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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – October 11, 2017

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: Dark Nights Metal #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: Superman is pulled into the mystery of the Dark Multiverse while the Justice League follows the trail to a weapon that could keep the forces of the Dark Multiverse at bay!

Why we love it: I had thought that Snyder had lost some of his bat-mojo after a lackluster ending to his New 52 run and a pedestrian All-Star Batman series. Guess he was just channeling it all into Metal because this series has been balls-to-the-wall awesome. Even the tie-ins have been fun reads. Damn event books, I wish I knew how to quit you.

The Mainstream One: Weapon X #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Marc Borstel

What it is: ‘THE SEARCH FOR WEAPON H’ CONTINUES! Old Man Logan and the gang are still one step behind Weapon X in finding this new Hulk/Wolverine-like creature. The only person who can point them in the right direction? Reverend Stryker! Rated T+

Why we like it: Looks like Weapon H is officially here to stay. During a panel at New York Comic Con, Marvel editor Nick Lowe seemed to confirm that the company’s latest mashup sensation is getting his own solo series in the near future. Until then, fans of the Hulk/Wolvie hybrid will have to check out Weapon X to get their Weapon H fix.

The Indie One: Mech Cadet Yu #3

Publisher: Boom!
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Takeshi Miyazawa

What it is: The cadets are undergoing their most intense training yet, when Park’s mech starts to malfunction with dangerous consequences.

Why we like it: Part Gundam, part Iron Giant, Mech Cadet Yu takes the bombast of the mecha genre and gives it a heart. Yes, Mech Cadet Yu is about giant, fighting robots but it’s mostly about the people piloting them and writer Greg Pak has created some great characters to root for. Miyazawa’s artwork is fantastic as well, a beautiful East meets West style that shows its manga roots while feeling fresh and modern.

 

The #1 One: Ragman #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Ray Fawkes
Art: Inaki Miranda

What it is: After a failed mission to raid a tomb in the Israeli Desert, war veteran Rory Harper is plagued by the death of his partners. As Rory battles his guilt back in Gotham City, he discovers that what was in that tomb has followed him home, and it’s about to change his life. But as Rory begins his journey, an evil is invading Gotham City, and it wants what he’s discovered. A hero is born in this visionary reimagining of the Ragman mythos by writer Ray Fawkes and artist Inaki Miranda! RATED T

Why we like it: Ragman was the creation of Joe Kubert and Robert Kanhigher in the late 70’s. The character never gained too much popularity despite having a cool moniker and costume design. Part of it was due to a convoluted origin story and bizarre powers which were constantly being reimagined. Still, the concept of a Ragman is undeniably interesting and I’m hoping that DC can finally utilize him successfully as a super-natural, mystic warrior in the vein of Moon Knight.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: X-Men Blue #13

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Cullen Bunn
Art: Jorge Molina
Cover Art: Art Adams

What it is: MOJO WORLDWIDE Part 2 The X-Men may have bitten off more than they can chew when the Mojoverse continues its bizarre invasion of MANHATTAN! JEAN GREY and her team fight side by side with KITTY PRYDE and her team but can MOJO be defeated when he’s got the X-Men’s greatest hits weaponized against them? Or will an unlikely alley come to the rescue? PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Story by Robbie Thompson and art by Mark Bagley! Rated T+

Why we like it: This Art Adams cover featuring the Dark Phoenix is a must buy 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 – September 13, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The world lost one of its treasures this week. Len Wein’s influence within the world of comics is legendary. If you name your top 5 favorite Marvel/DC characters, chances are Len wrote for at least two of them. He helped create timeless characters like Swamp Thing, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus. As an editor he championed bold storytelling, like Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans, and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal Watchmen. Len was a creative force and belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Comics.

Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff that I’ll be checking out. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Action Comics #987

Publisher: DC
Words: Jurgens
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic, Nick Bradshaw

What it is: ‘THE OZ EFFECT’ part one! The agents of the mysterious Mr. Oz begin to move as the Man of Steel works to stop the chaos they unleash in Metropolis and across the globe. But when Mr. Oz steps from the shadows his identity rocks the Last Son of Krypton to his core. The story that began in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 begins to end here!

Why we love it: We’re a full year into Rebirth and while fan reception of the revamped DC Universes has been generally positive, there are still lingering questions… Like what exactly happened and who caused it? That’s a big one. While I expect most of these loose ends will be unraveled later during November’s Doomsday Clock event, it appears the identity of the enigmatic Mr. Oz will be revealed here in this week’s Action Comics. Ozymandus? Jor-El? Mon-El? Conner Kent? My money’s on Superboy Prime. This issue is also being released with a lenticular cover, if that sort of cover tickles you.

  The Mainstream One: Weapon X #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Marcelo Borstelmann

What it is: WHAT IS THE SECRET OF WEAPON H? Doctor Alba’s macabre experiments for the Weapon X program turned one of America’s Finest into a behemoth imbued with genetics gifts of the Hulk and Wolverine. Despite countless iterations, only he survived… What made him the perfect vessel for the curse? And how far will Doctor Alba go to recover her success story?

Why we like it: I’m into Batch H and this smells like an origin story here. I’m enjoying the story carried over from Weapons of Mutant Destruction and the cover art is bad as. For the first time ever, Weapon X is on my pull list. Well done, Greg Pak. There’s also a Venomized Batch H variant cover for this issue. I expect that the Venomized variant will be popular, so grab it if you see it, but personally I’m digging the regular cover.

The Indie One: Babyteeth #4

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Garry Brown

What it is: So, you know how we’ve all been really coy and playful about how this book is going to get dark and bloody and really hardcore at a certain point? This is the issue where that starts happening. Happy reading everyone! (Call your mother. She worries). From Donny Cates, the writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Redneck and the breakout hit God Country comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!

Why we like it: I don’t imagine being a single, new mother is easy. It’s probably stressful enough without finding out that your baby is the anti-christ. This series has been a fun read. It’s got horror, it’s got humor and it’s got plenty of heart. And it sounds like writer Donny Cates is about to kick it up to 11.   

 The #1 One: Runaways #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Rainbow Rowell
Art: Kris Anka

What it is: GET READY TO RUN! The ‘IT’ book of the early 2000s with the original cast is back – Nico! Karolina! Molly! Chase! Old Lace! And, could it be? GERT?! The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart!

Why we like it: If you’re unfamiliar with the Runaways, they are a group of super-powered teenagers/kids who, after discovering that their parents are secretly super villains, run away (get it?) from home. And while only one of them has a pet dinosaur named Old Lace, they are all awesome in their own way. They are a lovable band of misfits who I have a lot of affection for. I’m not super excited about the creative team on this run, but I’m hoping for the best on Wednesday.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-man #32

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Greg Smallwood
Cover Art: Alex Ross and Francesco Mattina

What it is: Norman Osborn’s goblin-free battle with Spidey didn’t go the way he had hoped? Now, Osborn needs to find an edge and get the Goblin back, and neither you nor Spidey are ready for the edge he’s going to find! Guest artist Greg Smallwood (MOON KNIGHT) joins Dan Slott for this special issue that sets off the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN event of 2018!

Why we like it: Can’t get enough Green Goblin? Amazing Spider-man #32 has you covered with not 1, but 2 ridiculously cool Goblin covers. The Alex Ross regular cover features a super-intense Harry Osborn donning the Green Goblin mask. The Francesco Mattina variant cover features a venomized Green Goblin. Grab your favorite one or grab them both. That’s a win-win. 

 

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 – August 23, 2017

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: Secret Wars #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Lenil Fracis Yu

What it is: UNITED WE STAND – against the SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we love it: It’s an all out blitz on Hydra Cap. And Kobik pulls back the curtain, revealing the truth to the other Steve Rogers. Don’t you dare miss the penultimate issue of Secret Empire.

 

The Mainstream One: Weapon X #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Marcelo Borstelmann

What it is: ‘ORIGIN OF A MONSTER’ – PART ONE! The newly reformed Weapon X program took DNA from the most savage genetic anomalies in the world to create a rage-filled behemoth of epic proportions. But before they meddled with nature, they started with man… Who volunteered to be experimented on, and what made them the perfect test subject? FIND OUT HERE! Rated T+

Why we like it: It seems like people are interested in the continuing story of Batch H. Totally Awesome Hulk #22 flew off shelves which is a good start for a new character. Love the cover art, clearly a homage to McFarlane’s Hulk #340, and excited to see what Pak does with this new monster mashup.

 

The Indie One: Plastic #5

Publisher: Image
Words: Doug Wagner
Art: Daniel Hillyard

What it is: The most twisted love story ever told comes to a close. Can Edwyn and Virginia possibly live happily ever after, or does that only happen in fairytales?

Why we like it: Plastic is about a serial killer who goes straight after falling in love with a blowup doll, but when his beloved is kidnapped he goes on a murderous rampage to get her back. Dark, violent and disturbingly funny, Plastic has been the weirdest and most offbeat story I’ve read all year. I’m hoping for an ending that blows me away.

 

The #1 One: Nightwing The New Order #1 (Paul Pope variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Kyle Higgins
Art: Trevor McCarthy

What it is: NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER is the story of a future world without ‘weapons’-where superpowers have been eliminated and outlawed. The man responsible? None other than Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Nightwing, now leader of a government task force called the Crusaders who are charged with hunting the remaining Supers. But when events transpire which turn the Crusaders’ aim toward Grayson’s own family, the former Boy Wonder must turn against the very system he helped create, with help from the very people he’s been hunting for years-the last metahumans of the DC Universe. Don’t miss this bold new vision from the team behind the New York Times bestseller BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM!

Why we like it: Set in an alternate future, Nightwing has rounded up and eliminated all of DC’s super powered heroes. What made him do it? How was he able to defeat the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman or the Flash? We’ll get the answers to these questions and an introduction to Nightwing’s son in The New Order.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batman The Shadow #5 (Mattina variant)

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Riley Rossmo
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: The Stag and The Joker have kidnapped the Shadow’s greatest allies and are preparing to enter Shamba-La. It’s Batman and the Shadow’s last stand-if they don’t stop the evil duo from entering Shamba-La, it will mean an eternity of darkness in a world ruled by crime!

Why we like it: Mattina almost made the list twice, but I honestly am just not into the Venompool in this week’s Edge of Venomverse. This cover kicks all ass and has classic written all over it.

 

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 – July 26, 2017

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: Secret Empire #7

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: It was foretold by Ulysses, it’s haunted Spider-Man’s nightmares for months, and now the moment has arrived: It’s time for Miles Morales to kill Captain America! Unless Natasha? Rated T+

Why we love it: Secret Empire keeps coming out on time and it has really helped the narrative keep the momentum going as it heads into the final stretch. Will the truth behind Ulysses’ vision be revealed in this issue?

The Mainstream One: Weapon X #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Greg Land

What it is: ‘WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION’ PART FIVE! BATCH H is finally ready for a test drive. Its targets? Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Domino, Warpath and the Hulk! With a genetic cocktail of the most powerful enhanced beings on the planet coursing through its veins, how can anyone stand a chance?! Rated T+

Why we like it: It’s looking like Batch-H is going to be sticking around even after WMD ends and it could be making its first appearance towards the end of this issue. Kick ass series to boot.

 

The Indie One: Redneck #4

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren  

What it is: In an attempt to stop the chaos engulfing their family, Perry and Bartlett revisit Bartlett’s past but digging up old wounds sometimes opens new ones. What exactly is Bartlett’s big secret?

Why we like it: Donny Cates is absolutely crushing this book. I was instantly hooked. Not a huge fan of the art, but it’s serviceable.

The #1 One: Heavenly Blues #1

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words: Ben Kahn
Art: Bruno Hidalgo

What it is: People live. People die. The ‘good’ are pleasantly escorted off to Heaven; while the rest unceremoniously rots in Hell. Hell – a world where torture isn’t retribution, it’s just hazing. Isaiah Jefferson fancied himself a dashing rogue; the greatest thief of the Great Depression, but a cruel betrayal left him dead in the dirt. Erin Foley was a scared grifter desperate not to be another child fed to the violent maw of the Salem Witch Trials. When they’re given the chance to leave Hell and spit in the face of judgment, can they face their demons and become the master thieves they were meant to be? Heavenly Blues reunites the team behind Shaman to deliver a mystical heist mash-up from beyond the grave.

Why we like it: Digging the concept and the artwork. Willing to check out Scout’s latest offering on a slow week for new #1’s.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Edge of Venomverse #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Roland Boschi
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: THE SYMBIOTIC SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE! Robbie Reyes was just an average, ordinary super hero with a flaming skull? ?right up until he found himself bonded with a dangerous extraterrestrial symbiote! Don’t miss the first daring drive of the HOST RIDER! Rated T+

Why we like it: Another great character design ruined by a ridiculous name. Did they just go with the first name they could think of?

 

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 – July 12, 2017

Hey there comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. I’m happy to report that Spider-man Homecoming was a terrific movie from start to finish. Minor plot missteps aside, it was the most fun I’ve had watching a super-hero movie in a long time, maybe ever. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesday I like to spotlight some of the cool stuff that I will be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

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The Top of the Pile: Dark Days: The Casting #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Jim Lee

What it is: The Joker’s surprise attack threatens to lay waste to all of Batman’s carefully laid plans. Will the Dark Knight be able to regain the trust of his closest allies, Green Lantern and Duke, and prevent the forces of darkness from consuming the DC Universe?! Will Hawkman’s warning stop our heroes from peering into the abyss?

Why we love it: The Forge came out a few weeks ago and it was a dense read. If you’re weren’t well versed in DC history and lore, you probably had more than a few head scratching moments. It was easy to miss the dots that DC appears to be connecting with their Dark Days event, but still, it was successful in building intrigue. Add to that an all-star creative team and I have enough reasons to move The Casting to the top of my read pile on a relatively light Wednesday.

 

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The Mainstream One: Weapon X #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Greg Land

What it is: ‘WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION’ PART THREE! The mysterious new director of the reformed Weapon X program has assessed the data from their latest Adamantium cyborg attack and the results look good? They are ready for the next stage of their plan to eradicate all of mutantkind! Warpath and Domino follow leads into a remote part of the Midwest but what vicious secrets will they find hidden in a sleepy gated community? Rated T+

Why we like it: The first two installments of the Weapons of Mutant Destruction (WMD) cross-over were excellent. The WMD story is being told across 3 titles: Weapon X, Totally Awesome Hulk and Weapons of Mass Destruction, all written by the uber talented Greg Pak. I’m totally stoked to see what the Pak-man has in store for us this week. What are the two most terrifying words in the Marvel Universe? Hulk snikt!

 

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The Indie One: Calexit #1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matt Pizzolo
Art: Amancay Nahuelpan

What it is: What if a fascist, autocratic President took over the United States? And what if that President lost California, the sixth largest economy on Earth, by nearly 2-to-1…a margin of almost 3 1/2 million votes? What if the day after that President took power, the largest mass demonstration in history occurred, and the state with the largest turnout was California. And then, the following week, two of the largest international airports in the world, California’s LAX and SFO, were blockaded by protesters? What if California refused to be ruled? From the creators of YOUNG TERRORISTS, Matteo Pizzolo (GODKILLER) and Amancay Nahuelpan (CLANDESTINO), comes this tale of resisting oppression, punching Nazis, protecting each other, kicking ass, and demanding liberty for all.

Why we like it: Not much from the indies this week. Two Black Mask alums make up the creative team behind Calexit, which has a plot that straddles the fine line between reality and fiction. Pizzolo’s Young Terrorist would have made many best-of lists had it not been for unexcusably long delays between issues, and I was digging Amancay Nahuelpan (pronounced Aman-kay Na-well-pan) work on Clandestino before ending after just 6-issues. Hopefully we get more with Calexit and hopefully we get it on time.

 

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The #1 One: Spider-men II #1 (Saiz connecting variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Sara Pichelli

What it is: THIS IS IT, TRUE BELIEVERS! The moment five years in the making is finally here! The first time Peter Parker and Miles Morales met ended with a question – WHO IS THE MILES MORALES OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE?! Now that the Miles you know and love is with Peter in the Marvel Universe, you’re finally going to get that answer to who the OTHER Miles Morales is! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli bring you the next heart-stopping adventure for both Peter Parker and Miles Morales! Rated T+

Why we like it: I didn’t even know that there was another Miles Morales in the Marvel Universe… Looking forward to this one solely based on the strength of Brian Michael Bendis and Sarah Pichelli’s current run on Spider-man. The regular cover is ugly in my opinion, but fortunately there are a few variant covers for this issue that stand out, my favorites being the Daniel Acuna variant and the Jesus Saiz connecting variant.

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The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Flash #26

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Middleton
Art: Howard Porter
Cover Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico

What it is: ‘RUNNING SCARED’ part two! Barry Allen and Iris West witness a chilling vision of the future courtesy of the Reverse-Flash, who reveals the couple’s legendary romance will yield only darkness for the world of tomorrow. Now, Thawne forces The Flash to make a choice: spend forever alone or doom the future?

Why we like it: My favorite cover this week is another regular cover from DC. DC’s been killing it, putting out top-notch cover art without resorting to high-ratio incentive variants. DC, I thank you and my wallet thanks you.

 

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