Fraction and Aja's Hawkeye

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By Todd Allen

hawkeye 1 Fraction and Aja's HawkeyeHawkeye is an odd character, if you look at his publishing history.  He’s been a staple of the Avengers since the title’s earliest days.  In fact, you could probably argue that the core of the Avengers were the Vision and Hawkeye.  Characters that you read in Avengers and not solo books.

When they wanted to spin-off West Coast Avengers, Hawkeye was the centerpiece of the spin-off.  When they launched Solo Avengers, Hawkeye was the regular feature.  You had Hawkeye mini-series in ’83, ’94 and ’03.  More recently, you had Hawkeye & Mockingbird and Hawkeye: Blindspot. You even had an Ultimate Hawkeye mini-series.

Hawkeye is similar to Doctor Strange.  Whereas Doctor Strange limped along in a lower selling cult title for several years, with occasional team book stops (usually variations on The Defenders, Hawkeye has been a staple of several popular team books (Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Secret Avengers… and an early stop over in The Defenders), but his solo efforts just haven’t gotten much traction.

Unless you’re living under a rock, you heard Hawkeye had a bit part in the Thor movie and is already on all kinds of posters for The Avengers film.  Everyone has pretty high expectations for that film, which ought to mean more visibility for the character.  This means a fresh launch and slightly larger names on the creative totem pole.

In August, Matt Fraction and David Aja will be launching the latest edition of Hawkeye. (Yeah… I know.  Movie launches in May and the comic launches in August… you’ve got Captain America & Hawkeye to tide you over until then.)  As you may recall, that’s 2/3 of the Brubaker/Fraction/Aja team that launched The Immortal Iron Fist a few years back.  While they didn’t stay together all that long, that book was a critical darling — and deservedly so.  Hawkeye is frequently portrayed as having a wise ass streak, and that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Iron Fist run.

From the Official PR:

“HAWKEYE is more about what inspires Clint Barton,” Fraction explains, “We got Clint in AVENGERS, SECRET AVENGERS, and anywhere else at any given time—but we wanted HAWKEYE to be about what Clint does when he’s not at work, about what drives the guy.

“He’s got some stuff coming up in [Avengers Vs. X-Men] and afterwards he’s in a place where he’s gotta figure out what he’s doing with himself and why. What moves him, what’s meaningful for him.”

Similarly searching for purpose, Kate Bishop, former Young Avenger and the Marvel Universe’s other Hawkeye, will quickly fall in with her namesake.

“She’s his junior partner, his apprentice,” says Fraction. “It’s a very Avengers relationship—meaning Steed and Peel—and she’s as adrift as he is. What the hell are these two doing with their lives? Turns out, helping people is what they have to do to get through the night. In costume, in life, doesn’t matter. Good guys don’t punch a time card at 5:00.”

Comments

  1. Michael P says:

    The series in ’03 was not a miniseries. It was an ongoing that was abruptly canceled because Brian Bendis needed a pointless death to stick into Avengers: Disassembled.

  2. The art looks great and stylish. I just wish that costume would go away. The classic costume from the comics would look terrible onscreen. But this translation of the movie version to the comics page makes Hawkeye look like a douchey Axe Body Spray enthusiast.

    The traditional Hawkeye costume is one of my favorite superhero costumes; I’m happy to see the big push for Hawkeye, I just wish he was recognizable for it.

  3. Estrella Valentine says:

    Much like the whole pointless story of Avengers: Disassembled.

  4. Matthew Southworth says:

    That’s a pretty fantastic cover.

  5. John Warren says:

    Don’t forget that Clint was a mainstay of the Thunderbolts for a long stretch as well.

  6. Joe S. Walker says:

    “She’s his junior partner, his apprentice,” says Fraction. “It’s a very Avengers relationship—meaning Steed and Peel—and she’s as adrift as he is.”

    In other words, they’re nothing like Steed and Mrs Peel.

  7. Synsidar says:

    How will Hawkeye earn a living? Or will Ms. Bishop, the teenager, support them both?

    SRS

  8. Mike L says:

    They’ve almost got me sold on this — except for that ‘new’ movie costume.

    Maybe when he’s off the Avengers clock and on his own time, he can put the classic threads back on.

    Oh, I know — Hawkeye goes back to the original togs because L’il Hawkeye Girl accidentally sticks him with an arrow. It’s dark out there as they’re getting themselves through the night, and that new look has way too much black. Poor visibility. Safety first!

  9. Torsten Adair says:

    Nice cover, but the arrow silhouette hurts the perspective.

    Hawkeye is not in profile, so the arrow is not either… which means that once the perspective is calculated, that arrow is much longer in profile, possibly the length from Hawkeye’s head to his knees.

    The arrowhead should also be foreshortened, as it is being shot diagonally to the viewer, not perpendicular.

    But given the crazy perspective of the buildings themselves, it’s probably all moot.

    Hmmm… the cover reminds me of this:
    http://marketingmasterinsights.com/input/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/target_times_square_corner.jpg

  10. Chalk it up to caprice, but I’m taking a big pass on this.

    The movies dictating to the source material is mildly grating, even if cosmetically via the suit.

    And Fraction’s work post-Iron Fist has been so disappointing, while Brubaker’s work has at worst been workmanlike, that I have to believe the bulk of my enjoyment of IF was due to Brubaker (from a writer standpoint). At this point, I wouldn’t even take a flyer on Fraction.

    So, yeah, a couple reasons not to jump into a Hawkeye ongoing, which as the article points out, has historically been a losing proposition.

    I don’t mind wishing them the best though.

  11. Marco Polo says:

    Syns – the recent Avengers run has established that all the Avengers except Spidey get a paycheck.

  12. filippod says:

    I’m curious to see the interiors but the cover of #2 suggests a normal t-shirt (with the hawkeye logo) and trousers rather than a super hero costume. Might be only the cover, but it looks rather cool. http://marvel.com/images/gallery/story/18528/c2e2_2012_hawkeye/image/914129

  13. Micah says:

    The Immortal Iron Fist was an AMAZING series! Its brilliance stemmed from the fact that the Iron Fist was in his own corner of the MU and had guest appearances every once in awhile. But Aja can’t keep the monthly schedule up and Fraction hasn’t been able to capture the magic of the series since (save for Casanova, a non-MU book). The deal-breaker will be the cover price. Is this a $2.99 book because Hawkeye is a B-lister? Or is this a $3.99 because Marvel is, well, Marvel. My money is on the former, because it has to be. Otherwise my money is in my wallet. I wish this team good luck.

  14. Dennis V. says:

    I really don’t like the “Ultimate”/movie version of the costume the regular Marvel Universe Hawkeye is now being made to wear. There was nothing wrong with his previous “classic” costume. As for this cover, it’s a nice design, but that “Hawkeye” logo is a bit weak looking.

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