Written by: Kelly Thompson
Art by: Leonard Romero & Jordie Bellaire
Full disclosure: I only wanted to read Hawkeye #2 to see if Marvel would follow my own, stupid head canon or not. See, my reading of Kate is that she’s full-stop terrible at what she does and survives by accidents and plot armor. It’s all one big joke at her expensive, and as of issue #2, well, there’s still a case to be made there.
As far as superheroes go, this version of Hawkeye isn’t very super. She’s trying her hand at both private investigating and keeping a low profile and failing at both, she’s spent more time at a college campus looking for an internet troll than actually fighting crime, and her run-in with the police has been…well, it didn’t exactly work out in her favor.
And you know what? I’m down for that. It’s nice to see a superhero comic not take itself so damn seriously, and it’s nice to see a super hero that’s far from super. Sure Kate is good with her bow, but she makes a lot of poor decisions, and as far as respect goes, well, I imagine she’s gonna get her car towed before this series is over.
“I’m a superhero.”
“I thought you were a private investigator?”
“A person can be two things!”
The whole thing is weirdly refreshing, and it really only falters when Kate succeeds as a superhero. Maybe this is just me being upset that Marvel refuses to 100% acknowledge my clearly superior head canon, but the super hero bits really come across as derivative, especially towards the end when the core plot starts to build itself up.
It doesn’t help that everyone has this weird feeling that such-and-such might be happening and that Kate’s internal monologue guesses at what could have been a long-running mystery pretty quickly. It’s all spelled out for the reader too, with easy-to-understand metaphors that just make me bored.
On the art front, the book certainly looks nice. There’s a nice dollop of style here that matches the tone, and I do like Kate’s “archer vision” where key elements are tagged with bull’s eyes. Aesthetically it looks cool, and from a character standpoint, Kate’s definition of key elements and mine aren’t exactly the same. It adds to her character without any real words, which is always a good thing.
Listen, thus far I’ve had some fun with Hawkeye. It’s laid back and silly, which is nice, but we all know that my head canon is just that: non canon. Eventually she’ll super hero her way in an exceptionally super hero way, and I’ll hate it. It’ll be boring and derivative because that’s just how this rolls. Right now though, I’m having fun pretending Kate’s incompetent as hell, and I’ll keep reading until that stops being a thing.