Hawkeye: Freefall #5 Review

by Nick Devonald on May 20, 2020

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

Hawkeye Freefall has been a really good, fun story so far. The first four issues had some incredibly funny laugh out loud moments. A personal highlight was his encounter with Daredevil. Absolute comedy gold. With the fifth issue the comedy has been toned down and things have gotten more serious. Sometimes such a tonal shift can be quite jarring, but this issue pulls it off in a way that feels natural and logical.

Matthew Rosenberg’s writing is perfect for telling a Hawkeye story. He manages to capture all of Barton’s flawed humanity in a way that makes him both relatable and likeable, despite some of the questionable decisions he’s made. As the series has progressed all of Clint’s carefully laid plans have been slowly unravelling, usually with disastrous but funny results, but the lengths he’s been forced to go to have been getting more and more extreme. And the constant pressure on The Hood has led to him firmly pushing back. It’s nice to see some consequences to his actions and that the stakes are being raised. It makes each issue a must read, keeping the reader on tenterhooks.

Otto Schmidt’s art has been another of the highlights of the series as it’s progressed. It’s managed to capture the tone of Rosenberg’s story with ease, and as the tone has changed in this issue so has the art, just subtly, but enough that it’s no longer quite as funny and is considerably more serious. He’s also had the opportunity to draw a whole roster of Marvel superheroes, so many have shown up now it could quite easily have been an Avengers comic. It’s been a pleasure to see each new character as they’ve appeared. Schmidt has managed to capture all the characters expressions really well throughout the series, previously it was mostly for comedy effect, here it helps build up the sense of tension which builds as the issue progresses. And his action scenes are great, filled with a kinetic energy that brings it to life.

Before the conclusion of the review I want to take a moment to cover the fact that Hawkeye: Freefall is no longer going to be in print. With only two issues remaining in the series it would have been nice to finish printing them all. It’s a shame they won't be but I understand with the current worldwide COVID-19 situation compromises need to be made for the future of the industry but it feels a real shame not to publish a physical comic when we’re two thirds of the way through. But at least they’re getting a chance to finish the series.

Another good issue in a pretty damn good Hawkeye series, things are really heating up for the final issue, Rosenberg does a fantastic job building the tension throughout this issue. It’s difficult to know how Barton is going to find his way out of the mess he’s found himself in. This series is likely to go down as one of the best Hawkeye series, and whenever new readers are looking for a Hawkeye series to read this will be an easy recommendation. Hopefully Rosenberg and Schmidt will get the opportunity to return to this character in the future.

Our Score:


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