By Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, Daniel Warren Johnson and Jason Keith
Going into Quake, there were a lot of unknowns. Like who is Quake? Okay, maybe that’s an issue with not having read Avengers in 2010—this story takes place before issue #20 of that run. But, but, but the reason that you’re even seeing this review comes down to two things. One of them is Daniel Warren Johnson (hard to work ‘F’N’ as a middle name in there when he already uses three…) who’s done some great work on The Ghost Fleet and also on the All-Comic ravens and the other being Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home, 12 Reasons to Die). Sorry Patrick Kindlon and Jason Keith… you rock too, though!
Anyway, Rosenberg and Kindlon share the writing responsibilities on Quake and as usual it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins, so forget trying to separate it. Quake has some wit, grit and heart all jam packed into one solid issue. Quake, as a character, is actually really interesting and holds up great against Avengers giants like Iron Man, Hawkeye and Cap. She’s green in the field, sure, but she’s a great moral compass and she has some pretty cool powers, especially considering what the people around her can do. It’s hard to tell the significance of this issue, if there even is one, aside from just being an enjoyable issue and really showcasing what these creators can do to the Marvel audience. But, really, it doesn’t matter because Marvel took some chances and seemingly let these guys loose to do what they do best and that’s a win for everybody.
Obviously over at All-Comic we have a soft spot for Daniel Warren Johnson—did you hear that he designed and drew our fantastic ravens?—but this guy earns the praise we heap on him at every single turn. His work here is nothing short of stellar; he gets the opportunity to not only play in the Marvel Universe (or at least the Universe that was) but he gets to draw some of the Marvel greats like Cap, Iron Man, Hulk (okay, Red Hulk), Vision, Storm and more. His style is magnificent and it comes off here as nothing short of refreshing when set against a lot of the other Marvel books that we’ve gotten over the last few years. Sure, they’ve taken some chances and continue to do so, and it shows and elevates the product as a whole, but guys like DWJ or the amazing James Stokoe are big risks that will ultimately pay off big time for them. Nobody likes the same old style over and over again anymore; they want risks and differences and crazy new takes on the characters they love (within moderation, of course, because comic fans be crazy).
Along with the great line work from DWJ, colorist Jason Keith smashes this one out of the park and really elevates the black and white work he started with. Guys like Vision and Iron Man, and even Cap and A.I.M., jump off the page with a perfect pop of color amongst the darker palette that blends so well with DWJ’s heavy blacks. Keith shifts perfectly with the scene and the action, from the grey of a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility to the darker blues of the night operation and everything in between. Together, DWJ and Keith mesh together brilliantly so here’s hoping Marvel and continue to use this duo on future books
Quake was not what was expected from a story standpoint, especially not knowing much about the character, but Rosenberg and Kindlon crafted an excellent story with an underused character and managed to make her a character that (eventually) this reviewer will have to read up on. DWJ and Jason Keith nailed it with every panel and easily get place among the top art duos so far this month. Marvel took some chances and hell yeah it paid off. Quake is a great issue you’d be doing yourself a favor by picking it up.