The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 9, 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: Venom #31

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Luke Ross, Geoff Shaw

What it is: KING IN BLACK ARRIVES! • What happens to Eddie Brock when he finally comes face to face with the lord of the abyss, the KING IN BLACK: KNULL?

Why we love it: Marvel’s massive King in Black event has begun and Venom will be the lynchpin spinning out the action. Donny Cates has been building to this for 30 issues and you just know that the symbiote is about to hit the fan.

The Mainstream One: Avengers #39

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Dale Keown

What it is: In the harsh, primordial world of One Million B.C.E., early humans who are different are left in the Burnt Place to die. But one young girl whose only crime was being born with red hair finds something else entirely in the place of bones and ash—something that will change human history forever.

Why we like it: Jason Aaron has been developing the Million B.C.E. Avengers throughout his run and it looks like he has plans for rewriting some X-Men continuity. This will issue will set the stage for the Enter the Phoenix arc which gives us a new take on the origins of one of the most powerful cosmic beings in the Marvel Universe, the Phoenix Force.

The Indie One: Crossover #2

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: ‘KIDS LOVE CHAINS,’ Part Two-The event continues to unravel as Ellie, Otto, and Ava rise from the ashes of their comic shop to begin their four-color odyssey to find the truth beyond the dome. Meanwhile: super-prisons! Magic guns! Mysterious government agents! And other stuff, too!

Why we like it: Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw are at it again, making the list twice in one week. I was immediately hooked by the story in issue #1, a word where comic book universes had literally crossed over into reality, leading to all sorts of death and destruction. It was such a crazy concept and so well executed, with a last page that had me dying for more. It seems as though the cameos will keep coming, as the title to issue #2 “Kids Love Chains” could be teasing one of my favorite caped crime fighters, Spawn.

The #1 One: Locke & Key Sandman Hell & Gone #0

Publisher: IDW
Words: Joe Hill
Art: Gabrielle Rodriguez

What it is: If you think you can unlock the gates of Hell and just invite yourself in, you must be Dreaming! The Sandman Universe crossover begins here, with this specially priced re-introduction of the storylines and characters who populate next month’s landmark event series. First, in the Eisner-winning Locke & Key tale, ‘Open the Moon,’ meet Chamberlin Locke, patriarch of the Locke family, whose Moon Key began to unlock the events of this event series. Next, journey with the Lord of Dreams to Lucifer’s domain in the chapter of Sandman’s epic ‘Season of Mists’ storyline that sees the Key to Hell change hands in a most momentous way.

Why we like it: When I read that Locke and Key was crossing over with Sandman, I was super excited but was skeptical about how they would be able to tie these two worlds together. Having the Key to Hell that was at the center of Sandman volume 2 Seasons of Mist arc bridge the gap to the Locke and Key universe makes so much sense that it kills me that I didn’t think of it before.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Superman Endless Winter Special #1

Publisher: DC
Ron Marz, Andy Lanning
Phil Hester, Ande Parks
Cover Art: Rafael Grassetti

What it is: Endless Winter chapter three! Superman finds himself at the center of an epic battle as the Frost King’s hordes of ice monsters come to life. Is this frozen onslaught too much for the Man of Steel, or can he stop it before it rampages across the chilling wasteland the world is becoming and reaches civilization? The answer to this question comes from an unlikely source close to Clark Kent’s earthly roots!

Why we like it: An awesome cover from a artist better known for his work in video games. Rafael Grassetti was Senior Character Designer on Bioware titles like Dragon Age and Mass Effect and Principal Artist for the God of War series. Great textures and an insane level of detail on Superman. I sure hope we see more comic book covers from this dude.

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

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