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Comic Review: Hawkeye #9

David Aja cover Marvel Hawkeye #9 I Love Hawkeye

Redheaded bad girl Cherry gets Clint in deep with more than just the Russian mob in Hawkeye #9. The gun moll on the run smooches our hapless hero on the doorstep of Avengers Mansion, right in front of the three ladies in his life: Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), and Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird).

That makes all three ladies right pissed, and with Kate Bishop being… well, Kate Bishop… Clint’s in for a very messy bit of girl trouble.

Hawkeye #9 from Matt Fraction and David Aja is everything fun about comics wrapped up into one beautfully-drawn book. It’s got romance. It’s got action. It’s got humor.

And it’s got heartbreak.

The structure of this comic is a ton of fun. Each girl gets a few pages to deal with her anger at Clint, and Clint gets exactly zero pages to defend himself. The poor guy is still all bandages from his outting with Cherry, and he’s got some mean-looking Russian Bros hanging out in a van (not a van) in front of his apartment.

Fraction wonderfully captures each girl’s character in only a few short sequences. There’s Natasha, the Work Wife; Bobbi, the Ex-Wife; Jessica, the Friend-Girl; and Kate, who gets her own category. These are complex characters on every page, and Fraction never goes for the easy characterization like making it bitter between Bobbi and Clint. He stays true to the characters throughout.

And so does David Aja. None of these girls are in costume, but Aja incorporates costume into their daily dress. Natasha has a widow belt buckle; Jessica wears a red dress with yellow, blue, white, and black triangles all over it. The other girls get similar costume-themed designs.

Aja simply is, yet again, one of the best parts about this book.

Matt Fraction’s writing proves particularly good at controlling pace in this issue. While most of this comic is about relationships and Clint giving the “aww, shucks” look, Fraction inserts a sudden twist that will shatter your heart with the page turn (as only comics can do).

Hawkeye #9 is another bang-on issue showing Clint Barton’s life beyond the Avengers. If you’ve ever had trouble juggling multiple dames in your life, your heart will go out to poor, poor Hawkguy.

9.5 out of 10

  1. April 11, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. This may be the best issue of HAWKEYE yet. I’m pretty off and on with this series, (and Fraction’s work in general…how can THE DEFENDERS be the greatest thing ever, but FANTASTIC FOUR be…whatever it is?) but yeah, with an issue like this, I mean, c’mon! I can’t protest any longer. This is why we read superhero comics! I like your point about Aja. These small design touches really show what a master he is.

    • April 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      I haven’t read Defenders, but I’m totally on board with your ambivalence about Fantastic Four. It doesn’t even feel like the same writer, maybe because there’s more editorial pressure with the bigger title, or maybe because I just have never been a Fantastic Four fan.

      It’s nice having fun with a comic like Hawkeye, without having to worry about major implications or crossovers. Sometimes it feels like this comic slips under the Marvel radar altogether – and that’s a good thing.

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