It’s been quite some time since we’ve last visited with Clint Barton in the pages of Matt Fraction’s ‘Hawkeye’. In the last four issues, the spotlight was shined on Kate Bishop, Barney Barton, and Lucky AKA Pizza Dog. But now after a short hiatus over the summer, we’re back with the Hawkguy himself as he catches up on all the events that have been unfolding around him.
In case anyone has forgotten, though I highly doubt that you have, Clint’s lovable tenant/neighbor Grills was killed by a painted-face assassin. Team Hawkguy also lost and gained some members as Barney moved in with his younger brother and Kate took Lucky out to the West Coast to so some solo superheroing of her own. While all that happened from other people’s points of view, we return to Clint’s perspective in issue 13 and we see all of those events from the last few issues through his eyes.
Firstly, it’s great to see ‘Hawkeye’ back in my file at the comic book shop again. Sure, I’ve been preoccupied with ‘Infinity’ all summer, but I’m glad to be reading arguably the best Marvel Comic series to come out this year once again. But secondly, it almost feels like we’ve done this all already since we’ve seen it all through the eyes of other characters. Regardless, it didn’t hinder the issue at all because we needed to see how tired and worn down Clint really is. That’s something that you never really get to see in all those ‘Avengers’ books that Hawkeye’s in. Fraction and the Marvel Universe in general has put him through a lot in this series and now we’re starting to see the effects on the Avenging Archer.
My favorite part was when we learned that Clint still calls Bobbi when he has a spelling problem. Though he’s out and about in the dating world at the moment due to the fact that he thought that she had been dead for a while until she returned to Earth after being a captive of the Skrulls, his relationship with his ex-wife is still strong in some aspects. They may not be as romantically involved as before, but their friendship is definitely still there and somewhat adorable.
Another excellent part of the book (and just about every issue of this series) is David Aja’s artwork. There’s a moment near the beginning when Clint comes into his apartment and has a few beers when the colors start fading after his brother calls him. As you go diagonally down the page, the panels become more and more fuzzy as Clint is getting closer to passing out. What an amazing touch to this issue! Aja and colorist Matt Hollingsworth have just been doing some amazing things with the artwork in this book and each time they pull some cool stuff like this, I’m always pleasantly surprised.
Above everything else, I’m so excited to be regularly getting this book again. Those tracksuits and their assassin need to be held accountable for what they did to Grills, so I’ll be looking forward to the issue where the impending clash finally happens.
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art by DAVID AJA & MATT HOLLINGSWORTH