Artist: Javier Pulido
This has been one of the best series Marvel has brought out in the last year, and I've been loving all the different Hawkeye tales. At one point I was considering not getting this series due to budget reasons but I'm very happy I did has it's been much better than I'd ever expected, and Matt Fraction has done some marvellous work on this series.
This issue sees the continuation of the last where Hawkeye has to retrieve a tape that has him killing a terrorist on it. Hawkeye is now captured, and is attacked by ninjas whilst Kate Bishop is posing as Madame Masque, who she's got tied up in the bathroom.
This is another amazing issue but not quite as good as the previous issues. I've been loving what Fraction has been doing with the series but there were a few minor imperfections that lowered the overall rating. I've also liked how Fraction has been able to add ton's on humour to this series whilst making it fun and action packed. The way this series has been more focused on Clint rather than Hawkeye has also been very nice, and I've also enjoyed seen Kate have a big role in this series, giving it multi-Hawkeye feel similar to the multiple Iron Fists in The Immortal Iron Fist. I't's also been interesting that this series hasn't used any proper villains until this story, and how even though they don't play a interfering role there have been quite a few well known villains featured in this story.
The art in this series has also been good and Javier Pulido's art has been good over the last few issues. I am however looking forward to seeing David Aja return as artist next issue as his art is much better and suits this series a lot more. As I said Pulido has however done a good job in Aja's place and his artwork over the last couple of issues, although unique has been very similar to Aja's. Pulido's art hasn't necessarily been the best I've seen and artwork with lack of detail is usually a down side for me but that doesn't affect this series too much and helps show the fun feel of the series even more. I've also liked how Pulido's added drama at certain points during this issue, giving more suspense to it, but there have also been a few points I've not liked. There is a page that has Kingpin and a HYDRA agent talking to Madame Masque, and in the second panel their faces and hands/arms are blacked out where the other panels they're not. Okay you can argue that this adds tone to the book, and it also adds an unique feel but I think it's not quite right and should have been left out. Other than that Matt Hollingsworth has once again added tremendous colours to this issue making the small differences between Aja and Pulido's art less noticeable.
This issue starts with Clint throwing himself out of a window to escape ninjas. Although he was stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to choices I still think it was stupid to decide to jump through a window of a multi-story building whilst tied to a chair. An army of ninjas isn't an easy feat especially when you're tied to a chair, but unless he knew that someone was going to be there to save him it's the worse decision of the two, and he probably would have stood a fair chance against the ninjas, having all that S.H.I.E.L.D. training.
Clint however was saved by Maria Hill, who just happened to be flying by, I assume they were monitoring Hawkeye's mission. Seeing one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s fancy flying scooters was nice as you don't see that sort of tech from S.H.I.E.L.D. any more and appart from the Helicarrier the hover car was one of the best things to come out of S.H.I.E.L.D., so it was nice to see something similar. I also like the acknowledgement between Clint and Hill as it shows that they can have a laugh whilst being formal.
Kate seeing the tape was also a nice addition to this issue, and I liked how we get to see her doubt if Clint tells her the truth all the time like he said he would. I've been enjoying seeing Kate in this series and although I don't know much about the character besides what I've read in this series, and the few Young Avengers comics I've read she's been a good addition, and I like how you see these different age groups in herself and Clint play of each other.
When Kate got caught by Madame Masque's henchmen it was very interesting seeing how her and Madame Masque interacted. It was also interesting to see the difference in emotions throughout the conversation being calm one minute and nervous the next. I also enjoyed seeing her and Clint fighting besides each other nearer the end of the issue, and how they had time to interact with friendly chat, whilst she asked him if he's ever lied to her.
A great issue to what has been a tremendous series. Although the start to this two parter was better than the finish there isn't much between them, and if it wasn't for the minor imperfections in story and art they'd be equal. I would still highly recommend this issue and the series as it's one of the best Marvel is producing so far.