I have really been enjoying this series, and it has been one of the best series Marvel has produced over the last year. Although Spider-Man, and Wolverine are in my top three favourite characters (along with Batman), Hawkeye has always been my favourite Avenger, so it's very nice to see him in a solid solo series. Matt Fraction has really done a splendid job of making this series brilliant, and showing more of Clint Barton, rather than all Hawkeye.
This issue sees six days of Hawkeye's life. The story jumps about the place, over these days starting with him getting help from Tony Stark with setting up his TV, DVR, and other stuff. The story then jumps back to the first day in the sequence where Hawkeye decides to have a break from being a superhero after taking down a group A.I.M. goons, with Wolverine and Spider-Man. It's not long before Hawkeye gets more trouble, as the Tracksuit Mafia aren't happy with him.
This was a brilliant issue, and one of my favourite's out of these one-shot stories. I liked that it was a fun Christmas set story. What I especially loved about this was that it wasn't your usual Christmas set story, and just when Hawkey's wanting to have a break, trouble comes to his door. Fraction yet again did a fantastic job, and he's really dot the knack for writing great Hawkeye stories, even if they're only one-shot stories. I was however wasn't entirely sure how I felt about the issue near the start, as the jumping back and forward put me off a bit. I did however get used to it, and although I had to go back a few pages from time to time, overall I felt it was good. The reason I think this was an overall good choice was that there are some sequences that have questions which are answered in actions from the previous day, so it's better to flashback to that moment. I also liked that Fraction was able to involve the Tracksuit Mafia in this issue, as I've really enjoyed them in this series, but I'll talk more about that later in my review.
The art in this issue was excellent, and I'm happy David Aja was doing it. Although I didn't mind Javier Pulido's art in the last couple of issues Aja's is much better, and overall suits this story much more. Although Aja's art isn't the most detailed artwork out there it is still brilliant, which surprised me when I first saw it, as I don't usually like art unless it's detailed. Aja does however make up for this by having brilliant facial expressions, and emotions throughout his art, as you can really feel what mood the characters are in, whether confused, agitated, or smug. I hope Aja can continue doing the artwork on this series as much as he can as it's simply marvellous.
The main story in this issue is Hawkeye trying to relax over the festive season, and make time to watch the episodes of "Dog Watch" that he's got recorded on his DVR. He initially gets help from Tony Stark in trying to untangle his DVR cables, and eventually cuts them thinking that that would solve the problem. Tony then offers to replace all his stuff, but Hawkeye refuses. I thought this was a brilliant idea, and the fact that Hawkeye is constantly being disturbed during this makes it even better. I also loved that at the start of the issue it looked like Tony, and Hawkeye were dismantling a bomb, whereas Hawkeye was just cutting a cable on his DVR. The way Tony and Hawkeye interacted was also interesting, as both characters are very different. It was nice to see Fraction writing Tony again as I loved his The Invincible Iron Man series.
The Tracksuit Mafia also made an appearance in this issue threatening to kill everyone in Hawkey's building if he doesn't leave. I've loved the introduction of these characters in this series, as they've given something different, and manageable for Hawkeye to face. These villains haven't only been a good source of action for this comic, but it's also given more comic relief to the series, with them always using the word, "bro." I liked them in this issue because they went all out, and wanted to make a bold statement, as Hawkeye has stuck his nose in too much of their business. I hope that this group continues to make appearances in this series as they are funny, and due to their large numbers they prove to be a decent challenge to Hawkeye if he's on his own, or with Kate Bishop. Speaking about Kate, it was nice to see her make a small appearance in this issue, and that she talked some sense into Hawkeye, as I've been enjoying her appearances, making the series a multi-Hawkeye series.
There was also a funny moment in this issue where someone repeatedly calls Hawkeye, Hawkguy, thinking that that's his name. This is funny because Fraction affectionately calls Hawkeye, Hawkguy, because that's what his kid calls him, so it was a nice touch to see thin incorporated into an issue. I also liked that no matter how hard Hawkeye tried to correct him, the guy persisted in calling him Hawkguy. Overall this was a very funny sequence, and I was happy Fraction added it in, as besides the reference to Fraction calling Hawkeye, Hawkguy, it would have still been a funny scene, the reference just made it funnier.
This was a fantastic issue, and one of the best the series has produced so far. It's a fun Hawkeye issue, as well as being a good Christmas story. I would highly recommend this issue as well as the entire series, as it's been mind-blowingly brilliant, and a really fun series.