Writer: Marieke Nijkamp
Inker: Oren Junior
Penciler: Enid Balám
Color Artist: Brittany Peer
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Kate Bishop has a lot of enemies. But it’s very possible that her greatest foe is, in fact, the circus.
Writer Marieke Nijkamp has good old fashioned superhero fun with Madame Ringleader’s mustache-twiddling monologues as Kate quips, fumes, and struggles to free herself. The art team is on board, providing readers with a trove of colorful, stylish pulp that rapidly builds the story from a mysterious “What’s going on at this hotel?” to a shrill “Uhh we might need to save the world again!”
In the same way Nijkamp and co. have cleverly built up to a “save the world” story, they’ve played it cool with the Bishop’s estranged sisters dynamic. Issue #4 sees Kate desperate to save Susan from the Circus of Crime’s mind control. More compelling, Susan saves herself, jolted from her stupor by watching Kate fight to protect her. The sisterly bond feels earned at this point, and will no doubt play an important role as the mini reaches its end and the Bishop sisters return home for a final showdown.
The story of Hawkeye: Kate Bishop has been fun. The character beats are setting Kate up for a fresh, confident start once the story wraps. But its Enid Balám’s line art and Brittany Peer’s colors that make this book a must read. Balám somehow makes a headbutt look elegant. He provides Kate with a perfectly adoring expression as she fawns over her beloved bow. Much like my thoughts on C. F. Villa and Black Cat, I’d like to see Balám handle Kate for years to come.
And Peer’s talents are fully unleashed as the Resort Chapiteau is engulfed in flames. The final pages of Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #4 are fantastic fun, a blustering sequence of contained chaos.
I look forward to #5, though it’s safe to say Kate Bishop saves the day. The question is, what will she do after? With America Chavez and Cassie Lang poised to feature next month, is a new Young Avengers team a possibility?
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop is a sweet, mostly standard affair elevated by a top shelf art team.