Four Letter Nerd

4LN Comic Review: Hawkeye #21

Series: Hawkeye
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth

Summary from Comixology: “THE FINALE PART 1 David. Clint. Barney. The Building. The Tracksuit Draculas. The Clown. Ever seen “Rio Bravo?” Check it out, it’s pretty good.”

This used to be my absolute favorite Marvel book. From issue #1, I was completely hooked. I couldn’t wait for the next issues in the series. Waiting a month for this issue felt like forever. Oh, how wrong I was to think a month felt like a long time for a single issue. This book has suffered so many delays, month after month the book was pushed back for the next release. Issues were released out of chronological order, issues that should have come out in October were not released until February. For a monthly comic, Hawkeye came out yearly. (That’s a joke because issue #20 came out in September of 2014, and issue #21 came out in February of 2015. That’s just fucking ridiculous.)

The Highs:
Matt Fraction is a damn good writer, and Hawkeye shows just how great of a writer he is. One of best things about this series is how it shows a “superhero” character dealing with real life problems. Hawkeye is deaf and this issue does a good job portraying this as Clint struggles to read lips. David Aja’s art truly is on point in this issue. It’s beautiful, easy to follow, and for a minimalist style, there is great detail in every page. The layouts towards the end of the book were absolutely amazing. Switching between blackout panels and then seeing whats going on, and switching back to blacking out. It really made you feel and emphasize with what Clint was struggling with. I also loved seeing the apartment community coming together to fight the Dracula tracksuit bros.

The Lows:
The constant delays in this book crushed ALL momentum for this series. It went from the greatest Marvel book, to one I just no longer care about. Matt Fraction wrote a great version of Hawkeye, but after constant delays the character just didn’t remain on my radar. Since the last issue came out in September, I have completely forgotten what has happened in the previous issues. Not even the recap page could refresh my mind. Fraction has released several new books since September of 2014 such as Ody-C and Casanova Acedia along with the regularly released Sex Criminals. But for some reason Hawkeye suffered crippling delays. (I’m looking at you David Aja.)

The Final Say:
This series is no longer worth the $3.99 that I am paying. Not only has it been delayed but it used to only be $2.99. The price went up a couple issues ago and the quality is not worth $3.99. I will continue reading this book because I am so invested in it, but I would not recommend jumping into this book. Wait until trades are available for the entire series, OR jump on Jeff Lemire’s Hawkeye which starts next month (which is before Fraction’s run even ends). This issue was a great read, but because the book has consistently been killed by the countless delays, and for that reason alone, this issue gets a 3 out of 5. I honestly wanted to give this a 1, but that would only have been to make a point and this specific issue doesn’t deserve that. I sincerely believe that the creative team and Marvel owe the readers an apology for one of our favorite series suffering so much, and it truly bums me out that a book I once held in such high regard has now fallen to the very bottom of my reading list.

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Bill Clark

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