Reviews

Review – U.S. Agent #3 (Marvel Comics)

U.S. Agent #3 (Marvel Comics) variant cover (detail) by Well-Bee
  • Writing - 6/10
    6/10
  • Art - 5/10
    5/10
  • Overall - 5.5/10
    5.5/10

U.S. Agent #3

Writer: Christopher J. Priest 
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Karl Story
Colors: Matt Milla
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 24, 2021

John Walker, small-town hero! But Walker’s small-town heroics will lead to big problems as his long-lost sister and a brand new US Agent come to town.

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5.5/10
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“New in Town” U.S. Agent #3

John Walker, the former US Agent, has now become a small-town hero. After a mission gone a little south, John Walker found himself face to face with his long-lost sister. It seems she has changed a bit: following her brother’s ideals has led her down a dark path. Walker defends the small town, but he knows something is not right with his sister. In U.S. Agent #3 John Walker confronts his former superiors about his sister, about his firing, and finds out about a brand new US Agent that is about to cause all sorts of trouble for him.

Writing

U.S. Agent #3 (Marvel Comics) main cover by Marco Checchetto
U.S. Agent #3 (Marvel Comics) main cover by Marco Checchetto

Christopher J. Priest continues to shine some light on John Walker in U.S. Agent #3. Now, it is no surprise that a slight spotlight’s getting shined on John Walker, as he is set to appear in Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+ MCU) in a short few weeks. John Walker has always been a bit of a conundrum of a character. Not quite a great hero, but also really not so evil as to be a badguy. More of a guy that follows orders to a fault most of the time. A little cocky and hot-headed. Someone whose ideals work against him a lot of the time. I mean, I always really just thought he had a cool costume (which he does). Priest continues to play with those ideals and theories in U.S. Agent #3.

Priest has always been a bit of a non-linear storyteller, and that continues here. U.S. Agent #3 does have a bit of a story flow problem for me. For the five-issue mini-series, this issue just does not seem to move or sequence well for me. I do think the major highlights are when Priest focuses on John Walker alone; the scenes with him are the best parts of the issue.

I think Priest is trying to say a lot with this series and this issue in specific, but it does get a bit mixed up and maybe does not come fully across. In that way, I can feel U.S. Agent #3 trying to do too much. I like the general ideas and themes but it feels like a little too much crammed in and nothing, as of right now, gets fully fleshed out.

Art

Georges Jeanty provides the pencils as Karl Story does the inks in U.S. Agent #3. The art is a major struggling point for me in this issue and the series as a whole. Some parts of this issue look fantastic. Love the flashback scenes with John Walker. They look great: nice detail in characters and designs, also some wonderful background detail. Other scenes and pages do not fare as well, though.

Sometimes the ink lines feel a bit too wavy and loose. It gives an off-putting, weird look to the characters. Also, in the final scenes of the issue, I think the visual storytelling could be a lot tighter. I had to look over it several times to figure out the sequence of events and what was happening. I think the panel setups and layouts could have been better. Also, the action scenes just lack that energy needed.

I do think Matt Milla does a great job on coloring U.S. Agent #3. Great use of darker colorations throughout the issue. Also, John Walker’s costume does continue to look great. I don’t know what it is with that little flap revealing the star, but I love it. 

Conclusion 

With only two more issues to go, I am at a bit of a crossroads with U.S. Agent #3. There are some individual things that I like about this issue and series as a whole. When Priest focuses on John Walker, the series tends to shine more. When Priest veers from that, it seems to struggle to find ground or enough space to get Priest’s full thoughts out. The art has some good panels and pages here and there but, as a whole, just is not as high-quality as one would expect. All this combines so that after three issues, with only two left to go, I question if is it worth it to pick up the final two issues. The art probably isn’t going to get better, but I am interested to see where this leaves John Walker as a character.


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