The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – May 8, 2019

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wedneday 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: Flash #70

Publisher: DC
Words: Joshua Williamson
Art: Howard Porter

What it is: ‘The Flash Year One’ starts here! Barry Allen feels helpless in his life in Central City. As a forensic scientist, he’s always catching criminals after they’ve committed their crimes. All that changes one fateful night when Barry is struck by a bolt of lightning and doused in chemicals. When he wakes from a coma, he realizes he can run at incredible speeds. Can Barry master these powers and be the hero his city needs…or will the powers burn through him?

Why we love it: The Barry Allen version of Flash was created during comic’s Silver Age, and like many Silver Age characters his origin story was simplified in order to provide mass appeal. But in the 21’st century, we demand more from our super heroes and we appreciate a rich, convoluted back story. Joshua Willamson’s writing has really shined since joining Flash after Rebirth and I am excited to see what he has planned for Barry’s year one.

The Mainstream One: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man #6

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom Taylor
Art: Yildiray Cinar

What it is: The neighborhood, and the planet, is doomed. Spider-Man is powerless to stop the end of the world. Only Earth’s Newest and Mightiest Hero, Spider-Bite, can save the day. Wait, WHAT?! Rated T

Why we like it: Marvel’s introducing a new Spider character and in this issue we get the first appearance of Spider-Bite. Admittedly, Spider-Bite seems a bit hackneyed but Spider-man fans will collect any and all Spidey related first appearances.

The Indie One: Murder Falcon #8 (of 8)

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON’s power ballad concludes in a brutal battle of the bands! The members of Brooticus have come too far to allow Magnum Khaos to reign on Earth. Strap on your axe, join the battle, and remember: METAL WILL DESTROY ALL EVIL!

Why we like it: This series has been outstanding. I was disappointed when I found out it was only going to run 8 issues, but man has it been a tight 8 issues. It is coming to end this week, so if you missed it I highly recommend that you pick up the entire series in trade paper back when it drops in July.

The #1 One: War of the Realms New Agents of Atlas #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Gang Hyuk Lim

What it is: FEATURING MARVEL’S NEWEST HEROES WAVE, AERO & SWORD MASTER! A ‘War of the Realms’ tie-in series! As Sindr, Immortal Queen of Muspelheim, and her legions of Fire Demons march on Asia, it’s time for a new band of heroes to unite to protect the Pacific Rim. Having brought together a ragtag team of heroes to defend the Earth from an alien invasion in the past, can Amadeus Cho reassemble his ‘protectors’ — Shang-Chi, Silk and Jimmy Woo to save the world from incineration? And where is Kamala Khan? And just who are Crescent, Io and Luna Snow??? Featuring Marvel’s newest heroes from China, Aero and Sword Master, and a mysterious new Filipino heroine named WAVE! Rated T+

Why we like it: I watched Avengers Endgame and no-spoilers but there are literally zero Asians in it until the very end, when we finally see two Asian characters who appear on screen for about two seconds combined. There is a serious lack of Asian and Pacific Islander representation in the Marvel universe, especially in the MCU. Say what you will about the quality of the DCU but even they featured Katanna as a prominent character in Suicide Squad and cast Jason Mamoa as Aquaman. Marvel has an Asian problem and while I am happy to see them trying to address it by assigning Greg Pak to write New Agents of Atlas, I don’t understand why they decided to make it an Asian-only team. It almost guarantees that no one outside of the Asian community will be interested in reading it.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Marvels Annotated #3

Publisher: Marvel
Words:
Kurt Busiek
Art:
Alex Ross
Cover Art: Gabriele Del’Otto

What it is: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the series that changed the way we look at super heroes, the landmark Marvels is back – with all-new commentary! Are the Marvels really heroes or opportunists using their powers to garner fame? As public opinion turns against super heroes, Daily Bugle photographer Phil Sheldon finds himself becoming cynical, getting more and more lost in his coverage of the Marvels – and distant from his family. But when Galactus arrives to consume Earth and the Fantastic Four rise to stop him, Phil must come to grips with the possibility of Armageddon – and decide what really matters to him. Packed with extras and completely remastered, you don’t want to miss this unique look back at the Marvels phenomenon! Collecting MARVELS #3. Rated T

Why we like it: I need this framed and hanging on my wall.

 

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

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