Comic Review: Hawkeye #1-5

Hey!  Finally getting around to this!  I think I just haven’t wanted to share it with you all.  I wanted to keep the goodness all to myself.  That must have been it.

I’m sorry, I am an absolutely horrid person.

Please forgive me.

*Ahem* Moving on, I think the best way to split this is going to be 1-3 and then 4 & 5, considering that is where the artists cycle out.  So, on our journey we go!

Volume 1 was quite the adventure to get.  It was sold out by the time I asked for it, so my comic shop went and ordered it again, but I still didn’t get it until after 2 had come out.  Either way, it is a great introduction to Clint Barton.  Not Hawkeye, but Clint Barton.  For ultimately, this isn’t a comic about Hawkeye, but instead the man who is Hawkeye.  It is a great look at how a hero with no powers just tries to live.

Volume 1 opens up with Clint falling, and then in a hospital, and then out of a hospital and leaving and kicking away a wheelchair.  If there was any doubt that Clint was badass before, it is gone by now.

Then wham!  We are thrown to present time!  Apparently what we saw in the first three pages was a flashback.  Well…that was neat!  Normally these things are jarring, whose mind made this flow?  Matt Fraction’s I can assume.  And he has no issue with throwing us beautifully right back into that flashback one page later.  David Aja and Matt Hollingsworth get a lot of credit here for making the art distinct enough that you can easily catch on as to what happens without using the normal ways of communicating this too you.

Lot's of motion in these panels.

Lot’s of motion in these panels.

From then on, the first volume continues through what happened the day Clint got out of the hospital and took this poor dog to the vet, introduces you to this person who seemingly doesn’t care for authority, but cares about his neighbors.  Very Robin Hood-esque.

This volume gets a 5/5 from me…it is that good…I’m constantly going back to look at the art, reading the story, or showing it to friends.  My mother rather enjoyed it and she doesn’t read comics…she only knew of Hawkeye from the Avengers Movie.

Volumen 2 wound up getting another variant cover, sadly.  That is cool though, I guess I can live without the pretty arrows.  This is another book where we wind up in a weird place, but at the same time I feel that it is a bigger adventure and exploration of Aja’s style overall.  From the first volume, this one starts off with a very noir feeling, only with purple tones.

Then we get Kate! *SQUEAL* I love that Kate is so, well, human and female here, without being annoying.  She realizes that she still has training to do, but that doesn’t take away her abilities or independence.  Where as Clint is very much so a Man’s Man type of fellow…Kate is more flexible, being able to adapt her reactions to the situation at hand.

It is really awesome how it really spells out what Kate is saying.

It is really awesome how it really spells out what Kate is saying.

The go to the circus to fight their enemy here, which is done in shades of black and purple, still keeping with the art in the beginning.  What else is interesting is while this volume has a lot to do with Kate and how she is learning from Clint while still being great in her own right, the whole circus feel is a throwback to Clint’s past.  Yay tidbits like that!

Still 5/5 for me.  Still loved it…wanted more…was sad there wasn’t yet.

Volume 3(titled Cherry) went completely different yet again!  Rather than the noir type art style Aja did in 2, this one had almost a Duke’s of Hazard feel, which was totally cool too.  It is another flash back type thing where we start at one point and then wind up at a point in the past where Clint and Kate going through all the types of arrows he has to try and organize them because….Boomerangs.

Then we go back and forth a lot.  It is a little more jarring in this volume then it has been in others. It is still good, but it took me a few times to really figure out where we were.  Really, the best way to figure it out was to see how much damage had been done to the car.

There are some great moments in this volume though.  And this interesting character that reminds me a lot of Black Widow, but we aren’t told her name.  However we know that her and Clint did it in some dingy hotel.  And that panels were redrawn in order to reduce the risque-ness  while we get an awesomely Hawkblocked Clint.  And then the classic brawl in a hotel room which is awesome.  It eventually ties up in the end with Kate saving the day, in my opinion, and we  still don’t know who this women is.  I hope she shows up again and that Cherry is not her name.

I give this one a 4.5 just because of the difficulty I had reading it.  It is still great and lends a lot to the story all over, just not my fav.

Volume 4 we move away from Aja doing the art and move over to Javier Pulido. Hollingsworth still does the coloring, which give it a great continuos feel, despite the art style being completely different. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I even liked it at first.  It was much more static when I compared it to Aja.  Where previous issues had small panels that read like a motion real almost, these are much larger panels that have to convey much more in one drawing.

This volume is also a much more dramatic type of arc.  There is a serious issue at hand, and Clint needs to fix it.  He tells Kate not to get involved, but that doesn’t happen, in a way she becomes the saving grace of this issue.  I enjoyed the story line overall.  It was tense and had you on the edge of your seat.  I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next.  The writing was superb and really made me a part of the comic, wanting to know what was about to happen.

Also, quizzical looks from people about a VHS tape, how awesome?

This one gets a 4.5/5 just because I’m not a big fan of Pulido’s art style…but I adore the writing and story line, so I love it anyway.

Issue 5 is the conclusion to Issue 4 and is quite simply called ‘The Tape: Part 2’.  The art is still done by Pulido, but I feel like this issue had a much better flow.  Perhaps it is because there is more action?  Not sure.  The panels are still incredibly large for the most part which makes me feel like I’m occasionally missing a frame, but Fractions and Pulido are able to pace the story and art well together.  Something else I started to notice here is that Hollingsworth’s color are much bolder in these issues.

There are some great gems here, much like issue 3, that are just hysterical and remind you how non-serious of a superhero Hawkeye actually is.  These moments, I feel, are key to the series success.  We have all read superhero stories, so for right now it is nice to read a non-superhero superhero story.  Things are all resolved awesomely in the end and you know that the good guys are still the good guys while having a better idea of who some of the bad guys may be.

Just falling through the sky...nothing to see here.

Just falling through the sky…nothing to see here.

This one goes back to a 5/5 as it did really show me that they are interested in providing the same experience all around for the reader, no matter which artist is at the helm.

So that is it, the first 5 issues of Hawkeye…finally…

I think next up is 6 through 12 of Winter Solider…I was a bit late on that one, my bad.  I don’t have the first 5.

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