The new Hawkeye series by Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero kicked off as strongly as you would want any first issue to do. Thompson and Romero established a lot of ground work to make Kate Bishop’s new life in Los Angeles an intriguing one. Dealing with issues of online harassment was a proper launching pad for Kate to prove she can be a solo superhero. Now with the second issue Thompson and Romero need to use that launch to further challenge Kate Bishop in and out of her Hawkeye identity. Will they be successful? Let’s find out with Hawkeye #2.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Leonardo Romero
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Kate Bishop calls her client Mikka to inform her that she has captured her stalker, Larry Gort, and is walking him to the police station. Kate is only able to reach her voicemail and leaves her a message about it.
Kate then asks Larry why he would harass a nice person like Mikka. Larry says he loves her. Kate is disgusted with Larry’s response as he has done nothing but terrorize Mikka. She then threatens to put arrows in him if he goes near her again.
Larry tries to plead his case but Kate ends up showing him a large file containing all the horrible things he has said about Mikka. Larry is stunned by the size of the file.
Kate finds a flyer for the TBC (Take Back Control) group in Larry’s pocket. Larry says he had previously gone to a TBC to help him sort out his life but they didn’t help, though he kept going to meetings. He goes on to say that this led him to message Mikka more to the point he felt like he wasn’t himself at times.
Kate finally leads Larry to a nearby police station. While handing Larry over to the police Kate tries to contact Mikka again but she never picks up, due to being kidnapped earlier.
Thirty minutes later Kate is frustrated with Detective Rivera for saying that there is nothing she can do about officially arresting Larry. Detective Rivera says she would be able to do more if Mikka was there to provide a statement but since she is not there isn’t anything legally she can do.
Kate tries to play the superhero card but Detective Rivera says that doesn’t hold any weight in Los Angeles. Detective Rivera then tells Kate that there is nothing she can do for this case. Kate walks out frustrated over the entire exchange.
Quinn meets Kate outside the police station. While walking through the city together Quinn shows Kate some more information about the dates and times of Larry’s comments to Mikka. He points out how some of the time stamps are too close together for only one person to be writing them all. Kate takes this to mean her investigation is not over as she needs to find the other person helping Larry.
Quinn wonders what their next move is. Kate says that now they have to find out who is responsible for everything that is happening to Mikka.
Kate senses that Quinn has something else on his mind. Quinn tries to ask Kate out but she quickly gets distracted by a TBC flyer on a nearby wall in an alley. She tells Quinn to go home while she checks things out.
Kate runs into the alley and confronts several frat guys harassing a girl. She tells the guys to let the girl go. The guys aren’t intimidated by Kate’s bow and arrows and one of them charges at her. Kate quickly fires multiple arrows disabling two guys with them. She then uses their surprise to take them out in quick succession.
Kate senses someone else there with them. A guy steps out of the shadows and holds his arms up, saying that he wasn’t with the guys Kate just took out. The guy expresses how impressed he is with how Kate took out the frat guys.
Kate checks up on the girl the frat guys were harassing. She says she is fine, revealing that she thought the guys were her friends but for some reason they ended up snapping suddenly. The girl contacts another friend to give her a ride home.
After the girl gets a ride home the guy from earlier introduces himself as Johnny to Kate. Johnny mentions how things have been odd recently in Venice Beach. He then wonders if the frat guys are alright. Kate says didn’t hurt them that much but threatens them that if she sees them again they’ll be getting even more arrows placed in places they wouldn’t like.
Later that night Kate heads back to her place. Before heading inside Kate senses someone is in her Hawkeye Investigations office. She gets ready for a fight only to find Ramone sitting in the dark waiting for her.
Ramone wonders why Kate has been calling her girlfriend, Mikka, so much. The two sit down to talk and Kate reveals she has been working on a case to help Mikka find the people harassing her online. Ramone then reveals that Mikka is actually her ex-girlfriend and that they were supposed to meet up earlier but Mikka never showed up. Ramone then shows Kate a TBC flyer she found with Mikka’s bag and phone.
Kate takes out her computer and reveals she put a couple trackers on Larry earlier. Kate finds out that Larry is back on Kinney College campus. As she heads out to find him Ramone wants to go with her. Kate tells Ramone to stay at her place in case Mikka shows up. She then reassures Ramone that she will figure out what is going and get Mikka back.
Later that night Kate finds Larry outside one of the places on Kinney College that Mikka usually hangs out at. Larry tries to explain that Mikka was actually writing about the TBC and thought he would find her at one of the TBC’s meeting places to warn her about it. Kate reveals that Mikka has been kidnapped. Larry starts freaking out.
Kate tells Larry she is going to the TBC meeting undercover to get more information. Larry doesn’t think that is a good idea but she heads in anyways.
The TBC meeting begins and Kate can’t believe how odd the energy of the TBC’s leader’s speech is. The TBC leader quickly figures out Kate is an imposter since she gives the wrong password and orders his followers to grab her.
Kate quickly runs outside with the TBC followers right behind her. As she runs through the campus other people not wearing TBC masks join in the mob chasing her.
As she is being chased Kate figures out there is more to the TBC than she gave credit for. Before she can really figure out what is going on the TBC mob corner her at the end of a pier. End of issue.
The Good: With the first issue of the series setting the street-level tone that this new Hawkeye series will take it was important for this issue to establish more of the superhero elements. That is exactly what Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero do with Hawkeye #2. By doing so they set Kate Bishop up to prove she is ready to be Hawkeye without someone looking over her shoulders. And even if she isn’t ready the way the story is laid out it will be a good experience for Kate to learn how to be a better superhero.
That is where Hawkeye #2 is able to excel at. Thompson does not hesitate to show us that Kate will face many obstacles along the way of establishing her name as a solo superhero. Through these obstacles we see that things won’t be easy for Kate. There are plenty of growing pains that Kate needs to go through to be the hero she believes she is in her head.
It’s in the moments where Kate assumes that because of how long she has been Hawkeye that she can accomplish anything that Thompson is able to give her the most development. This set-up is very reminiscent of Peter Parker’s early career as Spider-Man. Because Kate definitely has all the skills to be a successful hero but now it is time for her to learn to do so. And due to her choice to have a solo career she is getting her eyes open to what she doesn’t know.
The mob cornering her at the end of Hawkeye #2 is a great example of this. Through this issue we continued to see how Kate felt like she was in control of the situation even if she didn’t have all the information. By making the rookie mistake of not launching a full investigation on who TBC before trying to sneak into one of their meetings we once again see how Kate has a lot to learn.
Even though she makes these mistakes Thompson is careful with not portraying Kate as incompetent. The Archer Points that Thompson has given Kate has been a great addition to the character that shows her potential in being a detective. It also gives us a good idea of how Kate sees the world and what she is thinking when launching her bow attacks. While she did get cornered by the TBC at the end the chase gave us a good idea of how Kate uses can refine her Archer Points in the future to better adapt to her surroundings.
The plot with TBC also did a good job with developing the supporting cast Thompson has created for Kate in Los Angeles. The interaction between Kate and Quinn in particular continues to develop well. Thompson has quickly made Quinn into a Watson type character, which Kate needs at this point in her life. He also offers up the opportunity for Kate not to be worried about being some hyper tech wizard. Instead she can have Quinn be that while she continues to develop her detective skills and growing agency.
The quick friendship with Quinn was nicely balanced out by the initial antagonistic relationship between Kate and Detective Rivera. Detective Rivera deliver the facts that Kate has been ignoring and again showed us how she isn’t approaching the case with Mikka and the TBC the right way. Thompson also does a good job making sure that Detective Rivera doesn’t come across as unlikable. Instead, as a reader, you actually get how Detective Rivera can’t just go along with Kate. While this first meeting didn’t go so well I’m interested to see more scenes between the two as Detective Rivera can be a valuable support cast member for this series.
Ramone’s part in the story also helped flesh out her backstory. Her connection with Mikka was a good way to include her more into what Kate is doing. This also builds a strong foundation for the Ramone’s early inclusion into Kate’s growing supporting cast. Given what we have seen from Ramone so far she will be a great addition as an ongoing member of this series.
Thompson does an equally impressive job taking this cult-like TBC group and transforming them into a true threat in a quick manner. The TBC come across more like a villainous threat, especially with how their influence seems to go beyond what we saw. That influence builds an intriguing mystery around what is going on in Venice Beach and where Mikka was taken too in the previous issue.
As enjoyable as the story is where Hawkeye #2 shines is in the art department. Leonardo Romero continues to impress with how he is nailing the street-level setting that Thompson is creating for Kate Bishop. He does an especially great job whenever he draws Kate’s Archer Point. It’s a unique hook for this series and is as visually striking as when we see artists drawing how Daredevil see the world through his senses.
The Bad: The Johnny character introduced in this issue added the least to the story. His role in Hawkeye #2 came off as filler material in order to reach the page count. Given how interesting Kate’s investigation into the TBC and the other characters involved the time given to Johnny would’ve been better given to further fleshing out Kate’s investigation.
Overall: Hawkeye #2 is a strong follow-up to the impressive debut issue of Kate Bishop’s solo series. Kelly Thompson has delivered an intriguing mystery to follow with the TBC’s true motives other than just being trolls. The organizations influence also provides an excellent first challenge for Kate now that she is starting her solo superhero career as Hawkeye. Leonardo Romero’s perfectly complimented the story with how he draws the characters and portrays Kate’s unique Archer Point. This all combines for an issue that builds further excitement for what is to come next from this new Marvel series.