By Loretta Ramirez
June 14, 2004 - 13:25
Writer(s): Fabian Nicieza
Penciller(s): Joe Bennett
Inker(s): Sandu Florea
Cover Artist(s): Salvador Larroca
"All the pretty things in my life got scars, don't they…?" For Hawkeye, this is a bitter, persistent theme, that everything good is also bad, particularly his women. And once again, reunited with his first superhero love, the Black Widow in "A Little Murder: Part 2-Caviar Daze" by Fabian Nicieza and Joe Bennett, the archer must not only solve a friend's murder, but again suppress his emotions towards his "pretty things" in order to be a hero.
Nicieza delivers a satisfying, though slightly thin, conclusion to this story; but it's his character work that is truly outstanding here. Readers are treated to a bittersweet exploration of Hawkeye's conflicted loyalties-when, in order to understand his friend's death, the archer must defy the Black Widow. And here, Nicieza strikes a perfect balance between Hawkeye's passionate heart and heroic integrity, creating a sharp tension that makes it difficult not to sympathize with the character, all the while wanting to yell at him for prying into every little problem.
Concerning art, Bennett demonstrates a keen ability to capture emotion. His young Hawkeye is the essence of naïveté with a mouth prone to gape and eyes brimming with sentiment. Bennett's characters are also extremely beautiful, particularly the Black Widow with her famous mix of force and femininity. Similarly, Bennett emphasizes Hawkeye's grace of movement, something rarely portrayed so effectively, as Hawkeye silently sneaks about with a flashlight perfectly balanced upon his draw shoulder.
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