I’ve been a David Aja devotee since I first discovered his work in The Immortal Iron Fist #1. Much like Marcos Martin (another favorite), Aja has a clean, deceptively simple style, a keen sense of design, and a gift for pacing (you need look no further than this page for an example of, well, all of that). So naturally when Marvel announced he would be reuniting with his Iron Fist collaborator Matt Fraction for Hawkeye, I was thrilled. Only three issues in, the series has already proved to be a perfect showcase for the talents of both creators. Gun fights, archery, car chases, a sassy sidekick, sex — what more could a person ask for in a comic?
It turns out the answer is this page (in full below) from Issue 6 shared on Twitter by Marvel Editor Stephen Wacker. Feeding Ground artist Michael Lapinski characterized it as “like an Art Deco multiplayer video game illustrated by [Winsor] McCay,” which Aja contends “was the idea.” That’s a terrific (and hilarious) premise, but it’s the final five panels (above) that really show off Aja’s storytelling skills — that black panel that conveys the passage of time and, I presume, a shift from that video game-style fantastical fight sequence to the harsher reality of Clint Barton lying on the ground as the snow begins to fall. It’s kind of wonderful.
We’ll have to wait until January to get a little more context, as Hawkeye #4 arrives next week (drawn by the talented Javier Pulido; you can see a preview at Comic Book Resources).