The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – March 31, 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: Silk #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Maureen Goo
Art: Takeshi Miyazawa

What it is: By day Cindy Moon is an intrepid reporter for the upstart new media empire Threats & Menaces under her old boss, J. Jonah Jameson. By night, she’s Silk, crime fighting super hero! But those worlds are about to collide, as an investigation into a series of gangland murders puts Silk and everyone she loves in danger! Who is this powerful new player in New York’s underworld, where did she come from, and what is she doing with that strange cat demon? It will take all of Cindy’s prowess as reporter and hero to find the answers…and stay alive! Written by Maurene Goo (I Believe in a Thing Called Love) and drawn by Takeshi Miyazawa (RUNAWAYS, GHOST SPIDER), Cindy is on assignment, and nothing can stop her! Rated T

Why we love it: My girl Cindy Moon is back and she brought some dope creative talent with her! Takeshi Miyazawa’s art style set the perfect tone for her run on Ms. Marvel and I think it will be a great fit for this series.  I just wish that this was an ongoing instead of a 5-issue mini, but I’ll take any Silk that I can get.

The Mainstream One: Other History of the DC Universe #3 (of 5)

Publisher: DC
Words: John Ridley
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi

What it is: 1983. Japan. Tatsu Yamashiro’€™s life has been taken from her. Her home, her children, her husband are all gone. With nothing left but a burning pain and the sword that stole her family from her, Tatsu begins a long journey of healing, self-discovery, agency, and rebirth. This is the story of Tatsu Yamashiro, the woman known to many as Katan€”a, a hero who became more than the world ever intended for her, ultimately making a family of like-minded Outsiders who rally together for the common good amidst xenophobia and oppression. The long-awaited miniseries written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, Let It Fall) and beautifully illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi continues to look at the mythology of the DC Universe as seen through the prism of DC Super Heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups.

Why we like it: One of the few bright points of the Suicide Squad movie was Karen Fukuhara’s Katana. Against my expectations, Katana was not just the token Asian martial arts master but was presented as a complex and highly sympathetic character who, in my opinion, deserved a more prominent role. Katana will not appear in Suicide Squad 2, which is a relief. With so many characters and big name actors already vying for screen time, it would have been disappointing if she had been brought back just to play a bit role. Katana should have a higher profile in the DC universe and I’m super stoked that she gets her own issue in the excellent Other History of the DC Universe anthology.

The Indie One: Shadecraft #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Joe Henderson
Art: Lee Bargett

What it is: Zadie Lu is afraid of her own shadow. She’s a teenager, so she REALLY should have grown out of it by now, right? But something weird is happening in her small town. Zadie could swear the shadows are coming to life. Watching her. Trying to KILL her. But how do you fight something you can’t even touch? And how does all of this tie into her FAMILY, of all things? From the creative team that brought you the Eisner-nominated SKYWARD, writer JOE HENDERSON (showrunner of Netflix’s Lucifer) and artist LEE GARBETT (Captain Marvel). Join Zadie Lu as she ventures into the shadows to face her fears and discovers a legacy she never knew she had.

Why we like it: The creators of the 2019 Eisner nominated Best New Series, Skyward are back with a brand new Image #1. Fans of Skyward will definitely be wanting to check out Shadecraft.

The #1 One: Beta Ray Bill #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: FROM THE PAGES OF DONNY CATES’ THOR AND SPINNING OUT OF THE EVENTS OF KING IN BLACK! The second-most famous wielder of Mjolnir. The right-hand man to the god of Thunder. And now, a warrior without his best weapon. Beta Ray Bill is tired of playing second fiddle to Thor – and with Bill’s famous hammer, Stormbreaker, recently destroyed at the new All-Father’s hands, tensions are higher than ever. The Korbinite must strike out in search of a new weapon…and a new destiny. Assuming he can first defeat a Knullified Fin Fang Foom! Writer/artist Daniel Warren Johnson (Extremity, Murder Falcon) and colorist Mike Spicer take Beta Ray Bill on a journey beyond the shadow of a god! Plus: This oversize first issue contains an exclusive conversation between Johnson and Beta Ray Bill’s creator, the legendary Walter Simonson! Rated T+

Why we like it: It’s DWJ on BRB. I’ll read anything that Darren Warren Johnson is working on. His artwork feels huge and bombastic, and his fight scenes explode with violent, kinetic energy. As a writer, he is as adept at crafting intense action sequences as he is framing the quiet, reflective character moments that allow us to peak into our protagonists’ heads.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Spawn #316

Publisher: Image
Words:
Todd Mcfarlane
Art:
Carlo Barberi
Cover Art: Bjorn Barends

What it is: ‘CHAIN GANG,’ Part Three-A NEW TEAM… A NEW MISSION, THE CHAIN GANG! * She-Spawn. * Gunslinger Spawn. * Medieval Spawn. * The Reaper.

Why we like it: Spawn 316 says this cover just whupped your ass!

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

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