Review: Heroes for Hire #6

Published on May 9th, 2011

We’re now six issues into Heroes for Hire and it feels to me more like a first issue rather than a sixth one. Granted, it’s the beginning of a new story-line, but everything appears to be starting from scratch. Which, I think, makes for a great jumping on point for new readers.

heroesforhire6Now that Misty Knight has freed herself and the other heroes from the control of the Puppet Master, she’s decided that the Heroes for Hire business isn’t such a bad idea. Problem is, everyone knows it was the Puppet Master who put the group together, so for now, the only field agent she has is Paladin. Luckily, Paladin is just as skilled a fighter, if not more so, than any other character in the Marvel Universe.

The book starts with Misty trying to contact Paladin on his current mission, to track down the delivery location of an Atlantean Narcotic. Paladin finds himself in trouble when he ends up being attacked by three ninjas with bone clubs. Enter: The Amazing Spider-Man, who just so happens to be around to lend a helping hand to Paladin. I really enjoyed seeing how Paladin and Spider-Man interacted with each other. Paladin has always been a mercenary, willing to do anything as long as he gets a paycheck. Spider-Man, on the other hand, refuses to take any perks that come along with being a super hero. Obviously, the two don’t get along very well. Surprisingly, it’s Paladin who seems to be the one with the problem. At first, Paladin plays it off that Spider-Man just annoys him, what with all the witty banter he’s famous for. As you keep reading it becomes more apparent that Paladin just wants to impress Misty Knight and needing help from an Avenger might make him look bad.

There are a lot of things in this book that make it worth reading. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have made me a fan of Paladin, who used to be a character that I never bothered to give a second thought about. These guys also know Spider-Man well and I thought they had a great handle on the character. Hell, they even make Batroc the Leaper a villain worth reading about in this issue. I’m also becoming a big fan of Brad Walker’s art. The first splash page with Paladin trying to fight the ninjas is really cool looking. The guy draws action scenes phenomenally and his page layouts are actually pretty interesting.

The only problem I really have with this book is the lack of other characters. It’s like Heroes for Hire is just the Misty Knight and Paladin book and every issue we get a guest star. I would prefer if there was an actual team, instead of people just coming and going. I think the book is going to need a few more issues to really establish itself, but I’m worried people aren’t willing to give the book the time it needs to really grow.

Ken Zeider