Two different titles, each nearing their ends, one issue each. One way behind schedule, the other cruising along just fine.
Daredevil #13, by Chris Samnee and Mark Waid (storytellers), Matthew Wilson (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) -I saw the first page from this issue on Samnee's Tumblr page, and he mentioned how it was the first page he'd seen in awhile that wasn't edited beyond recognition. I don't know what that means exactly, but I sure don't like the sound of it. DC seems to be adopting Marvel's approach of allowing their creative teams to actually make books that reflect their styles, don't tell me Marvel's gonna start imitating DC's new 52 approach of making everything the same somehow. Of course, the book has 5 editors listed, between assistant editors, editors, senior editors, and editors in chief. How the hell does it need so many editors?
So Matt and Kirsten are a couple now, and Matt is struggling with the implications. He's afraid of what will happen to her, and he's afraid of being happy, so Foggy has to yell at him a bit. Kirsten's in the middle of coffee with her dad, because she learned he hired bodyguards for her without mentioning it, when someone drugs and abducts her. Matt is of course convinced this is about him, but it turns out to be a killer Kirsten helped put away when she was a prosecutor. Kirsten is ecstatic at the prospect of an archfoe, while DD is less than amused. He ought to be more concerned that the Shroud seems to have teamed up with the Owl, who can now observe Matt through any electronic device, but then, Matt doesn't know about that. Yet.
I love the scowl Matt got when Foggy starts giving him grief about keeping Foggy hidden while Kirsten and Matt are out together all the time. It's such a little kid stance, it fits well with how Matt's trying to hard to deny that he loves Kirsten and wants to be happy with her. He's trying to resist the reality of that, because of how things have worked out in the past. It's also interesting how Matt refuses to look at Foggy for most of the conversation. Granted, he doesn't need to look in his direction, but Matt's usually polite enough to face someone he's talking to. Here, though, he's almost always turned away at least 90 degrees. He doesn't want to engage with Foggy's points.
I also like the shade of purple (lavender?) Wilson used for the knockout gas. It fits with the eventual revelation of the abductor's identity, but it's similar enough to the color of the Purple Man's skin it suggests a super-villain, which plays into Matt's fears (and all the panels through the issue of the Owl spying on Matt). Oh, and when DD confronts the killer, I thought Matt's mental checklist was amusing. The killer's knives might be a special alloy! Oh, he might have some super-fast attack ability because his pulse is up! No, no, he's just a serial killer.
Hawkeye #21, by David Aja and Matt Fraction (storytellers), Matt Hollingsworth (color art), Chris Eliopoulos (lettering) - Took me a second to realize Clint's wearing a sock cap with an "H" on it. Couldn't figure out how it was there until then.
Clint apologizes to Jess, so that's good. The redhead is coming back, though. That's bad. Clint's got his neighbors helping defend the apartment building, and that's good. Except that old woman let the clown in, and that's bad. And then she beat Clint with a bat? Seriously Fraction? Clint can't even handle some old lady with a bat? This book, I tell you. Clint's woozy, so I don't think he can even tell the tracksuits are yelling at him about the safe he stole from them a thousand years ago, and Barney refuses to use all that money Clint has to buy his way out. So he winds up with a knife in his back. But here comes Pizza Dog with an arrow. So maybe things are looking a little better for whenever the last issue shows up.
What color is that Hollingsworth is using the last several pages? It's not sepia, it's a brown with some red tinting to it. It's an interesting choice. I'd say there's something visceral to it, but that might just be because all the pages he uses for, someone is getting beaten or stabbed, so there's blood and viscera flying around. My doubts about Clint losing a fight to an old woman aside, the way her words are mixed in with the blood spatter, done with the same black color as the blood, and not separated within a bubble was a nice touch. I'm guessing that's Aja, but it could be Eliopoulos. Also the way that, as Clint regains consciousness, the black panels get narrower. As the scene on the roof reaches its denouement, Aja keeps going to more and more panels. Like page 18, the top row is 3 panels, middle row is 4 panels, bottom row is 5 panels. It's one of those times where I actually get the attempt to affect the pace I'm reading with the panel layout
But the skill of the people involved in this book has never been in question. It's been whether the story was any good, and on that score, I still have my doubts. Barney apparently has a thing with Simone, the single mom, but it didn't exactly feel earned. On the other hand, Barney's death scene felt moving. Clint trying to drag himself up, the way we're only seeing bits and pieces of Barney's fight, Clint seeing the knife, knowing what's coming, but he can't move fast enough. That worked really well. I'd never given a crap about Clint's brother before this series, so Team Hawkeye can count that as a win (I suppose they also made me care a little about Kate, so count that as a win, too).