Hey comic book geeks, and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. It’s a leap year and that means bonus day! I think leap year day deserves way more celebration then it currently receives. A day that occurs just once every four years, and because of its existence our calendars can remain synchronized with Earth’s orbit. It’s the Olympics of cosmic events, yet we do nothing about it. That must stop. If we can find a day to celebrate unionized labor then we can surely find a way to properly observe this phantom day phenomena. How should we, as a society, properly observe a Leap Year? I think the only obvious answer is, we purge. Or have a bank holiday.
Here’s what I’m reading this week. Disappointingly, not a single Image title makes the cut this week:
The Top of the Pile: Spider-man #2
Writer: Brian Bendis
Art: Sara Pichelli
What it is: The Avengers are down and Miles Morales stands alone against a villain with the power to destroy the universe. More importantly, his grades are in the toilet.
Why we love it: While Peter Parker is off jetting around the world and running his global empire, the new Spider-man is kicking it old-school, by which I mean high-school. Never mind super-powered villains, alien invasions and the end of the universe. Some of the most stressful moments of young Peter Parkers’ life involved balancing his secret life as Spider-man with his social life at school and work. Issue #1 channeled a lot of that classic teen-age Parker angst through Miles and told a story that felt fresh but also familiar. Cant’ wait for #2.
The Mainstream One: A-Force #3 (Brooks variant)
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Art: Jorge Molina
What it is: As Antimatter grows increasingly dangerous, SHE-HULK, CAPTAIN MARVEL, MEDUSA, DAZZLER and NICO MINORU must put aside their differences and learn to become a real team – the team Singularity knows they can be – before it’s too late. When a desperate battle in space with Antimatter goes awry it may be the death of one of them, just as this new team is beginning to find its way. Meanwhile Tempest Bell’s analysis of Antimatter may not bode well for the future of A-Force.
Why we like it: G. Willow Wilson’s incredible Ms. Marvel run is beloved for its strong female characters, its tender heart and its goofy sense of humor. A-Force is still in the early goings and I already feel a lot of the same themes emerging throughout the first two issues. So I’m definitely sticking around at least a bit longer to see where this goes. Plus that roller derby cover is smoking.
The Indie One: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Words: Kyle Higgins
Art: Hendry Prasetyo
What it is: This is Green Ranger Year One! The Green Ranger’s addition to the team has brought new instability and uncertainty to the Rangers. With remnants of Rita Repulsa’s control still stirring in the back of Tommy’s mind, he must confront the fact he may be more of a danger to his new team than a help. As Rita plays the heroes against each other, her ultimate plan begins to take form, and vengeance for the Green Ranger’s betrayal will be unleashed on Angel Grove. Also featuring a Bulk & Skull short story by Steve Orlando (Midnighter) and artist Corin Howell that puts the pair on the ultimate mission to impress Kimberly and Trini!
Why we love it: You may recall that the issue #0 Green and White Ranger variants were selling for insane amounts of money a week after release. Don’t expect lightning to strike twice. I think that issue #1 is releasing with something like 25+ variant covers, including a handful of store-only exclusives. And with all the hype from #0, Boom may up the print run in anticipation. Anyways, tread lightly with this book if you’re playing the spec game. But if you watched the show most weekday afternoons after school, grab whichever cover tickles your fancy and enjoy having a piece of your childhood back in your life.
The #1 One: Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 (party variant)
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Jesus Saiz
What it is: Pleasant Hill looks like the perfect small-town community — but underneath the surface, a deadly secret lurks. One so explosive it will draw estranged allies Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson back together to save a friend in danger and put things right. But when the combined might of the Captain Americas isn’t enough, whom do they call? In the face of unspeakable evil, it’s time for the Avengers to Assemble like never before! The blockbuster spring AVENGERS event starts right here!
Why we like it: That title is just ridiculously long. Even the acronymization is crazy, ASAOPHA?? That’s a four-syllable word in itself. But in all seriousness, there are two syllables that sum up my feelings towards this comic: Gwen-pool. It pains me to admit it, but I’m really digging the character. I know that it makes no sense at all, but maybe that just feeds into the Deadpooly, self-aware, weirdo nature of her character. Also there’s a story concerning Steve Rogers and being Captain America in here.
The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Batman Beyond #10 (Nguyen variant)
Words: Dan Jurgens
Art: Bernard Chang
What it is: Captured by the Splicers, Batman is set to become the latest guinea pig in their DNA experiments! His only hope may be the very thing that got him into this mess, as Matt’s investigations into history’s greatest heroes-long thought dead in the war with Brother Eye-finally bears fruit: enter the Justice League Beyond!
Why we love it: There’s a Batman Vs. Superman movie coming out later in the month and that means we’re getting a bunch of awesome Batman Vs. Superman variant covers on books that have absolutely nothing to do with Batman or Superman. Ok, I guess Batman Beyond is technically a Batman related book. Anyways, Dustin Nguyen’s watercolors are sublime and this cover just rules.
That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!