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Dark Reign: Hawkeye #3

Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009
By: Bill Janzen

Andy Diggle
Tom Raney
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Dark Reign: Hawkeye #3 arrives in stores tomorrow, June 17.

Bullseye... er... Hawkeye now I guess, has a loyal following of fans amongst Marvel readers. It goes without saying that having him added as the new "Hawkeye" on the Dark Avengers a few months back was an intriguing twist. How would he, a homicidal psychopath, be able to handle working on team that was so much in the public eye? What would happen when he faced off with the original Hawkeye? Who would be the better, deadlier marksman? With "Hawkeye" in such an interesting position, his own mini-series was a no-brainer.

In this issue Hawkeye deals with repeatedly seeing his old persona, Bullseye, popping up. Are they just delusions from his clearly unbalanced mind, or is someone messing with him? Either way, he'll deal with it as he deals with everything else: Head-on.

Dark Reign: Hawkeye #3 is not what you'd call an in-depth story. There is some attempt by Diggle to involve a bit of mystery and some Bullseye backstory into the mix, but Shakespeare it ain't. That's not to say it's terrible, simply that it's akin to a mindless action flick (including having people survive explosions that there's no rational way that they could have). Diggle does a good job of leaving the reader wondering whether it's merely a delusion or a real person in a Bullseye costume that Dark Hawkeye keeps seeing. Of course, his approach to this could come unravelled and be extremely unrealistic depending on the reveal in later issues, but for now it's a good, little mystery.

Raney does a fair job on the pencils. They are consistent, and easy enough to look at. His panels make it easy to follow the story and the action and the characters' looks are recognizable. While the art is not likely to blow anyone away, it gets the job done. Coming from any publisher other than the Big Two, the art would be truly exceptional. Coming from Marvel though, this is still very well done, but not so much as to stand out from the crowd. The action doesn't seem to leap off the page as it does with some artists, nor does Raney have any especially unique style.

Overall Dark Reign: Hawkeye #3 is merely an okay issue. It has some fun moments and a mildly intriguing main story, but it doesn't focus on one of the most interesting aspects of the position that Dark Hawkeye is in: how he handles the pressure of being in a spotlight position. Nor does it give us any of the new Hawkeye vs original Hawkeye action that most fans have been waiting for. This may be an okay issue in the midst of the overall mini-series once it's finished, but on its own, it's like a Lamborghini without its engine: It's shiny and fun to look at, but it really leaves you wanting, and could have been so much more than it is.






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