The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 4, 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: Crossover #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: The creative powerhouses behind the bestselling, critically acclaimed GOD COUNTRY, Thanos Wins, and REDNECK returns for the biggest launch of the year. Imagine everything you thought was fantasy…was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead… and anything is possible…

Why we love it: When these two creators teamed up in 2017, they dropped the rural, sci-fi epic God Country, which helped propel their careers into stardom and beyond. The band is back together with one of the most highly anticipated new Image series of 2020. The print run for issue #1 is going to be massive so don’t expect this to be a money-maker book, but be prepared for an awesome read.

The Mainstream One: Thor #9

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Nic Klein

What it is: THE RETURN OF DONALD BLAKE! The ‘Prey’ arc starts here! Once upon a time, a mortal man bore within him the spirit of a god. With a crack of his cane upon the ground, the Mighty Thor would appear! But it’s been years since the King of Asgard required his human ward. Where has the good doctor been all this time – and what does his reappearance mean for the God of Thunder? Donny Cates and Nic Klein journey into a mystery left unsolved since 1962!

Why we like it: In a rare occurrence, Donny Cates takes two spots on the list. The last couple of issues of Thor were a much-needed breather, an amusing, light-hearted romp after an insane opening arc that was all death and destruction. The Black Winter gave us a glimpse of the horrors awaiting Thor in his future, and I get the feeling that we’re in for a heck of a ride from here on out.

The Indie One: Spy Island #3 (of 4)

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Chelsea Caine
Art: Elise McCall

What it is: Recent mermaid attacks have everyone on edge. Beaches are closed. Super spy Nora Freud must team up with her friends in order to expose the sinister underbelly of a vast marine cryptozoology conspiracy. In local news, The Mermaid Hut, down by the marina, is pleased to announce a 10% sale on mermaid-tooth necklaces. While supplies last.

Why we like it:  The writing is great, the panel layouts are innovative, and the retro style pays homage to the various genres that dominated the 70’s and 80’s. Spy Island is consistently funny, and has been my surprise favorite read of 2020.

The #1 One: Sweet Tooth the Return #1

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Jeff Lemire

What it is: Once upon a time there was a little boy named Gus. He had antlers and lived with his father in a little cabin in the woods. Then his father died, and the big man with cold eyes took Gus away. Gus went on many great adventures, found friends, love, happiness, family, and acceptance. Now, years later it begins again. A young boy with antlers and deer-like feature wakes in a bizarre and completely foreign world where the last humans struggle to survive. They tell the boy he is special, he is chosen, and that he alone can lead them back to a world dominated by the oppressive Hybrids. Sweet Tooth: The Return is no re-hash of the original series, but rather a bold re-imagining of the Sweet Tooth mythology; taking elements of the original series and remixing them into something familiar, but totally new. A divided world. A planet long ago past the point of devastation. And at the center of it all, a child who didn’t ask to be born into any of this, but who has no choice but to try and forge some life for himself. His visions and dreams may not be real at all they may just be fiction. But they are hope. And sometimes hope is enough. Acclaimed writer/artist Jeff Lemire reunites with colorist Jose Villarubia to bring you the next chapter in the saga of DC’™s acclaimed series Sweet Tooth!

Why we like it: I am a big fan of Jeff Lemire and Sweet Tooth is among his best works. A rural, post-apocalyptic fairy tale, Sweet Tooth can be summarized as Mad Max meets Bambi. Logically it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does and it does so brilliantly.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: DCeased Dead Planet #5 (of 7)

Publisher: DC
Tom Taylor
Trevor Hairsine
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: With most of the Justice League off Earth, John Constantine and Batman lead a covert team on a mission so insane it could have only been hatched by the man they call Hellblazer! But time is running out to save the infected on Earth €”because a fate worse than death is coming!

Why we like it: This zombie Swamp Thing is so good. I know a lot of people have been avoiding Mattina covers since he got caught blatantly ripping off other artists. It’s such a shame because he is one of the most talented cover artists in the industry and clearly doesn’t need to steal to be good. 


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

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