Before we get into the actual comic book, I just want to give you a little background here – the first time I went to my closest comic book store, it was almost nothing like I expected it to be. I expected a small, minimally lit, kind of dingy place where the comic books were stacked in boxes and covering the walls. I do not know why I had this impression in my head – maybe a residual impression from movies and TV shows – but my local comic book store could not have surprised me more. It was a pretty decent sized store. There were shelves lining three of the four walls (it’s basically a large rectangle, with the front door in a wall that’s entirely windows) and all of their comics rather nicely displayed so that you could see almost everything they had to offer. There is one section near the back where they have some boxes full of older comics that I haven’t really had a chance to explore yet, but it’s obviously not the focus of this store. Most of their stock is newer, recently released comics.
I walked into this place with a tiny list of titles to look for…and probably spent an hour just gawking at everything that was available. This was the longest I have spent in a comic store…and it will probably remain my longest trip until I start digging through the boxes of back issues. I looked at pretty much every single cover that was for sale, just soaking in the sheer variety and number of titles to choose from…and then I went and picked out the first issue in titles that had already been given to me by my friend (I’ll call her SM from now on). Yeah…I’m not so good at being spontaneous about these sorts of things…
Anywho, one of first comics I picked up was Hawkeye:
It was a title that SM had been raving about from the moment she came back from her own comic store. It was one that I wasn’t about to leave there without – and was the first one I read when I came home.
I am going to sound like a broken record with this phrase, but, from the moment I opened that cover, Hawkeye was not at all what I was expecting. The first thing that got me was the artwork. I don’t know why I was expecting cleaner lines and different coloring, but I was. Instead, there are much rougher edges, simple coloring (mind you, I’m not an artist…this may take a lot longer than I think it would…) and very little detail. It took a while to reconcile that with what I had expected. However, the more I read, the more the artwork grew on me. It fits the story and the tone they’re setting, in my humble opinion, and by about halfway through, I was enjoying it immensely.
Second thing that got me was the story. So very simple and absolutely wonderful. I am a sucker for character building, especially with characters I like or don’t know that much about. Hawkeye fell into the later bucket (we really didn’t get that much exposure to him in The Avengers movie, and that’s all the exposure I had ever gotten) and it was just a joy to read. I really like this concept of seeing a Superhero live his or her normal life when they aren’t being a Superhero. From what I can tell, this isn’t all that common, but its something I kind of wish there was more of.
I think the only thing that threw me off were the jumps in time through the story – and that’s not to say that it was a bad thing. I think it was executed very well and tied itself up very neatly. But apparently I don’t do well with non-linear stories. I was having to fight back the compulsion to mirror River Tam and start cutting out panels and put them back together in chronological order! That didn’t happen, of course, but I did have to reread a few times to make sure I fully understood what was going on. There was one jump in time where the Tracksuit Mafia came to confront Clint in the Veterinary Hospital, and that ended with a shot of the vet clinic’s window from the outside. And the very next panel (which was a jump back in time) was Clint being thrown through a very similar looking window. I was rather confused (The dog was back!! And he looked fine!). It took a second read-through to realize that the window he was thrown through was the chinese restaurant window. I’m gonna blame that on me being such a noob when it comes to Comics, because that’s probably the only thing that I had a problem with. I loved everything else about this!!
Oh, and seriously, Clint has some of the best random moments and one-liners. I’m thinking of starting a quote book. Or a Tumblr. Or something. They’re just too good to ignore 🙂