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Written by Matt Fraction
Drawn by David Aja, Francesco Francavilla, Annie Wu, Steve Lieber, Jesse Hamm
Published by Marvel Comics
Last year Matt Fraction and David Aja kicked off their 'Hawkeye' series that sent their protagonists on a quest to improve the lives of everyday people and chronicled how the choices of those tough, but flawed characters impacted the world around them. The result was a streak of beautiful and brilliant comics. This year, 'Hawkeye' got even better and more unique. First we got a tale of heroism and humanity, which helped raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Then the events of a turbulent several days were presented from different perspectives, which included the expertly realized P.O.V. Of Lucky, the Pizza Dog. The fall out from that lead the two Hawkeyes to launch out on their own separate and equally exciting journeys. In New York, the down and out Barton brothers reunited and in Los Angeles Kate Bishop kicked off her career as a hero for hire in a delightfully quirky crime story that included a fun homage to Robert Altman's 1973 adaptation of 'The Long Goodbye.'
-- CBR Staff Writer Dave Richards
If all you read was 'Hawkeye' #11 by Matt Fraction and David Aja, that alone would qualify this series for a Best of 2013 list. Told from the perspective of Hawkeye's dog Lucky (aka Pizza Dog), the way that this comic uses iconography and muffled dialogue to explain how a dog would view the world is brilliant and enthralling. Aja's art is drop-dead gorgeous, and Fraction's take on Lucky's perspective is inventive and gripping. But here's the great news: it wasn't the only issue published this year. A fantastic series from start to finish.
-- CBR Reviewer Greg McElhatton
The best lead in comics today. This is a book aimed at adults and still cool enough to pull in a wider audience. In an industry that thinks mature means showing lots of detail when someone gets ripped in half, this is actual mature storytelling - a guy who looks like he has it all but just can’t seem to keep any of it together. Clint Barton’s a narcissist who won’t let anyone in when it’s time to put down the bow, but it doesn’t mean he’s not going to keep trying. The slow burn across the year, telling the same story from multiple angles, has been incredibly rewarding as a reader. If you don’t think 'Pizza Is My Business' is one of the best stories of 2013 I’d like to offer you some Advil; you’re gonna pull a muscle trying too hard.
-- CBR Reviewer Matt Little
For a second year in a row 'Hawkeye' was hands down the most fun I've had reading superhero comics, and nearly the most fun I had reading comics period. Like most of the books that make my 'top' lists 'Hawkeye' feels brazen and like it has a perfectly clear purpose. Fraction and Aja are two creators working in perfect sync and when reading you get that feeling that something larger is at work (like, destiny, man). Groundbreaking visuals that surprise me in every issue meld with a sense of humor and humanity that leave me alternately cracking up or tearing up. Yup, 'Hawkeye' continues to be a breath of much needed fresh air on the comics scene. It’s the kind of book you hope will go on forever, but know cannot. Breathe it in while you’ve got it, folks.
-- CBR Reviewer Kelly Thompson
The cape comic without any costumes, Aja and Fraction, and friends, mess around with the format of sequential narrative and produce something that is educational, amazingly entertaining, herartbreaking, and fun. This is the comic that will be remembered fondly in 20 years, no doubt.
-- CBR Contributor Ryan K. Lindsey
Pizza Dog is my top moment of the past year because it achieved something very few books have--it changed the way I read them. Comics infrequently create their own language in just 20 pages, and Fraction/Aja did just that. After twenty something years of reading comics, finding a story that can change my relationship to an established character, deepen my understanding of the plot and challenge me visually all in one issue is remarkable. And to do so without words? Even more amazing.
-- CBR Staff Writer Casey Gilly
'Hawkeye' continues to hold as one of the best comics at Marvel, and for good reason. When Matt Fraction stepped back to include a more prominent role for fan favorite Kate Bishop (Hawkeye, not the Hawkguy), he expanded the book in the best way possible. He and David Aja spin one of the quirkiest and most fun stories that Marvel has to offer -- possibly ever. With a run that hasn't had a mediocre issue yet, this book is great and it's only getting better. If you haven't picked the book up yet, now's the time, bro.
-- CBR Reviewer Meagan Damore
After a breakout debut, 'Hawkeye' suffered through delays and artist David Aja’s occasional absence in 2013, but while the non-linear story would have been well served by a more taut schedule, it’s hard to argue with the final product. Aided by Aja, and an impressive stable of guest artists, writer Matt Fraction delved deeper into Clint’s backstory, gave Kate more room to shine, deftly touched on Hurricane Sandy, and delivered the bold experiment that was the Pizza Dog issue. Not bad for what could be considered a down year.
-- CBR Contributor Jason Tabrys
Matt Fraction was the first to finally develop Hawkeye into a real character in a comic without the word 'Avengers' in the title, and then made him into a neighborhood hero even when he wasn't trying to be one. Fraction also made supporting cast member Kate Bishop into a strong enough character that can occasionally support the title on her own. Meanwhile, David Aja puts a brilliantly minimalist look on the book while at the same time making the most of the sequential artform. Powerful stories combined with striking visuals have made this title the best of all of Marvel's ongoing titles in 2013.
-- CBR Reviewer Jim Johnson
'Hawkeye' is the creator-owned approach to the mainstream superhero book. Matt Fraction's take on Clint Barton is critically acclaimed for a reason: it's damn good, and on a consistent basis. Every single issue of "Hawkeye" brings something new to the table, whether it's a quirk in Fraction's script or a new take on character design by a who's who of incredible artists -- David Aja and Francesco Francavilla, to name a few.
-- CBR Reviews Editor Steve Sunu
It turns out that 'Hawkeye' had a stellar supporting cast in its quiver all along, just waiting to be unleashed. With issues focusing on everyone from Kate Bishop, Barney Barton, and even Pizza Dog (told from a dog's POV), this unstoppable creative team proved it's dominance in the last half of 2012 was no mere fluke. 'Hawkeye's' world is growing.
-- CBR Columnist Brett White