Review – Hawkeye: L.A. Woman

Cover of Hawkeye: LA Woman by Matt FractionHawkeye: L.A. Woman, Matt Fraction, Annie Wu, Javier Pulido

This volume of Hawkeye collects a bunch of issues about the younger, cuter Hawkeye, Kate Bishop. What I kinda don’t get is how much like Clint she acts — she’s not the serious, dedicated leader of the Young Avengers here at all (and she doesn’t once that I can think of contact any of her team). The volume is mostly made up of new characters, aside from Kate and the antagonist, Madame Masque.

It’s fun, and the art is okay — I don’t like it as much as Aja’s — but I like Kate Bishop self-assured and telling Noh-Varr he’s a jerk, or helping Billy and Teddy save the world with love. We don’t get to see the Young Avengers off-duty like this much, which I guess is the format of these Hawkeye comics, but… I don’t know. And I half-expected her to come out with lines from Fraction’s Sex Criminals series: “This fucking guy”, etc.

She does still kick ass, but she also gets her ass kicked a lot, and often due to naivety and inexperience. Which is great, but, uh, the Young Avengers have taken down some pretty big threats, actually. Girl knows what she’s doing — and she has a support network other than Clint and her dad. A phone call to Billy or Teddy would’ve gone down well, Tommy could have been at her side in literally seconds, and America Chavez would gleefully have stomped Madame Masque’s faces. David could probably have set her up with a database, never mind files, if she’s gonna be a PI. Like, with Clint you can get him not asking for backup, because he’s a dummy. Kate isn’t. I’d at least have liked to see her think about calling her team, especially when she believes people are dying.

I don’t know, I guess one superhero being a dummy is kind of funny. Two is apparently overkill for me. Did like the gay couple who help her, though.

Rating: 2/5

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8 thoughts on “Review – Hawkeye: L.A. Woman

  1. I think one of these issues did have her talking to someone who was clearly meant to be Chavez, based on talking of kicking faces. But I think the reason she didn’t call anyone else in was because she was trying to prove she could take care of herself. She wasn’t going up against some vast threat. She was dealing with common, non-powered criminals.

    Which would also explain why she gets into so much trouble. She’s used to fighting supervillains and aliens and things. She’s overconfident, and she underestimates how dangerous a couple of big guys can be.

    The separation from the YA also explains the difference in her personality. She’s not having to be the calm, collected leader trying to set a good example for the others. She’s just a young woman out on her own in LA, with no idea what she’s doing but with enough enthusiasm to do it anyway.

    YA was Kate as The Responsible One. Hawkeye was Kate throwing responsibility out the window.

    It’s actually the same with Clint. He’s fully capable of being very responsible when he has to be. He’s led Avengers teams in the past, he led the Thunderbolts, he almost always plays well on whatever team he’s on. But when he’s on his own, he lets another side of himself come through.

  2. Ugh, I hate it when a character becomes completely OOC and is acting against how she acted in the past. It became one of the reasons why ICE LIKE FIRE (sequel to SNOW LIKE ASHES) didn’t work for me as much – the heroine there completely changed against how she was in the past and her development was going back to how she was before… HOW IS THAT CHANGE EXACTLY? Wouldn’t be looking forward to read this one… >_<

    Faye at The Social Potato

    • Yeah! In this case, a formerly responsible and together character suddenly started being a ditz and I just… couldn’t buy it. I’ve been thinking of reading Snow Like Ashes, but you make me wary!

  3. I thought that Hawkeye!Kate came chronologically before Young Avengers!Kate? But I might be misremembering… In any case they were published concurrently so it’s hard to tell the chronological order – I always thought that YA was Kate after she gained some independence in the run of Hawkeye, in any case. Might be worth asking Fraction or Gillen, now that both runs are complete?

      • Well, then we get into multiple runs of Young Avengers. Clearly volume one of YA predates Hawkeye, but the Gillen/McKelvie Volume 2 run definitely ran concurrently with Fraction’s Hawkeye, although Hawkeye had a slightly longer run overall. I know that, when asked, Fraction and Gillen responded that they had worked together to figure out how Kate’s timeline in YA V2 meshes with her timeline in Hawkeye, but I’m not sure that they ever shared the joint timeline with fans.

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