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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – April 18, 2018

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: Action Comics #1000

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Everyone

What it is: Celebrate 1000 issues of Action Comics with an all-star lineup of top talent as they pay tribute to the comic that started it all! From today’s explosive action to a previously unpublished tale illustrated by the legendary Curt Swan to the Man of Tomorrow’s future-this very special, oversized issue presents the best of the best in Superman stories!

Why we love it: That is a lot of zeroes. Action Comics #1 came out in 1938 and started a cultural revolution. Congrats Supes, you’ve been an inspiration to us all. May you live to see another thousand.

The Mainstream One: Amazing Spider-man #799

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen

What it is:  GO DOWN SWINGING Part 3. SPIDER-MAN will need to the help of friend and foe alike if he hopes to stop THE GREEN GOBLIN this time! The mystery of the RED GOBLIN is finally revealed, and it’s not going to be pretty for Peter Parker!

Why we like it: You may think that nothing could top last issue’s reveal of the Red Goblin’s true identity, but you would be so wrong! I was able to check out an advanced preview of issue #799 and there’s a heartbreaking reveal in here that is guaranteed to knock the webbing out of your shooters.

The Indie One: Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dan Ormston

What it is: The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga returns! Picking up immediately where we left off–Lucy Weber has become the new Black Hammer and right as she’s about to reveal to our heroes how they got stuck on the farm and can escape she vanishes. Now our new Black Hammer finds herself trapped in a gritty world filled with punk rock detectives, emo gods, anthropomorphic humans, absurdist heroes, and many more weirdoes, in a mad world in which there is no escape!

Why we like it: Black Hammer is one of the best indie titles I’m currently reading. It’s a story about superheroes but it’s not a typical superhero story. The characters are flawed, conflicted and often impotent against the mysterious force that has them trapped in a world that no one understands. If you haven’t checked this series out already, do yourself a favor and order the volume 1 trade paper back.

The #1 One: Harley Quinn #42

Publisher: DC
Words: Frank Tieri
Art: Mauricet

What it is: Old Lady Harley”! In this far-flung future tale, Harley returns home thirty years after leaving Coney Island — or, more accurately, she’s DRAGGED home — to deal with the mess that the Gangs of Harley have made in her absence! Her disciples have all splintered into warring tribes, and they’ve torn down what’s left of ravaged, mutated New York City in the process!

Why we like it: Ok, so technically not a #1 but Old Lady Harley sounds hilarious. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the gang has aged.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Weapon X #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Roland Boschi
Cover Art: Eric Canete

What it is: ‘OLD MAN LOGAN VS. SABRETOOTH’ CONCLUSION! Savage action as Old Man Logan and Sabretooth fight alone in a containment facility filled with horrific beasts! But who will prove himself the biggest monster? Witness the true fate of Sabretooth from the Wastelands of Old Man Logan’s past! Sets up a huge status quo change for Marvel’s deadliest team of mutants!

Why we like it: I peed a little when I first saw this cover. Terrifying.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 28, 2018

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: Thanos #16

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 4. The secret origins of King Thanos’ right-hand man, the cosmic spirit of vengeance, Ghost Rider! Just who IS this madman and how did he become allies with the most evil man in the Universe? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Donny Cates has been absolutely slaying it on both of his Marvel runs. Thanos has been getting a lot more of the publicity because of a “new” character, the Cosmic Ghost Rider. We recently learned that the Cosmic Ghost Rider is none other than Frank Castle, and this Wednesday we learn what made the Punisher trade in his white go-go boots for leather and chains.

 

The Mainstream One: Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #300 (Alex Ross 1:50 variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Adam Kubert

What it is: MOST WANTED Part 4. An oversized anniversary epic, told the only way your pre-eminent pals in the Spidey-Office know how – in the Mighty Marvel Manner! For weeks, the Tinkerer has been launching a campaign against his do-gooder brother, the Mason, and Spidey’s nearly met his maker more than once trying to stop their sibling rivalry! With a little help from a tech-heavy team of Marvel heroes, Spider-Man takes the fight directly to Tinkerer! But Tinkerer’s got tech of his own and it’s out of this world! Rated T

Why we like it: Happy 300th Spectacular Spider-man! If I can find that 1:50 Alex Ross variant for under $40, I’m buying it. There’s also a Gabreille Dell Otto variant featuring the Red Goblin on the cover that is worth mentioning.

 

The Indie One: Beef #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Image
Words: Richard Starkings
Art: Shaky Kane

What it is: The creator of ELEPHANTMEN and the creator of The A-Men join forces with TYLER SHAINLINE (Liberty Justice) to bring you the story of Meat Men! Chuck is a mild-mannered meat factory worker who is a little in love with a strawberry picker named Mary Lynn. But everything changes when Mary Lynn falls victim to the Vodino Brothers….

Why we like it: Saga is back this week, but I feel like I spotlight that series every month. So I’m throwing a change up and picking this new series from the creator of the cult favorite Elephantmen. I read a preview and while I wasn’t impressed by the artwork, there was a weird and quirky sense to the dialogue that I enjoyed. From what I gathered, its a story about meat and blood and death. I’d eat that.

 

The #1 One: Terrifics #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Ivan Reis

What it is: Bound together by fate, united by the spirit of exploration and hope for tomorrow, the Terrifics are bound from the Dark Multiverse of Metal! When Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl find themselves literally bound together by a tragic accident, our team of unlikely allies must rely on one another to make their way back home. But a startling revelation on their return trip brings them face to face with a new mystery: Where in the universe is Tom Strong? RATED T+

Why we like it: Lemire’s time at Marvel was a mixed bag. I’d like to believe that his underwhelming work at the House of Ideas was due to lack of control over high-profile characters and too much direction from editors. We know that Lemire can write intriguing, nuanced superheroes, just look at the quality stuff he’s done on Dark Horse’s Black Hammer. I’m hoping that DC is giving him full reign to take this band of misfits and turn it into something special. Having a stud like Ivan Reis on art doesn’t hurt either.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Action Comics #998

Publisher: DC
Words:  Dan Jurgens
Art: Brett Booth
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

What it is: ‘BOOSTER SHOT’ part six! Escape from Planet Zod! Superman and Booster Gold must escape to travel back to the present, where the life of the captured Sam Lane hangs in the balance!

Why we like it: Another superb, regular priced variant cover from Kaare Andrews. Can’t wait to see what he has cooked up for the #1000 mega-milestone issue.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – February 14, 2018

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: Avengers #680

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Aaron Kim Jacinto

What it is: NO SURRENDER Part 6 Wonder Man and Beast team up in a desperate attempt to save Jarvis, while the Avengers reel from the crushing loss of one of their own. Rated T+

Why we love it: No Surrender, no man left behind! Asides from the Always Sunny reference, I’m really enjoying this story. Packed with action, intrigue, and potential first appearances. The weekly release schedule hasn’t burned us with delays yet, and it has really helped keep the momentum going. Do not sleep on Avengers this week.

The Mainstream One: Captain America #698

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee

What it is: OUT OF TIME Part 1 THE STORYLINE LEADING TO THE MASSIVE ISSUE #700 KICKS OFF! Steve Rogers awakens to find himself in a strange new future – and it’s his worst nightmare! Can he assemble a new band of Howling Commandos to help him battle for freedom? Rated T+

Why we like it: Caps back to his Silver Age roots with a classic man-out-of-time story. Wait a minute… That actually sounds like legacy. About gd time Marvel. I wonder if there’ll be Nazis in the future for Cap to fight. Sadly, I’d guess yes.

The Indie One: Invincible #144

Publisher: Image
Words: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley

What it is: SERIES FINALE ‘THE END OF ALL THINGS,’ Conclusion Final issue. Everything since issue one has been building to this. Nothing can prepare you.

Why we like it: I’m not actually reading this issue this week because I’m about eight trades behind, but one of the longest running Image titles comes to a conclusion this week. I feel like the end of a landmark series deserves a mention. Gratz Kirkman! Now kindly write us something interesting in Outcast already, will ya?

 

The #1 One: Death of Love #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Justin Jordan
Art: Donal Delay

What it is: Love sucks. Philo Harris is going to do something about it. After gaining the ability to see the Cupidae that make love work-after a particularly bad drunken decision-Philo ends up going to war with love itself. With a chainsaw.

Why we like it: I almost forgot Wednesday is Valentine’s Day. This pick is for me, fatty, sideburns lady, and the mutants over at table 9.

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Action Comics #997

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Will Conrad, Brett Booth
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

What it is: ‘BOOSTER SHOT’ part five! Superman and Booster Gold are stranded in time on a world ruled by not one but two Generals Zod! As Lor-Zod asserts himself as rightful heir to the military dictatorship of their adopted homeworld, Old Man Zod turns his attention to the interlopers from the past. Our heroes’ only hope of survival is to repair their craft and get home-but to do that, they’ll need to travel into the belly of beast!

Why we like it: If you don’t like this cover than you are a card carrying communist who hates freedom. You don’t… hate freedom, do you?

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics! Love stinks! Yeah yeah!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 13, 2017

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: Mister Miracle #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is:  How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene-only to what end? MATURE READERS

Why we love it: Wait a minute… Mister Miracle #5 at the top of the pile two weeks in a row? So the website I use to track new releases messed up last week and a few of my picks from last week actually are out this week. Sloppy journalism, I know, always double check references. Anyways Mister Miracle #5 is actually out this week and this issue is being framed as a love story. Sounds like Scott Free and Big Barda are getting some QT together but you just know that crazy is going to hit the fan by the end of it.

The Mainstream One: Action Comics #993

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Steve Pugh

What it is: BOOSTER SHOT’ part one! As Superman struggles to cope with Mr. Oz’s true identity, the Man of Steel turns to the only ‘hero’ he knows who can prove once and for all if Oz’s story is true: Booster Gold! But a massive power doesn’t want our heroes venturing through time, and will do anything it can to sabotage their journey! RATED T

Why we like it: Hey kids look, it’s Booster Gold! One of the most notable absences throughout the New 52 and Rebirth has been DC’s super-popular time traveling hero. He’s been effectively MIA since Flashpoint but it appears he’s finally back in the DCU and hopefully here to stay. Only 7 more issues until Action Comics hits the mind-boggling 1000 issue mark, so I get the feeling this Booster story arc is leading to something big.

The Indie One: Rumble #1

Publisher: Image
Words: John Arcudi
Art: David Rubin

What it is: ‘SOUL WITHOUT PITY,’ Part One Rathraq is back! But who is he, exactly? Once an ancient warrior god, he was resurrected as a sword-wielding scarecrow. And now, Rathraq has transformed yet again-or has he? JOHN ARCUDI and new artist, superstar DAVID RUBÍN, give you the new face of Rathraq and a new direction for the series when the critically acclaimed RUMBLE returns!

Why we like it: This #1 is actually the first issue of volume 2. I really liked volume 1 and enjoyed Rumble’s mix of supernatural horror, comedy and drama. The second volume brings a new artist on board and has been on my radar for a while. I will definitely be giving this book a peak on Wednesday.

The #1 One: Giants #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Words and Art: Carlos and Manuel, The Valderrama Bros.

What it is: A cataclysm of unknown origins unleashed a race of gigantic monsters whose presence has driven humanity underground. There, two orphans discover that the most dangerous monster is ambition, which unchecked, will grow until it devours you!

Why we like it: I was able to read an advance preview of this book online and I was very impressed with what I saw. You can check out a preview here and decide for yourself: https://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/3001-017/Giants-1

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ryan North
Art: Erica Henderson
Cover Art: Veronica Fish

What it is: THE FORBIDDEN PLA-NUT Part 1 What happens when we take Squirrel Girl back to her roots? Well, we shoot her into space, OBVIOUSLY. Nancy and Tippy find themselves on an alien world where all is not what it seems. Squirrel Girl needs to find a way to get to the other side of the universe to save ’em, STAT. Intergalactic transport through the cosmic realm? This sounds like a job for the Sorcerer Supreme! I’m sure Doctor Strange will be happy to he – I’m sorry, what’s that? Doctor Strange is gone and now LOKI is Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme? Oh. Well, I’m sure he’ll do his best. After all, what could possibly go wrong? Guess what, in this issue, everything possible goes wrong! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T

Why we like it: We’re big fans of local artist Veronica Fish here at the Crank File. We’re also big fans of the classic Stan Lee/Moebius collaboration, Silver Surfer: Parable, which in my opinion is one of the finest Silver Surfer stories ever told. Veronica absolute nails this cover swipe. A shame that the first printing will be ruined by a horrible, ineffective lenticular cover. I might be holding out for the non-lenticulating second print on this one.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 27, 2017

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: Action Comics #988

Publisher: DC
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Patrick Zircher

What it is: ‘THE OZ EFFECT’ part two! As Superman struggles with the ramifications of Mr. Oz’s identity, the mysterious figure’s origins and the long road to Superman’s doorstep finally reveal themselves.

Why we like it: If you haven’t read Action Comics #987 yet, they reveal Mr. Oz’s identity and it is bonkers. If you have read Action Comics #987 then you’re just as wtf as I me… You got some serious explaining to do Dan Jurgens. Another great looking lenticulared cover here.

 

The Mainstream One: Spider-Gwen #24

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Robbie Rodriguez
Art: Jason Latour

What it is: The aftermath of the PREDATORS storyline leaves Gwen in a VERY different place. * Matt Murdock’s plans all come home to roost, and when you plan like our good friend Murderdock does, you know that ain’t pretty. * WHAT IS THE NEXT EVOLUTIONARY STEP FOR SPIDER-GWEN?!

Why we love it: The hype’s been cooking on this one for a while. 3 years ago, Gwen Stacy came swinging back into our lives with new radioactive spider powers and it was love all over again. And this is the moment I’ve been waiting for since then. Spider-Gwen’s getting her own symbiote saga and that can only mean one thing, Gwenom.

The Indie One: Saga #47

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples

What it is: Meet Ianthe, who has very big plans for The Will.

Why we like it: After an emotional arc with the heroes of our story, this issue will offer a nice change of pace catching up with one of my favorite secondary characters, the broken bounty hunter The Will. I am also very interested in meeting Mr. Crystal Face Fancy Pants over there.

 

The #1 One: Marvel Legacy one shot (Alex Ross variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Esad Ribic

What it is: EVERYTHING STARTS HERE! It begins at the dawn of the human race, and ends with a child’s prayer! In between, empires fall, mysteries brew, secrets are revealed, quests are undertaken and legends are forged! All leading up to the dramatic return you’ve been waiting for – and one you’ve been dreading! Jason Aaron (MIGHTY THOR) and Esad Ribic (SECRET WARS) usher in a new dawn – one whose rays will touch every corner of the Marvel Universe in the days to come! MARVEL LEGACY: It’s everything you’ve been longing for – and more! ONE-SHOT/Rated T+

Why we like it: Marvel is going to start phasing in legacy characters that have been missing from the Marvel continuity for a while and the come back starts here. They sort of spoil it on the cover (which is amazeballs), but I’m excited none the less. This is not an event book, it’s a one shot issue that Marvel is using to setup story lines for the coming year before they reboot the All-New All-Different universe in 2018. Ha, just kidding… hopefully.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Mighty Thor #23 (Venomized Villains variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Valerio Schiti
Cover Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: THOR AGAINST THOR! When the Ultimate Thor finally goes too far, Jane has no choice but to stop him. Can she quell the rage of the War Thor before he destroys the very realms he once hoped to save?

Why we like it: Things aren’t looking good for Jane Foster.  This venomized Hela cover however looks totally amazing. I think it’s currently a tie between Clayton Crain and Francesco Mattina for the best symbiote artist. Hela’s playing a central role in the upcoming Thor Ragnarok movie and she should be gaining some fans.

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – September 13, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The world lost one of its treasures this week. Len Wein’s influence within the world of comics is legendary. If you name your top 5 favorite Marvel/DC characters, chances are Len wrote for at least two of them. He helped create timeless characters like Swamp Thing, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus. As an editor he championed bold storytelling, like Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans, and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal Watchmen. Len was a creative force and belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Comics.

Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff that I’ll be checking out. Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 

The Top of the Pile: Action Comics #987

Publisher: DC
Words: Jurgens
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic, Nick Bradshaw

What it is: ‘THE OZ EFFECT’ part one! The agents of the mysterious Mr. Oz begin to move as the Man of Steel works to stop the chaos they unleash in Metropolis and across the globe. But when Mr. Oz steps from the shadows his identity rocks the Last Son of Krypton to his core. The story that began in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 begins to end here!

Why we love it: We’re a full year into Rebirth and while fan reception of the revamped DC Universes has been generally positive, there are still lingering questions… Like what exactly happened and who caused it? That’s a big one. While I expect most of these loose ends will be unraveled later during November’s Doomsday Clock event, it appears the identity of the enigmatic Mr. Oz will be revealed here in this week’s Action Comics. Ozymandus? Jor-El? Mon-El? Conner Kent? My money’s on Superboy Prime. This issue is also being released with a lenticular cover, if that sort of cover tickles you.

  The Mainstream One: Weapon X #8

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Marcelo Borstelmann

What it is: WHAT IS THE SECRET OF WEAPON H? Doctor Alba’s macabre experiments for the Weapon X program turned one of America’s Finest into a behemoth imbued with genetics gifts of the Hulk and Wolverine. Despite countless iterations, only he survived… What made him the perfect vessel for the curse? And how far will Doctor Alba go to recover her success story?

Why we like it: I’m into Batch H and this smells like an origin story here. I’m enjoying the story carried over from Weapons of Mutant Destruction and the cover art is bad as. For the first time ever, Weapon X is on my pull list. Well done, Greg Pak. There’s also a Venomized Batch H variant cover for this issue. I expect that the Venomized variant will be popular, so grab it if you see it, but personally I’m digging the regular cover.

The Indie One: Babyteeth #4

Publisher: Aftershock
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Garry Brown

What it is: So, you know how we’ve all been really coy and playful about how this book is going to get dark and bloody and really hardcore at a certain point? This is the issue where that starts happening. Happy reading everyone! (Call your mother. She worries). From Donny Cates, the writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Redneck and the breakout hit God Country comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!

Why we like it: I don’t imagine being a single, new mother is easy. It’s probably stressful enough without finding out that your baby is the anti-christ. This series has been a fun read. It’s got horror, it’s got humor and it’s got plenty of heart. And it sounds like writer Donny Cates is about to kick it up to 11.   

 The #1 One: Runaways #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Rainbow Rowell
Art: Kris Anka

What it is: GET READY TO RUN! The ‘IT’ book of the early 2000s with the original cast is back – Nico! Karolina! Molly! Chase! Old Lace! And, could it be? GERT?! The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart!

Why we like it: If you’re unfamiliar with the Runaways, they are a group of super-powered teenagers/kids who, after discovering that their parents are secretly super villains, run away (get it?) from home. And while only one of them has a pet dinosaur named Old Lace, they are all awesome in their own way. They are a lovable band of misfits who I have a lot of affection for. I’m not super excited about the creative team on this run, but I’m hoping for the best on Wednesday.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-man #32

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Greg Smallwood
Cover Art: Alex Ross and Francesco Mattina

What it is: Norman Osborn’s goblin-free battle with Spidey didn’t go the way he had hoped? Now, Osborn needs to find an edge and get the Goblin back, and neither you nor Spidey are ready for the edge he’s going to find! Guest artist Greg Smallwood (MOON KNIGHT) joins Dan Slott for this special issue that sets off the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN event of 2018!

Why we like it: Can’t get enough Green Goblin? Amazing Spider-man #32 has you covered with not 1, but 2 ridiculously cool Goblin covers. The Alex Ross regular cover features a super-intense Harry Osborn donning the Green Goblin mask. The Francesco Mattina variant cover features a venomized Green Goblin. Grab your favorite one or grab them both. That’s a win-win. 

 

That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!