When we last saw Clint Barton both in issues nine and ten of the critically acclaimed and widely adored comic series ‘Hawkeye’, he was leaving his friendly neighbor Grills on the roof after receiving some useful advice. But just as Hawkguy took his leave, a mysterious figure appeared and took out poor Grills!
In issue ten, we got to know this killer a little better through his back story that was revealed to the readers while the lovely Kate Bishop succumbed to his charms at one of her parents’ parties. But as both Hawkeyes just nearly missed this mime-faced killer, neither of them discovered his dastardly deeds.
But Pizza Dog does! As we saw in the preview for this issue earlier this week, the third member of the beloved Team Hawkguy is the first of the three to find out what happened to their jolly neighbor on the roof and who was responsible. In an issue entirely dedicated to Lucky’s point of view, this dog certainly had his day.
Like I said in the preview, this concept is insane. Talking about it out loud is pretty weird, but if there’s anyone out there in the comic book industry right now who could make it work, it’s Matt Fraction and David Aja. There are literally a handful of real words throughout the issue, yet the story is still incredibly interesting. There’s comedy, suspense, action, and even a bit of love, but essentially not a single word accompanies any of it. It’s all so engaging without one element that’s usually entirely necessary to storytelling.
I feel like this whole issue was an exercise from some writing teacher meant to show his students that actions speak louder than words in visual mediums of storytelling. While the rest of the class struggles a bit, Fraction just knocks it out of the park. I mean, it totally helps that he previously built up the character of Pizza Dog in issue one and beyond, but even still, the writer exhibited some awesome skills with this book.
However, Fraction shouldn’t get all the praise. Even though he came up with the story, David Aja is the one who presented it all. First, there’s the use of symbols to show what Lucky smells. Not only are they super cute, but really informative. Then, there’s the lack of color when we’re seeing things the way that the dog sees them. Normally, I’m using this space to praise colorist Matt Hollingsworth for his incredible work in any given issue, but the decision to use a lack of color to represent how dogs really see things was a great touch. Seeing that intermingled with usual full color panels was extremely nice.
And then that last panel… Fraction and Aja really have a way of really packing in a ton of emotion in the last moments of their books when they need to.
Basically, this particular issue of this book was a huge gamble, but seeing how great the creative team behind it has been for eleven issues, it’s no surprise that they pulled it off. If they don’t win all the awards this year for their work on ‘Hawkeye’, then that would certainly be a surprise.
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art by DAVID AJA & MATT HOLLINGSWORTH