In the wake of Shadowland, the pragmatic Heroes for Hire organization undergoes some changes. Misty Knight’s revamped operation promises to add new blood, but does will that be enough to pay the bills?



HEROES FOR HIRE #1
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Penciler: Brad Walker
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Colorist: David Jay Ramos
Cover Artists: Doug Braithwaite & Sonia Oback
Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

“Ladies and gentlemen, looks like we’ve got ourselves a team-up.”

The first issue of the new Heroes for Hire finds Misty Knight doing her best Oracle impression by way of the DJ from “The Warriors.” She’s running the show, turning the Heroes for Hire enterprise from a public investigator-type operation into a quid pro quo freelance set-up. Knight contacts various heroes (like the Falcon) via Bluetooth headsets, calling in or promising favors for their help. It’s a novel premise that seems like it’ll provide a chance to see a lot of different heroes in action.

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning deserve credit for crafting a good hook. I especially like the central antagonists in the issue. For the street-level set, drug dealers often provide the easiest generic bad guys. Abnett and Lanning spice up what could be just another drug trafficking ring by adding an Atlantean connection with some disturbing details and dire implications. It shows these writers have a good grasp of how to make the mundane interesting using all the toys in their comic book sandbox.

Unfortunately, there’s something that this book that just left me slightly cold. While there is plenty of action, there isn’t much depth. There’s no real way for the characters to play off each other at this stage, as the characters are too much like placeholders. Swap any of the characters for another in this issue, and there wouldn’t be much difference.  The final page swerve also seems fairly arbitrary.

GHOST RIDER:  SIR NOT APPEARING IN THIS FILM

Although the cover (as well as the prominent advertising teasers) prominently features a certain fiery-headed motorcyclist, it should be noted that Ghost Rider does not appear in this book. Neither does Iron Fist or the Punisher. The heroes we do see are the Falcon, Black Widow, Moon Knight, Elektra, two panels of a voyeuristic Paladin, and of course, Misty Knight. Next month’s issue does promise Ghost Rider and Silver Sable, though.

Brad Walker and Andrew Hennessy do a bang-up job on art duties. Their strength lies in the fight scenes; Walker has a clear eye for action, and Hennessy’s ink adds detail without being cluttered. What really distinguishes the art is the panel layout. A stunning page where Moon Knight bursts through a skylight is artfully rendered, with shattered glass flying over the page as Moon Night leaps from one panel to the next. The broken-up panel designs give great dynamism to the pages.  David Jay Ramos is also crackerjack on color, best seen in subtle touches like the glow from Moon Knight’s eyes or the glare from muzzle blasts

BOTTOM LINE: KEEPING MY EYE ON IT

Heroes for Hire #1 a good debut with some interesting concepts, but unless you’re a big Misty Knight fan (do those exist?), it isn’t essential reading at this point. Abnett and Lanning prove they can create good hooks, and Walker and Hennessey’s work looks very nice on the page. I’m not adding it to the pull list yet, but I’ll definitely keep my eye on it.  This book contains twelve trepanned teenagers, four hoop earrings, two Moon Knightarangs, one head stomp, and one elbow smash. It has 12 bips, 2 bbrraapppppppps, 1 skreeeeee, 1 klk, 1 shrpp, 1 ftumf, 1 ftuummff, and 1 rrrreeeeeeeekkccchh. Three and a half out of five stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆

The Author

George Chimples

George Chimples

George Chimples comes from the far future, where comics are outlawed and only outlaws read comics. In an effort to prevent that horrible dystopia from ever coming into being, he has bravely traveled to the past in an attempt to change the future by ensuring that comics are good. Please do not talk to him about grandfather paradoxes. He likes his comics to be witty, trashy fun with slightly less pulp than a freshly squeezed glass of OJ. George’s favorite comic writers are Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison, while his preferred artists are Guy Davis and Chris Bachalo, He loves superheroes, but also enjoys horror, science fiction, and war comics. You can follow him @TheChimples on Twitter for his ramblings regarding comics, Cleveland sports, and nonsense.

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2 Comments

  1. TaZ
    December 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    B List Inc.?

  2. December 6, 2010 at 5:51 pm — Reply

    I don’t think that these are B-List heroes at all. Falcon, Ghost Rider, The Punisher, Iron Fist, The Daughters of The Dragon and Moon Knight have all carried (or helped to carry) books before, and it’s good to see them together.

    That said, having TWO books with seemingly rotating casts of heroes both using Moon Knight is confusing. I can get past the different characterizations (since Marc Spector does have multiple personalities, after all) but I think it’s as confusing to do this as to have multiple characters rocking the same name in different corners of the book.

    George nails the real problem: The last page reveal doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, and doesn’t necessarily bode well for long-term success, especially if it turns out to be a big swerve.

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