Archive for Hawkeye

Squirrel Talk


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2

Galactus is coming, and only Squirrel Girl can save the world! But first she has to check out some campus clubs and realize that she has a crush on Tomas! When Tippy-Toe reveals that Galactus will arrive on Earth in just two hours, Doreen has to figure out a way to get into space fast — so she turns to her oldest ally, Iron Man — but Tony Stark is out of town, so she has to break into Stark Tower. But can she get past a horde of robot Iron Man suits?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Funny and adorable — and still filled with action and adventure! We go from punny club names and corny monologues between SG and Tippy-Toe to deliriously great splash pages of Squirrel Girl dodging lasers and later outwitting robots. This is, so far, an incredibly fun series — and it’s still early enough in its run for you to jump on board for the whole thing!


Hawkeye #21

The Bros and their pet assassin, the Clown, are about to invade Clint Barton’s apartment building, and the only thing standing in the way are Clint, his brother Barney, and just about everyone else living in the apartment, who’ve banded together to boobytrap the building to keep the Bros out. But what can one low-rent superhero, a low-rent kinda-supervillain, and a bunch of civilians do against a full-scale attack by the Tracksuit Mafia? Maybe bleed, and maybe die…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a great story, wonderful characterizations and dialogue and action, everything you want from a great siege story. Looks like we’re working our way to the end of Matt Fraction’s and David Aja’s amazing run on this comic.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • This punk band with Down Syndrome plans to go to Eurovision. I hope they win, ’cause they’re badass.
  • Every metalhead I know who’s seen these t-shirts wants them. Too bad they don’t seem to be for sale.
  • Are we sure we want to create robot preachers? If they get God on their side, the inevitable robot revolt won’t go well for us…

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Eye of the Hawk


Hawkeye #20

Kate Bishop is trying to figure out who killed her friend — with one of her own arrows, no less — bouncing in and out of jail, raiding Madame Masque’s hidout, brawling with Masque’s goons — and she finds out that what’s running Masque’s criminal empire isn’t just common crime, but cloning and immortality — and the results hit uncomfortably close to her. Can Kate stop Madame Masque, get out of jail, avoid another beating, and get out of Los Angeles?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Gorgeous art and an engaging story — lots of humor, great dialogue, outstanding action. I gotta admit, I really enjoy Kate Bishop’s storyarcs more than Clint Barton’s — she’s more pro-active, funnier, less mopey.


Velvet #7

Our focus in this issue is on two men in the agency searching for Velvet — Colt and Roberts. Colt is a superspy, traveling around the world, blowing up bad guys, and finding his clues by blowing up more bad guys. Roberts is more of an investigator — less contact with the bad guys, more digging in records. Both of them feel Velvet is leading them on a wild goose chase, always feeling surprised that the woman they thought was a common secretary was so difficult to get hold of.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A breather issue from the main storyline, with great art and action and storytelling. My quibble this issue is that both Colt and Roberts are very generic handsome white guys, which doesn’t really make it easy to tell them apart. Of course, that’s a standard trope for the British superspy genre — but maybe it shouldn’t be.


Captain Marvel #7

Carol and Tic are returning to pick up her spaceship and her cat, which have both been looked after by Rocket Raccoon. That’s a potential problem, because he believes Carol’s cat is actually a terrible egg-laying creature called a flerken, which can travel to other dimensions. Carol is less than pleased with how Chewie has been treated (Not really that badly — stuffed in a crate, true, but not abused), but before she can have it out with Rocket, aliens clamp onto the ship and start drilling their way in. What’s behind this new attack?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of fun and humor, great characterization, and a little drama, too. The plot twist is fairly predictable, but still fun.

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Give Me a Sign


Hawkeye #19

After the Bros made another attempt to take over the apartment building in a recent issue, Clint Barton ended up getting temporarily deafened while his brother Barney got a little bit shot. Luckily, Barney isn’t too terribly injured — other than being in a wheelchair, he’s getting released by the hospital. He’s definitely better off emotionally than Clint is — even though he was deafened as a kid and has struggled with occasional hearing problems in the past, Clint just can’t get a handle on anything. Barney tries to talk to him in sign language, but Clint won’t respond. Can Barney get Clint back in the game in time to help himself and everyone in the apartment building?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice storytelling gimmick, with much of the dialogue being communicated through sign language. I do wish they’d given us a translation in the back, but the visual storytelling is more than good enough to make sure we know what’s going on.


The Manhattan Projects #22

All of our regular characters are apparently being taken off the stage away from Earth. Yuri Gagarin has to flee Russia when it turns out that alien hybrids have taken over the Politburo — and then, after receiving an interstellar message from Laika, leaves the planet with Wernher von Braun to find her. Harry Daghlian leaves for the desert and declares himself an Atomic Messiah. The FDR A.I. plans its own takeover of everything. The Einsteins and Richard Feynman leave to explore the multiverse. Is this the end of the Manhattan Projects?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Well, I know the series is going to continue, because there’s another issue on the way next month. But I do wonder what form future issues will take when most of our protagonists aren’t on the stage anymore. Still, fun storytelling, great humor, and a decent dose of drama, too.


The Sandman: Overture #3

A star has gone mad and somehow, this is going to bring about the end of everything — and hundreds of nihilist alien races are rushing to take advantage of the chaos. Meanwhile, Morpheus and, um, Morpheus the Cat encounter the Furies, who are, as usual, terrible people. They get a new traveling companion, a little blue-skinned girl named Hope. Morpheus scares off some foes in a very unexpected way and tells Hope a story about a princess. And everyone pays a visit to the City of Stars.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A lot of stuff happened — enough stuff that you’d normally spread it out across two or three issues. Hope is a nice perspective character, Dream’s princess tale is just what I want from a comic about the King of Stories — and J.H. Williams III’s art continues to be spectacularly beautiful.

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Shifting Sands


The Sandman: Overture #2

Morpheus has discovered the strangest thing he’s ever seen in his entire long existence: scores of variant versions of Dream — aliens, robots, cats, superheroes, rock monsters, fish, giants, monoliths, witches, clowns, gasses, crystals, and more — and a vast, cyclopean Elder Dream that pre-dates all of them — all because another aspect of Dream has somehow died. What caused this? The answer: the universe is ending, and it’s Dream’s fault, because he once allowed a Dream Vortex to live, she destroyed a world, and is now in the process of slowly snuffing out all the stars. Can Morpheus face this task alone?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderful storytelling by Neil Gaiman, beautiful art by J.H. Williams III. An entirely weird story, told with great imagination. My primary quibble is that we’re finding out that it’ll be many more months before we see the next issue of this series, and in fact, the rest of it probably won’t be coming out on any sort of a regular schedule. That’ll make it tough for readers of each individual issue to keep track of where the story has been in the past…


Hawkeye #18

We’re back in L.A. with dead-broke socialite-superhero-private eye Kate Bishop. One of Kate’s few Los Angleles friends, a sad-sack writer who she always meets, for some reason, in the cat food aisle at the grocery store, has decided he’s bailing on the city — and then she and her two gay friends find him beat up in his fancy home, declaring morosely that he’ll never get out of L.A. alive. In fact, he ran afoul of Count Nefaria and Madame Masque and discovered some of their awful secrets. Can Kate save her friend? Can she even save herself?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Grandly goofball noir wrapped around hilarious superhero action.

Today’s Cool Links:

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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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Puzzle Time


Hawkeye #15

If you hadn’t noticed before, the previous issue of this comic was actually #16. Still don’t know why they had to publish these issues out of order. I guess we’re just lucky that every other issue switches the focus from Clint Barton to Kate Bishop, so at least we didn’t any stories out of order.

Clint’s brother Barney — who’s almost as big a sad sack as his brother — is in town for a visit. They both laze around his apartment, humiliate themselves, and periodically emerge to unleash serious whupass on the Bros. Anyway, it turns out that the Bros own every building in the area — except for the one Clint owns — but the Bros and their pet clownface assassin have just learned that Clint doesn’t actually own the building — so they can charge in and assault any of the tenants, and Clint won’t call the cops on them. And things don’t end well for the good guys after that.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s clever, wonderfully illustrated storytelling — even if I’m starting to wish Clint wasn’t quite the complete loser he’s always depicted as in this comic. Come on, the guy’s an Avenger in good standing — he should at least be able to keep his pants up when he goes outside, right?


Fantastic Four #1

The Fantastic Four is back on Earth for the first time in months, and everyone is completely sad. Sue is writing some months in the future that everything went to hell — Reed stopped inventing things, Ben went to jail for murder, Johnny dove into drinking and partying above everything else. But in the present, the team beats up Fin Fang Foom, everyone is wearing red costumes, Sue is sad about her daughter Valeria moving to Latveria, Ben is trying to restart his relationship with Alicia Masters, Johnny has signed a dumb contract with his publicist, and some gremlins have escaped into New York.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I should’ve realized when I saw James Robinson’s name on the cover that it was going to suck. Listen, when the FF has been away from Earth for so long, galavanting around outer space and the Negative Zone and whatnot, you really want to start off your new #1 issue with some reassurance for readers that this is going to be the Fantastic Four everyone knows and loves — explorers, family, jokesters — yes, you want a little angst in there, because the FF has always done angst well. The classic Mark Waid/Mike Wieringo run on the series should kinda be your model for the first issue — reintroduce your characters, hit the high points of their relationships, give us some grand excitement, promise more for the future, even as you plan dire challenges and near-defeats by Doctor Doom.

But when you start out saying “Everything is going to be depressing and sad and horrible and wrecked, and everyone’s wearing weird red costumes for some reason,” why should anyone want to read that? Well, okay, why should anyone but James Robinson want to read that? Depressing crap seems to be the only thing Robinson’s able to write anymore. Wouldn’t be surprised if he kills off both of the kids by Issue #6.

Definitely dropping this one — and I’d really been looking forward to it, too. But just reading this one issue was a depressing chore, and I’ve got enough depressing chores in my everyday life.

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Dino Danger!


Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur #5

It’s the grand conclusion of Atomic Robo’s latest storyarc! Dr. Dinosaur has built a gigantic time bomb — a bomb designed to wipe out time itself and roll history back to the age of the dinosaurs! But that’s not possible, is it? Everything Dr. Dinosaur does is stupid, right? But what if his mad science and crystals can finally do what seems impossible? Meanwhile, Tesladyne is being attacked by Majestic-12’s mercenaries — can Jenkins and Action Science save the day?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Oh, as if I would ever give this series anything but a thumbs up! But it’s a great story, great art, lots of funny lines and great action. And it ends with a thoroughly glorious cliffhanger, so now we have to wait even more desperately for the next series…


Hawkeye #16

You may not have noticed, but Marvel just completely skipped Issue #15 of this series. I have no idea why, but they apparently plan to return to that issue soon. Maybe an art issue? Like I said, no idea.

Anyway, this issue focuses on Kate Bishop, living the down-and-out superhero lifestyle out in Los Angeles. Kate runs across a deeply depressed and imbalanced former musician named Will Bryson (clearly based on the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson). Bryson is upset that his long-unfinished masterwork, “Wish,” is being released without his permission on the Internet, and Kate resolves to help him stop his brother from ruining his greatest album. So she goes with her usual M.O. — breaking and entering — which ends the way it usually seems to — caught by the bad guys. Is there a way for Kate to solve the case, or is she just gonna stomped on by goons again?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a fun comic, action-packed, funny, clever, gorgeous art — and it’s also a pretty dark story. The Brysons have a pretty horrible relationship, mostly geared around driving each other more insane, and Kate has to deal with much more ruthless enemies than normal and sustains more serious injuries. And the whole story still ends up becoming a pretty positive thing, even with the ominous mini-cliffhanger at the end. Go read it, guys, this is a great series.


Black Widow #2

Natasha Romanov gets overconfident, gets in over her head, and has to somehow recover from a simple mission that’s gone entirely wrong, all thanks to a cunning schemer called the Iron Scorpion. Will the Black Widow survive — and who’s now plotting against Natasha’s attorney?

Verdict: Ehh, really, I dunno. The problem is that, while the story is decently exciting, the Black Widow is just a femme fatale superspy — she just doesn’t have a unique personality. You get a much better femme fatale superspy in Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s “Velvet” comic.

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Heaven and Hell


Itty Bitty Hellboy #4

Well, Hellboy and his pals went to Hell last issue — this time, they’re going to visit Heaven! Watch them learn to fly clouds, explore different words starting with “H,” meet lovestruck aliens, and steal lemonade. Meanwhile, Hecate and Baba Yaga give the two Rogers some groovy disco pants.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very, very cute cartooning and storytelling — and the bit with the Rogers’ pantslessness continues to be the series’ most hilarious running joke.


FF #14

Doctor Doom is plenty irritated that he can’t track the Future Foundation, and he’s taking it out on all his allies. The Foundation, meanwhile, is holed up in the Blue Area of the Moon, enlisting the aid of Sun Tzu — an immortal alien, like Julius Caesar — to plan strategy. They also go out collecting robots and time-traveling wizards. Bentley-23 tries to sneak a peek at bathing superheroines, and Dragon Man gets the blame for it. Scott Lang is concerned that he’ll enjoy killing Doom too much, and Ahura decides to embrace adulthood and fight with the FF, rather than staying safe with the other kids. But do any of them really stand a chance against Doom?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It still has plenty of room for humor and fun, but this is also a much more serious issue, very concerned with adult concerns — and the transition from childhood to adulthood — as the team prepares to go to war.


Hawkeye #14

We get another issue focusing on Kate Bishop, trying to be a low-rent, dead-broke superhero in L.A. She volunteers to help a couple preparing for their wedding — someone has stolen the orchids they’d dreamed of having at their wedding, and some wealthy scumbag named Flynt Ward is responsible. The police refuse to get involved, and Ward has too much muscle on his side. Can Kate get the goods on the villain without getting run over by a car? Probably not…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great fun, snazzy dialogue, fun art, action all over the place. I would really love to see Kate Bishop with her own ongoing series — she’s just so much fun.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Batman ’66 #4

Batman and Robin fly to England when they realize that one particular hat-obsessed criminal is committing crimes there. After they deplane (to enthusiastic, screaming crowds), the Dynamic Duo (and Alfred, supposedly here on loan from Bruce Wayne because of his expertise driving in London’s streets) meet up with Detective Inspector Gordon of Scotland Yard but are just barely too late to stop the Mad Hatter from stealing the Crown Jewels! A frantic chase through London ensues, with Batman dangling from underneath a gigantic, hovering chapeau. In the followup tale, there’s more crime afoot in London, as the Clock King is up to no good from his secret headquarters inside Big Ben!

Verdict: Thumbs up. If the ’60s Batman series had a much, much larger budget, I’m pretty sure they would’ve done an episode where Batman went to England and chased down a bunch of flying hats. Lots of funny stuff going on here — it’s been a lot of fun to read this series.


Hawkeye #13

Clint Barton is in mourning over the death of his friend Grills and having trouble holding things together. Putting together a funeral, talking to the cops, fighting supervillains with the Avengers, losing his “sidekick” (Kate Bishop doesn’t really count as a sidekick, does she? She’s a lot more level-headed than Clint is…), losing his dog, meeting up with his ne’er-do-well brother — and he still doesn’t realize there’s an assassin stalking him.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not a lot of action this time out, but a ton of outstanding characterization as Matt Fraction and David Aja put our sad-sack hero through the emotional wringer. I love the way this series so consistently surprises us and defies expectations. Hope you’re enjoying reading it, too.

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Friday Night Fights: Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Shulkie!

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and neighbors, kids and other kids, it’s long past time to get the weekend started. To be honest, I would’ve been pretty good starting it on Tuesday or even Monday. But it’s finally here, and that calls for a celebration — namely: FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from March 1983’s The Avengers #229 by Roger L. Stern, Al Milgrom, and Joe Sinnott. She-Hulk has temporarily lost her powers after a run-in with the Radioactive Man, and Hawkeye decides to help her out by being a colossal douche.






Yes, Hawkeye, it’s always smart to taunt someone until they get mad enough to turn into an enormous green rage monster.

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