The future of the Marvel universe comes to life in Old Man Hawkeye #1, and it looks like Venom has set its sights on a new host: Multiple Man. Back in 2008, writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven created Wolverine: Old Man Logan, which would grow to become one of Marvel’s most beloved alternate reality stories. It’d go on to influence Logan and the character even joined the main Marvel universe following Secret Wars. Now, the brand-new series Old Man Hawkeye from Ethan Sacks and Marco Checchetto is attempting to recapture that magic with the Avenging Archer.
Old Man Hawkeye #1 picks up years before Clint Barton goes blind and properly teams up with Logan, instead exploring the future dystopia from his perspective. We quickly see that he hasn’t lost a step when it comes to his skills, though his slowly failing eyesight isn’t helping matters. We also meet Hawkeye’s ex-wife and estranged daughter, providing Barton’s life a nice counterpoint to Logan and his loving family. But it’s two teaser threads that set up what the main threat of the comic will be, and the first involves yet another version of Venom.
Thanks to Hawkeye’s diminishing vision, his swift takedown of the Maddrox Gang leaves one of the offshoots of Multiple Man still alive. As Hawkeye goes about his day, we follow the hero-turned-villain who got away as he stumbles across the future version of the Venom symbiote.
Given that this replica of Multiple Man doesn’t have the original’s powers, Venom likely won’t either. But if he can unlock them, then the revenge the Symbiote promises the Maddrox will be devastating. Hawkeye seems dangerously low on allies and his encroaching disability will begin to rob him of his one real skill. A multiplying Venom, then, will be a hard thing to contend with if Hawkeye is truly the target of their revenge.
Of course, Multiple Venom isn’t the only one gunning for the archer. As the first issue of Old Man Hawkeye winds to a close, we see some local cops investigating the slaughter of the Maddrox Gang. They’re then approached by the mysterious marshall of the area, a man who clearly wields some serious power and has a dangerous reputation. Unfortunately for Hawkeye, it turns out the man on his trail is fellow marksman and Daredevil villain, Bullseye. Not only is the villain still alive and seemingly well, but he’s gained a cybernetic eye alongside his new position.
Old Man Hawkeye #1 does a great job of evoking the story and art style of Old Man Logan while continuing to flesh out the popular time period. We saw a bit of Old Man Logan‘s world explored in Secret Wars, but the chance to see what characters like Bullseye, Venom, and a slightly younger Clint Barton are like in that reality makes Old Man Hawkeye a must read for fans of its predecessor.
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