Holy Hannah, it’s back to the Seventies for this entry in the current Heroes Reborn event. This pastiche reprint comic – think Marvel Triple Action – ‘represents’ the tragic day Sam Wilson died.
Yes, in this world without a Spider-Man it’s not Gwen Stacey, but the Falcon who dies due to the diabolical dealings of the Goblin (why he’s not the Green Goblin, I can’t guess – this Norman Osborn’s alter ego is identical to the regular Marvel Universe version).
The book begins with a pitch-perfect homage to The Amazing Spider-Man #121’s splash page from… well, the credits are right there.
The parallels and swaps as regards the original and Heroes Reborn take are fun, and if you’ve read the Young Squadron tie-in you’ll see how this feeds into the main story.
The set-up is that politician Kyle Richmond, secretly the superhero Nighthawk, has found a new lease of life by partnering with Sam Wilson, the high-flying Falcon. As we join them, though, they’re not having the best of days. Kyle’s aide, Harry Osborn, is sick after taking a new street drug, Super-Serum, and he blames the pressure of work. And Kyle isn’t the only one self-flagellating.
Later, back at the secret HQ Falcon shares with Nighthawk.
Insert Dead Parrot gag here… And Redwing isn’t the only character to not make it out of this comic alive.
I loved this slice of retro Marvel magic. Sure, it’s the very definition of ‘inconsequential’ but I don’t need everything to have long-lasting consequences. Sometimes a flashback tale in an altered continuity micro-event is just fine on a summer afternoon. I love the script by Tim Seeley, how he captures the way Marvel told its stories in the Bronze Age. I adore the way Dan Juergen and Scott Hanna ape the crisp, clean style of John Romita and Tony Mortellaro. And the classic four-colour work of Chris Sotomayor has me grinning from ear to ear, while the dropped caps laid down by letterer Cory Petit are a lovely nod to the time.
Incidental pleasures include Tigra repurposed as an analog to DC’s Cheetah, a wink to the classic Squadron Supreme maxi-series, and this guy…
A wonderful bit of authentic business in this Darren Shan-edited delight is the bottom-page one-liner plugs for other Marvel Comics from the alternate Seventies. If real-life Marvel wants to publish any, I’ll be there!
Heck, I’d happily read more issues of this Nighthawk book – I want to know what happens with Kyle’s bill, whether super-serum is taken off the streets… and did I see the hint of a romance between Sam and Harry?
You want more? How about a lettercol telling us what readers thought of previous issues?
Dave Johnson’s cover, while surprisingly referring to The Amazing Spider-Man #122 rather than the issue this comic is reworking, is just tremendous, from the Marvel Triple Action-style logo to the weathering of the book.
I doubt a person needs to be reading the Heroes Reborn event to enjoy this – if you have the slightest nostalgia for Seventies Marvel, hoo boy, have I got a comic for you!