By Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero & Jordie Bellaire
So far, Hawkeye, despite being only three issues in, is quickly establishing itself to be among the best of Marvel’s ongoing series right now. It’s consistently a really solid, fun, and engaging adventure that makes the most out of its California-set location, as a new mystery for Kate Bishop sees her dealing with a mysterious brainwashed cult that makes things very interesting indeed.
For fans of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run, this book feels similar and readers will find themselves right at home. Here, Thompson’s Kate is really fleshed out well and has echoes of Veronica Mars in her personality. Her voice is her own and Thompson manages to define her character pretty well over the course of the three issues that we’ve had so far. The location is something that hopefully is a long-term switch for Kate as well because so far, it’s given the book a fresh and exciting feel, helping it stand out from what has come before.
The artwork really plays to the strength of the comic, and Leonardo Romero’s character design is fantastic. He crafts some great interactions between the cast with some excellent depth to their facial expressions. Jordie Bellaire’s colors are also spectacular, creating an excellent atmosphere in these pages that really works, giving the book an unique feel that makes separates it from similar superhero titles. One thing that the book really benefits from is the “hawk vision”, illustrated really strongly, which allows for some great humor as Kate takes her surroundings into account.
The issue itself also benefits from the fact that the stakes aren’t particularly high. Too many comics have world-ending threats, but it’s great to see that Hawkeye is opting for a quieter approach with this arc, and one that allows the creative team to play to Kate’s strengths as well quickly sees it emerging as a welcome addition to the line-up of Hawkeye comics.
Effectively resolving last issue’s cliffhanger, Hawkeye #3 is well-paced, well-plotted, and perfectly builds upon the interesting mystery. Thanks to the focus on Kate’s character via her thought captions, everything really pays off, putting Kate’s abilities to the forefront in an effective way to tell an interesting story that you won’t be able to put down. Everything about this book has been excellent so far and if you’re not reading Kelly Thompson’s Hawkeye then you really should be, because based on the strength of this issue as well as the previous three, things are only going to get even better from here.