Hawkeye: Kate Bishop, Vol. 2: Masks- Review
This trade takes place in Haweye: Kate Bishop issue #7-12
If you are looking for something that you can easily pick up and enjoy without needing to know everything about a character, then this trade is for you. Personally, I don’t have a deep back knowledge of Clint Barton or Kate Bishop as Hawkeye. I was keeping up to date on these trades once upon a time and then fell behind. Coming into this volume, I essentially was coming in with a new reader’s eyes. While this story highlights Madame Masque as the antagonist, she really isn’t very present. This truly is a story about Bishop and unresolved issues with her father. What really caught my eye was how genuinely funny this whole story was, on many occasions catching myself laughing out loud for real.
I am thoroughly enjoying Kelly Thompson’s run on Hawkeye. Thompson’s characterization of Kate Bishop is quite endearing. Bishop is a private investigator archetype that we have seen before: numerous character flaws and self-doubt that seems fresh. One could say she is the “fun” version of Jessica Jones. The running gag of how she keeps running out different kinds of frozen vegetables to soothe her injuries is just too funny to me, as it highlights her inability to have a basic-level functioning life in spite of being a superhero detective.
The art team on the book is fantastic. Leonardo Romero is the primary artist, with the outstanding Jordie Bellaire on colors. The two together help craft a pulpy and tiny bit gritty look that feels right at home for a private eye story set in Los Angeles. Bellaire does a nice job particularly in flashback scenes, choosing a monochromatic purple to make those moments pop. Shout out to the letterer, VC’s Joe Sabino. Sabino adds some nice touches to thought boxes, color matching them in a subtle way with a purple that Bellaire uses for Bishop. Additionally, Sabino’s sound effects used throughout were a major source of my laughs. For example, after a room of thugs is beaten up, the page has “General moaning and groaning” as a sound effect coming from them. It is a funny visual gag.
All of that said, having had this distance from the character now makes me feel like I have been missing out. I definitely look forward to catching up on Bishop’s next adventures.
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop Vol. 2: Masks
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