Prior to picking up a copy of this issue, I had been going through a bit of Hawkeye phase, namely the Matt Fraction run from a couple of years ago. I do intend to praise that particular run in due course because it is simply stellar but for now I shall focus on my joint favourite Hawkeye (Because choosing between Barton and Bishop is simply too great a challenge), Kate Bishop, in her recently launched solo title.
Before I begin, I would like to say that this issue is a great re-read all on its own. I know from experience having missed my train and facing an hour long wait with nothing but this an issue of the Walking Dead to entertain me. The message of this side note: Don’t spend too long in comic book shops if you have a train to catch or at least make sure the comics are good enough to read over an extended period of time.
Kate has decided to go her own way and set-up shop in California as a private investigator, foiling bank robberies, monitoring people of interest but struggling somewhat to find her feet in the city as a P.I. The main issue stems from confusion over the namesake. Most people who turn up at her office are looking for Barton, not Bishop. Some are looking for an optometrist as a result of a rather confusing logo (See below).
After what feels like an age, someone comes forward actually wanting help from Bishop. A College student is struggling to cope with relentless harassament from an anonymous male and, rightly so, wants it to stop. Kate takes the case up instantly and begins to try and crack the case, breaking into Mikka’s college and teaming up with a college student called Quinn. She manages to track him down after she catches him taking pictures of Mikka. She manages to catch himand Mikka’s harassment comes to a close. All seems well until Mikka is suddenly grabbed off the streets and carted away in a van!
I had heard good things about this issue so I had rather high expectations of this issue. I can say that it smashed those expectations and delivered on every front. The issue as a whole feels reminscient of Fraction’s run on Barton and yet it provided a fresh twist in A) Focusing in on Bishop (Though it has to be said that the Bishop centric issues of Fraction’s run were good too) and B) Involving a fair helping of detective goodness to boot.
Kelly Thompson, the writer of this series, does a fantastic job in portraying Kate. The writing is witty, clever and super fun. Bishop’s introspective moments are fab, casually commenting on anything that catches her eye on the street, be it potential problems or the abs of the numerous topless guys walking around. The target-marking-surrounding-breakdown is brilliant and reflects how one would expect a sharp shooting hero to see the world. Leonardo Romero rounds it all off perfectly with excellent art that both reminds me of the work of David Aja and yet adds something new and enjoyable to this volume of Hawkeye.
Of all the #1s I have picked up over the past couple of the week, this was perhaps the hardest to say no to (Curse Words coming in close second). The focus on Kate Bishop highlights how great a character she is on her own (I’m hoping she might get invited to join the Champions, that would be excellent). If you’re looking for a series that has a great balance of fun, heroism and mystery then Hawkeye is definitely worth checking out. If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments. Thank you.