Kori and Stella are going to take a vacation with Atlee to her home, Strata, deep inside the earth. The travel down through the swamp in a see-through bubble for miles and miles — and when they finally arrive, Strata is pretty great — except for Kori suddenly getting sick and a monster despot invading the city…
Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s an issue mostly devoted to people talking, so that’s pretty great. There were a lot of small, cool moments in here. Starfire’s caterpillar pal Silkie from the “Teen Titans” TV show finally appears in the comics, though his name is recorded here as Syl’Khee. Strata’s agent on Earth is disguised as a redneck Everglades river guide. Atlee’s family in Strata are depicted almost exactly the way they were by Amanda Conner in the old “Power Girl” series (which makes sense since she’s one of the writers). The only thing I didn’t like about it is that I just learned there are only three issues left before this series ends.
While Captain America tries to track down the increasingly unstable Harry Osborn before he kills Spider-Woman, Captain Stacy has decided to take a meeting with Matt Murdock, sleasy blind lawyer and secret Kingpin of Crime. Murdock knows Gwen is Spider-Woman, and his offer to keep Gwen safe if she’ll serve as his foot soldier is sweetened when he orders his army of ninjas to attack Frank Castle. Can Castle survive the attack? Will Stacy give in to Murdock’s persuasion?
Verdict: Thumbs up. Actually, Gwen barely appears in this issue, but Cap’s search, Captain Stacy’s confrontation with Murdock, and Castle’s battle with the ninjas are outstanding high-drama tent-poles to hang this comic on…
All-New Hawkeye #4
In the present, Clint Barton is trying to rescue the Project Communion kids. He snows Maria Hill into telling him where they are — she reveals that they’ve just been kidnapped by HYDRA, and he gives chase with a few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in tow. He gets to show off some nifty superhero stunt work, but things don’t really go to plan. Meanwhile, in the past, we get a look at Kate Bishop’s childhood. Unhappy with her rich-kid lifestyle, she’s also desperate for attention and approval from her father. But soon enough, she learns something that will change her opinion of her dad forever.
Verdict: Thumbs up. Cool to see Clint getting to do superhero stuff — you think Captain America is the only person who can dive out of a plane without a parachute? As always, Ramon Perez’s amazing art makes a glorious contrast between the present and the pastel past.