After reading the serious and reflective book, The Arrival, I jumped into the more colorful, quick-paced, and humorous world of Hawkeye. It was not easy for me to get into the book since I am not naturally drawn to the typical art and storytelling of superhero comics, but then again, Hawkeye is not necessarily typical and I was pleasantly surprised by the clever and stylized presentation within Hawkeye.
Hawkeye, Volume 1, written by Matt Fraction
While Hawkeye exists as part of the Marvel superhero world, and the main character is a member of the Avengers, the comic sets itself apart from the outset by explaining: “This is what he [Hawkeye] does when he’s not being an Avenger.” Readers get glimpses into Hawkeye’s character when observing him interact with his counterpart “Hawkeye” Kate Bishop and with neighbors he helps. They see his ordinary human flaws, such as how he cannot figure out his TV remote and his Freudian slips of saying “sex” instead of “set.” Still, even as Hawkeye is humanized and as he lacks superhuman abilities, the volume does intersperse action, including through Hawkeye’s arsenal of special arrows, from his net and acid arrows to his suction-tip and boomerang arrows. Thus, even though the story is filled with humor - storytelling from the canine point of view of Pizza Dog being one of my favorite examples of this - there remains room for adventure with villains such as the Tracksuit Draculas and Madame Masque. Without having previous context of the Marvel world, I felt like I was missing references and inside jokes when reading Hawkeye. Also, while I have heard from others that the comic is a fresh and innovative entry in the superhero genre, I was unable to gauge how this is the case since I don’t have a basis for comparison. All the same, I found the writing to be witty, I particularly enjoyed the art of David Aja, and my interest is piqued enough to try reading more Marvel in the future.