WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Old Man Hawkeye #7 by Ethan Sacks, Ibraim Roberson, Marco Checchetto, Andres Mossa and Joe Caramagna, in stores now.
The alternate world of Old Man Logan and Old Man Hawkeye is one born of awful tragedy. It’s a dark future, where almost all of the superheroes were wiped out in a single night, where America is a broken wasteland, and where the super-villains of the Marvel Universe rule over all under the leadership of the Red Skull.
Decades later, an aging Wolverine and Hawkeye go on their respective quests for revenge. Both characters are haunted by a dark and mysterious past, a weight they carry on their shoulders in a dystopian world no longer their own. While we didn’t know how the superheroes of the world fell, we did learn in Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s original Old Man Logan story that is was Wolverine who had killed the X-Men, after being tricked by the master of illusion, Mysterio.
But what of the rest of the Avengers? They were all killed, too, but until now, how Earth’s Mightiest Heroes fell remained a mystery. In Old Man Hawkeye #7, we flash back 45 years, to the fateful night the supervillains of the world united to kill the Avengers. And while the issue may not show every single death that went down, what we do witness is pretty darn horrible. Issue #2 of the series gave us a glimpse of the violent fall of the Avengers, and now. we experience how everything seen on that splash panel came to pass.
When the flashback sequence begins, the Avengers have already been dispatched across the world to deal with the Red Skull’s coordinated attack. We follow the action through the lens of Hawkeye’s team, which consists of Thor, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Falcon, Tigra, War Machine and the Thunderbolts. The other Avengers are splintered into teams, with Captain America, Black Panther and Captain Marvel all leading their own respective squadrons.
We don’t see what becomes of the three other teams, but we’re told that they’ve all been taken out by the villains, a revelation that only works to add to the horrors Clint Barton goes through. Seeing the shocking events of that day through his eyes only, and hearing about the death of the other Avengers from his perspective adds weight to the proceedings, and an element of fright, of utter defeat and desperation.
What we do see, however, is the death of Clint’s team.
It all starts with the terrible death of War Machine, who is burned alive inside of his own armor. Then, tragedy only keeps striking with the arrival of Magneto, who proves to be perhaps the most brutal and heinous super-villain to walk the Earth when he proceeds to murder his own daughter, the Scarlet Witch, by impaling her with sharp pieces of metal. It doesn’t matter that he cries while he does it, the act itself is abhorrent enough to make this one of Magneto’s most monstrous moments, one we, frankly, have difficulty comprehending considering his personal history in World War II’s concentration camps and the Skull’s nazi roots.
And yet, somehow, it only grows worse from here.
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