This is a remarkably well put-together comic book, a done-in-one that swings the camera around to ground level and shows lives affected in real-time by the gigantic events of Marvel's history. Using a letter home as a framing device, the protagonist Kerry is a relatively new transplant to the Big Apple from Ohio working as an EMT and relying on friends' kindness to store her things for more than three months while waiting on an apartment to become available.
The very, very clever script by Barbara Randall Kesel paints Kerry's picture that is very different from the truth, as the story reveals through a series of anecdotes and some truly challenging circumstances. Her morning jog (which, based on both the events and her outfit, took place in the early 1980s) is interrupted by Red Ronin in the giant robot's second adventure. The titanic technological terror is almost an afterthought to the real story, as Kerry has a run-in with Indigenous American NYPD officer Jay Sero. They end up helping civilians "into the nearest public safety protection facility," safety measures that make too much sense to be a retcon, factored into the city's history after the original Human Torch clashed with Namor and the city was swamped by a tidal wave. To keep the crowd calm, Kerry and Jay trade stories about run-ins with heroes and villains (Wonder Man has no game! Iron Man confronts a drunken cop!), encouraging others to do the same and not think about the massive destruction outside or the man hanging on to life by a thread due to a punctured lung.
There are at least three very clever throughlines here (Iron Man, having a love life in the big city, and the aforementioned apartment issue) that keep being woven through the tale in such delicate, brilliant ways that when they all resolve, it's like a perfect chord from a harmony of voices. The visual work by Staz Johnson, Tom Palmer, Jim Charlampidis, and Ariana Maher wonderfully echoes the 1980s in New York (as far as we saw that period in comics, not like, say, The Get Down) with dynamic visual stylings that are not as slick as many more modern works but still have a finished, "real" feel to them.
This is a superbly entertaining comic book craft presented in a self-contained way that nonetheless fits perfectly into the history of the fictional universe. RATING: BUY.
The Marvel Snapshot tour through Marvel history takes a romantic – and destructive – turn during the Michelinie/Byrne/Pérez Avengers era! Take one rookie cop, add one new-to-the-city emergency medical technician, and make their meet-cute a devastating battle between the Avengers and a giant, rampaging robot! What comes next? Only Barbara Randall Kesel (Hawk & Dove, Ultragirl) and Staz Johnson (New X-Men, Robin) can tell you. Featuring Iron Man, the Beast, Wonder Man, Count Nefaria and more.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.