Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 9/5/15

Somehow, fate finds a way to balance the scales. Last week, I reviewed nearly a dozen comics all piled into one New Comics Day! This week, I had to scrape and scrounge to find some interesting comics to talk about. And they’re all Marvel, that’s always a hoot.

I went back to last week and snagged my copy of Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra, by popular request. I also picked up Mockingbird #1, a special issue celebrating the anniversary of SHIELD. And Comic Book of the Week goes to Silk #7, the last issue before the Secret Wars break, for a pretty good wrap-up of the first story arc.

Never a dull moment!

Over at Word of the Nerd, I continue the lack of content with a look at House of M #2. It’s a pretty boring comic, despite involving two rebellions, an angry Scarlet Witch and Fin Fang Foom.

Comic Reviews: Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra #1, Mockingbird #1, Silk #7, and Silver Surfer #14.

Hank Johnson #1

Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra #1
Writer: David Mandel
Artist: Michael Walsh

Due to the massive pile of comics I read through last week, I didn’t have time to get to this delightful little one-shot. But due to popular demand, my own interest, and the almost criminally small pile of comics out this week, I decided to review it anyway! I’m glad I did.

Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra turns henching into a workplace comedy. The titular Hank works as a random Hydra goon, but he’s also got a nagging wife, a couple of kids, and concerns about job momentum, little league, and boring school functions. Sometimes he gets punched in the face by Nick Fury, sometimes he gets hit on by Madame Hydra, and sometimes his kid wins the big game. In the end, Hank is pretty satisfied with his little life and his happy wife, but those punches to the face sure do hurt sometimes.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

This was definitely a fun little comic, legitimately funny in a lot of places. Hank is an immediately likable guy, for a sad sack, and Mandel has a lot of fun with the whole concept. I’ve always been attracted to this sort of story — hence the name of my blog — and I’m happy to say that Hank Johnson pulls it off splendidly. The art, likewise, is nice and grounded. This isn’t a cartoon. This is a realistic look at the silly elements of the world of Hydra, including MODOK.

The chant is a team-building exercise

If I’m being completely honest, though, I kind of wish it leaned a tad bit more towards realism. Bits like MODOK singing at a Hydra goon’s funeral or the Hydra little league team in a game against the SHIELD little league team were just a little too silly for what I’d really like out of a comic like this. But those moments don’t come close to ruining the sheer fun of this comic.

This comic would also be great for finding a new logo for my blog, considering I’ve been using the same Hydra agent pic for the past 3 years! But I’ll hopefully have some good news on that front coming up down the line…

Mockingbird #1

Mockingbird #1
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Joelle Jones

I like Agents of SHIELD, and I like comic books, so since it’s a quiet week, I decided to check out this issue. I see nothing wrong with tying comic book Mockingbird to her MCU counterpart. Not like comic book Mockingbird has much going for her.

Bobbi Morse’s former SHIELD mentor has been murdered, so she heads out to conduct an autopsy herself to figure out what happened. She’s joined by the woman’s son, a fellow doctor/scientist. Bobbi suspects he is the killer from the beginning, and she tricks him into thinking she can read minds in order to get him to confess. He says he killed his mother to lure Bobbi out of hiding, and she beats him up and then lays her old friend to rest.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

This was a fun, well-drawn issue of a potential Mockingbird series. The main character is pretty cool and the art is top notch. The story isn’t very important, but Cain keeps it moving and throws in a few interesting twists. This is just a solid Mockingbird story — and I think it introduces Lance Hunter to the MCU, which is also fine. I have zero problem with Marvel incorporating their Agents of SHIELD characters into the comics. More power to them.

He shouldn’t have taken the job in medical examining

There’s also a back-up story introducing new character Red Widow. It’s pretty good. I wish Marvel all the bust to give her some staying power. Black Widow could be cool with a franchise.

Silk #7

Silk #7
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Tana Ford

Just like Ant-Man and almost every other new comic that got cut short by Secret Wars, Silk will be back in the fall. That’s a relief. This is a fun comic, and I’d like to see where Thompson and Marvel take the character. I don’t particularly feel that Silk is the Character Find of 2015 or anything, but she could go places.

With the world coming to an end, J. Jonah Jameson gives Cindy Moon her only lead in the possible whereabouts of her brother: a halfway house across town. Cindy suits up and heads out, but keeps finding herself slowed down to help people in trouble in the coming destruction. At one point, she’s smushed under a runaway subway car, and flashes back to the last time she saw her parents, when she bid them farewell before stepping into Ezekial’s bunker.

Silk is rescued by Pokemon Dude, who wants to help out. But Cindy tells him to go back and be with his daughter. She finally makes it to the halfway house, finally finds her brother in one of the rooms, and they get to have one last hug before the world ends.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

As always, I love me some reasonable J. Jonah Jameson. But this issue can’t help but feel rushed. That’s not Thompson’s fault, though, and he does a great job with what he’s given. The tension and urgency feel real, and guest artist Tana Ford does an amazing job on the issue! Stacey Lee is great, but Ford is pretty darn good too. Both her Cindy Moon and Silk characters are dynamic, energetic and full of personality. Her action scenes are stellar and exciting, and she does a lot of heavy lifting with so much going on.

Speaking of heavy lifting…

This is a solid capstone for the first volume of Silk, giving us that tease at the end with Cindy’s brother just before a big cliffhanger. Thompson is crafting a very engaging comic with Silk, and I hope he can keep it up going forward.

Though if I’m being honest again, I was a little disappointed that Pokemon Dude came out of nowhere and randomly found Silk buried beneath that runaway subway car. I thought for sure Silk would pull that classic Spider-Man move of lifting heavy debris in a race against the clock. Ah well.

Silver Surfer #14

Silver Surfer #14
Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: Michael and Laura Allred

The end of Dan Slott’s Silver Surfer volume isn’t as much fun as the ends for Silk and Ant-Man, at least not yet. But, as always, Slott and the Family Allred deliver a solid issue of a building story.

Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood have been brought into the Plane of Non-Existence by Glorian, the Maker of Miracles, and his servant, Zee. Dawn and Zee begin remaking the planet Earth, but she doesn’t have any real idea what the world was like beyond her home of Anchor Bay, so she has trouble. And Surfer and Glorian begin remaking the rest of the cosmos, but then the Surfer gets a big head about it and decides to not only not remake Galactus, but he’s going to remake all the worlds that Galactus destroyed. Suffice to say, both Dawn and the Surfer are being hoodwinked.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

This issue was pretty much all set up, but that’s OK, because it’s still fun. Glorian and Zee are suspicious from the very beginning, but Dawn and the Surfer dive right into simply remaking reality with waves of their hands, and that part is enjoyable. We really get into their heads and their feelings. The reader sees the hoodwink twist coming from a mile away, and it’s a little disappointing that we’ll have to wait for another issue to see where it goes, but Slott and the Allreds have at least set up a pretty tense story. Hopefully the upcoming issues will be full of the romance, drama and universe-bending adventure we’ve come to expect from this series.

The comics I review in my Hench-Sized reviews are just the usual comics I pick up from my local shop any given week, along with a few impulse buys I might try on a whim. So if there are any comics or series you’d like me to review each week, let me know in the comments!


About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on September 5, 2015, in Comics, Marvel, Reviews, Spider-Man and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hank Johnson was great.

    Mockingbird was really good, and proves why she needs to get some use, dammit. She’s become really popular on the show, and she’s a great character, and yet Marvel’s shelved her for the past two years. She deserves better. This comic proves it. Red Widow seems OK. Reasonably interesting.

    Silk was great. Very bittersweet ending. Kind JJJ is always my favourite JJJ. No Stacey Lee was a shame, but the replacement artist did a great job, too.

    Silver Surfer was fantastic. Slott and Allred are still killing it. Clever, funny, creative, sweet, and just wonderful. I mean, Dawn booped the sun into existence. That’s amazing. Also, I loved Eve saying that Dawn mixes six different types of cereal.

    House of M has good writing – Fin Fang Foom is hilarious – but horrible art.

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