Published on August 3rd, 2012 | by Cosmic Comix and Toys2
Shawn’s Reviews – August 3, 2012
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by David Aja
This book was not quite what I was expecting, and that is fine by me. I never really thought Hawkeye had much of a character to him outside of the Avengers. Depending who was writing him, Clint Barton just did not have a well-defined character that you could summarize the way you can almost any other Avenger. That is beginning to change, and the creative team manages to do it in one issue.
We see the kinds of things Barton does when he is not running around as an Avenger. He may have excellent skills, but he is still human. He gets hurt and gets laid up in bed for months. He may have faced down mad gods, crazy supervillains, and all manner of villainy, but a small time Russian mob prove to be difficult. The tenants in Clint’s building are being evicted because the owner wants to sell the building to some mysterious buyer. (I bet this has further implications in future issues.) Clint attempts to change the owner’s mind and all manner of violence erupts. At the end Clint may be badly beaten, but he gets what he wants. And he even gets a new dog.
I was surprised that I wished there were more costume heroics in the first issue than there was. In fact we only see Barton in costume briefly. I also did not like how easily Hawkeye gets beaten up. It makes it seem silly that he is even an Avenger. Nevertheless, the issue was a great character piece, and like Fraction and Aja (along with Brubaker) redefined Iron Fist, I think this series will give a clear idea of who Hawkeye is and what his role should be in the Marvel Universe. I find myself oddly excited at the notion of more issues about this character.
Fraction does a great job with the script and it is one of the best issues I have seen from him in a little while. Aja’s art, as always, is a revelation and I am glad to see him on a monthly title again. He was sorely missed. All in all it was a great beginning and I am looking forward to more.
FINAL WORD: Who would have thought a Hawkeye title could be this good? Great first issue!
SMALLVILLE SEASON ELEVEN #4
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez
I read this book and Action Comics this week. With apologies to Grant Morrison, a man whose work I genuinely admire, Smallville has done everything right for an updated version of Superman that Action and the Superman title have done wrong. Put aside the Smallville continuity for a moment and you will see a Superman starting out in his new role, a wonderfully written relationship between Lois and Clark (in the DC52 Superman titles Lois isn’t even interested in Clark OR Superman after a year’s worth of stories), and everything is familiar yet fresh. Lex Luthor is a fantastically written villain who outdoes the version of Lex we have seen in the DC52 thus far.
General Lane calls it quits on testing Superman’s abilities and Clark only has a second to rest before he is called on to stop Hank Henshaw’s new robot form from killing lots of innocent people. Superman stops Henshaw and extends an olive branch to Lex only to learn the the Army thing and Henshaw was a ruse for Lex to douse Superman with a particular type of radiation that enables Lex to keep tabs on Superman using his satellites. This is a problem for Superman because he cannot go back to being Clark Kent or spend time with Lois as Lex could discover his secret. Meanwhile, Green Arrow and Chloe discover the fallen space ship, and find an alternate world Chloe from Earth 2. That’s right; Smallville is about to adapt the Crisis on Infinite Earths for their continuity!
You do not have to be a longtime Smallville fan to enjoy this book. It’s Superman. Bryan Q. Miller and Pere Perez are so good on this title it is almost scary. The duo carry the great Lois/Clark relationship over from the show (the best part of the last two seasons), and give them a genuine obstacle to overcome. It’s funny because in the new DC52 the Lois/Clark relationship has all of the fun of a dead fish. The Lex/Superman confrontations have been enjoyable and true to their characters. Now the only question that remains is the Earth 2 that the other Chloe mentions the Smallville version of Earth 2 or James Robinson and Nicola Scott’s Earth 2?
If you are looking for fresh takes on the Superman mythos and fun Superman comics, look no further than this book. Superman even has a better updated costume than he does in the new DC52 continuity.
FINAL WORD: Best Superman book coming out, bar none.
EARTH 2 #4
Written by James Robinson
Pencils by Nicola Scott & Eduardo Pansica
Inks by Trevor Scott & Sean Parsons
This is the issue fans of the JSA have been waiting for since the series began. Hawkgirl, Flash, Green Arrow, and the new Atom team up to take on Solomon Grundy. This is the first time we have seen these characters together since the DCU rebooted last year. And it was well worth the wait.
The World Army Council wants Atom to bring in the other heroes. Because of the Apokolips soldiers Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman died fighting the WAC are afraid of new superhumans. I am wondering whether or not Atom’s blow really did Grundy in or if that will become a reason for the heroes to spring back into action next issue.
There were lots of little moments I loved throughout the book. Learning that Kendra had some kind of history with Al, seeing Kendra’s relationship with Flash develop, and witnessing Alan Scott take hold of his destiny were all wonderful. I am looking forward to smaller, personal stories letting us get to know these characters, but I was happy to have a big superhero fight.
I tend to review this book every month and I was trying to avoid that; however, this issue was so much fun I had to review it again. It is an ongoing elseworlds book with some interesting new takes on old characters, and the art is gorgeous. I still have a problem with Green Lantern’s costume, but I like Hawkgirl, Atom, and Flash’s costumes. GL could be better if they added a cape.
FINAL WORD: The JSA reunite for the first time, and as a result this issue was lots of fun!