However you felt about “Secret Invasion,” it’s hard not to agree that by leaving us with “Dark Reign”, the crossover has afforded Marvel writers a raft of new stories to tell, many of which haven’t been done before. Case in point: This Bullseye miniseries, spinning out of “Dark Avengers,” gives readers the opportunity to discover what happens when a super-villain dresses up like a super-hero without any intention of honoring the name or reputation that goes with the costume.
Diggle is a natural choice for writer — he’s recently written Bullseye in the pages of “Thunderbolts,” and it’s fair to expect him to tackle the character again when he takes over writing duties on “Daredevil.” As such, Diggle has clearly thought about the character a lot, and intends to make a stamp on him immediately.
His take on Bullseye is actually slightly more jovial than Ellis’, if you can imagine a situation where a sociopathic killer is upbeat about his work, but the book itself is still dark to the point of being shocking. The climax of the issue, as well as being a compelling cliffhanger, should certainly drive the point home to readers that this isn’t a comic about a villain pretending to be a hero. It’s a genuine supervillain comic with — for now, at least — no pretensions towards moral ambiguity.
The best scene in the book sees Bullseye taking his “boss” Osborn to task for buying into the hero game. It perfectly articulates both why Osborn made it to the top, and why Bullseye is well-placed to bring it down. Artist Tom Raney handles such conversation scenes as well as the action — and there’s plenty of that in the issue. Raney’s storytelling is strong, and his characters move fluidly and realistically on the page. His bright, clean work actually makes a nice change from the dark, noir-influenced look usually afforded the type of books Bullseye more frequently appears in — though it should be noted that the character is no less sinister for his newfound clarity.
Diggle may not have been at Marvel long, but if “Dark Reign: Hawkeye” is indicative of his work, let’s hope he stays with the company a long, long time. Diggle has managed to turn an event-driven story into a compelling character-based story, and an opening issue this strong ensures that I’ll stay with the series for the duration.