NYCC 2014: Ramón Pérez Aims For Rawness in New HAWKEYE series with Jeff Lemire

Hawkeye #1 cover by Ramón Pérez
Credit: Marvel Entertainment
Hawkeye #1 cover by Ramón Pérez
Hawkeye #1 cover by Ramón Pérez
Credit: Marvel Entertainment

Hawkeye is one of the most renown marksmen in comics, and the creators of his new series are aiming for something different than what Clint has done before. Announced Sunday at New York Comic Con’s “Axel-In-Charge” panel, Jeff Lemire and Ramón Pérez are relaunching the popular Hawkeye series in March of 2015 and bringing a “fresh look” at the Avenging Archer. Don’t worry however, as Kate Bishop isn’t going anywhere.

Pérez tells Newsarama that he and Lemire are aware of the high bar Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu have set with Hawkeye, but are aiming to bring “our own tangent in the life of Clint and Kate.” The first arc will bounce back and forth from the modern day to Clint’s childhood, for which he will be working in a looser art style complimented with ink washes and watercolor. The modern-day elements of Pérez’s Hawkeye will have a more “graphic black and white” tone, more so than anything he’s done at Marvel previously. Newsarama talked with the artist as he traveled in Europe about this new series that was just announced, and the one thing he hopes he doesn’t see Clint Barton face in this new series.

Newsarama: Ramón, what can readers look forward to in March with your new Hawkeye series with Jeff Lemire?

Ramón Pérez: Jeff has created a really beautiful script that will allow me to play stylistically. The better part of the first arc in the series is set both in present day and Clint's childhood. With the past, to evoke that kind of blurred memory you envision when thinking back, I plan to go a bit looser and sketchy, more raw pencil-like sketches with washes of ink or watercolor. With the present day, I will lean more towards a graphic black and white. Really pushing the blacks far more than I ever have on Amazing Spider-Man or Wolverine and the X-Men, which had their own particular flavors.

Nrama: This will feature both Clint Barton and Kate Bishop – what are you dreaming up in terms of depicting them and the drawing involved with two archers?

Pérez: Costume wise we're sticking fairly close to David Aja's designs. It is in essence the same pair, and we're not looking to change their costumes, the story is the focus here. In terms of archery, well, I'm studying up on proper techniques and what can be done with a classic bow and arrow... And let me tell you, there's some pretty impressive stuff out there!

Nrama: This book is still six months away, but a big question Hawkeye fans will have: trick arrows. What’s your thought on them?

Pérez: For me it's the plausibility of the trick. There are some amazing arrow designs in reality that are designed for specific tasks. In my opinion if it's within the reach of reason, I'm happy to go there, but if the trick of the arrow where to pull the reader out of the story, then no.

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye in Avengers
Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye in Avengers
Credit: Marvel Studios

Nrama: The previous Hawkeye series had Clint and Kate up against some street-level threats – no cosmic deities, animal-based monster villains, or anything. What do you want to draw Clint and Kate up against in this series?

Pérez: Without revealing too much, I'd rather keep the story in the same vein. We're going to be pushing the envelope in this new series and having some fun with the Hawkeyes... but the last thing I want to do is see an archer go up against a cosmic deity! [laughs]

Nrama: This will follow upon the well-received Hawkeye series by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu, but there’s also the popularity with Clint from the movies and the Avengers comics titles. How does all of that influence what you’re doing here with Jeff in Hawkeye?

Pérez: I think the bar is definitely set high. I've been a fan of Hawkeye since my childhood, and hold the Fraction/Aja series in very high regard. Ultimately though, Jeff and I are doing our own thing, our own tangent in the life of Clint and Kate. Story wise, it is a continuation of the same characters, not a reboot of any sort, but how we go about it is our way. Which is very exciting, I know eyes will be on us, the pressure is on, but our editors Sana Amanat and Axel Alonso have given us great freedom to have fun and do what Jeff and I do best; tell stories.

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