I’ve revisited one my favourite characters in the Marvel universe, Old Man Logan, a number of times — but it’s a different old man of interest this time.
When Marvel Comics announced they were revisiting the dystopian setting of the Wastelands to do a 12-issue limited series featuring Old Man Hawkeye, I was worried it would be like a bad movie sequel.
The monthly issues are released the same day as the Old Man Logan issues and fortunately the story has been fantastic.
The series has now nearly finished with the first half already released in a trade paperback titled Old Man Hawkeye, an Eye for an Eye.
As a reminder, the Wastelands is a post-apocalyptic future state of North America created when the super villains of the Marvel universe worked together to eliminate all the super heroes in a co-ordinated attack. This new tale takes place five years before the original Old Man Logan book.
The story starts with Hawkeye riding as hired armed protection for a transport rig. Travelling through an unmapped ravine, the convoy is ambushed by the Madrox gang, the future generation of Multiple Man. Hawkeye is able to repel the attack but one of the gang members gets away. Hawkeye, the world’s greatest marksman, missed a shot.
After checking himself into Claire Temple’s medical clinic, Hawkeye learns his glaucoma has accelerated. He has months, possibly only weeks, of sight left. Temple advises Hawkeye that if there’s something he still wanted to see or do, to do it now.
Hawkeye sets his sights on justice for the fallen Avengers, overdue for the past 45 years.
Hawkeye is after the Thunderbolts, his former team of supposedly reformed criminal super types that turned on the Avengers. The Thunderbolts’ betrayal was key to the demise of the Avengers, and Hawkeye intends to make each of them pay. But first he’ll have to track them down, as they’re spread out all over the Wastelands.
Making his objective even more challenging, Hawkeye’s handiwork with the Madrox gang has attracted the attention of Red Skull’s Marshal — the deranged assassin Bullseye, who is in charge of stopping any superhero activity. He’s taken keen interest in the fact that eight armed Madrox gang members were taken out with arrows.
You have to know that Bullseye has a particular beef with Hawkeye, who holds the marksman title — and it’s been years since he had the challenge of going up against a superhero. It doesn’t seem like an even playing field as Bullseye isn’t going blind, but in fact has a bionic eye thanks to implanted Dethlok technology.
Remember that Madrox gang member that got away? Well, he’s stumbled onto a venomous alien parasite that will help him get revenge on Hawkeye.
Hawkeye is going to need some allies to pull this off, but his best hope turns him down when he tries to draft his old buddy Logan, and it’s an interesting ride to see if any other retired heroes are lurking in the Wastelands.
Writer Ethan Sacks and the artistic team of Marco Checchetto with Andres Mossa have really hit a home run with this series.
Even if you haven’t read Old Man Logan, this book stands on its own. Due to its parental advisory it’s not intended for younger readers, but I recommend you check out Old Man Hawkeye, an Eye for an Eye.
Randy Wagner is assistant manager of High Octane Comics. For more, visit 250 Third Ave. or call 250-377-8444.