The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 13, 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: Event Leviathan #6 (of 6)

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

What it is: From the Eisner Award-winning team of superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis and groundbreaking artist Alex Maleev, the shocking conclusion to the biggest DC mystery of the year! Who is Leviathan? What do they want? How have they dismantled the most powerful secret agencies in the world? And what’s their next deadly move? The greatest detectives of the DC Universe descend on Leviathan, and all the answers are revealed! Don’t miss the shocking conclusion of this storyline!

Why we love it: I’m going to be totally honest here. The story line has been intriguing, and you really can’t go wrong with creative combo of Bendis and Maleev, but I’m only just liking this series so far and not actually loving it. But they are going to reveal Leviathan finally in this issue, and my feelings may change depending on how that goes. My prediction: Hank Henshaw, aka Cyborg Superman.

The Mainstream One: Punisher Soviet #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Garh Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows

What it is: Garth Ennis (Co-Creator of The Boys & Preacher) is back at Marvel and writing the Punisher again, this time with art phenom Jacen Burrows (MOON KNIGHT, 303, Crossed) at his side.  A dozen Russian mobsters lie dead at the Punisher’s feet and he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger.  If you know Frank Castle, you know this doesn’t necessarily set his mind at ease.  Who is in New York City decimating the Russian mob and can it be long before they come into conflict with Frank? Rated MAX

Why we like it: Any time Garth Ennis writes the Punisher, it’s is worth a look. The series is rated MAX, which means there will be no shortage of blood and violence.

The Indie One: Dollhouse Family #1 (of 6)

Publisher: DC Hill House
Words: Mike Carey, Peter Glass
Art: Jay Anacleto

What it is: On Alice’s sixth birthday, her dying great-aunt sent her the birthday gift she didn’t know she always wanted: a big, beautiful 19th-century dollhouse, complete with a family of antique dolls. In no time at all, the dollhouse isn’t just Alice’s favorite toy…it’s her whole world. And soon, young Alice learns she can enter the house to visit a new group of friends, straight out of a heartwarming children’s novel: the Dollhouse family. But while the Dollhouse family welcome her with open arms, in the real world, her family life is becoming much more complicated…and deep within the Dollhouse’s twisting halls, the black room waits, with an offer to Alice. The house can fix all this, the black room says. All she has to do is say the words… Longtime collaborators Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Lucifer, The Unwritten) are joined by Vince Locke (The Sandman), to bring their most horrifying vision yet to Hill House Comics-a story that echoes into centuries past, into Alice’s tormented future, and into the beating heart of the madness that makes up our world…literally. Plus, in chapter two of the ‘Sea Dogs’ backup story written by Joe Hill, spymaster Benjamin Tallmadge’s monstrous scheme is underway as his coerced crew of bloodthirsty colonial lycanthropes prepare to gut the Royal Navy from within!

Why we like it: Two terrifying tales of horror for the price of one, including Joe Hill’s much anticipated, werewolf-pirate story, Sea Dogs.

The #1 One: Family Tree #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Phil Hester

What it is: When an eight-year-old girl literally begins to transform into a tree, her single mom, troubled brother, and possibly insane grandfather embark on a bizarre and heart-wrenching odyssey across the back roads of America in a desperate search for a way to cure her horrifying transformation before it’s too late. But the farther they get from home, the more forces threaten to tear the family apart as fanatical cults, mercenaries, and tabloid Paparazzi close in, determined to destroy the girl—or use her for their own ends. A new genre-defying series written by New York Times bestselling author JEFF LEMIRE (GIDEON FALLS, ASCENDER) and illustrated by acclaimed artist PHIL HESTER (Shipwreck, Green Arrow), FAMILY TREE combines mystery, action, and horror into an epic story about the lengths a mother will go to in order to keep her children safe.

Why we like it: This has to be one of the most bizarre solicits that I have read all year, but Jeff Lemire is one of the rare talents in comics who could actually take such an off-beat premise and pull off something that is both new and accessible.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Morbius #1

Publisher: Marvel
Vita Ayala
Marcelo Ferreira
Cover Art: Ryan Brown

What it is: MORBIUS IS THE LIVING VAMPIRE…OR IS HE MORE? ALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES! For years, Nobel Prize winning biologist Michael Morbius has been struggling to cure himself of his vampirism, and now, for the first time in years, one may be within reach! But the path to it is littered with dangers and worse! Rated T+

Why we like it: This is one of the better Morbius covers I have seen in a while. I first became aware of artist Ryan Brown’s talent during his cover run on Judge Dredd 2000 AD. This guy has some serious painting chops and I’d love to see him get some more Marvel gigs.

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

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