Posts Tagged ‘Hawkeye’

So far, it seems like what Hickman misses in the Ultimate Hawkeye mini-series, he makes up for with this storyline in the Ultimates.

Issue #2 starts off with more detail regarding the threat that Thor and the E.U.S.S. team Excalibur discovered in the last issue.  Apparently they are a race of human-like beings that have made their home in a dome in Northern Germany.  From what I gather, time and generations are super accelerated inside this dome because they speak as though they’ve been there for several centuries, yet the creation of the dome was depicted in issue #1.  Once Thor and Excalibur break through the dome, they are immediately attacked by its inhabitants, who are referred to as “the Children.”  These Children have some wickedly advanced technology that they use to figure out that most of the intruders are merely augmented humans, who can in turn be killed, that is until they come across Thor.   Instantly they realize there is something different about him, so they send an image to their elders, one of whom recognizes the god of thunder.  This discovery causes the Children to shift their focus to Thor’s home, the realm of Asgard, where all hell breaks loose when they attack.  The rest of the issue centers on Thor and his efforts to protect his home and family.

I’m loving the absolute epic scope of Jonathan Hickman’s story in this series.  It almost feels like reading the original Ultimates title by Mark Millar where you literally had no idea what was coming next.  The writing in this series is so intense that you really do get the impression this new villain is a serious threat to the Ultimates and the world in general.  To add to that seriousness, it’s someone who knows all of the characters in the Ultimate Marvel Universe on a personal level, making this villain all the more dangerous.  It makes me wonder how long they’ve been brewing this storyline because this is a character that has been around for quite some time in the universe.

Something else that I’m really enjoying about this series, and this issue in particular, is the way Thor is portrayed.  In a lot of previous Ultimates stories he has a tendency to come off as very unlikable.  However, so far in this series, he really feels like a character I could get behind and begin to care for because we are seeing what he cares for, and we’re seeing how devastated he feels when his home is under attack.  We also see just what he would do to protect everything that he loves, even to the point of smacking death in the face… literally.

Ribic’s artwork in this issue is once again right on par with the story.  You feel the sense of motion in the action scenes.  It also meshes very well with the epic scope of the story.  There are regular size comic panels that display huge battles stretching way off into the distance.  I’m really hoping we get to see a full page splash of an epic battle in future issues.  I have no doubt it would be amazing.

Overall, this is a great issue, in a great series, which is part of a great Universe of continuity.  I highly recommend this series because it seems like it is starting fresh, and there is really the sense that anything could happen at any moment.  I’m very pleased to say that it’s like reading the old Ultimate universe again because it actually seems like the writers are willing to do things with these characters and put them in situations that would never happen in regular Marvel Universe continuity, and that was the original goal of the Ultimate Marvel line in the first place.

It’s been a while, I know.  I’m a little behind again.  I try to limit my visits to the comic book store since it’s a bit of hike to get there… That and frankly, I’ve been kind of lazy lately, but here we go.

The second issue in the Ultimate Comics: Hawkeye mini-series gives more backstory on the title character that we haven’t gotten in ten years of the Ultimate Marvel Universe yet, but does little to move the current story forward.

The situation in the S.E.A.R. as it was left at the end of issue #1 is rapidly deteriorating from bad to worse.  Hawkeye leads a small band of S.H.I.E.L.D. troops through the war ravaged streets of Bangkok in an effort to get to the city’s capital building.  They encounter some resistance along the way and see something very strange, which causes Hawkeye to reflect upon his past and how he became involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury in the first place.  Following the flashback and what he finds at the capital, Hawkeye determines that they need to get in contact with General Fury, so the group heads to the nearest place where contact can be established.  I won’t go any further into the summary of this issue, because some potentially very interesting plot points are revealed after this part of the story, as well as some familiar characters.

Hickman continues the story well enough here, but, as I mentioned before, doesn’t seem to move the situation along a whole lot further.  I feel like the main part of this story that the author wants the readers to focus on is the interesting little bit that we get of Hawkeye’s backstory.  I also get the impression that this backstory is going to be expanded upon in issues three and four (why else give Hawkeye, a character that they’ve never really given much of a history to, his own mini-series?).  Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of the current narrative thread, as most of the issue seems like a goose chase from one place in Bangkok to the next, until we get to the end and see what’s coming in the next issue, which I have to say, I’m very excited for.

Rafa Sandoval’s art is still good in this issue, and I won’t deny that he can draw some pretty awesome action and motion shots.  That being said, he seems to insert some of them at some pretty awkward moments in the story.  Take for example, in the middle of the issue, one character calls Hawkeye outside to look at something going on, the next panel shows him running at a full sprint with the background completely blurred behind him like he’s leading and invisible army headlong into battle.  It’s a great action shot of the title character, but it just seems a little out of place within the scope of the story.

Overall, this isn’t a bad issue.  It just doesn’t seem to push the story along all that much.  By the end of the issue we’re not much further than where we started, but we do know just a little bit more about our protagonist.  Also, given what is revealed on the last page, I look for the action to get a lot more intense in the final two issues of this mini-series, and hopefully we learn a lot more about Hawkeye in the process.

 

While done well with good storytelling and flashy artwork, Ultimate Comics: Hawkeye #1 seems to be little more than a side story in this new volume of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, as well as an attempt to flesh out one of the universe’s  more periphery characters.

This issue begins at the same time as Ultimates #1, a few moments before title character Hawkeye makes contact with General Nick Fury.  We see Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, landing in the Southeast Asian Republic, getting a quick briefing of the situation, then being attacked, which is the reason his communication with the general was cut off.  It is at this point that we find out he was attacked by several Asian men with varying powers, who are part of a secret superhuman development program being funded by the S.E.A.R.  In conjunction with that program, there is a plan to neutralize many of the world’s super-powered heroes.  There are also a few more details to that plot which are quite nefarious, which I won’t spoil for anyone planning to read the series.

As with the Ultimates series, Hickman’s writing is good, but this story almost seems unnecessary to begin the new Ultimate universe.  Unless they decide to use the aspects of this plot later on in the Ultimate line, which doesn’t seem likely to happen based on the nature of the story and the other series soon being released, this is only a side plot to the major events happening in the Ultimates series.  This disappoints me a little because the Ultimate universe’s Hawkeye is a pretty dynamic and interesting character, and the potential is there to tell a really good story with him that ties directly into the deeper core fabric of the Ultimates storyline.  In my opinion, I feel as though it would have been better to establish a good strong foundation of Hawkeye with the Ultimates in this most recent volume of Ultimate Marvel continuity and then send him out on this side mission perhaps six to twelve months down the road.

As a veteran of the Ultimate universe, Rafa Sandoval’s art is nice and familiar.  For the most part the action moves smoothly and the style is very cinematic, with lots of low angle shots and a few extreme close-ups.  It almost feels as though you’re watching a movie as you flip the pages of this issue, and it really helps move the story along.

Overall, this first issue is entertaining, and it seems to set up a good premise for the rest of this mini-series, but it just doesn’t seem to fit in as an integral part in establishing the foundation for the universe.  I believe the new direction for the universe should have been established with the core books before trying to publish this mini-series as a side story, which it seems will have few, if any lasting effects in the Ultimate Marvel Universe.