What's interesting about a comic like Heroes for Hire
, Marvel's new series about Misty Knight coordinating street level heroes, is that it doesn't really have the same baggage other classic franchises do. There aren't any villains who need to be addressed or subplots that need to be solved. All you really need is Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Colleen Wing, or Misty Knight, and you don't have to clean up or even reference prior runs, just get right into making good comics. Over the course of their first three issues, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Brad Walker have done just that. Come read why Heroes for Hire works as well as it does and check out an exclusive preview of Heroes for Hire #4.
So far, the book has pulled in street level characters from all over the Marvel Uuniverse, including Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, Paladin, Elektra, Falcon, Black Widow, and brief cameos from Luke Cage and Colleen Wing. They're all working for Misty Knight, who has created the 21st century version of Marvel Team-Up
to handle the things that slip through the cracks or don't catch the attention of the Avengers. The hook of the first arc is that Misty is actually under the control of the Puppet Master, a Fantastic Four villain, who has as-yet unrevealed plans of his own.
Walker's art hasn't quite clicked for me yet, particularly in term of his figures, but his architecture looks very good, with that perfect mix of majesty and grittiness. He has a habit of breaking small moments, like popping a lock or taking a picture out into panels of their own, but also using camera angles for other types of actions that keep things interesting.
Abnett and Lanning's writing is just what the series needed: strong and character-focused, rather than just trying to stack cool scene on cool scene. Woven between the stories about Moon Knight fighting dinosaurs or Elektra doing what she does best are a series of ongoing conversations or scenes about Paladin slowly figuring out what's wrong with Misty and attempting to gather help. This mix of action and a heavy dose of characterization is what made their cosmic comics so good.
Heroes for Hire
is a good read thus far, and it's nice to pick up a book that lets you get in on the ground floor without worrying about what came before. All you need to know is what's happening in that current issue, so it's safe to hit the ground running. Check the preview below! The cover is by Dougie Braithwaite.