Before this review starts, know that I haven’t yet read any of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run. It started not long after I started reading comics, and back then I mostly focused on X-Men titles and a handful of DC books. Since then, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Fraction’s Hawkeye run. I do plan to read his run in trade, but I’m coming into this series with very little experience with the Hawkeyes and I don’t know how this compares to Fraction’s run.
First and foremost, this comic is fun and a great Marvel debut for writer Jeff Lemire. The main story is an issue-long action scene where Clint Barton and Kate Bishop invade a Hydra base. The action flows smooth, and the banter between them is often funny. It’s all interwoven with flashbacks to Clint and Barney Barton’s childhood, adding drama to an otherwise lighthearted read. These scenes mesh well together, often adding to each other’s dialogue the way they’re connected.
The art by Ramon Perez is good. It’s a simple look, but with a lot of little touches that add to the storytelling and humour. In one particular panel, a bunch of Hydra agents are caught off guard when the Hawkeyes jump out of a window. With multiple arrows flying in mid-air, a bunch of agents already pierced and others looking surprised, there’s one agent in the foreground eating a sandwich. The flashbacks, painted by Ian Herring, have a dreamlike quality mostly in purple, but drawn in red to emphasize moments of violence. Toward the end, their art starts meshing together to rather brilliant affect that helps tie both timelines together.
There’s a lot to like about this comic. It’s fun, the two art styles work well on their own and mesh brilliantly by the end, and most importantly, all three creators are Canadian … well, that’s important for us Canadians anyway. This is a great starting point for anyone who wants to check out either Hawkeye.