REVIEW: Occupy Avengers #1 -“Clint the Hero or Clint the Pariah?”

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OCCUPY AVENGERS #1
Writer: David F. Walker
Pencilist: Carlos Pacheco
Inker: Rafael Fonteriz
Colorist: Sonia Oback
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 11/2/16
Price: $3.99

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Plot: Clint Barton has been a busy man lately. Much to his dismay, Clint has made quite the impression on the entire country after killing his best pal Bruce Banner. So to wash away the guilt, he set out on a cross-country mission to right his wrongs.

We open with an enthusiastic Clint in a Santa Rosa, New Mexico diner receiving loads of praise from the locals for putting a stop to the Hulk as well as saving all of those he encounters on his one-man hero tour. Naturally, all the attention has made him pretty uncomfortable. Making matters worst, his recent actions have caused Sheriff Ortiz and Deputy Red Wolf to set their sights on him.

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It’s not long before Clint’s true motives for being in the small town are revealed. The local community is in shambles after a contaminated water supply has caused residents to rely on bottled water for their drinking needs. Clint, accompanied by Deputy Red Wolf, head to the source of the issue (The Sweet Medicine Indian Reservation) to investigate.

In keeping with the theme of this issue, trouble once again finds Hawkeye. While stumbling upon a clue, Clint and Red Wolf go up against angry gun touting foes. And just when it seems like the dual had the upper hand, Hydro-Man made a shocking appearance and quickly put a stop to them.
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Story: Occupy Avengers is a timely issue given the current political and cultural climate in the country. The beginning is a bit of a slow burn with a lot of heavy dialogue, but it still packs a punch. David F. Walker takes a more nuanced approach when handling certain sensitive subject matters like social justice activism which makes this comic an awesome read. Walker’s tendency to mix socially relevant commentary and action really suits this book well.

Make no mistake about it, despite the subject matter, this is still very much a Hawkeye comic. What does that mean exactly? Well there’s the good ol’ Barton humor in some panels. Also, Clint kicks a lot of but as usual. But the maing thing that made this book stellar is not  Hawkeye isn’t just running around shooting arrows at people (even though the second half of the book he does just that). Walker takes this opportunity to really get inside the head of Barton as he deals with his enemies while reflecting his journey so far. Since Civil War II closed out his part of the storyline, I’ve been eager to see what’s next for him. Needless to say this comic delivered that on all fronts.

Art: While the writing is flawless, the art equally great. The second half of  this issue for instance is full of bloody and brutal action that looks stellar when penned by penciler Carlos Pacheco. He certainly doesn’t shy away from depicting the rawness of fighting which is a bit surprising considering how this comic rests within the grey area of superhero comic and average action adventure. Nonetheless,  his work in the action panels specifically gives a stronger context behind the writing.

I have to give extra praise to letterer Clayton Cowles this issue who provided loads of narrative panels without seeming repetitive. Even the smaller panels don’t appear cluttered with lots of narrative boxes as one would expect. In fact, everything looks crystal clear.

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Verdict: Occupy Avengers #1 is a great start to what will surely be one of Marvel’s top politically and economically charged comics apart of their revamped Marvel Now initiative.

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