Reviewer : Tim Byrne
Story Title : Wolf in the Fold
Story : Mark Millar
Pencils : Bryan Hitch
Inks : Paul Neary
Colors : Laura Martin
Letters : Chris Eliopoulos
Editor : Ralph Macchio
Publisher : Marvel Comics
Mark Millar should get down on his knees and thank the good Lord above every day.
And not just for his life and good health.
I mean, I like Millar’s writing, and he has successfully crafted an ‘Avengers’ team with a harder edge.
But, wow, Bryan Hitch just keeps knocking these issues out of the park time and time again. And not just on the splash pages either. Check out…
Alright, I’m going to stop myself and go back a few paces.
This issue covers a range of developing sub-plots, all of which are making me hungry to see more. The Ultimates deal with the fall-out of their mission in the Middle East. Thor continues to raise doubts about his true origins and / or sanity. Hank and Janet Pym have a conversation over coffee that rings very unpleasantly true. And Hawkeye’s family has a VERY unwelcome visitor.
Millar’s dialogue is generally spot-on and ‘realistic’, if you can say such a thing about a super-hero comic with a character that may be a Norse God. After plumbing the depths of Hank Pym’s degradation in the last issue, this one deals with the oh-so-human qualities of pretty much every member of the team.
As someone who works in the area of Family Law, the conversation between Hank and Janet was so accurate as to be uncomfortable to read. Almost all abusers have a certain snaky charm, and an ability to zero in on the ‘weaknesses’ of those who are susceptible to this abuse.
Now, back to Bryan Hitch for a moment. I mean, seriously, wow. The guy is just phenomenal, and I don’t just mean in the ‘splash’ pages or the detailed background. Look at the facial expressions in the conversation between the Pyms. Check out Janet’s rueful smile, her glance over the top of her sunglasses. Hitch and Neary have absolutely surpassed themselves, and all in a domestic portrayal of two people having coffee, with a hell of a lot of under-currents.
The more action-oriented finalse also set my eyes a-blazing. Hawkeyes simply kicked ass, and the no-nonsense attitude of his attacker made for an equal match.
The lengthy lead-in time to this series, coupled with the monthly schedule was a stroke of genius, meaning that my next fix is only a month away!!