Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction, art by David Aja and Javier Pulido

Clint Barton is Hawkeye, a self-made hero with no superpowers, but with his incredible skills with a bow and arrow, he was once an Avenger.  But not anymore.  Now Clint wants a little downtime from the superhero life.  But of course the superhero life won't leave him alone.

This was the trade paperback which collected issues 1-5.  It was awesome.  The two series I kept hearing people rave about were Saga and Hawkeye, and after waiting on a wait list at the library FOREVER, I finally was able to read Hawkeye.  It was just as good as everyone said it was.

First off, Hawkeye is a totally fascinating superhero in the fact there is nothing super about him.  He has no superpowers whatsoever.  He's an amazing sharp shooter with a bow and arrow.  And he's pretty good at punching people in the face.  But he's also a regular guy, and living the life he does often ends up in the hospital.  In traction.  I kind of loved that.  I mean, Batman supposedly doesn't have superpowers, but does he ever end up in the hospital like a regular person?  Surely not.  Well Hawkeye does.  And when he gets out, he does it all again.  His tag line seems to be, "This looks bad."

Second: Kate Bishop.  Kate Bishop is freaking fantastic and I love her and she is my new favorite.  Kate Bishop was ALSO Hawkeye for a time, with the New Avengers when Clint had retired.  Then he came back.  Now he and Kate are working together and it's excellent.  Don't worry if you don't know all the Avenger/New Avenger backstory stuff.  I did not either, and there was enough to understand what was happening that it makes a great jumping on point, but also won't bore those who are very familiar with the stories.  Kate is incredibly smart, confident and kickass.  She is just as competent with a bow and arrow as Clint is.  She's young, and kind of has a crush on him, but also doesn't put up with any of his crap.  Kate and Clint make a good team.  Also, she always wears purple.  I like that.  I wear a lot of purple too.

The story lines were a little hard to follow for me, as there's a lot of jumping back and forth in time, but once I figured out that's what was happening it wasn't a problem.  Often a story will open with Clint in some unfortunate situation, like falling out a window, and then we jump back and see how he got there.

The art style is gritty.  There is no bright happiness in this world.  Colors are dark and muted, and everyone looks a little rough.  There isn't a whole lot of detail, especially in the backgrounds.  Things are pretty flat and one-dimensional.  It has a 50s vibe to it, and it all works very well.

I will definitely be following this one as it continues.

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