First Thoughts on Hawkeye #1

I finally got around to reading the first issue of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s new Hawkeye series.  Yes, I’m buying a Marvel book, get over it.  Anyways, I picked it up because I’d heard good things about their run on Iron Fist, and Hawkeye is my favorite non-metallic Marvel character.  Overall, I enjoyed it, even though the book is a bit mis-titled.  It should be titled “Clint Barton” rather than “Hawkeye,” but that’s okay.

The title page of the book says:

Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, became the greatest sharpshooter known to man.  He then joined the Avengers.  This is what he does when he’s not being an avenger.  That’s all you need to know.

That’s a wonderful way to start a book set in a much larger universe.  Especially when you’re launching this new title in the middle of a large event.  Books tying into the larger universe is what always made me cautious about buying Marvel titles.  Like, I was considering getting Bendis and Bagely’s Avengers Assemble until I found out that it would be in-continuity (even just a little bit was more than I wanted to risk).  But this pitch gives me hope as I read the rest of the issue.

The story starts off with Clint Barton getting out of the hospital while sustaining many injuries as Hawkeye.  He returns to home to the rundown apartment complex he’s staying at to find that the landlord has raised the amount of everyone’s rent a ridiculous amount, hoping to be able to evict everyone.  When Clint is unable to pay off the landlords, things turn violent.  And of course, violence solves everything.  Well, violence, ultimatums, and still large amounts of money.

I thought the writing was pretty good.  It made sense, Clint had a defined and distinct voice, and the supporting characters all seemed like separate characters and not the same character with just different appearances.  Your mileage with the art may vary.  Personally, I enjoyed it, but then again, I like this style of art.  I’d compare it with someone like Tim Sale.  So, if you like Sale’s art, then I’d imagine you’d like Aja’s.

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One comment

  1. Marvel has always offered smiling superheroes, sunny settings and stories filled with irony, while DC has always published serious superheroes, dark settings and thoughtful stories: think about the unforgettable “Seduction of the Gun”, or the arc about the Green Arrow sidekick become drug addicted. Yes, of course each publisher made some exceptions (Superman has a sunny setting, while Daredevil is a dark superhero, and so on), but their trend has always been the one I just described. Well, when Marvel decides to make an exception and publishes a dark series, it’s usually a masterpiece. Hawkeye is a perfect example.
    There’s a big Daredevil influence in there (which thrills me a lot, since I’m a big fan of the man without fear). I instantly thought to Matt when I recognized Aja’s art: he drew some issues of Daredevil, and his style perfectly ties with the noir atmosphere of the series. Then I recognized some wonderful tributes: Hawkeye uses a card as weapon, exactly like Bullseye used to do, and he throws a wet dog on a counter, which really reminds of the panel in which Daredevil throws a wet Nuke on a table, in the last chapter of Daredevil: Born Again. Hawkeye has the kind of magic that makes you say “This is an instant classic”, exactly like I thought when I started to read Lemire’s Animal Man.

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