Writer- Matt Fraction
Artist- David Aja
Hawkeye. Some characters just fit team books much better than on their own. Clint Barton has always worked well in the confines of an ensemble, yet never interested me enough to bother reading any issues of the solo series he had starred in. Hell, to be honest, he’s in second place in my list of the popular comic archers, and a distant second at that compared to Green Arrow. Despite my general indifference towards this character, I picked up the first issue of this series a few years ago on a whim, and was surprised to find it to be one of the most original and unique superhero titles on the market. So after 21 issues featuring two different Hawkeyes, Pizza Dog, Tracksuit Draculas and assorted other oddities, we get a finale to this chapter in the life of an Avenger.
Matt Fraction does not waste time getting to the brunt of the action here at all. Clint, secondary Hawkeye Kate Bishop and Pizza Dog band together to stop the Tracksuit Mafia’s latest attempt at taking over the apartment complex that Clint lives in and has become guardian of. The Eastern European assassin Clown leads the assault and proves again to be a worthy adversary for Team Hawkeye. The action sequences are choreographed fluidly, and you can feel the importance of every blow Clint delivers trying to stop Clown. This reads less like two superheroes trading blows that could level mountains, and more like a beaten man using every last bit of strength to fight for lives important to him, including his. The finale gives us several great character moments, one such being Kate’s showdown with the leader of the Tracksuits, and a vote made by a gathering of New York’s villain elite, which should make future Hawkeye stories quite interesting. Oh, and if you didn’t love him already, Pizza Dog gets his big action movie hero moment too.
Fraction and artist David Aja have crafted a fantastic finale to an unexpectedly great series. Kate returning from her self imposed California exile in time to help Clint in his moment of need had a resounding feel of an old Western, where the White Hats would band together one last time to fight off evil. Aja’s art and panel layouts earn him a spot in the top visual creators working right now. Fraction found an incredibly fresh angle on a character that many feel isn’t that interesting. The secret was to not focus on Hawkeye the dead shot Avenger, but to spotlight Clint Barton, regular guy who also happens to be an Avenger. Adding Kate as a costar and occasional focus kept the book feeling new through the run. As a side note, Clown is an odd and formidable creation from Fraction and Aja, and I can only hope he is seen in the Marvel U in the future.
This book can be looked at as a creative team success story. It should be. Fraction and Aja not only gave readers a great book about Hawkeye, but stuck the landing in their finale, which does not happen all the time. When I see their names on a freshly pressed copy of D Man number 1, I’m getting in on the ground floor again.
5 Polish Curse Words of 5