Comic Vine Review

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Hawkeye #1 - Lucky

5

Hawkeye is back to take on the seedy underbelly of the Marvel Universe. When he gets in over his head, the bad guys better watch out. Fraction and Aja are off to a great start.

Hawkeye has been portrayed in many different ways. He's had several different costumed identities and has been part of several teams. The creative team that brought us the great IMMORTAL IRON FIST series, Matt Fraction and David Aja, are back to deliver stories on the man behind the Hawkeye mask, Clint Barton.

The Good

Back in 2006, I was a fan of Iron Fist but it was the combination of Matt Fraction's writing and David Aja's art that really made me a fan. They added a new complexity to the character that I didn't know was possible. I can't describe my excitement when it was first revealed to us that they would reunite to take on another favorite character, Hawekeye.

While there will no doubt be many newer Hawkeye fans after his appearance in The Avengers but long time readers already know there is much much more to him. He's not simply a character with a bow and arrow (as this first issue clearly illustrates). This is a hero, with no superpowers, that has more than earned his position among Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Clint's recent appearance in AVENGING SPIDER-MAN attempted to shed some new light on the character and his strive for perfection as a non-powered hero. It was great to see him constantly practicing to better himself but it felt a bit extreme. Clint's portrayal here is what feels right. He's been in the game way too long to still be worrying about how good he is. He should already know how good he is. We also see that Clint isn't perfect. He gets messed up a bit here but bounces back. One of the charming facets of the character is that he isn't perfect and can be a little damaged at times. Fraction writes him with the right amount of attitude, toughness, vulnerability and skills needed to get the job done.

As for what that job is, it doesn't have anything to do with the Avengers or other costumed characters. This is Clint, on the streets, doing what needs to be done. He doesn't always make the best decisions or handle things in the best manner but that's why Clint is so great.

What about David Aja's art? My goodness, I could just look at it all day. I love how it pulls you into the comic and you feel like you're part of what's going on. Along with Matt Hollingsworth's colors, this has such a distinct feel from the other Avengers titles. That's a good thing. If Fraction's goal is to take Hawkeye to a different part of the Marvel Universe, the vibe and atmosphere here is perfect. Based on this first issue, the series feels like it could be completely enjoyed on its own. It also makes me proud that I recently bought a purple tie right before SDCC.

While I'm basically gushing over the entire issue, I have to mention that Chris Eliopoulos' letters shouldn't be overlooked either. Take notice of the scene where Clint is crossing the road and the cars are honking or when the room is laughing at him or even the good old fashioned fighting sound effects.

The Bad

Nothing. If anything, there was a surprisingly very low number of actual arrows in this issue. But that's not a problem at all and further shows how cool Clint can be.

The Verdict

I had extremely high expectations for Fraction and Aja launching a new Hawkeye series. He's always been a favorite character but hasn't always had the best of luck in comic series. This one will change all that. Fraction and Aja give us more of Clint Barton rather than Hawkeye. This isn't just a guy in purple with a bow and arrows. This is a highly skilled man that can't help but be a hero. We often see new/spin off series carry the same feel as the other titles in their 'family' but this is different. This is a series that can be read without knowing a single bit of the current continuity of the Avengers. More importantly, this is a series that needs to be read. Fraction and Aja proved what they could do on IMMORTAL IRON FIST and it looks like the magic they crafted back then is going to carry over to Hawkeye. It's not just these two guys that made this a great and fun book. Matt Hollingsworth's colors and Chris Eliopoulos' letters also meshed perfectly to create a nice and gritty world for Clint Barton to cruise around cracking skulls. I cannot wait for the next issue.

Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He tried counting how many times "bro" was used but quickly gave up, bro.

53 Comments

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TwistedGamer

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Edited By TwistedGamer

Awesome review, can't wait to read it. But didn't Ed Brubaker also co write Immortal Iron Fist? He should get some credit too I would think...

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RUKM

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Edited By RUKM

YAY! Finally something to shut up the haters of Hawkeye!

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zackattack529

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Edited By zackattack529

cant wait to read this tommoro! :)

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longbowhunter

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Edited By longbowhunter

I'm super excited for this. All the advance reviews have been extremely positive. Immortal Iron Fist was one of the best series from Marvel in ages. Anyone who's read it know what can come of Fraction and Aja.I was disappointed when Hawkeye & Mockingbird got canned, but this series looks like it'll make up for it.

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SavageDragon

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Edited By SavageDragon

Picking it up after work!

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RedQueen

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Edited By RedQueen

Doesn't Kate bishop appear in this? I wonder how she's portrayed.... Anyway, great review- will be picking this up today :)

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Mucklefluga

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Edited By Mucklefluga

Buy it Friday for a higher price or get it Saturday for a lower price. I dont know if i can wait an extra day :D

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ChernobylCow

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Edited By ChernobylCow

@TwistedGamer said:

But didn't Ed Brubaker also co write Immortal Iron Fist? He should get some credit too I would think...

I haven't read IIF yet but I was eventually going to pick it up because Brubaker had worked on it...

Then again I am just starting MF's run on Iron Man and it's pretty awesome.

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Jodez

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Edited By Jodez

Sounds great, that variant cover looks awesome btw

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Dark_Vengeance_

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Edited By Dark_Vengeance_

I am going to buy it then.

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gmanfromheck

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Edited By gmanfromheck
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Deranged Midget

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Edited By Deranged Midget

Enjoyed the preview a lot. Might pick it up.

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Baberaham_Lincoln

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i was always optimistic about this since its first announcement... thank god there have been no disappointing reviews thus far =D

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DDangelico

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Edited By DDangelico

I am SO pumped for this title! I love Fraction, Aja, AND Hawkeye so this should be right up my alley! Can't wait to get to my LCS today and pick it up!

YEAR OF THE BOW!

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jointron33

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Edited By jointron33

terrible costume is terrible

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redwingx

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Edited By redwingx

Green Arrow rules, Hawkeye sucks

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Mucklefluga

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Edited By Mucklefluga

Dont know what cover to get hmmmmmm.

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Baberaham_Lincoln

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@jointron33: The Hate in you is strong... damn strong ...-_-... To a minor extent, i agree with you as i feel the one thing they could have added to at least remind us of the Old Hawkeye look, was the Loin Cloth. Similar to Trick Shot's costume in Dark Avengers. In the end, this is a story concentrated on the Clint persona.

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mettlekm

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Edited By mettlekm

Please, no mockingbird... please...

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JoseDRiveraTCR7

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Edited By JoseDRiveraTCR7

This is the first comic from Fraction that I ever liked. I think it's because of the art work though. This Aja guy is freaking awesome.

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RedQueen

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Edited By RedQueen
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JamDamage

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Edited By JamDamage

When Fraction is on............he's on. Great issue. loved it. Totally unexpected type of story.

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Mercy_

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Edited By Mercy_

Great review! I may actually have to pick this up.

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johnkmccubbin91

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Edited By johnkmccubbin91

Looking forward too this coming I was a bit sad when I heard Fraction leaving Iron Man but as this should be awesome as IIF was until him and Aja left

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haydenclaireheroes

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This is the series I am most excited to read this week

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LifePool

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Edited By LifePool

Did I get a bunk copy? The art is utter shit. Its dull and shows little detail. Scrap this Aja guy and get the dude who made the variant cover, shaved head beats pretty boy blondie any day.

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AgentMask

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Edited By AgentMask

Clint (hawkeye) looks just like danny rand (iron fist) In this comic. Besides that small complaint the comic was really good.

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Blood1991

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Edited By Blood1991

I cannot wait to read this don't let me dow Fraction. Seriously amped for this title.

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CombatSpoon86

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Edited By CombatSpoon86

When Fraction writes a non superhero book type, He's on a cue with the best. Loved the first issue. It's like reading the Immortal Iron Fist series all over again.

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TheAnnihilator

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Edited By TheAnnihilator

Great issue. I'm ready for the next issue already, seriously good stuff. It helps that Hawkeye is an all-time favorite, though.

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Bestostero

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Edited By Bestostero

I'm not sure if I liked it or hated it yet, particularly the art lol

all i know is i shelled out like 20 bucks for the variant, which is a nice cover.

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DarthStorm

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Edited By DarthStorm

Really good book! I really like how Hawkeye is done in this. @G-Man Bro is said 37 times.

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feargalr

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Edited By feargalr

Quite liked it, but I found the narrative a bit hard to follow at times with all the jumping around. Also I didn't think I'd like the art but after reading it, I really did.

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Funrush

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Edited By Funrush

I wanna read this so bad... they ran out of copies at my shop. :(

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longbowhunter

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Edited By longbowhunter

I could have done with a few less "bros", but other than that it's exactly what I wanted. This new Hawkeye is everything I loved about Denny O'Neil's take on Green Arrow. A street level crime fighter who fights for the people. Let Thor and the Fantastic Four worry with cosmic level threats. There are everyday people who need help.

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daredevil21134

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Edited By daredevil21134

I am a pretty big Hawkeye fan and I thought it was a pretty decent issue.Hopefully this series stays around for awhile

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DrewHLMW

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Edited By DrewHLMW

I found the story to be pretty boring and the art was just awful imo.

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RiddlingGambit

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Edited By RiddlingGambit

Cool, Hawkeye is back... I had no idea. The (main) cover art is really nice, the variants seem unnecessary.

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dernman

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Edited By dernman

I surprisingly liked the issue. Though I have to say I'm not fond of the art style for this character. I see they are making him more like his Ultimate version with the card trick he did. Liked the dog. Dogs are always good. :p

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Blood1991

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Edited By Blood1991

I freakin loved it. i was skeptical at first, but I really loved the story, and yes Arrow the crime fighting dog will be going on my favorites list as soon as someone makes a wiki for him.

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SavageDragon

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Edited By SavageDragon

@LifePool: Actually that is the style. I was surprised too when I picked it up because i never read Iron Fist where he was the artist and Ive never seen his work. I just didnt expect to have a character like Hawkeye be drawn like this. I still really liked the issue and the art grew on me as it went on. Still though I cant say I'm a fan of the art yet, although I do like the book as a whole . Fraction nailed this first issue.

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RainEffect

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Edited By RainEffect

Why is archery so damn sexy? xD

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LifePool

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Edited By LifePool

@SavageDragon: I hope it'll grow on me aswell, since I'll most definatly be picking the next issue up. Story was spot on, an entertaining read with plenty of laughs, darker moments and filled with story content, making this a much more enjoyable, realistic Hawkeye.

(Still don't like this Aja dude though)

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crazyflashfan11

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Edited By crazyflashfan11

Yea, bro. i totally know, bro. its crazy bro.

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Suprman

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Edited By Suprman

I really enjoyed this issue mostly because it was so Character driven. It's a very good introduction to who Clint Barton is and where his morals lie. The art took me some time to get used to but I do like it. This series is off to a good start.

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edge0076

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Edited By edge0076

I really dug the first issue. Since Waid's taken Daredevil back to his swashbuckling days, Marvel really hasn't had a more gritty, street-level book in awhile and I'm glad with this new Hawkeye series it finally has one again.

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Hit_Monkey

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Edited By Hit_Monkey

I loved reading this comic. The art and the writing were loads of fun and I've always enjoyed the way Clint's dialogue is written.

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daredeville

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Edited By daredeville

Loooved this first issue. I was kinda thinking "meh" when it was announced, but that was because I didn't think of who was working on it, and at that time had an awful taste in my mouth from the really really weak Avengers Solo mini. I didn't even finish reading the Hawkeye story in that one (the Avengers Academy one however, was very good).

But Fraction and Aja back together again, with a witty, scrappy hero...? That is right in Matt's wheelhouse. This first issue was truly excellent. The writing was fun and character-driven, and I was really happy to see it focused so squarely on Clint and his neighborhood rather than a myriad of super heroes and villains. It reminds us that Clint is simply a man with really great aim. Also, as G-Man mentions, Clint doesn't always make the right decisions – he's not Captain America – he's a regular guy, trying the best he can.

The Russian guys and their "bro's" cracked me up, and it was really there for the comedic relief. Fraction likes to play up his characters sometimes with some extremes (see Casanova), and I saw this in-line with that occasional penchant of his.

As far as David Aja's art goes – I really enjoyed it. Despite Clint and Danny Rand having similar looks and somewhat analogous personalities, both Fraction and Aja distinguished between them very well. Clint doesn't look the same nor act the same as Danny. He's a little scruffier, thicker, and more impulsive. Danny was always a little goofier and dopier than most heroes, and Clint is more sarcastic and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty whereas Danny tries to be more peaceful and zen. Clint will just sock a guy in the mouth for giving him lip – even if it lands him in trouble.

Aja's art also reminded me of more independent artists from Adrian Tomine to Hergé, and since they are two of my favorites, I really enjoyed the stripped-down graphic style. It's good to see people still drawing rather than leaning so much on tracing and 3D-modeling (glares at Greg Land and Mike Deodato). Aja is a true illustrator, and I am psyched to see what else he does with this series.

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spidergirl2012

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Edited By spidergirl2012

Bad comic book is bad, especially the artwork. Did not care for it at all.

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