If you’ve been reading comics over the last decade you’ve probably come across Hawkeye by David Aja and Matt Fraction; the lauded series introduced a sharp art style that was all about symmetry and a version of Hawkeye that was easy to like with a best bud of Kate Bishop by his side. Kate has her own comic now and it’s just as good.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Hawkeye finally gets a lead on the top-secret case that brought her out to Los Angeles in the first place -and it might be more than she bargained for… In order to solve this mystery, Kate will have to take a good hard look and who she is and where she came from. But is she really ready to face the ghosts of her past?
Can I jump in easily?
Very much so because it starts off with a story that involves Kate’s mom and dad which permeates throughout this collection. You may not totally understand all of Kate’s supporting characters and how they fit in, but for the most part you can learn everything as you go.
Reason 1: Kate’s quips are as good as Spider-Man’s.
It’s hard to dislike this character.
Kelly Thompson writes sharp dialogue that suits Hawkeye every step of the way. She might bungle things in a fight or mess up with her friends, but she’s so fun and funny it’s hard to feel bad for her. That’s also because she’s relentless about doing the right thing for the right reasons. Like Spider-Man, if the odds are insanely against her she somehow perks up with an even bigger smile and that’s something that’s hard to resist in a character.
Reason 2: The art has a simple looking style that’s incredibly complex
At first glance, you’ll see this art and notice it’s not hyper detailed like some other superhero books. On closer inspection, you’ll see Leonardo Romero’s style is very cinematic as it progresses the action in a logical flow that’s eye-pleasing. The layouts pace the story very well and they don’t do this so much with crazy new designs, but well positioned panel work that keeps your interest every step of the way. A highlight of this collection is the flashbacks–cast in all purple–that have a wispy nature to them that’s alluring. The fight scenes are great, Kate’s personality shines through very well, and you’ll love it when Romero uses Hawkeye’s zeroing in vision to spot things in a crowd. Michael Walsh draws the art in the final chapter which strays a bit from the main narrative with a team up with Wolverine and the art continues to exhibit a more subdued style that tells a well crafted story.
Reason 3: Holy crap guys, Kate’s family is tragic.
In a few key scenes, Thompson and Romero reveal Kate’s mom feared Kate’s dad. We don’t know why, but we can see it in a key flashback. Kate eventually tracks down her dad in the now and he’s straight up a villain! He also suggests their shared DNA may have special properties. Thompson navigates this complicated family dynamic well, dropping tidbits throughout this volume that’ll make you an addict for future issues.
Gotta love the “Hawkeye vision”.
Reasons to be wary?
There isn’t much closure by the end of this volume, but that’s the nature of serial storytelling. This volume closes with a team up between Kate and Wolverine that’s fun and connects to the cloning angle, but it does stray from the main story’s search to find out what happened to Kate’s mom and the triangle necklace.
Is there a rational to the reasons?
This book is very good and has some of the best quipping you’ll find in any comic on the stands. Kate Bishop aka Hawkeye is a real deal superhero with a delectably complex backstory, supporting cast, and bright future in the Marvel universe.