Hawkguy – Earth’s Mightiest Dude

9 Mar

Screenshot_2013-03-09-20-07-41-1Okay, this looks bad. Really bad. Copying the start of Hawkeye for my intro. Cheap. I really should be original. Screw it.

I’m not going to mess around. Hawkeye is amazing. If you’re a fan of comic books, if you read comic books, if you know anything at all about comic books then Hawkeye is for you.

Before I begin lets just get one thing straight. I am a comic noob. There I said it. It has been almost a year since I started reading comics regularly. In that time I have read almost 80 unique titles. Based on my bank statements I have spent exactly…far too much on comics in such a short span of time. However I don’t claim to be an expert, I’ve mainly read mainstream Marvel and select Image gems. So my thoughts on this are from the point of view of a casual fan wading in up to his neck in the bizarre but hugely gratifying world of comics.

Written by Matt Fraction and stunningly brought to life by David Aja, Hawkeye is the story of one of the Avengers most loyal and longest serving super heroes. Hawkeye, the guy, is special in many respects. He stands up to Captain America when others tend just to follow. He has more charm than James Bond despite being a quite a jerk and still ends up with more than his fair share of the Marvel ladies. Perhaps most importantly he doesn’t actually have any super powers.

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And that why this series works. Unlike most of his cohorts, Clint Barton is just a dude. He’s neither a billionaire like Tony Stark, a King like T’Challa nor is he a demi god like Thor. Clint lives in the real world and when he’s not saving it he is just getting by like everyone else.

In Hawkeye, Clint deals with everyday issues such as untangling audio cables or helping a dog to the vets after a car accident. Of course he has his villains, and occasionally the odd cameo from a friendly face, but for the most part he is helping out his neighbours or organizing his trick arrows.

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The other major factor to the series is the Student/Master Father/Daughter element in the form of Kate Bishop. Kate, also dubbed Hawkeye by none other than…Hawkeye, plays the straight face to Barton’s clown-like antics. She is endearing and the perfect balance. She helps him in more ways than he likes to admit and he truly loves her for it, perhaps because he sees so much of himself in her.

With the release of the highly successful Avengers Assemble (Or simply The Avengers as it’s know everywhere else) Hawkeye has become a household name and Marvel would have been brain dead not to have capitalized on that in some fashion. With casual fans dipping their toes into comics Hawkeye is a great platform from which to dive right in.

I’ve not, at least knowingly, read any of Fraction’s other works, but I really enjoyed the story he has to tell in each issue and more importantly the dialogue and character interaction. There are some moments which are filled with explosions and gunfire and huge action sequences, but all you care about is what Clint is saying to Kate. Comic books, like any form of storytelling, is about the characters. You can have the most epic backdrop but unless you care about the people on the page, until they feel real its just really great art.

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Which is a huge understatement. David Aja’s artwork is, at least to me anyways, breathtaking. I recognise that art is a very subjective thing, but I am in love. Aja doesn’t choke the panel with texture, yet somehow still managed to get an insane level of detail.

Much love also has to be given to one very special pooch. Pizza Dog, Hawkeye’s new sidekick, is getting his own issue. Yes, an entire issue from the perspective of the dog. And I guarantee it will out do a fair deal of other releases that day, both financially and critically.

Clint Barton may be a mighty Avenger but on his days off he is also a mighty guy.

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