I pretty much like to discuss the past here on Giant-Size Marvel, particularly the comics of the 1960s/70s/80s. I shy away from modern comics, for the most part because I want to focus that I stuff that I really love. There is one comic being published by Marvel which is giving me a thrill I haven't had since I read Frank Miller's Daredevil.
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido, Matt Hollingsworth, Chris Eliopoulos and others. I am late to the party on this one, a lot of fans have been raving about it for months. I suppose I had some reservations based on past series featuring Hawkeye. Hawkeye is usually at his best in a team book, bouncing off other characters with his temper and impulsive behavior.
This series is about Hawkeye when he is not an Avenger. For each of the seven issues published thus far, he's not even in costume. It's what he does when he is not saving the world. The stories range in flavor: one issue he fights a gang to take control of his apartment building; issues 4-5 have Clint traveling to Madripoor where he has to evade a host of bad guys like Madame Masque and the Hand. The latest issue (#7) features Clint trying to save people from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. The supporting cast includes Kate Bishop (the Hawkeye from Young Avengers), Hawkdog (a dog Clint saves in issue #1, what else could we call him?), and several neighbors from Clint's building in Brooklyn. Kate is a wonderful cast member and works well in Hawkeye's life, pulling him out of scrapes whenever he needs the help. There is a lot of humor in this book and much of it comes from Clint's arguments with Kate.
The storytelling in this series is what makes me compare it to Frank Miller's Daredevil. The artwork is like nothing else you've seen lately. Tired of non stop splash pages? Do you long for the return of nine panel grids? This book is for you, forget about nine, sometimes there are 16 grids on a page. The design is wonderful, and the stories by Fraction are very clever. There are time-hopping flashbacks from page to page, a device that allows him to start the story off with action and clue you in on the details as it progresses. I would not only compare Hawkeye with Miller but also with Will Eisner's The Spirit. The variety of stories that Fraction can tell here matches the way the Spirit could face off with criminal goons one week and go hunting for Sand Saref in Paris the next week.
Hawkeye is best series Marvel has published in years, if you're a lapsed Marvel reader, this is one you should consider reading. Nuff Said!