The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 20, 2017

Season’s greetings comic book fans and welcome to a holiday spectacular 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: Dark Knights Metal #4

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo

What it is: The Justice League has been broken and scattered to the far corners of the DCU, each member forced to face their worst fears alone…and the fears are winning. When an unlikely ally reveals a glimmer of hope, they must seize their chance, or risk their window of opportunity closing for good!

Why we love it: As the mystery behind Metal has been slowly revealed, I’ve really started enjoying this horrifyingly, dark read. It took me a bit to warm up to it, but after the events of issue #3 I’m completely sold on the rest of Metal. This mini-series has already enjoyed a measure of success bringing the Sandman universe into the DC universe and spawning a breakout villain with the Batman Who Laughs (and who really needs a better code name).

The Mainstream One: Tales of Suspense #100

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Travel Foreman

What it is: RED LEDGER Part 1 (OF 5) SPRINGING FROM THE PAGES OF SECRET EMPIRE! THE BLACK WIDOW is dead…but someone is killing her enemies. With a broken heart and a bloody trail to follow, HAWKEYE is looking for answers. And the only person alive who may have them is Natasha Romanoff’s OTHER ex-boyfriend, THE WINTER SOLDIER. Can they trust each other long enough to unravel the web of mysteries that Black Widow left behind? Rated T+

Why we like it: Natasha Romanova is dead (it was Stevil Rodgers with a shield on the steps of the Capitol Building). The return of the Tales of Suspense title will involve plenty of cloak and dagger situations and I suspect it will also lead to the return of the Black Widow. Wouldn’t it be funny if Marvel gender swapped Black Widow and one of these dude’s took up her mantle? Matthew Rosenberg is a good writer who hasn’t quite found his footing at Marvel yet, but I always enjoy his dialogue. And I’m really digging the Marco Checchetto cover.

The Indie One: Hellboy Krampusnacht #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Mike Mignola
Art: Adam Hughes

What it is: The only thing more exciting than pitting Hellboy against this Satanic spin on Santa is the team-up of Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes.

Why we like it: Nothing says Christmas like Hellboy fighting the Krampus.

The #1 One: Marvel  Two-in-one #1 (Alex Ross variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Jim Cheung

What it is: The Fate of the Four Part 1 THE FOUR ARE NO MORE, SO TWO MUST DO! Something is very wrong with THE HUMAN TORCH and only THE THING can help him! It’s the Marvel Universe reunion you’ve all been waiting for (well, HALF of it, at least!). Plus: What monumental secret has DOOM been hiding since the end of SECRET WARS, and how will it completely change the lives of Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm? PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T

Why we like it: The return of Marvel Two-in-one is likely just the precursor to the full on return of the Fantastic Four. Now that Disney has secured the film rights for Marvel’s first family, the FF’s return in 2018 is pretty much a lock. I like the Art Adams variant cover the best, but had to show the Alex Ross variant here because the body positioning and the look on the Thing’s face are funny to me.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley Quinn #33

Publisher: DC
Words: Amanda Conner
Art: John Timms
Cover Art: Frank Cho

What it is: “The Mourning After!”. Reeling from the death of her boyfriend Mason Macabre, Harley desperately needs something, anything else to think about — and deliverance has arrived on Coney Island’s beach, in the form of a strangely hairy, strangely looney distraction!

Why we like it: Another gorgeous piece by the master Frank Cho. The line work is just mind-bogglingly detailed, evoking a woodblock carving style. This is in my top 3 favorites from Cho’s run on Harley cover Bs.


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

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