Matt Fraction is one quirky writer. Anyone who has followed his career knows this. Hawkeye seems to be the perfect writing opportunity for his writing style. #2 is a better issue than #1, and that’s a hard feat to top.
Fraction introduces Kat Bishop to the book. She is Hawkeye from the Young Avengers. Fraction gives them her and Clint a great back and forth, and one that makes the read want them to get together. Until you remember she is very young. This must have been what Fraction was thinking, as it’s one of the sub plots of the issue. It’s humorous, and gives Fraction another opportunity to critique the character of Clint Barton. In fact, that’s what this issue is all about; bringing the past of Clint Barton to the present and showing how far he has come since the character was first introduced. Not only is it fun to read, but it works as a catch up for readers who aren’t familiar with Clint. Fraction seems to be painting Clint as a stand up guy who just happens to hate himself. Similar to what past writers have done with Clint, but Fraction is giving his own take on the character. Instead of translating the dialogue of the French ring leader, Fraction ops to go for some laughs. I’ve always been one to ignore what language something is translated in, as (once I see dialogue surrounded in parenthesis), I just assume it’s being translated.
Hawkeye seems to be using a serialized format instead of arcs. It’s a writing style that should be used more in comics. J. Michael Straczynski’s run on Amazing Spider-Man used this writing style to great effect. I hope that Hakweye continues to be like this. The quick stops in time to have Clint explain the people he is talking too is a nice touch, like in Burn Notice. What struck me as a goo thread going forward was how determined Clint seems to be to NOT sleep with Kate Bishop. Even though she is young, the reader can pick up on Clint’s attraction. It’s mutual respect coupled with awe of what she can do. Of course the best archer in the world would be attracted to one of the up and comers in archery.
David Aja’s artwork is nothing short of spectacular. The quick panels bring the reader into how Clint Barton sees the world. What floored me was when Clint shot an arrow, and Aja broke down Kate’s facial expressions as each millisecond passed. It’s incredibly simple, but works so well. I’ve seen a lot of David Aja’s work, and this is arguable the best issue he has penciled to date. It rivals Secret Avengers #19, which he did with Warren Ellis. A handful of these pages are frame worthy. Matt Hollingsworth’s purple shade is used very well here. It will no doubt turn some people off, as it can get a little over bearing at some points.
This might be the last time I review Hawkeye, as it’s a difficult book to review. Much like Daredevil, there are only so many things a person can say each month to get people to read this book. If you like Immortal Iron Fist, please pick up this book.
Hawkeye #2 gets 5/5.