One of the wonderful things about comics is the fact that there’s something for everyone. Don’t want to read about superheroes? Read “Saga”. Want to read a comic from the point of view of the villain? Read “Harley Quinn” or “Superior Spider-Man”. Want to read something original and creative? Read “Sex Criminals” or “Pretty Deadly”. Want to read about anti-heroes? Read “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe” or “Red Hood and the Outlaws”. No matter what you want to read or who you want to read about, you can always find a comic suited for you. But there are few comics that almost anyone can pick up and not be able to put down. Matt Fraction’s run of “Hawkeye” is one of those few. His writing combined with David Aja’s and Annie Wu’s art and the Hawkeyes themselves makes for one of the best comics that Marvel has ever produced.
Recently, there have been rumors about Hawkeye ending on it’s 21st issue (it’s currently on it’s 18th issue). While Fraction hasn’t officially announced when the series was ending (all he’s said is that he had to write his last script for “Hawkeye”), fans are still upset. And how could they not be? “Hawkeye” is an award winning comic book that has brought together so many people.
When I started reading comic books after “The Avengers” came out, I had no idea what I was doing. However, I remember seeing a few comics that caught my eye. My cousin had recommended I read the newest Marvel crossover event at the time, which was “Avengers vs. X-Men”. I had also wanted to learn more about Bucky Barnes so I started reading Ed Brubaker’s, “The Winter Soldier”. But there was one comic series that had just started, called “Hawkeye”. I thought it looked interesting. I remember that Clint Barton didn’t have much screen time in “The Avengers”, so I thought I would read it to get to know him better. I fell in love with Clint and Fraction’s writing by the end of the first issue. I spent the rest of the night reading up on Hawkeye and finding out about Kate Bishop. Once the second issue came out and Kate was introduced to the series, I was a goner. This series had stolen my heart and replaced with a love for comic books. Honestly, if it weren’t for “Hawkeye”, I might have just given up on reading comics all together. And here we are now, about two years later, and I’m still as much in awe of “Hawkeye” as I was when I read the first issues. Not to mention that I’ve made good friends because of “Hawkeye”, both on and offline. Whenever people ask me about what comics they should read, “Hawkeye” is the first thing that falls out of my mouth and next thing they know, they have the first ten issues thrust into their hands.
One of the best things about the series is, well, Hawkeye. Clint Barton and Kate Bishop are gifts to the 616 universe. They’re human. It’s as simple as that. I don’t mean that in the sense that they’re powerless, which they just so happen to be. They’re portrayed as real people. They have normal problems. Although, granted, normal people don’t have to deal with a mafia of Russian guys in tracksuits, whose vocabulary doesn’t seem to go very far beyond the word bro. However, you get to see Clint and Kate going through very realistic problems in life. Clint has to deal with his recent divorce from Bobbi Morse and his sort-of-not-really girlfriend, Jessica Drew. He makes mistakes and has to live with them and himself. He hurts others without meaning to and convinces himself that he’s a bad person. But even with all these problems, Clint will always try to what’s best for others. Even if it’s a small gesture, like letting his neighbor’s kids watch their favorite Christmas movie in his apartment, or a substantial act of kindness, like buying up an apartment building and not charging rent because the previous owners were bad people trying to get everyone out of the building, Clint is a good person and wants the best for those around him, even if he’s the one causing the trouble in their lives. Kate is always there to remind him of these moments. After Jessica tells Clint that he’s a bad person, Kate is at his side in a second, ready to defend him and tell him that making a few mistakes doesn’t make you bad. When Kate leaves because she needs a break from Clint and his moping about Jessica breaking up with him and his endless mourning of their friend, Grills, she faces a pretty predictable problem for a twenty-something girl moving to L.A. without so much as a plan. She has no money, since her father cut her off, and she has no where to stay. Not to mention she took Clint’s (it’s really both of theirs, honestly) dog, Lucky, with her. She makes new friends and enemies and goes on adventures. She becomes a hero for hire to pay for food and other necessities and stays in the trailer of two old ladies who hired her to take care of their cat while they’re away. Basically, her life becomes a lame teen movie but with action and bad guys and none of that ‘finding yourself’ stuff. She faces hardships. She deals with them. End of story.
I’ve gone on tangents about how much I love Annie Wu and David Aja’s art. I could write novels about it, really. But the writing of Matt Fraction is not something to be ignored. Fraction’s one of the best writers that Marvel has at the moment and fans couldn’t be more grateful for him to be writing “Hawkeye”, or “Hawkguy” as he and kid call it. He takes characters that have been written over and over molds them into his own, making them out to better than they ever were before. With all the comics that Kate and Clint appear in, there are few that manage to portray their personalities as clearly and accurately as Fraction does. Clint isn’t just a dopey guy who makes funny remarks in stressful times. Kate isn’t just a pretty face that doesn’t like to follow others or their rules. They’re relatable and funny and sad and heart lifting and inspiring and so many other things that draw the readers in. Fraction is the reason “Hawkeye” is as incredible as it is. And it’s clear from his other works, such as “Satellite Sam” and “Sex Criminals”, that his writing has no limitations in terms of genre, nor does his writing quality ever seem falter.
I could spend hours upon hours explaining every reason why “Hawkeye” is one of the best comic series Marvel has produced. I could go through every panel of every issue of every volume to point out the magnificence of “Hawkeye”. Frankly, I don’t really need to because the minute you open up an issue, you’ll see what I’ve been talking about for the past two years. Bro. Trust me, bro. Just read it, bro.