Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Travel Foreman
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Tales of Suspense was an iconic Marvel title. Tales of Suspense predated the Marvel Universe that we know today and was originally a Science Fiction anthology and then with the inception of the Marvel Universe and the reemergence of super hero comics it was the original home to the solo adventures of Iron Man and Captain America. In the early days of Marvel Comics they had a horrendous printing and distribution deal and were contractually obligated to print less then ten books a month so many Marvel titles were bi-monthly and had two features so that they could introduce more characters and titles to tell their fantastic Silver Age stories. By 1969 the distribution deal with Independent News (the then parent company of DC) ended and Marvel was able to release more titles and Tales of Suspense became Captain America with issue #100.
Now Tales of Suspense returns with its own issue #100 and just like its original super hero heritage it once again stars two of Marvel’s hero’s but rather then appearing in solo stories Tales of Suspense begins what could become one of Marvel’s greatest bromances as it brings together Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and Bucky Barnes: the Winter Soldier. Although both Hawkeye and Bucky have long and storied relationships with Captain America I can’t recall, other then during the underground era of the New Avengers, that these two heroes spent a great amount of time together. It seems that is about to change as Tales of Suspense is firmly focused on Hawkeye and Bucky as they have to figure out a way to work together, hopefully in the same manner that Riggs and Murtaugh had to figure out how to be partners in Lethal Weapon.
The mention of Secret Empire brings strong reactions from many Marvel fans. Some love it, some loathe it, while others out right hate it. But you cannot deny that it had ramifications, notably a distrust of Captain America (now being dealt with in the incredible Captain America by Waid & Samnee) and the death of the Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, at the hands of Hydra Cap. This is where Tales of Suspense #100 begins.
Natasha has a rich and romantic history with both Clint Barton and Bucky Barnes. She is an important player in the birth of Hawkeye in Marvel Comics and they have had an on again and off again relationship ever since, but then again who hasn’t had an on again off again relationship with Hawkeye. Natasha’s most notable recent paramour is Bucky Barnes, as two survivors of the USSR’s Red Room they eventually found love with one another and for a few years they were the most captivating relationship in all of Marvel Comics. But alas it ended but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still feelings there and there is little Bucky won’t do for Natasha. Natasha is at the core of Tales of Suspense #100 as Hawkeye believes that there is a chance that Natasha is still alive and if that is the case there is nothing that can stand in the way of him finding her, whether that means crashing a Hydra funeral or inciting a riot in a former Communist state in Eastern Europe.Bucky is also on the trail of Natasha as his time in the Red Room has given him insight into why Natasha might still be amongst the living. It is this singular belief that will bring Bucky and Clint together and lead into a compelling action packed adventure.
Tales of Suspense #100 is a lot of fun. It has wonderful action and has a feel of a buddy cop movie, which fits Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier perfectly. This is the first title I’ve read of Matthew Rosenberg’s but I found myself enjoying his writing and he has a great grasp of Hawkeye as a character that fits right in with what developed during Fraction’s Hawkeye and Kelly Thompson’s current run on Hawkeye. I love Travel Foreman’s art, I enjoyed his early days when he took over Cla$$ War from Trevor Hairsine but find what he has done over the past few years, first with the Ultimates 2 and then here to be some of his best work to date. It is beautiful and with the colors of Rachelle Rosenberg looks like a painted work of art that pops off the page. I’m looking forward to where this series goes and how it evolves over the next few issues.
Verdict: Tales of Suspense #100 is a wonderful comic with a great story and beautiful artwork. It is a great extension of what has been done with Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier in the past and hopefully becomes a powerful bromance for the ages.