The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 3/14/2016

Greetings and welcome to the Crank File, the only place on the internet where the file cranks you. Marvel teased us with a little Spider-man cameo at the end of the latest Civil War trailer, and it definitely made my web shooters go off. I haven’t been excited about a Spider-man movie in a long time, but that’s as close to a true-to-comics Spidey costume as you’ll get in a movie. And it looks amazing. Spider-man.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Low #12



Publisher: Image

Words: Rick Remender

Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: ‘Shore of the Dying Light’ Part 2 At last Stel Caine reaches the surface, but what she finds there isn’t what she imagined.

Why we love it:  Low is set in a world where centuries ago mankind retreated into the sea to escape the inhospitable conditions on land. But as resources and air start to run thin, humanity is faced with the choice of a slow, under water extinction or reclaiming the land from where it came. After spending eleven issues navigating the dark depths of the ocean, Stel Cain is finally emerging topside and who know’s what our heroine will find there. Greg Tocchini’s use of water-colors throughout this series has been marvelous and I can’t wait to see how it looks when we transition from ocean to land. We’re big Rick Remender fans over here at the Crank File, and Low is probably our favorite of his creator owned work.


The Mainstream One: Extraordinary X-Men #8



Publisher: Marvel

Words: Jeff Lemire

Art: Ken Lashley

What it is: ‘APOCALYPSE WARS’ STARTS NOW! Mutantkind is an endangered species once more. But what better way to ensure your people see the future?than to skip ahead right to it? As the mutant race’s last hope is jettisoned into the time stream, the Extraordinary X-Men make a startling discovery: the fate of their kind is about to fall into the hands of one of their most formidable adversaries – the immortal APOCALYPSE. Now, the X-Men race into a perilous future, desperate to reclaim what was taken from them?and completely unaware of the horrors that await them.

Why we like it: The buzz surrounding this week’s issue is coming from a panel floating around the internet, showing a new team of horsemen consisting of Colossus, Venom, Moonknight and Deadpool. Anything Deadpool is hot these days, and this book could be in short supply on Wednesday making it a potential short term flip. But honestly, Extraordinary has been a wonderfully written X-Men book and you should be picking it up just for the story.


The Indie One: Clandestino #2


Publisher: Black Mask

Words and Art: Amancay Nahuelpan

What it is: Things heat up for Clandestino as he attacks the military prison where Leena is held before hurtling on a high-octane, action-packed chase. Meanwhile, General Kapala continues laying waste to rebels who threaten his regime. Guns shoot in all directions and no one is safe in this revolutionary thrill-ride by the artist of Young Terrorists.

Why we like it: Clandestino #2 makes the list is because it also marks the return of Black Mask. Last year Black Mask was the little label that could. The darling of indie comics scored big with some of the best titles from 2015, like We Can Never Go Home, Space Riders and Young Terrorists. However the company lost a lot of momentum as long delays in their release schedules resulted in backlash from their fan base. In a recent post, Black Mask announced that they had settled their legal issues which were causing delays and that they would be back putting out kick-ass comics in 2016. With a new series ‘4 Kids Walk into a Bank’ kicking off in April and new issues of Young Terrorists solicited for April and May, I’m hoping for a spectacular come back.


The #1 One: Roche Limit Monadic #1



Publisher: Image

Words: Michael Moreci

Art: Kyle Charles

What it is: Earth is in ruins after the Black Sun’s annihilation of the planet. Now, in the last remaining human city, its inhabitants fight for survival while a chosen few realize that their world may not be what it seems.

Why we like it: The first Roche Limit volume was an unexpected gem. It was dark and philosophical, an intelligent sci-fi comic that made its social commentary without beating you over the head with it. I had planned on trade waiting volume 2 but flipping through the first issue of Roche Limit Clandestiny, I was hooked and immediately added it to my pull list. There’s no apprehension this time around. I’m fully on board for Monadic, the final arc in Roche Limit’s brilliant run.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: International Iron Man #1 (Dell Otto variant)



Publisher: Marvel

Words: Brian Michael Bendis

Art: Alex Maleev

What it is: Who is Tony Stark, really? Since learning that he was adopted as a baby, this question has cast a shadow over Stark’s life. Now, it is time to uncover what his legacy truly is, a journey that will carry Tony into new directions as a man and as a super hero. Alongside his strange new quasi-ally Doctor Doom, Iron Man will discover new things about the Marvel Universe he didn’t know existed before! A character deconstruction from Bendis and Maleev along the lines of their award-winning DAREDEVIL run!

Why we like it: Dell Otto is probably the hottest cover artist at the moment, and while his work hasn’t quite reached the popularity of Adam Hughes or Alex Ross, it won’t be long before he will be among their ranks. I love the classical realism of Dell Otto’s painted art-style and I am happy that this kind of artwork is being recognized and gaining appreciation within the collecting community.


That’s all for this week. Like something that I missed? Leave it in the comments below. Until next time, carpe comics!

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