Writer: Kelly Thompson / Artist: Leonardo Romero / Marvel Comics
Damn sho’ ain’t bout to pick today to start runnin’.”-Wayne
Listen, I don’t know what’s up with Kelly Thompson. I don’t know if she PR’d in the Gym. I don’t know if she be watching the Rocky montages before she writes. I don’t know what Kelly Thompson be doing before she puts pen to page but what I do know is she is writing her ass off. Kelly Thompson isn’t fucking around or penning scripts anymore, she’s in the booth spittin’ 16’s while Leonardo Romero is on the soundboard recording everything then drawing it up. You can’t convince me that’s not what’s happening here. You’re not convincing me this creative team isn’t working on Hawkeye as if it’s a mixtape for the fandom streets.
My god man, this issue was so freaking great. It opens up with Kate Bishop reeling from that ass-whooping she got served last issue and investigating a gift left by her attackers. There’s a small box left for Kate on some Seven, “what’s in the booooooox?!” level shit. Bishop opens the box and it’s contents immediately switch her mood. Thompson put’s Kate N’ Barrel on a warpath as shit just got personal. The way we see Kate Bishop tooling up for war? Kate Bishop stuffin’ that duffel bag with the bow? Packing up the arrows? Her purple jumper jumpin’? When that jumper gets jumpin’ ain’t nobody making it out alive. Lemme tell you something, Kate Bishop’s duffel bag is akin to Rust Cohle’s red tool box from True Detective. When that shit comes out SOMEBODY GOTS TA GO! That’s the rule of thumb. Respect it.
Thompson weaves in beautifully how the contents of that box tie into Bishop’s past. We see Bishop flashback to different points through her life as the issue progresses and it’s so beautifully done. Leonardo Romero shows an incredible contrast between who Kate Bishop is now and the person she used to be as a child and teenager before things started to go awry. Jordan Bellaire’s colors make the flashback sequence look unique as well as feel like a special and pivotal moment in Kate’s life. This is the first time we see Kate tooling up with the sense that she won’t be coming back from this one. As such she takes some measures of precaution with her friends and it’s through these interactions that even with shit being dire, Bishop is still able to be her painfully charming self through her humor. You can’t teach that fucking level of dialogue, man.
Thompson’s dialogue game is something fucking vicious and you got Romero heightening it through the character’s mannerisms and movement. Yo, this is a fictional character in a fictional version of the world, but the conversations and situations had between Bishop and her peers is the most natural and organic thing on page, which is what separates this series from it’s contemporaries.
I thought the flashbacks, and Kate’s demeanor had me full but once we get to the fight scene? Once we get to the fucking full page spread out fight scene? I got the desserts I ain’t even know I wanted and probably didn’t deserve. GIMME THEM CARBS. I wanted to put the spread here but you gotta read the book for it. Romero got Kate moving through what might be the panel of the year for a series. Real talk, Romero has an incredible knack of showing Bishop’s fighting acumen in any room or situation. The spread isn’t even the best part as shit gets even deeper man.
I really can’t say anything more about this series man. If you’re not reading Hawkeye then fuck you, yo. That’s it. I done told you this is the sequel to Fraction and Aja’s run. I done told you Thompson and Romero made this a new platform and plateau for Kate Bishop. I done told you this is top notch story telling. What else do you want me to say? Huh? *stands on ledge like Diddy did in the “Victory” video* WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW, HUH? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW? THOMPSON AND ROMERO GOT THE GAME ALL FUCKED UP NOW! IT’S ALL FUCKED UP NOW. *jumps off ledge into the beautiful work Thompson and Romero have put forth for Kate Bishop’s character development, snark, and charm.*
Reading Hawkeye? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.