We're in the home stretch of the 24 Trades of Christmas with only five left. Since the DC's Emerald Archer has appeared twice on this list, it seems only fair to have Marvel's bowslinger show up as well. And when you are looking for Hawkeye stories, there are few better than Matt Fraction and David Aja's run that kicked off with a trade called My Life As A Weapon.
Coming off his live-action appearance in Thor and The Avengers, Clint Barton gets his own series where he's trying to prove himself as one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. He gets recruited by SHIELD to recover some incriminating evidence… that would make him a wanted man. The series shows the brutal side to being a regular human who uses a stick and a string from the paleolithic era as a weapon. Hawkeye is just that, a regular guy playing in a world of armored titans, super soldiers and gods. He gets in over his head… a lot… and doesn't have super powers to get him out. And that's what makes him appealing.
Faction brings us what happens to Hawkeye in between the big Avengers battles. His everyday life and the troubles he has to deal with. He's not Matt Murdock who has a successful law career or Peter Parker who has family and work at the Daily Bugle (If that's still the case). Clint Barton is an archer and ex-carney with an apartment building and that's about it. He's got a few friends, a few more ex-girlfriends who all seem to wear costumes, and that's about it. This is pretty much street level heroics at it's finest. The art by Aja with the muted colors by Matt Hollingsworth gives us a minimalist style that easily gives us all the details and emotions we need to follow the story. It's a great paring of story and art to bring about a very strong comic.
When it came out, I would've said that this would be a great gift for anyone who liked Hawkeye in the movies… and it would, except this puts Hawkeye as a single man living in an apartment in the city while Avengers: Age of Ultron made him into a family man living secretly in the country. The difference doesn't matter, because if you like Hawkeye then this is a great Hawkeye story.