Why wasn’t this Clint Barton in the Avengers movies? Seriously? This Clint Barton is awesome!!! Have I told you about how I have a thing for (fictional) bad boy, smartass, not fully on the right side of the law heros? Matt Fraction’s Clint Barton is exactly that. He doesn’t really consider himself one of the Avengers, and he’s no Captain America boyscout do-gooder, but he does do the right things. He does them with arrows and attitude.
This run isn’t about Clint being Hawkeye the Avenger, it’s about Clint, the guy who saves his building from the track suit mafia, saves a pizza eating dog, hangs out with the awesome Kate Bishop, who also goes by Hawkeye, and getting into all kinds of bro-related scrapes. The adventures are mostly small and local, but not entirely. And Kate Bishop is a delight. I want to see more of them together.
The stories and the art have a very Mod/Beat Poet mixed with 70’s Urban Funk feel to them. He’s as insouciant as Tony Stark, but more low key. I can imagine this Clint Barton being the equal to and best friend of Black Widow, much more than the married father of three we got in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. The panels are as big or small as they need to be to show movement, time passing, or the importance of a moment. the wood block style gives Hawkeye a cool, otherworldly feel. Even when the color palate is warm, the solid blocks of color make it feel a bit detached from reality. And yet, Clint’s emotions come through strongly allowing an immediate connection with the reader. I can imagine that for the odd duck of The Avengers, his down time in the real world would feel surreal.
I can’t believe how many graphic novels and comic books I’m reading this year. And I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I think I’m hooked.