Hawkeye is quite possibly Marvel’s most interesting series. Matt Fraction, aided by talented artists such as David Aja and Franceso Francavilla, has taken numerous risks not only with his characters and plot lines, but also with the style of story-telling in each issue. Hawkeye #11 is no different, choosing to focus on Lucky, aka “Pizza Dog,” a hound that Clint rescued from the villainous tracksuit bros back in Issue #1. Given the high quality of previous entries in the series, I had high hopes for this experimental installment. Did it live up to my expectations?
Pizza Dog’s story shows us a day in the life of this heroic canine. We see as Lucky does normal dog things such as eat discarded food while also watching as he attempts to find clues and solve the murder of Clint’s friend, Grills. We’re even treated to a few action sequences as Lucky fights against his cruel former owners and their accomplice, The Clown. In the background, however, something is brewing between Kate and Clint, and the poor dog is caught in the middle.
Fraction’s risks in this issue definitely pay off. Since the story is told entirely from a dog’s perspective, most of the human dialogue is written as incomprehensible squiggles, with a word like “Good” or “Food” legible here and there. Aja backs this up with great visual storytelling, using symbols and cues to tell us what Pizza Dog thinks of various people, and see how he deduces the results of The Clown’s recent assassination. Matt Hollingsworth’s color palette is much more muted in this issue; at first I disliked these duller colors, until I realized that he was attempting to portray the lack of color vision dogs possess, at which point I realized the absolute genius of this choice.
Hawkeye #11 is not without drawbacks. I feel as if Aja’s art on this issue is weaker than previous installments of the series. That’s not to say his work is bad by any means, but given what we’ve seen before it felt like somewhat of a letdown. This issue also involves tension between Kate and Clint, but we’re forced to simply guess what it is. Obviously, given the dog’s point of view this is understandable, but it’s troublesome that we’ll have to wait at least a month to find out more.
Overall, Hawkeye #11 is a great comic. It’s not the best issue in the series, but it’s definitely one of the better ones. The idea to tell a story entirely from a dog’s perspective is novel and fun, and works much better than one might expect. Also, given the nature of the issue, even people who haven’t been reading the series can pick it up and enjoy it. If nothing else, it’s fun to see a day in the life of an Avenger’s dog.
-interesting, original story-telling style
-good color palette
-fun, enjoyable story with a surprising amount of emotion
-not Aja’s best artwork
-difficult to fully understand what happened with Clint and Kate
Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. He’d like to dedicate this article to his lovable dachshund Oscar.
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