I feel kind of lucky that my self-imposed 2-Hawkeye Issues a post limit ended up with both of The Tape issues ending up on one post 🙂 So I’m just going to review them together instead of as two separate comics.
First thing I have to mention, and the first thing I noticed…OMG change in artwork! I get the feeling that changing the artist from issue to issue is not all that uncommon, but man, was that ever jarring for me!! The first time I opened it up, and looked at the first picture, and went back to the cover to make sure I was looking at the right comic! Of course, then I noticed that the name of the artist had changed. No offense ment to Pulido (I thought he did a really good job) but I missed Aja for these two issues. I’ve gotten so used to that style that, when I think about this series as a whole, I think about his artwork. Still, Pulido’s artwork is well done. Something about the style and tone made me think old-school murder mystery, which set the tone quite nicely.
Story-wise, I like it. It was a shift for a series that really hasn’t had a serious storyline as of yet, to have one that was more “political”, with all the intrigue and stuff that follows. Not expected, but a good change from what we’ve been reading – I mean, we have to have some variety sometimes, right? Or this awesome comic may just end up getting repetitive. I was a little worried at first, when we first really saw the tape, that this was going to turn into Clint saying “I had to kill him because of <reason #1>, <reason #2>, and <reason #3>.” I’m so glad that isn’t the road they took – again, more good character building among the crazy action that was happening through these two issues.
I did love the cliffhanger at the end of #4, where we saw that Kate had impersonated Madame Masque in order to get the tape. Though how she knew where to go, I’m not entirely sure – it certainly wasn’t in their conversation before he left. She did mention something about “her guys” at the beginning of issue #4, but I don’t know if they had anything to do with it (I’m imagining a little underground informant network around Kate…I think I’ve watched too many movies!).
Also there was a rather large nugget of continuity information near the very end of #5. When Clint is healing up and he’s talking with Maria, Fury, and Kate, Fury says “We’re building the new SHIELD from the ground up, and to avoid creating something like my father made we…I’m using different methods. My methods. And the only way we could flush the mole out was with Bait.” Oooh….so much info in such a small line!! From what it sounds like, Fury was probably the director of SHIELD at some point (not quite sure what happened to him…) but SHIELD under him wasn’t such a good place? Then…what, a takeover? Fury just left? Something happens, Maria takes over, and she and this new Fury (who is the old Fury’s son, apparently!) rebuild SHIELD. That’s what it sounds like at least. So many questions! Adding this to the list below as well (that list is getting LONG!)
Random moment that was really good – sockfooted Clint and the glass. Did anyone else see the bloody footprints he was leaving behind? Yes…this is a little morbid, but it made me laugh…
All in all, a good two parter. Not my favorite issues of the series, but still really good and fun to read!
Plots to Find in Older Comics:
- Who is this new Nick Fury? – Medium Priority. If he’s going to be a major character in Secret Avengers, I kind of want to know who he is… **Can be found in the Battle Scars series** Thanks thegothamrogue!
- Previous Team for Hawkeye and Black Widow – Medium Priority. I think it might be the last series of Secret Avengers, and I wonder if something that happened there will be the reason they joined here.
- What happened to the original Nick Fury? – Low Priority. Just curious.
- Incident where Kate took over for Hawkeye while he was a ninja – Low Priority. It would be fun to know, but certainly not necessary!
- Shield Command Structure – Low Priority. We probably don’t need this for most of the stories, but it would be nice to know.
- Who Else was in the Sinister Six? – Low Priority. Mentioned in Spiderman #1 and #3, but not necessary to know. Like always, just curious.
- War Against Phoenix Force – Low Priority. This was mentioned in Hulk #1, but not integral. Just curious.
- Hawkeye’s Past – Low Priority. This is totally out of my own curiosity. You don’t need to know this to understand what’s going in in Hawkeye. It’s mentioned briefly, but it’s really not expanded on much.
- Tony’s first experience with Extremis – Low Priority. It’s not something that it that integral to the plot, so it’s more of a curiosity than anything else