Friday, November 30, 2012

Hawkeye #4

OK, just so I’m clear, Hawkeye is killing people again, right? At least, Bendis and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye kills (and even enjoys it) while Rick Remender and Jim McCann’s Hawkeye sticks to his old West Coast Avengers no-kill code. Got it. I know which one I like better. (Hint: It’s the Hawkeye who wears a costume not a combat suit.)

Characterization problems aside, Fraction has set up a real pickle of a plot for Hawk to navigate. He’s caught on tape killing a foreign national, on orders from SHIELD (and it is still very possible that this is all a trick and Hawkeye didn’t do it.) Now SHIELD wants that tape back, and they are sending Hawkeye to Madripoor with their AMEX Black to get it back.

It’s great watching Hawkeye try to super-spy his way through Madripoor. He’s out of his element from start to finish. It’s rare to see a series lead get kicked around and outsmarted quite this much. It’s a lot easier to swallow since Madame Masque is the one on his case. She’s got some secrets of her own that could make things interesting (am I supposed to recognize that person on the last page? Mockingbird, I hope?)

I’m also fascinated watching Fraction navigate this weird relationship between Clint Barton and Kate Bishop. They simply cannot get together and have Clint remain at all heroic. What is Fraction trying to do here? Is Clint’s ability to avoid his urges supposed to make him more of a hero? If so, that’s a new one for me in comics.

Javier Pulido‘s art is fun and dynamic. Madripoor really feels like a hive of scum and villainy. I know it is in the mandate for this comic, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Pulido handle a few more panels with costumes. His one-panel takes on Kingpin and the other crime bosses left me thirsty for more.


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