Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Marieke Nijkamp, art by Enid Balam, inks by Oren Junior, colors by Brittany Peer, and letters by Joe Caramagna. After her long stay on the West Coast, Kate Bishop is heading home to the Big Apple to be reunited with long-time friends like Cassie Lang and America Chavez. But along the way, Kate has been invited to an opulent spa by an unknown benefactor. Suspecting trouble, but also as a way to drag her feet on a major life change, Kate decides to accept. Now, with her faithful companion Lucky The Pizza Dog by her side, Kate will discover just what sort of mystery this resort has to offer.
For a relatively new character in the Marvel Universe, Kate Bishop has built up some serious pedigree when it comes to the writers who have helped build and popularize her character. With modern industry stars like Matt Fraction and Kelly Thompson crafting some of Kate’s most memorable adventures, taking on the challenge of penning this character’s next adventure seems like it would be more than a little daunting. Happily, writer Nijkamp looks to have the hero’s latest adventure well in hand if Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 sets the standard the rest of the series will follow.
As our story opens we find Kate in the middle of an investigation. Displaying the character’s knack for multi-tasking, Kate manages to maintain a text conversation with friends, fend off waves of ski mask-clad goons, and keep an internal monologue going that dives into her current mental health and her feelings about the changes coming in her life. This opening sequence perfectly reintroduces readers to the manic, yet brilliant mind of Kate Bishop. Nijkamp quickly establishes that she understands the chaotic mess that makes Kate so charming, while not letting it get in the way of the skillful brilliance that makes her the best Hawkeye (Clint’s words, not mine).
Once her work night is done, Kate saddles up to go cross country with Lucky on a return trip to NYC. But before she does, it seems there is a mystery to solve, and Kate will be shocked to find out who is requesting the help of LA’s finest private eye (Kate’s words, not mine).
The scenario Nijkamp lays out for our hero to solve certainly has some interesting twists to it. Combining the interesting wrinkles with some classic comic book moments, like the non-reveal of a shadowy mastermind watching Kate from a tv monitor, gives the book an excellent blend of unique and classic in its story.
With this new chapter in Kate’s life comes a new look for our protagonist as well. And while the iconic hip holes are gone, I have to say I like what artist Balam has come up with for the character. Kate’s new super-suit leans into her athleticism, creating a look that is more practical than stylish but still feels like Kate. Balam’s ability to capture Kate’s look pairs nicely with how the artist delivers Kate’s personality as well.
But the excellent expression isn’t limited just to Kate. The entire supporting cast is allowed to fully express their emotions through the art. This attention to the characters extends even to Lucky, whose presence within the panels is never relegated to the mere background.
The color work by Peer further helps to establish the energy of the story. The bright color palette that story utilizes keeps the energy up nicely. And when the story does get a little heavier, Peer adjusts nicely to keep the colors in line with the tone.
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1‘s final element is the lettering. The lettering does a solid job of delivering the story clearly. This is accomplished not only through easy-to-follow layouts but also through the use of different colors to keep the difference between thoughts and words clear.
When all is said and done Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 has me hopeful for what Kate’s latest investigation will bring. The creative team seems to have a wonderful grasp of the character and if the scenario they craft can pan out well, this story could be another installment in Kate’s comic history.
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 is available November 24th wherever comics are sold.
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 has me hopeful for what Kate’s latest investigation will bring. The creative team seems to have a wonderful grasp of the character and if the scenario they craft can pan out well, this story could be another installment in Kate’s comic history.