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.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:
The Top of the Pile: House of X #1
Words: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Pepe Larraz
What it is: FACE THE FUTURE! Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (SECRET WARS, AVENGERS, FANTASTIC FOUR) takes the reins of the X-Men universe! Since the release of Uncanny X-Men #1, there have been four seminal moments in the history of the X-Men. Giant-Sized X-Men. X-Men. Age of Apocalypse. New X-Men. Four iconic series that introduced a new era for Marvel’s mutants and revolutionized the X-Men. In House of X, Charles Xavier reveals his master plan for mutantkind…one that will bring mutants out of the shadow of mankind and into the light once more.
Why we love it: As one era of the X-Men closes, a new one dawns with the highly anticipated return of writer John Hickman who has been tasked with revitalizing the flagship X-team in preparation for their inevitable introduction to the MCU. Early reviews for House of X have been overwhelmingly positive, so do not miss out on the next evolution of the strangest super-heroes of all!
The Mainstream One: Guardians of the Galaxy #7
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw
What it is: ‘FAITHLESS’, Part 1: The death of Rocket begins here! In the aftermath of the FINAL GAUNTLET, the Guardians of the Galaxy are taking some well deserved R&R. But their vacation is about to be cut short when a familiar, but radically powerful enemy returns. And what does all of this have to do with the whereabouts of a certain raccoon?
Why we like it: Rumor’s of Rocket Racoon’s death are generating buzz around this Guardians arc, but we all know that death in comics are practically meaningless and it will just be a matter of time until Rocket returns. What really interests me about this Guardians arc is the creative team of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw. This is the same creative team that gave us the Image series God Country, and more recently the acclaimed Thanos Wins (which also introduced us to fan-favorite character Cosmic Ghost Rider). I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that this is going to be an incredible run.
The Other Mainstream One: Valkyrie Jane Foster #1
Words: Jason Aaron
What it is: JANE FOSTER STARS IN AN ALL-NEW NEW ONGOING SERIES! A new hero emerges straight from the pages of THE WAR OF THE REALMS! For years, you knew her as Dr. Jane Foster, one of Thor’s most steadfast companions. Then you knew her as Thor, the Goddess of Thunder, who took up the mantle when no other hero – god or human – was worthy. Now Jane takes on a new role as Valkyrie, guide and ferrywoman to the dead! But her days of punching are far from over. WAR OF THE REALMS master architect Jason Aaron and superstar Al Ewing (IMMORTAL HULK) join forces with rising star artist CAFU for the book that’ll have everyone talking!
Why we like it: During a panel at San Diego Comic Con about the upcoming lineup of Marvel movies, we learned that Natalie Portman would be returning as Jane Foster in the next Thor movie. This news was not too surprising as she made the briefest of cameos during Avengers Endgame. But what was surprising was the announcement that she would be wielding Mjoliner as she once did in the comics. I can’t imagine that Jane will remain the main Thor in the MCU, but I could totally see her taking on the lead Valkyrie role. Jane Foster Valkyrie first appeared in War of the Realms Omega, but I wouldn’t overlook this issue being a potential key if she ever makes it to the movies.
The #1 One: Batman Curse of the White Knight #1 (of 8)
Words and Art: Sean G Murphy
What it is: In this explosive sequel to the critically acclaimed blockbuster BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT from writer/artist Sean Murphy, The Joker recruits Azrael to help him expose a shocking secret from the Wayne family’s legacy-and to run Gotham City into the ground! As Batman rushes to protect the city and his loved ones from danger, the mystery of his ancestry unravels, dealing a devastating blow to the Dark Knight. Exciting new villains and unexpected allies will clash in this unforgettable chapter of the White Knight saga-and the truth about the blood they shed will shake Gotham to its core!
Why we like it: I loved Sean Murphy’s White Knight and have been waiting for the follow up since the end of volume one. The artwork in the first series was outstanding as expected, after all Sean G is one of the best artists working in the biz, but I was caught a bit off guard by the quality of Murphy’s script writing. If Hickman wasn’t launching his X-Men run this week , Curse of the White Knight would have been top-of-pile worthy.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Magnificent Ms Marvel #1
Words: Saladin Ahmed
Art: Minkyu Jung
Cover Art: Edwuard Petrovich
What it is: Ms. Marvel reaches the explosive finale of her adventure in space and finds her life – and her costume – forever changed! Victory comes at a cost, and when it comes to paying up, Kamala may not have much choice in the matter… PLUS! Kamala gets an AWESOME NEW COSTUME!
Why we like it: Cool swipe of Secret Wars #8. If you are unaware, SW8 was the milestone issue where Spider-man first obtained his black, symbiote costume, which went on to become a staple of Spidey stories for generations after. While I don’t expect that Kamala’s new costume will become as iconic as Spider-man’s sybiote, I love the homage.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!