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!
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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