Comic Crit: Hawkeye #3
by Gabriel Estrada(@mediiageek)
To be honest, this week Marvel brought out their A game. My buy list this week was mostly dominated by Marvel books like Captain Marvel, Daredevil , The New Avengers and my pick of the week Hawkeye #3.
It feels like a long time since the last Hawkeye issue came out but don’t worry, Matt Fraction and David Aja have yet to drop a beat on this fantastic new series. This issue is just another day in the lives of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, specifically focusing on the day of Clint Barton’s Nine Terrible Ideas. Those ideas stem from and lead him to an encounter with a woman named Cherry.
Here we have a return to the non-linear storytelling from the first issue and the return of the Tracksuit Draculas as well. The structure is never confusing because the transitions are handled just as well as they were in the first one. There’s a little set-up at the start of the issue that you might forget as you keep reading, but it comes back big at the end like a great punch line to a joke. More than anything, this issue is a love-letter to Hawkeye’s mixed bag of trick arrows. All sorts of arrows are used and even the lame ones turn out to be pretty badass in the right situation.
As for the writing, Matt Fraction tells a cohesive story that manages to flip back and forth through time and tie up nicely in the end. He lets Cherry enter the story in a way that doesn’t seem to exploit her, which is particularly nice considering she’s tied up in the back of a car in her underwear for the majority of the issue.
It is really hard not to praise artistic with each issue, but hey, it’s well deserved. Aja’s pencils are in this issue. His figures remain distinct and animated, and they truly act on the page. Whether it’s big scenes like car crashes punctuated by sound effects, or smaller details like Clint slipping a hand in his pocket or Kate crossing her arms, Aja uses each moment to its fullest extent. Aja’s figures would be nothing without Hollingsworth’s colors. This issue is called “Cherry” for a reason, and Hollingsworth’s colors emphasize that very well. Matt Hollingsworth’s colors expand to new palettes and bring back ones from previous issues. He almost reminds me of Wes Anderson and how he chooses his color palette with every film just like Hollingsworth chooses his with each comic.
Every issue of this series so far has been a perfect little action flick. Fraction and the whole creative team have really seemed to have settled into the flow of this book. With barely three issues in, this book really does have a character of its own. This new a Hawkeye series is not completely perfect but it manages to continuously set the bar high for each issue and hopefully will continue to do so.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars