I both blame and thank Matt Fraction for getting me back into comic books after almost ten years. Blame because now I can't stop spending money on comics. Thank because there are a ton of really amazing titles out there right now. And Hawkeye is my very favorite. So the following is going to be a gushing love letter to this comic book. Just so there's no confusion.
One of the best things about Hawkeye is that this is about Clint Barton the dude, not Hawkeye the Avenger. In the first issue, Clint shakes down his shady landlord to protect his neighbors, beats up some thugs, and rescues a dog. That's it. He still works with the Avengers, but that's all treated as his day job. This is a story about a guy who just tries to do the right thing even though he can't seem to get out of his own way. He is deeply flawed, deeply decent, and deeply human.
Matt Fraction's writing is the heart of what makes "hawkguy" so awesome. Clint's narrative is sarcastic and self-deprecating. Every issue starts with the line "Okay, this looks bad." He manages to make some pretty deep commentary on the human condition without giving off the air that he takes himself too seriously. The cast of characters surrounding Clint are amazing as well, from the dog he rescues to his snarky/fantastic protege Kate Bishop. Other heroes from the Marvel Universe make cameos, of course, but even these manage to be humanized in a frame or two (Dog Cops. That's all I'm gonna say).
Everyone who reads my reviews might also noticed that I'm a huge fan of David Aja's art. Like fangirl huge. It's classic, minimalist, and the frames are so carefully laid out. It's a perfect compliment to the writing. I also love the tiny details; arrows, bullseyes, and other cool little visuals worked in subtly. And the covers! I don't know if this is a coincidence, but the colors on the covers actually lead from one to another. They start out predominantly white and purple and eventually begin to integrate red, leading to the most recent issue which is predominantly red. Sorry, I'm crazy but I love that.
Speaking of colors. THE COLORS, DUKE. The colorist for Hawkeye is a genius. Also pretty minimalist, the colors are flat and there is tons of purple...a fun nod to his avengerness.
Okay, and since I'm on a big gushing roll, I'd also like to bring up the letters. They are wonderful and there is no weird bolding on every other word. Like the images and colors, they just fit so nicely with the story.
In short, I super like this book and you should read it.