SAVE THE EMPIRE, Part One
The all-new Secret Avengers are ready to get started. Are they going to be the world’s most effective secret squad? Or will their personal issues tear them apart? U-DECIDE! Three missions kick off at the same time: one in the space, one on the ground…and one in the air. And no one’s ready. Except for the attackers. Russian spa. Helicarrier. Space station. Falling satellites. A hired hitman with nothing to lose. The Fury. WAIT. Yes. THE FURY. Why is Hawkeye still around? And why are these people chasing him? Why are Black Widow and Spider Woman in a Russian spa? Do questions in teasers excite you? RUN THE MISSION, DON’T GET SEEN, SAVE THE WORLD. NOW!
Also on sale next Wednesday: Secret Avengers #1, by Ales Kot and Michael Walsh.
• Who could forget that time when Clint Barton let his neighbor’s kids watched a holiday cartoon at his place?
• At long last THIS ISSUE is pretty much the cartoon they all watch. YOU’RE WELCOME.
• A very special holiday HAWKGUY that at long last lets legendary letterer CHRIS ELIOPOLOUS flex his astounding cartooning muscles in our pages. Matt and Matt do their regular jobs though. Maybe David will letter it? Probably not.
Hawkeye #17, on sale this Wednesday!
New Secret Avengers writer Ales Kot and artist Michael Walsh have been doing daily breakdowns of each character in his upcoming relaunch of the series. Here’s what they had to say about Clint:
"Hawkeye’s easy to relate to because of his complexity; I believe people see themselves in that," writer Ales Kot says. "Matt Fraction and David Aja get this and that’s a big part of why the character is undergoing such a renaissance. He’s a mess. He’s very human. He doesn’t shower every evening. He forgets things. He’s incredibly talented at something. He sometimes wastes his gifts. He’s really kind. He’s sort of a big child. He wants to do better. He’s honest. He’s dishonest."
We’ve already seen, from previews and art, that Kot and Walsh are taking a lot of cues from Fraction and Aja. After all, the first issue of Secret Avengers looks to repeat the “hawkblocking” joke we all know so well.
"Hawkeye’s [look] is a little more casual than he was in some of his previous, suited incarnations," Walsh says of the hero’s costume. "He’s got a new rig for carrying his arrows and a fresh set of boots, but his actual uniform consists of an old t-shirt and that’s just how he likes it. This is the new Hawkeye that you’ve seen in Fraction and Aja’s acclaimed run, busted nose and all."
The idea of Hawkeye as the t-shirt hero is an appealing one— it’s the perfect summation of his current solo series, and sums up his general attitude of the past two years or so.
"He’s not in the group at the beginning of the first issue,” Kot notes. “In fact, he’s being chased by one of the A.I.M. factions—and he doesn’t know why. There are definite wheels within wheels here.”
Clint has now walked away from a Secret Avengers team twice— so Kot and company will have to make the case for his return particularly compelling. My biggest concern with Hawkeye in the Secret Avengers franchise is justifying is presence.
"It’s certainly amusing to see Hawkeye coexisting with his two ex-girlfriends, Spider-Woman and Black Widow," Kot says.
It’s still funny seeing Natasha being called Clint’s ex-girlfriend, when they haven’t dated in several decades. But I think the way Kot framed the relationships, it was more about those relationships defining Clint and not vice versa. The women in Clint’s life should never be reduced to a string of exes, so hopefully Kot will approach each relationship for what it is and not that label.
"Let’s remember that—spoiler if you haven’t read SECRET AVENGERS #16, which wraps up the previous season—Hill wiped out nearly everyone’s memories at the end of the story,” Kot reminds. “Hawkeye doesn’t remember what happened to Mockingbird.”
And for continuity hounds like myself, this seems like an easy out— Bobbi can now easily be ignored until writers are ready to use her again. Hopefully, the implications of the mind wipe technology won’t be brushed over— even if Clint isn’t being mind wiped every other week, his experiences with the technology should still have an effect.
Promo for Secret Avengers #1
Hawkeye inking . Secret Avengers.
Preview pages for Hawkeye #018, art by Annie Wu
I believe the next few trade paperbacks will be split between Kate’s stories and Clint’s, respectively. So Hawkeye v3 will be the Annual and Kate-centric stories, and then Hawkeye v4 will make up the difference with Clint-centric stories.
I believe Matt Fraction posted the specific order on his tumblr a week or so ago? But I haven’t been able to re-find the link, unfortunately.
Amazon says that v3 will be titled “LA Woman,” so that seems to support the split between Kate’s issues and Clint’s.
Clint: I know—
Natasha: You have the army after you and no health and you’re falling out of a crashing plane.
Clint: I know, Nat—
Natasha: It’s a bass fishing simulator, Clint.
Clint: I know! It just— it just happens!
Natasha: Was… was that Loki?
Clint: There. See?
Grappling Hook Arrow.
Clint: Sometimes things just happen, Nat.
From Loki: Agent of Asgard #001 (Al Ewing & Lee Garbett)