Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hawkeye #12 - A Review

For the third month in a row, Hawkeye focuses on someone besides Clint Barton.  And for the second time in as many months, Francesco Francavilla replaces David Aja as the book's artist.  And for the first time in this book's run, I find myself wishing it was a more typical superhero title.

Matt Fraction tells a different kind of story here, focusing on Clint Barton's older brother Barney and his run in with the gangsters terrorizing Clint's neighborhood.  A number of flashback scenes are intercut into the narrative, showing the two brothers as children and how Barney began teaching Clint the skills he would use as Hawkeye.  We also see how this story ties in to the adventures of Clint Barton's dog from last month, which itself tied into the Kate Bishop story in Issue #10.  Perhaps this will pay off eventually but the whole affair seems like so much padding to me at this point, as we tread water until Clint finally confronts his enemies.

Thankfully, the artwork of Francesco Francavilla is far more effective this time around than in Issue #10.  The panel placement seems far more natural and the story is much easier to follow.  There's also far less splash-pages than in Francavilla's last outing - a change that plays far better to Francavilla's strengths.

In the end, even a lackluster issue of Hawkeye is not that bad and this remains one of the best books on the market.  I just think it will be better read in the trade-paperback collections than the monthly books given the slow pace Fraction has adopted in recent months.

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