Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Hawkeye #10

Comic Review: Hawkeye #10

Hawkeye #10 Francesco Francavilla cover

Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye #10 feels like a different animal altogether when you open it. Francesco Francavilla’s artwork is dark, fire-lit and harrowing, and the tone is creepy and off-kilter. This is a story told from the villain’s perspective, and so the fun elements are overtaken by the twisted presence of Kazi, the Russian hitman who killed Grills.

And Kazi’s only got eyes for Hawkeye.

Visually, Kazi feels like a plastic doppleganger of Clint. He’s suave, cold, clean-shaven and so in control it’ll make your skin crawl. When he kills, he does it with a painted on clown face that has a single black tear on the cheek.

But that’s not to say this character is a Joker knockoff. The Joker is a psychopath who delights in killing; Fraction and Francavilla present Kazi as a serial killer shaped by the loss of a childhood friend. He’s not gleefully evil; he’s damaged.

The story runs with two threads: the first follows young Kazi and his friend Janek through the wartorn streets of a Russian city being invaded by foreign soldiers. Francavilla positively drenches these scenes in shadow and flame, and you feel like you’re watching the heartbreak from just beyond the edge of the firelight.

The present day thread is the opposite: bathed in cool colours, set in a cool New York City penthouse, and emotionally removed from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. Fraction writes a tantalizing flirtation scene between a chic blonde man and an attractive young woman, and Francavilla takes it to another level altogether by illustrating the subtle touches of that flirtation.

Francavilla captures the sensuality of the moment with a shot of a hand on a leg, another of lips near an ear, a third of a foot raised out of a high-heeled shoe.

He finds that same intimacy in a later, more familiar scene between Kate Bishop and Clint, because yes, Fraction does bring the story back to more familiar territory before closing it out.

Francesco Francavilla’s intimate visuals truly propel this character-heavy setup issue that introduces Kazi, the weeping clown nemesis on Hawkeye’s trail.

Hawkeye #10 is a more serious, contemplative issue than what we’ve seen in the past, but Francavilla’s art allows Fraction to tell a different kind of story this time out.

This comic is demented, but it works.

8.5 out of 10.

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  1. May 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I didn’t love this issue, but I thought your review was great. So far, it seems I like about one out of three HAWKEYE issues, so I should probably just start picking it up every third month!

    • May 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Yeah I thought this was good, but it’s my least favourite issue so far. I love the fun tone of this series, and while this was executed well, it felt like Fraction was getting his points out to set up the character instead of having fun with it.

      I really liked the scene between Kazi and Kate though – the visuals were excellent.

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