Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. I’d like to make a quick addendum to last week’s Crank File. Batman #23 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads was a team-up story with Swamp Thing called “The Brave and the Mold”. It was both a tribute to Bernie Wrightson and a love letter to Alan Moore, and it was one of the better comics that I’ve read this year. If you missed it last week, there are probably copies still available at your local comic shop.
Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff that I’m checking out this week. Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Seven to Eternity #6
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena
What it is: There is a beautiful place where no one ever dies…
Why we love it: Rick R.R. Remender is currently writing several amazing independent comic series but this collaboration with Jerome Opena and Matt Hollingsworth has really struck a chord with fans. Remender’s script is tight as expected, and StE echoes many of the same themes explored in other of Remender’s works, but what really makes this book standout is the artwork. Every panel, every setting, every character design explodes with insane amounts of detail and gorgeous colors.
The Mainstream One: Venom #150 (Kubert variant)
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Gerardo Sandoval
What it is: REUNITED, AND IT FEELS SO GOOD! Or, feels so bad? However it feels, Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote have been reunited, and they’re web-slinging their way around New York again. Featuring a host (hah!) of Venom creators from the character’s near 30-year history, this monstrous anniversary spectacular welcomes guest artist TRADD MOORE for an oversized and brutal main story AND a lethal story featuring fan-favorite creators David Michelinie and Ron Lim, reunited! With questions still lingering about how the symbiote was separated from Flash Thompson, and what lies in its future now that it’s reunited with Eddie Brock, this is one issue you can’t afford to miss! Rated T+
Why we like it: Eddie Brock is officially back as Venom. With all the people the symbiote has been attached to since they broke up, I hope Eddie hosed it off down before jumping back in or at least got himself checked out at a clinic. There’s a pretty sweet 1:100 incentive variant that I’m not buying, but it’s by a Kubert which means we get to play everybody’s favorite game, Name That Kubert. Can you name that Kubert? Highlight here to reveal the answer -> Adam. And that’s how we play Name that Kubert.
The Indie One: Redneck #2
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lisandro Estherren
What it is: Death and destruction have come to Sulphur Springs! With the murder of one of their own, the vampiric Bowmans are ready to wage war on anyone in their path. But will Bartlett be able to get to the bottom of things before the whole town explodes? DONNY CATES and LISANDRO ESTHERREN bring you the next chapter in this blood-soaked, Southern-fried Gothic masterpiece!
Why we like it: Donny Cates has been quietly burning up the indie scene and he’s gaining a well-deserved following. The story involves southern vampires, which at a blush sounds very been-there-done-that, but the devil’s in the details and Redneck #1 was a wicked good read.
The #1 One: I Am Groot #1 (Fosgitt variant)
Words: Christopher Hastings
What it is: GROOT IN HIS OWN SERIES, SMALLER AND BETTER THAN EVER! When the Guardians of the Galaxy get caught in a wormhole, a smaller-than-normal Groot is separated billions of light-years away from the team. Falling to a planet below, Groot discovers he is on an entirely alien and unknown world full of strange creatures and societies. Seriously underdeveloped and with nobody who can understand him, Groot will need to make the journey to the center of this world and find the way back to his family! Rated T+
Why we like it: While I enjoy the novelty of pint-sized Groot, I am a bit confounded that it’s getting its own solo series, especially after Groot’s 2015 series lasted only 6 issues before being rolled into a team-up book with his pal Rocket. Never underestimate the power of cuteness, I guess. Speaking of which, the Fosgitt variant is just way too adorable to pass on.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Shaolin Cowboy Who’ll Stop the Reign #2 (Cho variant)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Geof Darrow
Art: Geof Darrow
Cover Art: Frank Cho
What it is: The Shaolin Cowboy hits town, and it hits back. With King Crab in hot pursuit, he runs straight into the not-so-kosher menace of HOG KONG and his twisted tale of ham-fisted revenge. High-cholesterol-fueled action served up hot with plenty of chasers!
Why we like it: I love the humor in this cover and I love the way Cho draws his women thick. Shaolin Cowboy creator/writer/artist Geoff Darrow draws the regular cover A, which is also very awesome but not really fit to print here. See it for yourself on Wednesday.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!