The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 4/20/2016

Welcome to another episode of the Crank File, where the crank is dark and full of terrors. This week the File’s eye turns westward, or whichever direction Westeros lies. Game of Thrones is back and winter is coming, but not soon enough. Season 5 ended on such a crazy cliffhanger that it hasn’t been off my mind since June. Sunday’s season premiere poses a challenge for me as Wednesday is already looking like a big day for new books. I will be reading a lot of comics this week and writing about some of them, but a part of me just wants to watch trailer breakdowns and read fan theory threads. Oh well, valar dohaeris.

Here’s my five bold predictions for season 6: Lady Sansa Stoneheart, Jon the Ghost Targaryen, Tyrion Targaryen and the red witch gets naked.

And here’s what I’m reading this week:


The Top of the Pile: Divinity II #1



Publisher: Valiant
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine
Cover Art: Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

What it is: At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union – determined to win the Space Race at any cost – green lit a dangerously advanced mission. They sent three cosmonauts farther than anyone has gone before or since. Handpicked orphans with no connections to Earth, trained as devout Communists, and restricted from having families, they became lost in the stars and encountered something Unknown. Something that changed them. Long thought lost and erased from the history books, Abram Adams was the first to return. The few that have been able to reach him believe him to be a deity. They say he can bend matter, space, and even time to his will. But, even with limitless powers, he is concerned only with the secret love he hid away from his superiors and the unborn child he never met. Now, Miska, the female co-pilot of the group, has also returned to Earth, but, unlike Abram she had no secret family. Unlike Abram, she still believes in the Communist ideal. And, unlike Abram, she intends to play a very real role in the return of Soviet glory. Earth is about to meet a new god. And she’s a Communist. How long can it be before the nations of Earth bend before DIVINITY?

Why we love it: The highly-cerebral story of a lost, Russian cosmonaut returned to earth introduced the world to a super-powered being unlike any before. Beautifully rendered and deeply poignant, Divinity volume 1 was one of the best series I read in 2015. I’m almost as excited for the return of Divinity as I am about Thrones.


The Mainstream One: Action Comics #51



Publisher: DC
Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Fernando Pasarin
Cover Art: Karl Kerschl

What it is:  Superman is shocked to learn that Kara has been missing for some time as part three of ‘Super League’ begins! Now, with Batman’s help, Kal-El is on his cousin’s trail-but he can’t believe where it’s leading him and who she has joined!

Why we like it: I’ve been keeping close tabs on Supes since it was announced that the New 52 Superman was going to die during this “Final Days of Superman” crossover event, and somehow his powers will be transferred to a group of people who will carry on his legacy when he is gone. I smell first appearances and origin stories.


The Indie One: 4 Kids Walk into a Bank


4K 1

Publisher: Black Mask
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Tyler Boss

What it is: A fun(ish) crime caper about children! Eleven-year-old Paige and her weirdo friends have a problem: a gang of ex-cons need her dad’s help on a heist… the problem is those ex-cons are morons. If Paige wants to keep her dad out of trouble, she’s going to have to pull off the heist herself. Like Wes Anderson remaking Reservoir Dogs, 4KWIAB is a very dark & moderately humorous story about friendship, growing up, D & D, puking, skinheads, grand larceny, and family.

Why we like it: Black Mask is back and Matt Rosenberg, writer of the outstanding We Can Never Go Home, brings us another comic about kids breaking the law and looking good doing it. If they can keep to a regular release schedule, the sky’s the limit for this indie darling.


The #1 One: Dept H #1



Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Matt Kindt

What it is: Mia is a special investigator hired to uncover possible sabotage taking place at a deep-sea research station. What she finds is a mind-blowing crime scene filled with suspects with terrible secrets, strange deep-sea creatures, and an impending flood!

Why we like it: Matt Kindt’s artwork is an acquired taste for which I still have yet to acquire. Still, his writing and storytelling abilities are second to none.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley’s Little Black Book #3 (Lisner variant)



Publisher: DC
Words: Amanda Conner
Art: Joseph Michael Linsner

What it is: The most ghost-filled mansion on Coney Island has been demolished-and unfortunately, every one of its spirits has decided that Harley’s hacienda is the hot new hangout to haunt! It sure is convenient, then, that Zatanna is currently booked at Big Tony’s cabaret show! It’s up to Harley and Zatanna to convince all of those ghosts to move on to the next world…but if you think Harley’s got problems now, just wait until you see the ectoplasmic baggage these specters are packing!

Why we like it: Two of DC’s finest gracing this cover.


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

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