All- New Hawk­eye

On tar­get

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Comics -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

Pub­lisher: Marvel Comics Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Ra­mon Perez

Fol­low­ing Matt

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.

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