I think it was Ed Brubaker who described “Veronica Mars” as ‘“The Rockford Files” in high school.’ Well, with Kate front and center in L.A., Fraction has turned Hawkeye into ’“The Rockford Files” with a sort of superhero."
The Annie Wu art is a nice fit for Kate’s first case, trying to track down some orchids–Fraction maintains a sense of humor as well as danger. Whether it’s Clint or Kate, Hawkeye always feels like a dangerous book. They might get hurt. Or some cool supporting cast member will get killed.
Fraction manages to tie the odd case into some of the bigger plots going on, all while introducing another subplot for Kate. It’s a nice issue, even if it goes on a little long. There’s also character problem. Fraction writes Kate a lot better than he writes Clint.
Fraction should just give her the book at this point.
L.A. Woman; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Annie Wu; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Sana Amanat, Devin Lewis and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Once again, it’s very hard to follow a lot of Satellite Sam. Fraction has a cast list at the open, but it’s not enough. He needs to keep the cast blurbs for when the people show up in the action story instead.
For example, the issue opens with the lead actress (I think) meeting her crappy mother-in-law for the first time. Then the story moves to something about the broadcasting network, then to some writer getting fired for an indiscretion, then to the other writers (maybe), then to the series’s ostensible lead.
Fraction’s writing is so good, not remembering people doesn’t matter. It always feels like you’re tuning into a great TV show you haven’t been watching with enough attention, but with Chaykin–even though his art on Sam is good–his faces aren’t distinctive.
I love Sam; though it’s clearly meant to be read in a trade.
Cookiepusher; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Howard Chaykin; letterer, Ken Bruzenak; editor, Thomas K.; publisher, Image Comics.
Yawn. Why yawn? Because Fraction doesn’t have a story. He’s still explaining the Force. Sorry, the Quiet. In Sex Criminals, it’s the Quiet. It’s where our too cool leads go when they orgasm and then they do all sorts of stuff. Like rob banks or hangout at adult bookstores.
Fraction goes on and on with the guy’s life story and only gets up to him being like fifteen. None of it’s particularly interesting, but it’s all supposed to be very funny. And it might have been funny back in 1993 before Clerks, certainly before Superbad.
There’s also the situation with the female protagonist. She’s always making these little asides to the reader, but without forcing her personality on everyone, Fraction doesn’t realize she’s boring.
He’s got a concept, a cast and absolutely nowhere to go with it. Worse, the issue reads way too fast since he’s trying to hide stuff.
Come, World; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Chip Zdarsky; colorists, Christopher Sebela and Zdarsky; editor, Thomas K.; publisher, Image Comics.
Why did it take Fraction so long to get to this issue? It’s Grills’s funeral; didn’t Grills die in issue nine or ten? Then there was the brother issue, the dog issue, a Kate issue or two… and Fraction doesn’t acknowledge the time spent reading them. He acknowledges their existence, sure, but he doesn’t take into account the reader having been waiting for this issue.
I’m not sure if it’s because he figures it’ll eventually all be collected or if he really does just want to confound the reader.
Worse, he sells he. Aja does the heavy lifting, of course–for a “simple” book, Aja’s narrative design makes Hawkeye work and it does. It works better than it has in ages.
But a series on its thirteenth issue maybe shouldn’t feel like one I’ve been reading–or waiting to read–for ages. Fraction needs straighten this one out.
The U in Funeral; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Sex Criminals is about a young woman whose orgasms cause her to enter some sort of time-slowed state where, or so the very soft cliffhanger implies, she commits crime with her boyfriend, who has the same power.
I’m more curious if Matt Fraction was implying she doesn’t have a college education. There was a scene with her and the guy talking and it left that impression. She reads all the books an American lit major would read. The literary references are Criminals’s weakest point, Fraction’s trying too hard.
He does a lot of nice moves through the narrative, with the protagonist telling her story and it jumping back, forward, back, forward. It flows nicely. It’s just kind of shallow. So far, Fraction only has the MacGuffin. Who cares if the protagonist wants to save her public library from the evil local bank?
Chip Zdarsky’s art’s a perfect fit though.
Suzie Down in the Quiet; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Chip Zdarsky; colorist, Becka Kinzie; editor, Thomas K.; publisher, Image Comics.
Fraction goes all out. It’s also the loosest Chaykin art so far; still looks good, but there’s definitely a hurried “quality” about it.
But the story? Amazing. Fraction’s bringing all the pieces together. He’s got Michael–Satellite Sam’s son–teaming up with Kara–the former squeeze–talking and finding out a bunch of things, making a mystery story all of a sudden.
He’s also running full power with the TV plot and machinations going on. There are the guys fighting about the FCC coming to power–with some tawdriness thrown in, which actually is the closest the issue comes to humor, even it’s sad at the same time.
One of the studio guys gets transfixed on video feedback; that one might be funnier, though it’s a tad disquieting too.
Plus Fraction’s got a flashback of the titular (dead) guy and the girl’s awful trip back from Mexico.
Full, awesome issue.
Percha; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Howard Chaykin; letterer, Ken Bruzenak; editor, Thomas K.; publisher, Image Comics.
Wait, didn’t the dog go the California? Last time I suggested Fraction should release a guide to understanding his plotting for Hawkeye but at this point I think the word is “needs.” It’s all so confusing.
Clint’s brother shows up and gets into a fight with the gangsters. Now, this fight ties into at least the last issue but maybe one or two before that one.
Most of the issue is just Barney–Clint’s brother–flashing back to their childhood while he tries to get money to get drunk. He also kicks some butt–including in scenes Fraction previously implied were Clint (I think).
It’s a really good issue. Fraction has figured out how to do the Brubaker done-in-one issue with a side character, even if he does try way too hard to tie it in.
Francavilla does quite well on the art, especially on the childhood flashbacks.
Writer, Matt Fraction; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Tom Brennan and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Fraction and Aja tell the issue from the dog’s perspective. I’d forgotten Clint even had a dog. Luckily there’s the text recap.
So, there’s a whole visual language for the dog, how he encounters the world–with image memories like street signs and so on–based on smell mostly. I doubt there’s ever been a comic so much about smell.
And it’s really cool. The dog runs into people he doesn’t like, he makes a new friend, it’s really cool. For a while.
But then there’s the narrative. The clown guy is apparently in Clint’s building hiding out with an evil old lady, it’s still unclear if Clint knows Grills is dead, and then Kate moves to California. Also, unclear why clown guy hasn’t attacked Clint as lots of time seems to pass this issue.
It’s really cool, but cool doesn’t make up for Fraction’s insistence on bewildering the reader.
Pizza is My Business; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Tom Brennan and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Are the goods back? They’re on their way, it certainly seems. Francesco Francavilla does the art this issue, which feels like Fraction took a page out of the Brubaker play book. He follows around the clown faced villain, who goes after Kate.
It’s unclear why the villain goes after Kate, except maybe to be an even worse villain who torments the heroes.
The villain’s not a bad choice, he just feels like a Garth Ennis Punisher villain. Eastern European, dead family, not supervillain costume but something disquieting. The bigger issue might be just out of teenage years Kate Bishop being all hot to trot for him.
And then Fraction jumps back to the previous issue and explains a couple things about Clint’s thought process. It’s a shocker… and Fraction’s finally not playing Clint as the heel this issue.
I still don’t know why Fraction’s fracturing the timeline, except for effect.
Writer, Matt Fraction; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterers, Chris Eliopoulos and Clayton Cowles; editors, Tom Brennan and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Apparently Clint isn’t irresistibly attracted to the redhead, he’s just a man slut. It’s also unclear if he’s fired from the Avengers.
His lady friends–Black Widow, Mockingbird, Spider-Woman–are worried about him. Both because he’s a man slut and because he’s in danger, only Fraction skips around to avoid looking at the in trouble part and sticking to the relationship stuff with Spider-Woman.
For the first time with Hawkeye, I don’t get it. I can’t see what Fraction’s trying to do. Aja’s artwork is amazing, but having Clint be this depressed guy who’s a fifth wheel in his own comic? And the redhead doesn’t even hang around. She leaves town–Fraction obviously has an internal logic to how the events occur, but since he–pardon the phrase–fractures the narrative, he’s asking a lot of the reader.
He doesn’t bring the goods this issue. It’s too bad.
Girls; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Tom Brennan, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
So Clint’s redhead femme fatale comes back and gets him in all sorts of trouble. The issue’s really confusing, starting with the flashback of her last heist going bad.
Then there’s the ladies at the Avengers mansion and the implication Clint’s dating Spider-Woman but probably not since he hopes into bed with the other girl. Kate shows up for a page, guess she’s no longer costarring.
Fraction seems to be suggesting Clint’s powerless to resist the redhead, but it’s unclear why. He’s a superhero, I’m sure he’s met loose women before.
Maybe the problem is Fraction’s approach. He writes Clint as something of a rube, getting taken for a ride. It’s not funny, it’s sad. He commits felonies for no good reason when he easily could have found good reasons.
There’s a big scary cliffhanger with the Marvel crime bosses.
It’s got beautiful art, but Fraction’s writing’s a mess.
My Bad Penny; writer, Matt Fraction; artists, David Aja and Annie Wu; colorists, Matt Hollingsworth and Wu; letterers, Chris Eliopoulos and Wu; editors, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
What’s Fraction doing writing a story set during Hurricane Sandy? Being awesome.
He splits the issue between Clint and Kate, with Clint in Far Rockaway (I think) and Kate in New Jersey. She has the more dangerous adventure, but Clint gets to witness moments of profundity.
Steve Lieber handles Clint’s part of the issue, which has him helping out one of his tenants who is helping out his dad. There’s stuff between the father and son; Fraction’s able to get humor and tenderness in the pages and Lieber does a good job mixing family drama and natural disaster.
Jesse Hamm draws Kate’s story, involving her misadventure as a bridesmaid. Fraction doesn’t go for much humor, since Kate’s stuck running the recovery effort. She gets the positive human experience though, the people helping people.
It’s a neat issue. Hamm’s art is occasionally loose, but Fraction does well marrying superheroes to reality.
Writer, Matt Fraction; artists, Steve Lieber and Jesse Hamm; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulus; editors, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
I don’t understand half of what’s going on this issue. I think there’s this gang of toughs who have a sickly old man for a leader and they’re going to kill everybody in Hawkeye’s building if he doesn’t leave. And he can’t beat the gang because he’s only one guy and he refuses to call anyone for help.
Except when he wants Tony Stark to hook up his DVD player and when he wants to give up the Hawkeye mantle to the girl Hawkeye.
So it makes no sense, at least if one is looking for logical behavior. Fraction doesn’t worry about logical behavior. He and Aja instead concentrate on making an awesome reading experience. It’s hard to even call Hawkeye a comic… it’s a reading experience.
Between Aja’s page design and then his actual art and Fraction’s pacing and dialogue, it’s fantastic.
It’s just a hostile read is all.
Six Days in the Life of Hawkeye; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, David Aja; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.
What an action-packed issue. Not really. It’s all about drinking and television politics in the fifties and it’s amazing.
Fraction has a huge cast but he doesn’t exactly bother with names, using their positions instead. The producer, the head writer, the star. Their names don’t matter. Even the church lady is just the church lady.
Behind the scenes television machinations are the A plot. Fraction saves all the drama for the B plot. Except the B plot is really short, mostly just for the cliffhanger. It’s not a bad plotting decision from Fraction–the B plot is sensational one; it’s a far better hook than something going wrong with a television deal.
The comic’s incredibly dense due to the many characters–it’s a talking heads book, which Fraction and Chaykin hide through different locations and the generally fine art. Fraction’s ability to manage it all is his greatest achievement.
The Dirt Nap; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Howard Chaykin; letterer, Ken Bruzenak; editor, Thomas K.; publisher, Image Comics.