“clint barton, a.k.a hawkeye became the greatest sharp-shooter known to man. he then joined the avengers. this i what he does when he’s not being an avenger. that’s all you need to know.”
After reading this book I’m ashamed to have worn the badge of being exclusively a DC reader for so long. I couldn’t break thru the continuity to try and understand the absolute vs amazing vs etc. that would all be on the shelf at the same time. Unless it really grabbed my eye I was 99% DC. Why am I telling you this? Mostly, thanks to Hawkeye #1, to say I was wrong.
Hawkeye was never on my radar, I always considered him as merely the Marvel version of Green Arrow. However, as an archer and newcomer to the character (yes, because of the movie), I decided to give this issue a chance. What I got was possibly the best superhero book (of any publisher) in recent memory; an issue full of style, humor, and attitude.
Surprising is the complete lack of a bow and arrow action after the second page; rather we are treated to a character piece full of sarcasm, wit, good intentions, and gritty means. The story isn’t complex or groundbreaking; but is rather a telling insight into an (almost) 50 year character. We get well paced non-linear storytelling; and any frenzied frays are carried out with the grace and flow you would expect from an archer, while showcasing the fact that a true marksmen can translate their skills outside of just one specific weapon.
The art is extremely distinctive. Thick lines, posterized shadows, and dreamy duo-tone backgrounds give the book a wholly unexpected but very welcome street art feel. What starts as a jarring system shock on page one ends up being such a cohesive atmosphere and perfect tone that you’ll want to re-read the book simply for the art. While I’m not sure how long time fans will react to the updated minimalistic costume or modernized appearance of Clint, as it is more reminiscent of movie Hawkeye than the classic winged cowl of previous iterations, I for one found it current and unassuming in a good way.
While the quote from the beginning of this article shows it is indeed aimed to bring in a new readership; whether you’re coming across this book as a long time Hawkeye fan, as a follower of Matt Fraction’s writing and David Aja’s art, or merely out of curiosity left over from this summer’s Avengers movie, I wholeheartedly believe there is something for you lying well past it’s polished cover and aimed deep at the heart of Clint Barton. This issue shows who he is as a fully fleshed out person; setting up his modes of fighting, critical thinking patterns, and moral ambiguity as we prep to delve deeper into his world of Waverly, Iowa.
As for this reader; I vote ‘Hawk-Aye’ as I am fully prepared to add this book to my first recurring pull list in almost a year! Yeah this book is that good.
Final Score: 8.5/10 Nips
Thanks for reading our Wednesday Warrior Review; and stay nerdy my friends!