Welcome back comic book fans to The Crank File issue #9. The Crank File is an open forum where I will offer speculations, reviews and ravings on all things comics.
It wasn’t the 1990’s last week, but it sure felt like it. We saw a revival of Turtlemania and experienced full blown speculation insanity. People went ballistic over the ending of IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #44. The death of Donnie was completely unhyped and came as a surprise to everyone. Most store owners were unprepared to handle the sudden surge in demand for the book, causing it to absolutely blow up on the secondary market. Both regular covers are already trading around $30 each and the 1:10 variant has cracked three figures. This was a $4 book on the shelf last week. With all the excitement surrounding TMNT#44’s ascent into the collectible stratosphere, it’s staggering to think that we could see another book repeat the feat this week. Booyakasha.
Here’s what I’m reading this week.
The Top of the Pile: Autumnlands Tooth & Claw #5 Image
If you read my past reviews, you’ll find out rather quickly that I absolutely adore the Autumnlands series. The first four issues of this tale of anthropomorphic wizards and warriors have delivered gorgeous artwork and masterfully balanced story telling. How will our band of heroes survive the oncoming assault by the Buffalo warriors? Can the Great Champion actually restore magic to their world? The action has slowed down a bit in the last two issues, but it seems as though the pieces are slowly moving into place. I’m hoping that Busiek and Dewey are ready to set it off in issue 5.
The Mainstream One: Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 DC Comics
Grant Morrison’s Multiversity series has been a bizarre journey through a vast interconnected DC Universe that is as brilliant as it is ambitious. It has been a fascinating vivisection of comic books, examining the medium as a reflection of our current social condition. In the second to last issue, Ultra Comics breaks through the metaphysical fourth wall of the comic book page and lands in our hands. The “Ultra Comics #1” comic has made several notable appearances in other Multiversity stories, so I’m totally intrigued to see what’s inside. Morrison himself called Multiversity: Ultra Comics “a haunted comic book, actually, it’s the most frightening thing anyone will ever read. It’s actually haunted—if you read this thing, you’ll become possessed.” Bring it on you madman.
The Indie One: Squarriors #2 Devil’s Due
Another anthropomorphic adventure making the list this week. Although the story line feels a bit more traditional than Autumnlands, it’s the artwork that really makes Squarriors stand out. The pages are beautifully painted with realistic lighting and character designs, creating a dramatic edge that breathes life into the story. If you can stomach the 3-month release schedule then you should definitely check this title out. Originally solicited as a 4 part mini-series, Squarriors has already been green lit for a second series.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Sirens #1 NYCC exclusive variant Boom!
Adam Hughes’ is considered by many to be the best in the business. Although he can be criticized for over-sexualizing his female subjects, there’s no denying the talent. His covers are stunning and his style instantly recognizable. This Siren’s #1 cover is no exception. Previously only available at the New York Comic Con, I’m picking up this beauty if it is available.
The Speculation One: Darth Vader #3 Marvel
Introducing a new character to the Star Wars universe, Darth Vader #3 has already sold out ahead of release and could be hard to find on shelves Wednesday. If Aphra becomes a major character in the Star Wars universe, or if her character makes it into the movies, then this could be a key book. Pick up extra copies of this one wherever you can find them.
Last Week’s Leftovers: Silk #2 Marvel
This would have been TMNT #44 if I thought that there was any possibility that copies are still sitting on shelves anywhere. I picked this issue up last week for the ASM#301 Phantom variant cover swipe, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it. With the huge amount of love Spider-Gwen has been receiving, I think this book has been getting overlooked and is actually the stronger of the the two new Spider-lady titles. Robbie Thompson’s writing is both humorous and heartfelt and I find Stacy Lee’s artwork positively charming. Regular covers of issue #2 should still be readily available. Pick one up and prepare to be bitten.