After going on a mission to save his superhero reputation and protect the reputations of a few good men who did their duty for their county, Clint Barton is back in New York City just in time to celebrate the holiday season. For this arc, Matt Fraction and the returning David Aja present six days in the life of Hawkeye.

This issue provides a unique presentation of Earth’s Mightiest Archer’s life in a sort of ‘Pulp Fiction’ sort of way. While Clint is getting in the Christmas spirit in mid-December, we’re shown bits of various days out of order to tell the tale that connects issues #1-4 together. Fraction brings back pieces of those seemingly one-off stories and ties them all together that results in Hawkeye almost leaving town.

While this is usually the time where I express my unconditional love for everything about this book, I was a bit confused by the presentation. All the jumping around was jarring and hard to keep track what was happening when. Usually I don’t mind that form of storytelling, but all the jumping was distracting because I tried to recall what happened when. Besides that, the quality of the story was still on par with everything else we’ve gotten so far from Matt Fraction’s series. I especially like the interactions with the other, non-regular heroes that show up in this book. One of the appealing things about ‘Hawkeye’ is that we get to see Clint Barton being as normal as he can be. This is his time when he’s not being an Avenger. Fraction applied that same idea to the other Avengers that showed up in this book. Tony Stark came over to help Clint set up a DVR. Wolverine and Spider-Man were talking about some show that they all watch. This stuff was gold and was very fun to see.

In terms of the art, it was a return to greatness. After a guest stint by Javier Pulido, the amazing David Aja is back in the driver’s seat for interior artwork, and I’m very glad to welcome him back. Not to say that I didn’t like Pulido’s work because I enjoyed it very much, but, as I’ve been saying since issue one, there’s a quality to David Aja’s work that makes me want to decorate my house with panels of this comic. There’s really no other artist working today that I can say that about. Sure, I’d have some covers or pages by Jim Cheung and John Romita Jr. and a few of my other favorite artists hanging up, but I want panels from Aja’s book to adorn my hallways because of how beautiful they are.

Overall, despite the slightly jarring nature in the way that the story is laid out, ‘Hawkeye’ successfully maintains the honor of being one of the best series available today. It’s still action-packed, funny, and interesting, and I hope it continues to stay that way because it’s a pleasure to spend money on something so good.

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