TALES OF SUSPENSE #102 by Matthew Rosenberg, Travel Foreman, Rachelle RosenBerg, VC's Clayton Cowles, Andrea Sorrentino
TALES OF SUSPENSE #102 is a thrill ride. The plot points are exciting and lie in the little details. The details also create excellent space for characterization. The illustrations bring the characters to life, and the coloring pulls the reader in.
95 %

Dead ends, dead people, and a deadly situation? This sounds like TALES OF SUSPENSE #102 by Matthew Rosenberg, Travel Foreman, and Rachelle Rosenberg. Death seems to be following the Winter Soldier and Hawkeye, and it’s one death after another in this issue of TALES OF SUSPENSE.

Mission Report

In the previous issue of TALES OF SUSPENSE, Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier thought they may have found Black Widow. A suspicious figure with red hair was seen at a crime scene and fled. After chasing down this suspect, who likely had committed the murders the two are investigating, they made a stunning discovery. Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, hadn’t followed them and possibly murdered the HYDRA agents. No, it was Yelena Belova, another incarnation of Black Widow, in a red wig. To make matters even more complicated, she claimed that she had committed the crimes in the name of the Winter Soldier.

Still on the search for the presumed dead Natasha Romanoff, Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier finally have a lead. After discovering that they had been followed by Yelena Belova, they attempt to gain more information from her. This plan is quickly foiled when she is found dead. It seems like all of their leads have turned up dead, and this pattern unfortunately continues. TALES OF SUSPENSE #102 is a scramble for information on the killings and the killer.

Things Get Casual in TALES OF SUSPENSE #101

Daring Details

The writing of TALES OF SUSPENSE #102 hinges itself on the subtle and not so subtle details. A lot of little things, in fact, prove integral to the plot. For example, when the Winter Soldier loses his gun, it seems like a harmless fact. After all, it appeared that an unsuspecting crowd kicked it away. When we see that same gun show up in a later killing that the Winter Soldier is innocent of, it becomes clear how important that occurrence was. Important plot points come from the details, and so do telling character moments.

Tales of Suspense #102
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

For example, when Hawkeye is following up a lead with a man in prison, he describes the Winter Soldier. He says the things you’d expect of his character, describing the apparently permanent look of sullenness on the Winter Soldier’s face. This, as always, depicts Hawkeye as a jokester and the Winter Soldier as the ever serious superhero, but it is another detail that really tells us something. Hawkeye describes how the Winter Soldier has long greasy hair. In saying this Hawkeye reveals how comfortable he feels with the Winter Soldier. He can make personal jokes without fear of danger or compromising the mission, all because of how comfortable he is with the Winter Soldier.

Attracting Art in TALES OF SUSPENSE #102

The art in TALES OF SUSPENSE #102 does a great job of attracting the reader to the comic. The details depict figures with realistic features, enough so that it makes the reader able to relate these characters to real people. The colors are so catching that we are immediately drawn to the page.

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The artistic details from Travel Foreman in this issue give the reader a clear similarity to real people. We see everything from the shadows on our heroes’ faces to the way the Winter Soldier’s skin folds when he grimaces. The shadows tell us the urgency of the situation, which we see reinforced by the Winter Soldier’s dire expression. It is, however, the realism in the Winter Soldier’s expression that makes the comic real for us. Seeing these folds and wrinkles makes him more human, and more physically relatable. Therefore, the detail in illustration attracts the reader to the characters.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The coloring of TALES OF SUSPENSE #102 is bold and enchanting. Rachelle Rosenberg does an excellent job with contrasting vibrant, stunning colors with less grabbing colors, such as beiges. We also see a beautiful color gradient on the Winter Soldier’s metal arm. The slow transition from a bluish gray to a more white toned gray creates the illusion of the arm made of metal. These illusions of color really do an excellent job of grabbing the reader’s attention and drawing them in.

The Final Tale

TALES OF SUSPENSE #102 is a killer adventure. The writing uses detail to further plot points and to bring depth to existing character dynamics. The illustration also uses detail, but instead, it uses this technique to grab the reader’s attention through realism in character drawings. The coloring uses contrasts and gradients to attract the reader to the page before they can read it. This issue is a strong addition to the series, and it sets up for an excellent next issue.

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