Sunday, September 4, 2011

Review: Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1

I don't buy many new comics. I generally wait for the collected editions so I can read through four-to-six issues without advertisements or a long wait between issues, but a new limited series about one the best characters in Marvel's Ultimate Universe was too intriguing for me to pass up, and I tracked down Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1 at my closest comic store. The Ultimate version of Hawkeye, unlike Marvel's mainstream version of the character, has a lot more in common with Bullseye and the Punisher, he also happens to be Ultimate Nick Fury's right-hand man on the Avengers and Ultimates, the Ultimates being the Ultimate Universe version of the Avengers, with the Ultimate Avengers being the equivalent to the Secret Avengers in the mainstream continuity. So far, I've used the word Ultimate nine times in this post, and if you understood the previous sentance, you win nerd points.

Spoilers to follow.

This issue opens with Hawkeye arriving at the South Eastern Asian Republic (SEAR) S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in Bangkok. The base is attacked by an unknown group of superhumans, and then we get a flashback to the SEAR scientists taking about a virus they've created which will destroy the mutant X-gene, and they've also created a serum of their own. Supposedly better than the X-gene, that will give rise to something they call "The People." Back in the present, Hawkeye dispatches the attackers with broken glass and his bow (which is not as awesome as using his own fingernails, but still cool). The issue ends with Hawkeye setting out to track down the Serum.

The setup points to a superhuman arms race, with Hawkeye looking for the Serum and battling large numbers of enemy superhumans. Hopefully, future issues will focus more on Hawkeye himself, and make his character integral to the story, since right now, there's no reason for him to be the lead character.

The issue is written by Jonathan Hickman, who's also writing the redundantly titled Ultimate Comics Ultimates. My biggest problems was the heavy exposition, especially when the SEAR scientists were discussing their evil plan. A picture is worth a thousand words, and there were several scenes where characters said things that were perfectly clear without explanation.

Anyway, this was a pretty fun issue, and I look forward to seeing where the series goes.

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