Comic Review: Hawkeye #4

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Javier Pulido

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Cover: David Aja

Publisher: Marvel

Release: November 21, 2012

Type: Ongoing

Writing Score: 5 out of 5

Art Score: 3.5  out of 5

Cover Score: 5 out of 5

Hawkeye #4 Cover

Recommendation: A Must Read

Rating: 5 out of 5

Review:

No Spoilers

SO GOOD. GO READ NOW. Art was a bit off for me in certain panels but the writing is superb as usual.

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With Spoilers

So glad to be reading ongoing titles again. Probably won’t last long thanks to Post-Secondary Education.

This is the first of a two part story arc that involves a tape that complicates Clint Barton’s life a bit. It starts off with Kate asking Clint if he’s killed anybody and a neighbor interrupts him by saying that of course he didn’t since Avengers don’t kill and they wouldn’t have allowed him in if that was the case. First thing I thought was, “What? The Avengers don’t kill? Don’t, like, half of them kill?” then it was followed by this second thought, “Wait. Wolverine is an Avenger…and he definitely kills…” I’m not the Marvel expert here but I think it’s safe to say that I’m correct on this (please enlighten me in the comments section if this is not the case). Anyways, this is where Fraction shifts from a relatively serious conversation to humour flawlessly with the first appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the panels below:

Hawkeye #4 - 1 Hawkeye #4 - 2 Hawkeye #4 - 3

What Fraction does well is be funny without over doing it and is effortless in transitioning between the serious moments with the hilarious ones.

After being taken by S.H.I.E.L.D, both Captain America and Maria Hill task Barton to get the tape (yup, a VHS) of him killing a wanted terrorist from an action before the bad guys do. If he fails, the American government, S.H.I.E.L.D. and himself are going to be a crap load of trouble. When Clint comes back to the apartment, he’s greeted by Kate who wants to know why he was kidnapped by the Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D. but he tells her that she’s better off not knowing what’s going on. I enjoyed this exchange because it gives a lot more insight into their relationship despite it being covered up in humour both as a formal device but also as a way some of us deal with topics we’re not sure we want to broach directly.

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 10.09.54 AM Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 10.10.00 AM Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 10.10.11 AM

So Clint heads off to Madripoor and has a crap time. He has people come after him at the airport, the cab and then again in the hotel. This is where some of the art issues come up for me. David Aja is normally the artist for this comic but for this issue, we have Javier Pulido doing the inside art. A perfect example of these discrepancies is in these two panels of Clint where one looks just not great:

Normal Clint

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 10.21.32 AM

Really Odd Looking Clint (this is a cropped version of a larger panel)

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 10.21.50 AM

Yeah, this looks weird and there are other moments as well. There not a lot of them but when they happen it’s really noticeable. I get that Clint is supposed to be confused by the directions he’s being given but nope. Not working for me.

So Clint gets to the hotel where the auction is supposed to go down and is taken from the lobby by Madame Masque. She has him tied up and out of the way. In typical Clint fashion, he finds time to sleep in a situation like this.

Hawkeye #4 - 4

To wrap it all up, you have the auction going on with recognizable villains all bidding but Madame Masque uses S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Amex Black card that she’s taken from Clint to bid for (and win) the tape. However, there’s a twist! Madame Masque is not who she appears to be but is in fact our other Hawkeye, Kate Bishop.

Hawkeye #4 - 5

I loved this reveal because I love Kate and she’s so bad ass. It also sets up part 2 of this 2 parter nicely because we’re left wondering if Kate will watch the tape and if so, how it’ll change their relationship.

I love, love, LOVE this comic so much and I honestly don’t know how it can falter (*knocks on wood*).

A. A. Omer

I’ve grown up with the comic book characters we all know and love but I finally got into comics with the launch of DC’s NEW 52 in 2011. These opinions are mine and mine alone…unless, you know, you agree which will then mean it’s OUR opinion but disagreeing is totally fine too. Ratings may lay heavily on writing and plot rather than art since I’m not an art expert.

One thought on “Comic Review: Hawkeye #4

  1. I only read the “no spoilers” part because I’m only on issue #2 of this series! I had kind of forgotten about it for awhile but your review reminded me that I really enjoyed what I had read so far. Need to get back to it!

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