By Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez, Ian Herring, and Joe Sabino
We all have to face it: Hawkeye is cool and whether it’s Clint Barton or Kate Bishop, they are fun heroes that get into crazy shenanigans and readers love it. Jeff Lemire (Bloodshot Reborn and Moon Knight) and Ramon Perez (Amazing Spider-Man and New Warriors) have been creating the crazy shenanigans for over a year now and their run has come to an end. It is with great sadness that All-New Hawkeye #6 marks the end of the Lemire and Perez run, but this run goes out with a bang, and even some ‘splodie’ arrows. After the last iconic run of Hawkeye from Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Matt Hollingsworth you would not expect the new issues to be as good as they are. The entire run from Lemire and Perez has been good with both writer and artist finding ways to reinvent the characters as their own. Things that have been introduced during this run will be used to build future stories because each character has been enhanced or changed from these stories. Lemire and Perez really have done a great job reintroducing team Hawkeye and diving into both Kate and Clint’s respective backstories, childhoods and even futures. This last issue ties up all loose ends that have been kind of dangling over the course of the series. We find out the fate of the kids from project communion, we see where Barney has been hiding out all this time with Simone and the boys, and we see what the future holds for Clint and Kate as friends and as teammates.
There is such a good flow to each and every story that Lemire and Perez have produced from All-New Hawkeye and it is because they paint a very elaborate backstory that sheds light on the current narrative. Every issue has had a present day story running alongside a talefrom the past or sometimes even the future. This issue does just that by recounting Kate’s experience as a child of being taken hostage by a rival villain of her father. We see her being rescued by the Avengers with Hawkeye playing a key role. Great backstories like this have been introduced every issue, adding layers of complexity to both Clint and Kate. The beauty of thess stories happening side by side with the current story is the artwork. Lemire is on pencils with Herring and Perez both on colors, and Sabino on letters. The backstories of Clint or Kate’s past are done with a hazy outline around each panel, with simple colors that appear as watercolors applied to the background and characters. The greatest detail work is done around our future Hawkeye, with great facial expressions and clever use of the color purple. The total effect allows the story to feel like a memory or dream from the foggy, watercolor effect. Then, the next page has super focused and saturated colors with bold lines, almost to shock your eyes back to the current action of what is happening now.
Hawkeye (Clint Barton) takes a lot of crap throughout this series; even his own brother tosses some crap at him this issue, for being the ‘Average Joe” Avenger or the lesser of two Hawkeyes. However, this series continues to show the great influence Clint has had on Kate and if that is the legacy he leaves is Kate Bishop then that’s enough. Lemire really shows the relationship developing past protégé and mentor to something else, with Kate realizing Clint is her hero and Clint seeing how much Kate inspires him to be more.
All-New Hawkeye has been tremendous for both Hawkguys and Hawkgals as we have learned more about our Hawkeyes than ever before and seen them for whom they were growing up, and even glimpsed into the future to see who they will become. Lemire and Perez have been a great team to take on these stories, the relationship between the story and artwork has been breathtaking. They really captured the emotion and intensity of every panel with colors, layouts, dialogue, and character design. Honestly, there is not a book written by Lemire that isn’t great or a book penciled by Perez that isn’t fantastic so, All-New Hawkeye can be added to the list of great comics done by great creative teams.