What I Loved—AND STILL LOVE—About Kelly Thompson's Hawkeye
So, it's been confirmed that my beloved Hawkeye—I subscribe to so so many comics, and this is one of the very very few that I read IMMEDIATELY every month, rather than let a stack pile up to binge on—has been cancelled.
And I'm SO sad.
It's one of the few books that Josh is ALSO always caught up on, purely because I do running commentary as I read each issue and DEMAND that he look at panels here and there and then when I laugh out loud he wants to know why so I show him MORE panels and it's just given me SUCH joy over the last year and everything is terrible, ugh.
So, rather than going outside and kicking rocks across the library parking lot, I'm going to re-read some Hawkeye. And as I do, I'll share some of the moments that made me love it so.
So let's start, obviously, with Issue #1. Kate Bishop has moved back to the West Coast and opened a detective agency—which, at the moment, is unlicensed, because paperwork is boring.
Panels #1 & 2: I love her Noir Detective Narration.
I love that she's a smirker.
I love that she's always snacking.
I love that she's a sassypants even in her head, and I love that she's able to appreciate some Eyeball Candy even when she's on the job.
AND I love that said appreciation of Eyeball Candy is very much in keeping with the noir stylings of the book, but feels fresh because we still don't see a whole lot of ogling from female characters, regardless of medium.
Panels #3 & 4:
I love that her Noir Detective Narration is in keeping with her personality—in other words, she talks to herself.
AND I love that people around her notice that behavior, as opposed to the kind of worldbuilding where protagonists swan around acting like weirdos and no one comments or even NOTICES.
Panels #5, 6 & 7 (full page spread):
I LOVE ARCHER EYE, and I love that she doesn't just notice crime-related things.
And OBVIOUSLY I love that she's down with making pop culture references.
I LOVE THAT SHE FULLY OWNS THE DORKINESS OF HER JOKES AND I LOVE THAT SHE ROCKS THAT EXTREMELY RIDICULOUS GET-UP.
Also—I know I haven't focused at all on the actual composition of the shots, but I love the framing here.
AGAIN WITH THE DORKITUDE.
I just love her so much.
THEN THERE'S THE IMMEDIATE RAPPORT/MOCKERY BETWEEN HER AND HER SOON-TO-BE FRIENDS. I just. That kind of dialogue, that moves things forward while still allowing for character beats AND humor AND feeling organic and real? THAT'S SOME GOOD STUFF, THERE.
AND THAT'S JUST THROUGH PAGE TEN!
PAGE TEN OF ISSUE ONE!
I haven't even gotten to the ACTUAL MYSTERY!
OR TO THE ONGOING WAIT WHERE'S THE BOY HAWKEYE BUSINESS!
OR THE THING ABOUT WHY A WOMAN DEALING WITH A MALE STALKER MIGHT BE MORE INCLINED TO TALK TO A FEMALE DETECTIVE!
OR THE FACT THAT SHE UNDERSTANDS HOW PEOPLE WHO ARE GROSS STALKERS ARE OFTEN ON THEIR WAY TO ESCALATING THEIR GROSS BEHAVIOR AND TELLS HER CLIENT THAT NO, SHE ISN'T BEING OVERLY SENSITIVE OR WHATEVER!
OR THE THING WHERE SHE DEALS WITH BUREAUCRACY!
OR HOW SHE BOSSES A DUDE INTO HELPING HER THROUGH SHEER STRENGTH OF PERSONALITY... AFTER YELLING AT HIM FOR CALLING HER SUNSHINE!
OR HOW SHE TACKLES AND THE LECTURES THE GROSS STALKER FOR BEING A GROSS STALKER!
OR HOW—OF COURSE—AT THE END SHE THINKS IT'S ALL OVER, BUT IT'S NOT!
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN.
GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. WHY CAN'T IT GO ON AND ON FOREVERRRRRRRRR??
Am I surprised that it didn't land with some of the ComicBros™? OBVIOUSLY NOT.
I rather suspect that there are some ComicBros™ who identified with the gross stalker, to be honest.
But good lord, not every goddamn book has to be for the ComicBros™.
For the last year, this book has been the book of my heart.
I'm literally crying as I write this, I'm so gutted it's ending.
So, you know: If you haven't read it, do.