Marvel Comics releases Hawkeye Freefall #6 July 1. Written by Matthew Rosenberg, with art by Otto Schmidt and lettering by VC Joe Sabino, this issue, while full of heart, portends a fall from grace for everyone’s favorite smart-mouthed Avenger.
Rosenberg’s writing, while quippy and tongue-in-cheek at times, also exudes a lot of heart. When Hawkeye discovers that Bullseye, dressed in Clint’s Ronin costume, has injured Bryce, a kid working for the Hood, Rosenberg is able to convey the seriousness of the moment. Even though Bryce dies in Night Nurse’s home and we see Hawkeye contemplating how to find Bullseye, Rosenberg provides a slight bit of levity here, by indicating that Clint is tuning Night Nurse out (for bringing Bryce to her place instead of the hospital). Somehow, this combination of seriousness and humor works. While the text does seem to be heading toward a continued downward trajectory for Clint, Rosenberg can add moments of wit into serious moments without reducing the stakes.
While I like Schmidt’s coloring and shading, I am not the biggest fan of his facial work, but I think he does an outstanding job of capturing some quiet character moments, like Clint’s pensiveness as he waits to find out if Bryce will be ok.
Other times, however, I do feel like I’m looking at a Frank Miller drawing.
Again, I love the shading and the way some of the colors bleed into each other. The design work just isn’t my cup of tea, although I do think it does help the actions feel more kinetic.
There are two highlights of Sabino’s lettering in this issue. Both involve some quieter character moments. The first is the previously mentioned scene when Night Nurse is chewing out Hawkeye for bringing Bryce to her apartment for treatment (only for him to die). The way Sabino colors Hawkeye’s thought boxes and shades the words of Night Nurse is able to convey the idea that Hawkeye is tuning her out and lost in thought. The second moment is when Sabino letters Hawkeye’s cellphone, showing all the other super people trying to reach him to let him know that Cap was shot by Bullseye. Schmidt also deserves credit here for the look on Clint’s face as he reads his messages and the shading around his eyes as he resolves to use Bullseye’s own costume to pursue the villain.
This was an enjoyable issue. It has all of the heart and wit one would expect from a Hawkeye comic, and I’m always a fan of seeing the original Hawkeye outfit make an appearance. But the last page indicates that dark things may be in store for The World’s Greatest Marksman.
What did you think of Hawkeye Freefall #6? Tell us in the comments below!