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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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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8 Comments

  1. Hirimno
    October 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm — Reply

    So yeah… I have changed my mind on the opening over the past month. I’m liking it more and more mostly due to the great storytelling that Fraction and Aja are doing. As long as the issues are this good I don’t think you could make me drop it from my pull list.

  2. Oldcomicfan
    October 21, 2012 at 10:38 am — Reply

    You say there’s nothing wrong with a rocket, net or boomerang arrow – except they wouldn’t work, except, perhaps for a rocket arrow. Build one. Try shooting one. It’s as aerodynamic as mounting a brick on the head of an arrow and shooting it. Okay, I admit we’re dealing with a comic book here, so perhaps I shouldn’t insist on reality, but the whole trick arrow thing is stretching my credibility a bit too far. After all I had earned and taught the archery merit badge, so I just can’t swallow the trick arrow bit because it’s too close to reality. I have less problem accepting something like Plastic Man or SuperGoof because they’re absurd in the first place, but when a comic sets out to be so realistic and gritty and then springs kangaroo arrows on me, it just don’t sit right. It’s a lot like watching WarGames and Matthew Broderick does things with a junky old TRS 80 that a mainframe computer of that era wouldn’t have been able to do. Too close to reality to be able to suspend disbelief.

    • October 21, 2012 at 11:13 am — Reply

      Somebody recently asked me if that sort of worry isn’t like deck chairs on the Titanic, as I recall…

  3. Clarence Jenkins
    October 21, 2012 at 11:21 am — Reply

    Please pardon me for being a stickler, but Steve McQueen drove a modified 1968 Mustang GT Fastback in the movie BULLITT, not a 1970 Dodge Challenger. There was a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T in VANISHING POINT, however. Both excellent cars nonetheless, just like the third issue of HAWKEYE.

    • October 21, 2012 at 11:25 am — Reply

      Well-caught, sir. My brain conflagrated them into one, and was actually picturing the yellow Challenger that was Daisy Duke’s ride in early episodes of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard.’ I’m getting old. :)

  4. TaZ
    October 22, 2012 at 8:31 am — Reply

    What Green Arrow should have been. Nuff said.

  5. October 22, 2012 at 9:34 am — Reply

    Couldn’t agree more, this is what I would expect out of a street level hero book, and honestly the “avengers” reality grounded, combined with wonky concepts just totally works, A+

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