Tuesday, 7 January 2014

So, I read the Hawkeye trade.

Hawkeye #1-11 Trade
Right, so previously (amongst many other things) I had decided to go out and pick up some issues of Hawkeye. This was down to that fact that people I'd spoken to about the Immortal Iron Fist series (which, coincidentally, was also produced by Hawkeye creators Matt Fraction and David Aja) were raving about it and telling me that if I like Immortal Iron Fist then I'd totally dig Hawkeye.

Now, I'll be honest. Prior to this conversation I'd actually gotten my hands on Hawkeye #1 thanks to the xmas generosity of Comixology and, yeah, I dug it. Because of this hands on enjoyment, along with the glowing recommendations of my peers, I decided I would go out and pick up a trade and give the series a test run during this year.

Clint Barton: The only man
who can get into THIS situation
Well, I know it's only a week in, but I've gotten a trade (a pretty big ass trade too) and now, well, I've read and, well, it's.....pretty ok.

See, now that might a little cruel of me to say, I mean 'pretty ok' is a kick in the teeth because this book does so many things right. The premise is simple enough, Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, when he's not being an Avenger he's doing other stuff. This book contains the other stuff, whether it be taking on Russian gangs, saving people during storms or getting into trouble over some girl (which doesn't surprise me because, well, it IS Hawkeye).

So, this is what he does when he isn't
an Avenger
To me, this premise is fantastic and I wonder 'why hasn't anyone else thought this up before?' Fraction writes these situations with such wit that I can't help but be amused. He shows to have a really good handle of Barton's personality, in the first three issues especially, and a couple of others within the collection here.

And then there's the art by David Aja which, I have to confess, I'm in love with. Aja's pencils, along with the colours, are so simple and elegant that, to be brutally honest, I'm amazed I like any other artists work as well.

This book's good, but some of it
makes as much sense as to this dog
However, what makes this 'pretty ok' is the other half of the book, which I find completely undoes the good work I've just mentioned. The main gripe is the reoccurring antagonists which are brought in in the form of a Russian gang. To me, this 'big bad' completely undoes what makes the book great by turning it into a generic superhero book. I've read Daredevil and Black Panther, I don't need another book like those.

Also, some of the choices for cover artists I find is suspect. I'm a big fan of Francesco Francavilla (see above referenced Black Panther series), but his style is too much of an extreme 180 compared to Aja's work, which doesn't work for me and my love of almost seamless transitions in artwork.

Overall though, despite the flaws I see in the book, it is worth reading and when it's good, Hawkeye is REALLY GOOD!!! I just wish it had been a little more consistently brilliant as Internet hype had led me to believe.

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