The Weekly Worship: MATT FRACTION’s got comics “Uatu” read.

Yup, it’s witty; sure, it’s typical of our blog headlines; and, uh-huh, you bet we stole it. Don’t be surprised if half the comic industry starts stealing other elements from Matt Fraction in the coming weeks, as well.

This man is on fire.

But, before I go on to cover a pair of this week’s Marvelous works from Matty Frac, let’s talk about sex — Sex Criminals, that is. Just trying to explain this indie gem from Image is freaky enough (you should see the faces on some of my coworkers), never mind the actual read.

Never a dull moment in the VIP room at Hemmingway’s, that’s for sure.

The hypnotic, less scandalous than you’d imagine comic is as stated: what if you had the power to freeze time with a.. uh.. well.. *gulp* orgasm*? Before this article gets too 50 Shades of Moody on ya, I’d be lying to the congregation if I didn’t admit having such thoughts (or powers!) But…onto the comic, yes? Uh, get it?


Ick is right. Sex Criminals is sort of like “what would you do with a million dollars?” topics except it’s more “what’s the damn best way to obtain a million dollars?”

Sex! Of course.

These freakypages offer more sentiment than you’d think, also. If you can see past the title and the whimsical images on the cover, Sex Criminals is an intelligent, surprisingly relatable yarn. There’s a damn good reason why Suzie does why she does (although it’s “barely legal”), and there’s no doubt tons of geeks are going to shout out “that’s me!” with Jon’s everyday rage (only without his power, though, weirdo). And the comic has Sex Cops. Say that again right along with me now…

Sex Criminals #1-#4 = 3.75 (out of 5).. Sex Criminals Comics?









Now, before drifting off to a comic “couple” that opts to keep their sheets clean, I’d like to commend Matt Fraction for the year he had in 2013. You see, I was asked to contribute a bio towards our collaboration with Comics Bulletin for a piece on the Top 10 Comic Writers of the Year, and Matt Fraction was already spoken for. Obviously. This was the same guy whose middling efforts with Marvel (Uncanny X-Men, Fear Itself) were saved by the graces of metallic brilliance. Initially revered for Casanova, later admired for a colorful Thor and damn near worshipped for The Immortal Iron Fist, one could argue that Fract’s run on Invincible Iron Man is the best ever – and perhaps played a key part in inspiring the flick that set off this incredible Marvel train.

Yet, it wasn’t until his quirky-yet-cool Defenders comic where Fraction let the keyboard fly. It was then where Frac decided to do Marvel comics his way; essentially where the scribe rolled up his sleeves, threw the glasses back on and allowed his capes to hang up those.. capes for at the very least a day or two. For that, both they — and we the reader – have much to be thankful.

Not apt “defending” against cancellations, however.


Both Hawkeye (the #1 comic on my 2013 list) and FF (a.k.a. Future Foundation) have no problem playing the guilty pleasure as they are at shooting it straight, smart and insightful. They’ve also been known for packing quite the emotional punch. What makes Hawkeye unique, in addition to all of those attributes, is offering two stories for the price of one. While most know the purple-clad Hawkguy best for his roles as not-so-secret Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D. espionager, there’s another Hawkeye who justifies taking up as much space in those panels. Blame it on our shared residence (Los Angeles) or on my unfortunate interest with feisty brunettes (I kid.. kinda sorta), but Kate Bishop’s arrows have always pierced by heart.

In Hawkeye #16, my future ex-wife runs into a 60s “surf rat” hit rock bottom by his brother, his also former bandmate (think Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson) who shreds his nature through thievery and tabloids. I swear, I run into one of these guys just about every night I work the door at a former-blues-dive-turned-modern-gastro-pub.

Is it possible to marry a silhouette?

Sadly, they are just down-on-their luck dudes waiting for the bus, waiting to tell their story. So, what happens if, let’s say, none of the current sitch is bullshit – despite the fact that 95% of the time it is — and you, in pursue of greener pastures, opt to spend the day with the sad, albeit very wealthy sad-sack?

Smile, it’s the City of Angel$! (Hope you hippy nerds caught that).

What many of my peers can relate to, more particularly within this story, is the everyday struggle of a.. well.. struggling someone. In Katheryn’s case, it’s the struggling superhero. If you’ve ever read or watched Kick-Ass (or more apropos, the HBO Documentary Superheroes), the notion of a struggling superhero is not that far-fetched. In earlier issues of Hawkeye, Hawkguy may have had to deal with the bat-toting “bros” in the Boogie Down over some leasing shit, but what if you didn’t have the Avengers bankroll to fall back on? When grabbing a few groceries at Fresh ‘N Easy is far from it? That’s where Kate’s story comes in, and why my poor gal pal has to take such slimy gigs to make ends meet. And bullshit traffic on the 405? WE CAN RELATE.

Annie Wu finds her name on the cover this month too, replacing the amazing David Aja but never losing a step. Simply put, Wu nails every subtle moment – and there are plenty. While she doesn’t quite have the design skills of Aja, there’s no question her art provides an enjoyable alternative to Fract’s right-hand man when the purple quiver touches Tinseltown.

So, best-coasters, do yourself a favor and snatch Hawkeye #16, the book so good it jumped a month ahead.

Hawkeye #16 = 4 (out of 5) Arrows










Matt Fraction also ties a big fat red bow on his incredible near year-and-a-half run with the Allred art family on FF, a comic you can otherwise consider “The Fantastic Replacement Four”. Perhaps surprisingly, this title turned out the better of the sister books, and even as it lost Fraction’s regular scripting duties (he remains the plot-master, however), FF’s quality never took a fall.

Oh, the kid? Just flippin’ the bird to Michael Douglas haterz.

FF #16 could easily have the title Ant-Man #16.NOW if it wanted, and knowing Marvel – and the recent announcement of comedic extraordinaire Paul Rudd as Scott Lang – you know they would have loved to!

You see, there’s a viable reason why the 2nd Ant-Man lies front and center here. It was none other than Doctor Doom, murderer of Lang’s daughter Cassie, who disrupted the school for brilliant kids that further enraged its dizzying faculty. *Minor SPOILERS* In FF’s finale, you can bet Lang and Doom confront, Ant-Man gets the upper hand, and Doom receives the punishment he deserves. *End SPOILERS* But should so many of the pages of this book have been dedicated to said battle? Should a book chiefly known for its belly-aching humor, curious creatures, and the close-to-home life of a replacement cape go down like that? The fight is so long-winded you’d think one of the Watchers wrote it. Actually…

Even if the thick of Lee Allred’s swansong to Fraction’s incredible creation comes off forced, there are enough smiles to go around in the last 10-pages to satisfy most. Mike and Laura Allred handle the pencils and colors as they impressively have since day one, Val gets hers, and there’s Pym Particles! While FF is the most unfortunate victim to Marvel’s recent string of cancellations, the Allreds (at least the art team) slide right over to Silver Surfer, a natural if any. Not coincidentally, of course, the issue’s epilogue features a few panels with our favorite intergalactic herald.

So, even with Fraction sadly absent from the glorious finale of the Future Foundation, there’s no question 2013′s finest comic scribe was there in spirit to give an awkward nod…and wave these crazy kids goodbye.

FF #16 = 3.75 (out of 5) Bibles
Entire run of FF = 4.5 Bibles

Travis Moody has gone through more phases than Paris Hilton has gone through tan lines. Or, more apropos, more phases than there are Batman titles. Hip-hop critic. MMA fighter. Furniture mover. Screenwriter. Die-hahd sports fan. Hollywood bouncer. Improv actor. Bartender. This guy puts Dean Malenko to shame, or at least Hayden Christensen. Nonetheless, the newfound phase of David Duchovny's favorite geek culture critic is kicking yo butt.. with crooked glasses and a smile. Follow @TravMoody