Posted December 18, 2013 by Alvin Minon in Comics


I’m terribly sorry for this late post. I think this review’s a couple or more weeks late and I feel really bad about it. Not only because I’ve been complacent but also because I feel it’s a responsibility to let people know how enjoyable this issue is. Marvel NOW!‘s Hawkeye #14 not only brings us Kate Bishop’s L.A. Woman story, but also welcomes Annie Wu into the series.

In #14, we head over to Kate Bishop and her side of the world. Whereas Clint Barton’s story is heavy, dark and grim that leaves a bitter taste, Kate’s story gives us a silverlining filled with brightness and youthful energy. It’s like a short story about Kate’s adventure in L.A., how she settles down and how she deals with L.A. troubles as her own Hawkeye.

Okay, what’s good about this issue is that first, it’s a palate cleaner after the happenings in #13. The story’s been heavy so far over there with the Barton brothers and a little bit of sunshine could help, putting a stark contrast between Kate and Clint. Whether this contrast would help later on in the overarching story, we’re not sure but it could be an interesting factor Matt Fraction‘s working on. Aside from lifting the tone with the slice-of-life take on the Hawkeyes, this issue is conducive to the suspense built in #13 regarding Bro Gang and succeeding events involving the villains. With the sudden jump, readers are left to wonder about what’s happening, or what would happen to Clint soon. On this note, we can say that Fraction’s making up for the slow pace with regards to the ongoing conflicts with enjoyable takes on the personalities of his characters.

And speaking of his take on the personalities and characters, I just love how Fraction makes the Hawkeyes more ground-level and understandable, especially with what he’s done here with Kate. Damn, I think I could have a crush on her now. Her story’s goofy, with a lot of more realistic troubles like what to do next after moving, where to get money for rent and other bills and concerns regarding neighbors. How she speaks here ain’t the same way we hear (or read) when she interacts with let’s say, The Avengers or the other heroes. The comedy comes in natural and the jokes come in one right after the other without the feel of being forced. Oh and it also helps that Annie Wu‘s able to capture that refreshing, light teenage feeling even if its her debut on Hawkeye. Her work’s superb especially when you look at how lovely the details are, from the faces to the bodies and the backgrounds. The lines work well with Mark Hollingsworth‘s joyful colors that there’s no question about the two’s chemistry. Check out the panels especially that last page and you’d get what I mean.

Now let’s go to the negative stuff. Though the goofyness is good and enjoyable, other people might not be into this Hawkeye as this version of Kate Bishop doesn’t seem to be the type that’s appearing in Young Avengers, nor any other superhero group. Here, she has become the star of her own chic flick, or romantic sitcom involving girls moving in to new apartments and meeting new friends. Here’s she’s somewhat of a clutz with her brand of naivete, where her ways of going through an investigation lacks the image of responsibility, experience or even competence. Imagine Hawkeye acting like she’s a part of Scooby’s gang. Though the Hawkeyes of Marvel NOW! focus on lower crimes, she’s still supposed to be level-headed, tough-minded and reliable. But not here in this issue. Though yes she seems a ton cuter with the new image and it’s also a good thing she retains the badass appeal with her bow skills, some readers familiar with Kate might be turned off as the character here doesn’t fit well with how she’s been portrayed before.

Once again I’m sorry this has been an uber late post. It’s a good read and I shouldn’t have delayed letting other people know how enjoyable this Hawkeye is. It might not hit the same intensity set in Clint’s parallel narrative, but this issue has its charms and Kate continues to prove that the LA Woman is no longer Clint’s foil.

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Grab a copy of Hawkeye #14 and I’m sure you’d understand how lovable Kate Bishop could get. Get your copy now from Comic Odyssey and catch up!

Alvin Minon