Writer: Kelly Thompson / Artist: Stefano Raffaele / Marvel Comics
“I need fake n***** to get way back
James Harden with the range on me n***** way back
Homie start switchin’ lanes, I thought we went way back” -Travis Scott[/quote_simple]
The leveled-up Kate Bishop meets her mentor/messy older brother figure Clint Barton in his youth. The circumstances however are less than ideal. Marvel’s best marksman have been transported to a remote island for a free for all. It’s Battle Royale, except the goal is to hit a target on belts everyone is wearing in order to eliminate them from the competition (the competitors quantum leap away once eliminated).
Kate meeting young Clint (having no idea who she is) means everyone has been pulled from different periods in time. The heart of this issue is Kate getting to see how similar Clint is to her at his current younger age. Kelly Thompson shows that even when Clint doesn’t know Kate yet, he already senses a kindred spirit in her and finds her easy to relate to, even with her terrible cover alias as she tries not to butterfly effect the past.
Thompson is a master at fitting in nods to the Aja and Fraction Hawkeye run with throwback references to the boomerang arrow and Domitian. Further proof that doing that homework and knowing all elements of the craft that came before you can only benefit your own work and the fans of these characters. My absolute favorite part of the issue is the legend that proceeds the other deadly marksman of Marvel on the island as told by Kate Bishop.
Kate mentions all of other people she has seen that pose a threat. The heavy hitters, the killas you do not want that smoke with, the absolute last muhfuckas you wanna see strolling through crime alley ’cause they will Thomas and Martha Wayne you. If you know your marksmen in Marvel then you know who the fuck I’m talking about. The threat of these marksman was what we were really waiting for.
I know there is only so much that can be done for the opposition in one issue but I really wanted a harder /longer fight between the cameos of these certain folk that show up. That’s not even a big gripe, that just wanting more of that dream match up we don’t get to see too often. However, the fear that one certain villain of a certain horned hero represents is my shit. When he shows up, it was the coup de grais.
We have to get into the art, and I want to know if Stefano Raffaele took an archery class or had to watch (or suffer is more like it, after season 2) Arrow in order to get these bow stance shots. There’s a very specific scene of Kate Bishop pulling on the draw string of her bow and the placement of the string looked close to being on her nose (which is the correct way to shoot [albeit for a specific type of accuracy]. Competitive archers even have a small dent at the tip of their nose from years of this. Fun fact I learned at a South African archery range from the instructor.) Although it’s to the side upon closer look, the positioning of that usual default firing position looked clean as hell.
I know this is a niche detail to go so in depth on, but that shit matters. I fuck with archery and seeing the positioning, stance, and look of concentration drawn so well makes me appreciate the artist even more. The action scenes were well placed too. Again, I wished the fight was longer between Clint and his opposition because it just looked so good. Especially when Clint pulls the medieval times edition glock out. Yessssssss.
Thompson makes this one shot count as an anchor point for both Hawkeyes. We get the humor, skill, and understanding between these two Hawkeyes from different points of time in Marvel but despite that we see why they’re so close and why only Kate Bishop can be Clint Barton’s successor.
Reading Hawkeye? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.