Saturday, March 02, 2013
Comic shop comics: February 27
Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 (Marvel) I don't normally buy comics just to write about 'em, but I did in this case. I also tend to avoid $3.99 comics at all costs, but at least this one had 31-pages of story in it.
It's essentially the origin of Star-Lord, which segues smoothly into a three-page sequence in which we see Star-Lord pitching Iron Man on some joint endeavor on a spaceship, while the current Guardian line-up (Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Drax the Destroyer and Groot) are seen in the background.
It's a fine, well-crafted story, one that avoids many of the most annoying tics that usually frustrate me about writer Brian Michael Bendis' writing.
Pencil artist Steve McNiven's work, here inked by John Dell and colored by Justin Ponsor, looks pretty good. I don't care for the costume designs, which look more or less like generic body armor of the sort that characters in a videogame like, I don't know, Halo or something might wear. I really liked the more retro look sported by most of these folks in the previous, Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning/Paul Pelletier volume of Guardians of the Galaxy.
I do like Iron Man's new costume better than his other new NOW! costume, the black and yellow one.
Hawkeye #8 (Marvel) This was seriously a great week for Marvel Comics; if they published Daredevil this week as well, they would have had all of their all-around best books available.
Artist David Aja rejoins writer Matt Fraction (him again!) for a resumption of earlier plot points, including Cling Barton's war against the Tracksuit Draculas and the red-headed lady named Cherry, from the car chase/trick arrow issue.
Scenes are all set up by full-page illustrations by Annie Wu replicating romance comics (but featuring Clint, Cherry and other characters), but because Aja packs so many information-filled panels into each page, even interrupting a 20-page comic with five splash pages doesn't seem to cost the book any story-telling value. (I wish everyone involved at the Big Two would study the living hell out of Fraction and Aja's Hawkeye comics in order to see how you can make a 20-page comic read like a much longer one).
Colorist Matt Hollingsworth does an incredible job of setting scenes with unifying colors, so that the Hawkeye-dominated bits are full of purples, the Cherry bits full of reds, and a two-page bit at the end in which New York City's criminal elements have a meeting about how to get rid of Clint are full of blacks and whites.
It's another all-around great package of a comic book, and it's fun to see some characters from the wider Marvel Universe appear (Black Widow, Mockingbird and Spider-Woman in street clothes, plus Kingpin, Mr. Negative and some bad guys).
The art team of Jamie McKelvie "with" Mike Norton continues to do an amazing job on this book. I've been re-reading as many Young Avengers comics as I could find between the time the first issue of this new series came out and now (still gotta get to Children's Crusade), and Teddy and Billy have never looked this good.
The Uncanny Avengers also make a brief appearance in this issue, which I believe is the longest exposure I've had to a NOW! Avengers team. Scarlet Witch's costume looks awesome (not sure how her head thingee works though), and Captain America's looks completely ridiculous, like he's cosplaying himself or something.