The Value of Teammates in Hawkeye 9

By Drew Baumgartner

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The Hawkeyes are team players. Whether it’s the Avengers for Clint or the Young Avengers for Kate, they’re more or less synonymous with their respective teams. That’s part of what makes their solo series so subversive and interesting — in part because it finds them away from their usual teammates, and in part because it finds them forging new teams out of the people around them. Only, for Hawkeyes, it’s never quite that simple. Case in point: the first half of Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero’s Hawkeye 9 provides an object lesson in why Kate needs her team, but the second complicates their relationship, forcing Kate to keep that team at an arm’s length. Continue reading

The Kitchen 4

kitchen 4

Today, Ryan and Drew are discussing The Kitchen 4, originally released February 18th, 2015.

Ryan: Strap in while I set the stage.

The Kitchen takes place in New York City in the late 70’s. Consumer inflation resumed a steady upward spiral from 1972 to a peak of near 12 percent in 1979. Corporate profits crashed by 30 percent as the cost of business soared thanks to massive social movements forcing Nixon and the federal government to enact sixty-two health and safety laws protecting workers and consumers on top of thirty-two other laws protecting the environment and regulating energy use. With interest up and profits low, the economy wallowed in a crisis state until Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve under President Carter, purposefully plunged it even further into peril in 1981 by cutting taxes to the rich, gutting welfare, and attacking labor in what became known as “Raeganomics”. Continue reading

Pretty Deadly 4

Alternating Currents: Pretty Deadly 4, Drew and Greg

Today, Drew and Greg are discussing Pretty Deadly 4, originally released January 22nd, 2013.

Drew: One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever received was from our very own Patrick Ehlers: exposition doesn’t feel like exposition if the audience wants that information. He may not have been the first writer to observe that, but I certainly wasn’t the last who needed to hear it. Narratives should draw us in, not simply parade across our consciousness. One of the most direct ways to make the audience curious is to pose a question — it can be as central to the story as wanting to know who killed Laura Palmer, or as inconsequential as wanting to know who’s supposed to call whom Ishmael. Of course, it’s possible to overdo it with the questions — if there are too many the story stops being mysteriously alluring and starts becoming frustratingly confusing. Pretty Deadly has spent a significant time in that latter category, and while issue 4 may not fully succeed in changing that, it certainly takes some steps in the right direction. Continue reading

Pretty Deadly 2

pretty deadly 2

Today, Greg and Shelby are discussing Pretty Deadly 2, originally released November 27, 2013.

Greg: There’s a difference between something feeling “challenging” and “hard”. The way I visualize it – and be forewarned, this is going to be super dumb – a brain approaches a thing that’s “challenging” like a cocky knight approaching a dragon: he knows he will be tested, but he knows he can ultimately triumph based on his skills. Conversely, a brain approaches a thing that’s “hard” like a cocky knight approaching a titanium wall that goes on forever: try as he might, all he’s gonna be able to do is bash his head against the wall.

This issue of Pretty Deadly feels like a titanium wall. One that’s particularly pretty, mind you.

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Pretty Deadly 1

pretty deadly 1

Today, Scott and Greg are discussing Pretty Deadly 1, originally released October 23rd, 2013.

Scott: I tend to categorize the things I read. When you spend a good chunk of your time reviewing media like I do, it’s convenient to have have certain genre-descriptors at the ready. It’s not quite as simple as labeling something a drama, comedy, thriller or horror- most stories are more complex than that- but finding the combination of nouns to aptly describe the subject. Once in a while, however, something comes along that defies categorization entirely. Something that no combination of nouns can do justice. Something like Pretty Deadly. At first glance this comic looks like a Western, but the structure of this first issue says otherwise. I don’t know what to make of it. I can only categorize it as uncategorizable. As a reviewer, it’s a bit frustrating, but as a comic book reader, I love it.
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