TALES OF SUSPENSE #101 Red Ledger Part 2
Matthew Rosenberg continues the saga of Hawkeye and Winter Soldier teaming up to find out who is picking off HYDRA agents, and why. Travel Foreman and Rachelle Rosenberg, the artist and color artist respectfully, once again join Mr. Rosenberg to keep this tale of suspense on track.
Hawkeye and Winter Soldier are on the hunt for someone who is supposed to be dead. Namely, Black Widow. A mysterious figure is killing off her enemies one by one, and leaving calling cards alluding to Natasha Romanoff still being alive. With both Clint Barton and Bucky Barnes being former lovers of Widow, the idea of her possibly settling old scores catches their attention quickly.
The clues lead the duo to Dovbrotel, Chernaya, with explosive results. With the trail becoming a bit cold, Winter Soldier decides to hit up an old friend from the now defunct S.H.I.E.L.D. that may be able to help them out. After being given a tip about a high ranking HYDRA agent beefing up security around his abode, Barton and Barnes make their way towards his residence, hoping to find out who this highly skilled assassin is, and get some questions answered.
Matthew Rosenberg combines the cocksure, arrogant confidence of Hawkeye with the stoic, silent, clandestine ways of Winter Soldier in a way that works rather well. The back and forth between the two characters certainly shows the differences between them, and following along with Barnes inner dialogue gives the reader an idea of how quickly Winter Soldier can change his mind about how he feels about Barton.
Rosenberg’s writing in this issue gives the reader insight on how Barton and Barnes are dealing with the idea that Black Widow may still be alive. One is hopeful and convinced that she is, while the other is more realistic with glimmers of optimism showing through. This provides entertaining dialogue between Barton and Barnes, and between the few other characters they happen to interact with.
Travel Foreman and Rachelle Rosenberg get the perspectives and the action-packed chases just right. Watching a burning car falling off of a bridge is just as wonderful a sight to behold as watching mysterious assassins scaling bridge trusses. The colors are a bit subdued, but it fits the tone of the book well. In the few times a page needs to pop, Rachelle Rosenberg chooses the colors that catch your attention.
Facial features and reactions are a little distracting, however. They either come off as a little too cartoonish at times, or are spot on what they need to be. The inconsistencies may make you raise an eyebrow every once in a while.
A fun little adventure with spies, explosions, and witty one-liners will keep the reader entertained. The art, although slightly erratic, captures the vibe of what the story is telling. If you’ve been following this series, the ending will make you want the next issue, post-haste.