Rec Me Friday: Hawkeye
As a preface to this post and any following comic book posts: I'm more of a casual fan of comics. I just started reading comic books this year and while I really enjoy the medium, I'm not incredibly knowledgable about the vast comic universe. Perhaps I will be as time goes on, perhaps not. I pick up whatever latest comic catches my eye because I love visual story telling and the many forms it can take. So keep in mind that all my opinions here are from 'noob' or someone just getting into comics for the fun of it.
REC ME FRIDAY: THE HAWKEYE(S)
Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, a.k.a. Hawkeye, became the greatest sharp-shooters known to man. They then joined the Avengers. This is what they do when they're not being Avengers. That's all you need to know.
Honestly, I really don't care about Hawkeye or more specifically, Clint Barton. I've seen several portrayals of him in the comics I've read so far and most of time, I'm indifferent to his presence. At his best, he's a smart ass making bad jokes in
Marvel's Earth's Mightiest Avengers
and at his worst, he's the boring shell of a character Joss Whedon and Jeremy Renner put on screen in Marvel's
But Matt Fraction made me care! After reading Volume 2, I , I realized that Clint had been slowly growing on me to the point where I actually started to kind of adore Clint. Somehow, Clint Barton had endeared himself to me as this lovable mess who's earnestly trying to be the best person he can be. He tries to save the tenants in his building and ends up with a mobster hit on his head. He tries to save a girl and ends up getting in more trouble with the mob. Oh, Clint.
It's in moments like these that I really love Clint. Unlike his Avenger team mates, Clint doesn't have any super powers or technology so when caught off guard by mobsters with guns, there's not much he can do. And of course, because he's also this mess of a human being, Clint doesn't have pants that will fasten properly either. So while fighting crime, Clint's there fiddling with the drawstrings of his sweatpants.Fraction's characterization of Clint Barton is human and relatable as well as incredibly humorous and witty. By choosing to depict Clint's life outside of the Avengers, there are no Skrulls, invasions or wars to distract us from seeing his characters at their basic human nature. Here's Clint Barton, a self-destructive man who struggles with emotions and relationships and hey, occasionally shoots arrows in an effort to help people. He's just a guy or Hawkguy as some would say. This is a Clint Barton I actually want more of. I'm really impressed Fraction got me to enjoy Clint this much.
Fraction decides to not only chronicle the life of Clint Barton as Hawkeye but Kate Bishop as well. And Kate Bishop is really what makes this comic book series great. At least for me. I only stuck through this series as long as I did because I wanted more Kate. Thanks, Kate for encouraging me to keep reading and now, loving Clint.
The inclusion of lovely Kate Bishop is essential because Clint's friendship with Kate allows Clint to be a character worth rooting for. Kate pushes Clint to pick himself up again and again. She calls him out on his stupid behavior and of course, helps save the day from villains. Kate is not merely a supporting helper for Clint's development though. Kate Bishop is very much Hawkeye in her own right and she's always treated as a partner to Clint, not a teenage sidekick.Neither Kate or Clint have their lives figured out and that's okay because together, they try to be the kind of person they can both to be proud of. I love seeing the two of them, either together or separately, just try to get through life and slowly develop as characters.
Since Kate Bishop is Hawkeye as much as Clint Barton is, Kate gets to have her own adventures in Volume 3! Kate decides to leave Clint in New York and head out to L.A. as West Coast's Hawkeye. With the support of an awesome black gay couple (yay gay POCS!), Kate tries to do some good in L.A.
But being a Hawkeye is never easy so Kate struggles, makes a bit of a mess of things and even encounters a a vengeful mastermind villain of her own. Just like Clint, she's stubbornly resilient though and keeps on trying to help people.I love Kate Bishop. A lot. I have since I read
, one of the very first comic books I read. Compared to Clint, Kate has more of a positive can-do attitude and it's wonderful to see. No matter what, Kate picks herself up again.
There's also Pizza Dog or Lucky or Arrow. I call him Pizza Dog. After his first encounter with the Eastern European mob, Clint saves Pizza Dog from the abusive mobsters and Pizza Dog remains the official pet for the two Hawkeyes. Pizza Dog even gets his own issue! Issue #11 is told through Pizza Dog's distinct point of view as he observes the lives of the humans around him. And as a Hawkeye pet, he tries to save others as well. It's wonderfully charming to read.I like that I never quite know what I'm going to expect next in this series. A story from Pizza Dog's perspective is an interesting turn from the series' main events as is Issue #13. Issue #12 focuses on an odd dream Clint has while watching a children's Christmas program. Honestly, I'm still trying to figure it out. There are heroic winter animals who probably represent the Avengers and Clint is the back up dog that doesn't quite fit in? Fraction keeps me thinking, I love it.
is definitely worth a read, especially for people just entering the world of comics like I am. There's very little you need to know about Clint Barton or Kate Bishop's backgrounds other than they have both fought crime under the name Hawkeye. The writing is consistently funny and smart. The series has a few rotating artists and each one is great, especially David Aja. So
and get to know this Hawkeye family as they try to just figure life out!