The first issue of Jeff Lemire’s Hawkeye series was great. It featured both Hawkeyes invading a Hydra base to find a superweapon, mixed in with flashbacks to Clint’s past. But what started off as a fun comic ended with a shocking moment. This comic picks up exactly where the first ended, with Kate Bishop discovering that the “weapons” are kids.
Without spoiling much, this comic is still good but not quite as good as the first. The banter from the first issue is significantly reduced, making for a darker tone. That said, Hawkeye’s fight with a tough Hydra agent helps make up for it while also touching on his hearing problems in a clever way.
Where this issue really shines is in its flashbacks and how well the tie into the main story. In the flashback, Clint and his brother, Barney, are fleeing from their abusive caretaker, only to find a new home with a circus. Their new home ties into the current story perfectly, with both a hopeful situation and an ominous ending and a closing narration that works equally for both time periods.
The art is handled by Ramon Perez, who shows off his versatility with drastically different styles between the flashbacks and the modern setting. The flashbacks take on a dreamlike style, mixing a variety of colours and meshing frames together while using red to emphasize violence. The modern story uses a much simpler look, yet it’s perfectly effective with the action scenes and focusing on the little things in the environment. There isn’t too much to say about the art, other than both styles work well for their respective stories.
While this isn’t as good as the first issue, so far Lemire’s Marvel debut series is a good one. Clint and Kate play off each other well even when they’re not sharing panels for most of the comic. Fans of either Hawkeye should pick this up, as should those who want to learn more about them.