This issue has everything; car chases, romance, and naked gang fights! Wait, what?
(Matt Fraction, David Aja)
The dynamic duo of Fraction and Aja have recently taken the reins on Earth’s Mightiest Marksman, Hawkeye, and so far the series has been pretty good. Three issues in, and it looks like this series is going to snowball into a big hit. Their latest installment has pretty much everything a good comic book ought to have: naked gang fights, high speed car chases, and- wait, naked gang fights? …Yup, that happened. Don’t worry, it makes sense in the story.
Clint Barton begins this issue as he has every previous issue, observing how bad his current situation is. This time, though, he gives us the rundown of the nine horrible ideas he had that day, resulting in a genuinely funny adventure through one of the more exciting days in Hawkeye’s life. Starting out with a simple effort to label his arrows, as any proper archer ought, Clint then gets a little bit of “afternoon delight” with a girl who is on the bad side of the Russian mob. …which he finds out after they break into his room before they get dressed. The story concludes with a dramatic car chase and a Mexican standoff. Fraction has done a very good job giving Hawkeye depth as a character. Given his recent appearance in The Avengers, I’m sure there are people have wanted to get into the Mauve Marksman… Note to self, change that… And Fraction has been defining Clint Barton as an independent hero from the famous team. Plus, he’s put a lot of humor into it.
David Aja’s artwork can also be seen in the Immortal Iron Fist series, where the color palette revolved around greens, whites, and yellows. Here, the colors have been adjusted to Hawkeye’s purple, browns, and yellows. It gives an interesting, signature aesthetic to the book. During the naked gang fight I mentioned before, there’s a hilarious censorship choice using a cartoony version of Hawkeye’s classic mask. One mild complaint I have about Aja’s style is that his faces tend to look the same; characters tend to be defined by their clothing or costumes. While that works, I’d still like to see a little more definition there.
Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying this series. I’m going to continue reading it for quite a while longer. The momentum that this series has been picking up is surprising, and I would highly recommend jumping on in if you’re curious. It’s only three issues in, but you don’t necessarily have to read issues 1 and 2 to get the current situation. I give Hawkeye #3 8 arrows out of 10.