This time out it's Hawkeye, firing his arrows and shagging other people's wives.
The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse's News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate.
This week it's a weird choice, the final issue of a mini-series in Hawkeye: Blindspot #4. We normally do beginnings, not endings. Can we cope?
flipped through this book at the shop, and realized I cannot give a fair assessment because it is the last issue in a mini series I did not read.
The art was pretty mediocre though.
Oh and the last line of the book was hokey.
So my offical review based on skimming the book is a
"Blah, blah, Crazy, Blah." Quote of the year.
Anyhow, I thought I would hate this. I am not a huge Hawkeye fan and I read none of the rest of the series. Surprisingly enough, I didn't. It's a decent read, even if Hawkeye's come back during the fight in the issue is not explained at all and makes little sense (especially when he catches the arrow!).
Giving Marvel's sharp shooting hero trouble seeing is interesting. I couldn't quite reconicile the artist's interpretation of what Bart was seeing with the written explanation of how he was maintaining in the battle, but it is a good idea and wondering about Daredevil's powers was a nice touch.
The recap page is unneeded. The story does a fine job of letting the reader know the score and that is a good thing. I would have rather had another page of story than wordiness.
As good as that quote is at the top of my review, the last line was groan inspiring. A little too on the nose for me.
The art is a mixed bag. It is a neat take on manga influence, showing hints of stuff like Fist of the North Star and some more fringe titles from across the ocean. However, the design on Clint's brother's costume is dumb looking and the coloring is all wrong in some places. However, Clint and Zemo look great. As an aside, what the hell was going on with Steve's shield, is it all translucent now?
Thank god for MRRC. Otherwise I couldn't have read this as we didn't get any shelf copies (as I surmised) and I still bet people have a hard time finding this.
I do have to say that seeing Hawkeye use blind archery was kin of fun. That, I think, sums up this issue for me. Seeing him do that -- it wasn't anything I'd claim to be the most amazing thing I've ever seen in a comic book, but nowhere near what I'd call bad either.
Zemo's motivation for setting the two brothers against each other and his, sort of villainous, monologues as well as Barney helping to save Hawkeye's eye site so that his eventual win over him would be much sweeter -- all of it was solidly written classic comic book stuff. Was this innovative in any way? No, but I don't always want that. In the end this book gave me what I want from a Hawkeye limited series.
7 out of 10.
Story - We all read comics for different reasons, and most of us read different comics for different readings. There are books we'll read because we love the writer, there are books we'll read for the art. There are books we read because they are supposedly 'important' in the continuity of particular worlds, and there are books we read because of their literary merit, because of their ideas. And there are books like Hawkeye: Blindspot, which we read simply because they are about character we like. The reason I liked this book is because I like Hawkeye, nothing more, nothing less.
I've always liked Hawkeye, ever since I started reading the Avengers (with Busiek's run, and reprints from the Silver Age) he's been one of my favourite members of the team, even when Bendis killed him. Sure, I was annoyed at the time, but his return in House Of M was worth it. I even liked him as Ronin. I just like the character of Clint Barton, and am perfectly willing to shell out $2.99 (£2.25 in ye olde englishe pennies) and get a dose of him doing his archery thang. And Hawkeye: Blindspot delivered in that aspect.
This final issue is mainly a fight scene between a currently blind Hawkeye and his currently not-dead brother Barney, who has been kitted out as the new Trickshot by Baron Zemo. This was a decent fight, and it was rooted well in universal issues all readers can connect with, sibling rivalry, and even I suppose the fear of becoming your father, which Barney is doing (Baron Zemo could also play into this role). It was pretty down to earth for an Avengers story really. I felt that McCann handled Clint's lack of sight well, making reference to Daredevil of course. But I think we all knew Clint would be fine, he's been blind in a couple of alternate futures (most recently Old Man Logan) and it's never stopped him before.
After this fight, I did feel that the ending of this book was pretty unsatisfying. Baron Zemo runs away, presumably to show up in a bigger book like Captain America and annoy Steve and Bucky, but I'd have liked to see Hawkeye be the one to take him out. Going back to Thunderbolts these two have had a fascinating relationship, and I would have liked to see that explored more, and perhaps have Zemo's motives be a bit less clear-cut evil. Although him giving Clint all that money was a bit of that traditional Helmut greyness. Clint getting his sight back was also a little convenient, but I suppose it makes sense, I doubt Bendis wants to deal with Hawkeye being blind, especially when there are Spider-Women to leer at, and Marvel already have one prominent blind superhero. But it does give this book a feeling of impermanence, like it didn't matter. But of course, Barney Barton is still around, so maybe another writer will pick up Trickshot and use him.
Overall, this book was nothing special, other than a strong story featuring a strong character in Hawkeye. If you liked Hawkeye, you'll enjoy this mini-series. If you don't really care for Hawkeye... then you won't miss much.
Art - Paco Diaz is an artist who is new to me, but he does a good job here, it's traditional bright superhero art, but this is a traditional superhero story. I think his work reminded me of a cross between Dale Eaglesham and Todd Nauck. I imagine we'll see him on a couple more Marvel minis and shorter stories soon, and he seems a good fit.
Best Line - 'Rogers cracked a joke? You sure you didn't do some brain surgery on him too, Doc?'
It was good. I am late. It wasn't awesome. It was servicable. Bubba love Hawkeye. That is all.
My Score: 6
Max that six reviews. This book reminded me of that Thunderbolts book I reviewed a couple of minutes ago. Pretty forgettable.
So that comes to... 5.50 out of 10. Sheesh, we're in a bad mood at the moment. To read the whole bloody affair, click this. Next week is a Nick Spencer Double special, with both Iron Man 2.0 #5 and Secret Avengers #13 under the microscope.
Written or Contributed by: Niam Suggitt