So far in its young life Hawkeye has been a refreshing restart for Kate Bishop’s character, who is finally getting the chance to strike it out on her own. The setting of Los Angeles has given Kate a fresh start where she is able to establish herself as the Hawkeye everyone knows. That is a tough thing to do with everything Clint Barton has been involved with recently but Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero have so far shown they are a creative team up for the task. Now that they have Kate get deeper involved the TBC, who are responsible for people being harassed online and seem to be involved in something even bigger. Can Kate possibly defend herself against an organization that she doesn’t even know who is a part of it? Let’s find out with Hawkeye #3.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Leonardo Romero
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Hawkeye is backed into a corner at the end of a pier as members of the TBC surround her. Hawkeye tries to talk her way out of the situation but is tackled into the ocean below by a TBC member.
After hitting the water hard Hawkeye recovers and begins swimming to beach. The TBC member that tackled her swims after her.
They both end up at the beach at the same time. Before Hawkeye takes out the TBC member with her bow Detective Rivera reveals she is behind the mask. Rivera says Hawkeye should thank her for saving the young Hawkeye’s life. She then sarcastically thanks Hawkeye for almost broke her undercover operation.
Rivera shows Hawkeye a TBC patch that she should not accept it if offered. Hawkeye tries to figure out of that is how TBC is mind controlling people to join their cause. Rivera just walks away telling Hawkeye to stay away from the case
Hawkeye is left frustrated and buys a box of mini donuts to stress eat.
Later that night Kate Bishop heads back to her place where Ramone asks her what happened with the TBC. Kate explains how she was cornered by a mob but that she now thinks the TBC are using some kind of mind control.
As Kate goes to change into her Hawkeye costume she hears the door open and wonders if she left it open. Ramone says that she invited her brother over.
After finishing changing Kate sees that Ramone’s brother is Johnny, who she met earlier. Johnny comments on how he likes seeing Kate in her Hawkeye costume and they begin flirting.
Ramone breaks things up by asking why Kate has a picture of Brad (the surfer from the beginning of the first issue). Kate asks Ramone how she knows Brad but Ramone says she’ll only reveal what she knows after they find Mikka.
Kate looks through Mikka’s stuff again and finds a TBC patch on her phone. Kate explains what Rivera told her about the Patch. She then asks Ramone if she found anything on Larry. Ramone shows Kate a map that shows he is probably at the beach.
Quinn calls Kate to tell her he found the location of one Mikka’s stalkers. After giving over the info Quinn says he wants to go with Kate. Kate says he can’t which is when Quinn reveals he is right outside her front door.
Kate, Quinn, Ramone and Johnny all go to Larry’s last location which is a house on the beach where a party is currently going on.
Kate heads inside and when she turns around she sees that the others didn’t follow her. She decides to stay and scope out the party on her own. When she notices a mysterious wall a guy named Greg comes up to her and she starts flirting with him. Kate asks Greg whose party this is but before she can get an answer Greg gets called over by one of his friends.
Kate goes off and decides to check out the upstairs area of the house which has been taped off.
Once upstairs Kate notices all of the doors are locked and begins unlocking every door. As she opens each door she ends up finding a couple having sex, a guy on the toilet and a guy sleeping. Kate eventually finds a door she can’t open.
Kate goes through a window in an empty bathroom and is able to make it into the locked office from the outside.
Kate looks through the office and while pulling various books a secret passage way opens up. She goes down the stairs and ends up finding Mikka tied up in a control room that is monitoring the party upstairs.
Kate goes to untie Mikka who is just repeating everything Kate is telling her. Suddenly a member of the TBC towers over Kate from behind. End of issue.
The Good: Whereas the first two issues of this series were about laying the groundwork for Kate Bishop striking out on her own Hawkeye #3 is about establishing her own Scooby Gang. Though there is still plenty of Kate out as Hawkeye and conducting her investigation we are now seeing how Kelly Thompson will be using the supporting cast for the series moving forward. This move to strengthen the supporting cast is a very good choice, though Thompson is playing the “everyone knows everyone” card to much already.
The big strength of this series is how Thompson is treating what level Kate is at as a superhero under the Hawkeye mantle and where she believes she is at. This balancing act between the two is very delicate because Thompson could easily slip up to make Kate’s confidence in her abilities be a character that makes her unlikable. Instead, as Hawkeye #3 shows us, that character flaw is where Kate’s biggest room for growth is because she needs to be able to accept she doesn’t know everything. Even though she has been an Avenger and worked with Clint Barton, she still has a lot of room for growth.
That room for growth is where Hawkeye #3 is at its best as we do see how Kate’s own eagerness to show she can solve this case with the TBC group. The little mistakes she makes, such as not using more caution and stealth when looking through the house she is investigating, actually comes off as endearing. Because rather than just simply boasting about her skills she genuinely wants to show she can handle investigations on her own.
The integration of her Archer Points during her investigation continues to be a great “special power” for Kate to keep using. It adds something that is unique to Kate as Hawkeye that helps separate her from other detective-type heroes. And seeing her go into this mode just looks cool as it remind readers of unique things that street-level characters like Daredevil have that helps them work with in a world filled with people that have super powers.
Now while I’m not a big fan of how everyone that Kate has met so far in her move to know each other Thompson does a good job developing their chemistry with Kate. Thompson addressing Kate’s supporting cast as her Scooby Gang is a great way to pay homage to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I especially am coming to enjoy her interactions with Detective Rivera. This relationship has the biggest room for growth as Rivera can act as sort of mentor for Kate, who still has a lot to learn when it comes to becoming a full on detective.
The TBC group continues to grow more interesting. Thompson is doing a very good job slowly growing how powerful this group is as their reach seems to go being just being a group of trolls. This helps us to uncover things along with Kate instead of being told everything about them right away. In a way, this makes them even more menacing than the normal villains with super powers since they are using something like the tags that is not clear what it really does to people.
Leonardo Romero continues to be the star of the show with Hawkeye. He makes the world that Kate Bishop is in feel grounded and chaotic at the same time. This particularly works at the beginning of the issue when TBC corners Kate at a pier. Romero gets across how much of a crazy situation Kate put herself in. Similarly, the party scene shows how alive the world is as background characters look like real people rather than just NPCs waiting for Kate to do something so they can react to it. Jordie Bellaire does a particular good job with the coloring in this scene with the green and orange lighting helps add depth to the scene.
The Bad: The one thing that does keep Hawkeye #3 back from being as great as the first two issues is how Thompson is relying on characters already knowing each other before Kate met them. This has become a crutch to establish the connection between everyone in a way that comes in an unnatural way. Hawkeye #3 needs to be the last time we see this because Ramone and Johnny being related already felt like Thompson is trying too hard to make us connect with the characters. This is something I’m hoping that Thompson doesn’t use with the TBC if the leader being Brad or Greg as we’ve already had too much of this with Kate’s supporting cast already.
Overall: Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero are hitting their stride with Hawkeye #3. The writing continues to be sharp as Thompson establishes Kate Bishop’s supporting cast alongside with the growing conflict with TBC. It all comes together with Romero’s strong artwork that is a perfect fit for this series as he makes the street-level world come to life. This all creates greater interest for where the series goes in the future as it is quickly becoming one of Marvel’s best ongoing comic books.