**AS ALWAYS BE MINDFUL THAT THERE WELL BE SLIGHT SPOILERS, READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL!!**
Age of Ultron #3
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary, and Paul Mounts
I will keep this short as issue three is a book of where nearly nothing happens as pieces are still being moved around the board. Hawkeye asks the question we all want to know, “Why aren’t we blaming Hank Pym?” and more hand wringing as what’s left of the heroes try to move on their plan to infiltrate Ultron’s base. Meanwhile, Black Panther, Rulk and Taskmaster (desperate times huh?) are working together to get an Ultron head and all seems to go well and then the fight breaks out and one of them winds up dead. All three issues to date have read like a long issue 1 with the only real pay off coming at the end of issue 3. I heard speculations of this happening but to see it it’s the holy crap moment that you were looking for and at the same time, you find yourself saying “This makes sense.” Here is to hoping that the pace picks up next issue.
3 out of 5 stars
Red Team #2
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Craig Cermack
Now here is a book where the ‘nothing happens’ approach does work. In number 1 we are introduced to a group of cops who make a decision to take matters into their own hands with criminals who are above the law. The idea that this has probably taken place in some of our jurisdictions has scary implications all its own but a comic about it still can send shivers down a reader’s spine. This book opens up with one of the members of Red Team being interrogated (probably by Internal Affairs) and outlines the ‘rules’ as for how they would handle each case. Some include when they find someone in particular that needs to be dealt with: there is absolute certainty, never make it personal, no speeches and so on. It’s a nice slow burn which also crafts another character to show his place on the team and the book rounds out with another criminal being dealt with. Cernacks work does well for this drama is not a lot is being done in this issue and some of his work can be compared to Darrick Roberston who worked with Ennis on The Boys. His work is gritty and it’s dark and fitting for this book. This is a good crime drama and probably under the radar so pick it up if you can.
4.5 out of 5 stars
FIVE GHOSTS: THE HAUNTING OF FABIAN GRAY #1
Story by Frank J. Barbiere
Art by Chris Mooneyham
Colors by S.M. Vidaurri
Cover by Chris Mooneyham
This book came out last week and due to the fact that I didn’t get this until Saturday, I felt that this needed a special mention for this week. This book is based off a Kickstarter campaign by Barberie and Mooneyham. Gray is an adventurer that found something called the “Dreamstone” that imbued him with 5 ‘ghosts’ that he draws power from: a wizard, detective, an archer, a vampire, and a samurai. The comic is a combination of pulp and noir as it plays also on the themes of Doc Sampson, James Bond and Indiana Jones. He fights Nazis, has crazed and unbelievable villains on his trail, and he gets the women. Mooneyham’s art sells the book well for the pulp factor and in many ways reminds me a bit of Fatale. The only problem with the book is it’s overly familiar with the archetypes but despite it all it feels comfortable enough to draw readers in with a familiarity that one doesn’t often get.
3 out of 5 stars.
Uncanny Avengers 5
Writer: Rick Remender
Pencils: Olivier Coipel
Inks: Mark Morales
With the threat of the Red Skull thwarted for now, this book starts off with Kang being set up as the next major villain to be faced. In the meantime, Wasp and Wonder-man join the team., This book is a ‘down to earth look’ as members of the Avengers and the X-men firstly have to learn to co-exist as one unit and also deal with the PR nightmare of the Skull’s aftermath. There is also some recruitment done as Sunfire is reluctantly brought into the picture and the inevitable press conference happens with Alex Summers leading the way. Of course not all goes well as the Grim Reaper makes an appearance and just when things appear under control, the PR nightmare goes up a few notches at the end. I enjoyed Coipel’s and Morales’ work with this book although I am not 100% with Rogue for some reason and the scene with Wolverine having a moment with Sunfire was really cool too and effective.
4 out of 5 stars