Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool #0 Review

Posted September 8, 2014 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Gerry Duggan

Art by: Matteo Lolli

Publisher: Marvel

Admittedly, I went into Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0 with the expectation that it would be an extremely dumb comic that I may be able to have a little bit of fun with. So when I cracked the book open and Deadpool made a very meta joke about the cancellation Thunderbolts, I was a bit taken aback. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just that this book was a huge surprise. Had I known it would have been as good as it was, I probably wouldn’t have waited so long to read and review it. I now wish that I had known more about the creative team on this book, as I haven’t read any of Gerry Duggan’s Deadpool. Now, I feel the need to rectify that.

Like most overly popular characters, Deadpool is good in small doses, and when written exactly right. Writing Deadpool is hard, because the writer can’t be too crazy, or else the character will just be annoying. But if he’s written in too tame a fashion, he’s basically just another mercenary, and in that case, why use Deadpool? So a balance has to be struck, and it’s hard not to admire Duggan because he strikes that balance masterfully. If Deadpool was the only thing about this book that he got right, then that would be a win for him, considering how hard that is to pull off. But he gets so much more than that right, making this book even better.

The plot of the book is fairly simple: a young man is murdered outside of Hawkeye’s apartment on Halloween and both Hawkeye and Deapdool are around at the time. Deadpool is trick-or-treating with his family (Not sure where that came from, but I’m assuming it’s from the main book), and Hawkeye is handing out candy at his building. Fortunately, the two skip the part where they fight each other, and instead just team up right off the bat, making the “vs” in the title a bit of a misnomer. So if you’re looking to see Hawkeye and Deapdool just battle it out, this is not the book you’re looking for. In fact, they actually save one another quite a few times in their battle with Punisher and Daredevil drones.

That particular action sequence is great, and we see Hawkeye actually being fairly competent, and not the beaten down buffoon of Matt Fraction’s series. Even though Deadpool does call him Hawkguy at one point, this is a very different character, one who’s life isn’t in quite the same wreck that Clint Barton’s is in his own book. Other than that though, most of the characterization of Hawkeye is the same. He’s still fairly quirky and is still slightly careless, but he proves that he can hold his own in this issue. It’s a nice change of pace for the character, who’s had his life utterly destroyed by Matt Fraction for the past couple years.

The characterization isn’t the only similarity that this shares with Hawkeye, however. Matteo Loli’s art, while stylistically different from David Aja, uses some very similar layouts, giving it a great aesthetic. And at this point I’ve somehow gone three paragraphs without mentioning the humor. To put it simply, this is a funny book. Maybe not the most hysterical book on the stands, but still a book that provided me with laughs. The best jokes in this issue are meta, one of the better examples being Deadpool making a comment about waiting around for a dog to solve the mystery.

The winning combination of humor and great characterization really serves to make Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0 a great success. For something that really shouldn’t have been all that good, it ended up being a massive surprise, and a series that should definitely be checked out.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.