The Comic You Should Be Reading This Week: ‘Hawkeye’ #2

Clint Barton can never get a break. He gets bumped off, he gets short shrift a lot, he gets laughed at by people who aren’t fans of the Avengers. But after a few false starts, he’s gotten his own ongoing. And it’s absolutely glorious.

What makes Hawkeye work as a book is that Clint isn’t fighting enemies out of his league. In fact most of the time he isn’t even getting suited up. Instead he’s dealing with local thugs, saving dogs, and, in this issue, getting way over his head completely by accident.

The best part about this issue is how Matt Fraction takes a total chestnut of a Marvel plot and gives it enough twist and style to make it his own. I’ll put spoilers under the jump but it’s enough to put a smile on pretty much any Marvel fan’s face.

Essentially, the Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime are up to their usual routine. The problem is, first of all, that they’re hypnotizing most of New York’s criminal elite. Secondly, the heist goes so wrong, it’s Hawkeye who ends up with the loot. So now he’s got, among others, the Kingpin pissed off at him. The accidental heist ends with an incredibly blandly phrased yet completely funny and menacing line.

This issue also establishes Kate Bishop, who’s simultaneously a great sidekick and written by Fraction as her own character. It works because they have a good professional relationship but a potentially messy personal one.

In short, Hawkeye started out as a fun book and is rapidly turning into a great one. Fraction once again delivers.

So, that’s my pick of the week, let’s hear yours.