Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hawkeye #22

Time marches on. Looking back on the last four years of domestic politics what jumps out is the failure of the Obama presidency, coupled with a complete failure on the right to put forward any coherent counter narrative other than the eternal virtue of rapacious greed.

Hence, we are left with a failed political system. There are no heroes in this world. The main players are corrupt and untrustworthy. The good that is being accomplished is being done at the local level. Bigger is not better; small is beautiful. We see this reflected now in comic books with the rise of the anti-hero and the proliferation of female champions. A title that reflected this shift if not paved its way was Hawkeye, by writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja.

Hawkeye, issues 1-22, featured longtime Avenger and marksman nonpareil Clint Barton as a regular guy who lives in a Brooklyn apartment building that happens to be the target of a hostile acquisition by Slavic thugs in track suits. Barton is a hunky, perpetually bruised and battered slacker who is joined by a female Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, a friend and protege.

Hawkeye meandered over four years moving to its own beat; it followed Bishop out to Los Angeles and became entirely devoted to her exploits there (Annie Wu provided art for the West Coast issues). The whole time Hawkeye emphasized community -- whether with the tenants (black and white, young and old) of Barton's Brooklyn tenement or Bishop's black gay neighbors in California. Real regular people, not Thor wielding his mighty hammer or Captain American tossing his mighty shield. And along the way Fraction even tossed in an Occupy Sandy story arc.

I posted in 2013 on Hawkeye #6 and said about the Zeitgeist-defining Invincible Iron Man, written by Matt Fraction with art by Salvador Larocca, that:
Hopefully when historians study the United States from the 2008 McCain-Obama presidential election campaign to the 2012 Romney-Obama presidential election campaign they will consult the amazing, consistently excellent, four-year Fraction and Larocca run in Invincible Iron Man. A lot would be revealed.
Now historians can study the Fraction-Aja-Hollingsworth Hawkeye to understand what went on from 2012-2015. To move forward we have to go back to the basics. To women and men. To people. The real heroes.

Below are 14 scans from the last issue, #22, of the Fraction-Aja run on Hawkeye. The track suits and a harlequin assassin are bested by the residents of the apartment building working together with the Hawkeyes, Clint and Kate. Community action:

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