Welcome to a star spangled episode of the Crank File. Happy 239th ‘Murica. Your wrinkles have started to show, but you are still as beautiful as ever. Marvel released a lot of news this week, and we’ve caught a glimpse of the new Marvel Universe when it relaunches in October. Some pleasant surprises (heavy doses of X-men and Wolverine, Spiderman 2099’s new costume) and disappointments (Silk turns heel, freshmen series like Ms. Marvel and Spider Gwen getting rebooted). Head over to the Bleeding Cool website and search “MarvelOctober”. Marvel is really shaking things up and while it seems a bit confusing, one thing is certain. All of these #1’s will be released with a hundred different variants.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Secret Wars #4 Marvel
Secret Wars was a huge gamble and so far Marvel’s event has paid out in spades. Secret Wars has been a summer blockbuster of ridiculous proportions, with compelling stories spinning out of this twisted shadow of the Marvel universe. I’m loving titles like Planet Hulk, WeirdWorld, Thors and Old Man Logan and happy that some of these limited series will be finding homes in the new Marvel universe. But while the tie-ins have been enormously entertaining, it will be in Ribic and Hickman’s main arc that the why’s and wherefore’s of BattleWorld’s existance will be revealed.
The Mainstream One: Darth Vader #7 Marvel
Episode 4.5 has been more fun than shooting womp rats in a T-16. While I haven’t been keeping up with Princess Leia, Darth Vader’s solo story has been a fascinating companion piece to New Hope and Empire, filling in a lot of missing back story and character development. Canonically strong with the force is this one. Read it you should.
The Indie One: Airboy #2 Image
It only took a glance at the cover and first page to sell me on Airboy #1. Dark, brutally honest and genuinely funny, Airboy is unlike anything else on the stands right now. This offbeat, meta-comic created by writer James Robinson and artist Greg Hinkle follows the misadventures of writer James Robinson and artist Greg Hinkle who have been hired to rework the Golden Age comic book hero, Airboy, for a new generation. Their search for inspiration quickly descends into night of booze, drugs and debauchery but just as it seems that the wheels have completely fallen off their creativity train, someone unexpected shows up to save them from imminent failure. I am very excited for issue 2 of this four part mini-series.
The #1 One: We Stand On Guard #1 Image
It’s Brian K. Vaughan. It’s a #1. It’s a 40-pager for $2.99. That’s two more reasons than you should need to pick this issue up on Wednesday.
The One I’m Buying For the Cover: Barb Wire #1 Dark Horse
Barb Wire kicked the competition square in the jimmies with a pair of stunning Adam Hughes covers and a rare variant that was only available through an amazing promotion. In case you haven’t already heard the story, Dark Horse used to own the rights to Star Wars comics. When Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise Marvel gained control of Star Wars comics. Marvel has been making a mint off of their Star Wars comic book series and Dark Horse was understandably not pleased. So they did the only sensible thing. They put out a bounty on Marvel. If you mailed Dark Horse the covers from 20x first print copies of Marvel’s Star Wars #1 before June 5, then you would receive an uncensored “Don’t @$!# with Barb Wire” “ultravariant”.
From a pure artwork standpoint though, my favorite cover out this week is the Cosmic Krishna variant cover for Grant Morrison’s 18 Days #1. You can check that one out here: http://comics.gocollect.com/priceguide/view/940761
Last week’s leftovers: Ultimate Spider-man Web Warriors 8 Marvel
Super low print run and featuring an overlooked Deadpool appearance in a kid-friendly title. With lots of online sales at x3 to x4 cover price, this one could be an easy flip if you can find any clean ones at your local shop.