Tales of Suspense is an apt title because it not only carries some history with it but also lets readers know exactly what they’re getting. This is a thriller book and who better to kick it off than Hawkeye, Winter Soldier, and Black Widow?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
SPRINGING FROM THE PAGES OF SECRET EMPIRE! THE BLACK WIDOW is dead…but someone is killing her enemies. With a broken heart and a bloody trail to follow, HAWKEYE is looking for answers. And the only person alive who may have them is Natasha Romanoff’s OTHER ex-boyfriend, THE WINTER SOLDIER. Can they trust each other long enough to unravel the web of mysteries that Black Widow left behind?
Why does this matter?
Matthew Rosenberg has his thumb on good dialogue. The guy can write solid captions and dialogue, which is an important element when writing a wise-cracking Hawkeye. This story also explores where Black Widow is after Captain America (Hydra-Cap) killed her.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
You aren’t supposed to be here, are you?
Rosenberg very much gets the fast talking and clever Hawkeye down well. The issue opens with Hawkeye attending a funeral, but he really shouldn’t be there at all. This leads to some wild action and some fast talking (and thinking via captions) which then leads to the adventure getting under way. This opening would be a solid first 10 minutes of movie and it’s quite clear by the end Rosenberg has a lot of great ideas.
What is suspense without a bit of mystery? The rest of the issue involves mysterious shadow figures, following leads, and uncovering surprises. There is of course plenty of fighting too. I don’t remember Hawkeye being THIS good at fighting, but it definitely puts him on the espionage level of fight skills.
Travel Foreman draws a solid issue and the fighting choreography is a highlight. It’s fun to track Hawkeye’s movement as he busts some heads in the funeral home or taking out riot police. Crowd scenes are particularly nice due to the detail put into the clothing and faces of bystanders.
This is going to end in a fist fight, isn’t it?
It can’t be perfect can it?
Besides the clever opening this issue is somewhat run of the mill. Hero chases lead, finds things he didn’t expect, big surprise cliffhanger, repeat. This issue consists of two scenes which end up making the pace somewhat slow, especially on answers, and you may be left wanting a bit more. There’s also the conundrum of Black Widow herself. She’s a character most folks will admit has died and come back so many times you won’t be riveted that she’s the target. She will undoubtedly show up unscathed and if she is banged up or changed this issue doesn’t give you enough to anticipate that. Instead, we’re left with an issue that doesn’t kick start your interest as the target has been in situations like this before.
Is It Good?
This is a good issue largely because Rosenberg writes a very strong Hawkeye. His voice, actions, and captions are all solid and make for an entertaining read. A must read for Hawkeye fans!