Filed under: Comic Reviews, Marvel Comics | Tags: Clint Barton, David Aja, hawkeye, Kate Bishop, Matt Fraction
Fresh from a strong opening issue (reviewed here) this new series continues with the latest issue from Matt Fraction and David Aja.
Keeping us firmly held in the world of Clint Barton and away from any Avengers involvement we’re dropped into the latest of Clint’s crime-fighting cases. Centring on an undercover team-up between Clint and previous Hawkeye understudy Kate Bishop, we see them gear-up and try to blend in with the rich residents of the city at the visiting Circus. Kate pulls this off easily while Clint struggles to even get the basics right but somehow they manage to fit in.
It’s here that we find out the real details of the case as the ringmaster is actually the head of a crime family intent on robbing the rich. Something they manage to almost achieve but up steps Clint & Kate to take them on and stop the entire gang. There’s a great feel to this issue, the mix of panel layouts work with the story as training sequences and fight scenes have the closeness and detail that they need while allowing some more theatrical elements play out in the Circus and during the closing confrontations.
I’m still on-board with Fraction’s approach to Clint and his attempt to fit into a world outside the city streets he’s so obviously from. The only danger here is the feeling that the title could be edging closer to mimicking some of the Brubaker/Maleev Daredevil days….it does feel slight here so I’m hoping that it continues to carve it’s own path. Just something about the “Normal” alter-ego trying to take crime on but with that super-hero in the back pocket just in case, has me expecting to see DD appear.
The art seems to take a step up in this second issue too as the much more varied approach to panel layouts seems to give Aja much more to work with – some tight elements of details and some smart scenes being setup with the characters almost exploding through to the end. The underlying interest of Clint in Kate gives the whole issue an anchor in the real world as Clint’s awkwardness plays out with them wanting to work together more and trying to keep things professional. Who knows where that part of the story will lead?
I’ll hold off for #3, seeing just how things develop in both the story and art front but these first two issues are setting up a solid ground for an on-going series. More pros than cons with this and holding onto a good sense of consistency from the creative team.
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