One of the appeals of Marvel Comics to me is that their world is our world. It’s not a fictional, far away land that exists in fairy tales or made up cities. These heroes live in New York City, so when something happens in our New York City, it happens in theirs too. Back when 9/11 happened, I remember reading an excellent Spider-Man book where the character deals with the tragedy and the proceeds from the comic went to benefit victims. It was a very touching act by Marvel, and now they manage to do it again.
Another tragedy struck NYC last year when Hurricane Sandy rolled through the East Coast and many parts of New York and New Jersey were severely affected. Determined to help out, ‘Hawkeye’ writer Matt Fraction and the whole creative team behind the book put together this issue in which both Kate Bishop and Clint Barton deal with Mother Nature and the effects of the hurricane on the citizens in the New York metropolitan area. We’re given two stories very similar to what many people on the East Coast went through while trying to survive the crisis. One features Clint in Brooklyn and the other shows Kate in New Jersey. And aside from just giving the world another great installment of what is arguably one of the best comics available today, Fraction declared that he would be donating all of his sales incentive bonuses from the issue to the Red Cross’ Hurricane Sandy relief effort.
While it’s true that most of Marvel’s heroes live and operate in New York, it was a super cool thing to see the Hawkeyes be the ones to endure this event. Similar to Spider-Man in the 9/11 book, Clint and Kate are street level heroes in today’s Marvel landscape that live among the people. They have just as much to lose as the guy down the street whereas someone like Doctor Strange can escape to the astral plane if his place in Greenwich Village is affected. There are no other heroes that would have been the proper vehicle for this story. Not Captain America. Not Iron Man. Not Thor. Though this story wasn’t originally part of Fraction’s run, it jives perfectly with the tone of the series thus far.
Another good thing about this book is the comedy in the script. Laughter is great medicine to soften the tough blows and while many, many people lost their cars in floods caused by the storm, there was something funny about Clint losing his. It was probably the dialogue in the word bubble that did it, but stuff always happens to that car, which he loves. The punchy dialogue comes up a few other times in the book as well. Fraction is just a funny guy. Just like in every day life, a lot of comedy came from references to New Jersey too. That state is the butt of more jokes than any other, and a good New Jersey joke is never unwelcomed, but Fraction balanced the jokes out with showing how strong the citizens were and how they helped each other out in a time of need.
Basically, the creative team hit every note perfectly with this one. Not only is this issue on par with all the others art-wise and story-wise, but it delivered two stories that can resonate with it’s audience greatly. It even restores a little bit of faith in humans again after you read it. At least for a little bit, you cynics out there.
Every month, I adamantly insist that you purchase ‘Hawkeye’, but this time it’s also for a good cause. Make sure you get out there and contribute to the cause. You don’t even have to do anything! Fraction is the one doing all the work. All you have to do is buy a comic. Simple. Easy to remember. Now go for it!
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art by STEVE LIEBER, JESSE HAMM, & MATT HOLLINGSWORTH
Cover by DAVID AJA