Behind the Scenes Update

Hello All,

You’ll start to realize that there won’t be any posts scheduled for the weekend and that’s because I’ll be using the weekends to write/schedule posts for the week. This would give me much needed free time during the week because guess what? A full time summer job doesn’t actually give me time to write/post ANYTHING. By the time I get home, I either a) watch tv b) read or c) pass out. So weekends are blog behind the scenes work time and break from reading my posts time for you guys! Obviously this isn’t set in stone since I’m writing/posting this on a Sunday but also because there are things that happen to fall on a weekend that I want to post about such as Superman’s birthday today (see below for details).

Another thing I wanted to let you know is that I’ll be posting a lot of comic reviews because I’ve finally caught with them! Some comics will get individual issue reviews while others will get a crap load of their issues reviewed at the same time. This is for two reasons:

  1. I REALLY love this comic and feel like EVERY issue deserves it’s own review (*coughs* Hawkeye *coughs*)
  2. I am way behind on the comic and for the sake of time (and my fingers) I’ll just binge review the older issues to catch  up.

In all honesty, if the comic doesn’t fall under the second reason then I’ll review it’s latest issue. Unless I have a bunch of dull issues that really don’t deserve their very own review because I have nothing to say.

Last, but not least, today marks Superman’s 75th Publication Birthday so let’s give the old guy a pat on the back for lasting so long.

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 8.40.46 AM

 

Silver Age Superman by Curt Swan

A. A. Omer

Comic Review: Hawkeye #8

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: David Aja featuring Annie Wu

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Cover: David Aja

Hawkeye #8 Cover

Publisher: Marvel

Release: February 27, 2013

Type: Ongoing

Writing Score: 4 out of 5

Art Score: 5 out of 5

Cover Score: 5 out of 5

Recommendation: A Must Read

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review:

No Spoilers

SO GOOD. GO READ NOW. The art is great as alway by David Aja but with the added bonus of Annie Wu giving us some gorgeous pages inspired by old pulp comic covers. The story is great with appearances from Natasha (aka Black Widow), Bobbi (aka Mockingjay) and Jessica (aka Spider-Woman). This issue, however, is all about Matt Hollingsworth because the colouring in this is amazing.

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With Spoilers

Our friend Penny is back with baggage and it doesn’t help that she kisses our guy, Clint, in front of Black Widow, Mockingjay and Spider-Woman (aka Clint’s current girlfriend). Penny asks for help with getting into a safe that could save her life and Clint agrees. Never mind that he’s planning on stealing a safe but he’s specifically stealing a safe from the sweat suit gang. This feels wrong and guess what? It is! Clint gets arrested, gets out (Tony wasn’t too happy) and finds that the comics that Penny sent him were in a particular order of the safe’s combination and, since Clint read them, are now out of order. The safe now becomes useless and Penny bails. The last two pages are of villains including King Pin and the leader of the sweat suit gang discussing the demise of Hawkeye because, frankly, he’s gotten to be more annoying for the villains outside of the Avengers. That’s it. They’re sending out a hit on Hawkeye.

The story is great but I feel like the art was the real star this issue. David Aja is awesome as usual. Annie Wu has drawn some pages that are giving a nod to the old pulp comics and they. are. amazing. They can be found throughout the comic.

Hawkeye #8 - 1

 

The other star of the issue is Matt Hollingsworth. This isn’t the first time he’s done the color for this comic (he’s been on this book since the beginning actually) but, mostly because I’m ignorant when it comes to art, I’ve really noticed the colouring in this issue. The reason why it stood out for me so much might have to do with the pages being of generally the same color (like purple in the one right below both the apartment and Clint) and then having certain characters/pieces stand out in another color (in the one right below, it would be Penny who’s primarily in red and even Lucky who’s just brown). The same can be said for the rest.

Hawkeye #8 - 2

 

Hawkeye #8 - 3

 

Hawkeye #8 - 4

 

The page below is the return to the use of shadows and/or lack of outlines to create the figures. LOVE. We saw this in issue 6.

 

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 6.16.28 PM

 

In the page that follows after the page above, there’s a panel where the character is drawn/coloured in this negative effect which you can see below in the middle. I’m not sure how much of this is the artist’s direction or if it’s something the colorist decides (again, let me know in the comments which it is if you know!) but it works.

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 6.51.12 PM

 

Erm…that’s it.

A. A. Omer

I’ve grown up with the comic book characters we all know and love but I finally got into comics with the launch of DC’s NEW 52 in 2011. These opinions are mine and mine alone…unless, you know, you agree which will then mean it’s OUR opinion but disagreeing is totally fine too. Ratings may lay heavily on writing and plot rather than art since I’m not an art expert.

Comic Review: Hawkeye #7

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Steve Lieber & Jesse Alan Hamm

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Cover: David Aja

Hawkeye #7 Cover

Publisher: Marvel

Release: January 30, 2013

Type: Ongoing

Writing Score: 4 out of 5

Art Score: 3.5  out of 5

Cover Score: 4 out of 5

Recommendation: A Must Read

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review:

No Spoilers

SO GOOD. GO READ NOW. We’ve got someone new with the interior artwork or should I say new people? Jesse Hamm and Steve Lieber are sharing the job. I like both for different reasons. This issue was really great mostly due to Kate’s story (20 pages divided between Clint’s and Kate’s story). It was a good and solid issue.

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With Spoilers

The story was essentially about a hurricane and where Kate and Clint were when it hit. In the first ten pages, Clint helps Grills (who we find out is not his actual name) move his father out of his house but it gets hit with a tsunami of water before they leave. Not a lot of the heroics that we’re used to in here but Clint does have his moments.

Hawkeye #7 - 2

This story was basically about Grills and his father and how a situation like this brought them closer together. Clint was there to help with any of the speed bumps along the way. The next ten pages were of Kate who was attending a wedding in New Jersey. The usual Jersey jokes were made. I really enjoyed her story because we got to see Kate be a bad ass which led to my favourite two pages in the entire issue:

Hawkeye #7 - 4

Hawkeye #7 - 5

This seems to be an appropriate time to talk art. As you know, I have limited knowledge on art to judge it but I have opinions so judgement shall happen regardless. I realized that the art work was really different between Clint’s and Kate’s stories before even looking at the details of who drew what. I checked out the Comic Book Resources site to see if my hunch was correct and it was (bear with me. I am not an art person). According to CBR, Steve Lieber drew Clint’s story which is much nicer, conventional looking than Jesse Hamm’s art. With that said, even though Hamm’s art isn’t normally my kind of thing, it does make Kate look more active and lively in her movements. I think Jennifer Cheng wrote it better than I could ever articulate in the CBR review:

These features of Hamm’s style suit the lighter, more comic tone of the second half of “Hawkeye” #7. His Kate Bishop is leaner and more girly than David Aja’s or Javier Pulido’s, but that, too, is in sync with Fraction’s script.

– Jennifer Cheng, Hawkeye #7

That deserves a slow clap.

Kate attempted to be the hero in stopping some hooligans from ransacking a pharmacy but gets hit over the head. No need to worry because a community of people stop the hooligans from running off with the stolen goods. They became the heroes of the story. There wasn’t any page layout or panel structures that stood out this issue but I think Kate explains the moral of this story far better than I could…

Hawkeye #7 - 6

That’s all for this review.

A. A. Omer

I’ve grown up with the comic book characters we all know and love but I finally got into comics with the launch of DC’s NEW 52 in 2011. These opinions are mine and mine alone…unless, you know, you agree which will then mean it’s OUR opinion but disagreeing is totally fine too. Ratings may lay heavily on writing and plot rather than art since I’m not an art expert.

Comic Review: Hawkeye #6

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: David Aja

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Cover: David Aja

Publisher: Marvel

Release: December 19, 2012

Type: Ongoing

Writing Score: 5 out of 5

Art Score: 4  out of 5

Cover Score: 4 out of 5

Hawkeye #6 Cover

Recommendation: A Must Read

Rating: 5 out of 5

Review:

No Spoilers

SO GOOD. GO READ NOW. David Aja is back as the interior artist so I’m liking the art and the panel work is phenomenal. It’s hard to believe they can out do themselves but Aja and Fraction have done it. The story’s structure for this one is really interesting and requires it’s readers to practice active reading which is a major plus. Why? Because this issue is told out of order and happens all within 6 nights (hence the title of the issue “Six Nights in the Life of…”).

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With Spoilers

It’s six nights with Hawkeye this issue and it’s during the holidays! I debated if I should do the full spoiler-y review but then thought that I’d do a summary of it instead and just discuss the specific panel structures that I loved. As I’ve said before, readers spend 6 nights with Hawkeye out of order during the holidays and during these six nights, he finds himself with a few issues that only Hawkeye could get himself into. Being the nice person that I am, I’ll break it down by the days in order:

Thursday, December 13th, 2013

Hawkeye beats A.I.M with the help of Wolverine and Spider-Man. He decides to take a vacation from the superhero gig by watching Dog Cops.

Friday, December 14th, 2013

Clint gets a DVR from Grills to watch his Dog Cops at the neighbourhood roof gathering when Aimee brings to his attention that a bunch of thugs dressed in sweat suits are in front of the apartment building with bats. It doesn’t look good so Clint goes to investigate. They get into a fight where Clint shoots an arrow into a satellite dish and is ultimately beaten the shit out of. He’s then thrown into a van with a bag over his head.

Saturday, December 15th, 2013

Clint finds himself in a warehouse where he’s told how much he has screwed over the sweat pants crew in the last few issues (pretty sure they have an actual name but I can’t remember).They basically tell Clint to get lost before they come after everyone in his building. They return him to the apartment where he gets his neighbour, Aimee, to deliver a Christmas present to Kate. We’re getting the impression that he’s going to leave like the sweat pants crew told him to do. After time has past, Kate comes to Clint’s apartment to shout at him for wanting to leave and accuses him of being a chronic running away-er.

Sunday, December 16th, 2013

Clint decides to not run away.

Monday, December 17th, 2013

Clint decides to unpack and while unpacking he is interrupted by Simone, her kids and the cable guy (or is it satellite guy?). Apparently, Clint’s arrow is the cause of Simone’s satellite not working and the cable guy refuses to go out to fix it since it’s dangerous.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2013

Tony Stark (YAY!) comes over to give Clint a hand with untangling his DVR (it doesn’t go too well).

Wednesday, December 19th, 2013

Clint invites Simone and her kids to watch Christmas specials at his place.

It was an issue that once again created depth to the character of Hawkeye with the mentioning of his carnie, thieving past and his chronic running away-ing (totally a thing). It contrasted Kate’s view of being the good guy (standing up to the bad guys) and Clint’s (making sure people don’t get hurt even if it means running away from the bad guys). The brief exchange between Spider-Man and Wolverine did display how fluid the life of a superhero is with their normal life and that they’re not exclusive. Most importantly, you got to see more of an interaction with the neighbours who, by the way, know exactly who he is (Loved it when Grills called him “HawkGuy”).

The panel and overall page work of this issue is AH-mazing. Here are a few to demonstrate why:

Hawkeye #6 - 1

Love this. I enjoyed the puzzle like set up here where readers are thinking one thing but what’s actually going on is completely different. It’s showing a passage of time by having absent panels or squares.

Hawkeye #6 - 2

A great use of the page. As the characters discuss the DVR, the page is acting as one as well. I can’t express how much I love this.

Hawkeye #6 - 3

Throughout the issue, Aja uses this clock outside of the panels to show a passage of time.

Hawkeye #6 - 4

Hawkeye #6 - 5

I chose both of these panels because of the color scheme and use of shadows/lack of outlines to create striking images. Props to Aja and Hollingsworth.

Hawkeye #6 - 6

This was a very important panel. It’s the only time this entire issue where you have one panel/image that takes up the entire page. This is the moment that Clint decides to take Kate’s advice and stand his ground. What made this even more striking was the decision to not make it the last image readers see but instead making it the second last page.

Really love this issue. Job well done.

A. A. Omer

I’ve grown up with the comic book characters we all know and love but I finally got into comics with the launch of DC’s NEW 52 in 2011. These opinions are mine and mine alone…unless, you know, you agree which will then mean it’s OUR opinion but disagreeing is totally fine too. Ratings may lay heavily on writing and plot rather than art since I’m not an art expert.

Comic Review: Hawkeye #5

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Javier Pulido

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Cover: David Aja

Publisher: Marvel

Release: December 05, 2012

Type: Ongoing

Writing Score: 5 out of 5

Art Score: 3.5  out of 5

Cover Score: 5 out of 5

Hawkeye #5 Cover

Recommendation: A Must Read

Rating: 5 out of 5

Review:

No Spoilers

SO GOOD. GO READ NOW. The art continued with it’s weird moments but I enjoyed the conclusion of this story arc a lot. I’ve also enjoyed the depiction of strong women in this issue.

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With Spoilers

So this is the conclusion to the 2 parter story arc that started in issue 4 and it begins with Clint Barton crashing through the window while tied to a chair. On the second page, it goes on to explain why that is the case moments before which I thought was a great storytelling device. We then cut to Kate who has watched the tape and we get to see her initial reaction of it (the same reaction I had with Man of Steel. Yup. Had to sneak that comment in there).

Hawkeye #5 - 1

Thanks to Clint’s jumping out of the window moment, Kate is outed as an impostor. Meanwhile, Clint is saved from being a human pancake by Maria Hill and this really made me happy because it gave her a moment to be her bad ass self.

Hawkeye #5 - 3

Kate is threatened by the real Madame Masque for what she did to her (human ash tray was her idea of torture. ouch) while dragging her into a room filled with villains. Don’t worry though because Clint is here for the rescue with a page dedicated to the pull and release of his arrow. I love that they’ve dedicated a page to do this especially given that we haven’t seen the use of arrows much in this or in the last issue.

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 12.39.41 PM

My favourite panel happens 2 pages later and it encompasses everything about Clint and Kate as a team.

Hawkeye #5 - 4

Clint and Kate fight their way out but then hightail it back to find the tape. That’s when the serious discussion of what was on the tape is had. Kate says that Clint told her he’s never killed anyone and he says he didn’t. She disagrees but he says that he never said that because that would be lying. Then this panel follows:

Hawkeye #5 - 5

Nope. No comments here. This speaks for itself.

So Clint and Kate have a nice moment as they walk to the elevator but then they’re met with a crazy Madame Masque who shoots at them. The way this panel is structured is awesome with the gun and the bullet’s trajectory informing the sections created. Love the choice of red outside of the cut itself to mimic blood that inevitably results from firing it. Just. So. Good.

Hawkeye #5 - 6

There are a lot of great panel decisions in this issue but I don’t think I’ll plaster this post with them all. The issue ends with Hawkeye, Director Fury and Marie Hill to explain to Kate that the tape was a fake and that this was all to flush out a mole and to protect the identities of the Navy Seals who did kill the terrorist in question. It was a great story because we saw growth/depth in the relationship between Kate and Clint but also a different form of being a hero from Clint.

A. A. Omer

I’ve grown up with the comic book characters we all know and love but I finally got into comics with the launch of DC’s NEW 52 in 2011. These opinions are mine and mine alone…unless, you know, you agree which will then mean it’s OUR opinion but disagreeing is totally fine too. Ratings may lay heavily on writing and plot rather than art since I’m not an art expert.