The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – January 29, 2020

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: Sex Criminals #26

Publisher: Image
Words: Matt Fraction
Art: Chip Zdarsky

What it is: NEW STORY ARC! * THE SERIES? It’s back. * JON AND SUZE? Also back. * THE BANK? MUST BE TAKEN DOWN. * THIS ARC? THE LAST. Gasp! * BULLET LISTS? How do you turn them off in Microsoft Word The highly anticipated return of the #1 New York Times bestselling humor/romance series SEX CRIMINALS kicks off its final story arc. Praised for its emotionally compelling characters, taut storytelling, and comedic genius, Time Magazine called it ‘the best comic of the year’ upon launch. Since its debut, SEX CRIMINALS has garnered coverage from such mainstream media outlets as Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, NPR, and The Washington Post and won multiple awards. SEX CRIMINALS follows the adventures of Suzie and Jon-a couple who discover they can stop time when they have sex. This final chapter sees the reunion of writer MATT FRACTION (NOVEMBER, Hawkeye) and CHIP ZDARSKY (THE WHITE TREES, Daredevil).

Why we love it: This comedic-thriller has been one of the best indie titles published in the last decade and has received nearly universal acclaim and coverage from mainstream media outlets. But fame is a double-edged blade, and when the series’ creators were recruited for high-profile gigs, like writing Amazing Spider-man, well you can’t blame them for letting their pet-project go by the wayside. So many delays later, it looks like Sex Criminals is finally coming back for one last ride. Can’t wait to see how they finish. 

The Mainstream One: Spider-verse #4

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Taran Killam
Art: Juan Gedeon

What it is: It’s high-noon, the town is in trouble, Sherrif Stacy is down for the count and the Sinister Sextet is threatening the peace. Who could possibly stop them?•  Why, Webslinger, of course.•  Join Taran Killam (star of ABC’s Single Parents, formerly of Saturday Night Live) for his Marvel Comics debut alongside Juan Gedeon (VENOM) bringing you a horse that can run up the side of buildings.

Why we like it: Last year’s Spider-geddon introduced us to one of the more bizarre Spidey-spinoffs (as if a man with the powers of a spider weren’t odd enough), the Web-Slinger and his Spider-horse. I’m not kidding, he’s a Spider-man cowboy who rides a Spider-horse. Apparently the idea was good enough to warrant seconds. It’s  sounds so ludicris that I just have to look.

The Indie One: Monstress #25

Publisher: Image
Words: Marjorie M. Liu
Art: Sana Takeda

What it is: NEW STORY ARC The long-dreaded war between the Federation and Arcanics is about to explode as secret peace negotiations are threatened and the Old Gods conspire. Now, Maika must choose her next steps: will she help her friends, or strike out on her own?

Why we like it: Another of my favorite indie title returns from break, as Monstress enters it’s next phase with the world on the brink of war between the Federation and Arcanics. This series continues to impress with intriguing characters and gorgeous art, but more importantly it continues to come out on a regular schedule. 

The #1 One: Protector #1

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Simon Roy, Daniel M. Bensen, Artyom Trakhanov, Jason Wordie, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! From SIMON ROY (Prophet), Sideways Award-winning author DANIEL M. BENSEN (Junction), ARTYOM TRAKHANOV (UNDERTOW), JASON WORDIE (GOD COUNTRY), and HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU (Red Sonja) comes a sci-fi adventure equal parts Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max, and The Expanse. Of all the tribes that dwell in the hot ruins of far-future North America, the Hudsoni reign supreme, but even they fear and obey the godlike Devas. When the Devas warn of an old-world demon in the conquered city of Shikka-Go, Hudsoni war chief First Knife decides to deal with the threat personally.

Why we like it: Anytime one of the creators of Prophet puts out new material, I just have to check it out. Simon Roy’s techno-psychadelic art perfectly rendered the futuristic world of John Prophet in all of it’s insane glory, and I can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us here. Probably more insanity.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Transformers #16

Publisher: IDW
Anna Malkova
Brian Ruckley
Cover Art: Corin Howell

What it is: Riots rock Cybertron as the delicate balance of peace is fully disrupted. Amidst the anti-Autobot, anti-Decepticon, and anti-Rise actions, can Orion Pax, Chromia, and a Decepticon finally link the deaths of Brainstorm and Rubble to a larger conspiracy?

Why we like it: Love the 16-bit videogame vibe.

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

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