#1 by Fraction and Aja was fantastic! A done in one focusing on who Clint Barton is when he is not wearing the costume and his life outside the Avengers. We see where he lives, who his neighbors are and how he relates to them. In the end, whether wearing a costume or not, Clint can't help but be a hero. No Kate Bishop yet-- hopefully next issue, which one can assume will be more of a super-hero style tale.
Defenders #9-- Wow, I'm actually buying two Matt Fraction books a month. Up until Defenders, I wasn't really a fan of, well, much of anything he had written (disclaimer-- Never read his and Brubaker's Iron Fist
. His characterization of Danny here makes me want to hunt down the trade). In this issue, the Concordance Engine sends the team to a just-slightly alternate Earth in the 1960's where they try to gain the help of that timeline's Nick Fury. At he end, they escape that timeline, but don't find home, as they nfind their way to yet another alternate time-line (anyone else reminded of "The Cross-Time Caper"?). It would seem that 60's Nick is the Fury reported to be joining the team, as they accidently bring 60s Nick with them.
16 was mostly about the efforts of Hank Pym, Tony Stark and Dr. Strange to free Matt from the senses-deadening nano-bots that he was injected with in Latveria and was almost as much about Hank Pym as it was about Matt Murdock.
The ending was disturbing. Foggy confronts Matt about what he found in Matt's desk drawer, and it is revealed to be...
Foggy, of course, takes this as proof positive that Matt has gone nuts. Matt claims to not remember doing this, but Foggy doesn't buy it, and kicks Matt out of the firm until he gets help.
34-- the first issue of the long-awaited "Final Exam" arc. Without their teachers to guide them, Mettle and Hazmat take up Jeremy Briggs offer of a cure to their powers. Former team-mate Veil tells them that he is on the up and up, as he has already cured her. Mettle and Hazmat take Jeremy up on the offer-- and it works. Hazmat can finally remove her suit and Mettle is restored to human form. Then Jeremy drops the other shoe-- he plans on using this "cure" on every super-powered human on the planet, thus ending the super-hero/villain paradigm that he believes is the cause of so many problems. Mettle, Hazmat, Stryker and Veil all seem to side with Jeremy, leaving Reptil, Finesse, Lightspeed and White Tiger on the run.
With this issue, Christos Gage ups the ante for out cast as he brings the 2nd act of Avengers Academy
to its conclusion. A lot of old subplots move forward in this issue and a lot of things happen. Can't wait for the next issue.