After what seems like fucking years, Hawkguy finally returns! And it was… only OK. This book is always entertaining and different, but I really do feel that it’s spinning its wheels.
Grills was killed in #9, and only know does Clint find that out and things start moving forward. This issue basically covers the exact same time period as issues #10, #11 and the first few pages of the Annual. Whilst it is pretty innovative and cool to see all of these events from so many different perspectives, especially seeing more and more of what was actually said in the Pizza Dog issue, it still feels very slow, and after waiting ages for this issue, the lack of momentum was a bit annoying. Hopefully, now that we’ve seen this story from all sides, we can move on.
I know this sounds like I’m being very down on this issue, but I did enjoy it. Matt Fraction’s writing of Clint Barton continues to be fantastic, and there were some truly beautiful moments in this issue. Clint going to see Grills’ dad, Clint’s bizarre dream sequence, Kate’s conversation with Clint in the funeral car, the funeral itself,and then, the final few pages when he reunites with his brother and brings him into the family. All, very good, very human moments and all the kind of things that sets this title apart from other superhero comics. The funeral scene holds the most promise for the future, as the Tracksuit Draculas watch on, with Kaziu being especially menacing.
David Aja’s artwork was, of course, excellent, and whilst this issue didn’t feature anything wildly experimental (unless a 9-panel grid is considered wildly experimental these days, I guess it is), it was just well-told and beautiful to look at.
So yeah, whilst it’s great to have this title back, I was mildly peeved by the still glacial pace. But I suppose the slow pace is the point, this is not your typical superhero title at all, and this is just another way of expressing that. I’m conflicted, but that’s a good thing. This is not a plot-based series really, so to stress about lack of movement with the plot is me slightly missing the point. As long as Fraction keeps hitting the right beats with the characters, and Aja brings the style, everything’s great. But of course, they could do all that and still not tell the same thing 5 times in a row.