Review: Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a WeaponHawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hawkeye


Introduction:

Now, I will admit that when I first heard about Marvel launching their “Marvel NOW” line (which is similar to DC doing their “New 52” reboot, except that “Marvel NOW” is not a reboot), I was a bit hesitant about reading any of the comic books from this line because:

1) I did not like the direction that Marvel was taking some of their franchises (X-Men in particular).
2) Since I have not been reading Marvel Comics (or DC comics for that matter) that long, I was afraid that I would not understand some of the new comics coming out since I have not read a lot of the previous comics before the 1970s and some from the 1990s yet.

But, after I heard so many good things about this comic book, I just had to put my reservations about the “Marvel NOW” comic book line on hold and give Matt Fraction’s hit series “Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon” a chance! Lo and behold, I found myself loving this series and I wanted to read more from “Hawkeye!”


What is this story about?

Basically in this volume, it details the adventures that Clint Barton, also known as the legendary Avenger, Hawkeye, has whenever he is not with the Avengers. Along for the ride in these adventures, is Young Avenger member Kate Bishop and she and Clint end up fighting crime in New York City while wielding their bow and arrows in the process!


What I loved about this story:

Matt Fraction’s writing: Now I will admit that this is probably the first time I had ever read an “Avengers” comic book since I am more of an “X-Men” fan, but after hearing so many good things about this comic book, I decided to give Hawkeye a try and I found myself loving this volume! Matt Fraction has done a brilliant job at keeping this story self contained (which was what I was looking for when I picked up some comic books in the “Marvel NOW” comic book line) and I really enjoyed the solo adventures that Hawkeye went on. I also loved the way that Matt Fraction made Clint Barton into a truly hilarious and active character and I loved his little quips throughout the entire story. Some of my favorite lines from Hawkeye was when he was making fun of how the older comic books would set up the dialogues whenever they are translating foreign languages (like you know how the older comic books would tell the readers “translated from Russian” or “translated from Japanese”)? Well, his dialogue would go like this:


“(Some Spanish-sounding stuff)!” or “(French Stuff).”

I also loved the way that Matt Fraction portrayed Clint Barton’s relationship with Kate Bishop as it is both heartwarming and hilarious to look at and it was fantastic seeing another character who had the same sharp-shooting skills as Hawkeye does.

David Aja and Javier Pulido’s artwork: David Aja and Javier Pulido’s artwork were fantastic in this volume as they are reminiscent of the artwork in Frank Miller’s classic “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” comic book. I loved the way that David Aja’s artwork in the first three issues is scratchy and bold lined while still capturing the essence of each action scene involving Hawkeye and Kate Bishop fighting against criminals. Javier Pulido’s artwork in the fourth and fifth issues are much lighter in color tone and much more detailed in designs and I really loved the way that they captured the characters and the action scenes.

Hawkeye


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

Probably the only issue that I did not care for in this volume was the “Young Avengers Presents #6” issue. For one thing, I do not normally read the “Young Avengers” comic book series, so I will admit that I was a little confused about what was going on, even though this issue is supposed to be when Kate Bishop first meets Hawkeye. Another thing about this issue was that I felt that the tone of the story was way too different from the tone of the rest of the volume, which was light hearted and action-packed while this issue was dark and had too much soap opera drama for my tastes. So, all in all, I think that this issue was just average and not as good as the rest of the issues in this volume. Although, I did enjoyed Alan Davis’ artwork in this issue as it was gorgeous to look at and the characters’ facial expressions were realistic.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon” is one truly brilliant volume for anyone who is a huge Hawkeye fan and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of his series in the near future!

Rating?

5 pows

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Review: Secret Avengers, Vol. 2: The Labyrinth by Ales Kot

Secret Avengers, Vol. 2: The LabyrinthSecret Avengers, Vol. 2: The Labyrinth by Ales Kot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

This is such a fantastic comic, and I give all the credit to Ales Kot. I haven’t read a ton of stuff by him, but everything I have read, I’ve loved.
He even managed to make a volume of Suicide Squad not suck. So, it goes to figure that if you hand him an actual cool team, he could make it rock. And he does.
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And Michael Walsh’s art is just the perfect compliment to this story. It’s that kind of trippy, blurry, scratchy stuff that I didn’t always enjoy, but it’s really grown on me over the past few years.

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The highlight for me was the stuff with Deadpool and Hawkeye. Deadpool’s self-aware banter breaks the 4th wall constantly during this one. He has some of the hands-down best lines in this thing!

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So this time around the Secret Avengers are all scattered across the globe. Coulson (maybe) has PTSD and has wandered off, Hawkeye is tracking Coulson, Jessica is being introduced to some of Maria’s secrets, Fury is in a coma, and Black Widow is…in another dimension? And how does Deapool fit into all of this? Well, you’d have to ask M.O.D.O.K..

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Ok, the plot is just…wacky. There’s no need for me to go into any details, because it won’t make a bit of difference. The real fun is in the way Kot writes the dialogue between characters.
Now, I will say the the last couple of issues seemed to run off the rails a tad, and the (already) nutty storyline got a bit too screwy for my taste. It’s the only reason this didn’t make it into 5 star territory for me. Even so, I’d recommend this title to friends in a heartbeat.
Especially if they were looking for something a little different.

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Review: All-New Hawkeye #1 by Jeff Lemire , Ramón Pérez (penciler)

All-New Hawkeye #1All-New Hawkeye #1 by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

Ehhhhhh. Ok?

So, I’m not terribly impressed or terribly disappointed. This could go either way, and I guess the only thing to do is keep reading.
The art was somewhat jarring, though.
Not bad, just…jarring, because it kept flashing between this:
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And this:

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Is it something that will annoy me in the long run? I’m not sure yet.
Again, the only thing to do is keep reading, and see how it all turns out.

Another problem could be that I still haven’t been able to read the last volume of Fraction’s Hawkeye…so maybe I’m having some closure issues?
Speaking of, did something happen to Clint’s hearing in that one? Has he always had hearing loss, and I just didn’t know about it? Or did I just misread that part about Stark making him hearing aids?
These are things I probably should have Googled before writing this, but I’m a slacker, so if anyone out there wants to help a girl out…
cough, cough

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Anyway, Clint & Kate are teamed up to look for something bad in a Hydra compound, and between quips & ass-kickery they manage to find…something bad. Every few pages you’re flashing back to a day in Clint’s childhood, when something important happened for him and his brother. You learn they were in an abusive foster home (are there any other kinds in books?), and something happens to the boys that changes their lives. Maybe.

Dum, dum, duuuum…

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It was kinda weird (to me), but I didn’t hate it.

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Review: Avengers: Millennium by Mike Costa

Avengers: MillenniumAvengers: Millennium by Mike Costa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Time Traaaaaavel!
It was a cockamamie plot with no real point, but I’m sort of used to that by now, so it didn’t really faze me.

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But the characters were cool, the dialogue was funny, and the story didn’t seem to take itself very seriously. So. Yeah, I liked it well enough.

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Alrighty! Wanda and Pietro are on vacation together.
Because that’s what most normal grown brothers and sisters do.
They vacation together. Alone. Without anyone else.
Not creepy or weird…at all. *cough*

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Um…

But whatever. The point is, Wanda senses a disturbance in The Force, and sends Pietro scurrying back to the Avengers mansion to collect reinforcements.

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The Avengers wisely decide to step through a Hydra time portal, end up getting separated across the time stream, and hilarity ensues.
What follows is a nonsensical story about Hydra burying a dragon egg in the past, a burned out dystopian future, and Peter dressing up as a Geisha during of of the World Wars.
I forget which one. And, face it, it doesn’t really matter anyway.

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I still don’t know how they managed to fix it all, but that’s ok, because I don’t think they did either. Basically Cap, who is hanging out with Hawkeye and Quicksilver in the Days of Cavemen, (somehow) manages to freeze himself again…

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Tony, Peter, and Natasha find Capsicle in Japan…but leave him frozen so that Bruce and Wanda can find him someday in the farfarfar future.
And…*cough*…for some reason, this ends up helping them all get back to the past/future/present. Anyway, they all meet up again, and open up a can of whoop-ass on a poor man’s Godzilla monster called Kakaranatharaian.
I swear to God!

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Right. They beat both Hydra and Godzilla by…
You know what, they don’t even pretend to know, so I’m not going to even pretend to explain it.
Hawkeye just dribbled some Magic Dirt over what was left of the egg, and they electrocuted it with Time Syrup or something, and everything goes back to normal.

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The end!
And I know that sounds horrible, but this wasn’t all that bad. It was kinda of fun in a WhoTheFuckCares sort of way. Just silly comic book antics, you know?

Alright, because this was only 4 issues long, Marvel kindly thought to pad this one with some ancient issues from the days of yore. And in keeping with the theme, we get the best time travel stories from 1963!
Avengers # 56 & #71
I know, right?! Now settle down so I can tell you all about it.
The first one is about the gang going back in time because Cap wants to confirm that Bucky really died. He’s holding out hope that his little pal made it off that rocket before it exploded.

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Poor Steve…so delusional. Let it go, buddy. Bucky is gone, and he’s never coming back.

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Of course, this volume wouldn’t be complete without a story about Kang, now would it?
Lucky us, it’s complete!

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On the back TheLatestPull.com says, My god is it good.
Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I would say, My god it could’ve been a whole helluva lot worse.

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Review: Secret Avengers, Vol. 1: Let’s Have a Problem by Ales Kot

Secret Avengers, Vol. 1: Let's Have a Problem (Secret Avengers #1)Secret Avengers, Vol. 1: Let’s Have a Problem by Ales Kot

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Yep, yep, yep! This was very cool!
Not sure why I haven’t heard much about this one, but it’s really good. It’s got the same vibe as Hawkeye, but the premise is like a toned down version of the X-force for Avengers…if that even makes sense.

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Maria Hill has decided to put together a Top Secret group of heroes to take on Top Secret threats. Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, and (unbeknownst to everyone on the team) M.O.D.O.K. make up the team.

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Oh, and Hawkeye ends up accidentally making the roster.
He’s the Problem that the title refers to.

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Let’s Have a Problem was just fun to read.
There’s a rampaging Death-machine (ironically called Fury), satellites falling from the sky (???), a self-aware an bomb (who wants to try gelato), an assassination attempt on Hill (she probably deserved it), and a murder in M.O.D.O.K.’s mad science lab (because…shit happens).

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I didn’t realize it until I decided to look this guy up, but Ales Kot was the guy who wrote the only volume of Suicide Squad that I thought was worth a shit. And after reading this, I can say without a doubt I’ll be stalking whatever he decides to do next.
Highly Recommended!

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Review: Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction, David Aja (Illustrations), Javier Pulido (Illustrations), Alan Davis (Illustrator)

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’d been looking forward to reading this for so long, that I think I had a little mini-anxiety attack when I realized I was looking at it.
I mean, all the cool kids had already read it.
And here it was, in my hands!
I. Was. Cool.

Then I opened it up. And I shit you not, my first reaction was this:
Wha..? No. But?! Mother fucker. What’s up with this ugly-ass art?! Well, shit. This is just great. So that’s what they were all talking about. That’s just…fuuuuck. God. I can’t…ugh.
So I shut it.
Yes. I was so pissed at the blocky drawings that I put it down, and went to make myself some coffee.
Because coffee is my comfort food…
And I’ll bet my secret stash mini-Snickers that you guys are all going What?! Is she insane? The art is the best part of the book!
Well, sorry. I wasn’t expecting that. And coupled with my sky-high expectations for this one? Let’s just say that I’m not terribly surprised that I had a bit of a hissy fit/mental breakdown. In fact, I can actually feel my blood pressure rising just reliving those first few moments.
Hang on. Gonna make some coffee…

I’m back.
shlurp
Ahhhhh.
Did I overreact?
Of course. Even I can see that, now. Hell, I could see it then. But I didn’t care at the time, because I was in the middle of a hormone-induced break with reality. Couldn’t be helped. There are some days when the slightest thing can send an otherwise rational woman spiraling into Crazy-Eyed-She-Devil territory. Yesterday was one of those days for me.
shlurp
I’m fine today. Mostly.
Although, I would advise that you wait a few days before mentioning that this review has turned into a bowl of rambling nonsense, just to be safe.

So how did this go from I-Want-To-Shove-It-In-My-Toilet-But-It-Won’t-Fit-Down-The-Tiny-Hole-In-The-Bottom-Of-The-Bowl, to 5 stars?
Coffee, of course.
shlurp
And maybe I raided the kid’s Easter baskets for any leftover chocolate.
Then I sat down again. And this time I read it.
Oh. Muh. Gawd.
It was everything you guys said it would be and more!
Hawkeye and Hawkeye
Bro
This looks bad
And:
The dog…
If you didn’t get a little misty-eyed about Arrow/Lucky, then I’m afraid we can’t be friends. Personally, I was slightly choked up by the time Clint named the dog.
Slightly choked up, mind you. Not a blotchy snotty mess. Nope.
Because I wasn’t a fountain of raging mood swings when I read this.

This volume also included a story from the Young Avengers at the end, and it was phenomenal!
But.
I’ll let you in on a little secret…
I missed the artwork from the Hawkeye title when I was reading it.
Don’t. Say. It.

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Review: Hawkeye Vol. 3; L.A. Woman – by Matt Fraction

Hawkeye, Vol. 3: L.A. WomanHawkeye, Vol. 3: L.A. Woman by Matt Fraction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GIRL POWER!

OK, I wish I’d had this for Pink Taco week…I also suggest everyone read this.
Kate ‘Girl Hawkguy’ Bishop, the OTHER Hawkeye, well sort of, is sick of Clint Barton (the real Hawkguy) so she moves to LA to start all over again.

What follows is a really funny and enjoyable read through her bumbling adventures in LALA Land.

Madame Masque shows up as her main antagonist, who kinda runs the show, like spiderwebs, she’s connected to all of it.

There’s jokes about Lars Ulrich, stealing music, copyright laws, silly Avengers teams that make no sense, and more!

The LA feel of the book makes it a bit more laid back, and this ends up feeling like a sorta Rockford Files/non-serious Magnum PI marathon. (and I mean that as a compliment) She lives on a trailer on the beach (cat sitting for some Hippy Old Lesbians). She’s got no cash, so decides to be a Hero for Hire (we even see her poster with tear off phone number attached) I’m sure Luke Cage and Danny Rand were amused.

Her first case involves finding who got stole the orchids for her gay black neighbours’ wedding, and it’s complicated, but a sweet ending, and the gay black dudes sorta end up being her Rick and TC. though they look more like Isaac Hayes and Fred Williamson.

Then there’s the cliche about the old worn out Police Sarge who doesn’t want a kid running around doing police work, but they play it for laughs well, and not stupid.

There’s a whole story about a Brian Wilson like Beach Boy acid casualty who makes his comeback after years in the wilderness (pretty on point).

Then there’s a mystery dude who sorta looks like Columbo who’s always at the Grocery Store helping her with good advice and cheap cat food…then we get into his wild story, and past, tied in with Madame Masque again, who we also find out has some ties to Kate in other ways…but yes, MM has been making Kate’s life a living hell since she’s been in LA.

This book just made me smile, had a female lead who was just dorky enough, false self assured, and screwed up just enough to not be a joke but still be loveable. There’s pretty much no Clint Barton in this one, so that’s too bad, but otherwise, this is a fairly fun book. I enjoyed the art, and it really gave me a laid back underside of LA feel (not the beaches and sun, or Rodeo, but the crime and such side, but not gritty or nasty like NYC…)

Oh and, Pizza Dog is along for some of the ride, as he chose her over Clint! Much to Clint’s dismay.

I enjoyed the gay characters here, because they felt organic and natural, not pushed in to meet quota or try to pander to an audience. I felt like it made total sense, and was very cool. I would love to see a whole series about Girl Hawkguy: Private Eye and her Gay Neighbours…MARVEL!!! I see the next TV show…(speaking of TV show, we even see Maria Hill and Phil Coulson show up to interrogate Kate!).

Tons to enjoy here from a relatively small collection (Annual #1, 14, 16, 18, 20) but I’ll take quality over quantity, and both over small shitty collections any day.

Highly recommended for most people, ESPECIALLY Kat! (I feel like she’s our Girl Hawkguy yo!)


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Review: Avengers: Prelude to Infinity – by that Stoner, Jonathan Hickman

Avengers, Vol. 3: Prelude to InfinityAvengers, Vol. 3: Prelude to Infinity by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Yet another case of the library only having Vol. 3 and not even having ordered 1 or 2! Yet, I read Thor Vol 2 the other day w/o 1 and it was great! So I took the chance here…

BIG Mistake.

This is so head scratching and confusing, I have no idea who the non Avenger Avengers are, who are all these cosmic types?

Hyperion? Huh? Captain Universe??? REALLY?

Gobbledygook about new evolution, dying world, eternal versus man, blah blah blah.

Kinda like coming in after the halfway point in a Terry Gilliam movie with absolutely NO CONTEXT.

Prelude to Infinity…OK I’m guessing INFINITY is THE CROSSOVER EVENT OF 201…insert number here.

No thanks.
Based on this I also don’t plan to check out the previous vols.

To put in context, I only gave this 2 because I don’t believe it’s fair to criticize a book too much when you are missing the first 10 chapters.

However…Hickman’s East of West is positively genius compared to this, and that left my mind just scratchy and dented.

This is a big fat “NO” for me.

I’ll stick to the Illuminati Avengers book instead.


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