Review – Hawkeye #2

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: David Aja
Published by: Marvel Comics

Hawkeye is back, casual as ever and cool as a cucumber as he brings Kate Bishop into the picture. The young shooting ace for those unaware played a role filling in for Clint over the years. She’s back now but not as some majestic super hero or sidekick but just because she can, it’s a growing trend in this new series and a refreshing one. The thing to remember about this new Hawkeye branch is that it’s a refreshing take on character and storytelling. We’re not always going to be in a life or death situation with the galaxy at stake, when we come into Hawkeye #2 we see that as almost a sitcom introduction as their lives continue on without the reader.

The issue itself gets momentum fast, we learn about things Clint has been up to since we last saw him tackle his own landlord. We also find out why Kate is looming around the apartment reading his paper and drinking his coffee after a dramatic opening panel. The problems never stop in the city and they’re about to explore of them firsthand as an undercover duo tackles a new mystery invading New York. If you enjoyed the easy and direct dialogue of the first Hawkeye, this new one remains just as interesting and even dives into back story around Clint in his youth.

Instead of feeling like a regular action comic I can say Fraction and Aja have created a table piece in my eyes. You read Hawkeye and you don’t just get a quick slap of adventure and a hook for a new issue, instead you get an opening, body and closure to the issue that doesn’t always rely on a hook to keep you going. In theory you could stop reading right now and be perfectly satisfied. That’s how well they’ve handled it and how much of a departure it is from other books running around right now.

Carnivals, criminals, aspiring heroes and a hero all pack themselves into the short amount of pages in Hawkeye #2 and honestly I think fans should really give this series a shot because it doesn’t stop delivering good experiences.

Release Date: September 5, 2012

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

Marvel Sneak Peek: Hawkeye #2 sneak peek pages arrive

We recently reviewed Hawkeye and found it to be a refreshing shift of pace for comics and talking about the heroes we see in action so often in the Marvel world. Hawkeye #2 is already headed to shelves for its September 5, 2012 appearance where Kate Bishop joins his battles and presents a new dimension to his already troubled daily life.

Check out the gallery below, keep in mind these pages have no text yet.

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 

Sideshow Unveils Comic-Con 2012 Sneak Peeks

Via: Marvel News

Sideshow Collectibles has released some teaser images for some of the figures from their 2012 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Marvel line. Products include a Doctor Doom Legendary 1:2 Scale Figure, a 1:4 scale Hawkeye Premium Format Figure (Comics Version), and a 33″ tall Galactus Maquette.

See the pictures below!

 

Review – The Avengers (2012) Movie

The wait is over for the latest Marvel Super Hero installment, Marvel has released The Avengers to theaters this weekend and it’s taking off like mad. The new movie spearheaded by Joss Whedon sets out to combine the lives of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye into a single classic package from the comic world. The article will try to stay as spoiler free as possible so everyone can read it without feeling like I just killed the ending.

Given past experiences this isn’t something that’s a given to go well, many have felt the burn from bad group movies like Fantastic Four and some of X-Men as well. Fortunately Whedon has a history with Marvel in writing story arcs and developing characters across their roster, as a result he has a bit of an understanding about how they work. Add onto this he’s a creator from the genre and understands developmental trends from the Marvel Universes, as a result we get a mixture of hero profiles that set up a great experience without trying to reinvent the wheel, instead he just borrows from the best of all there is to pick from.

The basics are easy, Loki has returned and he’s in for payback, he has an army with him and a plan to launch a full-scale invasion if he’s lucky. With his brother preoccupied elsewhere and his existence thought to be lost to the void he’s on a limited free ride ticket to get into action while he can. Unfortunately this is where things go horribly wrong, in his last trip to Earth he didn’t take the time to absorb the level of the heroes on the planet, as a result he’s stuck with something he didn’t account for, some big names that don’t take kindly to getting shoved around.

As a Marvel movie this hits a lot of points that get missed in regular releases, while running at around 2 hours and 30 minutes from previews to credits it uses the time to create story, relationships, conflicts and resolve without axing too much off. It’s very common to see critical development skimmed through in favor of being flashy or saving time, Whedon doesn’t dive into this all that much and the experience is richer for it. We see a band of heroes that had no real relations jump into the fray with genuine conflict instead of magical cooperation, given the fights that happen in the comic universe it was a relief to see that no one was really happy-go-lucky in the story.

The result of this is an intense experience and one of the most impressive accomplishments is the development of the best Hulk I’ve seen yet in the movies from Marvel right now. The personality development is critical and the focus goes from the random generations of Banner to something closer to the Hulk seen in arcs like Planet Hulk. If there’s a chance to keep that thunder going it would likely prove to renew faith in the franchise even if it was yet another reboot. Other characters like Captain America get a heavy kick to the modern age, we left off with him trying to cope with the modern age but Whedon helps crank a reluctant Captain into full gear by making him step up to the situation at hand.

Other developments include a reformed Thor, while headed toward greater responsibility he’s less of a hot-head figure in the development, using calculated attacks and complete control of the hammer to dish out heavy damage to anyone in his way. The other step up in development came from Iron Man, while there’s no doubt that Tony Stark likes to let it rip, he’s at a technological point where he’s more interested in knowing more and doing more than ever before. While he still gets to be a bit of an ass it’s nothing that dwarfs the rest of the cast in the movie and often serves to develop the story around other characters even more.

While I had a lot of excitement going into The Avengers, it was a true test to see if it held up to expectations, it’s safe to say that it delivers on multiple levels. As a comic movie it brings intense action and storytelling to new levels, it doesn’t short the audience to meet a deadline and it draws a full story experience from start to finish. Joss even finds time to tease other parts of the universe throughout the film to the final seconds before the MPAA rating screen closes out the movie, yes that’s right sit through EVERYTHING, if you leave early you’ll only hurt your own experience.

Visually The Avengers brings intense environments through heavy use of locations and CG implementation, the story sells because they took the time to go through how they sold the comic and kept to that. With so much time taken into making this a major accomplished piece there aren’t any areas that just blatantly scream out that a corner was cut. It’s easy to know so many things are CG in the film but the immersion remains strong throughout the movie and owns what it is by utilizing the technology to the extreme.

Overall it’s an experience to catch although some may need to prepare themselves for it based on the running time. While it is action driven it’s very much about the drama and adventure throughout the story and that may set some fans back. If you’re a general movie fan hoping for a blind rush of action that lacks depth I’d still say try to see this, if you’re looking for a well executed comic movie, you’d only rip yourself off by skipping The Avengers. Now the question remains if Marvel can hold the rest of their movies up to the same bar. For my experience this was one of the most rewarding installments I’ve come across for Marvel movies, I was interested going in with minimal fears and I came out wanting to see it again.

Story:★★★★½ 
Cinematography:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

99 cent Marvel Mondays gives Hawkeye and Black Widow the spotlight this week!

It’s another Marvel Monday and the company is kicking off the week with a combination of Hawkeye and Black Widow with some of their more recent moments in Marvel History. Check out the list below and get in on the sale via your iOS or Android device or your computer while you can! The sale wraps up at 11pm EST or 8pm PST

  • Hawkeye & Mockingbird
  • Hawkeye: Blind Spot
  • Ultimate Comics: Hawkeye
  • Black Widow

Link: Marvel Mondays 99 Cent Sale

Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner talk The Avengers, also TV Trailer

It was getting a bit much with all the Avengers posts but one highlight of this interview by Marvel stood out as a lovely moment that had to be shared.

Zack Zeigler recently talked to both actors for the movie on characters and costumes, we got some gems of the following that had to get passed forward.

“We are humans with high skill sets,” Renner said. “[Hawkeye and Black Widow] fight well together…and they complement each other.”

Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson star as Hawkeye and Black Widow in “Marvel’s The Avengers”
Added Johansson, “Both of us fight hand-to-hand…but we’re fighting in a different way than everybody else. We do a lot of fighting on the ground.”

Johansson made her debut as Black Widow in “Iron Man 2,” where we learned of her affiliation with S.H.I.E.L.D. and that she wouldn’t hesitate to lay the smack down on bad guys. Renner made a brief cameo as the bow-and-arrow wielding Hawkeye in “Thor.”

For both Renner and Johansson, getting into character never posed a problem. The issue was getting comfortable in their characters’ clothing.

“It was like 800 degrees in my costume…and everybody looked incredibly uncomfortable until the cameras were rolling,” she said. “And then ‘Cut!’ and we were all like, ‘Ugh, this thing! Get it off me, it’s awful!”

There’s one more part that makes this priceless, although I’m not sure how great Mark Ruffalo feels about it.

Added Renner, “I think the humility award goes to [Mark] Ruffalo. [He was] in a thong or wearing something unflattering, and he’s supposed to be the [Incredible Hulk].”

Keep that in mind future potential Hulk actors, running around in a thong might be part of your job requirements. Outside of that you do get to look like a badass on the big screen and that just might make up for all of the labor invested.

To top things off we have the latest TV Spot showing a roll call of the team.

Link: Marvel News

Captain America & Hawkeye #629 preview art arrives

Captain America and Hawkeye are teaming up again, with so many conflicts they’re willing to put some of it aside for the greater good. Cullen Bunn and Alessandro are on board to help launch the new book later this month (April 25). Their adventure is a bit abnormal, they’ll be fighting dinosaurs and other prehistoric friends while trying to retain some mutual ability to work together in the thick of it all.

Some words from the writing duo on this new character mashup.

“When I originally described this arc, I said something along the lines of ‘Captain America and Hawkeye fight a bunch of dinosaurs,’” Bunn notes. “That was [both] an oversimplification and a bit of misdirection on my part. What they face is much, much worse than just a bunch of dinosaurs. An evil thought long-destroyed is awakening beneath the mountains. It becomes readily apparent that they should have called in [all] the Avengers from the get-go.”

“I’ve always liked Stegron,” says Bunn. “He’s a fun dinosaur guy with a mad scientist’s brain. More importantly, though, his particular power-set made him a perfect fit for the story I had in mind. This is a strange, creepy adventure for Cap and Hawkeye [and] it’s Stegron who sets everything in motion.

“On the surface, Cap may be a little too ‘stuffed shirt’ to be versatile, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Bunn insists. “[That] may be the public persona, but Cap is just as human as the next person. He has his moments of doubt, humor, awkwardness and self-reflection.

“In this series, we’re seeing how Cap intersects with other heroes. [His] partners may enter these team-ups with preconceived notions. In some cases, Cap may live up to their expectations. In others, he may surprise them.”

For those wondering, this will not end up as a steady pairing with Hawkeye and the Captain, instead it will evolve as a group event series allowing Captain America to interact with many heroes in the Marvel Universe and develop his character even more.

Link: Marvel News

A Black Widow trailer appears and Robert Downey Jr. Talks Avengers

On the 4th day of April Marvel gave to… well they gave a new trailer showcasing Black Widow in The Avengers movie, it’s a pretty sweet clip although she still will have quite a challenge ahead against the supernatural forces at work. Worth a watch especially if you like to see Scarlett Johansson getting acrobatic and wrecking shop.

Robert Downey Jr. follows up on that by interviewing with Marvel about his role in the Avengers as Tony Stark and how the impressions found of his character leading into the movie wont exactly dictate where we see him now. Given the story control has shifted hands and we’ve seen Tony make leaps and bounds between stories that’s not a far cry for expectations.
He also notes how impressive it is to work with Joss Whedon on this film and how any situation can flip in a moments notice working with him, any challenges in scripts or scenes are tackled in a moments notice and the fluid motion of the whole thing goes uninterrupted.
“[Joss] is really quick and incredibly responsible to his job requirements, to the letter,” Downey, Jr. said. “There’s a scene at the end that kind of unites Thor and Cap and Tony, and it needed to say a lot…but it couldn’t be two pages, so [Joss] said, ‘Give me a second.’ It ended up being four lines that included all of us and he gave us three pages of options. The guy is kind of a machine, but [what he writes] feels organic.”
It’s a good sign for the movie, Marvel has had a very unsteady past with franchise successes but this seems to be their strongest card to play yet. On top of this momentum the company is also pushing forward news on Thor 2 coming November 15, 2013 and Iron Man 3 in May 3, 2013.

Marvel brings Avengers TV Spot Brings Helicarrier and Agent Coulson Poster

Avengers stuff is going crazy this month, between AvX and the new Avengers movie it’s getting heavy. First up, Agent Coulson gets a new movie poster, he’s a right hand man to Nick Fury and a huge part of helping the team organize to take on their latest threat.

No word on the movie poster availability like the Lego one but here’s to hoping it’s out there anyway. With that said, check out the video below and enjoy the poster resolution we have available.