All-New Hawkeye #1
It’s strange having to review a new Hawkeye comic.
Not just because the previous series by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Annie Wu was so iconic, but because that series is not even freakin’ done yet. The finale is still in the process of being created/dropping one last heartbreaking bomb on us all.
But this isn’t the Hawkeye finale. It’s All-New Hawkeye, which is the official successor of the hit series. A successor that has come in before the old one has finished. Ain’t comics grand?
First off the bat, you need to understand that this isn’t Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye. Lemire and Perez know they have a tough act to follow with a series that captured so much well deserved attention and praise. You can tell that they respect the series, but they aren’t trying to replicate it. That’s comforting.
However, I don’t really know what it’s actually trying to go for.
The story of All-New Hawkeye #1 is two-fold. There are flashbacks to Clint’s past growing up in foster care with his brother Barney, but it also cuts back to the present with Clint and Kate on a Secret Avengers mission on a HYDRA base in the middle of nowhere. Visually, it’s gorgeous. Perez utilizes watercolor paintings to tell the story of Clint’s past mixing with a present of a more typical comic book style with amazing colors from Ian Herring. They mix together in the last few pages and it’s stunning.
As for the plot, it left me wanting more, but not in the “Oh my god, I need the second issue NOW” kind of way. I just couldn’t tell what kind of story Lemire wants to tell. Is it an origin story retelling? Is it opening up to have Kate Bishop join the Secret Avengers? Is it going to be something different all together? Mostly though, it just felt like it was holding back. I really don’t want to constantly compare it to the previous series, but with Hawkeye #1, it went all in and told you what to expect from it. All-New Hawkeye feels a little uncertain about that right now.
I want this series to do well. I want it to prove that Hawkeye’s popularity isn’t a fluke. However, I’m just not certain if I like it yet. The art is amazing, but there’s something lacking in the story so far. I don’t expect it to be Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye, but I do hope it develops a voice as distinctive soon.