Archive for the ‘Circus of Crime’ Category

Hawkeye #22

January 25, 2016

Hawkeye 22Matt Fraction // David Aja
September 2015
*****

Together Kate & Clint save the BK brownstone & its families from the ‘Tracksuit Draculas’ & harlequin hit-man. Fraction & Aja close their outstanding run, adding a gesture to set up next ‘season’. Superlative comics on every level, the sort of collection you can lend to a non-fan of superheroes.

last issue: Hawkeye #21
continued in Hawkeye #1

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Hawkeye #8

January 10, 2016

Hawkeye 08Matt Fraction // David Aja with Annie Wu
April 2013
*****

The redheaded femme drags Barton into another encounter with the tracksuit gangsters of “Little Irkutsk”. Delightfully, she gets the evil eye from the other gals in H’s life: Widow, Hawkgirl, Mockingb, & naïve GF Spider-W. Covers to fake romance comics, by Wu, act as exposition and punctuation.

last issue: Hawkeye #7
next issue: Hawkeye #9

Hawkeye #2

January 4, 2016

Hawkeye 02Matt Fraction // David Aja
November 2012
*****

Hawkeye & his namesake from the Young Avengers steal $ that a criminal circus (shown here as Cirque du Soliel types) stole from organized crime. Aja seems inspired by Steranko’s pop-art layouts, but w/ a 21C graphic angle: see the A+ cover, & a page of Barton slowing time as he draws the bow.

last issue: Hawkeye #1
next issue: Hawkeye #3

also indexed for Nov. ’12
Captain America #17
The Fantastic Four #610
FF #22
Winter Soldier #10

Thunderbolts #26

July 15, 2014

Thunderbolts 026Kurt Busiek & Joe Casey // Mark Bagley & Leonardo Manco
May 1999
****

Having earned a rest, Busiek & Bagley hand the reins over to Casey & Manco for a doozy of a fill-in. #26 goes into a super-prison, where Mach-1 quells a riot. Its approach is an homage to Astro City, w/ a realistic, hard-boiled perspective & gloomy style augmented nicely by echoes of Windsor-Smith.

last issue: Thunderbolts #25
next issue: Thunderbolts #27

also indexed for May ’99
Avengers #16
Avengers Forever #6 of 12

Thunderbolts #2

June 16, 2014

Thunderbolts 002Kurt Busiek // Mark Bagley
May 1997
****

Baron Zemo’s clever plan to insinuate his two-faced team into the Avengers’ vacant slot is already working; his deputy wonders if they’ll prefer honest celebrity to criminal success. Busiek fills out the personalities a bit (& starts adding soap), which’ll help sustain this premise in the medium term.

last issue: Thunderbolts #1
next issue: Thunderbolts #3

The Avengers #22

June 23, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
November 1965
***
Trying to clear their name after last issue’s frame-up, our heroes face Ditko’s Circus of Crime (a silly ’60s concept) & Power Man, a juggernaut of muscle. But the better part of the ish involves the set-up, with the team moping around & such. Plus, Wood’s inks smooth & add weight to Heck’s art.
[last issue: The Avengers #21]
[next issue: The Avengers #23]

The Incredible Hulk #3

February 12, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
September 1962
a-story: ****
b-story: ***

The creators retool Hulk: an irradiated space-jaunt allows teen Rick Jones to control the Hulk. This variation on Captain Marvel banishes Banner altogether (no more Kirby metamorphosis?!) & discards the monster’s villainy. Then a Silver Age twist on the old crime-circus setup: a hypnotic ringmaster.

last issue: The Incredible Hulk #2
next issue: The Incredible Hulk #4

also indexed for Sept. ’62
The Fantastic Four #6