter sweet. It means that something jaw-droppingly awesome is going to happen, but it also means a couple months off before we get another issue while the creative team goes on scheduled hiatus.

 

 

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The Mainstream One: Totally Awesome Hulk #15

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: ‘BIG APPLE SHOWDOWN’ STARTS HERE! Amadeus Cho is slowly learning how to become a team player, but he better learn fast when Ms. Marvel, Shang Chi, Silk and a host of other heroes come to town!

Why we like it: I didn’t realize how much I wanted this team-up until I saw the cover art. Marvel’s assembling a group of Asian super heroes, which will eventually need a catchy team name. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I’m thinking “The Persuaders”.

 

 

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The Indie One: Divinity III #2

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine

What it is: Cold world war! Welcome to the year 2017 where the Soviet Union has spent decades as the the world’s reigning superpower and the Iron Curtain now encircles a planet riddled with war, strife, and oppression. Freedom is a thing of the past in the Stalinverse. So why can’t Russian intelligence officer Colin King shake the feeling that something has gone terribly wrong? He’ll put his freedom and life on the line to uncover the truth. Even if that means finding out whatever happened to the long-missing cosmonaut Abram Adams – the one man who just might hold the key to unraveling the dystopian world of today. This is no alternate reality. This is the Valiant Universe as we know it and, soon, New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine will lead Valiant’s event-level epic to the architect behind this new world order!

Why we like it: I’ve dipped a toe into a Valiant series or two over the years, but never found any of their titles interesting enough to add to my pull list. But since Valiant unleashed the Russian cosmonaut slash demigod, Divinity, upon their universe, I’ve been hooked. Divinity is THE reason to read Valiant.

 

 

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The #1 One: The Dregs #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Lonnie Nadler
Art: Eric Zawadzki

What it is: A gentrified city. Its homeless population restricted to six square blocks called The Dregs. When people start disappearing, a drug-addled homeless man obsessed with detective fiction becomes addicted to solving the mystery. Equal parts Raymond Chandler and Don Quixote set in a thriving metropolis that literally cannibalizes the homeless, The Dregs is the first homeless meta noir ever made.

Why we like it: I haven’t heard much about this series, but it already wins the award for the most bizarrely intriguing synopsis. Black Mask lost some goodwill from fans due to uneven release schedules, but there’s no denying that they have published some of the best alternative comics in recent history. Definitely will check this out on Wednesday.

 

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Deadpool #25

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Gerry Duggan
Art: Scott Koblish
Cover Art: Mark Brooks

What it is: DEADPOOL 2099 reaches its DOUBLE-SIZED CONCLUSION! Wade’s two daughters battle for his legacy! PLUS: The old man himself gets in the game! AND: IRON FIST shows just how IMMORTAL he is!

Why we like it: Nothing really jumped out at me this week for cover art, so I’m falling back on an old, reliable tactic. Everyone loves a good DP cover.

 

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 6/22/2016

Welcome back comic book fans to another episode of the Crank File, the only blog on the web that cranks late so that you can read great.

I attended the New England Comic Con up in Wilmington, MA last Sunday and much to my delight (and to the vendors’ chagrin) there was hardly anyone at the show. I didn’t find any dollar bin gems or high value keys at a discount, but there were a couple of highlights. My girlfriend really wanted to meet Karyn Parsons (aka Hilary Banks of Fresh Prince fame) and since the con was practically deserted we ended up hanging out with her at her table for half an hour just chatting her up. She was a sweetheart and is still achingly gorgeous. Later in the day we stopped by the lounge to grab a drink at the bar. We order our drinks and look over and we’re sitting right next to Micky friggin Dolenz of the Monkees. Unfortunately he must have been on his fourth or fifth whisky and didn’t feel much like singing, playing or monkying around. At least not with a couple of comic nerds, which is understandable.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

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The Top of the Pile: Flash #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico

What it is: ‘LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE’ chapter one A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well… you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts-but just where did this amazing new friend come from?

Why we love it: The Rebirth train keeps on rolling and the Flash races to the top of the pile along with it. Who’s this new speedster they are mentioning? Will we see more of the mysterious Godspeed who was teased in the Flash Rebirth issue, or will an all-new hero tap the Speed Force? There’s only one way to find out. Run, don’t walk, to your comic shop because this one’s already selling out.

 

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The Mainstream one: The Totally Awesome Hulk #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Alan Davis

What it is: Bruce Banner’s fate during the 8-month gap post-Secret Wars is revealed! Was he really cured by Amadeus Cho? Did he survive? Has Amadeus made a disastrous miscalculation?

Why we like it: One of the biggest Marvel mysteries since Secret Wars has been, what the heck happened to Bruce Banner? Seems like we’re going to find out what the heck right here.

 

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The Indie One: Rai #4 (Guinaldo variant)

Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Andres Guinaldo

What it is: For the first time ever, witness the violent foundation of Father’s space-born utopia of New Japan and, with it, the shocking genesis of the line of guardians that bear the name Rai! Born and bred by Father to enforce peace at any cost, follow the first Rai and his successors across two millennia as they chronicle the history of 4001 A.D. – from the launch of New Japan into orbit to the latest Rai’s crusade to bring it crashing back down to Earth!

Why we like it: It’s the introduction of a new Rai. A female Rai. Hey, it’s working for Divinity II (whose issue #3 is also out this week from Valiant).

 

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The #1 One: Deadpool Vs Gambit #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ben Acker
Art: Danillo Beyruth

What it is: Gambit-one of the smoothest, best-looking operators in the world of the X-Men. Deadpool-one of the most annoying, ugliest dirtbags in the world of everything. Naturally, these guys got beef. But do you know what they have in common? A secret history of working together to pull con-jobs. That’s right-the grift is on as the Regeneratin’ Degenerate and the Ragin’ Cajun begrudgingly take on one last job together.

Why we like it: Deadpool vs. Spiderman has been absolutely hysterical. I’ve always been a big Gambit fan so I’m hoping for another uproarious team-up book.

 

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman #1 (Cho variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp
Cover art: Frank Cho

What it is: ‘THE LIES’ chapter one Why has the lasso of truth stopped working for the Amazon Princess? Start down the rabbit hole as dark secrets from Wonder Woman’s past unravel her present!

Why we like it: Dem thighs!

 

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