The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – August 14, 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: Captain Marvel #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Kelly Thompson
Art: Carmen Nunez Carnero

What it is: A STAR RISES, ANOTHER FALLS! Being Captain Marvel has been the greatest joy of Carol Danvers’ life. But a new hero is rising to the limelight – just as Carol’s own powers begin to fail her. With everyone now believing she’s a Kree traitor, Carol can’t help but wonder… does the world even need Captain Marvel?

Why we love it: Issue #8 featured a brief appearance of a new character, Star, who is drawing a lot of love from fans and speculators alike. Issue #9 will continue Star’s introduction into the Marvel universe and features a beautiful Mark Brooks cover.

The Mainstream One: Event Leviathan #3 (of 6)

Publisher: DC
Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Alex Maleev

What it is: From the award-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, it’s DC’s biggest whodunit in years! The world’s greatest detectives-Batman, Green Arrow, Lois Lane, Plastic Man, the Question and Martian Manhunter-have gathered to solve the mystery behind the true identity of Leviathan’s leaders and the destruction of the world’s top intelligence agencies! Red Hood is their leading suspect-and he is on the loose! Plus, the Silencer takes her shot! This mystery will unleash a new evil on the DC Universe!

Why we like it: I shouldn’t be surprised about how good this series has been, this creative team has been churning out hits for years, but the level of intrigue surrounding Even Leviathan is through the roof. Who is Leviathan’s leader? Seems like Red Hood is more of a red herring in this case and I would bet that Leviathan’s leader is someone completely out of left field, like Grail or Heretic.

The Indie One: White Trees #1 (of 2)

Publisher: Image
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Kris Anka

What it is: MINISERIES PREMIERE! Acclaimed Daredevil writer CHIP ZDARSKY teams up with superstar Runaways artists KRIS ANKA and MATT WILSON for this spectacular OVERSIZED TWO-ISSUE MINISERIES! In the fantastical world of Blacksand, peace was hard-won, and three unbending warriors carry the scars to prove it. Now, almost twenty years later, their children are missing and war is on the horizon. Can they put aside their memories of the war-and each other-for one last adventure?

Why we like it: I really like the creative team on this book, but I’m a bit put-off by a high-fantasy epic that is only two issues long. Doesn’t seem like a lot of payoff for going through all the trouble of world-building. Hopefully it gains a following and becomes an ongoing, but I’m going to check it out regardless because the preview pages look awesome.

The #1 One: Conan the Barbarian Exodus #1

Publisher: Marvel
Story and Art: Esad Ribic

What it is: MAN VS. NATURE IN THE NEVER-BEFORE-TOLD STORY OF CONAN’S FIRST JOURNEY FROM CIMMERIA! Long have the stories told of CONAN, who came from the frozen hills of his homeland, Cimmeria, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth in the Hyborian Age – but now you will witness the epic tale of the young barbarian’s first journey from home from visionary creator Esad Ribic! Fifteen winters in Cimmeria have toughened the young Conan, but his greatest challenge lies ahead. Braving the elements, without food, without shelter, without weapons, Conan must learn to survive even as nature itself conspires to stop him. The snow freezes his bones. The wolves smell his blood. But if he can reach civilization, will his wounds heal…or will his troubles just begin? With a majestic scope underscored by the completely visual narrative, don’t miss this truly special moment in Conan’s story and an unprecedented issue in Marvel Comics publication history!

Why we like it: Marvel is definitely taking a risk here, as I assume that when they say “completely visual narrative” that the entire story is being told through images. This seems like a bold move, but Esad Ribic is such a phenomenal illustrator that I’ll pick this up on the strength of his artwork alone.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Catwoman #14

Publisher: DC
Ram V
Mirka Andolfo
Cover Art: Artgerm

What it is: A secret file out-lining the ins and outs of the criminal underworld of Villa Hermosa is on the streets, and every crook is after it. Whoever possesses this info can control everything, and some of the town’s hoods are even bringing in outside agents like Lock-Up and Gentleman Ghost to act as their champions-which, let’s face it, you’re going to need if you’re going to try to outsmart Catwoman. Making things even more dangerous for Selina Kyle, there is also a price on her head. If you can capture the database and kill the Catwoman, the payoff is double!

Why we like it: Love this Batman Animated Series inspired rendition of Catwoman. Artgerm crushed it again.

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

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