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COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Hawkeye #22

 
Hawkeye22
Hawkeye22
Hawkeye22

 
Overview
 

Story by: Matt Fraction
 
Art by: David Aja
 
Colors by: Matt Hollingsworth
 
Publisher:
 
FG RATING
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


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Raves


A satisfying end for a terrific superhero series; Aja’s minimalist and top-caliber artwork; Hollingsworth’s virtual perfect colors on Aja’s drawings; oversized and worth the a bit hefty price

Rants


Long delayed (but not entirely Matt and Aja’s faults per se); some loose-ends; the finale is basically, well, basic superhero trope


To sum it all up..

FAREWELL, HAWKGUY! At long last, after several months of delay and a terrifying cliffhanger in the penultimate chapter, we long-time Hawkeye-Matt Fraction followers/readers/fans finally enjoy the much anticipated finale issue #22! But, is it worth our patience and a little bit of understanding? Let’s find out… Hawkeye #22 encapsulates what makes the Fraction-Hawkeye run so […]

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Posted July 16, 2015 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Hawkeye22

FAREWELL, HAWKGUY!

At long last, after several months of delay and a terrifying cliffhanger in the penultimate chapter, we long-time Hawkeye-Matt Fraction followers/readers/fans finally enjoy the much anticipated finale issue #22! But, is it worth our patience and a little bit of understanding? Let’s find out…

Hawkeye #22 encapsulates what makes the Fraction-Hawkeye run so memorable, momentous, menacing and maddening. Clint Burton did the heroic stand against an international crime syndicate, including its top-prized assassin which makes this one worth repeating readings even though it is highly accessible for both true Hawkeye readers and even to newcomers alike. True, Fraction utilized the non-linear narrative on some key past moments but he made sure to return to the proper traditional narrative when the actions were starting to get more interesting, and surely paced down to an intriguing plot twist that possibly future Hawkeye creative team(s) may and/or can pickup. With all honesty, Jeff Lemire’s current Hawkeye run is so far highly recommendable but it is best to speculate whether Jeff will explore Fraction’s loose ends or otherwise. Overall, Matt neatly finished the series, a closure that read like a great heroic fight television episode or a movie climatic fighting scene. He even presented readers some silent or “deaf” moments despite the obvious scuffles of our wise-cracking and relatable protagonist and to the characters involved. Sure, Eisner-winning artist and frequent Fraction collaborator David Aja did the most heavy lifting in choreographing the author’s script into one of the best finales this year. You can just feel Aja’s drawings to the bones whenever the action and twist geared to the climatic and/or unexpected twist that these felt like being part of the community Clint wants to protect with.

On a serious note here, the end game part is something of an echo of some of the good, if not typical, superhero stories. In short, this is a recycle narrative trope: the hero wins the day. Yet, that was exactly the challenge probably confronted the creative team since this was a very predictable way of wrapping up a good series. Perhaps, Matt just simplified the finale soon after he had some creative differences with Marvel a year back, unlike some of his great endings in his Eisner-winning series Iron Man, Thor, and X-Men that were read as his serious closures to the property-owned superhero characters. Perhaps, I am over reading this fun but intense heart-pounding issue. What could be Fraction’s next story if things went differently? That unexpected moment and some loose-ends are so tantalizing that the “what if’s” scenarios are so inexplicably inescapable in my mind right now. Probably, I could just cross my fingers for some positive developments and/or wishful possibilities.

Aside from what I mentioned on Aja’s consistent but terrific artwork, he never missed a single beat here. Though some reasons of its delay were his painstaking detailed artworks and more pages to do so, but his excuses were worthwhile nonetheless. His magic that rooted during the equally influential and seminal The Invincible Iron Fist run continued here. Being a minimalist, each panel was itself carried a story from within. The pacing was done with virtual precision, and the artist never engaged in doing splash pages that become a commonplace practice in superhero and other comics nowadays. Special kudos here with the series’ third player, colorist Matt Hollingsworth, whose limited color-schema contemplated so well with Aja’s deft and kinetic illustrations. He balanced the contrasting primary and secondary colors that set the ambiance in the midst of the chaos ensuing inside the building. No wonder the colorist’s brand of aesthetics would be sorely missed unless, again, Fraction teams up with him and Aja in some independent owned comic stuff.

With some reservations on the selection of the ending and the left-over that surely can be expand further, Hawkeye #22 is a long delayed ultimate send-off that gives Clint Burton and other characters (particularly Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop) a more relatable, humane, iconic but heroically superhuman attributes. As a whole, Matt’s Hawkeye will become one of the hallmarks of the postmodernist yet highly accessible superhero comic series so far! Long Live HAWKGUY!

 


Paul Ramos

 


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