Hawkeye #1 (2012)
Writer – Matt Fraction
Pencils – David Aja
One of the more popular Avengers once again has his own series. However, those expecting non-stop archery action will find themselves a little disappointed. The opening issue to the new series begins with Hawkeye leaving the hospital after a recent battle and going back to his neighborhood inNew York. He finds that a greedy landlord is kicking everyone out of their apartments and Hawkeye proceeds to deal with the situation. This is not an action heavy book and most of the fights are done with Hawkeye out of uniform brawling with thugs.
The writing is above average for a slice of life story. You get to know Clint (Hawkeye) as a person rather than a super hero. You also get to see what civilian life is like for this famed archer. While the story is not what action hungry fans of Hawkeye might want, it is an emotional journey that gives a very different perspective on Hawkeye. Much of the story is dialogue or inner monologue, but because this is more of a drama than an action story that works well in moving along the plot.
The artwork has a stylized throwback design. This book looks like it is from a couple decades ago other than now. This helps the book separate itself from the other more vibrant and stylized Avengers comics. The muted colors and simple character designs work for this dramatic tale. The drawback of this style is that most of the action scenes do not look all that great. Still, the first page featuring Hawkeye falling while shooting shows that there is potential for some great action framing in future stories.
I wanted to see a story where Hawkeye went out and kicked some butt without the aid of the Avengers. This comic did not give me that, but instead it gave me a more personal story that expands upon what kind of man Clint Barton actually is and not focusing on the super hero we all know. If you come into this comic with an open mind then you will find yourself enjoying the story. It will be interesting to see if this series keeps with the slice of life approach or if it will shift into “non-stop archery action”. If you are a fan of Hawkeye from the comics or movies then give this book a try it will give you a deeper appreciation for the character. If you prefer “non-stop archery action” then read Secret Avengers (starting with 21.1) or one of the older Hawkeye comics.
4 out of 5 – not what you expect, but a great character story