With the success of today’s Comic Book movies it’s only natural that they influence the books somewhat not just the reverse. Such is the case here; the lead story is titled “Budapest”, an obvious reference to The Avengers film. A little too late in my opinion but lets leave it at that.
The spy book by Nick Spencer and Luke Ross does a good job introducing the unique premise. The concept is that the heroes on the team get their memories deleted after each mission to maintain deniability. Why would they agree to such a procedure? It’s dealt with early on, but we’re pretty much left in the dark.
Everyone knows how awesome Fraction’s Hawkeye is being received. Spencer pulls off a likable and wisecracking Clint, taking time to bust jokes despite being fatally wounded at one point. The only other members so far are Black Widow, portrayed as her usual badass self and the stone cold serious Nick Fury. The issue of Movie Nick Fury joining 616 was bound to happen I guess so it was nice to see Clint address it in typical Hawkeye fashion. Fury’s response might as well be Marvel’s to the situation. (Basically get over it).
Luke Ross does a solid job on the art. It’s not mind blowing or his best but if he sought to give the book a mysterious black ops feel, it’s mission accomplished.
This first issue served its purpose. It set the foundation for future stories and intrigue. My only problems are Widow needs more attention, and the villain was so bland, that I don’t need my mind wiped to forget about him. The main goal it succeeds in is successfully merging the movie version of the Avengers with their comic doppelgangers (I don’t get to use that word enough). Coulson could use a bit more of Clark Gregg’s appeal but it is the first issue after all.
It’s no easy feat to follow up Rick Remender on a title. But this book makes the best out of a small cast and unusual premise. Ross sets the tone of espionage. Spencer adds one of his twists in the closing scenes that make me want to stick around and see what happens, plus Taskmaster shows up in issue #2 also.
4 out of 5 Nerds