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All-New Hawkeye #1

ALL-NEW HAWKEYE #1

Capsule Review

Tries very hard to follow the look, feel, and color palette of the award-winning Hawkeye run of Matt Fraction and David Aja, but that run … is a very tough act to follow. Judged on its own merits, creator Jeff Lemire and Ramón Pérez deserve points for kicking off an ambitious story, jumping back and forth between the present day and the future, to examine the now-and-later consequences of yet another one of Hawkeye’s relationships going sour. But the premise might be just a bit too ambitious, especially for the first issue of a reboot, given that the inciting incident that’s breaking Hawkeye and his partner Kate apart resides in yet another, past story. The result is a tale that feels like it happened in the past, or maybe in the future, with very little happening in the present, aside from Hawkeye being behind the beat and getting chewed out for never changing and never saying the right thing — something we are told, but don’t really see, in the present-day narrative of this story. The characters are appealing and the emotional stakes are ratcheted up just fine, but it doesn’t quite jell.

Approachability For New Readers

Not great. It’s like coming in on the last act of a divorce while not even knowing the married couple yet.

Read #2?

Nah. I’ll re-read my Fraction/Aja Hawkeye collection, instead.

Sales Rank

(#20 November)

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All-New Hawkeye #1

 

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Ultimates #1

ULTIMATES #1

Capsule Review

Takes many of the things I dislike about modern comics — complicated backstory, steadfast refusal to tell an origin story in the first issue, an assumed familiarity with continuity I do not understand — and somehow manages to shoot the moon by brewing up a book that I like! And this despite a three-page introduction that is entirely about theoretical comic book physics. It’s a miracle. It helps that this new super-team is built around characters I like, such as Black Panther and Captain (nee Ms.) Marvel. Vox praised the book for it’s lack of a straight, white, male character … so there’s that, too. It also helps that this team is founded to do more than punch people in the face — their mission is to “solve problems of cosmic scope before they become an issue for earth and the wider multiverse” … you know, the kind of thing the Fantastic Four used to do, before Marvel put them in the penalty box. This first issue walks the walk, with the Ultimates promising a new approach to the oldest and biggest threat in the Marvel Universe (and I won’t spoil it by naming it … but he’s right there on the cover, holding the team in his hand). Our heroes are supremely confident throughout the book, which either means they’re never going to fail, or that storytellers Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort are setting them up for a hubris-driven fall of epic (Ultimate?) proportions.

Approachability For New Readers

Good luck with that.

Read #2?

Sure. I want to see where this goes.

Sales Rank

(#27 November)

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

Ultimates #1

 

Contest of Champions #1

CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS #1

Capsule Review

As the comic book adaptation of the free-to-play reboot of the original Marvel mini-series, this book was everything I dreamed it would be! Actually, it’s better than it needed to be — writer Al Ewing and artist Paco Medina do a solid, workmanlike job here, avoiding the Barton Fink error of trying to make a wrestling story be anything more than a wrestling story. Plus, it has dinosaurs … but those dinosaurs really take it in the shorts in this story, like every other animal. Gamora stabs a T-Rex in head, and they shoot poor Hydra Monkey in cold blood. And who is going to feed British Punisher’s cat?

Approachability For New Readers

Great. You can’t help but understand the premise.

Read #2?

I am genuinely concerned about British Punisher’s cat … but I’m out.

Sales Rank

#19 October

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Contest of Champions #1

 

New Avengers #1

NEW AVENGERS #1

Capsule Review

There are more Avengers than you can shake a stick at! Why, in my days, we just had The Avengers, and we turned our noses up at the West Coast franchise! These new New Avengers used to be the Young Avengers (I think … I never read that book). And so we are dropped into the newest adventures of characters like Wiccan, White Tiger, Hulkling, and Squirrel Girl. Writer Al Ewing gives the team their own personality, branding them a “secret cult of science crazies,” and provides them a groovy island headquarters off the coast of California, but I didn’t engage with the cast, even after Hawkeye showed up to provide a familiar face for old farts like me. Gerardo Sandoval’s art is easy to follow, and looks like it has a little manga influence. Some nice visual storytelling when the team engages their lightbending devices — even their word balloons go transparent!

Approachability For New Readers

Hard to say. As a new reader, I didn’t feel lost, especially, but I also didn’t get on board. The Avengers theme is readily understood at this point, so mostly what the book needs to do is tell us how this Avengers team is different from the rest (which it does), and make a case for why it matters (which it doesn’t, really).

Read #2?

No. These guys don’t grab me. Sorry, kids!

Sales Rank

#25 October

Read more about the Avengers at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

 

New Avengers #1

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