By Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt
It’s funny to look at a character like Hawkeye and see how far he’s come. He started out as cocky guy who shoots arrows and recently has morphed into a humorous, self-aware, crime fighting vigilante. Most of his adventures have humor in them and he always seems to take a good beating. Matt Fraction really set the bar for the character with his run on Hawkeye, and Clint as sort of grown and evolved since then. His team up with Kate Bishop was a great addition to the character, and it allowed Clint to be a little softer too. This week we see the release of Hawkeye Freefall. Taking over the reigns as writer is Matthew Rosenberg, who has a pretty good track record with me. I trust Rosenberg to treat Clint with respect and allow him to get beat up, as is tradition, and eventually win the day.
Matthew Rosenberg has done pretty well for himself at Marvel so far. He’s taken on a bunch of their most beloved characters, the X-Men, Punisher, and the New Mutants. Now he gets his chance to write Hawkeye, who happens to be my favorite Avenger. Rosenberg starts us off with the Clint we know, making fun of bad guys and calling them stupid. Rosenberg also uses the first few pages to show us how competent of a fighter Clint is. He takes on a bunch of guys and comes away unscathed. The Hood is used as the villain for this issue, which is cool. He’s a villain that is capable of a lot of trouble if the right writer gets their hands on him. Rosenberg also allows us to see Hawkeye doing regular things. We see him go to court and spend time with his lady friend. These aren’t things we see in normal issues of Avengers. There is also the revelation of a new villain with potential ties to Clint. This is a cool development and I’d like to see where it goes. Matthew Rosenberg crafted a very good first issue of Hawkeye Freefall. I’m excited to see where it goes next.
The pencils and colors this issue are handled by Otto Schmidt. This is where the issue runs into a little bit of trouble. The art is inconsistent at times, like when Clint is kicking one of the Hood’s lackeys, faces are essentially non-existent. Schmidt’s style is scratchy and loose. Sometimes this works, like when Hawkeye greets the Hood with police officers. This is a well drawn panel and the art style works for the set up of the panel. There is a minimalist approach to a lot of what Schmidt does in this issue. Details on faces are not as important as they are with some other artists. The colors on the issue are Light and fun. You would need colors to match the tone of the book, and Schmidt uses the right color palette. Light pinks can be seen and the Hood’s cloak isn’t such a vibrant red that it distracts you.
Hawkeye Freefall is an enjoyable first issue. Matthew Rosenberg wrote a clever first issue that is witty and entertaining. The art has it’s problems, but is overall fine. This feels like another incredible chapter in the life of Clint Barton.