The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 10, 2021

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: Low #26

Publisher: Image
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini

What it is: SERIES FINALE ‘LIGHT BRINGS LIGHT,’ Part Four SPECIAL OVERSIZED FINALE! Our final journey with Stel Caine and what remains of her family. The final fate of mankind decided. Will optimism win in the end?

Why we love it: Since I first picked issue #1 off the rack in 2014, Low spoke to me in ways few comic books had or have since. Our protagonist, Stel Caine, is an unwavering optimist whose uplifting monologues and speeches about the power hope have roused my spirits from some dark places. And yet Low broke my heart over and over, countless times. That bitter sweet always brought me back, and this week it will be for the last time. I will miss the world of Low and its characters beyond measure. I love this books so much and knowing that this is the final issue breaks my heart once again, and yet I can’t wait to be there when it all ends. 

The Mainstream One: Rorschach #5 (of 12)

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Jorge Fornes

What it is: Rorschach tried to kill the leading contender to unseat President Redford, a governor by the name of Turley who has a lot to say. Turley believes the Redford people were behind the hit, but the detective investigating the case isn’t so sure. To prove Turley wrong, he has to figure out how Rorschach and Laura got so close to actually doing the job, and the answer to that might be deep in the Turley campaign itself, including the governor’€™s past with a masked man called the Comedian.

Why we like it: Tom King is really on top of his game, not telling us exactly what is going on but methodically spinning the plot threads, slowly unraveling the mystery as the larger, underlying story is gradually revealed. This is how a story in the Watchmen Universe is done right. This Rorschach series is so much better than Doomsday Clock AND it’s coming out on time.

The Indie One: Last Witch #2

Publisher: Boom
Words: Conor McCreery
Art: V.V. Glass, Natalia Nesterenko

What it is: Captured by the witch known as The Cailleach, Saoirse discovers the true power of her mysterious mark! But even though she’s saved her brother Brahm, Saoirse must grapple with the truth about her family and their shocking connection to an enemy more dangerous than they ever imagined. Every issue of The Last Witch is oversized, featuring more than 30 story pages.

Why we like it: I was not expecting to like issue #1 as much as I did, considering Last Witch is a YA comic. It took a while for the sory to get going, but once I got beyond the veneer of its cute, cartoonish art-style, I discovered a familiar, yet engaging dark-fantasy with solid visuals and sinister undertones that I found thoroughly entertaining. 

The #1 One: Radiant Black #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Kyle Higgins
Art: Marcelo Costa

What it is: For fans of INVINCIBLE and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comes a brand-new ONGOING SERIES from acclaimed writer KYLE HIGGINS (Ultraman, C.O.W.L.) and artist MARCELO COSTA that reinvents superheroes for a new generation! Nathan Burnett has just turned thirty, and things aren’t great: He’s working (and failing) at two jobs, his credit card debt is piling up, and his only move… is moving back home with his parents. But when Nathan discovers and unlocks the ethereal, cosmic RADIANT, he’s given the power to radically change his fortunes! There’s just one problem: The powers don’t belong to him. And the COSMIC BEINGS who created them want them back… by any means necessary.

Why we like it: Kyle Higgins writing a superhero/Power Rangers story is a recipe for a good time.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Daredevil #27

Publisher: Marvel
Chip Zdarsky
Marco Checchetto, Mike Hawthorne
Cover Art: Marco Checchetto

What it is: ENSNARED IN THE WEB! • As New York begins to crack under the weight of Knull’s symbiotic assault, Matt Murdock has a crisis of faith in the most electrifying issue of Chip Zdarksy and Marco Checchetto’s groundbreaking DAREDEVIL run yet. • BUT THIS TIME, they’re joined by none other than MIKE HAWTHORNE, spearheading a brutal story that pits Daredevil against the god-king of the symbiotes himself – KNULL! Rated T+

Why we like it: With all the hype around Elektra picking up the mantle as DareDevil, not enough attention has been given to just how good Marco Checchetto’s artwork has been on his run with Chip Zdarsky. This cover doesn’t blow you away at first glance, but there’s something about the composition and Elektra’s form that just radiates elegance and power.

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

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