Widowmaker 4 (April 2011)

Swierczynski tries a little Mockingbird and Hawkeye romantic banter moment or two and he fails. It’s all right though, because he’s not really hinging much on it. In fact, he’s hinging almost nothing on those two this issue–Black Widow narrates the issue. There are still the problems with Garcia and Ruggiero. Lots of eyes getting completely inked over, lots of faces being inconsistent when going from close-up to medium shot (and vice versa). There are some mediocre panels and some awful ones, but there’s at least a decent sense of movement to carry it along. Swierczynski writes Widow and Hawkeye … Continue reading Widowmaker 4 (April 2011)

Widowmaker 3 (March 2011)

I miss Swierczynski. McCann does a decent job plotting the issue–there’s a lot of action in it, as well as the investigation into the spy stuff–but it’s a stinker. First, yeah, I think the Lopezes are trying to make Black Widow unattractive. There’s a weak romance moment for Hawkeye and Mockingbird here too. Strange how McCann started his work on that aspect of the characters so strong and it’s since become a major problem for him. His Mockingbird is an annoying human being. But the issue’s also cluttered with movie references. Sometimes McCann calls them out, other times he just … Continue reading Widowmaker 3 (March 2011)

Widowmaker 2 (February 2011)

So Marvel is now alternating creative teams on limited series? I’m only mildly complaining–mostly about Ruggiero and Bit’s inks on Garcia, who I thought did better work. Maybe I’m wrong. There’s a lot of problems with faces here (and eyes being totally inked over). It’s not terrible art, but it looks very rushed. As for Swierczynski taking over writing chores, it’s hard to say. About half the issue is a battle with the Supreme Soviets, with some revelations at the end. It’s a boring fight, partially due to the art, but also because it seems out of place. It’s this … Continue reading Widowmaker 2 (February 2011)

Widowmaker 1 (February 2011)

So for some reason, while everyone else gets drawn young and beautiful, the Lopezes draw Black Widow aged and weathered. She’s got more lines around her eyes than Rob Liefeld draws on a bicep. I know this book is a continuation of Hawkeye and Mockingbird, maybe making Widow unappealing is to bolster Mockingbird. Actually, of all the characters–Black Widow, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Dominic Fortune–Mockingbird makes the least impression. McCann establishes a solid espionage story here and he’s so busy working through the details, there’s not a lot of time for characters without personality. Mockingbird doesn’t have much personality, especially when she’s … Continue reading Widowmaker 1 (February 2011)

Hawkeye & Mockingbird 6 (January 2011)

And here’s where the Lopezes just can’t hack it. The issue is all about Clint’s angst. And Jessica Drew coming on to him a little. But mostly it’s about his angst. The Lopezes drawing an angst-ridden Clint bellyflops. It’s not their style (Javier Pulido, Cliff Chiang, Cameron Stewart all could have done it). It’s like they just don’t get it. It’s so bad it’s impossible to even take the script seriously. McCann never should have given them this issue to illustrate. The Mockingbird stuff is a little better because she’s at least in action sequences. What McCann hasn’t done this … Continue reading Hawkeye & Mockingbird 6 (January 2011)

Hawkeye & Mockingbird 5 (December 2010)

Well. Again, McCann knows how to get his reader back for the next issue. What he does here—before revealing the issue has been contrived to path story out a couple more issues—is a “things go wrong” all-action issue. There’s a plan and it falls apart. The present action of the first twenty pages is about eight minutes. It’s a good read… until McCann gets to the end of it. Since this issue is so action-oriented, there’s really no place for the Lopezes to have their problems. The end’s a little off, when Steve and Bucky show up, but the majority … Continue reading Hawkeye & Mockingbird 5 (December 2010)

Hawkeye & Mockingbird 4 (November 2010)

Nice surprise ending. McCann’s rather good at them. He’s also good incorporating the series into the Marvel Universe without a lot of guest stars. But the way he builds to the surprise ending is the nicest part. He takes his time, informing the reader there will be one, but doesn’t show his hand and then makes it pay off. Doesn’t happen in comics enough. The issue opens like I predicted. Mockingbird realizes she’s being a psychopath and turns over control of the mission to Hawkeye, who forgives her and tells her he understands. There’s a full page kiss between the … Continue reading Hawkeye & Mockingbird 4 (November 2010)

Hawkeye & Mockingbird 3 (October 2010)

Here’s where the Lopezes’ can’t handle the script with their style. This issue is pretty gritty. It’s Mockingbird and Dominic Fortune getting vicious on the bad guys and Hawkeye being the one who’s trying to calm them down. But it’s impossible to take all Mockingbird’s forceful dialogue seriously when the Lopezes are drawing her a teenager. It just comes off wrong. For his part, McCann handles the transition well but he’s starting to feel the pull here. This issue sets up Clint and Mockingbird as diametrically opposed and it’s no longer believable he wouldn’t walk on her. She’s gone over … Continue reading Hawkeye & Mockingbird 3 (October 2010)

Hawkeye & Mockingbird 2 (September 2010)

Wow, what a harsh ending. McCann builds to it rather well, avoiding easy tension-building and getting a real surprise on the last two pages. It’s a good issue, but it does have one major issue—with the Lopezes’ art, it feels like a bunch of overgrown kids. There’s a lot of masks off talking here and no one looks old enough to be driving, much less in their thirties. And I guess I’m a little surprised Mockingbird carries around a cellphone. Even more surprised she doesn’t have it turned on vibrate when she and Dominic Fortune are off on a case. … Continue reading Hawkeye & Mockingbird 2 (September 2010)

Hawkeye & Mockingbird 1 (August 2010)

While Hawkeye & Mockingbird is a lot of fun, McCann doesn’t seem to be having it with Clint and Bobbi. Instead, the book is at its most entertaining when it’s Clint, Steve and Bucky. Bobbi’s off on her own, acting a little weird (not to mention the retcon revelation at the end) and it distances the two protagonists. The opening is fun though. The two Lopezes pace out the lengthy opening action sequence and McCann’s narration (from Hawkeye’s perspective) makes it work. Only when they get all the masks off, with Clint and the Captains America, do the Lopezes get … Continue reading Hawkeye & Mockingbird 1 (August 2010)

New Avengers: The Reunion 4 (August 2009)

It ends very cute. Nauseatingly cute because of the pseudo-manga face Lopez gives Hawkeye. It looks like a Twilight comic or something. McCann has a speedy read here but he gets a lot done. He has the big villain reveal, which is silly–I don’t care If McCann’s Mockingbird is a female character far better than most female superheroes… I don’t believe she’s a genius biologist for a minute. I also don’t believe Hawkeye’s over the age of fourteen, not with that yaoi-ready Lopez art. But it works. It’s charming enough and cute enough. Though there are way too many panels … Continue reading New Avengers: The Reunion 4 (August 2009)

New Avengers: The Reunion 3 (July 2009)

Ah ha, so while she was on Planet Skrull–next planet over from Planet Hulk–Mockingbird (I’m sorry, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to call her Bobbi) had a Skrull stalker who impersonated Hawkeye. Not just impersonated him, but filled her in on the details of his life. It’s somewhat interesting backstory but the character doesn’t need it at all. Being kidnapped by shapeshifting aliens is enough. Instead, McCann just uses it to fill the issue… and to let Lopez do his retro art thing. It’s an incredible narrative misstep for the issue because it takes up more pages … Continue reading New Avengers: The Reunion 3 (July 2009)

New Avengers: The Reunion 2 (June 2009)

It’s a soap opera, but not as a pejorative. I mean, I could be nicer and say it’s a character drama, but it’s really not because the characters are solely defined by events, nothing deeper. So it’s a soap opera. And a damned good one. Wait, wait, I do need to complain for a moment about the Lopez art. The sideburns on Clint? A disaster. A fashion disaster. Doesn’t Disney have any fashion people at ABC who can consult on these things? For a while it seems like the issue is going to be a spy thing–Clint and Mockingbird are … Continue reading New Avengers: The Reunion 2 (June 2009)

New Avengers: The Reunion 1 (May 2009)

How clean can Lopez’s artwork get? I mean, he draws Clint like he’s some kind of Backstreet Boy. Mockingbird comes off a lot better–Lopez has a similar problem with Bucky Captain America, he looks about twelve. When he and Clint bicker–a decent scene too–it’s like the Little Rascals fighting over a gumdrop. Still, it’s a solid enough first issue for what’s actually a pretty strange Marvel comic. Reunion might have been an a-list title back in the eighties, but today it’s just weird. It’s a retro book with a blandly (I mean that one in the nicest possible way) modern … Continue reading New Avengers: The Reunion 1 (May 2009)