The Red Wing by Jonathan Hickman

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IMG_2031This one has been out for a few years and it has been on my reading list for a while. Not quite sure, but I think most of it is because it was written by Hickman and I always like the creator owned stories. I kind or sort of had a an idea what it was about but as usual I really didn’t know. I hadn’t heard much about it but when I saw it in the used section at my local comic shop I couldn’t pass it up.

Hickman is one of the bright new talents that has burst on to the scene in recent years. He has written on quite a few titles for Marvel including an extensive run for Fantastic Four among so many others. He also wrote the Infinity storyline which is on my list to read here soon. What is interesting is that this is the second time Hickman and artist Nick Pitarra have teamed up for Image. Not sure how this happened but I am jealous, I would love to have an artist in my back pocket ready to bring to life any new story I dreamed up. But I am not Hickman, or a famous writer in any way shape or form, so that’s not gonna happen. O well… This duo also created Manhattan Projects which I have read as well.IMG_2032

This story takes place in a future society where mankind is raging a war against a time traveling enemy. It follows two young cadets that are a part of a special unit called the Red Wing. They are the best fighter pilots flying fighters that are capable of jumping through time in an instant. One of the pilots’ father was also a pilot who has been missing since he was a young boy, but his father is not dead rather stuck in a different time and unable to get home. Will his father ever get home, will the cadets survive the war, and who is this benevolent enemy that the humans are fighting?

This one was mostly a surprise. I did not expect the time travel aspect of the story, which was pretIMG_2033ty cool, as I mentioned above I just thought this one was about a fighter squadron in the future fighting aliens or something. In some aspects I was not all the way wrong but I was not entirely right either.

Regardless, I am not sure what to think about this one. I was not expecting much from this one, not sure why, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story and all the different aspects of it. The story was ok, nothing that was great in my opinion. Which really makes me wonder how this one got published. I think the simple answer is that it was written by Hickman that is pretty much the only reason I can come up with. To me this is kind of sad, there is nothing special about this one, and I hate to bash others work, but slap a fIMG_2034amous author’s name on it and Image will be sure to sell enough copies to make some money. I know that it’s all about that cheddat, but there are so many stories out there I think the buck has to stop somewhere.

I have always wondered if I wrote a story and Hickman, Miller or whoever slapped their name on it of it would get enough attention to be published by the big boys in the indusrty. My point is that at the end of the day it’s about the bottom dollar, which I guess is fine and I also understand, but I think if that is the sole purpose of the industry eventually the quality of stories will start to diminish if it hasn’t already. There is so much out there in comic or graphic novel form, both good andIMG_2035 bad, but if the big names will publish a well known writer no matter the quality of the story then I think we all lose, but I am getting a little off topic. Again my point is that just because some famous writer writes a story, that does not automatically make it publish worthy, but as always what do I know.

I felt the story was sub part at best although it did offer a few cool ideas and half way through I was intrigued and wanted to see what happend next. But that enthusiasm quickly dissipated as the story finished up. It only held my attention for a short while, and I love time travel but I could not really get into this story. There was nothing new and it had mostly recycled ideas, which is fine but I like when a different spin is put on them as well.

The artwork on this one is again just ok. It is a very stylized style that I think is very reminisceIMG_2036nt of a Hickman Image published comic. All the other books I have read by him published by Image have this similar art style. As I said above Hickman teamed up with Pitarra for the second time but even Transhuman and the Silence have very similar art styles I guess he likes that style to go with his stories. It was not my favorite but still not bad by any means. I did feel that at times it did lack a little of the detail that I like, but that is me nit picking as usual. The colors were again very similar to what Hickman usually has in his books, nothing out of the ordinary, but very rich and vibrant colors everything you would expect in a top quality comic. I will say that the page layouts were above average and there a few scenes that were up there with some of the coolest I have seen, so props to the artist for that and a really great job.

At the end if the day I don’t have much to say about this one. I like Hickman but I think quit a few of his creator owned stories are just ok, but IMG_2037that is just my opinion. I would say that unless you are a die hard fan you probably want to skip this one, or you can find a really cheap used copy somewhere. Or my other recommendation is just to skip this one all together.

Manik

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