Stuart's Pick of the Week for the week of 2.26.14: Hawkeye #15
Wanna See a Magic Trick? This issue has Aja returning to the artwork and that makes me quite excited. He is such a unique talent. This is issue #15 and if you have been following, you know that issue #16 came out last month. Again, not sure why, but it adds to the flavor. Aja always comes up with some really amazing covers, and this one is no exception
Clint has found himself caught at the beginning of this issue by the Russian thugs he has been up against for much of Fraction’s run. He has nothing to defend himself with and his pants are on the ground, pants on the ground. See what I did there?
Anyway, the issue shifts back in time a bit and we learn that this Russian mafia owns every building around except for Clint’s, whom, if you recall, took it away from the Russians because they were terrorizing the tenants. Back to the Russians and Clint is trying to think on his feet, so he asks if he can show a magic trick. He yells “BARNEY!” and the Russians look confused. Of course, Barney is Clint’s brother who returned a few issues ago, and he helps take them out. Clint notes that Barney taught him everything he knows. The action scenes are handled masterfully by Aja as always.
I Know Quite Well Your Brother Barton, Barton…
When things quiet down, we see Clint is trying to search for who is behind it all but is struggling, calling this man not even a ghost, but a shape. He is trying to put the puzzle together as he actually plays a puzzle. Nice touch. We then see a meeting that has taken place with the Russians and there he is, the mysterious man. It is the man that shot and killed Clint’s buddy Grills on the rooftop. He is ominous looking for sure, with a mask and a tear coming down. Very creepy. The man then tells the Russians that Clint does not own that building in any way. Clint seized it illegally, a fact that Clint is more than aware of. He asks himself what choice did he have? The shift of the book changes a bit from the fun, sarcastic Barton to one what is filled with regret. He has been beaten up badly, Kate Bishop has left for California to get away from him. He see seems to be defeated. Having said that, the Russians infiltrate the building but are initially repelled by Barney and Clint. Things go quiet until the Barton’s realize that they have miscounted the bad guys and there are some still out there. They both rush upstairs where the masked man is waiting for them. He shoots both of them and the issue ends with them “dead” on the ground. This action scene, again, was amazing.
This issue has gotten several high reviews, but I have to say in all honesty, this wasn’t my most favorite Hawkeye issue. I still really enjoyed it and would recommend it for sure and it deserves to be pick of the week, however. I loved the action sequences. I usually love how Aja uses panels. In this issue, I found the panels distracting and not as creative. My eyes weren’t sure where to look next so I read many panels out of order. This issue also didn’t seem overly clever or as much fun as previous issues. I have previously said that I love how this run is so great because it shows Clint Barton, not Hawkeye. I still love that but I sure would love to see an Avenger or two show up every now and again. He just doesn’t seem like an Avenger in this series. I think that is mostly a strength but I also like my suerpheroes to be superheroes sometimes, you know? And I’m getting tired of the Russian’s, bro. Let’s move on.