REVIEW: Hawkeye #3

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Or – “The Book I Never Knew I Always Wanted To Read.”

I ain’t gonna mince words:  This’n is good.  But as for HOW good?

Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

HAWKEYE #3
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, in Hawkeye:  Clint Barton is the Avenger known as Hawkeye, but he’s also kind of a dangerous guy to know.  In the last two issues, he’s broken several bones, picked up a dog and a sidekick, gotten involved with many people whom he probably shouldn’t have, and been utterly brilliant to read about the whole time.  This is the story of how he bought a new car.

NO, SERIOUSLY.

For the third time running, the issue opens with Hawkeye’s new catch-phrase: “Okay.  This looks bad…”  Someone opined that they don’t like this, but I have to say it’s pretty awesome in context, as we open in the middle of a car chase, with Hawkeye hanging out the window of a Dodge Charger while Kate Bishop (the other Hawkeye) drives her butt off, evading a number of Mini-Coopers with a hot redhead tied up in the backseat.  How did this happen?  Well, thereupon hangs a tale.  Fraction does such wonderful things with this title month after month, starting us off with an argument between the two Hawkeyes about the usefulness of Clint’s trademark quiver full of trick arrows.  She mocks him for the net arrow, and makes fun of his boomerang arrow.  Aja’s art is delightful as well, putting Kate in an outfit clearly inspired by Emma Peel, while putting Clint in a car like the one Steve McQueen drove like a madman through the streets of San Francisco.  (My friend Denny tells a story of how he once had to cut that movie for TV, bringing it down to length, and, not knowing any better, cut a big chunk of that iconic sequence and damn-near caused a riot.)

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ‘BULLITT?’

Hawkeye narrates the issue explaining how he has had exactly nine stupid ideas today, and each is shown in order, including the stupid idea of hooking up with a mysterious redhead after offering to buy her classic muscle-car.  There’s a ton of amazing character interplay, and the vague sexual tension between Kate and Clint is still here, though handled in a very subtle manner.  Of course, a moment wherein Clint is caught with his trousers down is the highlight of the issue, featuring a quick bit of entertaining coverage to maintain modesty and a PG rating.  The Tracksuit Draculas from last issue return, and the dialogue…  Good god, the dialogue.  I honestly believe that this is a book that will be talked about for years to come as a legendary and defining run of the character, taking all that we know about Hawkeye (even the contradictory bits) and putting it all together for a complex and nuanced character.  The fact that it looks awesome in every panel is just icing on the cake.

THE BOTTOM LINE: WORTH THE PRICE FOR THE FAUX-CENSORSHIP ALONE.

This issue is a love-letter to the kind of movies they don’t make any longer, the gritty 70s film-noir influenced flicks that Quentin Tarentino and I love.  This issue’s use of color is also fabulous, retaining the limited color palette, but using red as an accent color for the car and the hot mysterious girl’s hair, and the brilliant defense of trick arrows is particularly timely to me, given recent discussions of the new ‘Arrow’ series.  There’s nothing wrong with a rocket, net, or boomerang arrow, and Aja even goes back to the old Marvel Universe books of my youth for reference on the various trick arrowheads (so much so that the issue is dedicated to Eliot Brown, the technical guru who created most of the specifications and designs seen in that book.)  Hawkeye #3 is a home run, a hole-in-one, a sports metaphor #3, and it makes me not only LIKE the character of Hawkeye, but want to live through one of his adventures, earning 5 out of 5 stars overall.  If you’re not reading this, you’re missing one of the best on-goings Marvel has to offer, bar none.

Rating: ★★★★★

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!

Reader Rating

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