This week Hawkeye and Black Science return to the shelves! But is either of them worth the wait?
Hawkeye #19 (Marvel Comics)
Well, well, well, look who finally showed up. Yes, the habitually tardy Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye. I’ll be honest; I don’t even remember when the last issue of this series came out. Blame it on me not paying attention or reading too many comics, but I honestly don’t remember the last issue or what happened in it (was it the Christmas one that came out in February)?
Anyways, this latest issue of Hawkeye focuses on Clint Barton, who’s dealing with a case of deafness after the failed assassination attempt on his life 2 (?) issues ago. The way Clint’s condition is presented in this issue is really interesting and neat…if this book was coming out on time.
I know, I know, I shouldn’t be take an issue’s release date into consideration when reviewing it. But Hawkeye has had longer delays on it than Superman Unchained and Forever Evil combined, and it brings this story to a screeching halt. I credit Matt Fraction with coming up with a unique way of presenting the Clint Barton deafness problem, but there are whole pages were there is no dialogue. I was able to piece the narrative together no problem, but then when it’s time for Clint to give his big rousing speech to the tenants in his building, what happens? His brother starts translating his sign language, but the word balloons are blank. Great.
On the plus side, David Aja’s art is great. You can tell that he put a lot of time into this issue, and if you’re going to choose to have an entire issue devoted to sign language, then you better have someone like Aja depicting it.
At this point it might be better to stop getting the single issues of Hawkeye and wait for the trade collections. At least then you won’t be waiting for issues for months on end. It’s too bad though. Hawkeye #19’s not a bad book; it’s just that the constant delays have really put a damper on the stories going on in it. I may get a lot of flak for this, but it also seems like this issue was written because Fraction and Aja knew it was going to get major attention. I’m all for doing something new and different in your comics, but how about you give us a few actual issues that are on time before you throw a weird one at us? I used to love this series, but after the constant delays and issues that pretty much go nowhere, I find myself getting tired of Clint’s shenanigans. Rumor has it that the series is ending soon, so maybe Fraction and Aja have grown tired of them too.
Black Science #7 (Image Comics)
Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s Black Science returns to comic stands this week, and it’s a doozy. Mirroring the first issue, we once again are dropped into a strange dimension, except this time it’s not Grant McKay that’s in trouble, it’s his kids Nate and Pia. Luckily for them, Kadir arrives just in time to save them, but his action angers the native creatures and leads to a pretty long and intense chase sequence. Unfortunately, things don’t go exactly as planned for Pia and Nate, as….Nah, I won’t spoil it.
Black Science #7 is a total blast from start to finish. Rick Remender’s script keeps the action moving, and his voice for Kadir is awesome. Kadir is the main focus of this issue, and the monologue that he gives perfectly spells out why he’s putting himself in so much danger for Pia, Nate, and the other members of the research team.
Matteo Scalera’s pencils are phenomenal. Like Fiona Staples on Saga, Scalera is best when he’s creating crazy aliens and environments, and this issue lets him go pretty hog wild. There are the already mentioned weird xenomorph/raptor hybrid native creatures, but there are also weird walrus/dragon things and horses that look like fish as well. Black Science continues to let Scalera create the weirdest creatures in comics, and I love every page of them.
Black Science #7 is a strong return after a short break. For those of you who missed out on the first six issues, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can pick up this issue and not feel like you’re missing out on anything. The only weird thing in this issue is the page for the book’s cast of characters, which is at the end of the issue instead of the beginning. If you’re looking for crazy science fiction action, then this is the place to look.
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