Hakweye: Rio Bravo, vol. 4
By: Matt Fraction (writer)
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy
Reeling from recent events, even Hawkeye wants to know his new status quo. Who’s with him? Who’s against him? Who’s trying to kill him, and why? And just when Clint’s rock bottom couldn’t arrive fast enough, his brother shows up. After a lifetime of bad decisions, Clint and Barney Barton have to realize that they are brothers — and, ultimately, they’re the only ones who can save one another. If they don’t kill each other first. Now, the brothers Barton double down as the Clown and the Tracksuit Draculas lay siege to their building. Can Hawkguy keep everyone safe? Deafened and bloodied, will the Bartons make easy pickings for the Tracksuits? Ever seen Rio Bravo? It’s the final chapter of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s critically acclaimed reinvention of the arrowed Avenger! Don’t miss it, bro.
Collecting HAWKEYE (2012) #17, #12-13, #15, #19, #21 and #22.
Guys, I have been waiting for this collected trade paperback to be released for ages. I was expecting it earlier this year but the date was pushed back to August so I totally forgot about it until I received an email telling me my preorder of this comic had shipped (hurray!). Anyway, boo that we’ve come to the end of Matt Fraction’s run with Hawkeye because I’ve really enjoyed it, definitely up there as one of my favourite Marvel runs.
Well this was a great conclusion to this series. At first I was a bit sceptical from reading the blurb because of the introduction of Clint’s brother so late into the series, but it really works out. The balance between character development and exploring the relationship between these two brothers alongside the overarcing plot was quite even and one didn’t detract from the other. And I really enjoyed that interaction between Clint and Barney; the flashbacks explored their childhood under their abusive father and how Barney taught Clint how to fight back. Despite of their differences and the things they did to each other, they do work quite well together as a team and have each other’s backs no matter what, even when things weren’t looking great.
This final volume also does a wonderful job in bringing all the characters we’ve known from the first issue back into the fold and wrapping things up. The tenants of the building band together to stave off the sea of Russian bros as they come to claim the building. Readers get a clearer sense of why these guys are particularly interested in the building and the shadowy forces that are pulling the strings. It’s quite a clash but fitting in the context of the story. The story also ended on a great note–open-ended enough for the next Hawkeye series to pick up on or whatnot, but with enough closure to the present series and the characters coming out different, stronger, lessons learned, and so forth.
As always the artwork was fantastic and the different ways of communicating to the reader what these characters are going through were great. There’s humour sprinkled throughout, and while it can get a wee bit confusing as the story goes back and forth between past and present, with some events depicted happening in between issues or in previous issues, they all work as a great refresher to the series but also as a way to tie the themes in and further add characterisations and provide a glimpse of the true gravity of the situation that Hawkeye and his friends face. As Christmas festive and random as the Winter Friends issue was at the start of the volume, it does set the tone as to what the themes would be later in the book.
So yeah, volume 4 of Hawkeye was well worth the wait, it was a great conclusion to the series under Matt Fraction. I cannot recommend this Hawkeye series enough, they are absolutely fantastic! I can’t wait to see what Matt Fraction and David Aja do next 🙂