The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 4, 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: Batman #84

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin

What it is: ‘City of Bane’ chapter eleven! The end is near as one victory leads to another defeat. As Batman reclaims his city from Bane, can he regain his sense of family? More specifically, when a man who is your father from another dimension has torn everything down around you, what will it take to build it back up? Especially when that man is currently staring you in the face and threatening to punch it. The final battle for Gotham City…and the cowl of the Caped Crusader…starts here!

Why we love it:   The end to Tom King’s Batman is an issue away and it’s unrealistic to believe that he’ll be able to reconcile in 40 pages all the plots and themes he’s been building across two-plus years of writing Batman. What we will probably be left with is an uneven series that often got mired in uninteresting (War of Jokes and Riddles) and anticlimactic (The Wedding) stories, but flashed of moments of brilliance (Annual #2) when Batman felt completely new and exciting to read again.

The Mainstream One: Venom 2099 #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words:  Jody Houser
Art: Francesco Mobili

What it is: WHAT IS VENOM 2099? Welcome to the future, where the cure for what ails you is at your fingertips with ALCHEMAX! Our industry-leading pharmaceutical department (HELP) is providing consumers with (FREE ME) the bleeding-edge technology you’ve come to know from our (SAVE ME) products with VENOM, our all-cure drug. Trials begin (DON’T LET THEM DESTORY ME) this December! Rated T+

Why we like it: I’m not a fan of these 2099 characters but it seems very apparent that Marvel is looking for a female Symbiote to join the Spiderverse. Scream is getting a push with her own Absolute Carnage tie-in series, but I wouldn’t bank on her sticking around. A cheap first appearance grab. Heh, sticking around.

The Indie One: Spawn #302

Publisher: Image
Words: Todd McFarlane
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: ‘HELL HUNT,’ Part Two-The aftermath of SPAWN #301 continues in this great jumping-on point for new readers! Spawn, Reaper, and She-Spawn fight their way to the catacombs beneath the Vatican to free Medieval Spawn! But is he friend or foe? Meanwhile, Clown’s Hellhounds have other plans, as they move to stop Spawn from gathering his new army of heroes. JOIN THE HUNT!

Why we like it: I was way into Medievil Spawn when he first appeared in issue #9. Medieval Spawn was a knight who carried a bigass battleaxe and shield and rode a horse. He was totally awesome. I was literally in awe of him. It was 1996 and I was 14. But just as soon as he was introduced, he’s brutally murdered by Angela. And we didn’t really get a lot more of Medieval Spawn after that, and I was crushed. So you can understand why I’m excited about his first re-appearance in a quarter century.

The #1 One: The Butcher of Paris #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Stephanie Phillips
Art: Dean Kotz

What it is: In 1944, as Swastikas flew over Paris, one of the most notorious and prolific serial killers in history turned the occupied city into his personal hunting ground. Under the guise of opportunity and freedom, a killer preys on those desperate to flee . . . until a gruesome discovery alerts the police. In a city on the brink of war, the hunt for a serial killer begins as a French detective races to catch the villain before the Nazis beat him to it. Written by Stephanie Phillips (Descendent, Devil Within) with art by Dean Kotz (Mars Attacks), The Butcher of Paris is a historical, true crime thriller about a killer wanted by both the Nazis and allied forces for the death of nearly two hundred victims.

Why we like it: This story about the hunt for a vicious murderer during wartime is loosely based around the true story of Marcel Petiot. I’ve read good things about the writer, Stephanie Phillips, and will be taking this new Dark Horse series for a spin.

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

Publisher: Marvel
Gerry Duggan
Matteo Lolli
Cover Art: Jeehyung Lee

What it is: SALT WATER & HELLFIRE! THE NEW BLACK BISHOP OF THE HELLFIRE CLUB! Sebastian Shaw recruits a new Black Bishop continuing with his machinations against the two Queens of the Hellfire Club! Meanwhile, Captain Kate and her Marauders wreak havoc on the high seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific in the name of the mutant cause! Rated T+

Why we like it: Great use of shadows on the white space. Lockhead is freakin dorbs. Winner.

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

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