Comic review: Hawkeye #1

“You cowboy around with the Avengers some. Guys got, what, armor. Magic. Super-powers. Super-strength. Shrink-dust. Grow-rays. Magic. Healing factors. I’m an orphan raised by carnies fighting with a stick and a string from the Paleolithic era. So when I say this looks “bad”? I promise you it feels worse.”

– Hawkeye as he crash lands onto the top of a car.

Quite a few of our readers out there have poked fun at Hawkeye (and Black Widow) for being in the Avengers, fighting alien hordes, with nothing but a bow and arrow. The opening line to the series seems to poke fun at all the criticism regarding Hawkeye in the Avengers. He realizes he doesn’t have super powers, super intellect, super anything, he’s just regular guy who is REALLY good at what he does. That’s what’s great and fresh about Hawkeye #1. Hawkeye’s introduction shows that he is not a SUPER hero, there’s nothing super about him, but he is a hero. Clint Barton is willing to protect and fight for people who he doesn’t know and sometimes doesn’t even like. You see that he gets hurt, and trust me in the first page alone his doctor talks about his injuries like he’s a trauma patient, yet he still gets up and fights on. He also isn’t famous like his fellow Avengers, he lives in a apartment in the ghetto run by sleazy Russians who tend to say “bro” a lot (Fun Fact: “Bro” is used 35 times in the entire book).

Matt Fraction is one of my favorite writers of all-time, so when I saw that he was writing Hawkeye, I knew I had to pick it up. Fraction did not disappoint in this kickoff issue, as he does a great job in two categories: Character development (see first paragraph) and the writing. The issue reminded me much of Crash, in the way that past events and current events intertwine seamlessly together. You find that every action Clint Barton does has a consequence and reason later on in the issue. [SPOILER] For example, early on, you see Clint Barton bring in a dog to a vet and tells the veterinarian to “fix this dog”. Notice how I didn’t say “my” dog, that’s because it isn’t his dog he’s trying save. You find out at the end of the issue, that the dog he’s saving saved his life by attacking his owner that’s trying to kill Clint. [END SPOILER] Everything all comes together at the end.

My only minor gripe, is that you only see Hawkeye in one and a half pages. The rest of the issue, it’s just Clint Barton. I get that Fraction was trying to introduce the audience to the man behind the bow and arrow, but I was looking for at least one or two more pages with Hawkeye. This is only a minor gripe, in an overall great issue.

I wouldn’t recommend this issue for those readers who are looking for super heroics action. This is not that at all, this is a character introduction and character study akin to Batman Begins. If you’ve ever read a Fraction book (which as an Iron Man fan you should really read Invincible Iron Man from the beginning of his amazing run. Thank me later.) then you know he is about character first then action. If you are okay with this then I highly recommend this book for you to pick up. You won’t be disappointed.

Grade: A

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1243 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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