Updated: Jun 24
Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: David Aja
Publisher: Marvel Comics
WHAT IS IT?
You know the Avenger with the bow and arrows? This is what he does in his downtime.
I gotta say, I’m struggling to come up with modern media to compare this book to. It’s got a bright, simplified color palette like something you’d see in a Wes Anderson film. There’s a lot of beating up of Eastern European thugs, which takes me to a John Wick place. But there’s a decent amount of fun and interesting violence that just reminds me of Road House. At the same time, it’s more than an action flick – there’s an underlying brokenness and disassociation between Clint (Hawkeye) and the other characters that feels like it comes from Little Miss Sunshine or a similar indie flick.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? (Minor Spoilers)
Clint (AKA Hawkeye) lives in New York. Since he’s not Tony Stark, he’s gotta live in an apartment, like a regular person. Some local Eastern European thugs are threatening the people who live there, and Clint decides to stand up to them with the help of his protégé, Kate (also Hawkeye) and Lucky (AKA Pizza Dog).
Things don’t go as planned, which is bad for Clint, Kate & Lucky, but great for an interesting story.
Watch as Clint gets in way over his head, not only with his battle against the bad guys, but also with trying to balance being a good mentor, a good brother, a good dog owner, and…dating? Kind of? There’s a romantic interest/femme fatale in here, anyway.
If you think you don’t care about the Avenger with the bow & arrows, then take this book as a challenge – it’s a great one!
You really don’t need to know anything about the Marvel Universe at all before reading this
Style – As shown in the image below, Fraction & Aja full advantage of the medium to deliver a truly unique experience
If you mention Pizza Dog, “Hawkguy,” Kate Bishop or “Bro” to someone who has read this comic, they will probably respond with an excited, “I KNOW, RIGHT?!”
The minimalist color palette and line drawings are eye catching, interesting, and tell the story simply and efficiently
The dialogue is also simple and efficient, sometimes conveying a depth of emotion in only a few words, and often leaving plenty of white space for silence or action
There’s an entire issue from the dog’s point of view, with very little dialogue, and it’s just brilliant
It’s funnier than you’d think a Marvel superhero book would be
You never think about heroes’ normal lives outside of fighting super-villains, and it’s cool to see this side of it
Some discussion of disability is in here, which is refreshing for a non-Daredevil superhero book
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Almost every character is white
If you buy the physical omnibus for the whole story in one place, it can be a little pricier than what you’re willing to pay
Seems a little reductive or discriminatory toward Eastern Europeans as a group
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
This is one of the top books to come out of Marvel in the past few years. It’s fun, stylish, and really makes the comic book medium work well for the story. I highly recommend it.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Sex Criminals, Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky
The Vision by Tom King & Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Stray Bullets by David Lapham
If you like the art:
The Immortal Iron Fist, Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction & David Aja
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenberg & Tyler Boss
Batman: Year One by Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Matt Fraction – Writer
Award Winner: Has won several awards for his work on Hawkeye and Sex Criminals
Knew several other big names in comics through a Warren Ellis web forum before all of them made it big
Dream Team: He is married to talented comic book writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick
David Aja – Art
Outlander: Hails from Spain
Award Winner: Has won several awards for his cover art
Multitalented: Also does work for Spanish book & magazine publishers
Matt Hollingsworth – Colors
Prolific: Has worked in the industry for decades
Dream Team: Has worked with some of the biggest names and titles in comics (Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Rick Remender)
Outlander: Left America and moved to Croatia in 2006
Chris Eliopoulos – Letters
Designed the fonts for Marvel’s lettering department
Prolific: Hand-lettered the first 100 issues of Savage Dragon, along with several other titles
Appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2016
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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