Hawkeye: Freefall by Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt has been quite a ride, and I am sad to see this collection of creative and character come to a conclusion. Matthew has given us a journey with Clint Barton front and center that takes us on an emotional rollercoaster with some maximum highs and lows, all beautifully drawn by Otto Schmidt, who brings a great mix of humor and action to elevate the emotions.
If you have been reading this since issue #1, you know that Clint has been walking a fine line to get the Hood, and as of last issue we see that Bullseye has been pulled into the mix. Let us take aim and dive into the issue.
First, that cover! Wow, what an amazing job by Kim Jacinto and Tamra Bonvillain in setting up a huge fisticuffs brawl between Hawkeye and Bullseye while they have switched costumes. This takes me back to Daredevil #290 which has a Daredevil vs. Bullseye cover but there they have switched costumes as well; guess that must be a nasty habit of Bullseye’s. The energy those two have created for the cover has me hyped for the confrontation inside the issue.
So the only odd thing to me in this issue comes on the first page. It’s set at 5:00 a.m. at Bensonhurst, and shows Ronin standing over two guys taken down hard by way of arrow, then Captain America comes along and says, “That’s enough, Clint!” So is that Clint, or is it Bullseye in the Ronin costume? Keep an eye on the times showcased in this issue and you should be able to come to a conclusion — I’ve got my idea of who it is, but I want to know who you think it is as well.
After that scene comes the sad moment of Clint seeing Bryce after Bullseye came along and it is such a tender, touching moment. Major kudos to Rosenberg and Schmidt for making such a supporting character interesting enough that he brings us joy and sorrow. From Bryce, we then zip along to Linda, aka Night Nurse, and she also has a moment with Clint which is strong for how short-lived their relationship was.
In just six pages, Rosenberg has put Clint through so much and made him a man with nothing left to lose, which will be really wild for when Clint gets to Bullseye. I appreciate the fact that we get so many guest stars by way of cellphone calls and texts, which should be important to Clint as he at least has his friends, but when it rains that much garbage in your life, it’s hard to keep positive.
After all that, we are finally treated to the main event, Bullseye (Clint) vs. Ronin (Bullseye), and it is awesome. These pages just roll with action and are a fantastic treat to the eye by way of Otto Schmidt. I love how Bullseye’s taunts are nothing to Clint since he knows what this has cost him.
The action doesn’t stop there, either — we still have the Hood to deal with. I love how the pages set up their confrontation to the point of how they are getting ready, plus we get some villain guest appearances, so Otto gets to flex those Marvel muscles one more time. Clint has one more thing to do before he confronts Hood and this action will have some ramifications on his status in the Marvel Universe.
The setup is great and the action is on point when Hood finally learns what Clint has done, and there is a two page spread in their fight that is brutally beautiful. When all is said and done, this was one wild ride and a fantastic miniseries. I have to say I am so glad I got to check this one out and highly recommend it. I will be curious to see what is next for Clint after Freefall.