Review: Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1

Series: Hawkeye: Kate Bishop
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Penciler: Enid Balam
Inker: Oren Junior
Colorist: Brittany Peer
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Released: November 24, 2021
Received: Own

Man, it has been a hot minute since we’ve been lucky enough to see Kate Bishop in a solo series, hasn’t it? I’m still lamenting the loss of the West Coast Avengers (if you haven’t read that series, please consider checking it out, it’s a blast!).

Given the new Hawkeye series on Disney+, it makes sense that we’re getting a new Kate Bishop series. And personally, I’m not going to complain! I could certainly use some more Kate Bishop in my life.

Kate is in the wind in Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1. Well, not literally, but pretty close. She’s left the West Coast, but not knowing where ‘home’ lies, she’s putting off heading in that direction. Thankfully, it seems there is a case or two that will help keep her distracted.

Granted, this case is totally a trap. But Kate knows that – she’s a private investigator, not an idiot. She knows the sudden appearance of this character cannot mean anything good. The real question is, what are they up to?

Writing

Cards on the table: while I was super excited to hear about this new Kate Bishop miniseries, I was a little sad when I learned that Kelly Thompson wasn’t the author behind it all. I’ve enjoyed her take on the character. However! I’m always willing to give new (to me) authors a try, and thus far, I’ve enjoyed what Marieke Nijkamp has to offer.

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 is full to the brim of that classic Kate Bishop charm and sass. In other words, she’s still willing to speak her mind – regardless of the situation. Hrm, I wonder where she got that from?

There are so many little moments to appreciate here, starting with a group chat between Kate, America, and Cassie and ending with family drama galore. There is something so very human about Kate’s desperate need for a distraction while she figures out what to do next in her life. I think we’ve all been there, right?

Alongside all of that self-doubt/discovery and dozens of quips, one will find some action to appreciate. After all, Kate does have a talent for finding both trouble and bad guys. It once again strikes that perfect balance for Hawkeye.

Artwork

Now, let’s take a minute to talk about that artwork, shall we? Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 is a bold issue – partially due to the characters within and the artwork itself. The characters and colors pop, and overall there’s a very cheery vibe from this series. In other words, it is perfect for a Hawkeye series, and I am here for it.

Enid Balam (pencils) and Oren Junior (inks) somehow fit so much visual information into a single issue. Each panel is an impressive feat, come to think of it. There are dozens of details for fans to appreciate, including a Gwenpool mug (is this a thing? If so, I need one ASAP).

Brittany Peer’s colors help to set the tone for obvious reasons. I adore the brighter color palette here. It feels like a vacation to a warmer climate, when really it’s just another adventure with Kate Bishop. Gotta love that warm feeling, though, right?

As for the letters, I can’t help but feel like VC’s Joe Caramagna had a little bit of fun here. To be fair, there’s a lot to play with here. There’s dialogue, chat windows, sound effects, signs, and other little surprises. It’s a blast.

Conclusion

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 is every bit the fantastical issue I had hoped for. It reminded me how much I love this character and how badly I need to go back and reread the rest of her series sometime. You know, as an act of self-care. But seriously, I am looking forward to the next issue of this series.

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