On Nov. 24, Marvel Cinematic Universe's latest television show debuts: Disney+'s Hawkeye. Both Clint Barton and Kate Bishop appear to be on the cusp of television stardom, but Marvel's greatest archers will also be starring in a new comic. Author Marieke Nijkamp (best known for her work on DC's The Oracle Code) and artists Enid Balám and Oren Junior have teamed up to introduce a new Hawkeye series. Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 is an excellent, action-packed first issue that introduces an intriguing mystery.
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 begins with Hawkeye taking down a team of thugs in L.A. while trying to decide whether or not to take a trip back home to New York to reconnect with old friends. After making short work of the would-be hooligans, Kate decides to head home and accepts a mysterious invitation to an exclusive resort in the Hamptons. When she gets there, she finds her estranged sister enmeshed in a bizarre and potentially dangerous situation. Hawkeye takes the case, but it quickly becomes clear that this won't be any ordinary mystery.
Marieke Nijkamp captures Kate's charming, introspective voice perfectly. She's funny enough to keep the fight scenes feeling light and fun and sincere enough to make the introspective moments feel emotionally realistic. Nijkamp uses Hawkeye's emotional range and lighthearted banter to give readers context for the story without taking away from the action. In this way, she is able to establish a fun and frenetic pace without leaving the audience behind. The action-packed nature of Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 doesn't stop Nijkamp from weaving a complex and fascinating private-eye mystery at the center of the story. The Hamptons resort is an eerie setting that will remind readers of Agatha Christie's locked-room mysteries and Ira Levin's Stepford Wives, while also functioning as the perfect place for Kate to confront her difficult relationship with her wealthy family.
Penciler Enid Balám and inker Oren Junior work together to present energetic action sequences and emotive characters throughout Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1. The opening fight scene is thrilling and easy to follow. Balám and Junior juggle flying arrows, leaping adversaries, and tremendous explosions without missing a beat. Further, they transition into quieter moments just as well. Kate's body language is indicative of her excitable personality that becomes more infectious the longer the audience spends time with her. Both artists match Nijkamp's tone perfectly and manage to make Kate's dingy private-eye office seem much cozier than the lavish Hamptons resort. Colorist Brittany Peer makes Hawkeye's iconic purple costume stand out against the rest of her surroundings in a way that adds to Kate's already noteworthy and unique personality.
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 ends by hinting at an unseen antagonist, whose involvement threatens to recontextualize every element of Kate's case. This first issue is sure to leave fans anxious to see what happens next. Nijkamp, Balám, and Junior have filled this page-turner with an energy that can't be ignored. Hawkeye: Kate Bishop has all the makings of a great new series.
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