Hawkeye: Rio Bravo (Volume 4)

Hawkeye: Rio Bravo (Volume 4)
Matt Fraction, David Aja, Chris Eliopoulos, Francesco Francavilla, 2015

Premise: Follows L.A. Woman. Clint digs down to an ever-deeper rock bottom but finds a place to stand there. Collects Hawkeye issues #12, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21-22

This is the climax of Fraction’s run on Hawkeye, and I enjoyed it, although I didn’t find this volume as a whole as satisfying as I hoped I would. I might go back and read the issues in the order in which they were released, (which requires flipping back and forth between books 3 and 4) to see if that changes the overall pacing for the better.

There are really fantastic moments in this book. Gorgeous, perfect moments where a character makes a choice or makes a stand, or a bunch of plot pieces come together, or friendship and affection is more important than anger and resentment. The story as a whole just didn’t 100% gel for me. I kept having to go back and re-read sections to catch some foreshadowing I missed or clarify a sequence. It’s a testament to just how great the great parts are that I still really enjoyed reading this.

The art continues to be awesome. There are two issues (12 and 17) done by different artists, and in both cases there’s a story reason which drives the choice. Issues 12 and 13 take place over the same time-frame from different perspectives, which didn’t work quite as well for me here as a similar mechanic did in some earlier issues. Issue 17 is stuck at the beginning all alone as a sort of holiday outtake. I liked it okay, but having it there really set a weird tone for reading the collection.

This volume also contains the much-talked-about ‘deafness’ issue, which is as fascinating and moving as reported. Twisting the conventions of comics to portray hearing loss in a way that reportedly felt incredibly real to deaf fans and gave others a strong sense of that world was a remarkable accomplishment. It was subtle in execution at times, and I had to read the issue several times, but that is not a flaw here.

The action is really good and the dialogue solid. I just wish that the early issues in this volume had as much internal consistency and forward momentum as Kate’s interlocking plotline (see L.A. Woman). That might have made this an unbelievably good collection, instead of just solidly good with some really outstanding issues.

4 Stars - A Very Good Book


Popular posts from this blog

The Silence of the Elves (crosspost)

The Santa Claus Man (crosspost)

The Deep Beyond