Any good circus act features a grand spectacle. Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #4 delivers that with flames and subtly. Finding herself face-to-face with a villain, who’s about to go on a monologue spiel, Kate works against a burning clock to save her sister, her dog and the guests stuck in the Resort Chapiteau.
Hawkeye Kate Bishop #4 is available now at your local comic book shop! Spoiler Review!
Kate Bishop hates the circus! Turns out that the Resort Chapiteau is being run by none other than the Circus of Crime as nothing more than a new and exciting way to part rich people from their money. Except the signet ring they stole from Susan unlocks her safe at Bishop Manor, which contains something way, way more dangerous than stacks of cash. Also, the resort is set to self-destruct, and the guests (and Susan and Lucky) are still inside. Worst. Vacation. Ever.
Writer: Marieke Nijkamp
Penciler: Enid Balám
Colour Artist: Brittany Peer
Letter: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Jahnoy Lindsay
REVIEW – Up in Flames!
We’re coming closer to the end of this Hawkeye story arc! And Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #4 is where this rollercoaster has reached the top right before it hurls down the track. The first half of this issue is dialogue/text heavy with Pascale Tiboldt going on the classic villain monologue while Kate is tied up. So while there may not be a lot of action happening, we get a lot of information on how Tiboldt is connected to the Circus of Crime and why Susan was invited to the resort. It turns out that her signet ring unlocks a safe at Bishop Manor that stores a piece of a cosmic cube fragment. If Tiboldt gets the cosmic cube fragment, it would heighten the controlling technology used on the resort guests.
While the storyline may feel a bit run-of-the-mill, I highly recommend paying attention to how the panels move our perspectives around Kate and Tiboldt as the monologue is in play. The composition of panels give a sense of movement and tension as Tiboldt explains how guests are being controlled at the resort, and why Susan was specifically invited. So while there’s a lot of talking happening in the first half of the issue, visually the story does not feel entirely stagnant because of how each panel lets us experience the conversation from different angles.
The second half of Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #4 is action heavy. Kate, of course, unties herself and rushes to save Susan and Lucky. That’s right, Lucky is safe! I’ve said this before, but Enid Balám is really great at showcasing dynamic movement that highlights how fast Kate moves and thinks on her feet. Not only does she manage to revive a couple of resort guests back to their senses, but she runs through the burning building trying to get as many people out to safety.
I think this action-heavy second half of the issue creates a strong juxtaposition with the first half of the book. Brittany Peer’s colouring also adds to this by using cooler colours in the first half of the issue, and richer and warmer colours in the second half to emphasise the urgency of fire but also getting to safety. But I also think Marieke Nijkamp’s writing and characterization of Kate Bishop shows how far Kate has grown. While I wish there was more humour incorporated in this story arc and in Kate’s internal monologues, the steadfastness Kate exhibits in getting her loved ones and guests out of the burning resort shows she’s moved well beyond being a rookie. This is not her first circus act.
Overall, I found Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #4 to be okay. There were no surprising twists or turns, and it followed the beats of confronting the villain face-to-face. I’m looking forward to seeing the final issue because it looks like Kate’s friends will be making some appearances (or at least, I hope that’s the case!).
RATING – 3.5/5 Pocky
Erika Chung is a fan of comics, pop culture and genre media. She’s also a grad student and her research interests are in comics, fan culture and the intersectionality of race and gender.