Saturday, 30 May 2015

Hawkeye Vol 1: My Life As a Weapon by Matt Fraction

Hawkeye Vol 1: My Life As a Weapon written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by David Aja, Javier Pulido and Alan Davis is the first collection of the most recent Hawkeye run and collects Hawkeye Issues #1-5 and Young Avengers Presents #6. The latter was a bit random and was actually set before the Hawkeye issues focussing on Kate Bishop rather than Clint Barton. The Hawkeye issues involve both characters.

The breakout star of this summer's blockbuster Avengers film, Clint Barton - aka the self-made hero Hawkeye - fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he's out to prove himself as one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes! SHIELD recruits Clint to intercept a packet of incriminating evidence - before he becomes the most wanted man in the world. You won't believe what is on The Tape! What is the Vagabond Code? Matt Fraction pens a Hawkeye thriller that spans the globe...and the darkest parts of Hawkeye's mind. Barton and Bishop mean double the Hawkeye and double the trouble...and stealing from the rich never looked so good.

The art style in Hawkeye is quite stylised, especially in the use of colour. There were a lot of pages that were predominantly purple or orange, with a few exceptions. It was quite effective and evoked a very specific tone, quite different to the more conventional superhero comics I've read. I suppose that's mostly because Hawkeye (both Clint and Kate) don't have superpowers, only fancy gadgets. In that respect it kind of reminded me more of James Bond than, say, the MCU movies. Not because Clint is a secret agent assassin, but because he's basically human with some fancy tech (and the tech is arrows rather than other stuff).

On that note, it was also nice to see actual consequences for getting hurt, something that's pretty uncommon in superhero stories (again, because Clint isn't a superhero and gets hurt like a normal person). Clint spent a lot of time recovering in hospital, which was nice to see (even if it was still a bit realistic, hey it's better than nothing). Also, Kate was more likely to save the day than be treated like Clint's apprentice, which was definitely nice to see.

Most of this volume was comprised of one-issue story-lines that were loosely linked. Despite how short each arc was, they didn't feel rushed or anything. The last two Hawkeye issues were a two-arc story, involving SHIELD, international travel, bad guys from across the Marvel universe and Kate being awesome.

Clint Barton is not my favourite avenger and the main reason we bought this volume was because it was like half price and we knew it had a lot of Kate Bishop in it. I didn't hate Clint, but I didn't find him super exciting to read about either. I was basically in it for Kate, which probably shouldn't surprise anyway. That said, if you have any interest in either Hawkeye, this is probably the comic series for you.

4 / 5 stars

First published: 2013, Marvel
Series: Hawkeye ongoing series, Volume 1 collecting issues #1-5
Format read: Digital
Source: Marvel iPad app

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