Two Marvel comics on the agenda for today, one I've been looking forward to all month long(Hawkeye: Blindspot) and one I'm expecting big things from(Iron Man). Will they live up to my lofty expectations or will I wind up being disappointed??? Well, let's find out!
Hawkeye: Blindspot #4(of 4):
Summary: So after the events at the end of the last issue, Hawkeye is blind now. AND he's trapped in a room with his crazed brother Barney(who's going by the codename Trickshot) and Baron Zemo, the man who put all of Clint's recent misery into motion due to Clint taking away something Zemo loved(Moonstone). Clint let's his brother taunt him for a while while he tries to regain his bearings and remember where everybody was placed in the room. Having listened to Barney blather on for a while, and recalling the layout of the room, Clint fires a few trick arrows at his surprised brother, hoping to disorient him. Unfortunately, Barney recovers faster than Clint, and knocks Clint across the room, causing Clint to totally lose track of what was where. Now really blind, and practically helpless, Barney begins to nick Clint with several arrows, just to be an ass. Barney decides to beat Clint to death with his bare hands and begins to do just that, asking Clint if he had any last words, to which Clint responds, “Dad would be proud.” in reference to the abusive father both Clint and Barney had suffered beatings from as youths. That line completely infuriates Barney, allowing Clint to get the upper-hand by latching onto Barney's leg and delivering a beating of his own. Eventually Barney puts a bit of distance between the two and they both pull out their last remaining arrow... Clint throws his first, and a water filled arrow breaks under Barney's feet. Barney laughs that off and steps on the water preparing to throw his final arrow, a conventional and deadly one. Clint listens to Barney step in the pool of water and is able to anticipate the arrival of Barney's arrow by sound and catch it, which shocks Barney long enough for Clint to throw it back at him, pinning him to the wall by the shoulder, before he's able to knock out his pinned brother with a well placed right. With the battle between the brothers over, Baron Zemo emerges from the shadows and applauds the fight he just saw, telling Hawkeye that they were even now, since they had now both lost somebody they loved. Clint says nuts to that and tries to blindly attack Zemo by following his voice, but is in no real condition to defeat a fighter as skilled as Zemo, and is easily brushed aside. Zemo tells Clint that since he had won this round of their battle, he was releasing all of the money Barney had made back during his criminal days to Clint, making Clint a very wealthy man. Clint makes one last effort to get Zemo, but Zemo teleports away, just as Steve Rogers and Iron Man arrive on the scene to find Clint barely conscious. Later, in a lab at Avengers Tower, Clint wakes up and is surprised that he can sort of see again. Dr. Blake(Thor's civilian guise) informs Clint that his earlier usage of the Pym Particles to turn into Goliath had temporarily reduced the swelling in Clint's brain, making surgery a possibility. Blake tells Clint that they were going to use Barney's bone marrow(as per Barney's wishes) in an attempt to help Clint's own body regenerate the damage done to his occipital lobe, hopefully curing his blindness. A quick surgery later, and Clint wakes up able to see again. After thanking his friends who had stuck with him throughout this mini(Blake, Iron Man and Steve), Clint heads into Barney's room to find out why his brother had given his bone marrow to help Clint. Barney explains that HE wanted to kill Clint, and that he wanted to do it when Clint was at 100%, not as a blind man. Clint tells Barney that he refuses to give up hope that one day they'd be working together, but Barney is insistent that he WILL kill Clint eventually and that he'd never forgive him. A few days later, Clint heads back to the funhouse where the climatic final battle began, as well as the place Clint first became Hawkeye and Barney became Trickshot, and decides to use his new fortune to fix the place up and make it a place of redemption.
Thoughts: Well, I first want to say this... I LOVED this mini-series. The first three issues were absolutely phenomenal. This issue was really good too, but there were a few things that bugged me... Clint's battle with Barney(and to a lesser extent Zemo) just seemed too evenly matched... I mean Clint was fully blind during that fight, but was more than able to hold his own. Yes, eventually Barney did put Clint down, and Clint was able to outsmart his older brother by making him angry, and thus careless, but Clint catching the final arrow BLIND and firing it back at Barney, hitting him RIGHT in the shoulder and pinning him to the wall was a bit much for me. I can only suspend my belief so far! Other then that though, I have no real complaints here. Clint got his eyesight back(which is something that HAD to happen), he also got his brother back(somebody who can become a serious threat to Clint, and hopefully the Avengers), and still has heat with Baron Zemo. So yes, as one of the biggest Hawkeye fans you'll ever find, I'd call this mini-series a RESOUNDING success, and I'll tip my hat to Jim McCann(writer) and Paco Diaz(artist) for providing me with a Hawkeye mini-series that I'll remember for years to come.
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.That's a great catch... For a blind man!!!
Invincible Iron Man #504: (Fear Itself tie-in)
Summary: We get started with th Grey Gargoyle watching one of the Serpent's hammers land in Paris. Curious, he approaches it and becomes one of the Serpent's Worthy. As for the star of this comic, Tony Stark tells Pepper Potts to hire Bethany Cabe(who has worn the War Machine armor a while back) as the head of security for Stark Resilient, especially since he'd be busy dealing with the Fear Itself stuff. Pepper doesn't really want to, since Tony had been romantically involved with Bethany(who hasn't Tony been romantically involved with?!), but Tony puts his foot down and rushes off to Paris to see what had happened there. Upon arriving, Tony's senses pick up NO life signs anywhere in the city. Tony lands and is horrified to find nothing but stone statues that used to be people. A man sneaks out of his home and tells Tony to get out of the city before it was too late, but alas, it IS too late and the now super-charged, Serpent possessed Grey Gargoyle(along with his big-ass sledgehammer) turns the man into stone before turning his attack to Iron Man. Tony rapidly realizes that the Gargoyle can't seem to turn Tony to stone, but is WAY stronger and faster then he's ever been before, knocking Tony through several buildings, as well as through several stone people, breaking them to Tony's horror. Tony tries to take the battle to Gargoyle, and is simply decimated by the Gargoyle. The Gargoyle beats Tony to the ground, and slams his sledgehammer into Tony's face, as Tony tries desperately to get a mayday out to the rest of the Avengers. After the sledgehammer shot, Tony is left a broken, battered, bloody and unconscious mess. Eventually Tony comes to and realizes he was buried under something very heavy. Tony climbs to the surface and is stunned when he realizes that he was buried under hundreds of broken statues of former people.
Thoughts: Wooooooo, now THIS was a GREAT comic! The ONLY knock I had against it was the stuff with Pepper and Bethany. Honestly, I could care less about whether Pepper was jealous of Tony's relationship with Bethany. Besides that though? I loved every page! Unsurprisingly Matt Fraction did a great job with this Fear Itself tie-in(I mean he should! He's the architect of the story!), and the sense of dread while Tony was in the silent City of Lights was palpable. The Grey Gargoyle(who I've always seen as a joke of a character) came across looking like a MONSTER, and completely squashed Iron Man in a matter of a few pages, something you don't see happen very often. To say I'm looking forward to the next issue of this series is a HUGE understatement!
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Nighty night, Tony.