Will is an avid comic book collector based in Denver, Colorado. He is Crazy About Comics!
1. Venom #200
Donnie Cates and Ryan Stegman are calling it quits and this issue will be their final work on the Venom title. Marvel is billing it as "the first chapter of the rest of Venom's life."
By the time this issue hits newsstands, the King in Black storyline will have concluded and we can safely assume the aftermath won't be pleasant for our hero and his cast of supporting characters.
Marvel will, of course, release a ton of variant covers for this milestone issue. We can also probably expect the usual onslaught of retailer exclusive covers for this one.
The main cover will feature artwork by Ryan Stegman. He and Cates revitalized the Venom title when they took over creative duties. Stegman will also be doing a variant cover for this issue, and there will be a virgin version of that cover.
There isn't a lot of information available just yet about the storyline for Venom #200 but Cates and Stegman are likely eager to go out with a bang.
Speculation on this one is iffy at best. The print run on this will be huge. Any potential key appearances or events in the story might boost its long-term value. The most likely path to profit is a quick flip with one of the variant covers (particularly the ratio variants) or a store exclusive that catches on.
2. Black Panther #25
Ta-Nehisi Coates says goodbye to Black Panther with this issue. The storyline will see T'Challa return to Wakanda after distant adventures. Marvel is billing this as the final issue, but you can bet on seeing a new series kick off in the near future.
Daniel Acuna will be handling artist duties on the main cover and it looks like Marvel is unleashing their stable of Stormbreakers artists to do a ton of variants.
Speculation is weak on this issue. Six months ago, the Peach Momoko variant cover would have been a safe bet. The hype surrounding Momoko has subsided a bit. The recommendation here would be to pick up the variant cover by your favorite Stormbreaker artist and enjoy the read.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Writer Al Ewing welcomes new series artist Juan Frigeri to the fold with this issue. The main cover is by Brett Booth and there will be a few variant covers available.
The solicitations indicate a turning point for the Guardians. The series is not among Marvel's best-selling titles, so this one could fly under the radar.
The preview promises "new teammates" and an "all-new enemy you'll have to see to believe." If any of the new teammates or the new villain become popular, this issue could be spec worthy.
4. Miles Morales: Spider-Man #25
Peter Parker had his Clone Saga, and now Miles Morales is getting in on the action.
The Clone Saga storyline has been percolating in this series for some time. With this issue, it kicks into high gear.
Marvel tells us that the clones are on the loose in Brooklyn and the ramifications for Miles and his family and friends will be dire. We can also expect to find out what really happened when the Assessor kidnapped Miles in issue #7.
This is a hot series and every issue could be a key at this point. Miles is a popular character and the spec surrounding his eventual appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is at a fever pitch right now.
5. Avengers #44
Writer Jason Aaron has been having a blast with his Avengers run. This issues concludes his "Enter The Phoenix" storyline and all indications are that this will all lead into Aaron's upcoming "reboot" of the Heroes Reborn concept.
In this current arc, Aaron has pitted heroes against each other in a competition to determine who will possess the powerful Phoenix force. There could well be some important events and appearances here.
Leinil Francis Yu handles main cover duties. Interior artist Javier Garron contributes a Design Variant. Peach Momoko will deliver a variant cover - and Marvel is promising a virgin variant of the Momoko art. That one's likely to be a ratio variant and might be worth chasing, if it can be picked up at a reasonable price.
6: Captain Marvel #28
Captain Marvel is apparently going to get a power upgrade and a new costume in the April issue of this series.
What's going on? Will the changes last? It's hard to say. It's all certainly very intriguing, though. We'll have to wait and see what writer Kelly Thompson is up to.
The main cover is by Marco Checchetto and the variant will be by Belen Ortega.
7: Star Wars: The High Republic #4
This is one of the hottest series to launch in recent memory. The popularity of The Mandalorian television show on Disney+ has helped ratchet up interest in all things Star Wars. The first issue of this series took the comic world by storm and there is already a Disney+ show in the works revolving around this particular era in Star Wars history.
In regards to speculation, it's a good idea to pick up a couple copies of each cover and stash them away. The sky seems to be the limit for anything related to Star Wars right now. Keep an eye out for store exclusives and ratio variants that may be announced in the near future.
8: Darth Vader #11
This latest Darth Vader series has been a thrill ride. In recent issues Vader has crossed paths with Ochi of Bestoon and the Eye of Webbish Bogg, and faced the horrors of the Red Nebula.
The first appearance issues of Ochi of Bestoon and the Eye of Webbish Bogg saw some love on the secondary market. We don't know if there will be any first appearances in Darth Vader #11, but this is a must-buy based on the storyline alone.
9: Spider-Man: Spider's Shadow #1
Spider's Shadow is a four-part series launching in April. The series answers the question, "What if Peter Parker became Venom?"
The big selling point for Spider's Shadow is the fact it is being written by Chip Zdarsky. He's also contributing a variant cover for this first issue.
Zdarsky is the superstar writer of the current Daredevil run, which has won accolades across the board.
10: The Immortal Hulk #45
The popularity of this series has waned in recent months, but writer Al Ewing is still telling some of the most engrossing Hulk stories ever told. The series is coming to an end with issue #50, so we have to think Ewing is setting the stage for his endgame.
The Alex Ross cover is wonderful (if a little unsettling). The teaser for this issue promises us a view of the Hulk "at his lowest point."