Hawkeye: Freefall #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 12, 2020

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Otto Schmidt
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino

I thought the previous two issues of Hawkeye: Freefall were funny. I was mistaken. This issue is funny, the humour is dialled up to 100 and it makes the previous two look unfunny in comparison. There are some real laugh out loud moments here and this series is turning into a real favourite of mine. It’s the kind of comic you need to read at home though to avoid people looking at you like you’re crazy every time you turn a page and let a snort of laughter out.

Beware if you haven’t read #2 yet, spoilers lie ahead. That reveal at the end of the last issue? Did not see that coming. Not in a million years. I had no idea who Ronin was but the one thing I was sure was that it wasn’t Clint. To find out it was, and he’d been misleading us all this time? A real stroke of genius. This has been the perfect example of the unreliable narrator and I have really been enjoying it. Clints narration has definitely been one of the highlights of the series. Alternatively filled with humour or intentionally misleading us, it’s been used to great effect.

And while I’m making a point of saying how funny this issue is I also want to stress there are some serious aspects to the story too, as the conclusion to this issue shows. Things take a real dark turn in the last few pages. It's still in keeping with the established tone, but just letting us know it’s not all fun and games throughout.

The explanation for how Clint is Ronin uses a fairly typical, comic book logic MacGuffin, but in all honesty that doesn’t detract from our enjoyment of the story. In another story that might be a sticking point but the point here isn’t how he does it, but more that he does, and the trouble that it gets him into.

Otto Schmidt is a brilliant artist for this book, his style is really in keeping with the tone of the book. He’s more than capable of pulling off crazy fight scenes, one in particular based in Central Park really stands out, then we have the quieter character moments which he manages to great comedic value. And it’s even more of an achievement when you realise he’s solely responsible for all the art duties on the book.

He also uses some well placed Hawkeye faces to great comedic value. I’ll say no more but it’s yet another funny moment in an issue full of funny moments.

The twists and turns keep coming, there are laughs-a-plenty, plenty of cameos from other well known characters, so many reasons to keep coming back issue after issue. The art perfectly matches the tone of the book and makes it an essential if you’re after a good time.

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