The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – January 8, 2020

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to the first episode of the Crank File for the new year. 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: Marvels X #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words and Art:  Alex Ross, Kim Kruegger, Well-Bee

What it is: David has a problem. He lives in a world of monsters that would love to devour him. He’s the last boy on Earth. The last human being on Earth. And these creatures that see him only as prey, they’re his former neighbors. He has one hope: to get to New York. To get to where Captain America and the rest of the heroes are. Alex Ross and Jim Krueger combine their abilities with artist Well-Bee to tell a very uncanny prequel to the legendary EARTH X trilogy.

Why we love it: For those not in the know, Earth X began in 1997 when Alex Ross to created a dystopian alternate future for Marvel where all ordinary humans had gained superpowers. The story examined how some of the most well-known Marvel characters would cope in a world where their superhero powers had become commonplace. It was a huge hit for Marvel and it looks like they tapping that well one more time.

The Mainstream One: Batman #86

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki

What it is: It’s a new day in Gotham City, but not the same old Batman. With Bane vanquished and one of his longtime allies gone, Batman has to start picking up the pieces and stepping up his game. Batman has a new plan for Gotham City, but he’s not the only one. Deathstroke has returned as well, under a mysterious new contract that could change everything. Beginning a whole new chapter in the life of the Dark Knight, the epic art team of Tony S. Daniel and Danny Miki are joined by new series writer James Tynion IV!

Why we like it: It’s a new day for Batman as James Tynion IV takes over writing duties from recently deposed Tom King. Tynion had a nice run on Detective Comics Rebirth, so we’re intretested to see how he handles the main Batman series. It’s refreshing to see a new writer on a title without the publisher rebooting it to a #1.

The Indie One: White Ash #1

Publisher: Scout Comics
Words: Charlie Stickney
Art: Conor Hughes

What it is: Welcome to White Ash, a small smudge of a town in western Pennsylvania, where mining is a generational calling and the secrets are buried deeper than the coal in the mountain. As Aleck Zwerg tries to escape that legacy and head off to college, he falls into the orbit of the enigmatic Lillian Alden. Together, they race down a dangerous path, leading Aleck to uncover a secret about his family that changes everything he knows about himself and White Ash. And now, if he leaves, there will be no one left to protect the people of the town from an ancient evil that has just returned.

Why we like it: Digging the artwork and rural mystic vibe to this book.

The #1 One: Miles Morales the End #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Saladin Ahmed
Art: Damion Scott

What it is: THE FINAL MILES MORALES STORY! Humanity makes its last stand in the only place strong enough to survive: BROOKLYN. Former Spider-Man, Miles Morales, leads the last bastion of civilization into the future! Penned by MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN author SALADIN AHMED!

Why we like it: Old Man Miles. It worked with Logan and Harley, so why not?

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Excalibur #5 (Dark Phoenix 40th variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Tini Howard
Marcus To
Cover Art: Philip Tan

What it is: THE SECRET OF ROGUE’S COFFIN! Locked in her mysterious coffin, Rogue dreams. Meanwhile, Apocalypse performs a ritual, and the throne of power changes hands. The reign of mutantkind reaches the Otherworld at last.

Why we like it: Feels like it has been ages since we saw non-painted artwork win the best cover. Congrats on unstatusing the quo Philip Tan.

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

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