Matt Fraction and David Aja critically acclaimed run on Haweye is about to end, but fear not because during the Axel-In Charge panel at New York Comic Con, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso announced that Eisner Award-nominated writer Jeff Lemire (“Sweet Tooth,” “Essex County”) and Eisner Award-winning artist Ramón Pérez (“Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand”) will be taking their shot at Hawkeye this Spring.
Jeff Lemire just fulfilled his exclusive contract with DC where he wrote their archer, Green Arrow. This project is Lemire’s Marvel debut while Perez has been working on such Marvel series as Amazing Spider-Man and Wolverine & The X-Men. Upon finding out that Lemire was open to creating comics for Marvel Alfonso reached out to Lemire personally and offered him Hawkeye.
“It is funny that I go from writing “Green Arrow” at DC to “Hawkeye” at Marvel. I don’t think anyone has ever done that before but it really was a coincidence. I’m not a big archery nut. [Laughs] But honestly, the fact that they’re both archers is kind of superficial. The characters are completely and utterly different. And the tones of the books couldn’t be more different too. What I did with “Green Arrow,” which I’m pretty proud of, is totally different from this in terms of tone and approach. And fundamentally, they are extremely different characters. They’re almost polar opposites.
Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, was a boy born into privilege and wealth and his story is all about legacy and living up to that legacy where Hawkeye is a Midwestern kid born into poverty. They just couldn’t be more different. It’s really like writing two characters that happen to fly.”
For the readers who have become fans of the Fraction series that saw Clint Barton’s protégé Kate Bishop (who also goes by Hawkeye) and wonder if she will remain, Lemire, Pérez and series editor Sana Amanat discussed how the title was almost named Hawkeyes to reflect Kate’s importance.
“In terms of continuity and relaunching and all of that stuff, it really is a follow-up. I wouldn’t say that it’s a completely new direction. I feel that it’s the same character that Matt’s been writing and it’s the same world but at the same time, Ramón and I are going to bring are own sensibility to it as well and do our own thing with it. It’s really a bit of both. It continues on what they were doing and it is certainly in the same established world with the same characters but we’re bringing our sensibilities to it, as well.”
“It’s told from a different point of view too. We didn’t go into this saying, “We’re going to do exactly what Matt and David do.” Because they do what they do. They have a very distinct set of skills and Ramón and Jeff have a very distinct set of skills. And we want to tell their story too — from their own point of view. Fundamentally, we’re expanding what Matt and David did to an extent, in terms of the elements of Hawkeye’s childhood, there is the relationship between Kate and Clint, which I think Jeff does so beautifully, and we’re kind of pulling out those elements and focusing on them a little bit more. While this is definitely as expansion of what has come before, it is very much a fresh take in all aspects. Once you start seeing some of the art and you start getting more teasers about what the story is about, you’ll get that. I’m more than happy by the way things have been turning out. You’re always so lucky as an editor when you’re working with very talented creators and once again, that’s exactly how I feel.”
“I proposed, at one point, calling the book “Hawkeyes” because Kate really is an equal player in the book. I think one of the many great things that Matt and David did was the relationship between Clint and Kate. There’s some magic there that I want to keep going with. I think that she’s an incredible character. When the story starts, it really feels like Clint’s story but it quickly becomes about both of them. It’s definitely a book about both of them.”