I’ve been reading a lot of comics this year so thought I’d do a five mini reviews of some of the series that I’ve read so far. Some of these reviews are for individual volumes and others are for a complete story arc.
Young Avengers – Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie
Like with most Marvel/DC comics there have been numerous incarnations of different characters and teams. This run of Young Avengers is the most recent and the team consists of Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Wiccan (Billy Kaplan), Hulkling (Teddy Altman), Kid Loki, Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr) and Miss America (America Chavez). I love every member of this team and the writers do a great job of introducing each character to readers who may know nothing about them or their powers without too much needless exposition. I only knew Kate Bishop from Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye series so I was new to all the other characters but soon figured it out.
The main “big bad” is the Mother who can bring the Young Avengers dead parents back to life, though they are not how they remember. Besides all the action stuff, at the heart of Young Avengers is the relationships between the characters. Wiccan and Hulkling are in a relationship that has its rocky moments and then they are a group of teenagers that are often reluctant friends – especially with Loki as no one really knows how much they can trust him. Young Avengers is really funny and the art is gorgeous – the story goes across three volumes and it really is a lot of fun. 5/5
Five Ghosts Vol.1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray – Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham
Five Ghosts is very Inidana Jones-like and it is awesome. Fabain Gray is a treasure hunter who after having an encounter with an artefact called “The Dreamstone” is possessed by five literary ghosts and granted access to their unique abilities. Those five ghosts unnamed but it can be guessed that the archer is Robin Hood, the wizard is Merlin, the detective is Sherlock Holmes, the samurai is Musashi, and the vampire is Dracula.
There’s a mystery surrounding the Dreamstone as Fabian tries to work out how to use these ghosts powers while continuing to be an infamous treasurer hunter and also trying to help his sister. The art is gorgeous and more realistic than some of the superhero stuff I’ve read, and it’s reads like an action-adventure film as Fabian travels to deserted temples and jungles. It’s a very cool book. 4/5.
Wolverine and the X-Men vol.1 – Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo and Nick Bradshaw
As someone who has seen all the films (and the cartoon) so has a good idea of a lot of the characters Wolverine and the X-Men is a good place to start in the comics. Wolverine is in Westchester, home to Xavier’s mansion and Wolverine is rebuilding the school and is the new headmaster. Kitty Pryde is the headmistress and I love her and Wolverine’s relationship as she can totally joke around with him. Other teaching staff include Beast, Gambit and Iceman while the students were whole new characters to me but the book did a good job at introducing everyone.
Besides running a school of mutants, Wolverine also has to deal with the Hellfire Club who would like to see the school fail. There is definitely repercussions from previous events in the X-Men universe that is felt in Wolverine and the X-Men and I presume they’ll be explored more as the series progresses. There is 42 issues in this series (fitted into eight volumes) so it is a big commitment to make. I enjoyed Vol.1 well enough, I found the character interactions entertaining and some parts were funny but I didn’t fall in love with it. 3/5.
Hawkeye Vol.1: My Life as a Weapon – Matt Fraction and David Aja
Hawkeye is the story of what Hawkeye (Clint Barton) gets up to when he’s not being a SHIELD agent or an Avenger. Most of his don time includes running into mob bosses, hanging out with Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), and chilling in his apartment and attending barbeques on the roof. Hawkeye actually owns the entire building so it’s great seeing how he interacts with the other tenants. He also acquires a dog along the way.
I love the art in Hawkeye, it’s quite simple as is the colour palette, but it really helps show off how brilliant both Hawkeye’s are. It’s also funny, clever and shows that while Clint Barton is the world greatest marksman and can be incredibly awesome and badass, he can also be a bit of a disaster. 5/5.
The Losers – Andy Diggle and Jock
I loved the film The Losers and had high hopes for its source material and it as everything I wanted and more and I honestly think that The Losers is one of the most faithful book-to-film adaptations I’ve seen.
The Losers are a team of ex-CIA operatives who are trying to figure out who framed them and bring them to justice. Book One pretty much follows the events of the film (with more details and backstory obviously) while Book Two is completely new for someone like me who’d seen the film. The Losers is fast paced, action-packed and the characters are wonderful and so is the art. 5/5.