Posts Tagged ‘Matt Fraction’

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

Hawkeye #21

January 24, 2016

Hawkeye 21Matt Fraction // David Aja
April 2015
****

The Battle of Bed-Stuy! Hawkeye and neighbors defend their brownstone from mobbed-up property developers, using ready-made siege defenses. The stakes of locals v. organized crime give a whole new angle on vigilantism v community activism and on gentrification—all lifted this month by TV’s Daredevil.

last issue: Hawkeye #20
next issue: Hawkeye #22

Hawkeye #20

January 23, 2016

Hawkeye 20Matt Fraction // David Aja
November 2014
*****

This arc has been a phenomenal backdoor pilot for Kate Bishop, Hawkeye—or a grand reward for her fans. Frac, as if acknowledging the character’s maturity, writes her finale in classic non-linear Hawkeye style. Try & put together the twists of this LA noir, or just marvel at Wu’s gangly teen heroine.

last issue: Hawkeye #19
next issue: Hawkeye #21

Hawkeye #19

January 22, 2016

Hawkeye 19Matt Fraction // David Aja
September 2014
*****

Even as they head into the climax, the creators keep experimenting. #19 is mostly silent—but not without words, since the Barton Brothers sign to each other. Hearing has factored into Hawkeye’s character before, but this latest loss plays into the run’s theme of listening to & trusting others.

last issue: Hawkeye #18
next issue: Hawkeye #20

Hawkeye #18

January 21, 2016

Matt Fraction // Annie Wu
May 2014
****

Fraction reveals that his LA plot has been a film noir all along (of course). Its California corruption is a plot to keep the rich young & immortal, and it’s run by Kate’s archenemy. The Elliot Gould detective even has a link to vampirism: he’s a minor character from Marvel’s classic Dracula!

last issue: Hawkeye #17
next issue: Hawkeye #19

Hawkeye #17

January 20, 2016

Hawkeye 17Matt Fraction // Chris Eliopoulis with David Aja
May 2014
****

To infuriate the impatient, Eliopoulis subs in for Aja. But why complain with the result is delightful? Frac & Elio kid with Hawkeye‘s basic format, recasting its ensemble as funny animals in a TV Christmas special! But thematically it’s on point for the run’s themes of support & teamwork.

last issue: Hawkeye #16
next issue: Hawkeye #18

Hawkeye #16

January 19, 2016

Hawkeye 16Matt Fraction // Annie Wu
February 2014
****

If any run can shoulder an out-of-sequence issue, it’s Frac’s Hawkeye. Hawkgirl helps a reclusive ’60s musician (a stand-in for Brian Wilson) get his mojo back. Note that this sidekick arc is also a variation on Peter Parker (life lessons of a super-teen) the same month that Ms. Marvel debuts.

last issue: Hawkeye #15
next issue: Hawkeye #17

Hawkeye #15

January 18, 2016

Hawkeye 15Matt Fraction // David Aja
April 2014
****

Aja at his most conventional is still a delight. He falls back on Iron Fist style, hand-to-hand focusing on movement & balance. It makes for a claustrophobic issue, as the gangsters slip past the brownstone’s defenses & do damage to the Barton Brothers! The plot thickens in this Brooklyn noir.

last issue: Hawkeye #14
next issue: Hawkeye #16

Hawkeye #14

January 17, 2016

Hawkeye 14Matt Fraction // Annie Wu
January 2014
****

Back to LA, where Kate has gone to learn the hero-ropes solo. She makes delightful mistakes as she helps a gay couple & finds a mentor in… Elliott Gould from The Long Goodbye?! Comparing Wu to Aja isn’t fair, & misses how her loose, lively style expands on the youthful tone of these Cali adventures.

last issue: Hawkeye #13
next issue: Hawkeye #15

Hawkeye #13

January 16, 2016

Hawkeye 1Matt Fraction // David Aja
December 2013
****

Wow, Hawkeye loops back to cover the last four issues (incl. annual) from yet another POV! The blow-up btw Hawkeyes, the neighbor’s funeral, & the fraternal reunion get replayed in linear progression. The art also gets back to classical comics storytelling, modeling a 3×3 grid like Ike’s in office.

last issue: Hawkeye #12
next issue: Hawkeye #14

Hawkeye #12

January 15, 2016

Hawkeye 12Matt Fraction // Francisco Francavilla
late September 2013
****

Now that Kate’s off in her LA arc, Clint gets a new foil in his older brother, a skid-row loser. Fraction turns their Thomas/Colan backstory into a montage of alcoholic American orphaning that dates at least to Twain. For once I miss Aja, tho Franca brings a morbid tone to the flashbacks.

continued from Hawkeye Annual #1
last issue: Hawkeye #11
next issue: Hawkeye #13

also indexed for Sept. ’13
Hawkeye Annual #1

Hawkeye Annual #1

January 14, 2016

Hawkeye Annual 1Matt Fraction // Javier Pulido
early September 2013
****

Kate Bishop, everyone’s (= my) favorite Young Avenger, stands on her own for a whole annual, effectively set-up for a solo arc. She’s in LA, escaping a trap set by her arch-nemesis, Madame Masque. Pulido returns to provide continuity. He works in the cartoon-like new standard for Marvel vigilantes, adding a touch of D. Cooke’s lush curves in echo of Fraction’s happy millennial patter.

continued from Hawkeye #11
continued in Hawkeye #13

also indexed for Sept. ’13
Hawkeye #12

Hawkeye #11

January 13, 2016

Hawkeye 11Matt Fraction // David Aja
August 2013
*****

Eisner-winner for best single ish, and Aja totally owns it. His schematics render visually the mind of Lucky the Pizza Dog. But Fraction earns the Eisner-nom for ongoing mag by connecting this silent issue to the run on several levels, incl. the dog solving the nieghbor’s murder in #9!

continued in Hawkeye Annual #1
last issue: Hawkeye #10
next issue: Hawkeye #12

Hawkeye #10

January 12, 2016

Hawkeye 10Matt Fraction // Francesco Francavilla
July 2013
****

Backstory for the run’s new foe: a hit man in harlequin make-up. He’s an orphaned carnie like Barton, adopted by the mag’s Russian mafia. In a coincidence, he’s also a romantic interest for Kid Hawkeye! Francavilla’s perfect for this ish, his palate & scratchy line balancing romance & war-horrors.

last issue: Hawkeye #9
next issue: Hawkeye #11

Hawkeye #9

January 11, 2016

Hawkeye 09Matt Fraction // David Aja
June 2013
*****

After the unexpectedly linear #8, Frac & Aja reshuffle its timeframe & POV. It’s Valentine’s Day, a perfect date for Bobbi Morse to divorce Clint; for Jess Drew to dump him; & for Tash Romanov to hunt down the gangster’s redheaded moll. But the key scene is the trio’s lecture of his protégé Kate.

last issue: Hawkeye #8
next issue: Hawkeye #10

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 #7

January 9, 2016

Hawkeye 07A-story: Matt Fraction // Steve Lieber
B-story: Matt Fraction // Jesse Hamm
March 2013
A-story: ****
B-story: ****

A rush job to raise funds for hurricane relief after Sandy hit NYC—a comic to judge on its merits, plus it fits perfectly into the run! #7 shows our heroes during the disaster. Barton rescues a neighbor’s cranky dad out in Rockaway, & Bishop has a sappier, soggier adventure out in Atlantic City.

last issue: Hawkeye #6
next issue: Hawkeye #8

also indexed for Mar. ’13
Winter Soldier #14

Hawkeye #6

January 8, 2016

Hawkeye 06Matt Fraction // David Aja
late February 2013
*****

This take on the Avenger (“Hawkguy” as one neighbor has it) is startlingly innovative. A helical time structure has Barton spend the week pre X-mas in turf war w/ the Russian bros. Aja’s grid runs 6×6, even 7×6, with negative space opening & minimalizing the Mazzuchelli style of scratchy cape comics.

last issue: Hawkeye #5
next issue: Hawkeye #7

also indexed for Feb. ’13
Hawkeye #5
Winter Soldier #13

Hawkeye #5

January 7, 2016

Hawkeye 05Matt Fraction // Javier Pulido
early February 2012
*****

Kid Hawkeye impersonates an Iron Man villain—the criminal mastermind w/ a gold mask—& earns an archenemy. She also learns that the video of her mentor sanctioning a terrorist was a fake, to protect the IDs of Navy Seals: a clever comics application of the Bin Laden op a few years ago.

last issue: Hawkeye #4
next issue: Hawkeye #6

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Hawkeye #6
Winter Soldier #13

Hawkeye #4

January 6, 2016

Hawkeye 04Matt Fraction // Javier Pulido
January 2013
*****

SHIELD’s lost a VCR tape of Barton assassinating a global terrorist for them—so it dispatches him to buy it at auction in an ersatz Asian megacity! As an international man of mystery, he’s a flop. Pulido, however, proves Aja’s near-equal, using minimalism & softer curves to strike a lighter comic tone.

last issue: Hawkeye #3
next issue: Hawkeye #5

also indexed for Jan. ’13
Winter Soldier #12

Hawkeye #3

January 5, 2016

Hawkeye 03Matt Fraction // David Aja
December 2012
*****

Barton romances a redhead who’s linked to the mobsters from #1 (“Bro!”). A high-speed chase over the GWB practically smells of asphalt, & puts the ‘street’ back in street-level vigilante! The sweet cars, trick arrows, sexy styles, the fact that Hawkeye’s been conked out in every ish… this is gorgeous.

last issue: Hawkeye #2
next issue: Hawkeye #4

also indexed for Dec. ’12
Captain America #18
Captain America #19
The Fantastic Four #611
FF #22
Winter Soldier #11

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

Hawkeye #1

January 3, 2016

Hawkeye 01Matt Fraction // David Aja
October 2012
*****

Hot off the Avengers flick, Marvel enlists Frac & Aja (of Iron Fist) for this low-watt hero’s off-duty adventures. The everyhero defends his Bed-Stuy brownstone from a Russian mob’s gentrification scheme. The art mimic diagrams yet remains dynamic, & the script’s alert to living speech. A masterpiece.

next issue: Hawkeye #2

also indexed for Oct. ’12
Captain America #16
The Fantastic Four #609
FF #21
Winter Soldier #9

The Immortal Iron Fist #16

December 8, 2010

Matt Fraction // David Aja
August 2008
*****

Few comic book runs open up character like Immortal has—& in under 20 issues! Fraction calls Aja back for a superb final issue. On one page, IF simply meditates! More generally, Rand turns his financial empire into a charitable trust. It generally points a way forward, not just for IF but for the creative collab.

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #15
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #17

also indexed for Aug. ’08

The Immortal Iron Fist #15

December 3, 2010

Matt Fraction // Khari Evans
July 2008
****

Sadly, the IF creative team’s disbanding. A solo Fraction gives an encore to the Fist of the British Empire. This brush with post-colonial ideas sees the imprisoned hero team up w/ his Hindu counterpart—even at the end of the abbreviated run, he’s adding to the IF mythos! Evans’ work is scratchy tho’.

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #14
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #16

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1

The Immortal Iron Fist #14

December 2, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // Kano, Clay Mann, & Tonci Zonjic
June 2008
*****

Aja is missed, but Zonjic’s capable & the tale’s so good, it doesn’t matter. Bru & Frac harmonize their actors in a grand finale of kung fu: the Heroes for Hire, the Immortal Weapons, the women’s revolution, even Steel Serpent redeems himself. A satisfying conclusion to a superb 13-issue epic arc.

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #13
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #15

also indexed for Jun. ’08

The Immortal Iron Fist #13

December 1, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja, Kano, & Tonci Zonjic
May 2008
****

Bru & Frac pull a superb bait-&-switch: this arc isn’t about a kung fu tourney at all, it’s about a revolution! The warriors join IF & help to defend heaven from terrorists! Craziest stake: will Fist archfoe Steel Serpent fight with them or against them? Aja, sadly, is nearly MIA & sadly missed.

continued from The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1
last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #12
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #14

The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1

November 29, 2010

Matt Fraction // Nick Dragotta, Russ Heath, Lewis LaRosa, & Mitch Breitweiser
April 2008
***

With the monthly IF delayed, Fraction fills in with this Orson Randall backstory one-shot. He & a round-robin of artists pay homage to various styles of pop narrative (incl. mid-century horror & cowgirl sexploitation), making for an awfully episodic tale. While Green Mist clarifies the motivations of Prince of Orphans (currently a mystical enigma in the parent mag), it’s finally superfluous.

continued from The Immortal Iron Fist #12
continued in The Immortal Iron Fist #13

The Immortal Iron Fist #12

November 28, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja, Kano, & Javier Pulido
February 2008
*****

Bru & Frac transform pulp fiction into meaningful drama. The kung fu contest is a screen for a feminist, anti-royalist celestial revolution! Rand’s father, like his adopted father Randall, wins by refusing to fight. Even a substitute artist can’t detract from this brilliant issue.

continued in The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1
last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #11
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #13

The Immortal Iron Fist #11

November 27, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja & Kano
January 2008
****

Immortal‘s long, strong second arc just keeps building! Its fifth issue sees the villains triumphant. Davos, arch-foe to both Danny Rand & his father, wins a round in the kung fu tourney & earns a flashback. And the Heroes for Hire can’t stop HYDRA & their supersonic transdimensional train!

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #10
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #12

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #23

The Immortal Iron Fist #10

November 26, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja & Kano
December 2007
****

The title character is MIA this ish: a ballsy move. Check Annual #1 for his whereabouts & enjoy another round of the mag’s supernatural kung fu tournament! A pair of century-old plans build steam, one by HYDRA & one by a cabal of Fists. Aja’s partnered w/ Kano, whose flashback provides the action.

continued from The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1
last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #9
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #11

The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1

November 24, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // Howard Chaykin, Dan Brereton, & Jelena Djurdjevic
November 2007
***

Fist is hot enough & good enough to merit its first annual in its 3+ decades. The tale feels more Brubaker than Fraction, & a little self-indulgent: a set of two-fisted flashbacks to the pulpy career of the Jazz Age Iron Fist. These include a fight set on a dirigible above Harlem, malefic Asians & a team of sidekicks (a la Doc Savage). The square-jawed heroism gets a boost from Chaykin’s brawny style.

continued from The Immortal Iron Fist #9
continued in The Immortal Iron Fist #10

also indexed for Nov. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #9

The Immortal Iron Fist #9

November 23, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja & Scott Koblish
November 2007
****

In a twist, the whole kung fu tourney is a red herring! Danny Rand’s a pawn in a conspiracy set up by his mentor, the late Orson Randall, & Danny’s father. Thus, a tertiary plot flashes back to Rand Sr.’s training while the present sees Dan exit thru a steampunk portal, bound for Paris.

continued in The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1
last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #8
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #10

also indexed for Nov. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1

The Immortal Iron Fist #8

November 21, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja & Roy Allan Martinez
October 2007
*****

In just 1 year, Bru & Frac have enough new ideas for a long run. The Shangri La home of the Iron Fist is merely 1 of 7 interlocking cities, & the stars have aligned for a kung fu tournament btw. immortal weapons! But Rand’s old foe Davos schemes on Earth as well as heaven.

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #7
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #9

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Astonishing X-Men #22

The Immortal Iron Fist #7

November 20, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // Khari Evans, Leandro Fernandez, & Travel Foreman
August 2007
****

Interlude: an encore for the 16th c. IF, AKA the Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay! The tale strikes an awed yet irreverent tone as it relates a lovely romance btw. the only female Iron Fist & a humble fisherman. As good as a comic can conceivably be when drawn by 3 artists w/ wildly differing styles.

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #6
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #8

The Immortal Iron Fist #6

November 19, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja & Russ Heath
July 2007
****
Tho’ the gunplay drowns out the kung fu, this battle in a skyscraper is a kick. And in all the ways that count, the Heroes for Hire lose: Orson Randall, the last Iron Fist, sacrifices himself (a la Ben Kenobi) & Danny’s lawyer is kidnapped! Next up: an old-fashioned martial arts tournament.

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #5]
[next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #7]

also indexed for Jul. ’07

The Immortal Iron Fist #5

November 18, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja & Travel Foreman
June 2007
*****

WW1 vet Randall refused to fight in a tourney of 7 Immortal Weapons, earning the emnity of a crane goddess. Now he gives Danny the kung fu diary, a legacy of the Fist. This expansion of the IF mythos into pulp history is better than Brubaker’s revival of Bucky! Is Fraction’s contribution the humor?

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #4
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #6

The Immortal Iron Fist #4

November 17, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja, Sal Buscema, & Travel Foreman
April 2007
*****

This mag links ’00s Marvel to its ’10s future. As Danny Rand grew out of ’70s kung fu, so Orson Randall is a riff on ’20s pulp: born, like Tarzan, in a faraway land. His plutocrat father built a secret ‘hydraulic subway’ beneath NYC! He mentors Rand in new techniques like channelling chi thru his pistols.

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #3
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #5

also indexed for Apr. ’07

The Immortal Iron Fist #3

November 16, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja, Travel Foreman & Russ Heath
February 2007
****

For stretches, Aja’s art is a variation on Maleev’s Daredevil, esp. the backgrounds. Then BAM! he’ll lay out a beautiful page. I dig the toon-eyes on IM’s mask! Great momentum too, as HYDRA undermines Rand Corp & hunts a 1920s Fist, led by IF nemesis Davos (AKA Steel Serpent) & mystical crane women.

last issue:  The Immortal Iron Fist #2
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #4

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Astonishing X-Men #20
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11

The Immortal Iron Fist #2

November 15, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja, Travel Foreman, & John Severin
December 2006
****

Secondary artists help Frac & Bru elaborate on a history of the Iron Fist—c.f. a girl in 16C China who keeps pirates at bay! And the US doughboy (rough pencils of trenches by ’60s bullpen vet Severin) is still alive—immortal! His presence in NYC blocks the flow of IF chi, to Danny’s consternation.

last issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #1
next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #3

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #9

The Immortal Iron Fist #1

November 14, 2010

Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction // David Aja & Travel Foreman
November 2008
*****

Kung fu hero gets an ’00s revival after his recent Daredevil cameos. Fist always had pulpy roots—his origin is a riff on ’70s Batman—but this debut ish elaborates on the concept by chronicling the legacy of Iron Fists. Also, a 21st century Chinese corp is a front for HYDRA, a modern Yellow Peril.

next issue: The Immortal Iron Fist #2

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #17
Civil War #5 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #8