Lucky? Clumsy if you ask me
Since Hawkeye #1’s release, I’ve heard and read nothing but rave reviews about it. Hawkeye was a very important character in The Avengers movie, so typically Marvel uses that as a billboard to create yet another book.
After Hawkeye’s annoying representation in Avenging Spider-Man #4, I was hoping for something so much better. It was that, but still nothing special, in my opinion.
Hawkeye is the better known name for Clint Barton, and as we all know, is an Avenger. No secret identities here. This first issue is very much a ‘man behind the mask’ portrayal, and as it turns out, he’s pretty much the same, just without arrows. Or is he? The team behind The Immortal Iron Fist, Matt Fraction and David Aja, are fronting this focused take on Hawkeye.
Hawkeye #1 makes a promising start in making Clint a likeable character, not just ‘that guy in Avengers that shoots arrows’, or a ‘poor Green Arrow rip off’. The latter being a stupid comment I have read too many times. Hawkeye shows us the side of a human superhero that didn’t grow up in a good neighbourhood, is used to surviving alone, and does not have super powers of any kind. I enjoyed that Clint dealt with very real issues here; those that even any one of us with the right gusto could deal with. Not using the same methods, of course.
The art was very suited to everything that was happening, particularly for the impact and action moments, although not perfect, but the colouring tones here is what made it work a lot more. This is Hawkeye’s book, and the colours shone throughout many panels here. Which is a nice touch.
The scripting was bad. If I’m meant to like and appreciate Hawkeye because of this, then a lot of it failed. I know Hawkeye is good at what he does, but the fact that he is an Avenger and how he uses that identity makes him, well, an asshole to be quite frank. Dodging cab fares and wrecking hospital equipment in times of heroics is one thing, but here Clint is just a jerk, an almost unreadable jerk. I mean how bad does it look that The Avengers are paying bills for an off-duty agent, destroying public property? It is a shame, as the scenes integrate and overlap each quite well; I just found Clint too annoying to care what he was doing.
One other thing, and for all the times I’ve mentioned ‘Hawkeye’, only Clint appears in this first issue, not Hawkeye. Having Clint in his Hawkeye outfit to take on the evil tenants would have had a much better effect, in my opinion.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. As mentioned before, it was much better than the viewpoint taken from Avenging Spider-Man, but Hawkeye #1 isn’t without its flaws. I will continue with the series to see how it develops, but more for the artwork that anything else. At least it was an Avengers based book not written by Bendis for once.