REVIEW: ‘Hawkeye: Kate Bishop,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #2

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #2 is published by Marvel Comics. The writer is Marieke Nijkamp. The penciller is Enid Balám and inks are by Oren Junior. Brittany Peer and Chris Peter are the colourists, whilst Joe Caramagna is the letterer. 

Kate Bishop has returned home to New York City. The private investigator finds herself drawn to a very fancy resort in the Hamptons, lured there by her estranged sister Susan. Items are going missing and the people there are acting strangely. Just as Susan hires her sister to find a stolen ring, a scream rings out as a young child is kidnapped.

In this issue, Kate instantly jumps on the chance to rescue the girl, and her offer to help is rejected by the staff at the Resort Chapiteau. Aggravated and smelling blood, Hawkeye investigates anyway, and what she finds may be part of a much larger experiment.

The second issue takes place directly after the end of the first chapter. It instantly shifts the reader’s expectation as Hawkeye is pushed off the case. It also increased the conspiracy of the plot, as the mystery implies that the little girl’s kidnapping is only a symptom of a larger sickness. The setting is fascinating, using the upper-class pomp of the resort for many brilliant jokes and snarkiness. The investigation side of the issue is very interesting and entertaining to follow, ending with a powerful fight scene. There aren’t many surprises, but suspicions over the true villain can start to be questioned.

Nijkamp has ensured that every part of the tone in Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #2 matches the personality of its main character. Kate is such a vibrant character to follow. The sharp wit is used to fill every piece of dialogue and caption box with sarcasm and clever references to other characters in her world. An understanding of her presence in the Hawkeye comics and Young Avengers may be needed in order to get these jokes, as well as her background. But the inviting nature of her dialogue will make a reader want to read more. This is also an intriguing exploration of sisters as Susan serves as a foil for Kate in the early issues of the series. She is presented as a very different character from the other Bishop. She is more selfish and stuck up. Kate’s rejection of her sister appears to really hurt Susan emotionally as she tries to get closer. On the other hand, Kate’s ability and accomplishments are diminished and unobserved. 

The art has many reasons to shine. The most impressive feature is how movement is suggested. Balám brilliantly shows Kate’s speed and agility as an acrobat, aided by the expert inking from Junior. Her flips in the air and the sneaking across windowsills look impressive and poised thanks to a superb understanding of body posture and anatomy. The progression from panel to panel is seamless, and there are some innovative techniques and ideas that artists utilize. The setting has already been commended, but care needs to be taken to prevent the rooms in the grand resort from looking too similar. From the outside, the building is gorgeous and depicts an underrepresented part of New York in Marvel Comics. Another negative is that characters’ heads are very small in their proportions. In some instances, this works, but in Kate’s regard, there may be too much detail trying to fit in. With her hair, glasses, and facial expressions all trying to find space, It can be messy. 

The colours are brilliant at aiding the storytelling. Features that the writer doesn’t even include in the dialogue or narration can be picked up by the reader due to a shift in the shade. Bruises on a man’s torso indicate that he has been given a beating. The scuffs on the little girl’s coat suggest a struggle. And the passage of time is also told through the colouring. As the plot gets more complicated, the sky shifts from a light blue to a blend of yellow and peach, then ending with a blue threatened by an encroaching purple.

The lettering has some aspects that could be adjusted. The location captions that explain where our characters are are a colour that doesn’t stand out and gets lost in the actual panel. And occasionally, in the captions representing texts, “I’s” and “L’s” are bold, whilst every other part of the balloon is normal text. This is irritating and distracting.

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #2 is a fun comic that certainly warrants reading. The writer’s understanding of Kate and her voice is very clear, and there are so many pieces of dialogue that will leave the reader grinning. The story is a gripping mystery that runs parallel with a character arc about a woman not knowing where her home is. But there are some minor design choices that can take away from the overall experience.

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #2
3.5

TL;DR

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #2 is a fun comic that certainly warrants reading. The writer’s understanding of Kate and her voice is very clear, and there are so many pieces of dialogue that will leave the reader grinning.