Pulido has a great panel of Clint getting shot. He splits it into three slivers and has the movement sort of turn in on itself. It’s very confusing, sure, but it’s also great artwork.
The wrap-up to the series’s first two parter isn’t as good as it should be. Fraction finally has a reveal, something he’s avoided until now, and it doesn’t pay off. The reader doesn’t have enough information for it to mean anything. However, thanks to Kate’s presence, it still works out.
Of course, since I don’t enough about Hawkeye I didn’t realize Kate’s supposed to be so young (like twenty). Does the age make Clint a big brother or father figure? It’s not clear and it doesn’t have to be clear… but her age does need clarifying.
And I’ve now read a comic with Black Nick Fury. He’s mad at his dad.
Good, not great, issue.
The Tape, 2 of 2; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
I love the way Javier Pulido does superheroes. The issue’s mostly supervillains and not many costumes for them (except Madame Masque); Captain America does show up for a bit. Pulido somehow retains his style, which isn’t particularly realistic (at all), but makes the superheroes seem to be realistically visualized.
It’s very interesting to see.
The issue’s great, though Fraction assumes the reader is a lot more familiar with Hawkeye history than I am. Apparently he assassinated someone for SHIELD and there’s a tape of it. Pretty sure modern Marvel continuity starts after the death of VHS–especially for camcorders–but whatever. Fraction’s doing it retro. It’s a fine touch.
Clint keeps getting himself in trouble. Fraction delights at having a not too smart protagonist too. It’s not masochistic because Pulido’s art isn’t grim enough… but it’s close.
The soft cliffhanger is wonderful too. Fraction’s doing great work on this one.
The Tape, 1 of 2; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Javier Pulido; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Wow. This issue is simply wonderful.
Fraction’s not worrying about setting up the characters, he’s not worried about coming up with an interesting hook, he’s just trying to have fun. And Hawkeye is fun. Lots of fun.
It’s kind of like a TV show. Clint and Kate bicker while they fight crime. Kind of like he and Mockingbird used to do, only without baggage.
The issue consists of Clint going out to buy tape to label his trick arrows, meeting a girl, hooking up, getting involved with some Mini car-driving bad guys, saving the girl, all while bickering with Kate and showing why trick arrows are really important.
Aja’s probably essential. I can’t imagine the issue being so much for–or so rewarding with so little content–without Aja. He’s already stylized but the action just takes it to another level. He never sacrifices anything.
It’s a fantastic comic.
Cherry; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
The second issue isn’t what I was expecting. Fraction doesn’t exactly give Clint a lot more personality–he’s from Iowa, to answer my question from last issue and he’s not playing protector of the downtrodden here. Actually, even though he hires an assistant, it’s unclear what Clint’s doing.
If he’s just playing good guy to the people who don’t usually get helped–he has a crime board after all, like a consulting superhero or something–it’s fine. Fraction and Aja have done something similar before (Iron Fist) and the character works for the niche; why not run with it?
And it continues to be a lot of fun. Fraction doesn’t go overboard with the quips, peppering them in mostly, until a big quip-filled conversation between Clint and his assistant (the female Hawkeye). Aja comes up with a checkerboard for their conversation and it all works great.
Hawkeye’s good fun.
Vagabond Code; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
I realized, finishing the first issue of Hawkeye, is how little the comic has to do with Hawkeye. It’s about Clint Barton, New Yorker. For some reason I always assumed Clint was a West Coast kind of guy, but Matt Fraction writes him as a empathetic New Yorker. And David Aja draws a great New York City. It’s not seventies gritty, but eighties grimy. It’s a great setting.
Wait, I lost track. The comic not being about Hawkeye. I guess it isn’t much about Clint either, at least the reader’s expectation of the character. It’s practically a superhero “Seinfeld.” Clint tries to do the right thing, without resorting to the costume, and has a number of misadventures involving his Russian mafia landlord.
It’s funny, touching, everything one would want from an inexpensive Marvel Studios Hawkeye movie. And Fraction and Aja do a great job doing a soft relaunch slash pilot.
Lucky; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
I think I like Larocca’s art this issue than any one in the past. It’s literally a talking head (no one has dialogue except Tony), but Larocca does flashbacks and in these flashbacks, he relies a little less on the flash and just draws.
The issue is a retelling up to now of Tony’s life, except it only makes sense if one’s been reading Invincible Iron Man. Fraction keeps it vague because it’s Tony at an AA meeting. Being Tony is probably one of the most famous people in the world, it’s hard to think he could be anonymous.
That problem shows… Fraction never treats Tony as special, just as a (smart) guy talking.
The writing is all very solid, very professional….
Until the end, when Fraction makes a terrible choice.
He finally has Tony talk with Pepper about their relationship; she’s not even on panel. The scene fails miserably.
What it was like, what happened and what it’s like now; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larocca; colorist, Frank D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Fraction sets up this issue in two parts–first the present, with Tony tracking down Peter Parker to talk about some designs Tony forgot about, and second the future. In the future, Tony’s kid is fighting the Mandarin, who has taken over the world thanks to Tony’s technology.
Fraction plays the future as full action. There’s no time for a break–and he’s got two artists on it, Kano on some, Fox on the rest. Fox gets the most destruction, probably because his scenes of mass destruction look great.
The present material, with Spidey showing up eventually, is played straight, but with some humor.
Fraction needs to do a Tony and Peter series.
What’s so nice about how the issue works is how it embraces a lot of what Fraction’s done already, but doesn’t tie him down. The future’s not guaranteed (you know, after the next crossover).
It’s great stuff.
The New Iron Age; writer, Matt Fraction; artists, Salvador Larocca, Kano, Nathan Fox and Carmine Di Giandomenico; colorists, Frank D’Armata, Javier Rodriguez and Matthew Wilson; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Fraction opens with an Immortal Iron Fist reference, then the Mandarin kidnaps a movie director and his wife, holding them hostage until the guy makes a movie of the Mandarin’s life.
The Mandarin is a megalomaniac—Fraction does a fantastic job making every single scene with the character disturbing. A couple factors drive the issue. First, the director’s the protagonist and there’s the question of his fate. Second, the story the Mandarin tells continues to get convoluted, both by the truth and then by the Mandarin changing details himself. It’s an interesting way for Fraction to catch readers up on a lot of history while accounting for some possibly dated details.
Di Giandomenico does a good job with the art, but he’s one of those guys where it’s never clear if people are supposed to be funny-looking or it’s just his style.
It’s an excellent standalone. Fraction does great.
Mandarin: The Story of My Life; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Carmine Di Giandomenico; colorist, Matthew Wilson; letterer, Rus Wooton; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Interesting, we never get the saboteur revealed.
This issue is a lot of setup after the action stops—Fraction goes back to the old way of writing Invincible, where Tony is narrating it. It means we get a recap of the last few issues, but it’s nice to have the narration back so who cares if it starts superfluously.
Fraction continues with his corrupt U.S. military guys here (going so far as to alienate rednecks… I love how Disney doesn’t seem to care).
Rhodey gets his own little conclusion to the story arc, which would have been more affecting if he’d been around longer. And Fraction puts off any resolution to or even discussion of Pepper and Tony.
Then the big finish has an unexpected villain team-up in the works. I’m glad they added an issue to the storyline.
The McKelvie illustrates a nice “day in the life” backup.
Stark Resilient, Part Nine: The Man in the Box; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata. Good Morning, Tony; artist, Jamie McKelvie; colorist, Matthew Wilson. Writer, Matt Fraction; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
In what I can only describe as a Jeff Parker moment, Fraction reveals—in the backup, illustrated by McKelvie—Pepper’s suit, J.A.R.V.I.S., has the hots for her. It’s cute (and ties into that next big crossover event).
The main story is Tony and Team Iron Man (I can’t imagine that name sticking) battling the drones of Hammer.
Lots and lots of action, which is what Larroca does best. Fraction does these action issues so infrequently, I’d forgotten how well they read. Though he does forget about the saboteur, who’s got to be revealed next issue. But he doesn’t just forget about revealing the saboteur, he forgets the plot point, which should be important here.
Also, I’m not sure where Rhodey’s been. He just shows up this issue like he’s been hanging out and not missing from the last two issues.
Lots of petty complaints; it’s actually a very strong issue.
Stark Resilient, Part Eight: Drones Scream Down; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata. Again at the End of the World with your Pal, Pepper Potts; artist, Jamie McKelvie; colorist, Matthew Wilson. Writer, Matt Fraction; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editor, Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
And Fraction even takes it further… the Air Force guy agreeing to an attack endangering the American citizens he’s sworn to protect. Love it.
The issue’s pacing is a little off though. It’s a lot of corporate sabotage, Iron Man style, and it seems more like Fraction is using it to set up for a big finish. The problem is how little actually gets established here. Fraction’s putting off dealing with lots of things (Pepper and Tony, for one), but he’s also forgotten a lot of things.
Rhodey, so important a few issues ago, is absent here. So is any discussion of Tony’s memory loss. This issue is no different than one about Tony losing all his money and rebuilding. Fraction’s usually keeps all his balls in the air; it’s a bit of a surprise.
Big Iron Man II reference too. Wish the editorial mandate on those inclusions was public.
Stark Resilient, Part Seven: Sabot; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Stephen Wacker and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Okay, it’s not all Android users who are military industrial complex pawns, just some of them. Fraction gives the issue a great cliffhanger, just because he starts building to it about five pages before the end. But it’s a fast-paced lead-up, lending more and more to Invincible‘s movie ties.
Though, I imagine basically introducing “Lady Whiplash” also ties it to the second movie (though this issue came out long after the movie).
Fraction finally gets in an action scene, but it’s not quite a pay-off action scene. Pepper runs off to help Tony and doesn’t get to do anything once she arrives. But Fraction gets in a great face-off between Tony and the Hammer daughter.
One has to be impressed how incredibly anti-military (generals and regular soldiers are corrupt alike) Fraction gets. You’d think he’d be worried about alienating readers.
It’s an excellent action issue.
Stark Resilient, Part Six: Tony, We Don’t Want To Destroy You; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Stephen Wacker and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.
I wish Larroca could draw Rhodey better. Especially this issue. He draws him without any personality–I guess he smiles a lot. But Rhodey is actually really important to this arc, because he’s kind of taking care of Tony as Tony hides all the stuff he can’t handle from everyone else.
The issue ends with Tony being Tony–on the outside, callous and insensitive, but on the inside, calculating and thinking ahead. It’s kind of predictable (and I wish Fraction had Pepper realize it too). But there’s some other nice stuff here. When Pepper gets her Rescue armor back, Fraction recaptures that vibe from before–the regular person all of a sudden getting to be a superhero.
Amusingly (not sure if Fraction did it intentionally), he implies users of Android telephones are just as easily corruptible by evil weapons manufacturers as Pentagon stooges.
It’s a decent issue, just not exciting.
Stark Resilient, Part Five: Predators and Prey In Their Natural Environments; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
So this issue is—while technically well-written—kind of pointless.
Fraction has a bunch of really good dialogue and talking heads scenes, but it’s about Tony hiring these guys for his new company to build an electric car. Very interesting stuff, if the series were about the company. It’s about Tony. And Tony’s best scene is with Maria Hill, where she (much like Pepper) is having problems due to their knocking boots and him not remembering it.
Otherwise, the “action” part of the issue is spent on Iron Man and War Machine going over to Japan and looking bad to the media. Apparently, S.H.I.E.L.D. knows the Hammer girls are up to bad stuff, but they aren’t doing anything about it—like stopping the Pentagon from underwriting the villains. A tad too realistic….
Nothing happens this issue (well, Pepper does wake up at the end). It’s a treading water issue.
Stark Resilient, Part Four: Grand Mal Tokyo Moron Party; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Stephen Wacker and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.