OLD MAN HAWKEYE #1
Writer: Ethan Sacks
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 1/10/18
Plot: Set in the Wastelands prior to the events of Old Man Logan, the book follows Hawkeye as the main character. We find him in a pretty sorry state, taking on odd jobs just to support himself and isolated from his family. He learns he’s going blind and decides there are a few things he’d like to care of before it’s too late.
Story: If you’ve seen a Western, any Western really, the books starts out on some very familiar notes. Despite the familiarity of the plot though, writer Ethan Sacks immediately draws you in through his writing of Hawkeye and how he builds up the world. Maybe the Madrox gang aren’t the most interesting villains proposed, but we already know within the first few pages there are some secret dealings going on in this world that could lead to bigger stories.
I enjoyed the extended cast of characters, including an appearance from Claire Temple as Hawkeye’s doctor. The scenes with Hawkeye’s daughter stand out the most, partially because of how well they could fit in any comic. It doesn’t have to be a setting like the Wastelands to feel the pain of an estranged daughter and father masked in sarcasm and silence.
As much as I enjoyed reading this and found myself drawn to Hawkeye, I’m a little uncertain where this book intends to go. Sacks established several potential paths that would lead Hawkeye to a “big bad,” but didn’t strongly establish what Hawkeye’s plans for revenge really are. As Logan points out to him, you can’t bring back the dead. So what exactly does he intend to do? I guess we have to keep reading to find out.
Art: While there are moments of characters brooding, this issue starts out action-packed, including explosions and a full nine panels of a gang getting shot by arrows. Marco Checchetto draws all of this with a lot of details to create movement and energy between the pages. It’s not always easy to draw arrow fights that look cool, but the use of depth of field creates some very cool effects that will impress even the biggest haters of heroes who wield bows.
The lines are very heavy, adding to the haggard, grizzled look of the characters and setting. Combined with Andres Mossa’s coloring that makes the page look like it could be coated in dust, the dreary mood of the writing is upheld by the art.
Oddly enough the thought did cross my mind that the art reminded me of some of the Marvel Star Wars comics, and upon investigation, I discovered this team has worked on some of those books. It’s especially obvious to me in the backdrops which pull from the dystopian landscape of say a Mad Max: Fury Road, but could also pass as Tatooine or another desert planet.
Verdict: The book is strongly written with the world building immediately done, though it helps to have some background knowledge of Old Man Logan to understand the setup. I enjoyed how lived-in the world feels thanks to the art which seems to draw from fellow dystopian sources. For fans of Old Man Logan and its gritty tone, this book seems like a natural pick. However, if dark stories aren’t your thing, I’d steer clear of this book and suggest Marvel’s current Tales of Suspense for a slightly lighter Hawkeye tale.