The Week in Villainy: Taking stock of super-villains

— Dark Reign: Hawkeye: Of all the villains who have assumed the mantle of replacement Avengers under Norman Osborne, none are having a tougher time with the transition than Bullseye, who now goes by Hawkeye.

In issue 1 of Dark Reign: Hawkeye, Bullseye is having trouble getting used to playing hero under Norman Osborne’s Dark Avengers. Osborne promises him blood in exchange for Bullseye playing nice for the cameras, but it proves too much for the assassin.

At the end of the first of this five-issue series, Bullseye looks as if he might actually be finding a balance between bloodletting and heroing by going down the “kill only the evil-doers” route. But as he dispatches the victim he’d saved only seconds ago, we see that his psychosis is perhaps a few leagues too deep for that.

For the record. I could have really done without the visual of how he dispatched said victim, by the way. It’s not for the squeemish

By issue 2, Bulls/Hawk-eye has to deal with the TV news camera crew who caught him in the act of being himself.

This is shaping up to be a terrific run. Bullseye is a powerful character, when he’s in the right hands. And writer Andy Diggle has the chops to do it very well. Throw in a rock-solid visual crew of Tom Raney and Scott Hanna, and you’ve got a keeper.

Bullseye, who has recently been played somewhat clownish, scores some major VQ points in this series, bringing his rating up to a respectable eight. We’ll be checking in again at the end of the series for an adjustment, if necessary.