Review: Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a WeaponHawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hawkeye


Introduction:

Now, I will admit that when I first heard about Marvel launching their “Marvel NOW” line (which is similar to DC doing their “New 52” reboot, except that “Marvel NOW” is not a reboot), I was a bit hesitant about reading any of the comic books from this line because:

1) I did not like the direction that Marvel was taking some of their franchises (X-Men in particular).
2) Since I have not been reading Marvel Comics (or DC comics for that matter) that long, I was afraid that I would not understand some of the new comics coming out since I have not read a lot of the previous comics before the 1970s and some from the 1990s yet.

But, after I heard so many good things about this comic book, I just had to put my reservations about the “Marvel NOW” comic book line on hold and give Matt Fraction’s hit series “Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon” a chance! Lo and behold, I found myself loving this series and I wanted to read more from “Hawkeye!”


What is this story about?

Basically in this volume, it details the adventures that Clint Barton, also known as the legendary Avenger, Hawkeye, has whenever he is not with the Avengers. Along for the ride in these adventures, is Young Avenger member Kate Bishop and she and Clint end up fighting crime in New York City while wielding their bow and arrows in the process!


What I loved about this story:

Matt Fraction’s writing: Now I will admit that this is probably the first time I had ever read an “Avengers” comic book since I am more of an “X-Men” fan, but after hearing so many good things about this comic book, I decided to give Hawkeye a try and I found myself loving this volume! Matt Fraction has done a brilliant job at keeping this story self contained (which was what I was looking for when I picked up some comic books in the “Marvel NOW” comic book line) and I really enjoyed the solo adventures that Hawkeye went on. I also loved the way that Matt Fraction made Clint Barton into a truly hilarious and active character and I loved his little quips throughout the entire story. Some of my favorite lines from Hawkeye was when he was making fun of how the older comic books would set up the dialogues whenever they are translating foreign languages (like you know how the older comic books would tell the readers “translated from Russian” or “translated from Japanese”)? Well, his dialogue would go like this:


“(Some Spanish-sounding stuff)!” or “(French Stuff).”

I also loved the way that Matt Fraction portrayed Clint Barton’s relationship with Kate Bishop as it is both heartwarming and hilarious to look at and it was fantastic seeing another character who had the same sharp-shooting skills as Hawkeye does.

David Aja and Javier Pulido’s artwork: David Aja and Javier Pulido’s artwork were fantastic in this volume as they are reminiscent of the artwork in Frank Miller’s classic “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” comic book. I loved the way that David Aja’s artwork in the first three issues is scratchy and bold lined while still capturing the essence of each action scene involving Hawkeye and Kate Bishop fighting against criminals. Javier Pulido’s artwork in the fourth and fifth issues are much lighter in color tone and much more detailed in designs and I really loved the way that they captured the characters and the action scenes.

Hawkeye


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

Probably the only issue that I did not care for in this volume was the “Young Avengers Presents #6” issue. For one thing, I do not normally read the “Young Avengers” comic book series, so I will admit that I was a little confused about what was going on, even though this issue is supposed to be when Kate Bishop first meets Hawkeye. Another thing about this issue was that I felt that the tone of the story was way too different from the tone of the rest of the volume, which was light hearted and action-packed while this issue was dark and had too much soap opera drama for my tastes. So, all in all, I think that this issue was just average and not as good as the rest of the issues in this volume. Although, I did enjoyed Alan Davis’ artwork in this issue as it was gorgeous to look at and the characters’ facial expressions were realistic.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon” is one truly brilliant volume for anyone who is a huge Hawkeye fan and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of his series in the near future!

Rating?

5 pows

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Review: All-New Doop, by Peter Milligan

All-New DoopAll-New Doop by Peter Milligan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Read in conjunction with DD week…D for Doop. Dumb, Dimwitted, Dullard, De-tarded, dispicable, displaced, depressing, desperate, etc.


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Doop was a pleasant Lillie addition to the Wolverine and the X-Men book by Jason Aaron, comic relief and inside jokes, but not a focus very often.

I guess he was a hit, so they decided to make a book about him…oh that was a baaad idea.

He’s the summary: what rhymes with Doop? Poop. What’s a synonym for Poop? Shit. This book is what? Yup.

Art stinks, story is just a suggestion here, not and actual plot, and they make Doop into a creepy voyeur who obsesses over Kitty. He videotapes everything, and then slides through the margins (because he’s a MARGINAL character, get it?) to help? Or just manipulate events. He also has a terrible storyline where he discovers that his mother is actually an asexual hermaphrodite. Oh that’s so funny! Hahaha someone is different! Also, early on, they let Doop speak English, which kinda takes away any need to be clever at all. This is a big fat turd of a book.

Doop is Poop.


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Review: Cyclops, Vol. 1: Starstruck by Greg Rucka

Cyclops, Vol. 1: StarstruckCyclops, Vol. 1: Starstruck by Greg Rucka

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a touching Father/Son Road Trip story!
Except, it’s in space. And the father is a cosmic pirate using illegal drugs to keep himself alive. Oh, and the son was brought out of the past, so there’s actually another older more jaded version of himself running around trying to start a Revolution.
But besides that stuff, it’s your regular old road trip story.
Yep.

In all seriousness, I thought this was pretty good. I’ve never read much about the Starjammers, so I had no idea who they are or what they do.


In my mind, I sort of envisioned this:

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Shockingly, I was wrong.
Apparently, the Starjammers do NOT play instruments.


Not a guitar or eye-patch in sight:

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The Starjammers are part of Marvel’s cosmic family, led by Scott & Alex Summers dad, Corsair.
Remember when Scott’s parents shoved him and his little brother out of that plane (with the only parachute) to save their lives?
Ok. So, it turns out they weren’t killed in the crash, they were actually abducted by aliens (I swear). After they (the Shi’ar) killed his wife, Corsair escaped and decided to…join the Starjammers & fight ’em, I guess.
What? I said I didn’t know much about the origins of this team!

Anyway, Corsair has already met Old Bitter Cyclops, but this is the first time Kid Cyclops.
Time to start fresh!

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Alrighty, I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll just give the bare bones version of the plot.
Baby Cyclops + Corsair + Bonding Time + Bounty Hunters + Spaceship Crash + Deserted Planet + No Medicine + Hard Talk + Gotta Grow Up Fast + Suck It Up For Your Kid + Desperate Plan = Volume 1 of Cyclops

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In the end, I really enjoyed this one. I wasn’t expecting much of anything when I cracked it open, so it was a pleasant surprise. It was kinda awesome to see a version of Cyclops that isn’t huffing and puffing and trying to blow S.H.I.L.E.D. down.
Not sure if everyone is going to love this, but I’ll definitely read the next volume.

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Review: Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 4: VS. S.H.I.E.L.D. by Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo (Illustrator), Kris Anka (Illustrator)

Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 4: VS. S.H.I.E.L.D.Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 4: VS. S.H.I.E.L.D. by Brian Michael Bendis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pot Luck Buddy Read

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If you haven’t been keeping up with this title, there may be SPOILERS in this review.
{insert spooky voice}
You’ve been warned! Ooga Booga Booga!

As the title suggests, Cyclops and his Uncanny X-men declare war on S.H.I.E.L.D., and hilarity naturally ensues.

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Now, this isn’t a spoiler since you’re also getting things from Maria’s POV, but all the attacks on the Scott’s crew are only being made to seem like they’re coming from S.H.I.E.L.D. I fucking hate typing out that acronym, and she’s scrambling to figure out what the hell is going on.
When they finally do the Big Reveal at the end, I was a bit…
Underwhelmed?

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Yes, I knew who the character was, but it was more WTF? than WOW!, if you know what I mean.
Maybe this was something I would have found cool if I had been following all of the other multiple X-titles out there? Not sure.

Anyway, the war with S.H.I.E.L.D. Goddamn it! All those freakin’ capital letters and periods! was secondary for me. There were plenty of other highlights in this volume.
Such as…
The unmasking of Mystique, who has been posing as Dazzler since volume 1! FINALLY we find out where Dazzler has been kept, and we also get Magneto back for a bit when he pulls off her rescue.
Although, she does go through a bit of an identity crisis after she gets back.

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Do we like Dazzler’s new look, or is it too gimmicky?
Well, I will say that now it’s a helluva lot easier to tell her apart from Illyana and Emma Frost. Before? I sometimes had to squint really hard, because the blondes tend to blend together.
I don’t know, though. Jury is still out on Angry Dazzler for now.

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The really juicy bits of this thing have to do with a buttload of secrets that get spilled when She-Hulk shows up at the Jean Grey school with Xavier’s will!

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Naturally, everyone has to be present in order for her to read it.
Dum, dum, dum…
Which means that the X-men have to invite Scoot & Co. over for tea.

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To me, the secrets the old man had been keeping made the whole volume worth it. I still can’t get believe…

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Review: Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick , David López (Artist)

Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, MoreCaptain Marvel, Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More by Kelly Sue DeConnick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

I wasn’t a fan of the first volume one of Captain Marvel. I thought it was angsty and full of too much forced Girl Power.
Just my opinion…doesn’t make it true.
The title grew on me, but it never blew me out of the water.
Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting much when I cracked this open.
First things first, I’m into comics for the explosions, crazy superpowers, and funny dialogue. And if I happen to learn a moral lesson along the way? Bonus.
But.
You’ve gotta entertain me.
This 
was entertaining.

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Carol seemed like a real person to me this time around, and not just a cliché female superhero for women to rally around.
She’s a Star Wars’ junkie, and she loves her mangy quasi-evil cat, Chewie. In fact, when she can’t find anyone willing to care for the beast while she’s in outer space, she sticks it in a crate and takes him with her.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy show up for a little bit to help out when a mysterious enemy attacks her, which I personally loved!
Rocket and Chewie don’t exactly get off on the right foot, though. I mean, usually when Rocket starts screaming, “Kill it with fire!“, it’s not a good sign.
I think there’s more to this than meets the eye…

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Did I mention Carol’s obsession with Star Wars?
Yeah, it’s cheesy, but it made me giggle…

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The rest of the story is kind of Paint by Numbers, with Carol helping a group of folks who are getting evicted from their planet by Star-Lord’s father J’son. He claims the planet is poisonous…and is only trying to help them out.

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It was pretty good, and there was (naturally) a bit of an evil overlord twist to the reasons Pete’s dad wanted them gone.
It’s not the bestest plot evah, but it was fun to read.
So. Yeah, this was kind of perfect for me.

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Ms. Marvel, vol. 1: No Normal

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No NormalMs. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ms. Marvel has gotten a lot of buzz. A lot. People are always going to talk when one of the two big publishers puts out a comic starring a character who is not the standard white man. In this case, we have Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, a teenage girl who is Muslim and the daughter of Pakistani immigrants. More than enough to get me interested. What got my hopes up was that this book has been selling way, way above expectations. Ms. Marvel #1 has gone through at least half a dozen printings (very, very unusual in comics) and is a top selling digital title. Obviously, people are liking it, and talking about it, and getting others to read it.

And guess what? It really is very, very good. In some ways, Kamala reminds me of a young Peter Parker, at least the Ultimate version that I loved so much. She’s a genuinely good person who wants to do the right thing (hence the superheroics once she gets powers) who is kind of dorky and very relateable. I love her. She’s funny and earnest she just sounds so much like a real teenager. Really, she had me from her stolen sniffs of “infidel meat”- bacon. And nobody who writes Avengers fanfic that funny can be bad.

And hey, great supporting cast. I’m especially fond of Kamala’s friend Nakia, and of Bruno, the neighborhood boy who has a transparently obvious (and really cute) crush on her. But I also liked her family. Her parents are strict, but also very loving, something that fictional teenagers don’t often get. Even the mean girl is almost delightfully awful. She’s backhanded mean, the kind that’s nice to your face while waiting for an opportunity to unleash.

Kamala being a Muslim is something that gets significant play, but I never felt like it was being beaten to death. She wants to fit in and be like the other kids she knows, which is not compatible with the way she was raised. Her parents are protective, but not insanely so (there’s nothing wrong with freaking out when you find out your teenage daughter has made a habit of sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night). Yes, both these things specifically come from having a Muslim family, but her family could have just as easily been Christian, or Hindu. Or hippies. And yes, Nakia does wear a hijab, by her own personal choice, but it’s literally brought up once and then pushed to the side, even as the art is consistent in showing her covered. (It may be relevant that Wilson is herself a Muslim woman who covers her hair.) What I’m saying is that, while Kamala’s religion does shape certain details of the book, it isn’t about that. It’s about a basically normal girl who just happens to be a Muslim, and a geek, and a superhero.

I’d been hoping for quite a lot from this book. Happily, I got a book that’s very well-written, with great characters and dialog and really good art. I’m more than happy to be jumping on the Ms. Marvel bandwagon.

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Review: Young Avengers, Vol. 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen

Young Avengers, Vol. 1: Style > SubstanceYoung Avengers, Vol. 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Ok, ok, ok! I get it now, guys!

Because I’m me, and my library likes to order books is some wonky order, I had to read Young Avengers, Vol. 2: Alternative Culture, before I read this one.
Big mistake. HUGE! Don’t do it.
Volume 2 didn’t make me stand up and cheer (possibly because I was missing relevant plot points), but it wasn’t awful, either. However, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why my friends were rating this one so highly.
Aaaaaaand now I know…
Style > Substance is nothing short of complete awesomeness.
Really.
It’s funny, smart, touching, and full of action.
And Loki. Don’t forget little Loki.
Is he good? Is he bad? Or is he just as confused as we are?
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I LOVE him! Totally my favorite.
In fact, if I have another kid, I’ve decided to name it Loki.
Relax, my tubes are tied…

So Wiccan wants to make his boyfriend, Hulkling, feel a little less alone in the world, and casts a spell to bring his mother to him from an alternate reality. Now, his real mother died, so Wiccan snatches this one from her dimension right before she would have been killed.
Except it’s not Hulkling’s mother.
It’s Mother.
As in, a parasite who’s been waiting for someone like Wiccan to fuck up, and let her in the door.
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And now she’s gonna suck the life out of them…and their friends.

The plot is great, but the genius lies in the dialogue, in the interactions, the reactions, and the inner thoughts of the characters.
Even the yambler recaps are hilarious!
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Perfection!

Thanks for giving me the nudge I needed to go ahead and track this one down, Sesana. Totally worth it.
Read this. You won’t be sorry.

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Review: Deadpool, Vol. 2: Soul Hunter by Brian Posehn

Deadpool, Vol. 2: Soul HunterDeadpool, Vol. 2: Soul Hunter by Brian Posehn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars


Liquor? I hardly know her!

That’s the title of one of the issues, by the way…
Deadpool is on a mission (from Hell) to get Tony Stark to take a drink, so get your mind outta the gutter.
Kidding! This is Deadpool, after all. Might as well leave your mind where it is for a little while longer.

I’ll admit I was a little pissed when I read the thing in the front that said they were printing an old issue of Deapool.
I mean, I just finished Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 7: Monstrous, and they had re-printed a Fin Fang Foom origin story in the back.
Needless to say, it totally sucked ass.
Then I realized I was reading Deapool, and they lied.
LIARS!

I blame lack of sleep, due to a small child and a nightmare, for not catching on to the joke sooner.
The bags under my eyes right now are almost touching my chin.
Mommy isn’t a robot. Mommy needs sleep.
Why the hell can’t you wake up your father for once!

Anyway, this magical old inventory issue they ‘found’ was hilarious. Possibly my favorite part of the entire volume.

Long story short, Wade needs to get the sassy S.H.I.E.L.D agent (from Dead Presidents) out of his head, and back into a body.
He also needs to save the necromancer (also from Dead Presidents), Michael, from the demon he made a deal with to get his powers.
Except he’s gotta kill a lot of other people in order to save Michael’s soul. And since Michael is the best shot they have at getting Agent Preston out of his head, those other suckers gotta die!

Superior Spider-Man, Dardevil, Iron Man, and Peter Parker all make guest appearances in this one. And (bonus!) none of the cameos are wasted!

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Even the letters to Deadpool made me giggle.
The entire thing was funny, and this time around it had an actual plot worth following.
‘Cause to be honest, I wasn’t that big a fan of the first volume.

Unfortunately, my library likes to screw with me.
So, I’ll be reading volume 4 next…while I wait on them to order volume 3.
Oh well, some things are worth reading out of order. Deadpool is one of them.

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Review: Deadpool, Vol. 4: Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. by Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan

Deadpool, Vol. 4: Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.Deadpool, Vol. 4: Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. by Brian Posehn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Buddy Read with Jeff.
I *glomp* you, pal!
Neither Jeff, nor I, have any idea what *glomp* means, but we noticed our young counterparts using it a lot, decided to try to work it into a review.
You know, to prove we’re down with the hip lingo…’n stuff.
If, by any chance, it means something horrifyingly embarrassing?
Oops.

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So, Angsty Deadpool isn’t totally gone in volume 4, and it kinda brings the high-octane energy of the title down a bit. For me, anyway.
I’m just not sure where the Posehn is heading with this.
Is he now looking for a deep and philosophical Deadpool?
Is he trying to find the character’s motivation?
Are we all going to ‘hug it out’ afterward?
What?
It’s Deapool.
He eats, farts, and kills stuff, while talking to any one of his multiple personalities and/or breaking the 4th wall.
I’m not sure I really want to delve much deeper than that, you know?

Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D was definitely quite a bit lighter than the last volume, Deadpool, Vol. 3: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but it still didn’t come close to Volume 2, in terms of pure fun.

Agent Gorman, who I already hated from his stint in the ultra sucky Elektra: Assassin, plays the assy S.H.I.E.L.D. traitor.
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I’m not sure how even made it into the agency with that the porn star mustache. The ‘stache is always a dead giveaway that someone is a smarmy character!
How did you not see this one coming Coulson?!
I’m sure after this little debacle they’ll be keeping a much closer eye on Tony Stark and Stephen Strange…
Although, the more I looked at Gorman, the more I was convinced that this may be Marvel’s attempt at a crossover with those other guys…
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Uncanny resemblance, no?

I know! Sometimes my deductive skills amaze even me!

Anyway, Gorman evidently has an LMD of Agent Preston, and he’s got it running around selling arms, pushing drugs, and raking lawns.
No, seriously. She’s got a side job doing yard work.
Why get an LMD of Preston?
No idea. But that’s what happened, and now they have to get it back in order to have some sort of vessel to put her consciousness into.
Oh. And Gorman owes Wade money.
That means he’s gotta die.

If the 70’sish issue in the front wasn’t so retarded, I might have rated this one a bit higher. Wakandian Vacation was a waste of time, though. Blech.

If I get a chance, I’ll keep reading this title, but my expectations are much lower at this point.

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