The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 5, 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: Immortal Hulk Great Power #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom Taylor
Art: Jorge Molina

What it is: THE HULK FINDS A NEW HOST: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! When Bruce Banner wakes up in the middle of the night without the Hulk, he thinks he’s finally free. But the Hulk is immortal – and the night’s not over yet. If you thought he was dangerous in the body of mild-mannered Bruce Banner, wait till you see him now. Peter Parker is a man with the proportional strength and agility of a spider, capable of lifting trains on his bad days. And he’s about to get a big, green power-up – with a temper to match.

Why we love it: As if the Immortal Hulk’s power set wasn’t confusing enough, apparently now he can reincarnate itself into other people. The premise is dumb enough to be fun and just crazy enough to work. This book is just a roll of the dice for me, but it takes the top spot on a slow week.

The Mainstream One: Ant-Man #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Zeb Wells
Art: Dylan Burnett

What it is: Scott Lang is back and doing better than ever! Er, at least according to him, but his daughter, Stinger, and the anthill he’s living in say otherwise. Desperate to raise his daughter’s opinion of him, Scott takes a job from local beekeepers only to uncover a global conspiracy that could topple the world order! No time to call the Avengers, this sounds like a job for – ANT-MAN?! Join the explosive creative team of Zeb Wells (NOVA) and Dylan Burnett

Why we like it: During the opening sequence of Avengers End Game, we got a scene of Clint Barton coaching his daughter in the way of the bow, foreshadowing Kate taking up the Hawkeye mantle on the MCU. If Marvel ever decides that a Young Avengers movie would do well at the box office, I could likewise envision Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie getting a her hands on some Pimm technology and bringing Stinger to the screen.  So I’m watching the character’s progression with great interest. Cassie’s first appearance as Stinger was in 2016’s Astonishing Ant-Man #6 and can probably still be found in dollar bins everywhere.

The Indie One: Aggretsuko #1

Publisher: Oni Press
Words: Daniel Barnes
Art: D.J. Kirkland

What it is: Sanrio and Oni Press join forces to bring Aggretsuko to comics for the first time! Aggretsuko, the hit Netflix show in production for season three, stars Retsuko the Red Panda, a young office worker stuck in a thankless job, whose only stress release is singing heavy metal at the local karaoke joint. With the help of her friends, can she ever find the job satisfaction she craves – – not to mention adventure, the approval of her mother, and even… love?! These comics explore all these issues and more, brought to life by today’s top talent!

Why we like it: This Netflix show about an adorable Red Panda who by day is a docile office drone but transforms into a heavy metal singing beast by night, totally caught me by surprise with it’s hilarious characters, witty dialogue and charming art style. Loved the show, hope I love the comic too.

The #1 One: Man Who Effed Up Time #1

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Jon Layman
Art: Karl Mostert

What it is: Sean Bennett is just your everyday, ordinary lab worker in a high-tech lab with a proto-type time machine. And, yeah, he’s got the same temptations any of us would have about going back in time, just a bit, to correct mistakes of the past and right old wrongs. So, when he meets a version of himself from the future who encourages him to do just that, Sean takes the temporal plunge. Only…can you guess what happens next? Did you read the book title? Yup. All of TIME is f#%&ed up now, and it’s up to Sean to cor-rect it-or else! Presenting a time-twisted sci-fi action-comedy, a butterfly effect noir, by multiple Eis-ner-winning writer John Layman (Chew, ELEANOR & THE EGRET) and talented new-comer Karl Mostert. Order it today…before time runs out!

Why we like it: Anything that John Layman writes is going to get a look from me because he is capable of creating truly unique plots. I’m usually a bit reserved about time-travel books, as the theme’s pretty well-worn ground and writers usually revert to using tropes we’ve seen over and over since the 1980’s, but I trust Layman to turn out something fresh.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: X-Men Fantastic Four #1 (of 4)

Publisher: Marvel
Chip Zdarsky
Art: Terry Dodson

Cover Art: Mark Brooks

What it is: KRAKOA. Every mutant on Earth lives there … except for one. But now it’s time for FRANKLIN RICHARDS to come home. It’s the X-MEN VS. the FANTASTIC FOUR and nothing will ever be the same.

Why we like it: At some point the secondary market is going to recognize Mark Brooks as one of the top talents working in the industry today. Until then, I’m picking up as many of his covers at cover price while I still can.

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

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