In the last issue of ‘Hawkeye’, Clint Barton lost two members of Team Hawkguy. After Lucky did some investigating of his own, the canine known as Pizza Dog found a fallen Grills, one of Clint’s neighbors, on the roof of their apartment building. Then, with his keen abilities, he followed the trail back to the perpetrators: the tracksuit-wearing bros and the mime-faced killer. Of course, he couldn’t tell Clint or Kate what happened because he’s a dog and, by the end of that epic issue, he left Clint and went with Kate on a road trip to California.

Now, Clint is all alone, but he’s about to be joined by a figure from his past. Similar to what the team did in issue ten, the latest installment of Matt Fraction’s incredible series goes into the backstory of a brand new character making his debut. Well, not entirely new since he’s been around since 1969, but new to this comic. You get the idea.

Anyway, issue twelve catches up with Barney Barton, Clint’s older brother who has taken up various mantles in his day including Hawkeye and Trick Shot. After the Dark Avengers disbanded, the highly trained former FBI agent and proficient marksman was left homeless and wandering until he received a call from his brother to meet up. From there, we get a brief history of Barney and Clint’s childhood before the brothers reunite.

There’s a lot of history between the Barton brothers and I’m glad that Fraction focused on their early years rather than the time they spent at each other’s throats. Those tales are well documented in issues of ‘Avengers’, but I don’t recall ever getting into Barney teaching Clint how to throw a punch or things like that. Through these few short glimpses into the past, it’s great to see the family reunite once again.

David Aja, the regular artist for this series, handed things over to Francesco Francavilla this time around. As much as I love Aja’s work with Matt Hollingsworth’s colors, Francavilla’s style certainly fits in with the world that this series has built around Hawkeye. No matter who is drawing this book, the artwork is unlike anything else available in the line. The whole book has a sort of old school feel thanks to the warm oranges, yellows, and deep blues. There are even times when the panels look like they’re painted on the page. While I look forward to Aja’s return and the reintroduction of Annie Wu, who contributed artwork back in issue eight, Francavilla’s work was definitely a welcomed surprise. Maybe if Barney gets another solo adventure in the future, the artist will be brought back to work on it.

Like I said before, I appreciate seeing the Barton boys getting along, but I wonder if their checkered past will factor into their relationship moving forward. I’m definitely on board to keep reading to find out.

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