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Hawkeye #19 - The Stuff What Don't Get Spoke Review

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Clint Barton is deaf but he isn't defeated.

The Good

A new issue of HAWKEYE is finally here! Whether it's worth the wait will differ from reader to reader, but I will say writer Matt Fraction uses Clint Barton's condition to craft a chapter that's all about character depth and buildup. Dialogue is minimal yet he's still able to tell a thoroughly engaging story as we get a little more insight into Barton's personality and his dynamic with his brother, Barney. The approach gives a proper spotlight on the titular hero and makes us fall in love with his brother just a little more, too. The messages Fraction delivers are direct yet still fairly meaningful. And, while I'm not the biggest fan of the approach (see "The Bad"), you have to give the creative team credit for bringing sign language to the forefront. Maybe -- just maybe -- it'll inspire some people to learn the language.

I won't spoil it, but I will say I'm very pleased by a course of action Clint takes in this issue. I mean, the guy's in a conflict with a group called the Tracksuit Mafia and he's an Avenger. You'd think this shouldn't be a big obstacle for him and it's nice to see he finally does something that fans often ask about after seeing a Marvel Studios movie. The cliffhanger won't leave your jaw dropped, but it'll absolutely leave you wanting more. Oh, and Fraction of course finds a new way to make us laugh at the bros. You can't help but love that.

Artist David Aja and colorist Matt Hollingsworth prove once more they're a perfect match for Fraction's unique storytelling. The characters look every bit as beat up and empathetic as they should and the lack of dialogue allows the two to focus on selling the narrative visually. From the passionate expressions to the way panels are focused (love how the final act is presented), it should come as no surprise that this duo is able to deliver some excellent pages yet again.

The Bad

Clint's deaf and, just like him, the reader is in the dark when it comes to the dialogue. As expected, Fraction and Aja are able to handle this creatively and instead show us all of the sign language that is being used. For some, this will inspire them to learn sign just to see what is being expressed and it's respectable they put so much effort into this method. However, if you have a lot of new comics on your pull list, odds are you'll just accept being a little in the dark and move on to your next read. It's a big risk and I imagine some of you out there will really dig it, but I feel like the use of sign language panels was a little too excessive. I loved the bits with blank dialogue boxes and we needed to read the expressions in the panels to attempt to get a grip on what was happening, so it would have been preferred to see a little more of that over the alternative. Aja's panels are so great and I loved being forced to analyze each and every detail, so to see a little more of that would have been a very welcome challenge.

Look, there's no way going around it: the delay is a major bummer. Waiting this long to follow-up such a powerful cliffhanger takes a toll on your interest. Don't get me wrong, the creative team is still going strong, but I'm sure a large number of us had our interest slightly lessened by the time this chapter finally arrived.

The Verdict

Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Matt Hollingsworth continue to prove HAWKEYE is one of the most creative and immersive books Marvel is publishing. Many of us likely won't be motivated enough to take the extra time to learn sign language just to see the extra dialogue in this issue, so the tactic does take a bit of a toll. But all in all, it's another solid chapter in a superb series. The layouts bring you right into Clint Barton's rundown world and, while there isn't much dialogue, Fraction's still able to tell a powerful and meaningful story. Let's just hope we don't have wait so long for the next chapter of Clint and Barney's adventure!

53 Comments
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Posted by cameron83

How did he become deaf?

Posted by FearTheLiving
Posted by Fallschirmjager

Yeah, I totally can't be bothered to spend an hour figuring out exactly what's being said when I have a big pull list (and shit to do)

Not to mention this issue took so long to come out, I practically forgot what's happened recently.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@feartheliving said:

@cameron83: Did you read #16?

The answer is also right in the preview. Figured between the long delay and the fact it's right in the preview, I didn't view it as a spoiler. It's more about seeing how his new situation is handled. If you all think otherwise, though, I'll change the line at the top.

Staff
Posted by G-Man

Staff
Posted by RisingBean

Not that this concerns Hawkeye, but I did take a few years of sign language to make my foreign language requirements in high school. My reasoning? Snake Eyes.

Oh and the girl to guy ratio was massively in my favor. That helped too.

Posted by cameron83

@cameron83: Did you read #16?

I've actually forgotten about Hawkeye XD

@k4tzm4n said:

@feartheliving said:

@cameron83: Did you read #16?

The answer is also right in the preview. Figured between the long delay and the fact it's right in the preview, I didn't view it as a spoiler. It's more about seeing how his new situation is handled. If you all think otherwise, though, I'll change the line at the top.

I didn't really see it as a spoiler,I just didn't know how it happened. I'm guessing The Clown did it.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@fallschirmjager said:

Yeah, I totally can't be bothered to spend an hour figuring out exactly what's being said when I have a big pull list (and shit to do)

Not to mention this issue took so long to come out, I practically forgot what's happened recently.

I don't mind the use of sign language. In fact, I praised it said I thought it was commendable and respectable they used this method of storytelling. I do, however, think they focused on that part a little excessively and I loved having to read the characters -- and not just their hands -- to attempt to get a handle on what's going on. Just like Clint, I felt in the dark in those moments and I could at least attempt to get a handle what's going on. The point is to be right there with his disability and not understand the world around him, but Aja's character and environment work is so strong that it challenges us and makes us attempt to put the pieces together. Ultimately, I would have preferred to see more of that and, given the score, it obviously isn't the biggest complaint around.

Staff
Edited by Fallschirmjager

@k4tzm4n: Frankly, especially after his little tweet G-man just posted, the whole thing irks me even more now. Feels like they are trying way too hard to be unique. They really care about making readers more aware? Yeah okay. One issue isn't going to change crap. Since when did this turn into a book about championing a cause? Won't even mention the slight arrogance angle either.

Furthermore, and while I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, I don't give a crap. Every body has problems. Maybe I'm an asshole, but I don't give a damn.

I'm honestly considering dropping the book now, with this and the delays. The whole thing just completely annoys me.

Posted by yankeefan91

@fallschirmjager: That tweet is annoying. Him acting like disabilities is the only obstacles that people have in their lives is arrogant. They can act like they did this for a cause, but this is them trying to replicate the success of the pizza dog issue.

Posted by Fallschirmjager
Posted by HumanRocket

Finally.

Posted by Billy Batson
Edited by Fallschirmjager
Posted by kantrip

I'm excited to read this today. This team has done more with Hawkeye than make an engaging book about "The Avenger with a Bow". They've managed to use a Marvel book for some big experiments in story telling. They hid so many plot points within "Pizza is my Business" that it didn't hit me until later issues that they changed the status quo in the silent issue.

Sad it's ending but happy that it will be getting an ending it deserves at this rate.

Posted by Paste_Pot_Pete

So does anyone know what's gonna happen to this series after issue #21 or #22?

Posted by Erik

Wasn't he blind recently too? Are they going to give him a taste of other disabilities? Quadriplegic Hawkeye, issue #25.

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Posted by SynCig

I feel kinda like a jerk because I have been pretty luke warm on this series from the beginning. Idk what it is but I don't quite love it like everyone else. David Aja is masterful and Fraction is a really finny guy but the series doesn't knock my socks off when compared to a series like Daredevil that has a similar tone and visual style. I'm still picking up the trades when I can because it's a good series and I like Fraction's characterization of Hawkeye much more than the one that normally pops up in The Avengers comics.

Posted by MrTummyTumms

@fallschirmjager: Kind of a douche thing to say and a bit insensitive, but that's your opinion.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

@fallschirmjager: Kind of a douche thing to say and a bit insensitive, but that's your opinion.

Unlike most people, I don't pretend to care about something that doesn't affect me directly.

Posted by SuperiorBeast

It's good to know Aja and fraction aren't being pretentious about thi....oh wait. Just check my Twitter.

Posted by MrTummyTumms

@mrtummytumms said:

@fallschirmjager: Kind of a douche thing to say and a bit insensitive, but that's your opinion.

Unlike most people, I don't pretend to care about something that doesn't affect me directly.

Okay dude.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

I don't even remember what happened last 10 issues. Why did it take 4 frickin months?

and they bumped the price to 4 bucks. -_-

Posted by HumanRocket

@madeinbangladesh: Aja had to learn some sign language in order to be able to draw it.

Posted by COBRAMORPH

I've always got the problem with Oracle, both for keeping her int he wheelchair to have diverse characters, & to a much lesser degree that whole nonsense about the refrigorator, but for Barbara & now for dead Hawkeye, I just can not take seriously a real-world problem when the ultimate real-world situation ,Death, has no real meaning. There are so many ways that both Barbara & Hawkeye can get past these problems.

Now, the team can make a serious point all they want, Disney-Marvel is just doing this, like replacing Cap & Thor, for the media attention, for money, & will be back to the status-quo soon enough. Then Hawkeye will be all, "Hey, remember when I was deaf?LOL"

Now, on a personal dickish side, I'd rather be deaf than blind. You can learn to read signs & brail. If she's a Hot enough piece of ass, I'd even try to read lips. Hell, I'd just take a small white-board with me. But I think I'd kill myself if I was blind. Just like I'd rather lose my legs than my arms.

Posted by manwithoutshame

@mrtummytumms said:

@fallschirmjager: Kind of a douche thing to say and a bit insensitive, but that's your opinion.

Unlike most people, I don't pretend to care about something that doesn't affect me directly.

Yikes. So people who care for one another are being...disingenuous? Disagree, and I hope someday you'll realize how foolish you sound.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@manwithoutshame said:

@fallschirmjager said:

@mrtummytumms said:

@fallschirmjager: Kind of a douche thing to say and a bit insensitive, but that's your opinion.

Unlike most people, I don't pretend to care about something that doesn't affect me directly.

Yikes. So people who care for one another are being...disingenuous? Disagree, and I hope someday you'll realize how foolish you sound.

Let me know the last time you significantly donated a significant amount of time or money to a complete stranger.

Its cool to say we like to do things to make ourselves feel better about ourselves, but very rare to actually do them. I'm just honest about it. And that's not even getting into if I do or don't have the means to do it. Because if you don't have the means, then what's the point in saying nice things? To make yourself feel better about yourself? I'm perfectly happy the way I am. Moral support and pity isn't what the less fortunate need.

Edited by manwithoutshame

@fallschirmjager: and who has decided money is the only way to care for one another? this whole notion you have in your head that nobody cares for anything except what happens to them is plain wrong. I've cared for family and friends my entire life, and you say the ones I haven't given money to in fact do not care for? what you are peddling is a load of nonsense. empathy - look it up, try to understand it, and then practice it. believe me you'll be better for it.

Posted by ScrappyDont27

Going to have to wait to read all this won't be able to read it for a week or so, but looks like it has irked some people so this should be fun, hooray comics!

Posted by MrTummyTumms

@manwithoutshame said:

@fallschirmjager said:

@mrtummytumms said:

@fallschirmjager: Kind of a douche thing to say and a bit insensitive, but that's your opinion.

Unlike most people, I don't pretend to care about something that doesn't affect me directly.

Yikes. So people who care for one another are being...disingenuous? Disagree, and I hope someday you'll realize how foolish you sound.

Let me know the last time you significantly donated a significant amount of time or money to a complete stranger.

Its cool to say we like to do things to make ourselves feel better about ourselves, but very rare to actually do them. I'm just honest about it. And that's not even getting into if I do or don't have the means to do it. Because if you don't have the means, then what's the point in saying nice things? To make yourself feel better about yourself? I'm perfectly happy the way I am. Moral support and pity isn't what the less fortunate need.

Last week actually. My parents raised me to always be a good person towards people whether I knew them or not. When my parents were in the military, we would always make food and buy coffee for the troops that had to sit out in the cold on duty We were also heavily involved in helping the homeless, buying them food, water, blankets, etc. Now that I'm in college I still do what my parents taught me. I may not be able to do as much as they did, but I still try my best and plan on doing much more if thee opportunity presents itself. Don't assume that just because you only care about yourself that other people are the same way. Believe it or not, there are actually people out there that honestly care for the welling being of others.

Posted by chaddum96

I couldn't wait for the next book to come out 4 months ago. Now I want the story to be over with so I can stop reading this book and pick up a different series that will actually come out on time. I understand skipping a month for the book to be better. But 4 months? Thats annoying to me.

Posted by tximinoman

They are f*king genious. This is what comics are suposed to be, this is making the best out of the medium you have. This is what people meant when they say comics are art.

Seriously, best book out there by far.

Posted by tallulah13

I thought it was just as good if not better than the Pizza Dog edition. I like how they very neatly tied the back story to the current situation, and everything in it drove the story. I look forward to the rest of this series.

What I don't understand is all the snarky complaints on this blog. This series was different from go. If you don't like it, don't read it.

Posted by BR_Havoc

Though the issue was cool and the series has been awesome since it started. With that said I get why people are mad about the delays and that tweet did come across as pretentious as if the artist was looking down on the reader.

Edited by Reignmaker

Haven't read #19 yet, but I feel like Fraction has really lost the story in an attempt to make every other issue some kind of novelty piece. The pacing has slowed down to a crawl from the early issues in the series.

Also, it's nice to see Aja again. If they're going to take forever finishing this story, they might as well keep him on it. Marvel's love affair with rotating artists is really getting old.

Posted by TheDanquah

I really did get the whole disability and frustration of being deaf feel. Nice job!

And while people do complain about it being out 4 month late and costing a bit more (it is justified to complain) in the long term and years from now, I can look back at this series and not think about "but back then, I had to wait four month!". The use the time they need for the comic and that is what it should be about. I do however agree with the reviewer, the use of sign language was a bit excessive, though it probably was to give one the feel of Hawkeye drowning in something he didn't want to be bothered about.

Posted by FearTheLiving

I like what they attempted to do, but after the long wait to come back to this seems a little annoying. I would have loved if they put both the sign and the meaning teaching the reader sign language in the process. I know this would defeat the purpose of having the reader feel like they're in the dark, but I think it takes away from the story and found myself frustrated especially leaving yet another cliffhanger without showing what came before (Hopefully they do eventually) but seeing that it's a Kate issue next we have yet another wait to get to the meat of the story.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy the book but it really benefits from trade reading issue to issue is ridicules. I'm just hoping they continue the book with a new team that doesn't try to be soooooo indie with their approach to Hawkeye. That's even if the book gets picked up (Heard someone say G-Man said it wasn't ending, but I still didn't find where he said that at).

Posted by Spideysense44

I like what they attempted to do, but after the long wait to come back to this seems a little annoying. I would have loved if they put both the sign and the meaning teaching the reader sign language in the process. I know this would defeat the purpose of having the reader feel like they're in the dark, but I think it takes away from the story and found myself frustrated especially leaving yet another cliffhanger without showing what came before (Hopefully they do eventually) but seeing that it's a Kate issue next we have yet another wait to get to the meat of the story.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy the book but it really benefits from trade reading issue to issue is ridicules. I'm just hoping they continue the book with a new team that doesn't try to be soooooo indie with their approach to Hawkeye. That's even if the book gets picked up (Heard someone say G-Man said it wasn't ending, but I still didn't find where he said that at).

THIS

Online
Posted by Fenderxx

I felt this was a strong issue, and I never felt lost at all, even though I had no idea what they were saying, with the art and context, it was not bad at all. I for one enjoyed looking up the signs, and learned something. Will I remember it always, probably not, but it took a whole 2 seconds to Google.

Posted by erwinrafael

I find it annoying that, after reading this amazing issue that was done by artists whose love for the craft of comic book storytelling oozes out from every panel, I come to this thread finding it has been hijacked by readers who complain about it being too indie, too hip, too pretentious, and all that shit. Seriously? You got creators who finally found an approach that would actually make a Hawkeye solo book stand out in the overpopulated mainstream comic book market, and all you can wish for is for it to be more like the usual superhero fare?

I don't get what about Aja's post seems so pretentious. They were indeed trying to communicate to the reader the feeling of being disabled and deaf, that was part of the narrative. He just verbalized this narrative intention in the tweet, so what's the pretentiousness in that?

I get the complaints about the delay, but I'd rather that they execute the issue the way they wanted it that to rush out something that does not conform with their vision. What makes me feel better about the delay is the thought that these artists actually are willing to sacrifice by getting paid less in sum (because they get paid by the number of pages they put out, so slower work means less money for them in a given period) just to nail their artistic vision.

Edited by Ms-Lola

@fenderxx said:

I felt this was a strong issue, and I never felt lost at all, even though I had no idea what they were saying, with the art and context, it was not bad at all. I for one enjoyed looking up the signs, and learned something. Will I remember it always, probably not, but it took a whole 2 seconds to Google.

Same here. As for the tweet G-Man shared, if you read it without the imagined snark, the point made is a good one. It had a lot to do with the approach towards this issue, and seriously, the low level frustration I felt was perfect. This was one of the most original and well presented perspectives I have ever come across in a comic book, and getting it in an issue of a (hopefully) ongoing series made me really happy. Shows care and effort was put into this by the creative team and reflected a healthy dose of canon(nical?) respect. One of the biggest reasons I've enjoyed this book is because of this approach and I am impressed it's been not just maintained but surpassed.

I hope this keeps going but if not, I am going to be first in line in getting the first hard cover collector's edition.

(Plus, I wish it was Jessica Drew on the phone, but I suspect it was Jones.)

Posted by Flighty

I thought ut was a great issue. Then again this is comming from a girl who has the tendancy to knock into things when I'm not wearing glasses.

But it's nice to have something fresh everyonce in a while. And you guy person who's been sayingb all the negitive stuff. Well if you don't care for other peoples problems. And from wha it sounds you dislike artwork and have no regard for a plot or any of the major writting componets in a story.

Then why the heck do you read them?

Pull your act together.

Please try to be at least a bit nicer. It could do you wonders.

And stop cursing like a low class street rat.

Curseing contray to belif does NOT make you sound cooler. Makes you sound less intelligent and you know. People are less like to hire you if you're curseing every other word. Go read a dictionary. Be productive. And actually try and be a GOOD person. The world could use some.

But really. You don't care for charity causes yet yoy're reading comic books which main focus on the messed up people who go and help the charity causes and the rest of the world.

Mister.

Get some brain in that tank engine of yours.

-Flighty Tait

Edited by FearTheLiving

@ms-lola: Why would it be Jessica Jones? Hawkeye's "girls" have made regularish appearances in his series, so I'd expect it to be Spider-woman herself.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@manwithoutshame: I also said time. And I also said things that don't directly affect me which includes my family.

So unless you're randomly taking time to care for complete strangers then frankly saying nice things isn't all that helpful, except to make yourself feel better. They don't need your pity or your empathy. especially since they have no idea who you are.

Which only goes back to my main point. This book never advertised itself as a champion of some cause. They're just doing this to be unique and try to regain some success.

Edited by erwinrafael

@fallschirmjager: Who said they are championing a cause? You are the one who introduced the idea that they are championing a cause when you insinuated that in Aja's tweet. Let's try to reimagine Aja's tweet and pretend that he is John Byrne tweeting about the Snowblind issue of Alpha Flight:

JOHN BYRNE: If while reading Alpha Flight #6, you feel you don't get it all, if you find obstacles, congrats, you're staring to learn what being trapped in a snowstorm is.

Same sentence structure, just replaced disabilities with "being trapped in a snowstorm". Would you have been bothered if our imaginary John Byrne imaginary tweeted this in imaginary 1983? Geez

Posted by FearTheLiving
Edited by manwithoutshame

@erwinrafael: okay, I get it, you're a misanthrope. now be quiet.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@mrtummytumms said:

@fallschirmjager: Kind of a douche thing to say and a bit insensitive, but that's your opinion.

Unlike most people, I don't pretend to care about something that doesn't affect me directly.

Some people don't pretend, some people just aren't douchebags.

Edited by JoeC_Mommy

I like Hawkeye, as drawn by David Aja and Annie Wu and as written by Matt Fraction. I like that Hawkeye is different in its style and its tone. At first, I liked that Hawkeye started a slow-burn thriller told through nonlinear narrative: It was something different for a superhero title. Then, the delays, and the back-and-forth between Clint and Kate, weakened the effect of that something different for issue-to-issue readers. (Who Shot JR? was resolved in less time. Between seasons.)

I think that the delays are one reason for the snark about that tweet from Mr. Aja. It *can* sound tacky to admonish your readers about difficulties and obstacles when you're months behind schedule. I would say that Mr. Aja is blessed (maybe more than most of his readers) in that he and/or his collaborators can fall behind, and fall behind, and fall behind, and can remain employed, if not lauded.

An issue in sign language is a fine thing. It draws attention to an often-overlooked population and it draws from the history of an often-overlooked character. That said, the cynic in me can see that Hawkeye #11 was released in Summer 2013 and Hawkeye #19, Summer 2014, and is reminded of DC Comics and its sacred month of September. (Yes, I hear how silly that sounds, what with the delay of No. 19. I never said the cynic in me was rational.)

Hmmm. I wonder whether Mr. Aja and Mr. Fraction's Hawkeye could become a case study in the creation, and the … not decline, maybe diminishment? … of a game-changer, gangbusters comic-book series. It has lost some of its luster, at least for me.

Posted by FearTheLiving

@joec_mommy: I think that's the thing about this issue as well. If this and every other issue was monthly where we got answers in a reasonable time something like this I'd have been perfectly fine with, but that 5 month wait just to find out what happened to Clint and Barney only to come back and feel like you're in the dark a bit it's frustrating to say the least. I've since started to come around on the issue especially after re-reading it a a few times then using the translation on posted to get a better feel. I still think it would have been nice to have the "answers" in the issue itself. but I still enjoyed it.

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