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And Now They’re Dating

June 25, 2010

In the last few years, there are very few characters who have gone through more than Hawkeye and Mockingbird.  Hawkeye died and came back to life twice, got shoved into a post-Civil War world with everything all messed up, then got put through Skrull crap in Secret Invasion before finally getting his wife back.  Mockingbird was held by the Skrulls for years, came back after having been chased and tortured by a Hawkeye Skrull, then had to deal with her own shell shock and the fact that her husband thought they were still married.  Yet somehow, they’re dating.  And in Hawkeye and Mockingbird #1, they get their own story again.  The two of them chase down some arms dealers in the middle of New York City.  Then, when they stop the car and catch the dealers, the driver gets shot by a sniper.  They quickly discover that the sniper is Hawkeye’s archnemesis Crossfire, but he gets away.  In the battle, another van got tossed around.  The van was full of museum artifacts donated by Jaime Slade, the daughter of Hamilton Slade and the descendant of Lincoln Slade.  Both her father and her ancestor were Phantom Riders (Hamilton still is), and Lincoln was infamous for having drugged and raped Mockingbird during a time traveling adventure.  Mockingbird is noticeably shocked, and Jaime just acts like a bitch.  As Clint and Bobbi leave, Jaime is exposed to some kind of gas coming out of an urn, which obviously doesn’t bode well.  Mockingbird yells at her W.C.A. people and tells them to get on things better and find out more about Crossfire and his dealers.  One of the other members of the W.C.A. is Dominic Fortune, and he just spends the whole time hitting on Mockingbird.  Also, Hawkeye and Twitch, the intelligence officer, are doing some sort of extra project behind Bobbi’s back.  Clint lets off some steam about Fortune with Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, the two Captain Americas, and he gets info from Twitch that Twitch has found Bobbi’s family in Georgia.  Bobbi has a nightmare about Lincoln Slade, and Jaime Slade is somehow in it and having the same dream.  When Jaime wakes up, she calls about the driver Crossfire sniped.  Mockingbird tells Fortune to, as usual, since their source can’t be traced, sell all of the weapons they confiscated for W.C.A. funds.  Secretly.  Clint finds Bobbi’s mother, but she claims that Bobbi’s been dead for years since just after graduate school.  Elsewhere, Crossfire lets off steam for his people’s failure, and Jaime Slade, the new Phantom Rider, bursts in, informing him that they have a lot in common.

Well, that was a fun first issue.  Jim McCann has, as he himself admits, a long-standing love for Hawkeye, reaching back many years.  So it’s a dream for him to be getting to write his possibly favorite character in an ongoing series.  And you can feel that in the whole book.  It’s just oozing with love for the characters, and that makes the story all the better.  The dialogue is absolutely spot on for Clint, and it’s likewise spot on for the new, PTSD Mockingbird (who McCann really got into in New Avengers: The Reunion).  Mockingbird’s personality is, like with that miniseries, totally different from how she acts in New Avengers proper, but I think you can explain that, as Hawkeye does, with her feeling different in that kind of team setting, and with the W.C.A. and Clint being her chance to spread her wings (haha, bird joke).  I personally like her better in this series, so I don’t mind.  The plot is, perhaps, shoving a bit much into one issue.  We’ve got multiple secrets Bobbi’s keeping from Clint (her family, the weapons), Fortune, and Crossfire and the new Phantom Rider.  I feel like, as their two biggest rogues, Crossfire and Phantom Rider each deserve their own arc.  But perhaps McCann has a big plan for them.  And I love his work on these two, so I’ll trust him.  And the family question is especially interesting.  My guess is that, to join S.H.I.E.L.D., Bobbi had to fake her death for her family or something.  Or it could be something more sinister.  I’m excited.  I mean, I like all of the threads.  I just feel like they should have been stretched out over a bit more time than one issue.  David Lopez’s work is as good as it was in New Avengers: The Reunion.  He was born to draw these characters, and it really shows.  He definitely makes their battle sequences extremely dynamic, which can be very hard to do when one of them primarily fights with projectile weapons.  So props to him on that.  Anyway, even though this isn’t the greatest, most thought-provoking first issue ever, it’s extremely exciting.  I hope that this solo series lasts longer than Clint’s previous ones, and I hope that these two starcrossed lovers can work out their problems before external and internal forces tear them apart again.

Plot: 8.4      Art: 8.8      Dialogue: 8.9      Overall: 8.4

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