Posted October 19, 2013 by Alvin Minon in Comics


Hawkeye #13 once again reminds me that Marvel‘s not all about huge wars and giant cataclysms. It’s an issue without any of those snikts or booms tearing down villains or realities, but it has that right bang that hits the right spots ala Hawkeye.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about Clint being fragile, looking nowhere near the other spandexed superheroes in their majestic glory, after the loss of his grilling friend, Grills. There’s the interaction between Clint and Kate and how he does practically with all the other women in his life, especially when you look at how much of a drag the archer is when he’s not wearing his best suit. And lastly, I’m referring to how this issue gets Clint and Barney Barton together, bringing them close as brothers who have each other’s backs despite the fact that they’ve spent most of the time on the opposite ends of the rope.

Yes it’s common for heroes to have someone they know die, or experience tons of other problems that they couldn’t hold themselves together anymore, only to get back up stronger. But here, it looks like the world’s just dumping truckloads of lemons on the blonde archer. It’s just him going through a lot, getting caught in circumstance and tanking it all like what real people do with real problems in the real world. No hero scene, no inspiring monologues about getting back to the game or even any villain to defeat just to symbolize the change in resolve. It’s just Clint dragging himself with all things on his shoulders, with a pager at hand and a bottle of alcohol in the other.

I’m glad Matt Fraction decided to get back from the long hiatus. This is the kind of storytelling that makes me wish they handled Hawkeye much better in the movie. It’s not just about being cool with the bow, saving the world and all. Fraction takes us to the core of Hawkeye’s character, how he is just a human without any of those plasma-firing suits or any of the webby shiznits. There’s none of those grand dilemmas or intricate drama, it’s just Clint being human, experiencing things that could happen to anyone: death of a friend, bumps in your lovelife and sibling issues. What we have here is Hawkeye minus the bow and suit and rooftop action, but instead we see him lying in a couch, seeking the company of his canine bud and bottles of beer, or in a limo with Kate while being such an ass despite her being sweet and caring for the wretched guy. And I was like, “What the heck was that, Clint??

At first, after flipping through a few pages, I wondered why aren’t there any arrows being shot yet when this comic has just come back from months of break? Then the funny moments and even the sad parts hit me. The guy has difficulties with people close to him and that’s a lot more action compared to a few arrows being fired. Fraction did a good job ditching the arrows for now and focusing on the fun and sad moments that make Hawkeye human.

And that takes us to David Aja and Matt Hollingsworth whose works bring Clint’s human moments to life. Aja’s pencils beautifully depict the tone of the story, his layouts and structure giving more impact to the silent, tragic parts. The nine-panel page gives the feeling that Clint’s life outside The Avengers is about the smaller things, and there’s none of those huge central conflicts we see in other titles where they save universes. The style works really well with this issue’s theme, with the colors setting whether it’s melancholy or comedy. I just love how they used the quiet panels and the look on characters faces to give away tension and emotions.

Clint’s the most human alright: insensitive jerk with troubles of reconnecting with his brother and friends; immature, childish and lazy who washes away his problems with beer and sleep, yet knows a story that needs to be passed on in person if he sees one. Brilliant storytelling by Fraction and awesome, appropriate works from Aja and Hollingsworth. Clint’s stepped out of the hiatus albeit with emotional fallout and heartbreaking problems to face, making his story more touching and compelling. All I could say is, glad you’re back, Hawkeye!

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Hawkeye #13‘s one of the must-grabs in the stands right now. Get your copy now from Comic Odyssey and catch up!

Alvin Minon