Writer: Ethan Sacks
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Andres Mossa
A disclaimer before this review goes any further: I haven’t read the original run of the Old Man Logan storyline. I’ve seen Logan, I know the basics of the comic’s story arc, and I’ve read subsequent issues that feature our aged protagonist, but I’ve never just sat down and read the original from cover to cover. This means that there may be some references contained with Old Man Hawkeye that I have missed, some layered and nuanced meanings that I don't understand the importance of, but it also means that I can review this comic from a rather unique angle: is there a requirement to have read the original Old Man Logan (OML) story arc in order to enjoy Old Man Hawkeye?
The story begins around five years before the events in OML, and it is clear that the primary narrative of this series is going to be following Clint Barton as he loses his eyesight, and how he decides to spend his final few months of being able to use his bow and arrow. The opening sequence tells us most of what we need to know: 9 members of the Madrox Gang ambush Barton during an escort job, one escapes with only a shoulder wound, which worries Barton. The bad news of his failing eyesight is confirmed, and he’s left with a piece of advice: if there’s anything he wants to see or do, do it now.
The locations, characters and story don’t require any prior knowledge, but will clearly resonate more with someone familiar with OML. As with all prequels, I assume at least some part of this storyline will be placing characters into their starting positions for later story arcs, but I can attest that it was a perfectly enjoyable read regardless of experience with OML. I am intrigued to see where the story goes over this 12 issue mini-series, and I am sure that there are surprises in store for new and returning readers alike.
The art and tone is exactly as you would expect for any tale within the OML universe – an old, yet futuristic mid-western America where the prairies have given way to dust and rock. Clint Barton has been perfectly crafted, is recognisably an older version of Hawkeye, and also clearly on his way to becoming the character we meet in OML. The opening action sequence is especially well drawn - I get a feeling Checchetto has done some in-depth study work on the mechanics of shooting a bow and it certainly pays off.
An interesting piece of backstory for Old Man veterans, a good jumping on point for those (like me) yet to read the original, Old Man Hawkeye looks to be a great mini-series for both. Give it a read if you read all things Old Man Logan, you want to see a good character driven story about Clint Barton as he goes through a rough time, or you feel Mad Max was missing an archer.