Writer(s): Matt Fraction.
Penciller(s): David Aja, Francesco Francavilla, Chris Eliopoulos, Javier Pulido, Annie Wu.
Colourist(s): Francesco Francavilla, Matt Hollingsworth & Jordie Bellaire.
Letterer(s): Chris Eliopoulos & Clayton Cowles.
Format: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition.
Release Date: December 24th 2015.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously on the Hawkeye (2012) comic book series:
Hawkeye (Vol. 1) by Matt Fraction
Being a superhero without any special supernatural power is a burden that some heroes aren’t able to carry quite easily. Sometimes, a break is what you need to refocus yourself on the things that matter to you most. For Clint Barton, his depression has been stronger than him and it doesn’t help when his homeless brother rings him up looking for help. For Kate Bishop, it’s tough to renounce her role as a Young Avenger while sharing a superhero identity with an Avenger but her willpower pushes her to leave New York for Los Angeles where she could potentially create her own opportunities. Writer Matt Fraction (known for The Invincible Iron Man, The Immortal Iron Fist, and Sex Criminals) returns with artist David Aja (known for The Immortal Iron Fist, and Daredevil) to deliver the final story arcs to their Hawkeye run before handing it over to writer Jeff Lemire and artist Ramón Pérez for their own take on the bow-and-arrow duo.
What is Hawkeye (Vol. 2) about? Collecting Hawkeye #12-22 and Hawkeye Annual #1, this second deluxe edition out of three sends Kate Bishop and Clint Barton on separate yet parallel adventures as trouble still finds them at every street corner. Kate Bishop is thus off to Los Angeles to establish a new routine in her life with the establishment of Kate Bishops Investigations. This life-changing foray in private investigation brings her arch-nemesis Madame Masque knocking at her door looking for revenge. Meanwhile, in New York, Clint Barton has the surprise arrival of his brother Barney as well as the return of Clown and the Tracksuit Draculas who look to gain control on Clint’s building for their own malicious intentions. Too proud to realize it beforehand, both Hawkeyes learn the hard way that help isn’t always bad.
“I futzing hate it.”
— Matt Fraction
Young, clever, brash, arrogant, and skillful. Kate Bishop’s character gets the development she deserves in this volume and which transforms her into one of the most entertaining heroes yet. Similar to her mentor, she doesn’t enjoy asking for help and she gains her experience as a hero through overconfidence and a very impressive set of skills. While this second deluxe volume does allow fans to discover her character even more, Clint Barton is not completely forgotten or overshadowed as he goes through hell to protect the people he loves despite his woes. Following what he went through in My Life as a Weapon and Little Hits, he now shows us what it’s like to be a hero for his community rather than the world.
Similar to the first volume, the artwork continues to be incredibly original and entertaining, although it does require a bit of getting used to at first. In the end, it simply grows on you. The panels on each page are usually clearly-defined without any creative and overzealous attempts at going beyond the structure. The colours are usually thematic, with a certain tone privileged in each issue, especially when focused on Clint Barton’s story. Kate Bishop’s adventures were usually much more explosive and colourful, which isn’t too surprising considering her playful personality and her adventures in Los Angeles.
I do have to admit that the first issue (Hawkeye #17) was a bit unnecessary and didn’t fit in too much with the overall volume as it offered a cartoonish story where Clint dozes off and imagines a life as super-dogs. The issue drawn by Javier Pulido (Hawkeye Annual #1) was also off-putting with a less-than-stellar artwork but the story remained heavily important to the arc, making it hard to completely disregard. The constant flipping between both Clint Barton’s and Kate Bishop’s story was also a bit unsettling since the artwork changes accordingly but nothing flagrant enough to spoil the quality of Matt Fraction’s and David Aja’s Hawkeye run.
Hawkeye (Vol. 2) is a diverting and riveting adventure where street-level heroes discover the wonders that come of solidarity.
A Hawkeye TV series developed for Disney+ is in development and will feature Clint Barton passing on the mantle to his protege Kate Bishop!
At the beginning of November, following a special episode on Disney+ called Expanding the Universe, fans got to see these three concept arts shown above.
However, recent allegations against Jeremy Renner have put him in hot water and his future as Hawkeye might be in trouble.