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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 12/16/2015

Greetings nerds and nerdettes and welcome back to another episode of the Crank File. Last weekend I had the pleasure to meet the immensely talented writer and drawer of the hit new Image series Headlopper. Andrew MacLean and his wife (Erin, I think) were at my LCS over the weekend signing books and meeting fans. Super nice couple.  The shop was raffling away a few items and I had my eyes on a signed copy of Rick and Morty #6 featuring a Ball Fondlers variant. I didn’t get the book but I did win this fine sketch of the puckish Gnym.

Gnym

I’m calling it good karma for featuring both issues of Headlopper here and here.

This week is all about the Star Wars and it seems as if comic book publishers took notice. It’s a light week for new books which is too bad for me since I won’t be seeing Star Wars until Tuesday and plan on avoiding the internet and television all weekend. May the force be strong with this one. I just don’t know what I’ll do if I have to relive another Phantom Menace.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.

 

The Top of the Pile: Justice League #46 Looney Tunes variant

JL46

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Francis Manapul

‘Darkseid War’ rages on! Wonder Woman and Mister Miracle must rally to find the missing Anti-Monitor, while the rest of the League deals with the consequences of their new, godlike abilities.

The Darkseid Wars has been a great read, a crossover saga for the ages. In this epic battle against Darkseid, DC has flipped the superhero dynamic, turning their flagship characters into actual gods (or in Captain Marvel’s case, different gods). I’ve been a big fan of DC’s Looney Tunes variant month and this cover may be my favorite yet.

 

 

The Mainstream One: Squadron Supreme #1

 

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Publisher: Marvel
Words: James Robinson
Art: Leonard Kirk

They’re each the sole survivor of a lost Earth and they’ll do anything to protect this one, whether you like it or not. The Squadron Supreme — comprising Hyperion (Avengers), Nighthawk (Supreme Power), Dr. Spectrum (the Great Society), Blur (DP7) and Power Princess — are a team that doesn’t ask permission or what the rules are. To them all that matters is the safety of Earth and if you stand in the way…that’s your problem! Tell that to the Squadron’s first target — Namor, destroyer of Dr. Spectrum’s homeworld, who will have to pay for his crimes…but at what cost to the people of Atlantis?

Spoilerish alert: The Sub Mariner is getting deep sixed (or however deep Atlanteans bury their dead). Marvel is not exactly trying to keep it a secret either, the cover of Squadron Supreme #2 features Hyperion holding Prince Namor’s disembodied head. Although he’s not the most popular Marvel character, the Sub-Mariner is a Silver Age original and one of comic books’ first anti-heroes. His death will certainly be an important event which will cause repercussions. We know that deaths in comics rarely stick for long, but we may not be seeing the Sub Mariner for a while.

 

The Indie One: Descender #8

 

D1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen

TIM-21 and his companions are taken to the mind bending home world of the Robot resistance while a long lost figure from Tim’s past emerges but will he be friend or foe?

The last issue of Descender dropped bomb after bomb on the reader, ending with a crazy cliffhanger that let you know that noone is safe. Careful not to get too attached to any of the characters here. I’m loving Descender’s watercolored art style, and Jeff Lemire is proving to be one of the most talented writers in the industry.

 

 

The #1 One: Weirdworld #1

 

WW1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Sam Humphries
Art: Mike Del Mundo

Imagine, being trapped in a world of sword and sorcery. With no sword and sorcery experience to speak of. This is the story of Becca, a girl stuck in Weirdworld, with only one mission: get home alive! Marvel’s own twisted fantasy realm comes alive before your eyes! Barbarians! Wizards! And tricked out sports cars!

Weirdworld was my favorite mini-series to spin out of Marvel’s Secret Wars. I was disappointed to see that Jason Aaron was not writing the ongoing series, but as long as Del Mundo is on artwork then I’m on board for a trip back to Weirdworld. The series will feature a new character Becca, but I’m really hoping Arkon makes an appearance.

 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Superman: American Alien #2

 

SAA2

Publisher: DC
Words: Max Landis
Art: Nick Dragotta

After Smallville experiences its first violent crime in years, teenager Clark Kent is pressured by his best friend Pete Ross to take matters into his own hands in the second issue of Superman: American Alien

A teenage Clark Kent getting his mugshot taken, sporting a black eye and bloody nose?? I need to read the story behind this cover.

 

 

Carpe Comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 10/21/2015

Hey there comic book nerds. All of you Marvel fans out there, are you struggling to keep up with the All-New, All-Different relaunch? Feeling that void in your wallet growing wider and wider each week? Want to check out all the yarns spinning out of the big red machine without having to resort to a Ramen noodle diet? Check out a Newbury Comics if there’s one in your area. You might be able to get 50% off any Marvel comic priced $3.99 or lower until the end of October. $3.99, that’s just about every book out from Marvel this week. Oh happy day.

 

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

 

The Top of the Pile: Weirdworld #1 Marvel

WW

 

The final battle for the fate of Weirdworld. To save his home of Polemachus, Arkon must lead his newfound allies against the armies of Morgan le Fay!

You will have to excuse me for sounding like a broken record, but Weirdworld has been my favorite thing from this Secret Wars event. It is truly unique and awesome in so many ways. A smash-em-up world of some of the craziest creations to have ever graced Marvel’s pages. The entire Marvel reboot has been worth it for Weirdworld alone.

 

 

The Mainstream One: Star Wars: Shattered Empire #4 Marvel

 

SW4

 

Concluding the first new-canon comic tale set between episodes VI and VII! As the Empire Shatters around them, Rebel heroes fight for a better tomorrow!

The last issue in the first cannonical volume of Star Wars to be published by Marvel, Shattered Empire has not been what I had expected. Solicited as a story that would bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and the Force Awakens, I was hoping for hints of subplots that would tie into The Force Awakens. Sadly, it has been not that kind of series. Heavy on the character drama, I’m guessing that this is an introduction to relatives of our Force Awakens heroes.

 

 

The Indie One: Tokyo Ghost #2 Image

 

TG2

 

Constables Led Dent and Debbie Decay are given their final mission: purge their bodies of all technology and invade the Garden Nation of Tokyo.

I enjoyed the first issue of Tokyo Ghose a lot, my only criticism was that it was dense. It threw a lot at the reader and wasn’t big on subtlety. Not an easy read but I think Remender did it intentionally to get the reader up-to-speed on the details so that he can get to the stories. Looking forward to where this series heads in issue two.

 

 

The #1 One: Back to the Future #1 IDW

 

BttF1

 

‘Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines,’ part 1: Take a trip back to 1985 and be there when Doc Brown and Marty McFly first meet, and then jump even farther back, to 1945, to witness Doc’s involvement in the super-secret Manhattan Project. All-new canonical stories by Bob Gale, creator and screenwriter of Back to the Future.

There are movies that were experienced by everyone of a certain generation. Back to the Future was seen at least once by anyone who was alive during the 80’s. Me and my friends watched it wayyyy more than that. The fist movie was an instant classic and keeps a special place in my heart.  This is some heavy stuff doc!

 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Beauty #3 Image

 

B1

 

The Beauties are dying. They’re dying bad. Foster and Vaughn find unlikely allies in their fight to find the truth.

Three issues of Beauty, three gorgeous variant covers. Story ain’t half-bad either. Recommended.

 

Carpe Comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 9/23/2015

Hey there comic book fans. So good to have you back for another installment of the Crank File. In totally non-comic related news, the 2015 NFL season is only two weeks old and Tom Brady has over 750 yards passing, 7 touch downs and the New England Patriots are two n oh. Suck it Goodell.

 

Ok back to the books. We’re more than halfway through September and Secret Wars #6 is not on shelves this week. Secret Wars is such an enormous, unwieldy event that it was bound to stumble along the way. Marvel only has a few weeks left before they launch their “All-new, all-different” Marvel Universe, will they wrap up Secret Wars in time? Stay tuned true believers.

 

Here’s What I’m Reading This Week:

 

Top of the Pile: Squarriors #4 Devil’s Due

 

Squarrior4

 

Issue #4 will be the final issue of the first Squarriors miniseries. This title has been a surprise gem. Ashley Witten’s artwork is gorgeous. But don’t be fooled by the cute and cuddly looking animals, Squarriors is absolutely brutal. Game of Thrones level brutal and just as enjoyable. Squarriors has already been given the green-light for a second series, so I anticipate an action packed finale capped off with a wicked cliffhanger to keep us coming back.

 

 

The Mainstream One: Weirdworld #4 Marvel

 

Weirdworld5

 

Weirdworld #3 did something that few comics have ever done, which is make me laugh out loud. Holy crap, I nearly fell off my chair when we finally got a look at Warbow’s map of Weirdwold. Hands down my favorite Secret Wars tie-in/spin-off/whatever, Weirdworld is phenomenal. It’s a mashup of fantasy, action and humor splashed with absolutely insane visuals that hide strange new surprises at every turn. This week, Man-thing. Let’s get weird with it.

 

 

The Indie One: Fight Club 2 #5 Dark Horse

 

FightClub5

 

Fight Club 2 has been a weird, meta experience that loves reminding you how unconventional it is. And it works. In issue #5 we’ll be seeing ladies getting involved with Project Mayhem. “No girls allowed” was never one of the rules of Fight Club. Chuck Palanhuik is one of the unique voices of our generation. He’s not afraid to experiment with weird ideas or to say things that could offend and comic book seem to be the perfect medium for his eccentric sensibilities. Issue 5, Fight!

 

 

The #1 One: Wild’s End Enemy Within #1 Boom

 

WildsEnd1

 

The first Wild’s End miniseries kept us in constant suspense with its unlikely mash-up of War of the Worlds and The Wind in the Willows. As Clive, Susan, Fawkes, and the other survivors of the alien invasion of Lower Crowchurch try to cope with what just happened to their small town, the military arrives in an attempt to cover up the ‘incident.’ Town residents are immediately detained, questioned, and treated with suspicion. Clive and the rest will need to escape imprisonment if they’re to get the word out and warn the rest of the world in case the aliens return.

 

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: 1872 #3 Marvel

 

1872

 

A steampunk Iron Man suit. Nuff said.

 

 

The Speculation One: Scooby-Doo Team-up #12 DC

 

SD12

 

No, you didn’t eat too many scoobie snacks. A Scooby-doo book is making the spec list and it’s all due to the incorrigible Harley Quinn. Terry Hoknes over at Hoknescomics.com pointed this out earlier: Harley Quinn fans buy any book with Harley in it. A typical print run for a Scooby-doo comic is roughly 10K. A typical Harley Quinn print run is around 60K. 50,000 Harley fans will be left wanting on Wednesday. Already pre-selling for $20 – $25 on eBay. Crazy.

 

Did you know Harley Quinn was inspired by a daytime soap opera character? Days of Our Lives actress Arleen Sorkin played a clown during a dream sequence and you can see the heavy influence in Harley’s costume design.

 

jester

 

Sorkin would later go on to voice Harley Quinn in the quintessential 90’s cartoon, the Batman: The Animated Series. She has been the voice of Harley in numerous animated series and video games.

 

Carpe Comics!