Fraction tells another great story, but can the artwork measure up?
After last month’s issue, I was worried Fraction’s great story telling in the first issue was a fluke (I don’t have a long history with his work, so forgive the assumption), but this month comes back around with a solid story (though again somewhat non-linear), that is actually really fun to read, and gives us some great Hawkeye action as the two heroes play with their arrows during a car chase. And that’s pretty much it.
Save for the short build up, almost the whole issue is a single car chase, which actually isn’t bad given the writer’s execution. There isn’t a whole lot of character here, though the overarching string of thought in the issue is a series of mistakes Clint makes over the course of a day, but its so much fun that such is forgivable (as long as it doesn’t become a habit). The only flaw in the story, if you could say there is one, is that the issue plays out kind of like an old issue of Green Arrow, where Ollie and Mia get the Arrowcar back and take it for a spin, ending up in a car chase that concludes in a totaled vehicle and a fun, yet unimportant, issue. Of course, people who aren’t long time Arrow readers would likely never make this connection, and given the underlying threads of the story, its more than likely just a coincidence. The idea of a car chase isn’t exactly unique, and put two characters who are fairly similar into the situation, aware of the previous story or not, and you’re bound to end up with a few similarities, so there’s no point in nitpicking it. When all is said and done, you’re left with a fun issue regardless, so there’s really no room to complain.
Unless its about the art, of course. David Aja’s artwork is once again given little detail and no depth, while Matt Hollingsworth’s colors bring nothing but a stale and faded feel to the proceedings. On top of that, however, this month we have a ridiculous gimmick to add to it. I’m sure it was meant as a joke, and some people may actually get a kick out of it, but I found the use of a classic Hawkeye head as a censor on panel to be extremely unprofessional, and laughable… but in a bad way. Like I said, I get the joke, but its an unnecessary one, and serves little purpose, providing instead a moment of removal from the otherwise well written issue. It would’ve been just as easy to cover it with another shadow (as is also done in the issue), or better yet, just not have him naked. I mean, the girl Clint sleeps with in the issue got her underwear back on, so why couldn’t he?
At any rate, the bottom line for this issue is that it once again displays Fraction’s writing ability in a very positive light, but the artwork continues to fail and actually manages to become laughable, though not in the way intended. That said, I would say this issue may provide some sense of positivity for the title, and if it manages to continue pushing forward with this kind of writing, maybe this ongoing won’t fall victim to the same fate as the others Hawkeye has been given… but they really need to change the art team quick.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Fraction’s writing pays off this month with a fun and exciting issue.||The artwork is still pretty bad, and has now even fallen to gimmick.|