In some ways, "Heroes for Hire" seems to be Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's version of "Marvel Team-Up" where they can throw together any sort of character they want. What's that? Silver Sable and Paladin meet Satana and Ghost Rider? Hey, why not? As long as it works—and trust me, it works.
Part of Abnett and Lanning's trick in making it work is that the book never feels like it's slowing down, not even for an instant. The pace is steady and quick, and every time you think the book is going to resolve itself, Abnett and Lanning throw in another obstacle that needs to be overcome.
They're also not afraid to slightly buck reader expectations. Books where the controller is sending out heroes on missions (in this case Misty Knight taking that central role) and one hero needs the cash, well, you can predict some of what's to come. At some point the cash is going to come back up again, but Abnett and Lanning turn it on its head with Silver Sable being told to leave but still get paid and being told not to. It's a good turning point, that moment where you start to realize things are going wrong, and it keeps the interest up.
Abnett and Lanning are also already starting to explore the overarching plot of Misty Knight and her captor, something which I figured we wouldn't see for a while. It's nice to know there's going to be that common thread knitting the issues together, and it makes me that much more eager to see next month's issue. Never mind the random heroes getting tossed into the mix, I want to know what's going to happen to Misty.
I'm also pleased to see Abnett and Lanning reunited with Brad Walker and Andrew Hennessy after their time together on "Guardians of the Galaxy." Walker and Hennessy's art looks even better than ever, from the thick locks of hair on Silver Sable, to the rumpled and bunched up clothing we get whenever people are leaping through the air. They get the big moments just right too, from that demonic grin on Silver Sable's face as she starts firing one of the cursed weapons, to the dramatic reveal of Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider's on the cover of the book, but his appearance looks so larger than life and powerful that I ended up being startled in spite of my previous knowledge.
This is a fun comic that's already picking up steam. When do we get #3? "Heroes for Hire," I'm sold.