After an emotional last issue about the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey, things with Hawkguy are back to business as usual. ‘Hawkeye’ #8 brings Clint Barton’s love life back into the spotlight as a character from his past re-enters his life.
Previously, in ‘Hawkeye’ #3, Clint found the car of his dreams and happened to have a fling with the lovely lady that sold him said car. After a big shoot-em-up battle that resulted in one of the most hilarious panels I’ve ever seen featuring Hawkeye naked, the girl, known as Cherry, hops on a plane and hightails is out of Mr. Barton’s life. Unfortunately, due to the events of ‘Hawkeye’ #7, Clint lost that car, but it seems like he didn’t lose Cherry.
In this new issue, the mysterious girl returns to the pages of ‘Hawkeye’ and visits Clint at the Avengers Mansion, where a very confused group of superwomen (all of whom Hawkeye has dated and/or slept with) witness him kissing a woman who is not his girlfriend. From there, Clint is pulled away to help Cherry (who’s name is actually Penny) escape the tracksuit-wearing bad guys yet again.
An interesting feature of this issue is the use of comics within a comic. Annie Wu contributed the gorgeous covers used throughout the book. They play an important role in why exactly Penny has returned, but Clint thinks that they actually reveal the mystery woman’s back-story (For all we know, they might. I was a little confused by It.). Similar to Aja, Wu has a great deal of detail in her work that should most definitely be appreciated. For example, on the ‘A Girl Like You’ cover, there are little fishies in Penny’s shoes. Brilliant! Personally, I enjoy the first one, ‘Doomed Love’, which features the many women in Clint Barton’s life, the best out of all of them.
Since we’re on the topic of art, David Aja returns to ‘Hawkeye’ in this issue and he’s just as on point as ever. Starting with the amazing cover that deserves to be on my wall and going all the way to the letters to the editor page, this book is filled with excellent artwork which has become a staple of this series. For instance, when he drew Black Widow, Mockingbird, and Spider-Woman, they each had their own distinct style and color scheme even though they weren’t wearing their uniforms, similar to how Clint is portrayed in the book. The retro hairstyles and vintage clothing were nothing less than awesome. Not only is the writing fantastic as a whole, but also the art is on a whole new level as well.I love a good Iron Fist gag.
In terms of the story, there’s a lot of what we’ve come to know and love from this series. There are great jokes and gags, there’s an interesting story unfolding, and revelatory character development. But in addition to that, there are questions at the end of reading it, but these are good questions. For example, one might recall that Clint is currently dating Jessica Drew. But hasn’t he been with Penny in the biblical sense? Hell, didn’t we just see him get kissed by her right in front of Jessica? What a shitty boyfriend, right? Then, one probably still has a lot of questions about Penny and the comics and everything. These are good questions because Fraction is showing us the shotgun on the wall that will be fired before the story is over. In writing, if it’s important enough to write about, then you sure as hell better use it in the end. If there’s anything that I’ve learned from Matt Fraction while reading this series, it’s that you should trust Matt Fraction. Everything will be answered in time and they will be awesome answers. Wanna know why I know this? Because there basically hasn’t been anything in this series that I’ve hated yet.
This issue set up a lot of things that are sure to have interesting payoffs in the next issue. I’m looking forward to seeing Clint get Shawn Huntered and get confronted by his former ladies. I’m also wondering if there will be fallout from his arrest and what exactly these Russian tracksuit guys have up their sleeves for both Hawkeye and Penny. Long story short, I’m very much anticipating the next issue of ‘Hawkeye’, as I am after I read every issue of this series.
So, why aren’t you reading it yet?
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art by DAVID AJA, ANNIE WU, & MATT HOLLINGSWORTH