The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 28, 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: Thanos #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 4. The secret origins of King Thanos’ right-hand man, the cosmic spirit of vengeance, Ghost Rider! Just who IS this madman and how did he become allies with the most evil man in the Universe? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Donny Cates has been absolutely slaying it on both of his Marvel runs. Thanos has been getting a lot more of the publicity because of a “new” character, the Cosmic Ghost Rider. We recently learned that the Cosmic Ghost Rider is none other than Frank Castle, and this Wednesday we learn what made the Punisher trade in his white go-go boots for leather and chains.


The Mainstream One: Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #300 (Alex Ross 1:50 variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Adam Kubert

What it is: MOST WANTED Part 4. An oversized anniversary epic, told the only way your pre-eminent pals in the Spidey-Office know how – in the Mighty Marvel Manner! For weeks, the Tinkerer has been launching a campaign against his do-gooder brother, the Mason, and Spidey’s nearly met his maker more than once trying to stop their sibling rivalry! With a little help from a tech-heavy team of Marvel heroes, Spider-Man takes the fight directly to Tinkerer! But Tinkerer’s got tech of his own and it’s out of this world! Rated T

Why we like it: Happy 300th Spectacular Spider-man! If I can find that 1:50 Alex Ross variant for under $40, I’m buying it. There’s also a Gabreille Dell Otto variant featuring the Red Goblin on the cover that is worth mentioning.


The Indie One: Beef #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Image
Words: Richard Starkings
Art: Shaky Kane

What it is: The creator of ELEPHANTMEN and the creator of The A-Men join forces with TYLER SHAINLINE (Liberty Justice) to bring you the story of Meat Men! Chuck is a mild-mannered meat factory worker who is a little in love with a strawberry picker named Mary Lynn. But everything changes when Mary Lynn falls victim to the Vodino Brothers….

Why we like it: Saga is back this week, but I feel like I spotlight that series every month. So I’m throwing a change up and picking this new series from the creator of the cult favorite Elephantmen. I read a preview and while I wasn’t impressed by the artwork, there was a weird and quirky sense to the dialogue that I enjoyed. From what I gathered, its a story about meat and blood and death. I’d eat that.


The #1 One: Terrifics #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Ivan Reis

What it is: Bound together by fate, united by the spirit of exploration and hope for tomorrow, the Terrifics are bound from the Dark Multiverse of Metal! When Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl find themselves literally bound together by a tragic accident, our team of unlikely allies must rely on one another to make their way back home. But a startling revelation on their return trip brings them face to face with a new mystery: Where in the universe is Tom Strong? RATED T+

Why we like it: Lemire’s time at Marvel was a mixed bag. I’d like to believe that his underwhelming work at the House of Ideas was due to lack of control over high-profile characters and too much direction from editors. We know that Lemire can write intriguing, nuanced superheroes, just look at the quality stuff he’s done on Dark Horse’s Black Hammer. I’m hoping that DC is giving him full reign to take this band of misfits and turn it into something special. Having a stud like Ivan Reis on art doesn’t hurt either.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Action Comics #998

Publisher: DC
Words:  Dan Jurgens
Art: Brett Booth
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

What it is: ‘BOOSTER SHOT’ part six! Escape from Planet Zod! Superman and Booster Gold must escape to travel back to the present, where the life of the captured Sam Lane hangs in the balance!

Why we like it: Another superb, regular priced variant cover from Kaare Andrews. Can’t wait to see what he has cooked up for the #1000 mega-milestone issue.


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

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