Writer: Kelly Thompson
Penciler: Michael Walsh
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: 4/5/17
After closing her first LA case, Hawkeye found herself with an exploding villain who may or may not have some connection to her just. Just as Kate was planning on tracking down a suspect named Brad to ask some questions, her mentor Jessica Jones shows up with the very same Brad in tow and a case of her own…
Plot: Rebecca Brown is missing, and her last known boyfriend is a jerkwad named Brad who used to work with Kate’s dad. Another person who is coincidentally missing. While they are legally mandated to let Brad go, the ladies plan a stakeout to check him out that leads them to yet another sinister party.
Despite having similar goals, Detective Rivera is still not willing to work with a civilian – even if she does go by the name Hawkeye. Instead Kate must rely on her new friend Ramone’s help. Not to mention Johnny, the cute boy from last issue who turns out to be Ramone’s brother. Eventually Quinn joins them to get a little more hands-on with their investigation.
Story: A large portion of this issue of Hawkeye is devoted to Kate learning from the best private investigator in the business: Jessica Jones. Kelly Thompson infuses what could otherwise be a by-the-numbers case with a lot of Kate’s signature quirky humor and Jessica’s dry wit. If anything, it’s a relief that the case starts off so simple, as that allows the reader to get to know Kate a little better. Not to mention her dynamic with Jessica as student and teacher is played with and explored in a satisfying way, as well. They can be snarky with each other as much as they want, but at the end of the day they’ve got each other’s backs and understand each other’s struggles.
There’s a theme of family running underneath the main plot of the issue, and it ties together very nicely if you’re also reading Jessica Jones. Kate is looking for her father when she gets a case from a woman looking for her sister. But what happens when your family doesn’t want to be found? What if you’re the bad guy in their eyes, or alternately they are trying to protect you? The final pages of Hawkeye this week have a very cool twist that veers away from the familial motif, but it’s bound to come around again by the end of the arc. Hopefully it’ll have a large impact when it comes to Kate and her father.
If there’s any negative to point out, it’s just that we have yet another missing girl for the second time in a row. However, the circumstances are different enough that I’ll happily led it slide – or fly as it were.
Art: Jordie Bellaire’s color palette continue to flesh out Hawkeye‘s world beyond the already tight and excellent writing, managing to make Los Angeles look realistic without being too drab or too glamorous. And Michael Walsh adds his stylized take on the various characters while still making them feel altogether human. Expressions are important to the story, so even when the artist leaves some of them to the imagination, he provides enough of them for the readers to draw the same conclusions that Kate and Jessica do.
As I’ve said in past Hawkeye reviews, the attention to detail is crucial for Kate’s characterization and the plot. Thankfully, the art team behind the series is well aware of that. Even a scene as simple as the shooting of arrows is buoyed by a creative use of panels and lettering from Joe Sabino that notes where the arrow lands as well as where it’s coming from.
Verdict: Hawkeye #5 is a promising start to a new arc, and thus far makes good use of a fun team-up with Jessica Jones. There are a few moments here and there that feel like a retread of the previous issues, but overall it’s a fresh and fabulous story worthy of Kate Bishop.
Star Rating: 4/5