Saturday, December 04, 2010

Are we for hire, or what?

Hello, heroes everywhere! Are you for hire?

With Heroes For Hire #1 hitting the shops this week, the interweb has been a-buzz with lovely feedback. I thought we might share some.

“Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Brad Walker's Heroes for Hire #1 does a fine job introducing its central premise and cast in an energetic, stylized manner, rolling along at a fast clip before arriving at a powerful and very unexpected cliffhanger. In this first installment, the team accomplishes a lot, but more importantly hints at even more exciting surprises to come. In other words, it's a wholly successful debut from a talented creative team that has already proven an ability to revitalize stagnant properties with their work on Marvel's cosmic line.

This being DnA's most significant venture into the grounded, Earth-based Marvel Universe since catapulting the cosmic properties to phenomenal heights, it's not at all surprising to see the pair take such a measured, meticulous approach to introducing this relaunch's new direction and cast of characters. The issue follows the new lineup's first adventure as Misty Knight, under her new guise as an Oracle-esque tactical leader codenamed Controller, passes the first mission from one operative to the next like a baton. Falcon and Black Widow start things off with an assault on a drug-running tractor trailer, Moon Knight follows the drugs to their distributor, and then Elektra carries out the mission's endgame in a way the others wouldn't. All the while, more operatives are hinted at and a familiar face makes his presence felt.

DnA and Walker inject enough personality and style into the mix to keep things lively, and it's plenty entertaining just to watch this new team in action. The writers have clearly put thought behind the inclusion of each cast member, allowing Misty to tailor "payment" to each individual. Like many aspects of this relaunch, there's a lot of great potential to the way Misty's new team operates.

Walker is arguably sharper and more impressive here than he's ever been, with panels that pop off the page and barrel along with a kinetic energy. Between the animated sense of movement between each shot, a palpable noir atmosphere appropriate to the book's street-level scope, and some fantastic figure-work, Walker outdoes his past work with DnA and proves himself the right choice for this title.

And then there's the issue's killer cliffhanger, which definitely had me clamoring to read issue #2. If that wasn't enough, the book also includes an eight-page prose Heroes for Hire saga identical to the ones Marvel usually publishes before one of these relaunches. Coupled with the book's high quality main story, this back-up makes this issue well worth the $3.99 price page, especially to those new to the property. Overall review: Great!” –

“Sure, it’s a crime story, but it’s a flashy crime story with superheroic snippets and super powered subplots…Abnett and Lanning caught lightning in a bottle with Guardians of the Galaxy, providing the comic-reading public with a critically-acclaimed darling of a comic that starred a whole bunch of nobodies who evolved into fan favorites. It would only make sense, then, to have the prolific duo try to ply their craft at Marvel’s collection of former Knights and some other street level heroes…Collectively, this combination of heroes should draw in a large number of comic buyers. After all, it got a Falcon fan to pick this book up…Joining his writers from Guardians, Brad Walker draws a tangible, impressive real world…Quite simply, Walker’s art is great, and this book really gives him a chance to show what he can do with characters that are more grounded in reality…Abnett and Lanning close out this debut issue with a stunning final page surprise. The way this book ends calls the entire story into question. That, moreso than the characters or the art, is the major reason I’ll be checking out the second issue of this series. It’s rare that such an enticing book erupts from seeming mediocrity, but this is definitely a fun read, the type of read that comic books were invented for.” –

“The cast is awesome and contains some of the best of Marvel's non-powered or street level characters…With DnA behind the wheel, and their Guardians of the Galaxy buddy Brad Walker on art, I'm expecting big things.” –

“This I can get…this very subject of well-networked folks hits the Marvel Universe a la the new incarnation of the Heroes for Hire, and what once felt like overactive extroversion becomes a force of justice…Getting paid for vigilantism may seem a little less noble than usual, especially for proven heroes like Elektra, Falcon and Black Widow, but even the most heroic can benefit from trade, even if it isn’t from currency. In short, for some passion is a reward, for others, intel. What’s going to surprise a lot of readers, including myself, is Heroes for Hire introduces not a new team (especially not the one on the cover, the majority of heroes totally absent from the issue inside) but a new system, and a seemingly effective one at that. Instead of having heroes standing about a myriad of tables discussing a myriad of directions, the first issue focuses instead on the problem, the crime, and the web of heroes who punch it into oblivion…Jay David Ramos is doing a very nice job on colors, letting things in the nightglow much like how you'd see in a city refusing to sleep…Also, there's a constant visual allusion to The Warriors strung throughout, and that's easy brownie points from me…The end of the issue reveals a bit of a shocker, something that could rip this concept wide open.” –’s Best Shots

“I love that Abnett and Lanning are doing a monthly book that is set on Earth for a change (though I do continue to miss Guardians of the Galaxy). I also love the fact that this isn’t going to be a “team” book but rather individuals whose powers are needed for that particular mission will be used…That the entire issue is woven into a story using several different characters in this way is fun, refreshing and well down right expertly told…this is genius in itself as now I am hooked on that little mystery as well…Joining the dynamic writing duo on pencils is the incomparable Brad Walker (the three of them make a terrific trio!) he in turn is assisted by Andrew Hennessey on inks and Jay David Ramos on colors. This team does a fantastic job on the visuals and giving it that special feel to the book that I am at a loss for words to explain but fits perfectly…Overall, folks, this was a grand slam first issue and if it’s on the bubble for you, then let me pop it ‘cause everyone should be giving this a go.” – Reading With A Flight Ring

“The issue ends with a fine cliffhanger, one beyond the bounds of fair-play spoilerage. All I'll say is that it guarantees I'll be around for awhile…Abnett & Lanning shake off the space dust and remind us that they can cut the mustard in any corner of the universe. The interaction between Misty and her colleagues is a joy. The lads give their characters distinctive voices, with Black Widow especially benefiting, gaining speech patterns straight out of James Bond…Brad Walker's pencils are excellent. Superbly drawn characters move fluidly through action packed scenes, with plenty of variety in compositions. He tells a story very well, and inker Andrew Hennessy makes the most of Walker's layouts, resulting in some sharp storytelling. Colorist Jay David Ramos and letterer Joe Caramagna also turn in sterling work, helping to give Heroes For Hire an all-round accomplished debut…There's a smashing wee bonus, too - a recap of the Heroes For Hire concept since Luke Cage came up with it as an ongoing business…So, issue #1 of a book that didn't sound like my cup of tea, and I'm in for the duration. Methinks Marvel has good hires in Abnett, Lanning, Walker and Co.” – Too Dangerous For A Girl

Thank you, all.

Also, in the midst of all this snow and ice, let us think of Fenris for a moment, and enjoy this link from Black Library

It's the weekend, so let's close with the now traditional peek in the note book.

Idea for a one panel cartoon #103
A giant gorilla dressed in a Santa Claus costume sits on top of the Empire State Building and waves cheerily at the looping fighter jets.
Caption: King Kong Merrily On High.

Idea for a one panel cartoon #4
In a faded, sepia tint image, two aviation pioneers in jodphurs, goggles and flying jackets innocently sidle up to a double winged airplane.
Caption: The Wrong brothers were biplane curious.

Idea for a one panel cartoon #211
A giant advertising hoarding displays a Budweiser advert. It is evening, and stars gleam in the night sky. Beneath the hoarding, we can see a traditional nativity scene: Mary, Joseph, the baby in the manger, the shepherds, the donkey, the wise men.
Caption: Born under a bud sign.


Will Wright said...

Zing for Hire

I love that you two are doing this genre of the Marvel Universe,
The Hell's Kitchen Crew so to speak.
Any chance Marvel would let you guys sneak in the Punisher?
I think his apartment is four door away from Luke Cage's

Madclaw said...

More Moon Knight

Just saying.

Big said...

Listend to it, Loved it!

Shane said...

I can't believe I forgot to go pick this up! I suppose I'm off to the comic book store tomorrow, hat in hand, hoping against hope that there's a copy left.

Big said...

1 panel Cartoon:
Leman Russ siitting on a throne deep in the Eye Of Terror,says in true Brian Blessed style,
"Eisenhorns ALIVE!"

Anonymous said...

2 panel Cartoon:
Sons of Sek hacking the head of the Controller!

Will Wright said...

Eisenhorn Ahhhhhhhhhhh Savior of the Universe :)

Anonymous said...

3 panel Cartoon:
Guardians of Galaxy shaking hands with Anakwanar Sek!