Sep 1, 2015

[Comics] Hawkeye Vol. 2 - Little Hits

My effort to review the current Hawkeye run using the collected editions as a basis continues on with Hawkeye Vol. 2 - Little Hits. Matt Fraction already won me over with the first few issues of this series and I've continued on with the comic since then. Both Tobie and I love it to bits, plus Barton is pretty much at his hottest in this comic since they didn't go all unrealistic hyper musculature and such.

Eye candy indulgence aside, the writing for this book remains wonderfully character-centric and funny as heck. There's great action, wonderful examples of how sequential art truly should be and of course Pizza Dog.

I think my biggest worry is that all of my reviews of these comics will end up sounding the same since I love them so much. The books are consistent in bringing in everything that I like about comic every single time. But then again, we also get some truly clever and inventive storytelling like what was masterfully demonstrated here.

Synopsis: Hawkeye Vol. 2 - Little Hits is the second compilation of the 2012 Hawkeye comic book title as part of the Marvel Now line-up. The comic is written by Matt Fraction with a surprisingly diverse art team that still manages to deliver a consistent experience across comics.

How does one summarize this volume, really? For the most part, you still have a lot of Clint Barton getting beat up for standing up for the little guy. He continues to fiercely defend his apartment building from a gang trying to take over the block and has inadvertently made himself a target of the Kingpin and his associates. We get a fair amount of Kate Bishop dropping by and being an awesome Hawkeye as well. And we actually have some moments of Barton in official costume.

Stories that stand out include the whole issue of "Six Days in the Life Of", which contains some of the most creative panels I've seen in a while. And I'm not talking about unusually shaped panels like in Batwoman or 4th wall breaking moments like what Zatanna did in Seven Soldiers of Victory. Instead you have seemingly simpler panel layouts that seem to imply a slower, more measured pace of storytelling including moments to introduce the characters in the scene or even just play up the situation they're facing. At the start of this issue you have Tony Stark trying to help Barton wire up his TV setup and the present it in a most interesting manner. This is immediately followed by wide angle depictions of the Avengers fighting members of AIM and it's just fun. But the panels also stress that the fight is not the main point of the story and thus quickly moves on to other things.

And obviously you can't talk about this collection without touching on "Pizza Is My Business", which is a story predominantly told from the perspective of Pizza Dog. And this isn't just about the dog being, well, just a dog. Instead we have a true detective piece with Pizza Dog's nose trying to make sense of what's going on. And yes, this story still nicely ties in to the larger meta-plot that has been woven into all of the issues since the beginning.

This collection is one again a beautiful marriage between great story and really creative and beautiful art. Just look at the meeting of the Kingpin and the different villains who are associated with him. The stark coloring that makes a lot of them almost seem like mere silhouettes is amazing and the detail retained in the panels is just enough to take things to another level. I'll never tire of David Aja's action sequences and how he takes the time to show just how amazing Hawkeye is despite not having any true superpowers to speak of.

It surprises me just how long the meta-plot is going on though. And we're not talking about some big super villain plot to take over the world or anything like that. Instead the story is true to the spirit and tone set in the very first issue - this is about Clint Barton being a guy trying to make a difference. And if that means preventing the bad guys from taking over an old apartment building and thus thwarting their plans of tearing the whole block down for some other purpose, then so be it. And at the same time, we continue to see what's going on with Barton's efforts to protect the building along with other stories that come into play.

And when that can't happen, we follow Pizza Dog, who is clearly a hear in his own right.

Hawkeye Vol. 2 - Little Hits actually makes quite the impact because of how it comes together. This is how you continue on with a solid comic book title and continue to challenge yourself to do new things and tell new stories. And so the compilation gets 5 awesome Pizza Dog moments out of a possible 5.


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