Hey Marvelites and non-Marvelites! For the next few weeks we’re putting a spotlight on some of our favorite lesser known Marvel comic books and letting you know why you should be reading them! This week’s pick is HAWKEYE by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, and Jordie Bellaire.


The new HAWKEYE run by writer Kelly Thompson and artists Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire is a refreshing look at Marvel’s great archer. This comic series, however, does not feature Clint Barton as Hawkeye but instead stars Kate Bishop, Clint’s sassy former sidekick. However, because of its lackluster sales the last couple of months, HAWKEYE is at risk of cancellation. The book started this year on the 102nd spot according to the Comichron monthly pre-order and final order sales chart. Throughout the year the sales have decreased so much that HAWKEYE was stuck at the 161st spot by June. Comic companies follow trends in sales, and if Thompson’s book continues to sell less, I fear its future issues will be shelved.

It’s disheartening to see such a fun series about a strong and relatable female character not get more attention. If more people picked up this series of HAWKEYE, they would fall in love with the creative art, the appealing storyline, and most of all, the amazing characterization of Kate Bishop.

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Kate Bishop AKA Hawkeye on the chase! Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

L.A. DETECTIVE

For those who don’t know Kate Bishop, she first appeared in 2005-2006’s THE YOUNG AVENGERS as the younger counterpart of Clint Barton. She started off as Hawkeye’s protégé but quickly has grown to become Clint’s equal. Now, she too has taken up the moniker of Hawkeye, leading to confusion across the Marvel Universe from having two superheroes named Hawkeye running around.

READ: Need further proof of Kate Bishop’s amazingness? Check out our review for HAWKEYE #1!

In Kelly Thompson’s series, Kate is inspired to head West, away from the huge influx of superheroes in New York, to L.A. She starts her own detective agency titled “Hawk Investigations,” influenced by her self-proclaimed hero Jessica Jones’ Alias Investigations. Her agency gets off to a rough start as she struggles with accustoming herself to L.A. and having run ins with the police, all while taking on foes like the hulking embodiment of hate named Aggregate.

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Hawkeye with self-proclaimed hero Jessica Jones. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The series is, at its core, an extremely entertaining tribute to the noir genre. Kate Bishop styles herself as the classic detective taking on crime within her corrupt city. In reality, Hawkeye usually fights frat boys drugged with genetic enhancements or wacky henchmen. It’s a funny riff on an old genre that often takes itself too seriously.

The Essential Kate Bishop

While the film noir vibe to this book is very entertaining, the true selling point of this whole series is Kate Bishop herself. She is such an engrossing, hilarious character to read about. I often find myself wanting to be her best friend before remembering that she is a fictional character. Kelly Thompson writes Kate Bishop with such sass and wit that she becomes intoxicating. She’s a character who is always happy to make light of a bad situation. She takes jabs at the baddies she’s facing by criticizing their villainous traditions like zombified henchmen or overly long monologues. She will be the first person to admit that it is absolutely ridiculous that she uses a bow in the 21st century. Like characters such as Deadpool or Harley Quinn, Kate Bishop isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind even if it’s not keeping with superhero etiquette.

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A look at Kate’s classic sense of humor. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

What makes Kate Bishop rise above an amusing character to a truly great one is that she’s not just there to crack a few jokes. She’s a fully formed character who has her large share of vulnerabilities. When Kate moves to L.A., she’s lonely and has doubts and questions of self-worth. We see her struggle with her relationships to other heroes, her friends, and most importantly her corrupt father. Her humor is Kate’s way of dealing with these insecurities and is also how she plays them off. But at the core of Kate Bishop is someone who really wants to help people who are abused and vulnerable. Her personable nature coupled with her selflessness should inspire readers to help those around them as well.

READ: Will Clint Barton, Kate Bishop’s mentor, die in INFINITY WAR? Find out our thoughts here!

Art of HAWKEYE

The art on HAWKEYE perfectly fits the enjoyable, tongue-in-cheek tone of this series. Those familiar with David Aja’s work on Matt Fraction’s HAWKEYE run will find a lot of his influence here. Leonardo Romero takes the art style that Aja established in that book and doubles down on it. He draws the characters simply, which adds to the comedic effect of the comic. However, colorist Jordie Bellaire uses much more bright color in this HAWKEYE series. Romero and Bellaire want their art to reflect Kate Bishop’s animated personality, which means each panel has to feel animated.

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Kate Bishop’s Super Detective Mode! Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The quality of the art is much more straightforward than most comic books. This doesn’t mean that Romero does not draw with a lot of detail. Many panels are filled with vast amounts of details, often to comedic effects. Probably the most obvious technique that Romero uses is a play on a noir detective cliché. Several panels throughout the series consist of Kate scanning an area and its people for clues or something suspicious. So Romero draws multiple circles around characters’ heads alongside bright purple text, representing Kate’s observations of these people. The problem is that Kate isn’t always the best detective. Often her observations will just be how a person is really good looking or how yummy a sandwich looks. This is not only really funny, but it also captures who Kate Bishop is without saying too much.

Read: Check out our analysis of another great millennial superhero, Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel!

Final Thoughts

Kate Bishop is a rare, relatable, awesome female superhero in comic books. Not only is she a complete badass but she also has an amazing personality which makes her extremely likable. It’s great to see another female character in comic books who uses her emotional courage to overcome her own flaws and shortcomings.

Some are reluctant to pick up a “Hawkeye” book that doesn’t star the original male iteration of the character. However, the fact that Clint Barton isn’t the star of HAWKEYE shouldn’t deter you from picking up this awesome book. Kate Bishop is a character that deserves to be on everybody’s mind.

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