Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Otto Schmidt
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: February 12th, 2020
The true identity of Ronin is finally revealed, with a twist, that’s not exactly a twist. With Hawkeye’s plans thwarted by (redacted) in the previous issue. Clint Barton will need the help of a new ally to move forward in his plans to take down The Hood.
It’s very clear that I may not get exactly the Clint Barton/Hawkeye that I wanted from the beginning of this series. The fighter, the thinker, the strategist. Matthew Rosenberg is playing with the ongoing cliche that Clint Barton is a little bit of a clown, and I do have to say, it’s working. With a plot that is still being stretch just out of my reach, it makes me want more. I laugh, I snicker, and then Rosenberg put’s an entire room filled with dead bodies and it draws me back into the seriousness of Clint still being a hero.
Of course like always Otto Schmidt is killing it with his art and great work with the pallet of this issue. Fun and bright with the hysterical Clint Barton, and dark and gritty with the assassin Ronin. I still don’t know who’s idea it was to use the old head logo of Hawkeye in the previous issues, but the use of it here was pure gold.
Although in previous issues I was angry at other heroes taking the limelight from Clint, in this issue we see two other heroes in a very minimal way. They didn’t take away from the story, their presence merely moved the story forward and moved on. With Clint being seen as “the butt of the joke” in most cases, it’s important to keep him front and center and the star of his own show.
Speaking of the “butt” of the joke. Rosenberg didn’t hold any punches in his comedy this issue. And at least for me, the timing of each comedic moment worked well with each situation. Let me just say, if you are a fan of FRIENDS, you’ll get a kick out one panel in particular. Rosenberg’s choice to use Linda and Clint in awkward/frustrating (for Linda) situations does seem unimportant in the big picture, but even Rosenberg addresses it near the end of the issue on how it helps progress the story.
Rosenberg is starting to kick things into gear with moving steps forward in The Hood’s chase to Ronin and Hawkeye’s hunt for The Hood. I hope this momentum doesn’t falter with the appearance of (redacted) confronting Hawkeye at the end of the issue. Rosenberg must be enjoying putting me through this emotional roller coaster of love and hate, but I just can’t put this book down. With the love of an underdog hero like Hawkeye. Hawkeye Freefall is still on my pull list.