I thought it would never actually happen, but the final issue of Hawkeye is finally a real thing that exists and you can read it! The wait for this issue has been excruciating, but everyone’s favorite archers get one of the most satisfying send-offs I’ve seen in just about any medium. It’s not all sunshine and smiles by any means though. Fraction still runs our scrappy heroes, and us along with them, through the wringer. Whether you’ve been with it since the first panel nearly three years ago or you’ve just recently tuned in, you’re in for quite a ride.
The book picks up during the battle of Bed-Stuy after things have started to fall apart for Clint and Co. I won’t go into any details about how things shake out, but there’s plenty of panic, gasps, and fist-pumps to be had. Also, don’t be surprised if you find a bit of strange moisture in or around your eyeball areas. Nearly every character gets at least one really great moment in the spotlight, and some of those moments will kick your heart right in the ass. Until the battle winds down though, things unfold at such a break neck pace, there’s not much time to stop and process things.
David Aja proves yet again that he is the master of arranging panels with how smoothly everything flows across the page. The frequent transitions from zoomed-in detail shots to pulled back views of the action create one of the most cinematic feeling comics in the series. And the fights! Goodness, the fights. If you’ve seen any of the Daredevil Netflix series, imagine those perfectly choreographed fisticuffs translated into a comic. They’re visceral and brutal, but beautifully rendered. As much as I’ll miss Fraction writing Clint, I will absolutely miss Aja drawing him much more.
That being said, Fraction absolutely pulled out all of the stops, making this arguably his finest work yet. So much of the payoff in this finale comes from smaller details and exchanges from earlier issues. Seriously, it’s so hard to not just list every “hell yes!” moment here. If it’s been a while since you’ve read the series, definitely take some time to run through it again. It’s worth it. All of the major threads are tied up nicely, but there’s some left intentionally hanging, and maddeningly so. If we weren’t already three issues into Hawkeye’s follow-up series, I wouldn’t be upset, but so far though, All-New Hawkeye is very much exploring its own (still enjoyable) territory.
It’s certainly sad to see such a beloved series end, but holy futz, it’s great that it ended on such a high note. Trek it out to your local comic shop, snag it from Comixology, or get it mailed to you – whatever you’ve gotta do to get your eyeballs on it. And if you’re looking for something to fill the Hawkeye-shaped hole in your life, definitely look into the aforementioned All-New Hawkeye from Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez, or check out this teams previous project, The Immortal Iron Fist. Both series have the same amount of quirk and ass-kickery. Hawkguy out!