WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Old Man Hawkeye #6 by Ethan Sacks, Marco Checchetto, Andres Mossa and VC’s Joe Caramagna, in stores now.
Old Man Hawkeye may focus on Clint Barton's quest for revenge, but it also broadens the entire world of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's original Old Man Logan storyline. Here, Hawkeye has his own goals, but there are a whole lot of people hunting him down in an effort to prevent him from succeeding. Not only is there is an army of Venoms on his tail, he's also got a cybernetically-enhanced Bullseye leaving a trail of bodies across the country as the assassin inches himself closer to the Avenging Archer.
In this dystopia future, the expert marksman is a marshal of the Red Skull, who rules over the United States from the White House. Long ago, the Skull organized the world's supervillains to strike at the Avengers, Fantastic Four and the X-Men all at once -- a plan that worked spectacularly. As a result, villains rule, and the heroes are all but extinct. The news of Hawkeye's return was enough for Bullseye to ignore the Skull's day-to-day orders and hunt down one of the last remaining superheroes in the world -- a worthy prize for a worthy hunter.
But the Skull isn't too pleased with his top enforcer's murderous insubordination... As an iron-fisted ruler, he now sees no other option but to have Bullseye put down. And who better to take out a skilled killer than Marvel's deadliest assassin, the Winter Soldier?
There's a lot we don't know about the time in-between the fall of the superheroes and the beginning of the dark future of Old Man Logan and Old Man Hawkeye. As far as we knew when the series opened, Clint and Wolverine are the only "big" superheroes left, but now it appears that Bucky Barnes also survived the initial onslaught -- though he didn't make it out unscathed.
Somehow, the Red Skull was able to gain control of the Winter Soldier. When the character is revealed, he is frozen, like he used to be in-between his missions for the Soviets. The henchmen that transport him mention that anger was programmed into him, meaning that for all intents and purposes, Bucky Barnes is once again... gone. The programming of the Winter Soldier has buried Bucky, reverting the assassin to his unstoppable, murderous ways.
With the Winter Soldier on the loose, gunning for Bullseye, we are in for what we can assume will be a brutal battle of assassins. Two of Marvel's most notorious killers are bound to hash things out, and no one in the vicinity will be safe. If only there were another expert marksman out there somewhere, one with a propensity for bow and arrows, who could intervene... The world of Old Man Hawkeye is a brutal place. There is no more room for heroes. Wolverine, Clint, Bullseye, Winter Soldier -- this is a world where only killers survive.
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