Review – Hit-Girl #2 (2012)

Writer & Co-Creator: Mark Millar
Breakdowns & Co-Creator: John Romita Jr.
Finishes & Ink Washes: Tom Palmer
Colors: Dean White with Michael Kelleher
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Variant Cover: Dave Johnson
Published by: Marvel Comics

Hit-Girl issue 1 introduces a new rise in crime and the need for the hero duo to return to the streets. We see a slew of new criminals and it’s Hit-Girl who declares to Kick-Ass that a return to the streets is inevitable. In issue 2 she takes him under her wing to train him in the art of being a Super Hero and they set into the training music, well… there is no training music but you can imagine there’s something incredibly cool going on there.

As a crash course it’s a shock to see Kick-Ass really grow a pair in the issue, it does help defeat the issue of him hesitating in action situations that she’ll present. Of course this isn’t to say everything goes off without a hitch, Marcus is of course onto Mindy and dead set on her dropping her old ways to ensure they all have a happier and normal family life after all this time. Unfortunately the roofies kick in and his concerns go out the window as she sets off in full gear for a real test of all the training she’s put Dave through.

Unfortunately as well as he might do, there’s always the unexpected and in this case the old forms of absolute death came swinging through. It seems that old habits die-hard and Kick-Ass will have to adapt to her style of getting things done versus his more noble version. The clash will likely keep pushing through as Mindy attempts to battle her way into social circles to better function in her cover identity at school.

As a whole, issue 2 of Hit-Girl brings tons of action, drama, swearing and great moments of this new duo bonding as heroes and still able to bicker over the little things. On top of that, Red Mist shows his face and moves to set the spotlight on himself for this act, it’s showtime for the Super Villain movement and it looks like all chaos is about to hit the city as they find the opposing force to this push for justice and peace. Unfortunately the climax leaves one begging for the end of August to roll around to find out where this is all going.

Release Date: July 25, 2012

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

Review – Hit-Girl #1 (2012)

Writer & Co-Creator: Mark Millar
Breakdowns & Co-Creator: John Romita Jr.
Finishes & Ink Washes: Tom Palmer
Colors: Dean White with Michael Kelleher
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Covers: Leandro Fernandez, Ileana Montechiarini and Phil Noto
Published by: Marvel Comics

Hit-Girl is no more, well if that was the case we wouldn’t be here. Instead she’s back and so is Kick-Ass in a new series of adventures that will help tie up the gap between Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2. Not only are the duo involved but we see new faces and Red Mist return to the stage for this next act of the saga.

Issue 1 of the Hit-Girl series starts off with the criminal element of the city tuning up a teen hero, unfortunately in Kick-Ass fashion this isn’t them helping out by changing plugs and oil and helping their auto needs. Instead it’s a pipe, a lot of hitting and general street brutality, the goal is simple, sell out Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl so they mob can make an example of them. Given their vast knowledge of technology it seems they don’t understand that not everyone just knows who everyone else is in this crusade. As a result there’s a lot of excessive violence and death as they move down the list trying to execute revenge and their own personal declarations of triumph and try to secure the crown of Crime Boss.

Mindy is back in the public, this time taking up life with her Mother and Marcus going to the same school as Dave, facing the issues of being a kid in school with taunting, cliques and general drama that she never really faced in her training. While she could kill someone 200 ways she can’t use the same technique to shut down a diva trying to stay on their perch that insults her clothing choices. It’s a taxing time having to step away from something she knew so well but she hasn’t been sitting on her hands, instead she’s been ready for the next chapter of this battle.

Kick-Ass is his usual self, a bit paranoid and sketchy to be going head-on with so much heat around them and the heat from the mob still burning their feet. He’s game to support her though and make sure this goes through, even if his inner-confidence still leaves a bit to be desired, the fact is as far as the timeline goes. He only just helped take down one of the biggest crime bosses around.

Crime lords, street gangs, Red Mist and a hero war are all on the verge of breaking out and it’s only going to get uglier as the central heroes that set this game into play sit out of the field. If the end of the issue is any indicator, that could very well change and boy will it ever. Miller, Romita and the art team do a great job delivering a quality middle ground to clear up what happened in the off-time and we’ll have our second issue review of Hit-Girl #2 up shortly.

Release Date: June 27, 2012

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

Review – Hawkeye #1 (2012)

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: David Aja & Matt Hollingsworth
Variant Covers: Adi Granov, Pasqual Ferry & Matt Hollingsworth
Published by: Marvel Comics

Marvel broke the news on the new Hawkeye release earlier this year, no one really knew how well it would pan out until that first issue hit. Well, issue 1 is here and it’s time to see how this massive grouping of talent works out.

We see Hawkeye outside of his usual element with the Avengers, fighting crime against local crime and dealing with his everyday life outside of saving the world. It’s a unique tale that promises to shed a less glamorous and spectacle filled take on who he is and how his life is outside of those life or death moments, well I shouldn’t say that. Clint Barton manages to get himself into difficult situations no matter where he goes in the world, even in his own neighborhood.

We catch Barton recovering after a mission, his injury putting him on the disabled list for a good period of time until he can catch up and join the Avengers again. In that period though he gets familiar with his old neighborhood and lets off a bit of steam that built up during his hospital time incapacitated. We get to see his home life, what he really wants out of his days and where his sense of justice and fairness really roots itself at. While He’s just a regular guy, he came up through a rougher past and so he’s not the flying stars and stripes representative that we see out of Captain America.

In fact it’s through this book that it becomes clear how Cap and Hawkeye have so many difficulties, easily inspired in battle with him but outside of that he’s very much a man to his own devices and sense of action. Going to far to tell people as Clint, not even Hawkeye, how it’s going to be and making sure to drive that point home using the skills he’s honed to perfection as Hawkeye. There’s humor, tension and a sense of drama and pity for him through the pages, he fights for the underdog and even for dogs and it makes you think of the guy a little different. As a launch issue it takes a calmer tone and works to round out his opening story without feeling rushed and it’s a genuine relief to see given how fast so many other series are moving right now.

Release Date: August 1, 2012

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #9 (AVX)

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Jason Aaron
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: John Dell
Colors: Laura Martin w/ Larry Molinar
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Jim Cheung, Mark Morales & Justin Ponsor
Variant Covers: Adam Kubert & Justin Ponsor | Ryan Stegman & Matt Wilson
Published by: Marvel Comics

The Phoenix Four have been on a heck of a ride, yes… four. Namor lost himself in his attack on Wakanda and with that he lost the Phoenix Force which distributed itself to the others. Issue 9 leaves us looking forward though, to the continued battles of the Avengers against the growing instability of the Phoenix avatars. We join one such Avenger waking up in a bloody, beaten and blurry state trying to remember where he was, what’s going on and what he’s going to do. Unfortunately all of that is irrelevant because his opponents carry the Phoenix Force.

For those hoping to see a happier chapter come to the Avengers I can’t promise you very much. There are some moments of hope and small victories but they fail to outweigh the damage still being dealt by the X-Men. Our star really does come from the cover image though, Spider-Man has his time to genuinely shine as only he can and we see some heavy tension as he does what he feels only he can accomplish. The whole unknown of the Way of the Spider is still a bit of a mystery, from the sound of things, Parker has rattled off everything he can think of to her for inspiration but it’s not enough.

The issue wraps with just as much fire as it started with and we see the Phoenix Power channel down to just a select two. It’s a tense moment and Hope realizes even if she’s not ready to throw down, it’s far too late to be concerned about that as her own time has run out. The fight is about to get even uglier as X-Men and mutants distance themselves from this group and the Phoenix Two seem to be at polar opposites for control of their powers.

Release Date: August 1, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆