RED WING #1 is another silly book by Hickman. It is more coherent and straightforward than typical Hickman work, but it features some of his trademark flaws as a storyteller.
First, the story and dialogue are overloaded with mumbo-jumbo sci-fi talk. I know that Hickman loves to throw around portentous sounding, but ultimately meaningless phrases. But after all the mumbo-jumbo in SHIELD, it would great if he tried to write characters who say normal things for once. Second, the book is filled with epic space wasters that are meant to make the story seem BIGGER and BETTER than it actually is. That double-page spread of aphorisms about time and paradoxes is just ridiculous. Didn’t he do something similar in ULTIMATE THOR, if I remember correctly? Anyway, I would prefer more plot, better characterization, and much less white space. Finally, for all the overwrought dialogue and epic flourishes, Hickman tells what appears to be a fairly routine time-travel story. A time traveler lands in the wrong era. Yeah, I’ve never seen that before.
The art by Nick Pitarra is adequate but unremarkable, and too often the backgrounds in his panels lack detail. He also relies too much on color to fill the page and does not add enough shadows to give his illustrations a three-dimensional feel. Admittedly, the depiction of the ancient Mayan settlement at the end of the book is very good, but otherwise Pitarra’s work is lacking. The art, like the story itself, feels empty.
I suppose Hickman fans will praise this issue and miniseries. That’s fine. But if you are not a fan, and you haven't enjoyed his work so far, this series certainly won’t change your mind about him.