Saturday, February 2, 2013

On The Same Page: Hawkeye

I think it's fair to say that 7 issues in, Hawkeye has become Marvel Comics' best comic book.

Hawkeye #7 Wow - 365 Days of Comics
Hawkeye #7 - Wow, Unbelievably Good
I know. I know. Labeling a comic book "best" is a tricky thing. It's like when someone asks, "what's your favorite movie?" Movies are liked based on factors like your current mood, how much weight you give a specific genre and so many other factors. I usually end up giving a list of 3 to 5 movies in no particular order:
  • Young Frankenstein
  • The Longest Yard
  • Sandlot
  • A Goofy Movie
  • The Hustler
That's off the top of my head.

Clearly no one would argue that A Goofy Movie is a better film than a masterpiece like On the Waterfront, but when it comes to what I would more want to watch again and again...A Goofy Movie trumps Brando's classic every time.

Personally, I look forward to other books coming out more than Hawkeye. Hawkeye is not even my favorite Marvel comic, but I can recognize that Hawkeye is Marvel's most quality monthly title available.

Matt Fraction writes for a team of amazing artists including: David Aja, Javier Pulido, Jesse Hamm, Steve Lieber and Matt Hollingsworth. All of which have carried the same engaging tone from issue to issue. I give Hollingsworth a lot of the connective credit since he has colored every issue making the illustrators' work seem seamless from month to month. Hollingsworth's pallet of colors has kept the book feeling grounded in the real world while also adding a bit of fun and warmth to the Hawkeye world. The whole book is muted in purple hues and specific purple shirts, dresses, curtains, gloves and so much more are highlighted and brought to the forefront of the readers eye. Visually, this book is completely Hawkeye due to Matt Hollingsworth. I would be stunned if he was not nominated for an Eisner Award for his work.

Oh yeah...Matt Fraction. This book is really the tale of two Matts. While Holls holds down the visual tone, Fraction creates a less than fantastical world for a normal Bronx good-guy who just so happens to help save the world in between issues. Fraction's tagline on the credits page for Hawkeye is: "This is what he does when he's not being an Avenger." Fraction has Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, helping people in his apartment complex pay for rent, stopping a criminal circus group and helping a neighbor's family deal with hurricane Sandy...all while being a mentor to a young female Hawkeye, Kate Bishop.

Fraction's most recent Hawkeye #7 was particularly touching. Clint aids a neighbor in keeping his old stubborn father safe from hurricane Sandy. When the neighbor's father's house is flooded and picture memories of the neighbor's deceased mother are washed away, Clint helps the father and son realize they have what's important: each other. Kate on the other hand aids a friend's mother by trying to get some much needed medication during the events right after Sandy hit New Jersey. When Kate is blindsided by some drug store looters, a group of Jersey residents come to her aid.

Hawkeye #7 S'okay - 365 Days of Comics
Hawkeye #7 - S'okay
 Fraction writes in Hawkeye #7: "The world comes crumbling down around you and everybody just pulled together tighter."

Beautiful.

If you've read Hawkeye, one issue or the complete run so far, then we're on the same page. Hawkeye is Marvel Comics' best comic book.

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