|Cover by Kaare Andrews, Neal Adams, Adam Kubert|
Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1 (August 31, 2011)
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Penciller: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Inker: Jordi Tarragona
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I first became interested in Hawkeye after I saw the film Thor this summer and Jeremy Renner popped up in his awesome Hawkeye cameo. I like Jeremy Renner. Like the 15-year-old girls who spent the Avengers panel Q & A gushing to Tom Hiddleston over how much they love Loki, I like Hawkeye because I like Jeremy Renner. I’m not saying it’s a smart reason to like a character but at least he got me interested in this guy.
I picked up Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1 with no knowledge of the Ultimates universe and without realizing this was from the end of August. I guess I’m late.
I was therefore unaware of the fact that this Clint Barton is different than regular Clint Barton but that did not detract from my enjoyment of this issue.
Hickman crafted a thoroughly gripping and smart storyline, echoing the feel of a taut political thriller. In fact, this comic was one of the most political issues I’ve read in a long time, though Hickman balanced it with plenty of action and suspense. It wasn’t preachy or condescending, just exciting.
Taking place in Bangkok, this issue opens mid-international crisis with Barton flown in to save the day. It’s quickly established that this is not merely a run-of-the-mill bad guy crisis but the potential for an extreme superhuman propagation that will completely shift the balance of power on an international scale. Spurred on by a grim Nick Fury, Barton must get this scientific ability to create superhumans artificially under S.H.I.E.L.D.’s control before the Thai government changes the world. That’s a lot of responsibility for an archer.
For such an action-packed issue, the art by Sandoval and Tarragona was not sloppy or overwhelming. I thoroughly enjoyed their rendition of these characters and the fight scenes.
Barton is pretty kick-ass and though this issue did not end on a neat resolution (or any resolution at all), it did imply that Barton’s involvement will be every bit as suspenseful and very exciting as this issue.