Writer: Marieke Nijkamp
Inkers: Oren Junior & Roberto Poggi
Penciler: Enid Balám
Color Artists: Brittany Peer & Rachelle Rosenberg
Kate comes home in Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #5. Though, her complex relationship with villainous parents is less pressing than the Circus of Crime’s possession of a reality-bending bit of cosmic cube.
This Hawkeye run has been an interesting contrast to the ongoing Devil’s Reign event. Devil’s Reign has managed to create a major event out of a relatively grounded, contained plot. Meanwhile, Hawkeye: Kate Bishop utilizes a small cast and fixed location to tell a story with reality-shifting stakes. As an aside, with Kate back east, I wonder if she might make an appearance in the Devil’s Reign finale.
While Kate may not be ready to take on her father or figure out what the hell is up with her mother just yet, there’s still familial territory to work through. The gradual bonding between Kate and her sister Susan has been the highlight of this story, and seeing Susan interact with other heroes like America Chavez and Cassie Lang furthers my interest in seeing her remain in the Marvel Universe as part of Kate’s supporting cast.
Which leads to the big question: what’s next for Kate? Marieke Nijkamp didn’t reinvent Kate, but did strengthen her character and set her with an open playing field in NYC. A reunion with Clint seems in the cards, and with Chavez and Lang already in tow, perhaps a new super group is about to take shape?
Whatever the future is for Bishop, let’s hope the creative team remains mostly intact. Enid Balám has done for Kate what C.F. Villa did for Black Cat–enhance an already iconic look. Brittany Peer can color every Marvel book from now on, in my mind.
The overall series is enjoyable, but again, does not feel strictly necessary. Rather than building a new aspect of Kate, or exploring established ones, it functions more as a punctuation following her growth as a California P.I. and leader of the West Coast Avengers. Once again, the exception is Kate’s connection to Susan, which will undoubtedly lead to an eventual confrontation with Mr. and Mrs. Bishop.
For now, I’m just happy Kate and her “stuck-up” but also “maybe-I-misjudged-her” sister are safe and on speaking terms. Now, when does the solo Pizza Dog series start?
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop is not a defining story, but it's hardly a forgettable one, particularly with the reintroduction of Susan Bishop and a bunch of beautiful artwork.