When the mayor is the not-so-reformed former Kingpin of Crime and a supernaturally-empowered crime lord called The Hood goes too far, for some reason, the hearing impaired archer Clint Barton decides he has to fix things, on his own. On the way, he says he will "bribe, bother, borrow, burn, bully and beat" his way through an entire criminal infrastructure.
How far is too far? Well, two more popular co-stars come to ask as an old nemesis comes knocking with his usual sense of gallows humor. The question of the cost for this one-man vendetta really takes center stage here as eggs get broken, but it's not quite an omelette yet.
This book is noirish and rough-hewn, but with the trademark edge of Marvel humor that has given the Mouse House of Ideas the edge over the distinguished competition, in the zeitgeist as well as economically, for some time. Likewise, Schmidt's crisp lines and colors give this work an immediacy and clarity that's enjoyable. They manage the fight scenes with real skill — the restaurant scene is gorgeous even being that up close and intimate, while the takedown montage was very effective.
The problem that kept this from greatness is in conception, not execution. Clint Barton has taken on this mission all by himself, despite the apparent interest of friends like Luke Cage, Spider-Man, and even Captain America. Somehow, Clint Barton believes that he is the best guy for this specific job. If this were Twitter, this would be where most would insert the Skeptical Thor gif from Ragnarok. Whatever reasons Hawkeye might have, they're not only wrong, they're self-destructive (as the last few pages reveal). One would be wise to quote the flawed philosopher Shawn Carter, "I don't believe you; you need more people."
Watching someone snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is a thing, and has a particular sadistic value, but it's not quite good enough to win the day here. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Hawkeye: Freefall #5
Hawkeye's relationship to Ronin has even his friends turning against him. He's been lying about a lot of things. But you can't lie to Captain America. Meanwhile, his war with the Hood is beginning to spin out of control as the people close to him are put in real danger. Having to deal with the Hood was bad enough, but now Clint finds himself in the sights of another former Hawkeye. No. Not her… Enter BULLSEYE.