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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 14, 2018

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to somber episode of the Crank File. The Stan, the myth, the legend, Stan Lee passed away Monday at the age of 95. His impact on the comics industry is immeasurable and to list his accomplishments and contributions to pop culture would be a herculean task. With Stan at the helm and the help of talented artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Marvel comics redefined what makes a superhero super. We were fortunate to have Stan in our world for as long as we did, and he will be missed by all.

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: Mister Miracle #12 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: It’ll be a miracle if you can get through this mind-bending conclusion with your sanity intact! After his epic battle with Darkseid, Scott Free sees life a whole new way: he’s the new Highfather of New Genesis, and he’s madly in love with his wife and child. But what if it’s all a lie? Did Mister Miracle really escape death way back in issue #1? No one really knows but Tom King and Mitch Gerads!

Why we love it: Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s Mister Miracle has been one of the weirdest books I have read in recent years. Although I’ve enjoyed every issue thoroughly, there’s a part of me that’s still not entirely sure what this book is about. I mean, it’s about a lot of things: family, legacy, sacrifice, but there is this constant feeling of dread and uncertainty that has persisted throughout the series. Hopefully the answers to these mysteries and more will be revealed in the final issue of this amazing run.

The Mainstream One: Cosmic Ghost Rider #5 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Dylan Burnette

What it is: The dramatic conclusion to the series everyone is talking about! Featuring Punisher! Thanos! Punisher! AND Thanos! Plus a few more surprises, some terrible deaths…and maybe a little redemption? Sounds unlikely given who we’re talking about. PARENTAL ADVISORY

Why we like it: I did not expect to like the Cosmic Ghost Rider’s solo series as much as I have, and I did not expect that I would be sticking around to read the final issue. But here I am, which is just another testament to how much I enjoy reading Donny Cates.

The Indie One: Bitter Root #1

Publisher: Image
Words: David F. Walker, Chuck Brown
Art: Sanford Greene

What it is: In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing, and only the Sangerye Family can save New York-and the world-from the supernatural forces threatening to destroy humanity. But the once-great family of monster hunters has been torn apart by tragedies and conflicting moral codes. The Sangerye Family must heal the wounds of the past and move beyond their differences… or sit back and watch a force of unimaginable evil ravage the human race. DAVID F. WALKER and SANFORD GREENE, the creative team of Power Man and Iron Fist, along with indie veteran CHUCK BROWN (Trench Coats, Cigarettes and Shotguns) bring you 24 action-packed pages of monsters, mayhem, and family dysfunction in a brand-new ongoing series. BITTER ROOT Cover As by SANFORD GREENE will be connecting through the first story arc.

Why we like it: I like this creative team and the story sounds like something that hasn’t been told a hundred times before. Will check it out at the stands before making an executive decision though.

The #1 One: Uncanny X-Men #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mahmud Asrar

What it is: THE CHILDREN OF THE ATOM ARE BACK! New ongoing series kicking off with a 10-part weekly epic, the flagship X-Men series that started it all is back and better than ever! Starting with a mysterious and tragic disappearance, the X-Men are drawn into what might be…their final adventure?! X-Fan favorite writers Ed Brisson (EXTERMINATION), Matthew Rosenberg (PHOENIX RESURRECTION) and Kelly Thompson (MR. & MRS. X) and all-star artists Mahmud Asrar (X-MEN RED), R.B. Silva (X-MEN BLUE), Yildiray Cinar (WEAPON X) and Pere Pérez (ROGUE AND GAMBIT) join forces to bring you…X-MEN DISASSEMBLED?! Rated T+

Why we like it: Yes! The Uncanny X-Men is back which means the return of fan-favorite mutants like… Cannonball? Bishop? Hmmm, maybe this is just the stop-gap team for the 10-part weekly saga.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Detective Comics #992

Publisher: DC 
Words:
James Robinson
Art:
Carmine Giandomenico
Cover Art: Gabrielle Dell’Otto

What it is: There’s a new Dynamic Duo in Gotham City-introducing Batman and Two-Face! What the what?! The Dark Knight is forced to team with old friend and current enemy Harvey Dent to stop a Kobra-sponsored terrorist attack. Can Batman really trust his life to a coin flip? Even worse, Bats and Two-Face are of two minds over recruiting the two Fireflies for help-if Batman’s gonna work with so many villains, he may as well join the Legion of Doom.

Why we like it: Regular priced, semi-virgin, Dell’Otto Batman cover. Just shut up and take my money.

 

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

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 11/04/2015

Welcome back comic fans. Good to have you back for another episode of the Crank File. I hate this time of year. There’s something soul crushing about getting out of the office at 5 pm and not seeing daylight. Lousy farmers. It’s looking like another slow week for new comics but don’t you fret, I’m here to make sure that you get your weekly fix.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Paper Girls #2 Image

 

PG2

Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Art: Cliff Chiang

The hottest new ongoing series of the year continues, as the Paper Girls witness the impossible.

I was completely hooked by what I saw in issue #1. Billed as “War of the Worlds” meets “Stand by Me”, I loved Paper Girl’s 80’s realism, Chiang’s clean, expressive line work and Brian’s masterfully balanced dialogue. Paper Girls delivers issue #2 on Wednesday, make sure to sign up for your subscription. I have the feeling that you won’t want to miss out on this one.

 

The Mainstream One: Uncanny X-Men #600 Marvel

 

XM600

Writer: Brian Bendis
Art: Stuart Immonen, Mahmud Asrar, Kris Anka, Frazer Irving

The final explosive issue in Brian Michael Bendis’ epic X-Men saga! Scott Summers – savior or destroyer? Questions will be answered! The Jean Grey School, the New Xavier School – it’s all going to change. The X-Men are at a crossroads. And not everyone will make it through in one piece.

A milestone issue for my favorite Marvel team, Uncanny X-Men #600 featuring artwork and a bunch of variant covers from some of the best X-lumni to work on the title. Did you know that the X-Men didn’t start using “Uncanny” in their title until issue #114? Throughout issues #94-#111 they were the “All-New, All -Different X-Men”, and for issues #112-#113 they were the “Now on Sale Monthly! X-Men”.

 

The Indie One: Niobe She Is Life #1 Stranger Comics

 

NSL1

Writer: Sebastian A Jones
Art: Ashley A. Woods

A coming of age tale of love, betrayal, and ultimate sacrifice. Niobe Ayutami is an orphaned wild elf teenager and also the would-be savior of the vast and volatile fantasy world of Asunda. She is running from a past where the Devil himself would see her damned… toward an epic future that patiently waits for her to bind nations against the hordes of hell.

Co-written by Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg, there’s already quite a bit of buzz around this book. Some of the best new comics out there right now are coming from small indie publisher and this one is already sold out at the distributor level.

 

The #1 One: Monstress #1 Image

 

M1

Writer: Marjorie Liu
Art: Sana Takeda

Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.

The preview was intriguing and I am really enjoying Takeda’s lavish artwork.I always support Asian creators but Monstress makes it easy with sixty pages of story with no ads for only $4.99.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Vision #1 Marvel

 

V1

Writer: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

The Vision wants to be human, and what’s more human than family? He goes to the laboratory where he was created, where Ultron molded him into a weapon, where he first rebelled against his given destiny, where he first imagined that he could be more, that he could be good, that he could be a man, a normal, ordinary man. And he builds them. A wife, Virginia. Two teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition or perhaps obsession: the unrelenting need to be ordinary. Behold The Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong?

The plotline sounds absolutely ridiculous but I’m digging Del Rey’s Wiz Khalifa cover. Has to be my favorite hip-hop variant so far.

 

The Speculation One: Howard the Duck #1 Marvel

 

HD1

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Joe Quinones

First spectacular issue! A great jumping on point! Sure to go up in value! Don’t miss out on the series everyone is calling ‘Howard the Duck’! The last page will shock you! Nothing will EVER be the same again!

All of the above is true, and I’ll tell you why in one word: Gwenpool. Copies of Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #2 Gwen-pool variant are currently selling steadily for $20 based on a cover appearance alone. She’s getting her own backup story in Howard the Duck #1. Grab the Ron Lim variant, then sit back and watch the money pile up.

Carpe Comics!