Clint Barton and his brother Barney, along with the denizens of Clint’s apartment building, are preparing for a siege by some very unpleasant dudes, while Kate Bishop tries to make her way home to help.  The Hawkeyes are about to make their final stand…  Your Major Spoilers review of Hawkeye #21 awaits!

Hawkeye21CoverHAWKEYE #21
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Sana Amanat
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Hawkeye:  “Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, became the greatest sharpshooter known to man, then he joined the Avengers…  He lives in a building.  Bad guys want the building.  They have fought, beaten up, bloodied and deafened Clint.  Now, Clint and  his brother (the other greatest sharpshooter known to man) and his neighbors (who are just neighbors) have holed up and are ready for all hell to break loose…

Also: Clint’s best friend Lucky the dog and his protégée Kate (the other other greatest sharpshooter known to man) left him because he is a human crapsack.


We open seconds after that last time we saw Clint and Barney (in either #18 or #19, I can’t recall which), with Clint revealing that he has bags of cash on hand from his other gigs, as well as some that belongs to Barney as well.  The brothers Barton have a brief moment before they continue with their preparations for what they’re both sure is almost suicide.  There’s really good stuff in this issue, especially with Hawkeye trying to read Spider-Woman’s lips while trying to explain WHY he’s doing what he’s doing.  It’s kind of a good question, to be honest, as his day job has him rubbing shoulders with half a dozen folks who could end this whole mess in seconds, whether by Iron Man’s lawyers, Captain America’s battle skills or Thor’s swift and blinding godly violence.  Still, he stubbornly insists on facing down a horde of Tracksuit Draculas by himself (with a few unskilled civilians and a brother in a wheelchair).  He miscalculates on one important count: The Draculas have also brought back the deadly Kazi The Clown, the man who murdered Grills…


Things actually seem to be going well for Barton and his friends during their last stand, but it gets serious quickly, with seemingly deadly consequences for one of the cast before the last page reveal that all may not be lost.  It’s an impressive sequence, and a GREAT final page splash by David Aja, who has imbued this book with its own life and reality.  The story is one that moves along with exciting fatalism, dragging Clint Barton further down into something he shouldn’t have really been involved with anyway, and something he should have taken seriously long before he did.  There are still a couple of shoes left to drop, dramatically, before next issue’s wrap-up of the Fraction/Aja run, and frankly, I’m torn about it.  On the one hand, I’m sad to see this book go, but on the other, the latter part of the run has been choppy and prone to delays, leaving us with a run of comics that will read more smoothly in collected form.  Fraction has clearly had a very rough patch of work completing this book, seemingly for all the right reasons, and while I don’t want it to be the end, I think that it may be time to close it up….


That’s not to say that this issue isn’t enjoyable: It is, on both the art and story level, and the pieces are in place for a killer climax to the whole thing, in a very 70s action-movie sort of way, next time around.  Hawkeye #21 is a good chapter, and one that puts the final pieces in place for a fitting finale to the Fraction era, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  Here’s hoping somebody shoots the $^%& out of that clown next issue…



A Hard Case.

The penultimate issue ratchets the tension and looks great doing it...

User Rating: 4.85 ( 2 votes)
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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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