'Hawkeye' #19 to tackle deafness with sign language, empty word bubbles

hawkeye

Image Credit: Marvel

There are a lot of reasons to be reading Hawkeye, Matt Fraction and David Aja’s comic about what life is like for the Avenger who isn’t imbued with any godlike powers or power armor. The adventures of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, the Hawkeyes of two different Coasts, are regularly among the best in superhero comics, and the most inventive.

Like next week’s long-awaited Hawkeye #19, which will feature dialogue almost entirely in sign language.

Taking place after a battle that leaves Clint Barton with severe ear damage, the story will explore how he deals with a sudden loss of hearing. It’s the sort of thing that’s happened to Hawkeye before, but never quite like this: Word bubbles will be blank, the sign language used will not be interpreted, and body language will be more important than ever.

“If nothing else, it’s an opportunity for hearing people to get a taste of what it might be like to be deaf,” writer Matt Fraction said in an interview with The New York Times.

Hawkeye #19 marks the second time Fraction and Aja make a bold departure from convention. Last summer’s 11th issue, “Pizza Is My Business,” told a dialogue-free story entirely from the perspective of Hawkeye’s pizza-loving dog Lucky as the perplexed dog solves a murder. It may very well be crowned with an Eisner Award for best single-issue story of the year at Comic-Con tomorrow.


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