Matt Fraction and David Aja are working together again and the color purple has never graced the interior of a comic so much. Yep, I’m talking about Hawkeye and the second issue hit the stands today. Sometimes the art in a book can carry it, sometimes not. Either way, I’m going to do what the good Beyonder created me to do and let you know… “Is It Good?”

Hawkeye #2 (Marvel Comics)

David Aja and Matt Fraction were magical on their Iron Fist run a few years back and it goes without saying comic nerds are jumping for joy at the fact they’ve teamed up again. Something about Aja’s geometrical panels and Matt Fraction’s aloof sense of humor and tone work rather well together.

Purple is used constantly in this book as it is here with the doors and dress.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first issue, mainly because the story was paced in a funky way and the general enjoyment came from the art alone. Judging by the message boards though it’s pretty clear this series is a huge hit. Turning the pages in this issue I kept finding myself enjoying the art a hell of alot more than the story once again. In this issue Kate Bishop teams up with Hawkeye to check out a circus that appears to be stealing from the criminals. Slap some Hawkeye wisecracks and banter and you have yourself a comic.

Love the translations.

This issue has a lot of the manic energy Fraction’s The Defenders has had over the last few issues. There are a few genuine moments where you’ll smirk from the dialogue, but really it’s all a vehicle for Aja to do his work.

A book could be written on the way Aja uses panels.

Aja uses panels to not only pace the action but tell a story. There were pages in this issue where I could have sworn the Aja was allowed to do whatever and then Fraction and to come in and make the dialogue work. It’s just that powerful in driving the issue along.

Gotta love this technique.

For instance, in the panel below Aja chose to draw knives flying through the air in its own panel. Their placement above the girl only enhances the impending danger and sense of movement.

He also uses a ton more panels than most artists would. This allows more small movements to take place. Of course this requires more work on his part, but the comic is allt he better for it.

So many panels!

There were a few instances where I was literally confused by the dialogue. For instance, in an early scene Hawkeye is preparing to shoot an arrow and Kate watches in amazement. It took me a good deal of time to figure out it’s saying “well that’s cool.” I’m not sure why she’s saying it, possibly to show how fast Hawkeye is moving, but it seems a bit contrived and incongruous.

Wellthat’s cool.

David Aja is an extremely unique artist with a hell of a lot of talent. This issue does a better job with Hawkeye’s personality and the plot actually makes some sense adequately tying into his back story as well. It’s not the most balanced read between story and art, but for the most part I think most readers will take it. With art like this:

…you can’t go wrong. Check back later today to see if it’s good enough to make it into our 10 dollar budget in our ComiX Weekly reviews.

Is It Good?