Heroes for Hire #6
Written by: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by: Brad Walker
In my continued effort to plow through the ginormous pile of single issues I have, I read several books last night and today before work. I almost wrote about Scalped #50 (I read it and #49, the only time in recorded history that I've let two issues of Scalped pile up on me- yes, its that busy), but in the end I feel like I would be saying more of the same (its not like the quality has dipped or anything) and so I decided to go in a slightly different direction and talk about a book that inhabits a small, dimly lit corner of the Marvel U, in an effort to hopefully shine some more light on it.
Heroes for Hire sees the always excellent team of DnA tackle yet another segment of the Marvel universe, this time covering the mean streets of New York, and utilizes a small cast of main recurring characters, with a much larger cast of rotating characters thrown in every issue or two. These are mostly heroes that are generally considered "B list", like Iron Fist, Punisher, Moon Knight and others (I say generally, I think in the right hands these are very cool characters that are A list in anyone's book, and thankfully thats the case here). However, with the above heroes so far in the series being purely glorified guest stars, DnA interestingly chose to make Misty Knight (this is a Heroes for Hire book after all) and the under-appreciated Paladin (who I think I remember last from Andy Diggle's Thunderbolts run?) the two main characters. These two rank even lower on the hero pantheon (with Paladin himself admitting in issue #6 or 7 that he's probably only C list at best), and yet Abnett and Lanning are able to give them a fun and engrossing story in which the reader probably becomes more invested in these characters than anytime in recent memory.
I haven't talked much about issue #6 yet, but its a veritable showcase for artist Brad Walker, who has been the main artist for most of the series except for the occasional fill-in. DnA aficionados may remember he penciled the one-shot opening issue for DnA's last big cosmic event, called The Thanos Imperative: Ignition, which was great work, and that continues here. I think he is one of the better superhero artists in recent memory, he has a knack for drawing figures and costumes well, and can handle an action scene like nobody's business.
I know budgets are tight, and most hardcore Marvel Zombies that are strapped for cash will probably overlook this book in favor of one of the myriad of X or Avengers titles, but I would challenge thee - check this book out, its unlike anything else out there, has fantastic art, is written by two of the best in comics, and you are guaranteed to have a fun time with characters that are oft underutilized in today's Marvel U.
Seriously. Read this book. Or Misty will send somebody after 'ya.