I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into this new volume of Hawkeye, the book has had a very fine four years between the two runs by Matt Fraction/David Aja/Annie Wu and Jeff Lemire/Ramon Perez, but Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero hit the ground running with their take on Kate Bishop. While the comic does take some cues from the Matt Fraction/Annie Wu story where Kate moves to Los Angeles, however while that was more Inherent Vice, this comic is far more along the line of Veronica Mars or Person of Interest’s early seasons with a dash of the attitude that defined the aforementioned Los Angeles story.
That being said, the story is anything but a rehash. Kelly Thompson goes a long way to show what makes Kate tick as opposed to Clint, as well as to show what kind of a shift her life has taken. While it’s not quite baked in the schadenfreude that typified the previous two Hawkeye books when Clint was a co-star, she’s still hardscrabble in the way her mentor has been and it’s good that touch isn’t lost on what might otherwise be a hard shift for a comic like this.
The book also benefits from an art team like Leonardo Romero handling pencils and Jordie Bellaire on colors.The book also thankfully hews towards its own stylistic tics that differentiate it from David Aja’s defining choices on the book. Romero’s choice to put in a more Sherlockian spin on Kate’s perception of the world as Hawkeye is a nice touch, and it also fits the P.I. career chosen for her. Bellaire’s colors also are gorgeous as they usually are and with brighter colors than might be used on a book like Moon Knight, which is fitting for a book set out west. Overall though, anyone looking for that unique Hawkeye touch that’s unlike other comics, you’re in good hands here. While Clint Barton isn’t the lead, the Hawkeye mantle is still in good hands.
4 Hawk Eyes out of 5