Greetings comic book enthusiasts and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. What cranks here, stays here. A couple of store exclusive variants featuring the evil spidey-symbiote made a lot of noise last week. KRS Comics commissioned a badazz cover for Deadpool Bank in Black by Tyler Kirkham which sold out within hours. Frankie’s Comics announced a Venom variant by the hottest cover artist in the game, Gabrielle Dell’Otto, which sold out within hours without the artwork even being revealed. The variant market has seen some crazy movement in the last decade. There are duds which can be easily picked up at cover price, but the most desirable, high-ratio variants can climb into three figure territory just weeks after release. I have a feeling that these two variant covers have potential to fall into the latter category. The variant bubble will pop eventually, but there’s money to be made in the short term if you know how to place your bets.
It’s a good week for new books, with a lot of my personal favorites not even making the cut. Let’s take a look at what did make it.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: The Vision #11
Words: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Del Mundo
What it is: The Avengers draw a line in the sand. They tell Vision he is not to cross this line. If he does, they will destroy him. ‘Remember,’ they say. ‘You’re an Avenger. First. Always.’ ‘Stay where you are,’ they say. ‘Don’t cross the line,’ they say. Vision nods. He tells them he understands. Then Vision crosses the line. The end is coming for the most critically acclaimed book of the year, and no one is safe. Don’t miss the issue everyone will be talking about. Also, hail Hydra.
Why we love it: Vision still has my vote for best comic series of the year. Two issues to go before this tragic tale of synth-imitating-life reaches it’s inevitably tragic conclusion. I’ve abandoned all hope of a happy ending, so I’m strapping in and bracing for the G’s. This is going to be train wreck ugly and I can’t look away.
The Mainstream one: Trinity #1
Words and Art: Francis Manapul
What it is: ‘BETTER TOGETHER’ part 1! Together again for the first time! Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The core of the World’s Greatest Heroes, but with a new Man of Steel, the bonds these three share will be tested and redefined by super-star writer/artist Francis Manapul. In this premiere issue, see the trio travel from Metropolis to Gotham City and beyond to learn what forces launched their heroic careers. But how will this journey of discovery lead them to a new threat?
Why we like it: I’m a big fan of Manapul’s artwork but not all that familiar with his writing. I’ve read some of his work on ‘Tec, so I know at least he can write a good Batman. With DC’s big three under the same roof this is a can’t miss issue. Let’s just hope that it’s more entertaining than BvS.
The Indie One: Black Hammer #3
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormston
What it is: Long before Spiral City’s greatest heroes were written out of their universe, the Martian champion Barbalien was already stranded far from home. Disguised as churchgoing Mark Markz in the timeless farming community where the heroes find themselves trapped, Barbalien faces a terrifying personal decision, even as he relives his painful past!
Why we like it: Black Hammer is what would happen if the Avengers crash landed on the set of the television series The Prisoner. Jeff Lemire is a master at writing non-superhero, superhero books and Black Hammer is no exception. The scratchy artwork takes some getting used to, but the characters, drama and dialogue are instantly relateable.
The #1 One: Seven to Eternity #1
Words: Rick Remender
Art: Jermoe Opena
What it is: The God of Whispers has spread an omnipresent paranoia to every corner of the kingdom of Zhal; his spies hide in every hall spreading mistrust and fear. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, must choose between joining a hopeless band of magic users in their desperat e bid to free their world of the evil God, or accepting his promise to give Adam everything his heart desires. Writer Rick Remender reteams with collaborators Jermoe Opena and Matt Hollingsworth to take you on a hard road through the strange fantasy world of Zhal. All men have surrendered their freedom for fear. Now, one last free man must choose.
Why we like it: There’s a bunch of DC #1’s out this week, including the aforementioned Trinity and also New Teen Titan alums Cyborg and Raven. But I have a huge man-crush on Rick Remender and will always pick up the first issue of any series that he’s writing just to hear what one of the best voices in comics has to say. I can’t say that the description did much for me, but Remender and Opena are a creative dream team and Seven to Eternity will definitely be towards the top of Wednesday’s stack.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Harley Quinn #4 (Sienkiewicz variant)
Words: Amanda Connor
Art: Joseph Linser
Cover art: Bill Sienkiewicz
What it is: ‘108 MILLION WAYS TO DIE!’ Even though she hates to leave Coney Island as it rebuilds after the zombie apocalypse, Harley must set out on a journey that will take her around the world-and into the clutches of a bizarre robotic enemy! Too bad her Mecha-Harley suit didn’t fit in the overhead bin?
Why we like it: Harley and Ivy, comic book fans’ favorite BFFs with benefits.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!