The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 19, 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: Wolverine #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ben Percy
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic, Adam Kubert

What it is: THE BEST IS BACK! Wolverine been through a lot. He’s been a loner. He’s been a killer. He’s been a hero. He’s been an Avenger. He’s been to hell and back. Now, as the nation of Krakoa brings together all Mutantkind, he can finally be… happy? With his family all together and safe, Wolverine has everything he ever wanted… and everything to lose. Writer Benjamin Percy (X-FORCE, WOLVERINE: THE LONG NIGHT) and legendary artist Adam Kubert (X-MEN, AVENGERS) bring the best there is to his new home! PLUS: The return of OMEGA RED!

Why we love it: Man, when was the last time we had a Wolverine #1 that featured Logan? It feels like forever. I’m all over this issue for the following reasons: it ties in directly to Jon Hickman’s X-Men series which has been fantastic so far, it brings back Omega Red as Wolvie’s big bad, and that Jae-Hyung Lee cover is total badass.

The Mainstream One: Batman #89

Publisher: DC
Words: James Tynion IV
Art:  Guillem March

What it is: Batman must stop Deathstroke from killing the mayor of Gotham City! But to do so he has to figure out who ordered the hit in the first place. If his four main suspects aren’t ’fessing up to the crime, then is there someone even more sinister lurking in the shadows waiting to deliver the coup de grâce? Whoever it is, one victim will fall under their attack!

Why we like it: DC has been hyping this new Joker sidekick, Punchline, who is rumored to make her first appearance in this issue. Secondary market demand for this book has been on a steady rise, but tread carefully before investing heavily into the Punchline craze. To me, the character feels a bit like a watered-down Harley Quinn, and manufactured hype to promote new characters rarely leads to sustained popularity.

The Indie One: Bang! #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Matt Kindt
Art: Wilfredo Torres

What it is: Matt Kindt! Wilfredo Torres! A best-of-the-best secret agent with memories he couldn’t possibly possess, a mystery writer in her 60s who spends her retirement solving crimes, a man of action with mysterious drugs that keep him ahead of a constant string of targeted disasters, a seemingly omnipotent terrorist organization that might be behind it all . . . And they’re all connected to one man: a science-fiction author with more information than seems possible, whose books may hold the key to either saving reality or destroying it. * A mind-bending story that ties in with past Kindt works (Revolver). Action, mystery, and altered reality!

Why we like it: Shout out to Great Stories owner Chris Mills for hooking us up with an ashcan for this new Matt Kindt series. We love Matt Kindt’s uniquely weird and offbeat sci-fi comics, and Bang! looks like it’s going to be another bizarro hit.

The #1 One: On the Stump #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Chuck Brown
Art: 

What it is: SERIES PREMIERE! Each issue of arc one features a connecting variant cover by SANFORD GREENE! The campaign trail is paved with blood and broken bones. History diverged in 1868 when a pivotal presidential debate turned violent. Today, elections are decided by highly publicized hand-to-hand combat in arenas called Stumps. Unfortunately, the violence doesn’t end in the ring, and powerful people can still get away with murder. Senator Jack Hammer and FBI Agent Anna Bell Lister are teaming up to bring it all down. Eisner-nominated writer CHUCK BROWN (BITTER ROOT) joins forces with Italian artist PRENZY (#Like4Like) and letterer CLAYTON COWLES to create a hyper-violent tale full of countless injustices-and people who have to fight for their place in it.

Why we like it: Is it crazy that I feel like this would be way more fair than our current presidential election system?

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: DCeased Unkillabled #1 (of 3)

Publisher: DC
Words:
Tom Taylor
Art:
Karl Mostert
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: The blockbuster DC series returns to answer this question: What did the villains do when the heroes failed and the world ended? Spinning out of the dramatic events of 2019’s smash hit- writer Tom Taylor returns to this dark world with a street-level tale of death- heroism and redemption. Led by Red Hood and Deathstroke- DC’s hardest villains and antiheroes fight with no mercy to save the only commodity left on a dying planet of the undead-life!

Why we like it: Haven’t heard any reports of Mattina copying other artists’ work and he is slowly getting back into our good graces. This is an awesome cover and I’m looking forward to the follow up to the surprisingly good DCeased mini-series.

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

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