Hawkeye: Freefall #1 Review – On Target
Hawkeye: Freefall #1 Review
Written by: Matthew Rosenberg
Art by: Otto Schmidt
Published by: Marvel Comics
I know this is from last week, but basically nothing that I think is worth mentioning came out this week. You’re already reading Batman, you’re already reading Immortal Hulk and I’ve made my case for Hawkman. Let’s talk about something that came out, but, as far as I know, not a lot of people read or cared about.
Hawkeye is doing his thing! Specifically, targeting The Hood, a kind of low level Marvel villain that was a thing for a while, who’s been selling weapons illegally. Clint catches him and takes him to court where he promptly… is released by the proper channels. After this, however, there’s a new player in town: Ronin, Clint’s old costume, and he’s been attacking S.H.I.E.L.D agents. Is Clint fed up and hiding behind a new identity? Is this a new criminal with something against Hawkeye? Is The Hood behind everything?
Nowadays, writing a Hawkeye story is really difficult because you have this big long shadow over you called “The Matt Fraction/ David Aja run”, which is still regarded as one of the best comics of the last decade, so anything you do is going to either be compared to or influenced by it. Rosenberg and Schmidt do an admirable job with this issue, because they are clearly using the same type of personality and dialogue for Clint, but building something different. We haven’t seen the apartment building yet, they’re not trying to do those Aja style small panels and there are no purple circles to be found.
This is just trying to be a fun and cool Hawkeye story and, in my opinion, it generally succeeds. Rosenberg has a great handle on Clint’s voice and he just makes him generally very fun to read, with a sarcastic sense of humor that could potentially be annoying, but he makes it work. Plus, I think he just wrote the most relatable scene in a comic book ever.
In terms of actual plot though… I don’t know, I’m curious, but these types of mysteries don’t tend to pan out super interestingly and, while I have some nostalgia for The Hood from his New Avengers days, I’m not gonna pretend he’s the world’s most interesting villain.
Still, the writing on this is plainly focused on being fun and it’s doing it well instead of trying to force it and telling you that it’s “FUN”. That counts for a lot, nowadays.
The art by Otto Schmidt is… Yeah… If you haven’t seen his work before, he’s most famous for doing the Rebirth Green Arrow run (he’s got a thing for archers, apparently) and it seems his art has lost a lot of its initial luster.
I thought it might be a colorist or inker problem, but the man does his own colors and inks, so… To be fair, it doesn’t look horrible, but it looks very sloppy. His faces have lost detail, his lines don’t feel as sharp sometimes and there’s a certain “blobbiness” to everything.
Just compare this:
Tell me you’re not seeing a noticeable drop in quality between one image and the other.
Again, I’ve seen a lot worse before and overall I liked that it had an energetic vibe, but there’s a difference between loose and sloppy, and you can guess in which category Schmidt is falling in this issue.
Overall, while the art isn’t always great and I have some questions about the plot, this is some of the most fun I’ve had with an issue in a while. It’s funny, it’s a cool insight into Clint Barton but above all, it’s just plain, old fun and enjoyable to read. I realise that’s not a ringing endorsement, but I know I’m going to keep reading it. Check it out if you’re curious.
Hawkeye: Freefall #1 Review