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Hawkeye Annual #1 - West Coast Avenger Review

4

This may be Hawkeye's annual but let's not forget Kate Bishop also went by that name. Get ready to see what sort of trouble Kate and Pizza Dog get into.

The Good

Kate Bishop is a great character. She's tough and smart and knows what she wants. In the current HAWKEYE series, we've been seeing Clint as sort of a mentor to Kate. The problem is Clint is getting deeper and deeper with his destructive behavior. There's only so much Kate could put up with. We saw her take Pizza Dog and leave, this is where the annual picks up.

Making her way to the West Coast, we do see a little more about Kate's personal life. Despite her rebelling nature, she's still had an easy life. We get the chance to see what she can do when it's all taken away.

The story also picks up from an encounter she had in a previous issue of HAWKEYE. It's the perfect story as a follow up was definitely needed. Too often it seems villains simply forget or get over being defeated or humiliated by the heroes. It's wonderful to see one that can keep and hold a grudge.

There are some really nice scenes courtesy of Javier Pulido. I totally dig that cover. Matt Hollingsworth's colors help make this feel like the sort of HAWKGUY story we would expect. The combination of the two along with the scene layouts makes this a visual treat as well.

The Bad

I like Kate. I really do. The hard part with this issue is there really isn't much Clint to the story. It's supposed to be his comic but the focus is on Kate. Yes, as I mentioned, Kate also went by the name Hawkeye before. It may make more sense for this solo story to take place here rather than in the main series but you would expect more Clint in an annual for his series. The story here was really really fun but just felt like it was missing something.

Pulido's art is really good except there were a couple moments Kate's face looked a little different. Maybe it was her nose? Not quite like I remember it.

These obviously are minor complaints.

The Verdict

Annuals can sometimes be tricky buys. When you're enjoying a series, the idea of an extended issue is hard to resist. The HAWKEYE Annual takes a minor turn in the formula by not focusing on the actual main character. Kate Bishop is a formidable character in her own right and is worthy of a grand solo story. Javier Pulido's art and Matt Hollingsworth's colors are true to the style of art we've been seeing in the main series. Even though this story stems out of recent events in the series, it's still one that can be enjoyed on its own. If you're looking for a great Kate Bishop kicking butt story, this is the comic for you. Action, humor, twists and suspense -- what else would you expect from Matt Fraction?

23 Comments
Posted by Arkhamc1tizen

I'm getting this defiantly.

Posted by Renchamp

I always viewed annuals as being sidebars for lesser stories and characters. Many annuals I've read deal with characters that kind of surround and support the main characters. I remember an X-Factor annual from the 80s that dealt mostly with the young mutants in the care of X-Factor while a small, backup story used one or two X-Factor members at the end of the book.

Regardless, I love seeing things fleshed out so I'll probably check this out.

Posted by willforthrill

I find your complaints about Kate to be invalid because, 1. The past three issues of the main series haven't been told from Clints point of view but they have still been enjoyable narratives that advanced the plot forward and they received high scores here at Comic Vine. 2. This issue has been advertised as a story about Kate from the time it was solicited. 3. For the foreseeable future, Matt Fraction has announced that the series will rotate focus between Clint and Kate every other issue, so get used to it.

Edited by garlyle

I'm really surprised by this review. Besides an issue with the art, that he can't remember, the only problem the reviewer has seems to be that Clint isn't in it enough...really? I can respect preferring to have a certain character in the story over another, but this was a great issue. Clint's absence didn't hurt the issue. I hardly think a problem with the art, that may not be a problem, and a personal preference, that doesn't affect the quality of KATE'S story, justifies taking a star off the score.

This was a great issue, with wonderful art, and Kate has never been more fun. It is always nice when little tidbits from past issues are capitalized on, in any series, and Hawkeye continues to excel in this area. I know nothing of the main villain, whose identity I won't spoil, but after seeing them in this series I am a fan. Great issue!

Posted by G-Man
Staff
Posted by Mucklefluga
Posted by Mucklefluga

@garlyle: @willforthrill: Maybe it's also 4 stars because it's just not a 5 star quality book to Tony. Also the reviews are more about the content that is written over the star rating that is given.

Posted by G_Money_Christmas

I bought it earlier, now I'm just waiting to plop down and read it

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

I never read Annual but I'm gonna get this one becuase it's frickin Hawkguy!!!

Posted by Mucklefluga

The one thing i don't like in Hawkeye is when the artists draw silhouettes unnecessarily instead of full-view figures.

Posted by Vulshock

The one thing i don't like in Hawkeye is when the artists draw silhouettes unnecessarily instead of full-view figures.

This is the only thing that bothered me a little as well.

Posted by manwithoutshame

Very good. I loved Madame Masque in this.

Posted by Mild_Karl

A PIZZA DOG!?!

Edited by ThePRez

I didn't like the art :/

Edited by SimonM7

Yeah, the art is mostly really sloppy. I especially dislike the over-reliance on silhouettes, which rob key moments of real expression, and just feels like a way to cover more ground - pages wise - with less effort. Very disappointed in that aspect.

I can understand and respect missing Clint, but I didn't think it was a problem personally. I think following Kate makes perfect sense here, and as with the previous issue's perspective, it adds an extra dimension and depth to the book.

Posted by sparty-dbq

Eeeeeeeyeah, I don't do Annuals. Not even for Hawkeye.

Posted by K3vinkha0S

I think Pulido's art really works for this series. Don't get me wrong, Aja is THE guy. But I can get behind Javier's work. I dig it.

Posted by TimeLordScience

@g_man said:

@willforthrill: Thanks for letting me know my opinion is invalid.

Not for anything, but he did back up why he disagreed with you with a well formed list. His wording could have been better initially, and I see why he came across as rude to you, but he makes a fair point.

Posted by willforthrill
Posted by longbowhunter

I usually really like Pulido's stuff. His recent work on Hawkeye and the Shade were great. I just didn't feel him this time around. Like everyone else said, its the silhouettes.

Edited by FastestBlender

@g_man You keep falling back to this cliche' about the freedom to have one's own opinion. You absolutely are entitled to believe whatever you want. However when you declare yourself EIC of the self-proclaimed comic book website with the most traffic, you've raised expectations about your opinions on the subject and have opened yourself up to criticism. An opinion is not the same as a review. There's also a difference between an informed opinion based on critical analysis and personal preference. As @willforthrill has pointed out, it was well established that this would be a story about Kate and that the series will continue to swap protagonists. The fact that you went in looking for a Clint story is not a criticism of the quality of the material. It's an opinion and certainly belongs in a blog or a journal. But it shouldn't be a part of the analysis of the story and art. You can't judge art by what it isn't.

@mucklefluga If we have to keep explaining the rating system, then the rating system needs to be revised so it's definition is implicit.

Posted by Perfect 10

another week of reviews and still no zenescope. sigh

Posted by scouts1998

did anyone else find the incomplete artwork annoying (all the silhouettes)