Issues like this remind me that I’m wired wrong. I absolutely loved this issue, and yet I'll be in the minority. The last few months of time-jumping, more unconventional issues have been decent, but this was my favorite issue of Hawkeye since he fought the Ringmaster.
What makes this comic so good is that it really felt like we are seeing Hawkeye on his off hours. Hawkeye might be a world-beating Avenger, but Clint Barton makes some really poor decisions. Penny has clearly got Clint wrapped around her finger, and he can’t see it. While I would have loved to see more from Hawkeye’s Avenging exes, they come off perfectly in their cameo. What is even more amazing about the scene is that Penny isn’t intimidated by Black Widow, Spider-Woman, or Mockingbird. That takes some nerve to waltz in and kiss Clint in front of them.
Clint may not be a heist guy, but this has 70’s heist movie all over it. The ladies are all dressed in fantastic looking retro-outfits, with the Avengers wearing dresses that harken back to their costumes. (Spider-Woman’s is the most creative, but I like Mockingbird’s look best.) David Aja is outdoing himself, finally this feels like the successor to Iron Fist (and that’s not just because of a clever call out in the comic).
I’m hoping the cliffhanger at the close of the book means we are in for a bit more of a standard super-hero story that maintains the indie sensibilities we love. This issue’s weird brilliance is inset covers to fake comics, all featuring redhead protagonists who resemble Penny. The one-page covers are remarkably effective at building a past for the gal, even though we clearly can’t trust that they are true. I’m not sure if she’s told the truth about anything so far!