Archive for Chris Eliopoulos

It’s a Clint Barton Christmas!


Hawkeye #17

In a flashback to a previous issue, Clint falls asleep while watching a cheesy Christmas cartoon and dreams that he’s a cartoon dog who has to rescue the superheroic and holiday-themed Winter Friends — even though he has no superpowers. He’s assisted and hampered by a bunch of other cartoon dogs with suspicious similarities to his friends and teammates. Can he save Christmas?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Glorious cartooning by Chris Eliopoulos. Really, I don’t know what else I can say — just plain glorious cartooning by Chris Eliopoulos.


The Fox #5

Paul Patton finds himself trapped in the past — stuck in a battle between the Druid and a trio of WWII supersoldiers — the Shield from America, Master Race from Germany, and Hachiman from Japan. The Druid plans to use his magical powers to destroy the world, and the humans can’t stop fighting each other instead of the true menace. The Fox has to convince them to join forces — not just as superheroes, not just as fellow humans, but as kindred spirits.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice story, and a nice wrap-up to the series. Nice to see the rare example of the Axis supervillains given a chance at redemption, too.


Black Widow #4

Natasha gets a very routine assignment that gets very complicated when someone blows up an embassy right out from under her. The villain is some sort of deluded powerhouse monk, and he’s more than a match for the unpowered superspy.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Much more enjoyable story this time — it makes it much more bearable for this character when she’s taking on people who are tougher than she is, instead of a bunch of normal schmucks.

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Go West, Young Man

Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse

Here’s a nice little graphic novel that was previewed in Archaia’s awesome mini-hardcover Free Comic Book Day collection a few weeks back. I wasn’t sure that it’d ever make its way down to Denton, but I was able to grab hold of it last weekend, so let’s give it a whirl.

It’s an all-ages Western, written by Nate Cosby and illustrated by Chris Eliopoulos, with a few short mini-features by Roger Langridge, Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, Mike Maihack, and Colleen Coover.

It’s the story of a ten-year-old boy named Boyd Linney, who’s out roaming the Wild West all by himself. Boyd is a bounty hunter, dedicated to capturing his own family, all notorious outlaws and scallywags, and bringing them to justice. His only allies are a horse and his Horse — a hobby horse that he’s converted into a shotgun.

So we get to watch Boyd go after his own criminal kin, including his sad-sack father, his low-down brother, and more besides. We get a look at his awful childhood, as his rotten relations made his sleep in the pig pen. We get to watch him accidentally make a man’s life worse by defending him from bullies. We get to watch him foil crooked lawmen, and we get to see him have a few fleeting moments of happiness before he’s left on his own again.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Let’s talk about the art. Hopefully, y’all are familiar with Chris Eliopoulos by now — he’s got a simple, straightforward, cartoony style, which I’ve told y’all before is the best way to make a comic that’s both fun and emotional. There is nothing more hilarious than watching Boyd gruffly grumble his way through some outlandish feat of derring-do. There’s also nothing more heart-wrenching than watching him — or anyone else — choke back tears.

And there are tears a-plenty. This is an all-ages comic, but I think there’s a chance some kids may not be able to handle the emotional content, especially if they have abandonment issues or if they’re a bit clingy. On the other hand, other kids are going to be completely gleeful about the fantasy of a little kid roaming the Wild West and blowing up saloons. Buyer beware, parents — know your kids, read the book, decide if your young-uns will be okay with it.

For all the emotional heart-tugging, this is also a very funny comic, with buckets of humor both whimsical and more down-to-earth. There is also a wagon-load of action and thrills. And it’s a beautifully made book, a hardcover that’s just a joy to hold in your hands. Cosby, Eliopoulos, and Archaia have done an outstanding job with this one.

You may want to get it for your kids. You may want to get it just for you. But I do think you should go pick it up.

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