by Taylor Anderson
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
You see it a lot in movies and TV shows nowadays, the flashback or flashforward in time. Its popularity with artists is understandable, though — when you only have so much time to devote toward character development, why not take a shortcut and use a flashback to show what motivates a character? Just because this is an easier way to develop a character doesn’t mean it’s easy, however. In Hawkeye 8, the use of flashback isn’t damning, but it also adds relatively little to the story at the same time.
This issue cuts back and fourth between Kate confronting her father (who’s now a full time super villain) and the events that happen immediately after their “talk.” The latter is informed by the former and the whole conceit of the issue is that we discover why Kate is so out of sorts in the present day story because of what happened in the past with her dad. This is great idea but the execution of this narrative device doesn’t quite stick the landing. For example, here’s the beginning one flashback with the cut to the present day right after it.
Despite these two scenes being right next to each other, they have relatively little in common. In the past, Kate’s dad tells her why he upgraded to a new body (yes, it’s as weird as it sounds). In the present, Kate is on her way to a fightclub and trying to persuade her friends not to help her. That these two scenes aren’t related isn’t terrible — there are hard cuts all the time in comics — but given the use of a flashback, the story would benefit if they were. True, these scenes are building towards the overarching idea of the issue that Kate’s actions are informed by her past, but that doesn’t present any special reason why flashbacks need to be used. In this case, a straightforward linear issue would have been just as effective as what is presented here.
Ultimately, though, this doesn’t harm the issue all that much. It’s distracting, sure, but more than anything I can appreciate the attempt to do something a little different for an issue.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?