Writer: Matt Fraction / Artist: David Aja / Marvel Comics
We’ve been waiting for this issue so long it became the comic book equivalent of Dr. Dre’s Detox album. Sun, the wait is over, and let me tell your first and fucking foremost we need to put the hard shit on because Matt Fraction and David Aja came out on some Bad Boys II shit. Let this shit knock in the back cause it’s the only way to to even possibly digest what this issue holds.
OH. My. Gawd. The strength of these panels this issue? The fucking strength?!?! It reads like you’re in the gym bench pressing with two 45 plates on each side. It been a while but that first page lets you know we’re right where we left off. Fraction does an incredible job of keeping this issue fast and action packed. It plays out so cinematic, especially with the grit, wear and tear displayed in the environment — especially on the characters. Fraction set up all the pieces to the story into so many origami blends of perspective that we have now reached the stage where the finale is this incredible mosaic of the actions that have led us to present day.
Fraction may as well be John Woo (via Face Off) with all the action, fighting, movement, and precision he has both Hawkeyes display, as well as how their adversary “The Clown” doesn’t need to say much to display how calculated he is. Dude is a fucking villain through and through, and Fraction is able to display just how efficient he is. Aja remains the best artist in the game displaying transitions not only from one scene to another, but from the details of a character’s movements as well. Once you see Aja getting meticulous with the mechanics you know something big his about to pop off.
Hands down Aja and Fraction gotta be Top 5 Dead or Alive collaborators for this run (right up there with Bendis & Maleev’s Daredevil run). They’ve taken not only Clint Barton, but Kate Bishop onto a new plateau that had them facing a multitude of obstacles and adversity to progress their character development organically. From the beginning of the series up to this finale, it never felt forced. It is incredibly hard to name one segment of this issue as the best because there are so many. The best thing I can highlight is how we see the Hawkeyes work individually and as a unit to a new degree.
If there was a series someone needed as an intro to comics, this run is most definitely the one you need to suggest to them. I can’t tell you how many “a’s” there were in the “Yaaasssss” I shouted out at the conclusion of this issue. Listen, Hawkeyes Kate Bishop & Clint Barton? Gawd Body. Matt Fraction and David Aja? Gawd Body.