REVIEW: Young Avengers, Five Ghosts, Hawkeye, Wolverine and the X-Men and The Losers

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 photo 1 (2)
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.


H is for: Hawkeye

IMG-20140409-00940Hawkeye is probably my favourite superhero/assassin/complex character with issues. I should probably start by clarifying which Hawkeye I mean. I mean Clint Barton, though Kate Bishop is also very awesome and I love what I’ve read about her in Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye and in Kieron Gillen’s Young Avengers.

My love of Clint Barton started from the cartoon series Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (why did it get cancelled? WHY?!) and then I was super excited when Jeremy Renner was cast as Hawkeye in The Avengers (because I think Renner is awesome). I was a bit gutted by Hawkeye’s plot in The Avengers, you couldn’t see much of his sense of humour, or his relationship with Black Widow/Natasha Romanof and the rest of SHIELD. But I’m super looking forward to The Avengers: Age of Ultron because by the sounds of things he’s going to have a much bigger role.

I was really hoping that one of the end credit scenes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier would be Clint on the phone to Natasha saying “I was on a mission, I get back and everything’s in chaos! What the hell happened?!” Because it would be nice to have some mention as to where he’s been during the past three movies – at least we saw Bruce Banner at the end of Iron Man 3! I hope something’s said in The Avengers: Age of Ultron

I love Fraction’s Hawkeye (and can’t wait for the third volume trade paper back to come out next month) because it shows what Clint Barton gets up to on his days off when he’s not being an Avenger or working for SHIELD. It shows how human he is. I like Clint Barton because he’s relatable, he can get hurt and even killed by things that Thor can just brush off. That’s probably why I like Natasha and Fury and any other “regular human” in a world of superheroes.

Clint Barton is just a guy with a bow with a terrible past, who tries to do the right thing but doesn’t always succeed – because he’s human. Hawkeye is awesome and I love him. If I could choose who could have their own movie it would be Hawkeye – although Black Panther comes a close second.

Getting into Comic Books

I have always loved comic book movies and TV shows – I adored X-Men: Evolution, Teen Titans and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and I got my dad to take me to see Spider-Man when I was 10 years old and have since gone to see just about every Marvel and DC movie in the cinema. So I love these characters, I love the films but I had never gotten around to trying the source material – the comic books.

Now don’t give me that “fake geek girl” nonsense because I have nothing to prove. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if the start is from the TV shows or a movie then that’s fine, and it’s also perfectly fine if they never feel like picking up a comic book in their life. Wikipedia is perfect at filling in the blanks of a characters backstory anyway.

My comic collection (minus Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon 'cos that's at home)

My comic collection (minus Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon ‘cos that’s at home)