Writer: Kelly Thompson
Penciler: Leonardo Romero
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: 06/07/17
Plot: Kate receives a mysterious package from Madame Masque that causes some emotional memories to come up in her latest detective case.
Story: Hawkeye‘s story is such a blast right from the beginning, and a lot of that comes from the character herself. Kate has been one of the best additions to Marvel comics in recent years and it’s just great to see her headlining her own stories now. Kelly Thompson seems to have a great grasp on the character and the tone that should be present throughout the book, because the writing all flows similarly to how Matt Fraction wrote the character.
The book consistently has so much fun with little aspects like scene headers and setting descriptions that just keep everything in line with Kate’s character. The tone for Hawkeye is very important because it really adds to the entire story of Kate operating as a private detective, the book constantly provides readers with the feeling that they are in Kate’s mind experiencing the case through her eyes rather than just reading along. Thompson really nails the different ranges of emotions and hits all of the right notes but ensures the character never loses her personality and foundation of what makes her so much fun to experience.
The story never feels like it loses its balance of lighthearted humor blended with some serious emotional moments. The new story involving Madame Masque really begins to bring up some emotional past experiences for Kate that revolve around her mother. It immediately feels like the stuff she has tried to bury, or at least never openly talked about with anyone else, so when she receives this mysterious necklace from Madame Masque, it pulls this whirlwind of emotions together. Thompson really does a great job of exploring the relationships within Kate’s life though, and while she has been separated from her mother for years now, the book touches nicely on how Detective Rivera has been that older sister or mother figure for Kate on the West Coast who she can count on.
The dynamics in Hawkeye are always one of the many elements that have made it so great to read, because whether it’s been Clint or now Kate, the character always operates on a normal human being level, allowing the hero to therein connect with everyday people. Yet, in issue #7, Thompson really begins to dive into a deeper and more emotional side of Kate, which provides a great beginning to a new story that will focus on this search for her mother. The story provides these flashbacks to provide displays of the interaction between Kate and her mom, showing the connection they had as well as the love they shared with one another.
All of these scenes just build up the strength in her relationship with her mother, which surrounds this triangle shaped necklace that has suddenly reentered Kate’s life. These flashbacks are all really smoothly injected into the story of Hawkeye because as a private detective, Kate has to utilize everything she can to scan for clues or leads, including her personal memories. As Thompson reveals the tip of the iceberg in issue #7, the story really feels like it’s going to focus on the importance of these relationships to Kate; whether that means she has a chance of finding her mother or begins working closer with Rivera to discover the truth, it has all been top notch writing so far.
Art: The art in Hawkeye is also something that shouldn’t be overlooked, because once again, it continues to provide a great style and feel that works perfectly with Thompson’s story and the overall tone that the book has. Romero creates these great looking scenes that stick to the minimalist side of art while providing so much to the settings and panels. In certain situations, less is more, and Romero nails that feeling with little personal touches to the settings he puts together through unusual angles or perspectives. Bellaire also brings a lot to the table by being unafraid to boldly use color, or lack thereof, to his advantage. Whether it’s a sunset office that has a lot of shade or grand scenes where Kate is fighting off thugs, the color in this book just pops off the page and draws reader’s eyes right where they should be looking.
Hawkeye also has a brilliant action flow that not only shows off Romero’s ability to draw great facial expressions but just keeps Kate looking so cool as she takes down all of the bad guys. The closer scenes with her showing off her marksman talents are a ton of fun, especially because the book throws in it’s little bit of artistic flare playing on classic comics physically writing out sounds. In this case showing the arrows zoom through the air feels appropriate but also subtly reveals the amount of power Kate can get in her shots.
Yet, at the same time out of nowhere, Romero can put together these collage scenes full of incredible action that is a blast to read through. This is where Kate is at her best as a hero, showing she should never be counted out or doubted when it comes to her abilities. The character knows she’s walking into a trap throughout the entirety of issue #7 yet she is almost excited to fight some thugs. This scene has Kate doing it all, literally, and using this as a warm up for whatever her main fight is going to be later on. Not only is Romero’s style perfect for scenes like this, but Bellaire again uses very neutral colors for almost everything in the scene aside from Kate. It’s more than easy to follow the progression of her movements as she weaves through a maze of black suited thugs. Both Romero and Bellaire seem to know how to compliment one another’s styles well while also echoing everything that Thompson sets up with her writing and tone.
Verdict: Hawkeye #7 continues to be a great book with an incredible lead character. Kate is so much fun to read, especially when writers like Thompson seem to just grasp everything the character should be and represent. This new story choosing to dive into a more personal exploration of Kate’s background will bring tons of new depth to the character while keeping things fresh. The art style from Bellaire and Romero is great as well because of how well it flows along with the story. It nails the action scenes and shows off how cool Kate is while keeping things unique and colorful. Overall, Hawkeye is just a very complete book that hits all the right notes.