All- New Hawkeye
Release Date: OUT NOW!
Publisher: Marvel Comics Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Ramon Perez
Fraction and David Aja’s magnificent run on Hawkeye is a little bit like your punk band having to follow The Stooges onstage.
Okay, it’s not as if Jeff Lemire hasn’t picked up a guitar before, or, in this case, a bow ( given his successful run on Green Arrow) but Fraction’s Hawkeye is an ice- cool classic of modern comics, the definition of a tough act to follow.
An “All- New” addition to the title and an # 1 relaunch helps distance the book from what’s come before, and in the opening few pages of the first issue, it certainly looks like a radical rehaul, with Ramon Perez’s elaborate watercolour- style art replacing the clean- line simplicity of Aja’s work. But then those pages are revealed as a childhood- set flashback, as we cut to a present- day Hydra- assault and art so recognisable it’s like Aja is still on the book. It’s the sort of fun, meta rug- pull that Hawkeye fans will be familiar with.
The art isn’t all that’s familiar, though. Tonally, Lemire matches Fraction’s style while also introducing new elements. As Hawkeye progresses, flashbacks blend with present- day action in a bold – and beautiful – way. By the third issue, you realise you’re reading one of the most intricatelytold origin stories since the Ms Marvel relaunch.
This isn’t as brave as that book, but it’s just as clever, and almost as fun. Sam Ashurst Canadian Lemire jokes that when Marvel offered him the book, their accents made him think they wanted him to do Hockey.