We Wrestle with Reality in This Week's Waypoints


It's Wednesday and that means Waypoints, where the site's staff and friends will bring something to share with each other and with you: a TV show, art exhibit, movie, album, or other thing from the universe of pop culture. to discuss, dissect, and enjoy.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/zm9wva/waypoints-podcast-halloween-hawkeye-maniac


The Holloween podcast was neat, thanks for that.


The Hawkeye series rekindled my imagination of what I can do as an artist and a visual storyteller. Not just the draftsmanship, but playing with the medium and eye direction in clever ways. An entire issue played from a dog’s perspective and his internal associations, and other extremely clever ways they find to tell the story later on through different language techniques, both visual and communicative.

Also the final two issues literally placed a thumping Dredd-style soundtrack in the back of my head, just by the way the scenes played out.

I mostly just buy digital comics, but I purchased the omnibus for this Hawkeye series and have it placed on my shelf.

Marvel announced their limited-series TV shows for their less-major characters on the Disney streaming service, and I hope to god that Hawkeye gets one based off this book.


The way Hawkeye was compromised by the burden of a monthly schedule dovetails with the recent conversation about creative credit, and how it is in a corporation’s interest to elide that where possible. (It’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, not Steve Ditko’s.)

In video games a player has to want to find out who made a game, whereas even a moderately attentive comics reader can recognise an art style after an issue or two, so it takes a more concerted effort on the publisher’s part to undermine that contribution. Enforcing a strict monthly schedule, which is impossible for the vast majority of modern artists to meet, is one way of doing that. (It also helps with Marvel’s other goal of flooding the shelves to maintain market share.)

It’s obvious Fraction doesn’t want to have the key chapters of Hawkeye drawn by anyone other than Aja, so without the option of simply delaying subsequent issues, he’s forced to spin more and more tangents off from the plot to fill time. As talented as all the fill-in artists are, this made the series less and less enjoyable to follow monthly, and is to the permanent detriment of the story’s pacing, even for a reader coming to the (slightly re-ordered) collections years later.

Having said all that, it really is a great superhero comic, and one I’m excited to revisit after this episode’s conversation. (Curmudgeonly purist that I am, I actually skipped the Francavilla issues on release - clearly I need to rectify that). I’d also recommend Aja and Fraction’s first collaboration, The Immortal Iron Fist (though it does sadly suffer a similar fate of scheduling).