This week the long awaited finale of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye hits the stands, as well as the latest chapter of the “Darkseid Wars” in Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s Justice League!
Hawkeye #22 (Marvel Comics)
Well, look who we have here. After months, and months, and months of delays (and the start of a NEW Hawkeye series), we finally have the conclusion of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye. There’s been such a long delay on this series that I honestly don’t even remember what happened in the last issue. But, Hawkeye is here, and it’s time to check out how this final issue stacks up.
And you know what? It stacks up pretty damn well.
Now I’ve been the harshest critic of Hawkeye for the past few issues, but even I have to admit that this finale is pretty damn spectacular. The whole issue is the culmination of Clint and Kate’s battle with the “Track Suit Draculas” (or “bros” if you will) for the control of Clint’s apartment complex. You get Clint vs. the Mime Assassin, Kate vs. the leader of the “bros”, and Lucky the pizza dog taking out bad guys too. Matt Fraction’s script reads like the first few issues of Hawkeye here, and not the ones that took their sweet time meandering with random subplots that didn’t really matter.
Fraction also wisely lets David Aja’s art do much of the storytelling. Aja’s work was honestly worth the wait (even though he’s told interviewers that he’s not the reason the book was delayed). The fights between our lead characters and their adversaries are incredible, and move with such fluidity that you’d swear they’re moving right before your eyes. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since I’ve read an issue of Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye, but Aja’s art and panel layouts were a breath of fresh air to me.
So there you have it. Despite my annoyance over how late this book is, Hawkeye #22 is, in all honesty, one of the most thrilling comics you will read this year. It’s full of great moments, and at one point had a development that almost made me throw my copy across the floor (don’t worry, it ends up ok). The second this series is out in an Omnibus format it should be purchased. While this run had it’s fair share of problems, many of them were due to the inconsistent shipping schedule. Now that you can sit down and read the entire thing at once, you’ll be in for a treat.
Justice League #42 (DC Comics)
Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s Justice League series is, for some inexplicable reason, barely talked about when it comes to DC’s line of books. And it’s a damn shame, because this series is absolutely stellar. With Justice League #42, we have the second part of the epic “Darkseid War”, which finds the forces of Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor preparing for war against each other, with the Justice League stuck in the middle.
Much of this issue deals with the back-story for our main reason for the war: The Grail, or as she’s more commonly known as, “Darkseid’s Daughter”. Miracle Man learns of her parentage from Myrina Black, the woman Darkseid was trying to find last issue. In a desperate attempt to destroy Darkseid, Black had a child with Darkseid and instructed her to seek out a being that can kill the Lord of Apokolips. That being is the Anti-Monitor. After learning that she intends to have Earth be the host world of the war, Miracle Man flees, hoping to find the Justice League. At the same time, the being known has Metron finds the Justice League, but refuses to tell Wonder Woman how she can stop The Grail. After removing Metron from his Mobius Chair, the heroes rush to it before it teleports away…and the character that reaches it and sits nearly made my head explode.
Geoff Johns is firing on all cylinders with Justice League right now. “Darkseid War” is quickly becoming a huge, game-changing event, and Johns’ script does a fantastic job of introducing elements of the New Gods for new comers and ramping up the stakes. As always, his characterizations of the different League members is spot on, and while some characters are a little too quick to change opinions in certain spots, he more than makes up for it with some truly jaw dropping moments.
Also jaw dropping is Jason Fabok’s art. Seriously, this guy just keeps getting better and better, and places Justice League on a whole other level art wise. While his work isn’t quite as good was it was in the previous issue, there’s still tons of incredible panels and character work from Fabok this time around. Fabok is quickly becoming one of the best artists in the comics right now, and Justice League is a monthly reminder of just how incredible he is.
The word “epic” gets thrown around too much these days, but I really have a hard time coming up with any other word to describe this storyline in Justice League. If you’re looking for huge, world shattering events, then look no further, because this is the book for you. It’s full of jaw dropping action, huge reveals, and stakes that are so big that you’ll wonder why DC didn’t make this the big event instead of Convergence. Justice League isn’t just one of the best DC titles out on the shelves; it’s one of the best comics on the shelves.