Monday, April 7, 2014

Graphic Novel Mini-Review #19

Hawkeye: My Life As a Weapon (Volume 1)

Written by: Matt Fraction; Illustrated by: David Aja, Javier Paludo, Alan Davis

Published: 2013

My Thoughts: Okay, confession time. I'm one of those assholes that scoffs at the Avengers and pokes fun at Hawkeye and Black Wids. But it's mostly a fun ribbing, since it's SO easy to do. Matt Fraction was at Brisbane's Writers Festival last September and he was so interesting that I decided I'd put aside my teasing and get to know Hawkeye a little better. I love this series. Hawkeye, a.k.a Clint, is not really your typical Avenger. He's basically Archer, which is awesome. It's funny and action packed and A LOT silly. I'm less interested in Kate - the Young Avenger incarnation of Hawkeye - but that's mostly because I don't really enjoy the Young Avengers (and the additional crossover issue of Young Avengers/Hawkeye really proved that). If you're looking for a new series to follow and you're a fan of sharp, sarcastic and brilliantly writing and illustrations, then Hawkeye is the one for you.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Legacy (Volume 1)

Written by: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning; Illustrated by: Paul Pelletier

Published: 2008

My Thoughts: I don't know about everyone else, but my most anticipated blockbuster for 2014 is most definitely Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn, Chris Pratt, Blue Swede 'Hooked on a Feeling'? Yes, yes 1000x yes. So before the movie comes out I thought I'd check out some of the comics because even though I know a lot about the misfit gang, I haven't actually read many of their escapades. Legacy is recommended as the modern-era place to start because it introduces you to the characters and their formation into the world-saving-but-still-completely-inept team that you can't help but adore. And while all superhero comics have a level of WTF to them, GotG really ramps that up to 11. Their security chief is a soviet dog that was blasted into space and can communicate telepathically, their base is located in a severed celestial head floating around outside of space and time and for superheroes there are an awful lot of murderers amid their numbers. It's fun and tongue-in-cheek, but the action still packs a wallop and will explode your mind-grapes. Definitely one to check out before going to the cinema.

Fatale: Death Chases me (Volume 1)

Written by: Ed Brubaker; Illustrated by: Sean Phillips

Published: 2012

My Thoughts: And now for something completely different. Brubaker is perhaps best known for his work for Daredevil and Captain America (in the fact the current Cap A film is based on his graphic novel) and while his quality of work has always been high, this is something else all together. Set between the 1930s, 1950s and now Fatale is a modern noir tale, except without technically being a noir story. There is no gruff detective but there is a mystery, and that mystery surrounds the beautiful Jo, Fatale's fatale, capable of ensnaring men and wholly incapable of aging. There's an element of fantasy to the story and a huge heap of horror, but the balance between them has been perfected so carefully that it seems absolutely natural that Lovecraftian horror should co-exist alongside James Cainesque noir and it's almost shocking to think it hasn't been done more often. The way the story progresses makes me think this will eventually tip more towards Lovecraft than Cain in influence, but for now even people wary of horror-lite should find themselves utterly entangled in the gorgeous writing and even gorgeouser* art.

*totally a word, just trust me.


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