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HAWKEYE #17 REVIEW

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artists: Chris Eliopoulos and David Aja

Review by Suzanne Nagda

Television specials and movies are ubiquitous during the Christmas season. Remember that iconic scene in A Christmas Story when a young boy gets his tongue stuck on a flagpole? That’s a suitable metaphor for Clint Barton’s life at this point. He could barely keep his pants up (literally) last issue and his personal life continues to unravel. So why not have a Hawkeye Christmas issue three months after the holidays? It’s fitting for a character who feels like a big mess and can barely keep track of what day it is. Last year, the holiday issue of Hawkeye held the top spot on my single issues list and I look forward to seeing how this one compares.

If you were paying attention, you’d know that Clint Barton accidentally shot an arrow through his neighbor’s dish television. He invites Simone and co. to watch cartoons at his apartment since he’s such a decent guy. They tune in for “Wintertime Winter Friends Winter Fun Special” with such memorable cartoon animal characters as Santalope and Menorable. I like how Matt Fraction references even obscure winter holidays with Yaldog–because I’m super familiar with the Zoroastrian winter solstice (Yalda), aren’t you? There’s also Steve The Dog who stands up for the little guy even though he’s flawed and not quite a part of Winter Friends. That reminds me of someone…

There’s plenty of holiday commentary and silly moments worthy of the Saturday morning cartoons. Chris Eliopoulos’ style expertly matches the tone of this issue and reminds me of the Peanuts comic strip. I also like how David Aja’s pages frame the book and make it feel like more of an interlude to the current story arc. My only complaint is that this issue feels out of place in the series at the moment. Considering the darker themes and the cliffhanger in Hawkeye #15–I had a hard time transitioning to this issue’s substantially lighter tone. Plus, I have to wait an extra issue to find out what happens to the Barton brothers.

The Verdict: If you’re looking for resolution from last issue, then skip this one and wait for Hawkeye #18. But if you like a zany holiday special with lots of heart then check this one out. The quieter moments in Clint Barton’s life are just as endearing.

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