Review: Hawkeye #5

STL039928.jpgKelly Thompson gives us two of Marvel’s finest female heroines in one stellar comic book. Hawkeye #5 serves us Hawkeye learning the ropes of the PI game in LA under the hard knocks tutelage of none other than Jessica Jones in the start of what looks like a mystery laced, and dragon filled, new story arc. The dynamic duo is on the case of a missing woman who has changed her looks to avoid her sister and there’s just enough intrigue in this issue to make you want to come back for the second installment of the story.

The story plays out like an old pulp detective mystery complete with the rough sketch character outlines, courtesy of Michael Walsh and a muted color pallets, by Jordie Bellaire,  that serves the ominous tone of the story well. There’s not a lot of fat on the bones when it comes to the artwork, there’s not an unnecessary line or color, keeping the focus on the character and the story instead of relying on a flashy aesthetic. Hawkeye #5 isn’t selling flash, it’s selling an intriguing story with a two strong female characters with a focus on their sharp wit, intelligence, and fighting skills instead of their looks.

Having a female writer keeps the story authentic and more about the characters, there are no cliches and the female gaze makes the interactions between the leads more realistic and interesting. There is no female backbiting or shade just and older female effectively reaching back and mentoring a younger female in the ways of the PI game. There’s a bit of hero worship in Hawkeye’s tone and a bit of, “this is how you do it ” in Jessica’s actions that make the story seem like a wonderful jumping off point and showing of a genuine female friendship. There’s also no lingering views of either woman’s body or focus on them as objects and, the creative team does this in a way that doesn’t make them seem asexual or lacking in any androgynous gray area.

Overall this issue was a nice entry into the next part of the Hawkeye story. There are no frills, no watering down and no nonsense, as readers we are treated to peak bad assery from Hawkeye and Jessica Jones and it’s a nice entry pint into the Hawkeye story. There’s even a bit of a comparison of the current Hawkeye to the original by the female target and a guard that’s immediately squashed as this Hawkeye is more than capable of making her own way and being an autonomous female hero. Thompson gives both characters agency and depth which makes her telling of the story, and the development of the both Jessica and Hawkeye, seem levels above what’s been happening in the solo Jessica Jones comics. There also seems to be extra care taken to make sure that there’s not even a hint of rivalry between Jessica and Hawkeye just good old fashioned strong women, working together to solve a case and there’s nothing better than that.

Story: Kelly Thompson Art: Michael Walsh & Jordie Bellaire
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review