Comic Book Review: Hawkeye Vol 1 My Life as a Weapon

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Have you ever found yourself reading a comic book and coming to the realization it’s scratching an itch you never consciously known was there but deep down you’ve been waiting for it to be done? That is precisely what Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja does by giving us a glimpse into the “ordinary” day to day life of Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye as he interacts with the people living in his apartment building, facing some annoying life problems we all have at one point or another with the occasional super heroics thrown in for good measure.

One thing I have to say right off the bat is that the first issue kind of sucks. Sure it does setup Clint getting his dog and it does show us just how vulnerable he is in comparison to his fellow Avengers. He’s just a guy with a bow an arrow battling guys with super strength, healing factors and who knows what else. Its great to see a series embrace the fact its main hero is just a regular human who can get hurt by the same things as us and uses it to advantage where other heroes (Batman) who used to pride themselves with this fact have lost it.

The problem with the first issue is that its like a bad pilot to a television series. Its clear Fraction had no clue just how big this series was going to become and he felt like he had to cram in as much stuff in the first issue as possible. He probably (like the rest of us) thought this series was going to be canceled by issue 8 or something and he felt the need to do this. It would be fine if this issue setup his relationship with Kate Bishop but except him buying his apartment building and getting his dog nothing really happens in the first issue that matters. It’s also painfully overwritten which doesn’t help matters.

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Once the bad first issue is out of the way things immediately get better with the introduction of Kate Bishop and her relationship with Clint is easily the best thing about this entire book bar none. He’s this ex circus kid who’s rarely ever had enough money to scrape by, even after joining the Avengers, and his life really sucks on a lot of levels. Kate on the other hand is the rich heir to a vast family fortune whose life is going pretty well and they complete each other.

Clint is the guy you want on your side when you’re on the streets of New York, while Kate understands how the upper class douche bag society and its things like this which lays a strong foundation for their relationship. Besides the fact they’re both smart asses and archers, these two are quite different from each other and at the end of the day complement each other perfectly and Fraction clearly knew this as he continued writing the book, wisely choosing to make this the center piece of the series.

Another highlight is the spectacular art by David Aja. Usually I’m not a fan of the gritty and realistic style you find here or in books by David Mazzucchelli but Aja manages to make it work by being one of the few artists who goes out of his way to add tons of little details to each and every page with a special focus given to facial expressions.

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There are numerous pages where you have mini panels along with the larger ones all of which give each page this feeling like you’re watching something in motion like a film or TV series and not just reading a comic. Very few artists go out of their way to add small touches like these and it gives the book a certain sense of flow most other series lack.

Javier Pulido does the final two issues which deal with Hawkeye going to Madripoor in order to recover a tape which contains very controversial footage of an Avenger assassinating a key political figure. While some of the facial expressions can look ridiculous at points, Pulido manages to keep the tone consistent while adding in the colorfulness of a traditional super hero book. Fans of the current Mark Waid Daredevil series will be in for a treat with this particular art style.

While the first issue will leave a bad taste in your mouth, there is no denying Hawkeye is one of if not THE best Marvel series currently being published thanks to its focus on the fascinating relationship between the two main characters and two artist who give it their all for every page and panel.


+ The relationship between Clint and Kate

+ Detailed and beautiful art by both Pulido and Aja

+ Highly detailed and movie like action set pieces

+ Fantastic banter between the main characters


– Bad first issue that’ll leave a bad taste in your mouth.







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