Well, in the end I decided to go with what I knew would be a good read as opposed to taking my chances and read something I could pretty much guarantee would suck... Therefore, my last review of this week will be Hawkeye #4 instead of Red Hood and the Outlaws #14. I mean really, READING Red Hood #14 will almost definitely be painful enough, why prolong that torment by forcing myself to review it as well?!
Summary: This issue kicks off with SHIELD abducting Hawkeye from his rooftop barbque to tell him that a tape of him apparently murdering the world's most wanted terrorist. And to make matters worse, the tape was being auctioned off in Madripoor. Since the tape getting out would mean bad things for the Avengers, SHIELD, the US government and Hawkeye, SHIELD tells Hawkeye to take an unlimited credit card and head to Madripoor to buy the tape from the auction. Kate Bishop(Hawkeye's sort of sidekick) questions what was going on, but Hawkeye refuses to involve her in this mess and leaves for Madripoor. After some misadventures(which happens to any hero visiting Madripoor), Hawkeye arrives at the casino holding the auction... But is kidnapped by goons who were following Madame Masque's orders... D'oh! Hawkeye tells Masque that she was keeping him from buying the tape of him killing the terrorist with his unlimited SHIELD credit card(?!) so Masque takes it from him and has him locked up in a room while she heads to the auction with the card herself. Masque ends up out bidding all of the other villains for the tape and takes it back to her room, where we find out that she was actually Kate disguised as Masque, while Hawkeye himself is being surrounded by weird ninjas.
Thoughts: First things first, the art in this issue was way better than the art from the first three issues, which is a GREAT thing. Anyway, on to the story here. The story was actually really good... BUT(you had to know that was coming!), the reveal that Kate had taken Masque's spot was SO obvious! Once Hawkeye mentioned that Kate was rich, you knew that she was going to tail him to Madripoor, where we saw Kate in disguise trying to catch a taxi(her speaking English was a HUGE hint). Add the fact that Masque didn't have Hawkeye killed, as well as Hawkeye spilling his guts to Masque about what was supposedly on the tape and where to find the unlimited credit card, and yeah, Masque HAD to be Kate, and Hawkeye HAD to know. So yeah, that was a tad bit obvious to me. However, like I said, the story here WAS very strong. Granted, I really don't like the idea of Hawkeye, once one of the Avengers staunchest supporters of the "Avengers NEVER kill!" rule, a man who broke up his marriage because his wife allowed the man who raped her to fall to his death, would kill somebody... But until it's actually shown that he did the deed, I'll reserve judgement on that. Here's hoping Matt Fraction stays true to the spirit of Hawkeye though and we discover that there was something else, something more Clint Barton-like, on that tape.
Score: 9 out of 10.
Sorry, no picture for this one on account of my laptop dying a slow and painful death...