Dang. I’m a long-time Hawkeye fan, and I never would have imagined that Hawk’s current series would be this popular. It just goes to show you that when a creator like Matt Fraction has a vision and a connection with a character like this, the market will respond.
I’ve made it clear I prefer my super-hero comics a bit more… standard? Generic? Than this highly stylized series. But Fraction makes it clear in the introduction that this is Hawkeye when he’s off-duty. That explanation buys a lot of leeway.
Man, is Hawkeye a screw-up or what? He’s had quite the line-up of super-hero hookups in his life. This storyline is all about the women in Hawk’s life, as all of his exes try to pry into his current love interest. Black Widow confronts her directly, Mockingbird shakes down his Russian foes more effectively than he ever did, and poor Spider-Woman gets to confront what a doofus Hawkeye can be. Now, Kate Bishop is included in here too, and I remain hopeful that she’s here as a “woman in Clint Barton’s life” rather than a future love interest. Fraction is still putting those sparks in here, but man, that would make for one creepy super-hero for him to ever actually get with his sidekick. There have been too many scenes raising the issue for this to be a coincidence. (The art doesn’t help; other bloggers have pointed out the “Lolita” poster in Kate Bishop’s apartment.)
This book is mostly “a day in the life” of Clint Barton trying to navigate the waters of his perilous relationships, but the cliffhanger shows a nice direction for the next storyline. Sure, Hawkeye gets a lot out of his downtime living a normal life with normal neighbors. But what exactly are they getting out of it?
Man, do I love the way David Aja draws those ladies. I’m serious, that guy needs to design a clothing line based on super-heroine’s costumes. Spider-Woman, Mockingbird, and Black Widow are instantly recognizable as their super-heroic selves, but they are effectively “out of costume” for story purposes. It’s simply a joy seeing the worlds mix like this. Kate Bishop’s purple jumpsuit is a tad more generic, but anyone want to lay money on how many “I heart Hawkeye” shirts we’ll see during Con season?