Matt Fraction continues his reign with another great issue of HAWKEYE. Upon hearing that David Aja is not doing the art on this issue you might have a feeling of "Aw man!" but because you're likely familiar with Francesco Francavilla's art, you know you're still in for a treat.
It's easy to label HAWKEYE as a quirky and fun book but there is more to it than the subtle and hilarious humor Fraction throws into each issue. As Kate Bishop describes Clint Barton, he's like a "human car-crash." Not all superheroes should be perfect. Fraction has always shown us that Clint has flaws and he can get hurt. We very rarely get a look at characters in this way. Despite everything becoming a downer, he continues to throw his life on the line when it comes to saving others and doing the right thing.
We get a slight shift in focus here with the story mainly dealing with Kate and the mysterious character that appeared last issue. The way the story is told through Francavilla's layouts is amazing. You get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach because you just know things can't end well.
This story does take place before the ending of last issue. While we find out more about the killer, it wasn't clear during the story. You assume this takes place after last issue's ending. Also, last issue we saw Kate arrive and leave. She does so again here, before the events at the end of last issue. Trying to figure out the sequence of events was a little confusing but didn't take away from the overall story.
It's Matt Fraction's HAWKEYE. Fraction has been consistently entertaining us month after month. If you're at all concerned over the lack of David Aja art, there's no need to fear, Francesco Francavilla's art, color and layouts adds a great vibe to the story. For a book that many enjoy for the fun and jokes, there are some definite dark times headed our way. There's a downward spiral happening and you won't be able to look away. With the suspense and twists, you just might find yourself applauding Fraction after reading this issue.