Andrew Currie

Real Heroes 2 (May 2014)

Real Heroes #2Hitch does the whole Galaxy Quest with comics beautifully, but ups it with a lot of references to the superhero movie industry. It’s a lot of fun to read–though I have no idea how it would read to someone not up on all the industry news. Hitch goes far with it. Too far? I can’t know as I get all the references.

There’s also a bit of Galaxy Quest in the plot reveal. The fake heroes are there to do a public service announcement to reconcile with the bad guys. There’s some good character moments and a couple funny parts and it all plays out well. Then Hitch implies the big villain is actually trying to make the reconciliation work.

Or maybe he doesn’t. Hopefully he does, because it’d make Real Heroes something different. It can continue to amuse with the Galaxy Quest riff. But maybe it’ll be more.

B 

CREDITS

Writer and penciller, Bryan Hitch; inkers, Paul Neary and Andrew Currie; colorist, Laura Martin; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Drew Gill; publisher, Image Comics.

The Ultimates 7 (September 2002)

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Maybe they just enlarge Hitch’s artwork. His full page close-up of Captain America, out of uniform, to close the issue is just as lacking in detail as his other Captain America full pages. It’s really awkward. He doesn’t go light on any other character….

This issue’s half terrible and half mediocre. Millar’s treatise on spousal abuse is less insightful than a commercial for a Dr. Phil special and about thirty times more exploitative. I’m sure he patted himself on the back through the whole thing, but it’s really cheap.

The other half of the issue, with the reader finding out Nick Fury’s got a whole other team of Ultimates–the black ops team, who do the important jobs (where were they during the Hulk attacking Manhattan)–is fine enough. It’s silly and forced, but so’s the comic in general.

And wouldn’t the hospital have discovered Janet is a mutant?

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Bryan Hitch; inker, Andrew Currie; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Brian Smith, C.B. Cebulski and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Ultimates 6 (August 2002)

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Another all action issue. Sort of. There’s the dinner party with Captain America, Thor and Iron Man–lots of awkward close-ups here… Millar’s obviously trying for a movie feel, but it’s like Hitch doesn’t know how to frame for those kinds of panels. There’s also the whole Hank versus Janet thing going on.

It’s a really problematic issue because there’s the cool stuff–not gay Jarvis trying to cruise Captain America–but the little stuff, like the boys enjoying a joke. It’s believable, following a somewhat tense situation.

The Janet and Hank stuff… well… I guess it’s cool when he talks about her mutation involving her laying eggs six days a week. I mean, it’s a gross detail but an effective, imaginative one. I don’t think they push Ultimate mutations so much in Ultimate X-Men. But otherwise it’s a sensational, cruelly-minded attempt at showing an abusive marriage.

CREDITS

Giant Man vs. The Wasp; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Bryan Hitch; inker, Andrew Currie; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Brian Smith, C.B. Cebulski and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Ultimates 5 (July 2002)

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For an all action issue, it’s decent. It’s very cinematic in a boring, expository way (Grand Central’s cleared so they fight there, how convenient), but Millar does occasionally get in some good moments. I remember when Brubaker took over Captain America and talked about the character as an FDR democrat, full of idealism. Millar writes him like a cruel thug, something out of The Green Berets. It’s interesting, I guess, but it doesn’t really make him a rallying point.

Thor’s barely a cameo; good for a joke about Dubya. I hope Millar stops with that avenue of humor soon… it’s cover for not really having any real content.

Hitch’s art’s better here. If not better, I like it more than usual.

The Hulk sums up what I don’t like about Millar’s approach. He dismisses the character having any potential for future stories to make a big splash with this one.

CREDITS

Hulk Does Manhattan; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Bryan Hitch; inker, Andrew Currie; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Brian Smith, C.B. Cebulski and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Ultimates 4 (June 2002)

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It’s the outfit. Hitch can’t draw the Captain America outfit. All his detail goes out the window and it looks like something off a TV shirt or an action figure package. Some of it could be Currie’s inking, but I doubt it.

This issue, again, is strong. It’s like Millar can’t do strong issues twice in a row. The Ultimates is like the even numbered Star Trek movies, stronger than the odd numbered ones… This one has the first appearance from Thor, which is awesome–Ultimate Thor is probably my favorite Ultimate character because Millar gets how to make him work “real world.”

There’s also the Bruce Banner Hulk out sequence, which is all right. What’s strange about Ultimate Hulk is how he’s completely lame. Banner’s not even an interesting character, he’s like a low grade villain. I think Millar thinks he’s doing something special with him, but he’s not.

CREDITS

Thunder; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Bryan Hitch; inker, Andrew Currie; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Brian Smith, C.B. Cebulski and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Ultimates 3 (May 2002)

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Lots of this issue is really good. The Captain America going to see Bucky stuff, all great. Brings a tear to my eye. Like Millar watched Fields of Dreams to prep for that one. Then the scene in the cemetery, where it’s like he watched Aliens to go over the dead family.

It’s too bad the ending is a huge stinker. The Captain America shot on the last page is weak and the whole lead-in with the media event is weak. Even Dubya shows up to make things even stupider (and more dated).

Where Millar goes wrong is letting the issue get away from Captain America, turning him into something to be regarded instead of the principal.

There’s some nice other character moments, but lots of foreshadowing too… Janet makes a comment about she and Hank’s marriage and then Banner’s got Hulk envy going.

It’s passable, I suppose, overall.

CREDITS

21st Century Boy; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Bryan Hitch; inker, Andrew Currie; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Brian Smith and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Ultimates 2 (April 2002)

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My favorite thing about Mark Millar, now and forever, will be him thinking Oregon is a city with a downtown. Just the man who should be writing American characters….

Actually, Millar’s geographic ignorance aside (Ultimates will be, I think, forever dated with its Dubya references), the second issue’s a lot of fun. He introduces all the characters and makes them all rather engaging–demonizing Bruce Banner a little bit, the only character Hitch doesn’t draw good-looking.

It’s fun watching Hank and Janet together (shame it goes so south so soon, but mainstream comics rarely have engaging couples… you’d think someone would have seen The Thin Man) and Tony and Nick act like a couple teenagers.

Millar’s usual bombasm and moronic plotting aside, he really does have talent and this issue showcases it. He knows how to make the reader engage in the material.

Pity he does it so rarely.

CREDITS

“Big”; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Bryan Hitch; inker, Andrew Currie; colorist, Paul Mounts; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Brian Smith and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Ultimates 1 (March 2002)

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I forgot how fast these Ultimates comics read. Millar doesn’t seem to recognize a difference between ending with the reader wanting more and ending with the reader feeling ripped off.

This issue’s basically a prologue. It’s a visual rip-off of Saving Private Ryan‘s opening with Captain America added.

What’s so funny on Millar’s take on the World War II era Cap is how, reading this series after Brubaker’s done his revisionist thing, Millar seems quaint and forced. His ideas are unimaginative and derivative and barely there.

I guess Hitch’s artwork is good. It’s all very realistic–does Hitch photo-reference? Probably… Millar likes him–but it’s never exciting. Captain America’s not the biggest jerk in the comic, instead there’s a lame “regular guy” who’s a big jerk. I think he gets his comeuppance and dies.

It’s a pretty weak first issue… certainly doesn’t make me want to read more.

CREDITS

Super Human; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Bryan Hitch; inker, Andrew Currie; colorists, Paul Mounts and Bongotone; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Brian Smith and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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