The Comics You Should Be Reading This Week: ‘Hawkeye’ #9 And ‘Saga’ #12

Yep, we picked two this week. What can we say? They’ve both great, but for entirely different reasons.

Saga has, as we pointed out, a censorship controversy raging around it, since Comixolgy decided that they’d rather censor the book than risk running afoul of the App Store’s strict no-porn policy, something which has oddly not come up with books like, oh, this week’s issue of Sex, which features naked ladies and a massive orgy. So Apple users won’t be able to download the issue to their iPad, or even buy it.

But they can get it everywhere else. And they should.

Saga is always a consistently great book, but this issue particularly stands out. Brian K. Vaughan manages to pack a twisting game of wits, a musing on how the reader gives the text meaning, and a look at the scarred psyche of combat veterans into twenty-two pages, complete with a hell of a cliffhanger. And Fiona Staples continues to offer everything from storybook riffs to clever design in her detail-packed art. Really, this controversy is ultimately nothing but good for Saga: The more people reading it, the better.

Perhaps it’s not a surprise that Hawkeye is also our favorite book this week, although it was nearly edged out by Wolverine #2. After all, it’s pulled that off before.

But what can we say? Month in and month out, Matt Fraction and David Aja deliver. What’s most attention-getting about this particular issue is how playful Fraction is around the theme of time and romance: Essentially this issue follows Hawkeye as the women in his life show they care for him either by slapping him around, slapping some track-suited Russians around, or slapping the woman that got him involved with said track-suited Russians around. Aja matches him in the playfulness department; there are moments where Aja’s art pushes a gag from getting a smile to laugh-out-loud funny.

It’s funny, it’s engaging, it’s bittersweet… and then in the last two pages, Fraction changes gears and delivers a chilling ending.

The mark of a great book is that you can’t wait to read the next issue; both of these fit the bill and then some.

How about you? What comic do you think we should be reading this week?