Hawkeye #8 Review – Once Upon a Time, Bro…

hawkeye8 (1)Alright, everyone, sorry for my unfortunate lapse in posting.  Sadly, the rigors of life and a day job got in the way there for awhile.  But, here I am, so let’s get the ball rolling…

For any of you not currently reading Hawkeye, first of all, shame on you.  Get on the ball guys, this comic is one of the best week in and week out.  It actually made me take an interest in Hawkeye.   Matt Fraction has stepped away from the usual superhero formula and is giving us this weird little slice of life book following a regular guy (Hawkeye) who happens to be an Avenger.  The books is about what not-so-super hero does on his days off.  Sometimes that means stealing a videotape from ultra secret conclave of supervillains.  Sometimes that means buying an apartment building full of eccentric tenants from a bunch of really eccentric Russian mobsters in velour track suits.  Doesn’t really seem to matter what it is Hawkeye’s doing, its always intriguing and its always worth your time.  For those of you that complain, mostly warranted, that the Big Two never try anything different…well this is a comic that will restore your nerd-faith,  my friends.

Issue #8 opens with the reintroduction of a character, “Cherry”, with deeper than expected ties to the track-suited, Russian mobsters, and in a not so surprising surprise she needs Hawkeye’s help.  Matt Fraction is a guy that plays with genres and styles, often to great effect and sometimes within the same issue.  Fraction with a sort of pulp-noir vibe showing us how our femme fatale got herself into her present jam, he immediately segues into awkward romantic comedy territory when said femme fatale crashes Avengers mansion to fall right into our heroe’s arms in the presence of his ex-wife, sort of current girlfriend, and a third former love interest.

From here on out the books becomes a straight up, low rent heist/caper flick.  It’s a great read from start to finish and nobody, except maybe Brian Michael Bendis, does talking head panels quite like or quite as well as Matt Fraction.  Obviously, this doesn’t end well for Hawkeye, but just how it plays out is a big part of the fun.

Now last thing, you come for the writing, but you’ll stay for the art.  David Aja and Matt Hollingsworth are simply killing it on this book.  From a pitch perfect color palette to clever panel layouts to the ridiculously awesome silver age style covers that sprinkle this issue, it’s a crazy good to look at.  I’ve been a fan of David Aja since his work with Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker on Iron Fist.  Aja has a great hand for both the mundane scenes and the heavy action bits.  His simple, but oddly expressive style fits the tone really well.

Do yourself a favor, pick up Hawkeye.  It’s well worth your time.

9.5/10

About

Keith is a life long gamer, movie buff, occasional harmonica player, and, most importantly, a comics nerd. Like all the best nerds, Keith is a child of the 80's and 90's and an often loud and vocal advocate of the cartoons of that era (seriously, though, they are unquestionably the best cartoons EVER). He currently resides in New York City with his lovely, if often exasperated wife, Rachel and their two cats, Ollie and Juno.

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