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Ambitious ‘Hawkeye #19’ broadens horizons with fulfilling story

by  in Comic News Comment

[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

I think by now we can all agree that diversity in comics is a great thing. Not only does it welcome in people who might feel ostracized by convention and provide a positive reflection of themselves in the pages of a comic, but it teaches readers and challenges us to go beyond comfort zones and understand the world around us.

When Hawkeye suddenly shifts into sign language after losing his hearing in a particularly brutal fight, I wasn’t sure if that was how that worked. He could speak before, he knew how, why would he need sign language. This caused me to go and look into sign language and consider how people speak to one another using sounds and suddenly I’m a much broader person! I hadn’t considered how much we need to hear to be able to speak and how difficult it would be to communicate. I looked into sign language and learned a little about the culture around it.

Hawkeye #19 is not an easy book to read, especially if you’re not familiar with sign language, but it’s a great book to study. The artwork forces you into another mindset and if you go with it, there are a lot of powerful images staged around a language a lot of people don’t know. This issue was entirely worth the delay and continues the amazing work both Matt Fraction and David Aja have done with Hawkeye. As I always tell people at the store, you don’t have to be reading Hawkeye to pick up any issue and get a fulfilling story and #19 is no exception.