The Accused #1 (Marvel)

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 7.13.18 AM

CREDIT: Marvel

Rating: 3.5/5 – Hawkeye’s Trial and Daredevil’s Case Against Him.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

I have yet to read the fourth issue of Civil War II, but that’s ok when reading The Accused as the story spins out of the main events from issue number three. It’s tough to talk about this issue without spoilers from Civil War II number three but since the fourth issue is out, I’m going to move forward so from this point on beware…spoilers ahead. Writer Marc Guggenheim and artists Ramon Bachs and Garry Brown have taken the war out of the battlefield and into the courtroom as Daredevil is assigned to prosecute Hawkeye for his “murder” of the Hulk.

This is a done-in-one issue so you get a complete story, and for the most part it’s pretty entertaining despite it feeling as though it could have been a little longer. Guggenheim does a nice job of telling the third issue story within the story of Hawkeye’s prosecution, so you get a nice recap of the events and a window into Hawkeye’s perspective on his killing of his friend. There’s also another layer of the story where we see Daredevil the hero trying to ensure that Hawkeye gets a fair trial during his time in the costume at night, even though Matt Murdock is trying to prove him guilty during the day.

While I so appreciate a done-in-one issue that can tell a complete story, this one feels as though it could have been fleshed out a bit more. While I enjoyed seeing Hawkeye’s internal thoughts, it would have been great to see him cope with his actions a bit more, and while I enjoy Daredevil’s role as a prosecutor these days, seeing him go after Hawkeye, fair trial or not, felt strange especially during the closing arguments. The art style wasn’t to my liking but it told the story well enough. There were a lot of hard lines and I thought faces looked stiff and statue-like because of it. Add in some dark colors, and those lines and shadows became all that more hardened.

Since the events of issue three, this issue actually felt as though it’s required reading. Because of that and the entertaining story, I’d recommend this tie-in to the overall Civil War II event. Plenty of tie-ins, especially with Marvel events, fail to meet that “required reading” check box, but this one does. It answers the question of Hawkeye’s trial and offers insight into the minds of the killer and prosecutor despite them both being heroes and friends. If you’re reading Civil War II, then make sure to read this.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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