Welcome back to the Wastelands! If you read Mark Millar’s award winning Old Man Logan, then you are already ahead of the game. For the fans that haven’t gotten to it yet, let me give you the lowdown.
Imagine a world where all the Super villains set aside their differences and joined forces to fulfill an ultimate goal that will once and for all give them a world without Heroes! (Insert ominous music.)The Red Skull set a plan in motion that instantaneously matched sets of villain teams to Avenger teams alike, who would be the counter to them. One by one each of the heroes fell; some remained in hiding, and others, like Logan, felt so much shame from the events that they disappeared. Heroes are extinct. It’s a lawless world built of horrors and fears….
Now let’s discuss superstar Ethan Sacks (journalist, now comic book writer) in this 12 issue mini-series. He expands on the creation of this gruesome world with tales of its past, 5 years to be exact, featuring the unlikely hero to survive a superhero culling, Clint Barton AKA HAWKEYE! A normal man in all ways but with great skill and accuracy with a bow and arrow. His keen eye saved the Avengers many times. Yes Just a man and his bow survived one of the most grueling ends to any Marvel apocalypse conceived.
In typical fashion, we begin with a NON-SPOILER REVIEW. OLD MAN HAWKEYE truly is a homage to the Old Man Logan storyline. Within the first few pages you can feel the world that Mark Miller created; narrated from a different point of view. Miller gave us such an extraordinary story, and yet, he left us with so many “but how?!” moments.
Ethan Sacks masterfully crafted a story to connect all those dots and answer those burning questions. You will see many synonymous moments connecting us to the events of OML. He brings in an aged Clint Barton living a life he despises, but it’s the only one he has to live right now. All the heroes are gone and he is the only one left besides Logan. Through Sacks 12 issue maxi-series, we see Clint Barton’s failed relationships with his ex-wife and daughter. Which leads us into the story of Old Man Logan. We now know how he ended up surviving that dreaded day. Presently his age is catching up with him and now his greatest strength will leave him shortly. But not before he gets payback.
Barton’s whole arc is a mission of revenge as he searches for the individuals that took away his greatest love and friend Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow. At this point, the HUNT BEGINS! The journey we join him on is a roller coaster of anger as well as a rekindling of broken friendships. In this world there’s not just one foe to worry about, there’s many! So I will tell you, expect anything to happen in the wastelands when Clint Barton sets out on his final mission!
Overall, the story is incredible! I didn’t think I would enjoy it so much, but to read another story from a timeline of one of my top 5 favorite titles, I was excited. Go out and read this series; it’s totally worth it. And look out for the TPB to read it in one shot. It’s one hell of a ride.
SPOILER REVIEW/TALK TIME!!
OK… It’s time for the sweet stuff; the stuff that makes me nerd the hell out! (Haha!) One of my favorite things about this story is it gave me the same feelings as Mark Millars run. It’s like I was reading another chapter of Old Man Logan (OML). Not to say it’s an imitation at all, Ethan Sacks completely made it his own. Still, it helped piece together the great moments he shared with Logan. With some thought, he actually caused a few of those scenarios they encountered.
Let’s start here…
Clint Barton is working a job as a guard/transport/delivery man. His skills are shown to be top form still but during a fight with a future Multiple Man scavenger group he takes them down one by one but then he missed. Like badly haha We all know Hawkeye doesn’t miss unless he wants to. So next At the doctor’s office Clint is showing his age and learns his glaucoma has increased and will soon be blind. It’s heartbreaking honestly. But it’s the fire starter he needed to get up and do something he’s been needing for years. He’s going to get payback for his friends and his love. This is when we start getting all those great Easter eggs from OML. We meet his ex-wife Peter Parker’s great granddaughter. And his daughter May Parker Barton. We see the grand spiral to were he #%#^+ up as a parent, and the eventual life his daughter is planning to live. Toward the end of the issue that surviving duplicate of The Multiple Man ends up running into a familiar blob of goo, our favorite symbiote Venom! But I’ll bring him up a bit later.
He sets out for information on the Thunderbolts. A group he vouched for after seeing they were not as evil as Baron Zemo made them to be. We learn they are part of the reason they lost their battle so easily. In flashbacks throughout the series showing the events unfold we see how their group fought desperately and stood little chance. He even had a powerhouse of a Team. Thor, Scarlet Witch, War Machine, Falcon, to name a few plus the Thunderbolts. But because of that betrayal all was lost. He sets out to one of his closest targets and one by one sets out to kill them. ATLAS, BEETLE, SONGBIRD, and MOONSTONE.
Each meeting brings another flashback and more details of the battle. Atlas is the first to go. After a huge (pun intended lol) fight. Clint shows he was a hero for a reason. He takes him down with tears in his eyes and an arrow in Atlas. The encounter with Beetle brought more reasoning behind the betrayal. All the noise Clint’s been making; the wastelands talking. The then assassin now turned marshal BULLSEYE is now on the case! After first seeing Clint’s encounter with Multiple Man and Atlas’s corpse. Bullseye cannot be more ecstatic. He’s been looking for a challenge for so many years. And one of the last super heroes is a chance of a lifetime. The reintroduction of Bullseye is an amazing addition as well. Having one of the most accurate deadliest man in the Marvel universe against the Incredible archer Hawkeye, It’s poetic. He not only adds a menacing threat to this book but some needed perspective from a villain’s point of view of the world they currently live in.
Moving forward some more familiar faces join the fray. Clint visits a bartender that we all know as Turk, (you know him lol) whose grandchild has the helmet of Ant Man on his head. And if you remember we see him later on in the early parts of OML. And of course in Turk’s life something always goes wrong especially once superheroes are involved. Here’s where it gets fun, Multiple man is now merged with the Venom symbiote. And he’s out for the blood of Clint Barton. The bar is the first place he gets too. We get some crazy scenes from here on with the newly minted Multiple Venom Man, or Venom Horde (not sure what I’m married to yet) lol We also see a sad end to Turks life. Bloody but totally a Venom way of doing things. From here the battle rages and Clint and Turks grandchild make a swift escape to a familiar face… Kate Bishop AKA Hawkgirl.
We have a bittersweet reunion between the two Hawkeye’s. Kate has been living as peaceful a life as could be expected in a community she founded to help the good people left in the world. Things have been good for her, but with Clint’s arrival things became a nightmare. The Multiple VenMen (still playing around with names haha) are now surrounding her sanctuary and causing much chaos in their pursuit of Clint. After a skirmish or two inside the sanctuary they decide the best course of action is to lead them away. Which leads them to another OML nod. Luring the remaining Multi-VenMen (think this might be the winner) away, a strike of some luck occurred. It’s eaten by a roaming dinosaur! Which is so awesome because in the event of OML Logan and Clint are at one point being chased by the same very dinosaur fused with the Venom symbiote! It’s a great connection made by Ethan Sacks. These moments make it all the much sweeter of a title throughout all 12 issues.
After these moments Kate now reluctantly joins Clint on his crusade, but not before learning of the events of the day the heroes fell. Issue #7 is the heartbreaker 🙁 we finally see another side of the tragic day through the eyes of another. It starts with Natasha and Clint being awoken from their time off together by the Avengers alarm. Their moments of bliss are now gone. Clint’s optimism for the task are high. He has no idea what’s about to unfold. His team is full of the mightiest of the avengers. And the team of Thunderbolts he vouched for. They lost before they began. The thunderbolts betrayed him and because of their inside knowledge, each avenger fell gruesomely. War Machines armor hacked to kill him instantly. Falcon attacked by the Thunderbolts from behind, Scarlet Witch by the hands of her own father Magneto, Quicksilver crushed on by Atlas, Thor taken down by a combo attack dealt from The Absorbing Man; each death continuing to deal a toll not just to Hawkeye but you as a reader start to feel the pain. Finally the finishing blow to our hero, Natasha stabbed by Zemo himself. Zemo planned meticulously for this assault. And it became all the sweeter that it came on the day all the heroes fell. Leaving Clint as the soul survivor not because of some grand destiny or a stroke of luck and skill, but because of spite! Plenty to break our hero to his core and turn him into the man we see today.
We continue on Clint’s crusade. He sets out to kill the next thunderbolt on his list Songbird. Who was a reluctant accomplice to the deeds that day. During Clint’s flashback she was shown not partaking in the murders of her fellow heroes but not doing anything to stop the task either. Her choice of repentance was to take a vow of silence and live out the rest of her days with the Silent Sisterhood. In a later flashback it shows Songbird attempting to warn Hawkeye but he is too excited to listen. She is the only Thunderbolt who feels any remorse to what was done that day, and has accepted her fate fully. We learn from Beetle that he had to convince her to do the deed especially since it was the only way to protect her. Songbird left him for this reason but that’s neither here nor there. Clint hesitates at this moment at his revenge but with a stroke of bad luck Bullseye finally meets his target. In the fight we learn that Bullseye has defied his master only to gain this last hurrah, but his robotic eye showed Clint’s glaucoma, and he feels cheated by having a handicapped foe. He is evaded for the moment after some interference from Songbird though she is killed by him just shortly after, and seeing that Kate is in company of Hawkeye his resolve is revitalized.
Moonstone is his final target, conveniently she is along the path to Zemo anyway lol. But i digress, Moonstone’s horrid betrayal is shown through the surface. Her own powers are now slowly killing her, giving her a grotesque appearance to match her part of that day. She has accepted her fate but not before she gets what she’s owed from the Red Skull. Betrayed by Zemo she was given nothing in return for her service as promised. Goes to show you a world run by villains there’s no rules against breaking a pinky promise haha After a nice scuffle with Moonstone Clint was able to deal a fatal blow and that’s the end of the Thunderbolts roster. And on to the finale Baron Zemo!
The last two issues of this maxi-series bring us all the feels and satisfaction we could ask for! So many links finally connected to OML and a beautiful ending to Hawkeyes crusade. We return to the long time stronghold of The Weapon X program. A fitting location to recreate the fabled Super Soldier Serum. Zemo has worked tirelessly the past 40 years to replicate the formula and he finally succeeded. Clint knowingly heads right into the strongholds trap and is quickly captured. Avalanche makes himself known and introduces him to the testing ground. That’s when he meets the first successful test subject of the serum and learns first hand of its success. A hydra super solider enters. He’s able to kill him with some help from a desperate scientist. Clint and Kate have stumble upon the project and Clint gains a glimpse of hope. Imagine a 100 Captain America’s on his side to help birth a possible rebellion against the tyrants of the wasteland. It would be a true redemption for the hero as well as a chance of rebirth for earth. But first he needs to get to Zemo.
With assistance from Kate, Hawkeye makes his way to Zemo and he is shocked to see that his great foe is now nothing more than a husky of his former self. He suffered a stroke years back and is now trapped in his own body. The moment is almost taken from Clint feeling that there is no retribution for him with Zemo not being a fair opponent.. almost. Zemo speaks some harsh words and with that Clint showers him with arrows and Zemo is no more. Now Clint returns to the side of Kate to help free the scientists who were under the thumb of Zemo. Avalanche intervenes and now deal the blow we all did not expect. He uses his powers to make Clint fully blind! The glaucoma was not the full culprit as we would have expected but the mutant Avalanche. Though now fully blind Hawkeye was able to kill Avalanche before he could be finished off.
Now the moments that are to come now complete the link Old Man Logan. Bullseye returns to complete his final battle, to Kill the last superheroes. After killing the scientists Kate and Clint rescued Kate is captured by Bullseye. With her as bait he lures the now blind Clint to his final showdown. As he throws his signature card at him, Hawkeye releases his arrow with a bit of guidance from Kates voice. In a moment of perfection his arrow splits the card in half and hits it mark in Bulleyes eye! Bullseye show content as he falls dead, and Kate is astonished by the one in a million shot. Though Clint was aiming for his heart they have won the day. The links now connect, CLint has the super soldier serums. He has a new fire to help fix the world, he just needs allies to join his cause, and he just needs to learn how to fight blind. After Kate left him to not bare the pain of seeing him die in such a foolish task Clint sets out to learn. His path brings him to Nanda Parbat, where another familiar face is there to greet him. The man without fear Daredevil… The End
WoW! Just wow the story Ethan Sacks created here gave me so much enjoyment. Not only was he true to the source material he crafted a believable tale that connects us to Old Man Logan. We see how Hawkeye becomes blind but is still able to fight, we now know where he obtained the super soldier serum. And what brings him to the doorstep of Logan himself. Phenomenal storytelling with so much potential for more tales of the Wastelands.. Just like the current Old Man Quill. This line of titles you’re sure to enjoy!
Hope you all enjoyed my review until next time!