Saturday, April 05, 2014

What I Bought 3/14/2014 - Part 8

OK, enough books for a couple of days. I'm not stopping with my attempts to tear through them, just no more reviews until Monday. Instead, we turn to Hawkeye. With three whole issues to discuss, there will almost certainly be at least a little plot advancement. Right? Yes, right.

Hawkeye #15, 16, & 17, by Matt Fraction & David Aja (#15), Matt Fraction & Annie Wu (#16), Matt Fraction and Chris Eliopoulos (#17), Matt Hollingsworth (color art, #15 &16), David Aja (art, pgs 1 & 20, #17), Jordie Bellaire (color art, #17), Chris Eliopoulos (lettering, all issues) - Is Kate rocking the swimsuit that one actress wore in Dr. No? If so, coincidence, or deliberate reference on Aja's part?

OK, so the ladies - meaning Bobbi and Natasha - have put things together. The east-European bros owned all the pieces of property for 3 blocks around Clint's building, everything, except Clint's building. Which explains why they're so eager to hustle him into a van they won't even let him pull up his sweat pants. Jeez, Clint, are you the man who needs both a belt and suspenders? Is Henry Fonda gonna have to shoot you?  Anyway, he and Barney beat the guys up, then realize the only way the tracksuits got in was if they had help, and in a mad panic, they walk into an ambush by Sad Clown Man and get, well Clint gets stabbed with an arrow, and barney gets shot, and Jessica Drew does nothing. Isn't she a badass, superpowered secret agent in her own right? How the fuck does Sad Clown Guy shoot a guy right in front of her - Barney's blood splatters across her face - and she doesn't beat Sad Clown Guy into a bloody pulp?

Also, Sad Clown Guy realizes Clint probably doesn't have any legal claim on the building, meaning he can't call the cops, and that's why he gets so aggressive. OK, setting aside the idea Clint would call the cops for help rather than either handle it himself or call the Avengers, if Kazu or whatever his name is was so worried about cops getting involved, why did he shoot Grills? Murders tend to attract police attention!

Sigh, I was actually really enjoying the issue right up to that point. Clint still seems like the least competent character in his own book, but at least he's sticking to his principles in the face of all arguments, which is a very Clint thing to do. Hollingsworth has made orange sort of Barney's color. When the Tracksuits call his name, it's in orange, his panel backgrounds when he fights are also orange. Orange is not quite the direct opposite of purple on the color wheel (yellow is, orange is opposite blue) but it's close, so it's a nice contrast. I like the kind of deranged look Aja gives Clint when he asks if they'd like to see a magic trick, and also the outfit Natasha's wearing. The fact she tries to play it off as not her in disguise, in a particularly bad manner, was kind of funny. Thought, honestly, I could have seen her wearing that just because. She makes it work.

OK, on to other issues. #16 finds Kate trying to help a poor musician, who was never quite able to pull together his greatest ideas, to get back his music from his brother, who is releasing it on the Internet piece by piece. This doesn't exactly go well. She finds out what both brothers were trying to accomplish, and gets the crap beat out of her by a couple of goons. But it seems to convince Will to at least play some of it for the world, even if he never does pull it all together. So that's nice. Then Madame Masque shows up, just long enough to creep Kate out and ruin her good mood. It was an excellent last page, though. The red's nicely ominous, the way Wu draws the shadows so Masque's face looks like her mask. I am surprised by how quickly all the bruises from Kate's beating vanished, though I guess it could have been a couple weeks in between then and the next page.

I'm curious how this thread is going to line up with Clint's in terms of the timeline. I feel like Kate's been out there a lot longer than Clint's been dealing with stuff without her. Still don't know who the guy she talks to in the supermarket aisle is supposed to be. Someone described him as Elliot Gould. OK, I can see the resemblance, but does it mean something? Is this like Kate not knowing what The Maltese Falcon is? One of those gaps in my culture knowledge, coming back to bite me?

Finally, the issue where Clint has a dream that conflates his current predicament with some ridiculous animated holiday special. Steve the Dog with no powers who hangs out with the Winter Friends for some reason must save the holidays from some evil sun-faced guy in a suit. Whether he wants to or not, he's gonna get help from an annoying little yappy dog, and his big dumb brother dog. Also three other lady dogs. But Steve wants to do it all by himself, but that's not what the holidays (or fights against the living representation of summertime) are all about, so they all save the day together. Hooray!

Let's get this out of the way first: How can Clint be dreaming about his brother and ex-girlfriends helping him fight the "dingoes", when none of them had entered the fray until after issue #6? Is Clint unwittingly a mutant with precognitive abilities? {Note: Do not make Clint a mutant with precognitive abilities.}

Nitpicking aside, I did enjoy this. Clint got to sort of save the day, even if it was in animated canine form. And they remembered some of the things I like most about Clint. The unwillingness to quit, the need to prove himself, the fact he pulls off the win even when he's ludicrously outgunned. Also, Kate as the sort of annoying yappy dog that won't shut up. That kind of sums up my feelings about Kate generally. I really like that kid freaking out about Snowy melting. 'My nightmares are turning real!!' Welcome to the real world kid. I feel like I should be annoyed, because it's a story where nothing much happens, but I didn't mind this time. It was sort of funny - I didn't laugh out loud, but I grinned - and it was enjoyable as sort of its own thing.

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