From the Archives- Matt Fraction and David Aja's HAWKGUY (2012-2015)
Fraction’s Hawkeye is a bit of a loser, a man who may know everything to do during the working hours but when he punches out for the day, he’s kind of lost and bumbling. But that doesn’t mean that he still can’t find trouble to get in when he’s just trying to hang around his apartment.
A couple of years ago, I was able to write a number of pieces for Trouble With Comics, an offshoot of Comic Book Galaxy. It was a fun site and I was able to cover a number of things that were just fun. One of the comics I got to write about what Matt Fraction and David Aja's (and a host of other creators) Hawkeye, one of the most interesting comics that Marvel has put out in the past 10 years. Fraction gave the series a lot of character while Aja's craft was a masterclass of storytelling. The book wasn't completely successful, probably just mostly, but it still stands out as a highlight of modern Marvel Comics for how innovative and counter-superheroic it was.
And in a couple of days, we'll get a Disney Plus show that looks to borrow a lot from this Hawkeye series. So let's take a look back at this 2015 piece about Hawkeye #1-22.
Matt Fraction and David Aja and Annie Wu had 22 issues to tell a Hawkeye story, maybe even THE Hawkeye story. Fraction’s Clint Barton isn’t the super confident and cocky archer that has lead Avengers and Thunderbolt teams. This isn’t the hothead who’s chafed under the direction/tutelage of Captain America. This isn’t even the superhero security guard that we got the last time that anyone tried to show Hawkeye as just a working stiff. Heck, this isn’t even the Hawkeye who plays second fiddle to the rest of the superheroes in the movies. Fraction’s Hawkeye is a bit of a loser, a man who may know everything to do during the working hours but when he punches out for the day, he’s kind of lost and bumbling. But that doesn’t mean that he still can’t find trouble to get in when he’s just trying to hang around his apartment.
Basically, this run of Hawkeye is about Clint Barton versus gentrification, a plot driver that is very similar to the recent Daredevil Netflix TV series once you stop to think about it. When Clint’s apartment building comes under threat of the Russian mafia who want the real estate but not the tenants or the lousy rent, Hawkeye basically squats in the building and gets everyone else to as well as they fight the Russians for their home. It’s weird that that’s what the basic plot of 22 issues is – Hawkeye fighting the Russians over his crappy apartment. And not in any cool and retro Cold War fighting the Russians way but in a kind of mundane, everyday struggles of working folk kind of way.
To read the whole piece, head over to Trouble With Comics.