REVIEW: Hank Johnson, Agent of Hydra #1

STORY BY David Mandel, ART BY Michael Walsh, COLORS BY, Matthew Wilson, LETTERS BY Clayton Cowles, Publisher: Marvel

With two distinct “Agents” show getting, in the case of Peggy Carter good and in the case of SHIELD only meh, press its about time that Marvel got round to showing us life from the other guys point of view.  That’s pretty much what you have in this issue.  Hank Johnson works for HYDRA, although he is at the lower end of the pay scale.  as such we follow him through thrilling adventures such as getting punched out by Nick Fury, arguing with the wife about joining AIM, arguing about getting a nanny and losing tickets to a Nets game meaning he has to go to that boring party on Saturday.

Sounds riveting right?

Actually, it really is.  Writer David Mandel has taken a relatively simple idea and totally ran with it, capturing the quiet desperation of the working man Screenshot_2015-08-28-08-35-19brilliantly.  The script is fantastic.  I love the mishaps, his “discussions” with his wife about promotion and other things.  Having worked for large companies, who thought they were trying to taking over the world, I can relate to his predicaments.  The trick or treat dialogue is so funny, containing some wonderful irony.

The art is by Michael Walsh matches the style of the dialogue and script perfectly.  This isn’t a loud in your face superhero books; its a book about making ends meet, about the jobs we do to provide for our families.  Walsh’s style give the book an indie feel, which is no bad thing in the context of the whole premise.

It would be easy for me to say that there should be more books like this, but I think that would serve to diminish the impact.  Take a look at the press this week about “batgirl-ing” to see what can happen when an idea is overplayed.  Back to this book, and I have to say I totally enjoyed it.  The fact it is one shot really helps, as I think it would be a case of “too much of a good thing”.  Who knew HYRDA had a HR team?

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