Definitive Hawkeye Series in Omnibus


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This review is from: Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja Omnibus (Hardcover)
The Hawkeye Omnibus is a bit thinner than the typical Marvel Omnibus. This edition is more the exception to the rule while only containing two HCs instead of the usual three. I hop this isn’t the beginning of a precedent. The slimmer size does make it easier to read and hold while still weighing in at 552 pages.
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This series is the best showing of Hawkeye outside of an Avengers movie. With Captain America Civil War just a few months away, now is the perfect time to re-examine this omnibus that was released a few months ago.

I picked up a few issues of the monthly series, being captivated by the unique art appeal on the covers. The story inside was hard to follow if you only had an issue or two, so I picked up a few back issues to see if I could follow it then. Nope. There was a definite appeal to me, but I figured I would wait for the OHC. Luckily for me, they came out with this beautiful omnibus. The story makes more sense all in one reading. It’s gripping and hard to put down. This is one of Matt Fraction’s better stories. David Aja creates a masterpiece here (in the issues that he does, which is a bit more than half, plus most of the covers.)

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Kate Bishop on the cover of Hawkeye #9 by David Aja
The oversize nature of the Marvel Omnibus format reveals even more detail in David Aja’s art.
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“What you say, Bro?” Pizza Dog and the Tracksuit Mafia greet Hawkeye

The Omnibus includes 1-22 of the series, Annual 1 and Young Avengers Presents #6 (starring Kate Bishop as Hawkeye). The series is as much about Kate as it is about Clint. Their interaction is great. Her solo stories are very interesting. His solo adventures are very inventive. Definitely, the series is at its best with David Aja, but Javier Pulido, Annie Wu, Chris Eliopoulos, Francesco Francavilla, and Steve Lieber & Jesse Hamm do an admirable job creating unique visuals on their issues. Alan Davis has more mainstream artwork on Young Avengers Presents #6.

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Some notes:

I love the inclusion of the ’70 Dodge Challenger! It’s one of the reasons I picked up the series.

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A Cherry ’70 Dodge Challenger driven by a woman named Cherry
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70 Dodge Challenger being chased by Mini Coopers and the Tracksuit Mafia

#11 “Pizza Dog in Pizza is My Business” has Pizza Dog helping Hawkeye out. The dog relates everyone and everything to pictographic icons. It’s really a unique take on sequential art and a wonderful story to read. I love the clever use of icons revealing how a dog might see the world.

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Pizza Dog listening to the two Hawkeyes debating
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Pizza Dog to the rescue! Art by David Aja from Hawkeye #11.

“Six Days in the Life of” is a visual journal of Clint guest-starring Tony Stark as they try to sort out his entertainment center wiring.

#7 deals with Hurricane Sandy.
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Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy as depcted by artists Steve Lieber & Jesse Hamm for Hawkeye #7, 2012 in the 2015 Hawkeye Omnibus from Marvel.
#17 Winter Friends Christmas Special / Animal Comic spoof was hilarious while still fitting into the overall story arc.

Issue 19 “The Stuff What Don’t Get Spoke” has sign language and minimal text.

Captain America, Spider-man, Wolverine, Black Widow, Mockingbird, and Spider-woman make very brief appearances. Ringmaster, the Tracksuit Mafia, Madame Masque are the adversaries.
I love the homages to Romance Comics with issue #8. Doomed Love, Mystery Girl, A Girl Like You, Love Crimes, and Love Fugitive were awesome!
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Spoofed Romance Comic cover on an interior page of Hawkeye #8. “Doomed Love” art by Annie Wu. 
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Another spoofed Romance Comics cover as interior chapter separator in Hawkeye #8, art by Annie Wu.

The series can be fairly dark and has a few depressing moments, compared to the artwork. There are a few scenes of torture, but they aren’t too gratuitous. There are some light-hearted scenes to balance things out. Overall, once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down until I was finished.

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Extras include David Aja’s musical playlist (for his issues). I haven’t paired the music to the issues yet, but it’s on my to-do list. Extras have Adi Granov’s #1 variant, David Aja sketchbook, including Clint’s apartment roughs, Cover Concepts – they appear to be a bit pixelated – these (marker?) roughs are very cool, I wish the digital files were more crisp. We also get cover process for #13, #1 page 1, #3 page 1, #11, page 1 art process, #8 page nine script through finish development process (two pages), #9 page 3 dev process – also two pages, #9 page four dev process, two pages of color guide thumbnails (really makes you appreciate the overall work Hollingsworth puts into this), and three more pages of sketches and thumbnails.
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Yes, the omnibus is a bit thin and might not be the best value, as far as page to price, but the work inside is an astounding depiction of both Kate and Clint as the archer. There are some common themes explored between this and the TV Series Arrow, but more than enough unique to both to keep them separate and fresh.

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