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Comic Thoughts: Marvel's 'Hawkeye' Issue #9

Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment

In which Hawkguy is having an awful, awful Valentine's Day.

Seriously. And it's only going to get worse.

So, this issue focuses mostly on the relationships that Clint has with the women around him. The "Work Wife," the Ex-Wife, the "Friend-Girl," and Kate Bishop. The story focuses entirely on how they react to the relationship that Clint has with Penny after she barges into the Avengers Mansion and shoves her tongue down his throat in front of the others.

Just when I was starting to feel truly awful for Clint, despite him simply wallowing in self-pity, the sudden turn at the end of this issue made me feel much worse for someone else. (note: There are no spoilers in this post!)

What I liked about this comic is that they slowed the pace down to focus a little bit on the real people behind the super personas. All four of the women that Clint dealt with in the issue are supers that have the ability to do plenty of butt-kicking. We get a little showcase of Natasha's when she goes hunting Penny down to try and ask her some questions, to no particular avail. Then Bobbi, who goes outside to beat up a few thugs while Clint is signing their divorce papers.

When it comes to Jessica, though, she reserves all her physical mean-ness for Clint, but her scenes had a whole lot of heart in them. Though it's obvious that in some ways, his relationships to all four women are deeply affectionate and somewhat complicated, it's Jessica who really got in his face about the matter at hand, told him how she feels, and brought up his problems with Bobbi, citing them as she went on to talk about how Clint pushes people away.

The bright side here was Kate defended him without pandering or even seeming attached -- she dropped a nice line ("Well, I don't hang out with him. He hangs out with me!") and even attempted to comfort him, but not without reminding him that though he isn't really a bad person, he does have some problems. See, that's a Good Friend.

As usual, the art is a huge highlight in the overall composition of the book. I'm reading it digitally now, but it's still wonderful. Aja's lines and Hollingsworth's colors are a symphony in and of themselves, and I'm just glad that this issue was 100% done by them, even though I've mostly enjoyed the guest art in the past.

Despite this slow interlude, it did lead into seeing this new face that is out to kill people (probably Clint), and next issue we'll learn more about that. I'm still really enjoying that this comic is about Clint as a human and less about Hawkeye as an Avenger. I love all the extra drama and the focus on his internal dialogue and personal problems. And his problems aren't with some super-villain or making a decision that might hurt thousands of people -- it's about keeping the tenants in his building happy, and trying to be a Nice Guy, and do the right thing.