9. Hawkeye (Marvel Entertainment)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artists: David Aja, Javier Pulido
On its surface, Hawkeye is a book that stands for everything we hate about modern superhero comics. It takes a character that's clearly only relevant because of The Avengers movie (as played by Jeremy Renner) and gives him his own title in order to milk sales from the movie's fans. But despite all of that, writer Matt Fraction has managed to turn Hawkeye into one of the best books on shelves.
By taking the character of Clint Barton and focusing on what he does on his days off from being an Avenger, Fraction created a superhero title with indie sensibilities that brings a certain amount of humor and charm to the Marvel universe. Hawkeye is packed with personality, and in each new issue Fraction manages to make Hawkeye a completely loveable prick as he battles against various crime organizations from around the globe.
What really makes the title stand out, though, is the art team, which has revolved between David Aja and Javier Pulido. By using a minimalist approach, they've given Hawkeye a unique look that reminds us of Dave Mazzucchelli’s work on Batman: Year One. There's also a certain Jack Kirby-esque charm mixed into Pulido’s work that brings with it a ‘60s spy comic feel.
This was a tough year for Marvel, but if the company would somehow wean itself away from bloated crossovers and superfluous Avengers books and just focus on pumping out titles like Hawkeye, 2013 could be much better.