Behind the Masque


Hawkeye Annual #1

Our focus in this new annual isn’t on Clint Barton, but on Kate Bishop, who’s finally gotten fed up with Clint’s self-pitying moronitude and caught a flight to the West Coast. Unfortunately, Madame Masque, who holds a grudge against Kate because she humiliated her in a previous battle, finds out she’s heading for Cali. Masque manages to get all of Kate’s stuff — her car, her weapons, her clothes, her money — stolen. Luckily, she finds a new friend — Whitney Frost, a wealthy socialite who offers to put her up for the night and also maybe to kill her. Oh, because Whitney Frost is also Madame Masque. How is Kate going to escape from a crazed criminal mastermind and her dozens of loyal stooges?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a fun, funny, action-packed story starring Kate Bishop, who is all kinds of awesome. This thing is full of fantastic dialogue, too. Can we talk art? Javier Pulido’s art is worlds of fun. Stylish and nifty and cartoonish and, like I said, worlds of fun. Y’all love Hawkeye, right? Of course you do. Go pick this one up, kids.


Lazarus #2

Forever Carlyle is her family’s Lazarus — an almost unkillable combat machine responsible for protecting the family members and their assets. And she’s started doubting her mission, at least partially because her brothers and sisters are all irredeemable scumbags who spend most of their time plotting against each other. But the Carlyle family is apparently under attack by the rival Morray family, her siblings want to go to war, and Forever has strong misgivings about all of this. Her father appears to share those misgivings — but he may be just as conniving as his children. He charges Eve with a secret mission, and she accompanies one of her brothers back to Los Angeles. While her siblings steam over what she’s up to, Eve takes a trip deep into enemy territory…

Verdict: Thumbs up. The dystopia described is still fascinating — and definitely check the sidebars in the letter column for this world’s history — and Forever remains a very deeply interesting character. Her siblings are all absolute scum, and I think we’ll enjoy getting to watch them all get killed eventually. The art is gorgeous, too. It’s just the second issue — there’s still time to get in on the beginning of this one, if you haven’t done so yet.


Uncanny Avengers #10

The Avengers are squabbling amongst themselves and splitting up to try to locate the Apocalypse Twins, but the twins are already several steps ahead — and they’ve created their own Four Horsemen of Apocalypse. But this time, they’re called the Four Horsemen of Death, because they’re all, well, dead. Banshee takes out Havok and the Scarlet Witch, the Grim Reaper goes after Wonder Man, the Sentry drags Thor to a planet on the other side of the galaxy, and Daken targets Wolverine.

Verdict: Ehh, it’s not that bad, but it’s also seeming more and more needlessly complicated. Of the resurrected characters, Banshee is the only one I’ve got any real affection for, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they’ll somehow manage to keep him alive. But for the rest — the Grim Reaper was a nonentity, Daken was strictly there to be a psycho, and I’d prefer that the Sentry be erased from history.

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