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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – May 16, 2018

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: Barrier #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Marcos Martin

What it is: A very special ‘silent’ issue! This is the first wordless comic ever from either BRIAN K. VAUGHAN or MARCOS MARTÍN.

Why we love it: Originally published on Brian K Vaughan’s digital platform, The Panel Syndicate, the first printed issue of Barrier was given away on Free Comic Book Day, with issues #1 and #2 going on sale this past Wednesday. I read both issues last week and was immediately captivated. The plot revolves around two characters, a Texas cattle rancher at risk of losing her land due to cartel violence and an assumed illegal immigrant crossing the Mexico/US border. Their lives unexpectedly intersect when they are both abducted by aliens. One of the recurring themes of the story is communication, or rather difficulty communicating across language barriers, and I should point out to interested readers that the first two issues had pages of dialogue entirely in Spanish, without any translation. I was able to puzzle most of it out using my 3-years of high school Spanish and Google Translate did the rest. But unless you are a Spanish speaker, expect to do some work. Thankfully issue #3 is wordless, so problem solved for now.

The Mainstream One: Batman #47

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Sandu Florea

What it is: THE TRAVELERS’ part three! As Booster Gold, Batman and Catwoman zero in on the time anomaly, what they find and their actions to correct it will have ramifications on all of the DC Universe. Tom King and Master Class artist Tony S. Daniel end their first story with a bang that will tee up the next big development in the Batman/Catwoman romance.

Why we like it: Booster’s ingenious plan really crapped the bed last issue. Just about everyone was murdered, Booster was shot and his time traveling machine is smashed to bits. I have no idea how Bats is going to detective his way out of this pickle and I love it.

The Indie One: Infidel #3

Publisher: Image
Words: Pornsak Pichetshote
Art: Aaron Campbell

What it is: Following last issue’s devastating events, the mysterious entities haunting Aisha’s home escalate their attacks. As the nightmare spreads to her friends and neighbors, the creatures expose their true natures and long-buried hatreds.

Why we like it: I picked Infidel as my #1 One when it debuted and this freaky, haunted house story with racial overtones has already been optioned by Tristar pictures to be adapted as a movie. Be on the look out for #1’s on Wednesday, covers A and B are currently trading on the Bay for $10-$15 with the virgin cover going for $25-$30. You will probably want to flip them quick, as movie options often fail to materialize.

The #1 One: Walk Through Hell #1

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Garth Ennis
Art: Goran Sudzuka

What it is: So these two FBI agents walk into a warehouse… Special Agents Shaw and McGregor handle the routine cases nowadays, which is just the way Shaw likes it. She’s pushing 40, a borderline burnout, the ghastly memories of her last investigation still clinging like shadows. McGregor is younger, more dedicated, hanging onto some measure of idealism whatever the world might throw at him. When two fellow agents go missing inside a Long Beach warehouse, Shaw and McGregor are sent to investigate. But what they find waiting is far from routine, as the local police have already discovered to their cost. Before the night is out, our heroes will encounter terror beyond their most appalling nightmares-in a place where the night may never end at all. A new kind of horror story for modern America, written by Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys, Crossed) and drawn by Goran Sudzuka (Y: The Last Man, Hellblazer)

Why we like it: I’m always down for a good horror mystery.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: True Believers X-Men #25

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Fabian Nicieza
Art: Andy Kubert
Cover Art: Andy Kubert

What it is: Reprinting X-Men (1991) #25

Why we like it: This is a reprint of one of my favorite single issues of all time. It was the first comic book that I bought myself, purchased off a spinny rack at a local convenience store, and it contains one of the most unforgettable moments in X-Men history. The image of Magneto ripping the adamantium off of Wolverine’s skeleton, watching in horror as it burst through his skin, it still haunts me to this day. I was 9 years old at the time and I still remember the panels and the words and I remember desperately thinking “I need to know what happens next!!” It was a first step into a larger world. If you never had the opportunity, here’s your chance to own it for a buck.

 

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

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The Female Perspective: The Women of “Deadpool”

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


First off, yes, there will probably be a few spoilers so if you’d prefer not to know anything about Deadpool, I’d recommend not reading any further!

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I got to see Deadpool last Friday and I have to say, it did not disappoint me. I knew virtually nothing about the character except what I saw in the Wolverine movie a couple years ago. At that point Wade Wilson/Deadpool was played by Ryan Reynolds, but they changed the character quite a bit since then.

For one, his mouth isn’t sewn shut and thank God for that! Without the trademark snark, this movie would not have been nearly as much fun, but I get ahead of myself. Let’s begin at the beginning shall we?

You know a movie is going to be something special (good or bad) when it starts off in slow-motion and with “Angel In The Morning” playing while people are being tossed around, shot and more. Not to mention, we see a few tell-tale swipes at previous Reynolds characters like his forgettable Green Lantern and a cover of People magazine with a smiling Reynolds on the front.

I’m already happy.

Much like with Guardians of the Galaxy you realize you are seeing a movie that’s not afraid to make fun of itself. That you’re seeing a movie that’s not afraid to have some fun and that is sorely missing from the wider selection of films these days. I’m not saying every movie should mock itself and it’s universe openly, but it’s refreshing when it does happen.

Much has been made of the R-rating for Deadpool and it’s well earned. From the carnage to the language and nudity, this is not a movie for kids under the age of 16 or 17. Parents who take their kids to this and are then peeved that it’s totally inappropriate are asking for mockery, plain and simple.  I personally, as an adult (mostly) thought it was fantastic to see a superhero movie that pulls no punches and goes for the gross joke without shame. I enjoyed it in Kick-Ass and I enjoy it here.

Women? There’s WOMEN In This? Awesome.

This isn’t really a movie review though, I liked the movie and enjoyed Reynolds as Wade Wilson, I can’t wait to see him as Wilson/Deadpool again, but what I really want to talk about is how kick ass the women are in this movie. Seriously. The women hero’s are fantastic and it honestly surprised me. I know there isn’t a lack of strong female characters out there (obviously Black Widow/Agent Carter/Wonder Woman are all prime examples) but having no expectations of what kind of characters I would get from this movie, I can say that I honestly didn’t expect two such fun female hero’s.

Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Deadpool have a chat.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Deadpool have a chat.

First off is Negasonic Teenage Warhead, she’s a grumpy teenager (duh) and she doesn’t talk much but when she gets to work, she is no one to be trifled with, turning into a fire ball that … Well I won’t ruin it for you, sufficed it to say, she kicks butt without any apologies and I hope to see more of her in future films. Even a grumpy teenager has a place in the superhero world.

My hands-down favorite though was Angel Dust, Ajax’s number one henchman. I don’t think she utters more than 10 words the entire film but she packs a huge punch. She goes toe-to-toe with Colossus and it’s dang impressive. Played by Gina Carano, who is an MMA fighter, we are given a woman who is not afraid to fight, who is not teeny-tiny and who packs a mean punch. I absolutely loved that she was right there with Ajax and her fight with Colossus is just as important as Deadpool’s battle with Ajax at the end of the film. Not to mention, she is carried off by Colossus so there’s hope we’ll see her again in the near future, whether in an X-Men movie or another Deadpool film.

Angel Dust.
Angel Dust.

As a woman it is wonderful to be able to see women being treated (on film at least) as equals in these high-profile films. Maybe not everyone will remember Angel Dust like I do but the fact is, the more we see these strong female characters, the more mainstream they will become and the more likely we will be to see some kind of equality between men and women in the film industry, on screen and beyond.

Why Women Matter

So why do I bother to write a blog topic about the few female characters in Deadpool? Because they matter. Why do they matter? Because it wasn’t that long ago that the women were shuffled off to the side, to be ignored but because someone somewhere has realized that guess what? Women do go to see these movies. Women do go to conventions and women do buy comic books! Making some of the important characters women means that some of your biggest fans (and yes, have no doubt, women make up a huge part of the comic con/movie/books audience these days) will have a character (or two) to identify with, cosplay and therefore, buy more merchandise. It’s smart marketing and it’s smart film making.

In the end, it’s moments like this along with putting a size 16 women on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition or a woman running for president that mean that equality is coming, even if it’s coming slowly.

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What did you think of Deadpool? Who was YOUR favorite character? Tell me!