Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Reader's Diary #1150- Matt Fraction (writer), David Aja, Jarvier Pulido, Alan Davis (Artists): Hawkeye, My Life as a Weapon

Despite hearing great reviews of it beforehand, I still didn't haven't high expectations of Hawkeye My Life as a Weapon. Though my son seems to have a thing for the character, I hadn't even hear of the guy until the first Avengers movie and didn't think he particularly stood out. (For the record, I know he supposedly got a better treatment in the sequel, he still didn't come across to me as much of an asset, to the team or the movie.)

But maybe the comic would bring me around? A little, yes.

The "no super-powers" thing is hammered home a lot, and that was fine. However, when I realized it was going to involve a lot of street crime (versus aliens and killer robots) I was skeptical once again. Just coming off the Netflix fantastic Daredevil series where it too was all street crime, there was no way it could compete.

But it did. Mostly because it's less serious. Granted that also misses on occasion. Fraction likes to crack a lot of jokes and set up a lot of gags. And many of them are funny. But he also likes to repeat a lot of jokes. So, if you weren't laughing hard the first time around, you're down right annoyed the 12th time. One bit, for instance, involves characters calling one another "Bro" a lot. Meh.

Still, he plays with a very Tarantino-ish style, starting at a bad point, working back to how the characters got there, returning to the present, and continuing. Plus he shares Tarantino's sense of humour about over the top violence and penchant for slipping mundane details into what should be serious matters.

Clint Barton, Hawkeye, is likeable enough, pretty self aware of his standing yet still finding himself in circumstances that are over his head and yet managing to shoot his way back out. But despite the cover shown above, he is hardly any more the star than Kate Bishop, apparently a Young Avenger who apparently also goes by the name Hawkeye from time to time. They team up several times in this collection and their chemistry is quirky but believable. Plus, Bishop holds her own in the compelling department.

As for the art, again I started off somewhat unsure but being won over-- by Aja's anyway, who drew the first three stories. The colouring seemed flat at first, like a Tintin comic, with no shading, and that's not something I typically enjoy. However, the limited choice of palette gave it a cool, 70s sort of style. The line work was inky but simple and realistic, keeping only the essential lines in a face for example. Pulidos's characters, in stories 4 and 5, were quite awful with misshapen faces. And Davis' art for the 6th story, a Young Avengers story, while not grotesque, threw out any sense of style and just went for generic.

So, it's a bit of a mixed post, I realize. But I hope it suffices to say, if I find another Fraction-Aja Hawkeye comic again I'm game. Otherwise, I'll probably pass.

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