RETRO REVIEW: Sign of a Hero in Hawkeye (2012) #19
In Hawkeye (2012) #19 by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Matt Hollingsworth, we get a powerful story that relies on the medium of comics to tell a singular hero’s story, using many instances of American Sign Language (ASL)!
“The Stuff What Don’t Get Spoke”
In this issue, we learn what the fallout from Hawkeye (2012) #15 turns out to be. Barney has been injured so badly he needs a wheelchair to recuperate, and Clint is now completely deaf instead of partially deaf.
You may notice that Chris Eliopoulos, who has been the letterer on the majority of this run, is not credited on this issue. That’s because Aja took over on lettering for this story. This is because much of the lettering is actually sign language, conveyed using panels displaying a neutral figure communicating by sign.
Way back in issue #3, I mentioned that this series is renowned for developing its own internal language for particular issues. This innovative utilization of comics to convey sign language is just one more example of the reason this series earns that reputation.
This issue is interesting because it draws a parallel between the Tracksuit Mafia and the abusive father Clint and Barney had to deal with growing up. Just as their father would hit them, but they endured the violence and eventually hit back, Clint and Barney are going to hit back against the violence of the Tracksuit Mafia.
Finally, this issue sets the stage for a final showdown between the people who live in the apartment building and the Tracksuit Mafia. While Clint is performing the heroic role of leading the people in battle against the antagonists, it is only together that they’ll be able to defeat their oppressors!
Sign of a Hero in Hawkeye
Even if you read this issue on Marvel Unlimited, there’s no letters page…
But you can let us know what you thought in the comment section here, Marvel Blog True Believers!