HAWKEYE #1 with Kate (and Dan)

Kate: I’m bored. ::throws dart across room. Hits Hummel between eyes::

Dan: I’m cold. I hate the winter.

K: We’ve watched every episode of Veronica Mars. And face it dude: your verbal skills don’t measure up to Kristen Bell.

D: Huh? Wha? Oh.

K: I rest my case.

D: ::shrugs::

K: I need adventure! And snappy repartee! And hot California abs!

D: ::flexes in mirror, single tear falls:: I don’t have hot California abs, or even cool Minnesota abs, even. But I do have the new HAWKEYE #1 by Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero. Kate Bishop takes up the bow and arrow in her first solo series. And believe me, her debut issue has all the adventure and snappy repartee you could ask for!

K: That was a kind of ham-fisted introduction to the comic.

D: What can I say, I’m a little out of form. Just read the comic and I’ll work on my snappy patter.

K: Is this the graphic novel? Because I think it will take you longer than 22 pages to get your wit together.

D: Just get to the reading, smarty pants.

K: A badass superhero named Kate?!? I can get behind this!

D: We’ve read about Kate Bishop before; first in YOUNG AVENGERS and then in the Matt Fraction/David Aja run of HAWKEYE. In this new HAWKEYE #1 writer Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero picks up where the previous run ended, except here the focus is on Kate.

K: As it should be.

D: Something, something, Galileo was wrong, the sun revolves around you.

K: You get it.

D: ::rolls eyes:: Anyway, our story picks up with Kate setting up shop as an unlicensed PI in Venice Beach, California. Business is slow, and due to a fantastic sight gag involving Kate’s homemade storefront sign, the only people that come in are either looking for the “real” Hawkeye (a.k.a. Clint Barton) …or an optometrist. However, business appears to pick up when a college co-ed approaches Kate in need of a PI. The student is being harassed online and she’s afraid that the harassment will become face to face. Kate takes the case and starts to hunt down the harasser.

K: Thompson takes on the real-life issue of online harassment. This is something that has plagued the online community and feels like it’s been getting worse in the past year or two. There was the high-profile incident of online trolls harassing writer Chelsey Cain in the fall. The harassment got so bad that she shut down her Twitter account. It’s too easy to hide behind an anonymous avatar and condemn anything and everything that you don’t like. There are real people with real feelings reading the hateful things these people are writing. Just because someone states an opinion about something you don’t agree with doesn’t mean that you need to destroy them. We need to remember that not everything is for everyone. It’s ok to not like something. That thing might not be to your taste, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t something someone else might like. That thing you condemn might be the thing that provides inspiration to that person across the room. The internet should be a place where people can freely exchange ideas, free from judgment. Unfortunately, there are a few people that have pooped in the pool and are trying to ruin it for the rest of us.

D: “Pooped in the pool”? You kind of broke down there at the end.

K: Yeah, I used up all my good words and then petered out. But you get the idea: Be respectful of people online. Don’t get all inflammatory if you don’t like something. It’s OK for people to have different opinions from you. Just be nice.

I’ll step down from my soapbox now.

D: Keep preaching. People need to hear this. So, Kate takes Mikka’s case and hits the Kinney College campus looking for the coward who terrorizes folks who write blogs.

K: I think this is a good place to talk about the chemistry between Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero. When you have an intelligent young woman with the wit and personality of Kate Bishop as your hero, you’re going to be putting down pages and pages of clever dialog, snappy rejoinders, and pop-culture references. Kelly Thompson seamlessly bridges the gap for fans of the Fraction run, and still manages to put her own stamp on the character. This is still our Kate.

D: Romero is clearly having fun with the action scenes. From Kate foiling a POINT BREAK inspired bank heist, to his inspired layout of the Kinney College campus, his scenes are filled with kinetic energy and creative panel work. But I think his work really shines with the pages dedicated to Kate interviewing prospective clients. It isn’t easy to make 15 pages of talking heads look interesting, but he totally nails it. This is the first time I’ve seen Romero’s work, and I really love it. His work is clearly inspired by Chris Samnee. Soft line work, perfect facial expressions, and fully realized backgrounds. I’m now a Romero fan!

K: It will be interesting to see not only where the current online stalker story takes us, but where the series progresses. Will Kate be taking a California street-level vibe, like the TV show TERRIERS? Or will we eventually be seeing more super-hero battles? With Kate Bishop, you really could do both.

D: It’s safe to say, HAWKEYE is far and away our favorite series to come out of the current MARVEL NOW initiative. And it is far past time for Kate to star in her own book. I’m just glad we have Thompson and Romero helming her book.