Tuesday Q&A: Matt Fraction

Tuesday Q&A: Matt Fraction

Hawkeye #3 preview art by David Aja

By Jim Beard

Matt Fraction’s a shoot-from-the-hip kind of guy, a writer who juggles multiple projects with grace, style, and in-your-face-action. He’s currently orchestrating the adventures of the Avenger’s resident battling bowman Hawkeye and the upside-down and sideways tales of the Defenders, the infamous “non-team,” and two more different titles you’d be hard-pressed to find.

October’s a big month for both books. HAWKEYE #3 puts Clint Barton in the path of the Vagabond Code, while over in DEFENDERS #11 the awesome Death Celestials hurry Doctor Strange and his rag-tag team along to their final issue in November.

Inquiring minds want to know more, so, we asked a few questions…

Marvel.com: Matt, do you see yourself at all in Hawkeye's character, and if so, how?

Matt Fraction: Sure. I work for a living and oftentimes find myself the dimmest bulb in a room. It's pretty much a universal condition, I think. Conversely, I've not the physical courage of my convictions Clint has; I admire a guy that believes in something so much he'll jump off a building backwards to prove it, to fight for it.
Marvel.com: What's something we've never seen before in Clint, but that you're working on portraying in the series?

Matt Fraction: I don't know; there have been a lot of Clint Barton stories over the years. I want to write the HAWKEYE book I want to read, and to serve a slice of the market, no matter how small, with the best book I can write. Clint's the right character to tell those kinds of stories. The “regular super hero” thing. It's new space. Or at least poorly-exploited space.

Hawkeye #3 preview art by David Aja

Marvel.com: What will happen in HAWKEYE #4 that readers might find fascinating about Clint?

Matt Fraction: HAWKEYE #4 and #5 are about a tape, and on that tape Clint is seen doing something, and that tape is about to be auctioned off in Madripoor to the highest bidder. If the tape becomes public, a lot of people are in a lot of danger and lots of important people will be at best embarrassed and at worst could be perceived as criminals. We take Clint out of New York for a couple issues and this world of international intrigue is where we force him to swim. Or sink.

The tape is important because if Clint doesn't stop it from spreading, he, and a lot of other people he knows, likes, loves, and/or works for, will die.

Marvel.com: You've said before that you'd like to find Hawkeye's Dr. Doom; how is that going? What will it take, in your opinion, to create the arch-enemy for him?

Matt Fraction: I dunno; you don't really get to decide that sort of thing. I should've said, I'd like to find an arch villain for Clint, and I think I have. And you'll just have to keep reading, but I've been planting the seeds since the first issue.
Marvel.com: What's the Vagabond Code all about?

Matt Fraction: In issue #2, it was a way street folk and general riffraff were able to warn one another that "La Cirque Du Nuit" was about to pull off a big crime and that there'd be a lot of heat coming down.

Marvel.com: How will you look at your DEFENDERS when it’s all said and done? What are you most proud of?

Matt Fraction: Sadly; and that we were able to do it at all.

Defenders #12 black and white preview art by Mirco Pierfederici

Marvel.com: Which of the characters really surprised you in terms of their involvement and impact on the stories?

Matt Fraction: Betty Ross. Fell in love with writing her immediately.

Marvel.com: What can readers expect in the wrap-up of the series in November? Will we see a death or a big change in anyone?

Matt Fraction: The end of the world and the death of everyone ever. And that's just to start with...

Marvel.com: How would you quantify the entire DEFENDERS project here at its end? Anything you would have still liked to say in the book?

Matt Fraction: The whole experience was so unlike any other I've had at Marvel, and I got to work with so many amazing artists; the whole thing was a joy. Bittersweet at best, as they say.

And yeah; we were only just getting started. I didn't touch on a tenth of what I had planned for that book, for the places it would go, for the characters we were going to meet. Oh well. Next time, next time.

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