As the holiday season kicks into gear, now is an opportune moment to look back on Hawkeye’s Christmas specials. These stories were part of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s seminal Hawkeye run, which laid the groundwork for the titular character’s own superhero mythos. The series showed what makes him stand out from other Marvel characters — he’s too human, making one mistake after another. Fraction and Aja gave the Avenging Archer some phenomenal festive issues, which served as an excellent showcase of his character.
No two issues of Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye were the same. Each installment felt like its own creative experiment, as if the series was constantly reinventing itself. There was so much to enjoy about these stories, featuring stylish visuals, iconic character moments and a wonderfully quirky sense of humor. Hawkeye’s Christmas Specials brilliantly demonstrated what made the series so inventive, with each story adopting its own unique style.
Hawkeye’s Tumultuous Life During the Festive Period
Hawkeye #6 (by Matt Fraction and David Aja) was a really fun Christmas issue, which was spread across six different days during the holiday season. This structure allowed the creative team to explore every facet of Clint’s day-to-day life, from the most mundane of situations to his Avengers missions. Even in the build-up to Christmas, Hawkeye couldn’t seem to catch a break, going through a series of personal calamities.
It’s a strong character piece, with each scene delving into Clint’s various slip-ups. David Aja’s jumbled page layouts reflected the chaotic nature of Clint’s world, barely able to keep his life together. There’s a sense of awkwardness to his character, and it makes him feel incredibly down-to-earth. Ultimately, the narrative did a great job showing that Hawkeye can’t run away from who he is. Over the course of the story, he learns to use his limitations to his advantage, becoming the most authentic version of himself.
One Hawkeye Story Even Took the Form of A Christmas Cartoon
Centered around an animated Christmas special called “Winter Friends”, Hawkeye #17 was a thinly veiled metaphor for Matt Fraction and David Aja’s entire Hawkeye run. Steve the Dog was a shrewd parody of Clint Barton, who comically embodied all of his pitfalls. It was such a clever idea, which gave the creative team license to re-imagine the series’ main story beats and themes. This commentary had a nice festive twist, with each of the Winter Friends serving as analogues of the Avengers, allowing the issue to dissect Hawkeye’s relationship with the superhero team.
All in all, Hawkeye‘s holiday-themed issues are a great way to get into the festive spirit. They both have a rather playful feel while offering a fun examination of Clint Barton’s character. Matt Fraction and David Aja gave Hawkeye a really special set of stories, each with its own wildly imaginative premise, and these two Christmas specials were certainly no exception.