Before reading Jeff Lemire’s short but wonderful Hawkeye run, I didn’t know all that much about Kate Bishop. From what I’ve seen of her, she’s a fun character. So when she got her own solo series, written by Kelly Thompson, I had to check it out.
Hawkeye 1 kicks off with a bank robbery that Bishop stumbles on, providing us with a quick but fun action scene to show off some of her skills. After that, the issue mostly focuses on her new Private Investigator business. The issue predictably gets a number of useless clients, but the trope utilizes the comedic potential quite well. When a real client does show up, it leads to a quick investigation that also allows Bishop to show off her detective skills. This issue comes off as a great one-off story, just with a cliffhanger ending promising a more dangerous situation. Nothing about this issue is surprising by any means, but it’s fun, and there’s a lot of creativity within the somewhat predictable story.
Leonardo Romaro’s art is good. It’s a mostly simple, classic look, but with a number of details in the backgrounds that enhance the storytelling. When Kate’s taking pictures at the beach, there are water splashes in the foreground. When she’s on the case, there are often Hawkeye-ish target reticules over objects she notices, whether it’s a poorly covered license plate on a car left running, a president’s mask that one of the robbers is carrying as he heads toward the bank, or the “hot abs” she notices on a man carrying a surf board. The action flows well, with “fwish” often added into the motion blurs behind her arrows. The colouring by Jordie Bellaire is also good. It’s simple to match the tone of the art, yet bright, colourful and well varied.
This is a fun start to what could be a very enjoyable Hawkeye series. Like The Mighty Thor, All-New Wolverine, the Batman story arc where Jim Gordon took over and now this all prove, you don’t need to be the original to be awesome. Kate bishop fans should pick this up, as should those who enjoy Kelly Thompson’s writing.