Marvel Comics highly praised series Hawkeye, by Eisner Award winning writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja, may be coming to a close. Set to hit shelves in June, the latest story arc the Avenger finds himself in titled ‘The Finale,’ hints at an end to the series. Issue #21’s solicitation reads, “David. Clint. Barney. The Building. The Tracksuit Draculas. The Clown. Ever seen Rio Bravo? Check it out, it’s pretty good.”
In recent issues of the series, artist Annie Wu has taken over illustrating duties from Aja, focusing on issues that include Kate Bishop’s adventures in Los Angeles. Aja has remained with Hawkeye, illustrating the New York-based stories of Clint Barton and has confirmed via his Twitter account, that he will illustrate the supposed finale.
The ongoing Hawkeye storyline by Fraction and Aja, focused on the heroes clash with mobsters in his New York City neighborhood. I was a bit leery to pick up Fraction’s version of Hawkeye, which debuted not shortly after The Avengers film hit theaters. My main reason for not jumping onboard the Hawkeye refresh bandwagon was because the series is under the Marvel banner and as part of the Big Two, current titles and their respective characters with rich backgrounds like Hawkeye and Spider-Man, just don’t hold as much creative weight as creator-owned series do. Books published by the Big Two seem to be very generic and chalk full of ads, which takes away pages that could potentially be story.
That being said, I took the advice given from the great staff at my local comic book shop*, bought Fraction’s Hawkeye, and found it to be unlike what I had expected. It was nothing like what the Big Two had been churning out. Hawkeye brought a newness to a familiar and frankly, mundane character. (His power is master of archery? Really?) Hawkeye had the look, feel, and most of all voice, of a creator-owned comic just packaged in highly sought after Marvel trimmings. It didn’t start out with another origin story or flash back to what took place in The Avengers film. It started off with humor, with an unapologetic explanation of Clint Barton and how he spends his time outside of being an Avenger, which gets him just as much action and injury. To speak openly, I’m sad that Fraction’s wonderfully crafted, highly unique Hawkeye is coming to a close and only hope that more series under the Big Two banner would take a creative page from it.
What are your thoughts on Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye? Did you see it going on longer or are you glad to see it go? Let us know in the comments.
*For my southern California peoples, if you’re ever in Redlands, be sure to stop by the spectacular A Shop Called Quest for all your comic book needs.
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