Josh Wilding Reviews: HAWKEYE #1

After his big screen debut in Marvel's The Avengers earlier this year, Hawkeye is getting his own solo series from writer Matt Fraction and artist Dsvid Aja (on sale now). So, is it worth picking up? Hit the jump for my verdict!

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By Josh Wilding - 8/3/2012

I like Matt Fraction, but for me, his work can be a little hit-and-miss. As much as I enjoy Invincible Iron Man and The Mighty Thor, I personally found Fear Itself to be a disappointment and don't love The Defenders. It is for that reason that I went into Hawkeye #1 with a great deal of trepidation, although it quickly becomes apparent that this new series looks set to be one of his best yet. Hawkeye only actually appears in a handful of panels. Instead, this is very much a CLINT BARTON story as he recovers from a serious injury and takes on his corrupt Russian landlord who is tripling the price of his tenant's rent in order to be able to evict them and sell the building. Oh, and he also tries to save a dog. Doesn't exactly sound like your typical superhero tale, eh? Well, it's not, but is in fact so much more. Telling easily one of the best stories of the year, it offers up a revealing insight into the character, but also features plenty of action for those of you who may be worrying that it all sounds a little unexciting.

David Aja's (who worked with Fraction on The Immortal Iron Fist) artwork is a perfect fit for Hawkeye, as his inventive page layouts bring a lot of life to the book. This is a great looking comic book, and Aja adds a lot of personality to both the characters and the city of New York. Out of all of Marvel's street-level books, this certainly comes across as the most realistic. As a standalone story, Hawkeye #1 is must-read. As for whether or not it will succeed where past solo series featuring the character have failed is another thing altogether. Judging by this first instalment though, it's hard to imagine it being anything other than excellent from here on out. Brian Michael Bendis has given Clint Barton a lot of great stories during his tenure in The Avengers and New Avengers, and even Christos Gage's Avengers Academy has utilized the character recently. However, it's Hawkeye which looks set to finally make the archer an A-List character as Marvel gets ever closer to the NOW! relaunch this October.

If Marvel's The Avengers made you a fan of Hawkeye, then this series is the perfect place to start reading his adventures. For everyone else, it's also a comic book which you should rush out and buy right now.




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24 Comments
thalidomide - 8/3/2012, 9:29 AM
Good to know that this is good. I'm going to get this.
OdinsBeard - 8/3/2012, 9:29 AM
yeah im hoping my local shop still has this. half day today! meaning im going to the shop...
zemus - 8/3/2012, 9:33 AM
Loved the book, picked it up on Wed, very fun read. Good right up.
NorrinRaddical - 8/3/2012, 9:43 AM
unbelievable team. already a Fraction fan, but Aja's work on this is so deeply enjoyable
CaptainAmerica31 - 8/3/2012, 9:45 AM
@Natrag lol why are you posting that everywhere?
brewtownpsych - 8/3/2012, 9:55 AM
Read this last night, was very impressed. Should be a great series.
FlixMentallo21 - 8/3/2012, 10:09 AM
Have yet to read this, but "past solo stories have failed"? Did you NOT ever read the 1983 Hawkeye mini by Mark Gruenwald and Brett Breeding?
kirynthemighty - 8/3/2012, 10:11 AM
WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU GUYS?!?!?!? The artwork on this book is the worst shit i have seen in 10 years. It looks like something my 5 year old son would hand me and said he drew. I read the comic and I would say yes the writing was some good stuff from Fraction, but I just couldn't get over that atrocious ass art in the book. I have no idea if you guys got different book than I got, either that or you guys have a horrible opinion of "great looking" and "deeply enjoyable". They get another guy to draw this book im in otherwise I will download digitally and force myself through the shitty art this book is putting out.
thalidomide - 8/3/2012, 10:15 AM
The artwork kinda reminds me of old school comic book art which is great.

BartonIsHawkeye88 - 8/3/2012, 10:18 AM
How can anybody hate on Aja. He's brilliant!

This book has done a nearly impossible thing and impressed this old-school Hawkeye fan. Absolutely fantastic
kirynthemighty - 8/3/2012, 10:23 AM
as grif would say....this book is shit
:P
hush - 8/3/2012, 10:32 AM
I wouldn't have picked this up but I'll give it a go, I like Barton
superotherside - 8/3/2012, 10:56 AM
It's okay IMO. I'm reading so many comics ATM though, I'm not going to wait for this one to get really good. It's good but not that good. I liked it but I didn't love it. Seemed kind of boring IMO. But as always great review Josh!
NorrinRaddical - 8/3/2012, 11:14 AM
@kirynthemighty:

i know to each his own, but i'm so burned out on the jim lees and kuberts of the industry.

after seeing Avengers twice in the theatre, i love the dirty realism Aja has going, not to mention the VERY cinematic quality to his compisitions and layouts. some moments look like film splices and practically animate. i know it isn't in your face splash pages or highly stylized cartooning, but to me, it's refreshing, and in context with the writing, i'm immersed back into a movie watching experience
SpiderFan35 - 8/3/2012, 11:37 AM
lol @ SRS
grandizer74 - 8/3/2012, 1:05 PM
hawkeye made his big screen debut in the avengers? I didn't realize that was green arrow in thor.
GodzillaKart - 8/3/2012, 3:36 PM
I'll pick this up. Sounds like the story is good and the art looks fantastic.
brewtownpsych - 8/3/2012, 3:52 PM
@kirynthemighty -- um, i'm not quite sure you are appreciating what he was going for with that admittedly minimalist, old-school look. it's not like aja sat down and tried to put together some kind of ultra-realistic looking panels and then failed miserably. the whole presentation (from paneling, to color schemes, to lines, etc.) is all intended to compliment the kind of story they are telling (the pacing, the mood, etc.). if you like the writing read it again through that lens - you might get more out of it.
Baldbix76 - 8/3/2012, 5:13 PM
@kirynthemighty...some people just REALLY like Rob Liefeld!
Baldbix76 - 8/3/2012, 5:13 PM
^sarcasm
ComicBookSon - 8/3/2012, 5:35 PM
Hate Hawkeye.
Carloshll726 - 8/3/2012, 7:10 PM
Thank you MightyMagoo.com for showing us a sneak peek at Hawkeye's new look for the Avengers sequel! It's pretty sweet, but I just wish they would have chosen that brown suit that Rob Liefeld designed for the Heroes Reborn comic event, I dig that one alot.
xcrementus - 8/3/2012, 11:52 PM
I love the indie style, looked great in Immortal Iron Fist too. It reminds me a lot of Chris Samnee and Mike Allred's art, really fits the character/setting.
thingrock4 - 8/4/2012, 2:41 PM
Read it last night-this is one KICK ASS COMIC!!!!

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