Chopping Block Review: Hawkeye #1


Review by Nolan P. Smith-Pastrami Nation

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: David Aja

Publisher: Marvel Comics


It’s no surprise that Marvel is pushing the Avengers after this summer’s epic blockbuster film. I mean, look at all the Avengers titles on the shelves, and look at the huge Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover going on right now. So when a Hawkeye series was announced, it was a huge shock. But did the Avenging archer hit his mark in his newest solo outing, or should old Clint Barton stay strictly a team player?

Story: This isn’t Hawkeye’s first solo run, so this might not seem like something special. But it is. Matt Fraction, who blew me away with his take on The Immortal Iron Fist. He does similar feat with the arrowed avenger. The best way to describe the book is that it is not a super hero book. It’s a book about a normal guy with no powers that happens to be on the biggest super-team in existence.  We see Clint shine with no mask, no costume, and shine he does.

Art: David Aja is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. His work on the aforementioned Immortal Iron Fist was amazing, as he has a way of making the action jump out and hit you. A simple yet stunning style, this book is perfect for Aja to be on board with.

Overall: I’m not going to lie; I am a big fan of the Hawkeye costume. The purple suit, the Wolverine-ish mask, it all works really well. But after the movie hit, his costume became more like the movie version, with the addition of sunglasses. After reading Fraction’s and Aja’s opening chapter, I didn’t miss the costume at all. The book is about Hawkeye, and that’s what we got: a great beginning into the life of the premiere marksman in the Marvel Universe. Highly Recommended, I give Hawkeye #1 a perfect ***** out of 5.

1 thought on “Chopping Block Review: Hawkeye #1

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      Marvel has always offered smiling superheroes, sunny settings and stories filled with irony, while DC has always published serious superheroes, dark settings and thoughtful stories: think about the unforgettable “Seduction of the Gun”, or the arc about the Green Arrow sidekick become drug addicted. Yes, of course each publisher made some exceptions (Superman has a sunny setting, while Daredevil is a dark superhero, and so on), but their trend has always been the one I just described. Well, when Marvel decides to make an exception and publish a dark series, it’s usually a masterpiece, as Hawkeye is.
      There’s a big Daredevil influence in there (which thrills me a lot, since I’m a big fan of the man without fear). I instantly thought to Matt when I recognized Aja’s art: he drew some issues of Daredevil, and his style perfectly ties with the noir atmosphere of the series. Then I recognized some wonderful tributes: Hawkeye uses a card as weapon, exactly like Bullseye used to do, and he throws a wet dog on a counter, which really reminds of the panel in which Daredevil throws a wet Nuke on a table, in the last chapter of Daredevil: Born Again. Hawkeye has the kind of magic that makes you say “This is an instant classic”, exactly like I thought when I started to read Lemire’s Animal Man.

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