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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – January 2, 2019

Happy new year comic book fans and welcome to the inaugural 2019 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: Immortal Hulk #11

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett

What it is: Hulk in Hell: Part 1 – Jackie McGee is in hell. Carl Creel is in hell. Walter Langkowski is in hell. Eugene Judd is in hell. Carl Burbank is in hell. Los Diablos is in hell. Shadow Base is in hell. New Mexico is in hell. Planet Earth is in hell. We are all in hell… …and so is the IMMORTAL HULK. Rated T+

Why we love it: This has been a terrifyingly good refresh of the tired, old Hulk smash routine. The dark themes in Immortal Hulk borrow heavily from the horror genre, and make Hulk out to be more monster than superhero.

The Mainstream One: Wolverine The Long Night #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ben Percy
Art: Marcio Takara

What it is: Following a string of mysterious deaths in Burns, Alaska, Special Agents Sally Pierce and Tad Marshall arrive to investigate. They soon find there’s more going on than meets the eye… Marvel’s hit scripted podcast, ‘Wolverine: The Dark Night,’ comes to life on the page! Chilling twists and turns, brought to you by the original author of the podcast, Benjamin Percy, and the art talents of Marcio Takara! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: I listened to this as a dramatic podcast on Stitcher and it was a vintage Wolverine story. Set in the remote Alaskan wilderness, a pair of FBI agents are trying to get to the bottom of a string of gruesome murders plaguing the town of Burns. There are cults, drug cartels, killers, and evil forces and a mysterious stranger named Logan who appears to be caught up in all of this. Looking forward to this comic adaptation.

The Indie One: Low #20

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: NEW STORY ARC ‘LAST EMBERS,’ Part One (of Seven) It’s mankind’s final hour, and the reckoning rests on the shoulders of the Caine family. Stel, Tajo, and Della are on a collision course that they may not all survive. RICK REMENDER and GREG TOCCHINI bring their seminal aquatic apocalypse to a harrowing boil in a world where everything comes down to a battle between desperate hope and certain oblivion.

Why we like it: Probably my favorite of all the Remenderverse books, Low is a sci-fi series that frames a message about the immense power of steadfast optimism against the grim realities of a world about to end. Not a great point to jump on, but I highly recommend going back and getting caught up because this should be an epic finale.

The #1 One: Conan The Barbarian #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: BY CROM, THE GREATEST SWORD-AND-SORCERY HERO RETURNS TO MARVEL! From an age undreamed…hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet… Robert E. Howard’s creation returns to comics, in an epic tale as only MARVEL could bring you! Conan’s travels have brought him to the far reaches of the unkown, from his birthplace in Cimmeria to the kingdom of Aquilonia and all in between. As his fighting prowess allows him to carve his way through life, so too does it attract the forces of death! The all-new ages-spanning saga begins here, by writer Jason Aaron (THE MIGHTY THOR, STAR WARS) and artist Mahmud Asrar (UNCANNY X-MEN, ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS), as Conan’s destiny is forever changed! Parental Advisory

Why we like it:  Conan is joining the Marcel universe and I can’t think of a better pick for a writer than Jason Aaron.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Flash #61

Publisher: DC
Words:
Joshua Williamson
Art: Christian Duce

Cover Art: Derrick Chew

What it is: Powerhouse looks to turn the Scarlet Speedster into a scarlet skid mark! The two Force wielders find themselves at odds when Alexa wants to overthrow the criminal government of Corto Maltese that’s crushing her people. (Remember that locale from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS?) Barry must quash their beef and convince Powerhouse to join his Force Quest if he ever hopes to learn the secrets behind these new Force powers!

Why we like it: I like this Flash cover. A fine example of a DC cover really benefiting from the semi-virgin treatment.

 

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