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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week 7/22/2015

Hey there comic book aficionados. Over the weekend I had the pleasure of holding in my hands a raw copy of Batman 139 from 1961, the first appearance of Bat-Girl. Not Babs Gordon but Bette Kane, the silver age love interest that DC created for Robin to dispel gay rumors swirling around Bruce and Dick. The book was retrieved from an estate sale, found in a box among a stack of loose silver age superhero books. It had seen better days, the cover was detached at both staples, but it was all there. An important piece of comic book history rescued from obscurity.

Although I covet silver and bronze age keys, I can’t quit my new releases. After grinding through half a work week, there are few rewards that feel more gratifying to me than being able to sit down with a stack of new books. I just love the smell of new comics in the evening.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Fables #150 Volume 22 Image

Fables

Once upon a time, Bill Willingham created a little comic series for Vertigo called Fables which followed the lives of fairy tale characters who were forced to exist in our world. After 149 issues, half a dozen spin-offs, a novel, a video game and a couple of hack-job TV shows, this fully grown fairy tale world comes to an end. But not before the grand finale. The 150th and final issue of Fables is also the 22nd volume and will be published as a 150-page trade paper back. Still written by Willingham and featuring both the original artists and an all star list of guest artists, Fables #150 sends off its memorable cast to their happily-ever-after in style. Click on that cover art and see for yourself.

The Mainstream One: WeirdWorld #2 Marvel

WW2

Secret Wars kicked off with a blast, but Marvel’s megavent has delivered uneven results to this point. The stories have been very good on a whole, but I worry about the continued delays in its release schedule. I, like many fans, am in favor of providing the creative team enough time to tell their story. But as a company, you have to realize that when the main arc an event gets pushed back, so do the release dates for all related tie-ins. Which in this case involves everything that Marvel is currently publishing. Settle in folks, we could be in BattleWorld for a while. However all could be forgiven if the Secret Wars keeps revealing gems like Weird World. Issue #1 served up a psychadelic, high-fantasy adventure full of mystery and danger. It’s Jason Aaron, the artwork is bonkers and you need to check this book out to believe it. Weird World is insanely cool.

The Independent One: Enormous vol.2 #1 215 Ink

Enormous

The first volume of Tim Daniel and Mehdi Cheggour’s Enormous delivered arguably the most realistic artwork of all of the current comic titles, Which is saying something considering that this is a story about giant monsters invading earth. The print run on the first few issues was minuscule and have become some of the most sought after modern comics. The first issue of volume two is out on Wednesday and I hope that the publisher is better prepared this time around. Take a peak through the interiors and prepare to catch your jaw when it melts off your face.

The #1 One: Cyborg #1 DC

Cyborg

He’s a technological wonder, a founding member of the New Teen Titans and a current member of the Justice League of America. And for the first time in his 35 year career at DC, Victor Stone gets his own solo series. Two sweet covers and the preview looks positively amayyyyzing.

The One(s) I’m Buying for the Cover:

G.I. Joe #216 IDW Hall of Comics Action Figure variant

starwars_toy-boba_fett-final-bw-grey-web

Star Wars #7 Marvel Black and White Boba Fett Action Figure variant

Baroness_frontBaroness_back_cover

This week’s best cover candy is a tie between two exclusive action figure covers. Both of these variant covers will have tiny print runs and feature hugely popular characters. You do the math.

The regular color variant for Star Wars issue #4 was a huge success. The black and white Boba Fett variant will be limited to 3000 copies and will be available for pre-sale on artist John Tyler Christopher’s website at midnight on July 24.

The Baroness variant is only available through the Hall of Comics and will have a microscopic print run of 1500. Like their #215 Snake Eyes action figure variant, the back cover is designed to look like the back of the original backing card. Winner!

Last Week’s Leftovers: Hawkeye #22 Marvel

Hawkeye

I didn’t even realize that the final issue of Fraction and Aja’s ground breaking Hawkeye run came out last week. But I think I can excuse the slip considering issue #21 came out way back in February and Lemire and Perez are going to be 4 issues into their Hawkeye run on Wednesday. Loved this run, the Fraction/Aja creative team took a stale B-list character and transformed him into something new and wonderful. This one was probably under-ordered and deserves a pick up.

Carpe Comics!

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