Hawkeye: Little Hits

Reprinting Hawkeye #6-11

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artists: David Aja, Steve Lieber, Francesco Francavilla

Marvel Comics, $16.99, color, 136 pages

Still the best book Marvel puts out.

This is the story of Clint Barton when he's not Avengering, a life that is completely dull. Well, except for the Russian mobsters that want to kill him, the contract killer out to kill him, all of the women in his life wanting to kill him ... OK, the last one probably every guy has experienced at least once.

Oddly, I liked the first volume better, when it looked like there was no plot whatsoever -- like life. But all of the random events in that first volume are coming back to roost. The Russian mobsters know who he is and where he can be found, and that's not good. The redhead that appeared to be a one-night stand has come back for a favor, which may make Clint an accessory (as well as dirtbag who cheats on his girlfriend). All of Clint's sloppiness coming back to bite him, especially in his relationships with Jessica Drew and Kate Bishop. Even his dog has left him!

I'm pleased that Fraction isn't trying to make Clint's train-wreck life and self-loathing look cool. That's what adolescents think is cool, but it really isn't, and I'm glad Fraction had the courage to show his hero in a bad light.

Fraction also interweaves issues from different points-of-view, sort of like Pulp Fiction but much more natural. In one issue we see Clint and Kate arguing, in the next we see the argument from the dog's POV. Dialogue loops and repeats, sometimes because people just repeat themselves (and God knows Clint keeps repeating his mistakes), but because we are hearing the same line a second time from a different angle.

This is all masterfully portrayed by David Aja, whose minimalist style is perfectly suited to Clint's civilian life (almost no one appears in Spandex, despite characters like Black Widow, Mockingbird and Spider-Woman trooping through), and to moments of emotional impact. Who needs photo-realism? A wink or a smile or a gesture is best conveyed with the fewest lines possible, which is Aja's strength.

How good is Hawkeye? I groaned when I read that one issue would be told from the dog's POV. What a cheesy gimmick!  But Fraction & Aja pulled it off, giving us a dog's-eye view of the world: One in which vision isn't important, but smell and hearing are. And instead of seeming affected, it was thought out well enough to reward a second read.

As does Hawkeye as a whole. Treat yourself to it!

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This one is sitting on the shelf ready to be read. I enjoyed the first one a lot. I really like Kate Bishop. Clint Barton, eh. This is a terrific book though. I'd say Daredevil is the best Marvel book though. This is close though. Another book that is terrific that no one seems to talk about is Superior Spider-man. I wasn't expecting much but Slott has knocked it out of the park. If you go in with an open mind, you'll be in for a nice surprise trust me. This is coming from a life long Spidey fan.

I never could get into this series. Well written, with good art, and I never gave a rip about it.

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