Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1
Marvel Comics 2021
Written by Marieke Nijkamp
Pencilled by Enid Balám
Inked by Oren Junior
Coloured by Brittany Peer
Lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Kate’s heading home! Or at least, back to New York. And as much as she wants to go back to where her friends – her chosen family – are, she’s changed since she was last on the East Coast. So she’s picked up a pit stop case first. A confidence-booster, to prove to herself she’s making the right decision and not going to backslide into her past just by changing time zones. Besides, the case is perfect: Swanky resort? Check. Jewel heist? Check. Almost definitely 100% a trap? Check.
This is everything I could have possibly hoped for and oh so much more! I love everything about this issue and I was screaming YASSS Queen when it was over. So the gay side won out obviously. I’ll be honest it’s been a while since I have been this excited over a book, let alone a Marvel book. So with that in mind seeing Kate get her own mini-series (boo we want a monthly) that starts off this strong and with the organisation behind the trap semi-revealed I’m thinking the next three issues are going to blow my socks off.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in establishing their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages introducing us to the cast of characters, the story itself and where it’s set, all we want by the last page is more.
I’m super appreciative of the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story begin to emerge and grow. I am also very much liking how we see said layers opening up new avenues to be explored. Whether or not they will be explored they all add this great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. The unexpected familiar face and the backstory that accompanies this is handled exceptionally well. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the interiors here but I have to say I am more than pleasantly surprised by them. The linework is clean, crisp and sharp and how we see the varying weights and techniques involved in bringing out the detail within the work that we see is extremely well rendered. I’m impressed with the amount of backgrounds we see being utilised throughout and how they expand and enhance the moments as well as work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show a solid eye for how colour works.
While the interiors give off a more teen plus vibe to them the story is anything but. Then again with Kate’s background being what it is that comes as no surprise to me. I think this is starting out to be a perfect vehicle for Kate right now to showcase who she is and where she is in life and how she manages to merge the worlds of P.I. and Superhero beautifully. This has some strong, interesting writing and solid characterisation alongside some superb interiors making us cheer for joy that Kate’s back in the spotlight.