Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Otto Schmidt
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: January 29, 2020
Hawkeye Freefall #2 was everything I didn’t want from this book. The signs were all there in issue one and I just didn’t want to believe Matthew Rosenberg would go to such great lengths to write everyone except for the title character. In just two issues Matthew Rosenberg has found a way to write more heroes in this story than an arc of Marvel Two-in-One, or Marvel Team-Up. And although I believe it’s all “smoke and mirrors” to have THAT reveal at the end of a second issue just tells me this Ronin story is not going for the long haul.
Hawkeye is a character I believe can have a great series, a calculated hardworking (when he wants to be) caring individual who is also a bad@#$. Unfortunately in recent years, he’s been overshadowed by the characters he teams up with (Avengers, West-Coast Avengers, New Avengers, Avengers No Surrender, etc.). Having Winter Soldier and Falcon in the first issue to get the party started was fine with me. I just didn’t want Hawkeye Freefall to become a buddy cop comedy. And I’m not saying that’s what issue two has become, but Spider-Man and Luke Cage take up unnecessary space in this issue.
I see readers and fans all the time fight to see evidence that these characters live and breathe in the same space as their neighboring heroes. As seen at the beginning of this issue with Tony Stark, Aunt May, and Peter. In those instances, that’s wonderful. Having those cameos are fun because of the relationship these characters have with each other. In this issue, it just seemed like Rosenberg’s priority was writing Spider-Man and Luke Cage rather than Clint/Hawkeye.
You don’t see it very often these days, but in an older generation, comic publishers would make it a point to say on the cover if a title was going to “feature” another hero, to expect them. With someone presumably running around in Clint’s old Ronin costume, I would like to see Clint a little more on top of this. Instead, Peter Parker gets a random text message about or alert telling him about a Ronin attack in an abandoned building, then within itself bothers me. Who sent him that text or alert?
I know I’m lingering on this one side of this review but it is important in a solo title, especially for a hero that the internet seems to be rooting for or at least they yell a lot about when someone else says something negative about him. Everyone loves Spider-Man, I love Spider-Man. And even though I think Rosenberg channeled too much Tom Holland into this Spider-Man, he looks cool fighting Ronin. But keep that away from a Hawkeye story. He steals the possibility of thunder Clint could have had in this instance, the same goes for Luke Cage, and unfortunately in that situation, it was clearly all for the comedic relief. But I digress!
I have to hand it to Rosenberg on his jokes in Hawkeye Freefall, they may not be for everyone but the ones you do catch are just great. Clint acknowledging the fact that he dresses and looks like a civilian Cyclops got a pretty good chuckle out of me. Rosenberg has all the ingredients for a great Hawkeye series. The tone, the voice, comedic timing, the antagonist, everything. It’s just hard to see the faith he has in the character he’s writing.
The art, of course, is fantastic, always was and will be a fan of Otto Schmidt. He does great with character emotion, profiles, and can definitely draw the %$&% out of a fight scene.
I’m a fan of archer’s so it’s hard to say if I’d drop this book as of right now. I have hope in Rosenberg’s ability to write great moments for Clint/Hawkeye, but I don’t know how I feel about his ability to hold a story. With this title still TBD as a mini, maxi, or ongoing series, I don’t think you should get your hopes up too high on this book lasting more than 5-8 issues.