Gang, our Hawkeye #1 review is a little SPOILER-Y, so…check back with us after you’ve read the issue. Oh? Still here? Thank you!
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Leonardo Romero
Ever since writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja did their groundbreaking and industry-changing take on Hawkeye, any creative team that took on the solo adventures of one of Marvel’s premiere archers had huge shoes to fill. Writer Jeff Lemire did an admirable job on the last two volumes of Hawkeye, and now it’s Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero’s turn to pull the bowstring on a solo Hawkeye comic series.
Thompson and Romero have pulled Kate Bishop duty for this latest Hawkeye title as the creative team provides readers with a Kate Bishop 101 in issue #1 of her very first solo title.The only problem with Hawkeye #1 is this book takes up the same creative space as so many other monthly Marvel titles. The same mix of action and humor with a female protagonist is going on in Jessica Jones and Spider-Woman, and there are even some correlations between this new Hawkeye book and titles like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Patsy Walker: Hellcat. Heck, man, Marvel just canceled a superb Mockingbird monthly that also existed in this creative space.
Hawkeye #1 is fun, adventurous, human, and cheeky. It introduces readers to Kate Bishop and makes them care about her adventures; I’m just not sure Thompson infuses enough story energy into the proceedings to justify a monthly. Listen, I welcome any and all female-written and led titles because I remember the days when there were none, but this is a tough marketplace, and there is just going to have to be more pop for any new title to survive.
Hawkeye #1 focuses on Kate Bishop’s latest case as she tries to bring down a female blogger’s internet stalker and bully. It really is a ripped-from-the-headlines type of thing and the read is very cathartic if you deal with internet a-holes on a semi-regular basis.
Romero infuses the visuals with an everyday quality combined with the frenetic energy any and all Hawkeye comics should have. After David Aja established the visual style of a Hawkeye book, the greatest compliment one can give a new Hawkeye book is that it looks like a Hawkeye comic. Ever since Aja, fans have artistic expectations for any book starring Clint Barton or Kate Bishop, and Romero meets those lofty expectations.
Any fan who picks up Hawkeye #1 will enjoy it, but this book will have a hard time surviving because it is like so many other books out there. There is a deafening signal to noise ratio echoing through today’s market and while Hawkeye #1 is a quality comic, it might not be loud enough to break through. Let’s hope the creative team of Hawkeye finds their own path to stand out from the pack, because if the first issue of this new Hawkeye is any indication, there’s a ton of potential for Kate Bishop and her new series.