I was blown away when I read the first trade paperback of this Hawkeye series. Now that I’ve read the final issue at long last, I can officially say that, yes, they keep the quality high right up until the finish line.
If you’re wondering how Hawkeye can possibly carry his own series, the answer is “with phenomenal, innovative execution.” Also, having two Hawkeyes helps. Clint Barton is the Hawkeye moviegoers will recognize, but there’s also Kate Bishop, who became the second Hawkeye while Clint was dead for a little while several years ago. Both are likeable, relatable characters who are far from perfect but keep pushing on until they get the job done. And the interplay between the two never fails to entertain.
The series focuses on the trouble Hawkeye and Hawkeye get into when they’re not with the Avengers or embroiled in any sort of big operatic superhero action. That’s a simple but very smart approach. The book gets to play within a wonderful fictional landscape, but it’s free from ever getting tangled up in the big events of the broader Marvel Universe, leaving it accessible to casual readers.
Great writing by Matt Fraction. Great art by David Aja that capitalizes on the storytelling possibilities the comic book format offers. Great sense of humor. An overall great time from start to finish.
Of course, this issue is the end, so don’t start here. This is merely confirmation that the series never suffered a creative slump. So go back to #1 and read every issue. Hawkeye is an achievement that should inspire all of us creative sorts to aim a little higher.
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: recent back issues; Marvel Unlimited; included in Hawkeye vol. 4: Rio Bravo (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 15 and up