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[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
I love it when I pick up exactly the right book at exactly the right time.

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop — Anchor Points was 100% the comic I needed to read. It was everything I wanted after the nightmare of U.S. Senate Funhouse — Encroaching Death Week: a fun, woman-led adventure that pokes fun at pop culture, critiques toxic masculinity, centers female friendships and mentorships, and ties realistic struggles that women face into supernatural shenanigans in non-didactic ways. Kate is adorable, confident, competent, and she gets the best sidekicks. If you're looking for a fun romp with a former Avenger-turned-private investigator, this will be your jam.

Cover for Hawkeye: Kate Bishop Volume 1 - Anchor Points

One of my favorite parts of the Hawkeye run by Matt Fraction and David Aja was the fun way they approached the art to help characterize Clint and his relationships, especially with Kate. Kate's story in particular was excellent (it was by Fraction, Pulido, and Annie Wu, whose art was AMAZING). If you loved Hawkeye: L.A. Woman this will hit the spot. Romero, Walsh, and Bellaire do a great job tying Kate's story to the Fraction run. It's not a sequel, but it's casually referential—what's up with Kate's dad?—without making having previous knowledge a requirement. It's fun for new and old readers alike! The art calls back but does its best to characterize Kate Bishop with her particular skills, blindspots, and specific interests (delicious food and also abs).

spread of a comic with a crowded college quad with purple bullseyes highlighting things Kate is interested in

This collection introduces Kate as she tries to start up her own investigation service and struggles to pay her bills. Her first case is a girl being harassed online, and from there Kate uncovers a technology-fueled conspiracy. The last two issues of the volume feature Jessica Jones and Kate learning the ropes of being a P.I. from her.

The story was great and I loved the characters, but my favorite aspect of this comic so far is how anchored it is in the relationships and partnerships between women. All the cases Kate handles in the comic come from women and deal with both culturally relevant topics (violence and harassment against women) and the more mundane (a woman missing her sister). Kate ends up with a solid team, two of whom are queer women. She also finds a potential contact in the local police department; a female detective that really wants Kate to pay for her P.I. license and stop getting in trouble.

Kate speaking with a fisherman. Relevant text: Nothing, sir. Please continue to go about your fishing business.

When Jessica Jones shows up in the latter half of the volume it's perfect. In the first arc Kate shows how clever and knowledgable she is, but that she's still learning. Jessica showing up allows her to have a mentor without that mentor overshadowing her. Jessica knows a lot, but complements Kate's skills. It reminded me strongly of a lot of my own mentors who were so valuable to my ~growth as person~. It was a collaboration rather than a top-down "here's how it's done".

I'm super charmed by Kelly Thompson's Kate Bishop and can't wait for the next volume (December 2017). If you're looking for a superhero comic (where the hero isn't super beyond rad physical skills) by and about women and their lives, struggles, and relationships, give Hawkeye: Kate Bishop a shot!
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