The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – May 19, 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. This Wednesday is extra special because it is also happens to be my lovely wife’s birthday. Happy birthday Christine, I love you 3000!

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Immortal Hulk Time of Monsters #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Al Ewing, Alex Paknadel
Art: Juan Ferreyra

What it is: AL EWING AND ALEX PAKNADEL INTRODUCE THE ORIGINAL HULK! • Ten thousand years ago, something green and glowing comes to poison the ancient ground of the Fertile Crescent – and the hearts of its people. • One boy is left to bear the consequences – and, for the first time…to open THE GREEN DOOR. • Plus: Bruce Banner faces a challenge unlike any he’s seen before as writer David Vaughan makes his Marvel debut! Rated T+

Why we love it: Immortal Hulk will be remembered as one of the all-time great Hulk stories, and this horrifying take on the Green Goliath has cemented its spot in Marvel history. Al Ewing hinted that his run on Immortal will be coming to an end in the near future, and I will happily take as many stories I can from beyond the Green Door before it closes for good.

The Mainstream One: Batman Fornite Zero #3

Publisher: DC
Words: Christos Gage
Art: Christian Duce

What it is: Batman vs Snake Eyes. That’s it. That’s the solicit. You heard us, BATMAN VERSUS SNAKE EYES! Yes, THAT Snake Eyes! Worlds collide on the Island as G.I. Joe’s unstoppable ninja clashes with the Dark Knight! Can either of them win, when neither can escape? Will Batman remember he’s got to find a way back to Catwoman, all while trying to get back to Gotham City? And what the heck is Harley Quinn doing here?! Oh, and in case we forgot to mention it: Batman. Fighting. Snake Eyes. Do not miss it!

Why we like it: I wrote off this crossover as a lame marketing gimmick aimed at that spot on the venn diagram where comic book nerds and video game nerds overlap. I don’t play myself and I assumed the initial sellout of issue #1 was based off Fortnite players wanting the exclusive in-game Batman skin. But you know what, this comic is actually pretty damn fun. The way they worked Fortnite’s repetitive gameplay mechanics into the story is very smart and the writing is just great overall. And now they’re throwing Snake Eyes into the mix. Imma kick back and enjoy this ride.

The Indie One: Rain Like Hammers #5 (of 5)

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Brandon Graham

What it is: MINISERIES FINALE! On the desert world of Crown Majesty, space butler Brik Blok, Little Monster, and Eugene fend off desert marauders and witness a trial for the fate of known space. Who will be the winner? That’s for the ancient demon-king-judge to decide. JOIN US FOR: ONLY ANCIENT DEMON-KING-JUDGE CAN JUDGE ME!

Why we like it: This book is classic Brandon Graham in all the best ways. Sad to see it go, but love to watch it leave.

The #1 One: Shang-Chi #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Gene Luen Yang
Art: Dike Ruan

What it is: SHANG-CHI VS. THE MARVEL UNIVERSE! Shang-Chi and his family are back! And this time, they’re colliding head-to-head with the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes! Shang-Chi has finally taken his place as the leader of the Five Weapons Society. But using an evil secret organization as a force for good won’t be easy. And it’s about to get a lot harder when Shang-Chi’s fellow super heroes, like the Amazing Spider-Man, start to see him as the bad guy! Gene Luen Yang and Dike Ruan return to bring you the next chapter of this Marvel legend! Rated T+

Why we like it: With an upcoming movie in the works, it is only natural that Marvel releases a new ongoing series for the titular Master of Kung Fu and throws some top notch talent behind it. Chop it up and chop em down!

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: The Mighty Valkyries #2 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel
Jason Aaron
Mattia De Iulis
Cover Art: Peach Momoko

What it is: THE MYSTERY OF THE NEWEST VALKYRIE UNFOLDS! The biggest new addition to the Marvel Universe finally fulfills a promise years in the making! On the planet of Perdita lives an ancient power – imprisoned. Leashed. Valkyrie goes to free it – and herself. And she must work quickly, for back on Midgard, Jane Foster has fallen into the sights of Kraven the Hunter! The killer stalks a beast from another plane, one whom Loki claims threatens the lives of every mortal. But there is more to this creature than meets the eye. Can the gaze of a Valkyrie reveal the secrets behind the wolf and his unearthly origin? Rated T+

Why we like it: I’m not the biggest Momoko fan, but the bold colors in this piece are really doing it for me.

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

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