Monday, November 28, 2011



Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Art: Rafa Sandoval

Hawkeye’s one of my favorites. Not just one of my favorite Avengers, I mean “favorite” as in “all time.” ONE of my favorites—Cap still takes that cake. Anyway, I’m a bit biased when it comes to the handling of my faves, and here with issue #4 of Ultimate Comics Hawkeye, we’re seeing the wraps on his solo mission to retrieve a purported Super Soldier Serum in Southeast Asia that ends up with a resounding “Huh?”

As a story, it leaves plenty of questions that I’m sure will be addressed over in the mother title Ultimate Comics Ultimates, making these four issues part of larger ongoing saga that’s happening over in that book. As a stand-alone, self-contained arc, you can’t help but feel page constraints kept Hickman from fully fleshing out his tale. Or maybe it was editorial. Regardless, here’s the skinny: two super-powered brothers—Zorn and Xorn, respectively—wax over their origins, why they are like they are, why they live in twin floating cities and why Hawkeye’s allowed to take however much of the serum he feels is necessary (there’s a small pond of the stuff just floating there, by the way). He’s also given the opportunity to sample the concoction, along with some of his tag-along teammates, but to tell you who partakes ventures too far into Spoilerville. Suffice to say, some do, plus  Hulk gets offered hot cocoa. Yeah, really. Don’t know the angle Hickman’s going for, but a mysterious off-panel voice does in fact offer the giant grey behemoth some chocolately goodness.

Aside from my usually distaste of Sandoval’s pencils on Hawkeye (just the character; everything else looks fantastic), Hickman’s on his game as far as dialogue and pacing but it seems, as a whole, a lot of the story ended up on the cutting room floor, leaving me with the impression that this mini-series could’ve just been told in pages of the regular Ultimates ongoing. Maybe Marvel’s testing the waters on whether sales would support a Hawkeye monthly (I’d buy it), but brevity holds back a story I feel could’ve been told. At least Clint doesn’t have to wear that gaudy purple getup from the regular Marvel U, so I’ll count my blessings.

Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars

Brian Cee is a contributing writer at Champion City Comics

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