Kaitlyn Booth

All-New Hawkeye #1 Show Real Promise With Duel Story Arcs And Art Styles

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All-New Hawkeye #1, written by Jeff Lemire and art by Ramón K Pérez, shows off parallel story arcs in different art styles extremely well.

All-New Hawkeye
All-New Hawkeye #1 cover by Ramon Perez from Marvel.com

All-New Hawkeye #1

WRITER: Jeff Lemire
ARTIST: Ramón K Pérez
COLORIST: Ian Herring
LETTERER: VC’s Joe Sabino
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: March 4, 2015
Order a copy of All New Hawkeye #1 to be shot onto your door with an arrow!

The Matt Fraction/David Aja run on Hawkeye is coming to an end with quite a legacy behind it. The series brought in lots of new fans to the character of Clint Barton by truly showing us what he is; a human disaster. Aja’s art was praised for its simplicity, and with a basic color pallet by Matt Hollingsworth it was a unique looking book. It’s won awards and been nominated for more. It’s also known for being one of the most delayed comics. It began to ship “out of order” as Annie Wu took over the art for half the story. There were rumors as to why this happened, but nothing creditable. The final book is so delayed that it is still almost two months from being released, and the new All-New Hawkeye series is already starting. It’s a tough follow up for any creative team.

All-New Hawkeye starts us off with both of the current Hawkeye’s, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, on a secret weapons cache for Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D. However, things aren’t quite going according to plan which is pretty par for the course for Team Hawkeye. The mission is bringing back memories for Clint about his time in the foster system with his brother, Barney.

I’m going to start off by saying that I was a huge fan of the Fraction/Aja Hawkeye run. I haven’t been a comics fan that long and it was one of the first trades I picked up. (I think I just lost my nerd card but, oh well). I was as bummed as anyone else when it was announced that #22 would be the last issue. I also knew that the next creative team would have a hard time pleasing any fans. So when I say I enjoyed All-New Hawkeye know that it comes from a fan of the previous run.

The thing I really enjoyed about the first issue is the duality. They don’t waste a moment getting into either of the two stories. The issue begins with Clint and Barney as children as they go out to capture frogs in a new foster home. The memories are soaked in purple, blues, and whites and they look like a watercolor painting. Once you think that’s going to be the art style, you turn the page and suddenly we’re in the present with stark, bright colors and the now adult Clint with Kate on a mission. The two stories are told at the same time and alternate. I really enjoyed that because it helped cover the “first issue back-story” while jumping straight into the action.

It’s hard to top how natural Matt Fraction found Clint and Kate’s voices, but Jeff Lemire does an admirable job. I’m prone to saying that Kate Bishop is my spirit animal and I’m very protective of her as a character. Lemire captures their back and forth banter that everyone came to love in the previous run. He also makes sure to note the distinct parallel with the dialogue between Clint and Barney. While Clint was the younger sibling in the past, he’s now the big brother to Kate. Artist Ramón K Pérez and colorist Ian Herring just do a fantastic job with the two different art and color styles. When an artist tries to show the past they usually dull the color or put it in sepia, but to use an entirely different style and color is clever and works well.

While All-New Hawkeye #1 might not live up to the exceedingly high expectations it was forced to live up to it’s a solid first issue to a new series of one of my favorite (and under appreciated) Avengers duo. This creative team could go great places and I’m eager to see where they go next.

All-New Hawkeye
All-New Hawkeye #1 variant cover by Skottie Young from Marvel.com

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