Before Matt Fraction‘s Hawkeye comics of the Marvel Now! line, I’d never been a big fan of Ol’ Clint Barton. That has changed.
Over the past month, I have gotten caught up on almost all the Marvel Now! line. I must say, oddly, that Matt Fraction’s two series, Hawkeye and FF (art by Mike & Laura Allred!!), are my favorites. They are what comics should be. Great engaging stories without being too heavy-handed or reliant on external series, which, unfortunately, although fun, seems to be that status quo as of late for most comics. I love Spider-Man, the Avengers, X-Men, all great series, but these two, especially Hawkeye, really hit the nail on the head and deliver a comic that reminds me why I collect.
First, the story.
Hawkeye is a book about Clint Barton. Not about the hero, but about the man. He’s flawed, kind of jerk, not all that super. He’s living in a crappy part of Brooklyn in an area controlled by a hilarious version of the Russian Mafioso (dubbed the “Tracksuit Mafia” or “Tracksuit Draculas” as Clint likes to call them) who overuse the term “Bro” to hilarious effect, which he has several unfortunate run-ins with. He shares the building with a group of average, good folks who form a sort of family, for better or worse, that he reluctantly feels the need to protect. Among them a character named Gil (or “Grills” for his job of manning the grill at their seemingly frequent rooftop gatherings). Gil, at first, seems to be just another background character, but in time, provides Clint with some introspective on how to be a better person and hero. Also, it’s about his relationship with Kate Bishop, the other Hawkeye. On one hand they very much share a mentor/pupil relationship, and on the other, a deep friendship. Kate sees the best in Clint, despite him seemingly, unconsciously, trying to constantly prove her wrong by screwing something up every five seconds, or just generally being Clint.
The art…ohhh the art. David Aja is the artist on this series and I hope he never leaves. His art is beautifully fitting for this series. It has a sort of hip yet vintage feel. “Simple” is the first thing that comes to mind upon looking through the book, but subtle is a better description upon seeing how well he translates the words to art. It has such a nice, fresh, feel to it and the way he conveys the action and/or passage of time through certain panels is brilliant.
The coloring, done by Matt Hollingsworth are so reminiscent of a noir style using a muted, but basic color scheme that again, does so much, so subtly to enhance the feel of the books.
Check out the series, at least the previews on the Marvel app if you don’t want to simply take my word for it!
On a side note, I found a site that has these awesome “Hawkguy” t-shirts with some nods to the best little jokes in the series so far! I want ALL THE SHIRTS!!!
Better yet, Matt’s donating his curation commission to Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund), which works to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.. He’s a good guy that Matt Fraction.