Saturday, May 30, 2015

Comic Review: All-New Hawkeye #3

This series was put in an impossible situation, and I do not envy Jeff Lemire or Ramon Perez for having to try and take over after Fraction and Aja's run on Hawkeye, especially considering that the last issue of that series still has yet to come out. That series came out of nowhere and was absolutely loved by critics and gained a decent following, yet focused on the day to day life of a guy who doesn't have the best reputation and had a tendency to go with very different storytelling choices, like an entire issue from the perspective of a dog or told entirely in sign language. Instead of trying to do that, this series focuses more on the type of stories you would expect from Hawkeye, the SHIELD agent, while taking only bits and pieces from the previous series.

This opening storyline has followed both Clint and Kate as Hawkeye, with Clint working for SHIELD and Kate working with him, but not for SHIELD. So far, it's been relatively straightforward, with them finding that a weapon in a Hydra base is actually three children with some sort of dangerous abilities, and all the moral dilemmas that come with that premise. The fact that most of my exposure to Hawkeye so far has been outside of his work life, so to speak, means that I'm not bothered at all by these stories, instead liking the change of pace of actually showing the type of big comic book stories that we were just on the margins of before.
Where the series goes with much more stylization is in showing flashbacks to Clint and Barney, as they grew up, ran away, and joined the circus. In the series in general, but especially in this issue, I feel like these have moved a little slowly, but especially in this issue, where there was very little story in the flashbacks, and a cliffhanger that doesn't have the impact that it should. The other part of the flashbacks that I both like and dislike is the art style - it is a bit too impressionistic for clear storytelling, but despite being drawn by Perez, is completely unrecognizeable as his style, which is rare to see out of most artists.

I have trouble knowing what to say about this series due to the shadow of the previous Hawkeye series. This series is not bad, and I've mostly enjoyed it so far, but it will be hard to evaluate for a while. The best thing I can say about it is that I have no plans to stop reading it based on what I've seen so far.

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