RETRO REVIEW: Smile with Hawkeye (2012) #16
In Hawkeye (2012) #16 by Matt Fraction, Annie Wu, Matt Hollingsworth, and Chris Eliopoulos, with a cover by David Aja, we get a mystery story that’s based around a fictional musician who bears more than a striking resemblance to Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys… complete with the Marvel Comics equivalent of the album Smile!
Hawkeye (2012) #16
In this issue, Kate Bishop meets Will Bryson (WIll Bryson… Brian Wilson… get it). Clearly, Bryson and his brother are stand-ins for the Beach Boys (at one point, Kate begins singing “Wouldn’t it Be Nice,” and at another, a character says their band could have been the “American Beatles”).
Just as the Beach Boys had Smile, their infamous album that was “lost” for decades, Bryson has Wish. And just as The Smile Sessions were eventually released in 2011 (the year before this Hawkeye series began), a version of Wish eventually makes it out into the world… and furthermore, Kate even discovers the person responsible for leaking some of Bryson’s work against his will (it’s not a twist ending, but an answer is an answer).
Overall, this issue does a great job of delivering a fully-contained mystery. We are introduced to the characters in this issue alone, and their arc is concluded by the end of it, thanks to the fledgling private detective skills of one Kate Bishop.
While it seems like this could be a new beginning for Kate, at the conclusion of the issue, Madame Masque arrives to ruin her sense of contentment. What a shame! Oh, well. Maybe in the next Hawkeye series, Marvel Blog True Believers (i.e., the 2016 run)!
Have you had a chance to read this issue on Marvel Unlimited? If so, you might have noticed that the letters page remains intact… but it seems like the “song of the issue” is gone for good.
However, there is an interesting detail there: Hawkeye #16 was published before issue #15. This letters page also promises a 2014 Hawkeye Annual explaining what Clint was up to in issue #1, but… I don’t think that issue was ever published, Marvel Blog True Believers! At least we got the 2013 Hawkeye Annual about Kate.