Ultimate Comics: Hawkeye #3 Review

Hawkeye is about to get some serious help in the form of the Hulk, Firestar, the new Jean Grey, and the Protector.  Ultimate X and Hawkeye will be taking on the new superhuman threat known as The People.

Ultimate Comics: Hawkeye #3

Hawkeye leads his team to the Southern and Northern Cities belonging to the People – the mysterious superhuman society rebelling against the Southeast Asian Republic.  The use the Hulk as a distraction in the Southern City as the rest get into the Northern City to complete their mission by capturing a sample of the “Source”, the serum that created them.  The Hulk faces a pretty powerful threat in the form of a skull headed man with blue flaming hair (and for the life of me, I recognize a character with the same characterization, but I can’t seem to think of who it might be based on).  In the other city, Hawkeye and the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. finds a peaceful society who is more than happy to share the Source with them.

I fear I might be missing the point of the series and it’s connection to the rest of the Ultimate Marvel universe.  There are so many questions that I have that end up coming off as distractions.  For example, isn’t Bruce Banner dead?  If he didn’t die, where was he?  Do these members of Ultimate X appear anywhere else or are they more like “The Spider” who just kinda showed up here and there and ended up being important(?) down the line?  Do the People have anything to do with the group that ended up killing the Asgardians in The Ultimates series?  There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on, but it feels a little awkward and disjointed.

And then there’s Hawkeye himself.  A major distraction came right off the bat in this issue when it revisited his recruitment by Nick Fury into S.H.I.E.L.D.  At first I thought Fury was bringing in Bullseye with the imagery of the playing cards being used as weapons and his general attitude.  I understand these characters are tweaked to be a little different and fresh, but there comes a point in time when you have to step back and wonder if what you’ve known before is being fairly represented in what you are seeing now.  I feel using the more Bullseye like visuals and attitude mixed with revealing Hawkeye has been physically altered to give him his aim and skills just kept getting in my way from trying to fully appreciate the issue.

There’s one issue left and I’m definitely curious where this is headed, but preparing for another humdrum issue.

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Rafa Sandoval’s art definitely keeps the book interesting to look at. This is a rare misstep for Jonathan Hickman. The story seems a bit too awkward and distracting while the characterization leaves much to be desired.
Rating
40%

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4 Comments

  1. Adam_54 says:

    I wans’t aware Bruce Banner was meant to be dead but I have not read all the post-ultimatum avengers stuff? All I know is that he was alive and kicking in Ultimatum and the Ultimate X mini-series.

    As for Ultimate X they are also featured in the first new X-Men issue as well but my guess is they will be utilised in both X-Men and Ultimates ongoings.

    Als as far as I can tell The People have nothing to do with the events unfolding in The Ultimates but I dont know for sure.

    My confusion over Hawkeye comes with this anti x-gene virus. If they have already unleashed it then wouldn’t the Ultimate X squad get infected by travelling there and render them powerless??

    • Geoff Arbuckle says:

      You make a good point there, Adam… There’s just so much in the mini that it almost comes off as unnecessary. This could have been a smaller part of the larger Ultimates story or in a later arc for either the Ultimates or Ultimate X. Either way, it’s been a little difficult to follow to say the least.

  2. UltimateFan says:

    Wow, so much was wrong in this posting, but i’ll do my best in correcting them. First, protector is actually Guardian, there is no where where he was named protector. The skull with blue flames is probably Xorn, becuase there both chinese and sport the same look. This series has three plots: Shields hand on the world is crumbling, hawkeyes origin, and “no more mutants.” Bruce had a green clone of him that died, real bruce did not die. He was being detained, but with the help of jean, he is able to turn at will. Ultimate x had a miniseries way back in 09-10, appeared in UCxmen no. 1 and karen was in fallout. The people have nothing to do with the children at this point. Hawkeye is a odd card right now… The anti x-gene has not been released, it was just shown as an example ..

    • Geoff Arbuckle says:

      Thanks for clearing this up UltimateFan… Unfortunately, this only helps me dislike this series even more. It’s too dense with the pacing that’s being set for a four-issue run.

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I'm a lifelong geek. I don't hide it. I don't deny it. My true geek love is comics. I love reading them and discussing them. I am definitely much more a Marvel guy than DC, especially when it comes to my favorite, The Avengers. Questions? Comments? Email me at geoff@acomicbookblog.com