Hawkeye: Little Hits (Volume 2), Hawkeye: L.A. Woman (Volume 3)

Hawkeye: Little Hits (Volume 2), Hawkeye: L.A. Woman (Volume 3)
Matt Fraction, David Aja, Annie Wu, Javier Pulido, et. al.

Premise: Follows My Life as a Weapon. Clint and Kate continue to kick ass separately and together in between getting their asses kicked. Collects Hawkeye #6-11 and Hawkeye #14, 16, 18, 20 and Annual #1.

I know I’m bundling these reviews, but I need to talk about them both separately and together. Little Hits is a collection of single concept issues that are connected to what came before and what came after. Meanwhile L.A. Woman is one story, a story that is happening concurrently with a story that will be collected in the next volume (The missing Issues 12, 13, 15, etc.)

I like both, although I liked them quite differently.

The first two issues in Little Hits were both issues I bought when they came out. Issue 7 was rushed to print for a very good reason: it was written in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, about the hurricane, and all author’s royalties went to relief efforts. It follows two small, heartfelt stories about Clint and Kate during the storm itself, and it works great. Issue 6 (chronologically second in-world) is a Christmas issue. It jumps back and forth in time to paint a picture of what it’s like when Clint tries to take some time ‘off’ and actually have Christmas. The gang that Clint kept bumping into last volume are back with a new agenda.

Then Issues 8, 9 and 10 all interlock and overlap in interesting ways. The plot advances, retreats to provide a different angle, jumps to a new perspective. I really dig the style. Also, Issue 9 features awesome moments for all the ladies, but I particularly loved Black Widow. She was just perfect. Issue 11 is entirely from the dog’s perspective.

The story of the whole volume is fractured in this interesting way, but the style could turn some readers off, because you do have to pay attention, and it ends with a few cliffhangers.

At the end of Little Hits, it’s clear that Clint and Kate are going their separate ways for a while. L.A. Woman is Kate’s story. And it’s fantastic. The humor is snarky and wonderful, the plot ties back to previous events without being bogged down; I’m not sure it all made sense but it was a hell of a ride. Kate drives out to LA to make it on her own and promptly all the worst things that could happen, happen. But she pulls herself together and moves forward, and I just like her attempt at the hero-for-hire biz so darn much! The balancing act between her take-charge sass and attitude and how hard she’s actually trying to keep herself together becomes much clearer. In the last issue the plot circles around, finally coming to a head in a satisfying climax that leads straight into…. the volume that isn’t out yet. Nuts!

This whole series is highly recommended for anyone interested in stories that straddle the line between superheroics, indie-small-story-angst, and intriguing construction that asks to be read over and over.

Both 4 Stars - Very Good Books.


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