The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – March 20, 2019

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: Spider-man Life Story #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Mark Bagley

What it is: In 1962, in AMAZING FANTASY #15, 15-year-old Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became the Amazing Spider-Man! Fifty-seven years have passed in the real world since that event – so what would have happened if the same amount of time passed for Peter as well? A special high-end limited series that’s a part of the celebration of Marvel’s 80th anniversary, SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY combines the talents of Chip Zdarsky (SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, MARVEL 2-IN-ONE) and Mark Bagley (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN) to tell the entire history of Spider-Man from beginning to end, set against the key events of the decades through which he lived! In this first oversized issue, when Flash Thompson is drafted to serve during the Vietnam War, Spidey must weigh the question of where his responsibility truly lies! Rated T

Why we love it: Chip Zdarsky is coming off an acclaimed run on Spectacular Spider-Man and taking Spidey back in time, all the way back to the 1960’s. Don’t worry, this is not a time travel story. This is the Silver Age Spider-man, living through the Silver Age, doing something that we rarely get a chance to see super heroes do, growing up.

The Mainstream One: Naomi #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Jamal Cambell

What it is: A brand-new character in the DC Universe comes into focus as Naomi confronts the one person in her small town she is convinced knows the secret of her mysterious adoption and her obsession with Superman. The truth is going to change both her and the DC Universe forever. The secret of Naomi opens the door to an enormous reveal you will not want to miss. This exciting new mystery from the powerhouse creative team of writers Brian Michael Bendis (Jessica Jones, Spider-Man) and David F. Walker (Shaft, Cyborg) and new, amazing art talent Jamal Campbell.

Why we like it: DC and Bendis clearly have big, long term plans for Naomi. The first two issues have been teasing a mysterious connection to Superman and it sounds like we’re getting the goods this week. I’ve really been enjoying this series, it has been charming and introspective in a way that reminds me of G. Willow Wilson’s run on Ms. Marvel.

The Indie One: Invisible Kingdom #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: G. Willow Wilson
Art: Christian Ward

What it is: Set in a far-flung star system, this new epic sci-fi monthly saga tells the tale of two women–a young religious acolyte and a hard-bitten freighter pilot–who separately uncover a vast conspiracy between the leader of the system’s dominant religion and the mega-corporation that controls society. On the run from reprisals on both sides, this unlikely pair of rebels risk plunging the world into anarchy if they reveal the truth. But when your beliefs betray you, what choice is there left? By Hugo Award-winning writer G. Willow Wilson (Wonder Woman, Ms. Marvel) and Eisner Award-winning artist Christian Ward (Black BoltODY-C).

Why we like it: G. Willow Wilson is one of my favorite authors, Christian Ward’s artwork will melt your face off, and it’s being published under the Berger Book imprint, curated by legendary comics editor Karen Berger. That’s a trifecta of awesome.

The #1 One: Rise #1

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words and art: Don Aguillo

What it is: Nine-year-old royal orphan Zakaiah falls heir to the throne of the broken post-apocalyptic kingdom of Pacifica, and must endure the Trials of the House of Jasser, a series of tests designed to prepare her to occupy the seat of the kingdom. Recently orphaned and reluctant to embark on a set of trials to teach and test her on the responsibilities that now rest on her shoulders, she is guided on this tumultuous path by soldiers and strangers, plagued by their own struggles, pasts and hidden agendas. Embarking on the journey on a dark road with strangers who now answer to her and inexperienced in carrying the weight of the world, she’s left the only home she’s ever known to explore the realm she now has the responsibility to rule. Behind them, the empty throne is at the mercy of a ruling class that threatens to usurp it for their own dark agendas, and just beyond the shadows ahead, the emergence of an ancient evil threatens to halt their journey dead in its tracks.

Why we like it: I’m picking this one up on the strength of the artwork. I’ve seen a few preview pages and the interior artwork is as gorgeous as the cover.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Immortal Hulk #15

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Al Ewing
Art:
Joe Bennett
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: Dr. Leonard Samson is a gamma mutate and part-time super hero who recently came back from the dead. He’s been wanting to discuss that with an old patient of his… But he’s not here to see Bruce Banner. Take a seat on the couch, IMMORTAL HULK. It’s going to be quite a session. Rated T+

Why we like it: Alex Ross doing his Hulk thing.

 

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

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