Welcome back comic fans. Good to have you back for another episode of the Crank File. I hate this time of year. There’s something soul crushing about getting out of the office at 5 pm and not seeing daylight. Lousy farmers. It’s looking like another slow week for new comics but don’t you fret, I’m here to make sure that you get your weekly fix.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: Paper Girls #2 Image
Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Art: Cliff Chiang
The hottest new ongoing series of the year continues, as the Paper Girls witness the impossible.
I was completely hooked by what I saw in issue #1. Billed as “War of the Worlds” meets “Stand by Me”, I loved Paper Girl’s 80’s realism, Chiang’s clean, expressive line work and Brian’s masterfully balanced dialogue. Paper Girls delivers issue #2 on Wednesday, make sure to sign up for your subscription. I have the feeling that you won’t want to miss out on this one.
The Mainstream One: Uncanny X-Men #600 Marvel
Writer: Brian Bendis
Art: Stuart Immonen, Mahmud Asrar, Kris Anka, Frazer Irving
The final explosive issue in Brian Michael Bendis’ epic X-Men saga! Scott Summers – savior or destroyer? Questions will be answered! The Jean Grey School, the New Xavier School – it’s all going to change. The X-Men are at a crossroads. And not everyone will make it through in one piece.
A milestone issue for my favorite Marvel team, Uncanny X-Men #600 featuring artwork and a bunch of variant covers from some of the best X-lumni to work on the title. Did you know that the X-Men didn’t start using “Uncanny” in their title until issue #114? Throughout issues #94-#111 they were the “All-New, All -Different X-Men”, and for issues #112-#113 they were the “Now on Sale Monthly! X-Men”.
The Indie One: Niobe She Is Life #1 Stranger Comics
Writer: Sebastian A Jones
Art: Ashley A. Woods
A coming of age tale of love, betrayal, and ultimate sacrifice. Niobe Ayutami is an orphaned wild elf teenager and also the would-be savior of the vast and volatile fantasy world of Asunda. She is running from a past where the Devil himself would see her damned… toward an epic future that patiently waits for her to bind nations against the hordes of hell.
Co-written by Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg, there’s already quite a bit of buzz around this book. Some of the best new comics out there right now are coming from small indie publisher and this one is already sold out at the distributor level.
The #1 One: Monstress #1 Image
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Art: Sana Takeda
Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.
The preview was intriguing and I am really enjoying Takeda’s lavish artwork.I always support Asian creators but Monstress makes it easy with sixty pages of story with no ads for only $4.99.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Vision #1 Marvel
Writer: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
The Vision wants to be human, and what’s more human than family? He goes to the laboratory where he was created, where Ultron molded him into a weapon, where he first rebelled against his given destiny, where he first imagined that he could be more, that he could be good, that he could be a man, a normal, ordinary man. And he builds them. A wife, Virginia. Two teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition or perhaps obsession: the unrelenting need to be ordinary. Behold The Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong?
The plotline sounds absolutely ridiculous but I’m digging Del Rey’s Wiz Khalifa cover. Has to be my favorite hip-hop variant so far.
The Speculation One: Howard the Duck #1 Marvel
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Joe Quinones
First spectacular issue! A great jumping on point! Sure to go up in value! Don’t miss out on the series everyone is calling ‘Howard the Duck’! The last page will shock you! Nothing will EVER be the same again!
All of the above is true, and I’ll tell you why in one word: Gwenpool. Copies of Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #2 Gwen-pool variant are currently selling steadily for $20 based on a cover appearance alone. She’s getting her own backup story in Howard the Duck #1. Grab the Ron Lim variant, then sit back and watch the money pile up.