Ultimately, this is a comic book about Hawkeye, a man who lives in a world where supervillains effectively hatch plans to flood New York City yet chooses to solve his problems with an archery set.
This is an underwhelming disappointment. One comes to a Hawkeye comic hoping for a barrage of on-target attacks, masterful action scenes starring the hero who never misses (and who has a reason to always be on point and ready to aim and fire, as we saw his family killed before his eyes when he was betrayed by a colleague a few years back). I don’t think one is looking instead for a murky reading on the state of East/West politics, a generic cameo from Nick Fury or a retread plot from old mutant books.
Especially when you have the scientists come crying to the Triskelion when their experiments of course go wildly awry (and be threatened with execution even then). Sandoval’s art does reasonable work with the empowered new mutants, even if they look vaguely like glowing escapees from TRON’s mainframe. The idea has some interest, as the new artificial race seems to have its own communal agenda and vision somehow inherent within their transformations, something not designed by the scientists. There’s one spooky scene where an angelic avatar seems to hint of of some underlying plan.
Combine those clichés with a Hawkeye who shoots four arrows (three of them at the same foe!) and throws two shards of glass, total. He spends the rest of the issue talking politics with jackboots, resulting in a dull and generic misfire of a first issue. The excitement generated by the badass Clint of Kaare Andrew’s distinctive cover (which offers up the Ultimate Clint in marked contrast to his more jovial 616 version) is nowhere to be found inside.
Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at Cornekopia.net.
Tying in the Ultimate Universe as ultimately as Marvel can, Jonathan Hickman steps back into the forefront to pick up some loose ends from last week’s Ultimates #1. The problem here, however, this book serves more as Ultimates #1.1 rather than a spotlight on the dynamic avenging archer.
My other issue with the tie-in is the art. Sure, Rafa Sandoval’s been receiving some decent marks for his work in this issue from other journalists and his past work on The Incredible Hercules and Avengers: The Initiative was admirable. But for something as intense, and as supposedly modern as the Ultimate line, Sandoval’s late ’80s cartoonish style doesn’t quite add up.
So, no matter how Ultimate Comics Hawkeye appears, laces up subplots, or serves as an enjoyable piece of sci-fi fiction, there’s an overall lack of Barton gravitas in this comic and that certainly needs to be addressed in issue #2.
Travis Moody has gone through more phases than Paris Hilton has gone through tan lines. Or, more apropos, more phases than there are Batman titles. Hip-hop critic. MMA fighter. Furniture mover. Screenwriter. Hollywood bouncer. This guy puts Dean Malenko to shame, or at least Hayden Christensen. Nonetheless, the newfound phase of this all-too-positive “Loose Cannon” (as monikered from various music and film review sites) is simply comics. And it’s going on three years strong. After blowing the lot of his savings on graphic novels and stupid “collectible” figurines, Travis decided to leave them all in Boston and head to his next destiny: Hollywood, California.