Hawkeye (Vol. 1) by Matt Fraction

details
Title: Hawkeye.
Volume: 1.
Writer(s): Matt Fraction.
Penciller(s): David AjaJavier Pulido, Francesco Francavilla, Steve Lieber & Jesse Hamm.
Colourist(s): Francesco Francavilla & Matt Hollingsworth.
Letterer(s): Chris Eliopoulos.
Publisher: Marvel.
Format: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition.
Release Date: November 19th 2013.
Pages: 272.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9780785184874.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

thoughts

Fitting in is a challenge that not everyone can or want to do. It’s even more complicated when everyone has a particular trait that explains their belonging to a group while you stick out like a sore thumb, trying to justify your presence among these people. How do you deal with that when you also have your own problems to tackle? That’s what the life of the very mortal Clint Barton, also known as Hawkeye, is like as his stubbornness, arrogance, and impulsiveness lead him headfirst into trouble that he never looked for in the first place. With five Eisner Award nominations and two wins, Matt Fraction (known for The Invincible Iron Man, The Immortal Iron Fist and Sex Criminals) delivers one of the most important and critically-acclaimed comic book stories to have ever been written over at Marvel.

What is Hawkeye (Vol. 1) about? Collecting Hawkeye #1-11 and Young Avengers Presents #6, this first deluxe edition out of three begins a story centered around newly-initiated Avengers member Clint Barton and the ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop who both go by the name of Hawkeye. As Clint Barton takes a break from being an Avenger and acclimates himself to the fact that he does not have any superpowers, Kate Bishop learns to embrace her new superhero mantle as she helps her mentor in getting out of all the trouble he somehow gets himself into, from mob bosses, superstorms to mystery redheads and their incredibly sketchy issues. Let’s not forget to mention that this volume also offers fans a look at the crime-solving Pizza Dog, Lucky, as he also makes an appearance and will inevitably snatch a big ‘awn’ of sympathy out of you.

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In this stunning series, Matt Fraction brilliantly explores Clint Barton’s conflicted-self as he deals with his powerless contribution to the Avengers’ daily heroic feats. Although his skillset with the bow and arrow are unmatched, he remains mortal and much more prone to suffering heavy injuries and acquainting himself with Death than his compatriots such as Spider-Man, Wolverine or Captain America. Through this volume, Matt Fraction also does an incredible job in presenting the hero outside of the Avengers as he deals with everyday issues while running into problems that are sometimes way bigger than himself. To deal with these obstacles, he often ends up relying on his protege Katie-Kate as she takes on the mantle of Hawkeye and learns to become her own thing in the superhero business. Their synchronicity in thought and action is, however, impressive and remains their forte whether they like how they each deal with problems or not.

The artwork is minimalistic and easy to fall in love with after the first issue, with recurring colours by Matt Hollingsworth that blend perfectly together. Matt Fraction and David Aja also make for an incredible team as they prove to be beyond creative in style and execution. From the writing to the panel positions, they both flex their visionary muscles and show the world that the medium offers plenty of innovative techniques that can be used to convey the emotions, the interactions, and the action sequences. Around the halfway mark, the volume does begin to show signs of its episodic nature and sometimes gets lost in repetition and its structure. This is also coupled with some changes in the artists that slightly deviates from the original artwork style and begins to explore a slightly different tone where the grounded humour isn’t as compelling as it was in the beginning. At least the issue featuring the perspective of Lucky, the pizza-eating dog, is magnificent as Matt Fraction and David Aja play with partial dialogues and symbols to show a dog’s journey to solve a crime in his neighbourhood.

Hawkeye (Vol. 1) is an outstanding introduction to Clint Barton’s and Kate Bishops’s characters as they embrace their inner Hawkeye whilst dealing with their own personal woes.


EXHIBITA

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Image result for hawkeye show

A Hawkeye TV series with Jeremy Renner for Disney+ is in the works and will be featuring Clint Barton passing the mantle to his protege Kate Bishop!
Will you be checking it out?

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37 thoughts on “Hawkeye (Vol. 1) by Matt Fraction

      1. I completely forgot about the show. There is so much good stuff going on TV wise it is hard to keep track. I just finished The Magic Order which is also being made into a show on Netflix. There is just not enough time!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is gorgeous. The artwork is stellar. The story is decent, I think it is a little overshadowed by just how stupid good the artwork is. It should make a killer TV show. I think it is definitely worth the read.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ace review my friend! I’d heard a lot of praise for this Hawkeye series as it was coming out and always intended to check it out, but, as always, other things took precedence and it slipped down the list. I liked Matt Fraction’s Iron Man run and actually have the Iron Fist volumes but not got around to reading them yet.

    I’ll definitely be checking out the streaming series…depending on when we get Disney+ in the UK which sounds as though it’ll be influenced by this run, so I’ll probably get around to reading this eventually. It’s a shame about the changing around of artists which can often spoil it for me…man, the art on a lot of Marvel titles these days leaves a lot to be desired (the seem to put all their best onto the Star Wars titles and the rest have been jumping ship to DC), what happened to the days when we got a consistent and lengthy run with a creative team a la the Bendis/Maleev Daredevil series or Brubaker/Epting Captain America.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Chris! I think you should totally push it back up on your priorities now, before the show comes out. I’ve only read the first volume of Sex Criminals and I wasn’t much of a fan of the whole sex humour in it, which is also present in Hawkeye but dosed appropriately. And yes, it’s a bit sad when good artwork is switched around in-expectantly. I wish they took into consideration that individuals issues will always eventually get collected…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Btw, I finished watching the 3 episodes of the BBC series based on “Ten Little Indians”.

        There might be something rather wrong with me, because I’m having a difficult time finding something that fully satisfies me as of late. However, it could also be the fact that I didn’t binge those episodes. Instead, I split each episode into two separate watching sessions. It could be the culprit and explain why I wasn’t as invested in it as I thought I would be. The premise is a great idea and it reminds me of a movie I saw years ago (can’t remember the title) in which a group of people had to figure out which one of them was a killer (the reviews were mediocre, but I remember enjoying it).

        I kept asking the characters why they were spreading out at every opportunity right after they agreed to stay together in a group. How predictable is that?

        But I did enjoy the ending. My partner not so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh man, I do hate when they suddenly become more dumb for the sake of plot progression. This happens ALL THE TIME in horror movies hahahah I’ll still give the show a shot in the near future for the sake of having at least seen one adaptation, a modern one at that. Will you give the 1945 movie a try or are you more of a modern cinema/series viewer?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I missed this somehow!! I like the cover alot and admit I would be intrigued enough to pick it up… but the inner art isn’t for me. There is something basic about it. But I could be wrong. You’re stingy on the pages. 😉 I do love the idea of getting more on Hawkeye and I didn’t know he shared the role with a woman. That is a neat concept. Sounds compelling as always Lashaan!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally see how the artwork gives you that impression but I’m telling you, there’s some very original ideas that come with the style and having a story centered around these two heroes makes it even more enticing! 😉 Thank you so much for taking the time to read all these posts, Dani! I really appreciate it! And of course, you don’t have to read them all huh! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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