Writer: Mark Russell
Cover Artist: Javier Garron
Penciller: Greg Land
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 21, 2022
“Let’s understand something. The only reason you’re the one judging us is because you’re powerful enough to force your judgement on us! – Hawkeye to a Celestial
A.X.E. Judgement Day Tie-in!
The Avengers’ ace archer is back! As Judgement Day looms, Hawkeye is called upon to justify his existence. As a benchmark, Hawkeye must prove that he brings at least as much joy and usefulness to the world as a randomly chosen mailbox. Which, admittedly, is a pretty high bar.
Mark Russell borrows a page from every philosophy textbook in college. What is your worth? Not monetarily, but what is your true worth to society? Talk about Immanuel Kant and the Greater Good. Given that the comic book version of Hawkeye is a bit more flawed (colossal understatement here) than the movie version, Russell has a lot of fun with Clint in that he puts him in competition for judgment with, of all things….a mailbox.
Russell flexes his writing muscles here as the mailbox arguably has a better case than Clint. However, this Celestial knows how to shock the system by placing his judgement in the hands of none other than his partner in adventures – The Black Widow. Well, not really as Natasha is a great form for this Celestial to appear to Clint as.
Mark Russell rivals Tom Taylor (best known now for Nightwing and Superman) for the adventure/tongue-in-cheek dry humor department. The banter between the Celestial and he is very high-brow and well-written! Not to mention…. let’s put a puppy in every book! That gets me every time!
It takes a lot to make a great story, and this book has all the elements. Want to know that the narration is coming from Hawkeye? Let’s color those narration boxes in purple. We want to make sure you know that Clint is Hawkeye…. let’s put him in a purple T-shirt. The framing of the mailbox in that it is more significant than Clint as the Celestial is giving Clint his baseline for judgment. That takes some forethought. All that is a feast for the eyes. But what is the cherry on top? Let’s let Clint give the puppy his sandwich. A puppy always beats a Celestial. Well done, art team! Well done!
The Celestial Judgement Day is not as heavy in this issue, which is fine by me. Recent issues with this particular theme have been very melancholy, but Russell and the team give us all the reasons we love comics. The good guys do beat the bad guys with both wit and wisdom! Well done!
Given that Marvel is firing on all pistons in the Disney, Cinematic, and Comic worlds, the many versions of Clint are all pretty solid. However, make mine the comic version. He’s a flawed character with great logic. His dry humor and his skill set make him more achievable for every man and woman to identify with! This is a great stand-alone issue that compliments the Judgement Day story but adds a lot more to Clint’s character!