One of the best things that happened to Clint Barton in the past decade is his evolution into a competent and well-intended idiot. Though he remains a competent hero, he still often makes the worst possible decisions, and Hawkeye: Freefall #3 shows exactly he fell backwards into his latest.
Matthew Rosenberg, Otto Schmidt, and Joe Sabino push Clint right back into the middle of his stupid decisions.
Ronin stands revealed… and it’s Clint. Of course, he’s been lying to everyone, and using SHIELD superscience to be in two places at once. But keeping this secret is going to be dangerous. The Hood is tearing through the underworld, resulting in bloodshed unlike anything Clint expected…
Rosenberg strikes a fantastic balance here. The opening half of the issue is a farcical comedy of errors as Clint tries his best to try to cover up for Ronin. Everything is completely grounded in the reality of the Marvel Universe and Clint’s character. However, the turn halfway through the issue, while dark, shows what kind of monsters he’s facing, and how seriously he needs to be treating the situation. It’s an intelligent take on a story that could have gone very cliche.
Schmidt continues his fantastic work in this issue. He has a great grasp on the characters, selling the comedy and drama in equal measure. Clint and his friends each have their own unique presence on the page, which informs not just how they appear but how Schmidt lays out the page. Especially worth noting is how his take on the Hood is extremely menacing, and he shows him starting to unravel. He makes a fun and engaging story even better.
Hawkeye’s world is starting to fall apart. It’s made for a great read so far, and I can’t wait to read every issue. This is Marvel’s best solo series right now, and quickly is becoming my favorite.
Hawkeye: Freefall #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.