Monday, April 7, 2014

Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon - A Review

Hawkeye Vol 1: My Life As A Weapon
Written by: Matt Fraction
Illustrated by: David Aja, Javier Pulido, Alan Davis
Trade: 136 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Language: English
March 2013
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel

The breakout star of this summer's blockbuster Avengers film, Clint Barton - aka the self-made hero Hawkeye - fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he's out to prove himself as one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes! SHIELD recruits Clint to intercept a packet of incriminating evidence - before he becomes the most wanted man in the world. You won't believe what is on The Tape! What is the Vagabond Code? Matt Fraction pens a Hawkeye thriller that spans the globe...and the darkest parts of Hawkeye's mind. Barton and Bishop mean double the Hawkeye and double the trouble...and stealing from the rich never looked so good.

COLLECTING: Hawkeye 1-5, Young Avengers Presents 6


What is it about archers? They are everywhere now from Katniss Everdeen to the Green Arrow and of course Hawkeye. And there really is something about Hawkeye. He’s not like the other Avengers. Hero yes. Superpowered? Not really. He is the one you can relate to. And I can certainly get all lusty after him especially when he looks like Jeremy Renner in the Marvel films.

Now I have always been a Marvel girl over DC (though you know I have tons of Vertigo love). I was a huge X-Men fan growing up and while I have read a decent amount of Avengers stuff over the years, I am not well versed in Clint Barton. This is where my friend Kristin comes in. This year for Emerald City Con she and her buds are going as Mad Men/Cocktail style Avengers. I was allotted to do Scarlet Witch, though was sorely tempted to do a fun gender swapped Quicksilver as I love the colors, but alas couldn’t quite swing the trip this year due to work obligations and that nagging lack of fundage problem as well. Kristin did a great classic Hawkeye costume and in an effort to learn even more about her cosplay character she picked up Matt Fraction’s Haweye. And then very nicely let me borrow it. After all Comic Book 101 this month’s genre was Superheroes so it worked in my favor.

I like Hawkeye. He’s a smart ass. He gets into trouble. But he’s also the guy who is hella good with a bow and arrow and also one of the good guys. As an Avenger he works with people far more powerful than he is, but he holds his own. You cannot help but like him even when he gets in way over his head. Fraction really plays this up and I dig it. It makes Clint even more relatable than he already was. The first panel shows him crashing out a high window and then falling into a hospital bed for six weeks while he recovers. You never really see that with the other White Hats.

This is about his down time when he’s not off saving the world with the Avengers. He tries to live a normal life, knock back a few beers with his neighbors on the rooftop of their apartment building, try to keep it low key. Of course with Clint that never really happens as he has a Russian Mafia slumlord who owns his building (oh the feels with pizza dog). Even when he is working for SHIELD he has to worry about pickpockets and a night at the Circus doesn’t exactly go as planned. It also features Kate Bishop who became the new Hawkeye after Clint had a minor case of death and I kind of adore her bunches including wanting to cosplay her something fierce. She is Clint’s protégé though does quite well on her own. They make a great little team and I love that he recognizes Kate’s mad bow skills.

Things I loved:I love that this is largely contained. No loose ends, instead I want more. I want more Clint and Katie. And I definitely want to read more Matt Fraction.

The humor is top notch from the snark filled comments from Clint, to other languages being formatted as “(Some Spanish-sounding stuff)!” or “(French Stuff).” My favorite would still have to be a naked Clint diving for cover and a classic Hawkeye head covering the naughty bits. Cute.

Let’s talk about the artwork. David Aja’s artwork in the first three issues is amazing and a nice throwback compared to the usual fare similar to Alan Davis’ artwork in the Young Avengers section of the book (which is nice don’t get me wrong but I kind of like the messiness of the first three issues). Love the framing, the layouts and the color choices. Kind of made me all warm and fuzzy and reminded me of old Batman comics I grew up with. I think it fits Clint Barton. It’s less polished and flashy…and yet perfect at the same time. Javier Pulido’s art is just as great but a bit more detailed over all.

Things I didn’t love so much: There really wasn’t anything that I didn’t like. The Young Avengers bit was not my favorite, but gave me more Kate Bishop which I did say I wanted. It was less light hearted than the rest of the volume and focused more on Kate than Clint. I want more though. Much much more Matt Fraction.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. Buy. Buy.

Part of: A Series

Also Recommended: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Chew by John Layman

4 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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